Katrina Alcorn couldn’t take it. At 37, she had it all: a great husband and job and three sweet kids. Yet, on her way to the store to buy diapers one day, she had a nervous breakdown. She stopped working and began a journey through depression, anxiety, insomnia and medication.
Was she the only one who couldn’t handle the demands of career and family? We all know the answer to that–absolutely not!
It’s no wonder her new book, Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink, has created such a buzz lately. In it, Katrina argues that even though women are the primary or substantial earners in two-thirds of American families, the American workplace is uniquely unaccommodating to working mothers. In fact, the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require paid maternity leave. She writes that a whole generation of women are “maxing out” in their attempts to meet the daily demands of their lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below, Katrina suggest 10 Ways Maxed Out Moms Can Start Changing Things Right Now. (And click to the end to see the cool book trailer.)
1. Practice saying no—Working moms have to find ways to say no. It’s not about letting other people down; saying no to others is about saying yes to yourself.
2. Tell your partner what you need—Communicate with your partner about how they can make life a little more manageable, from taking the kids for a few hours to being on dish duty. (more…)
But this playful and creative guy thinks adults need kid’s books, too. I totally agree. Where are our pretty pictures, perfect rhymes and straightforward messages? They are in his latest work called It’s Never Too Late: A Kid’s Book for Adults. This fast and fun read brightened my day–and it only took a few minutes. Dallas shopped this book around to traditional publishers who all turned him down. So he printed it online–and it went nuts. Finally, Penguin snapped it up, and it hit bookshelves yesterday.
Check out this excerpt and some artwork. Then see Dallas talk about his book in the video below:
“Because it’s never too late,
too late to begin,
and today is the day
the world might end.
And today is the day
the world might start,
so live it and love it
with all of your heart.”
Shaun Gallagher taps into his creativity as a dad and his fun inner scientific geek in his new book, Experimenting with Babies. He writes: “As a child, I loved tinkering with my Radio Shack 50-in-1 science project kit. Now that I’ve got two young children of my own, I’ve made them my science projects, and I’m having more fun than ever.
Back then, I wired rudimentary circuits to activate a buzzer or light up a diode. Nowadays, I experiment with ways to help Ben, 1, and Joel, 3, learn new skills that light up their faces. But my parenting approach isn’t all trial and error. I take cues from the work of infant-development researchers, who have used the scientific method to reveal helpful, and often astounding, new insights into how babies grow, learn, move, speak, and behave.
In Experimenting With Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid, I’ve taken published academic studies from various fields of infant research and adapted them so parents can perform them on their own babies, with no special equipment needed. The projects are simple and completely safe — in fact, I’ve tried a bunch of them on my own boys — and they’re sure to increase your fascination with the coolest science project you’ll ever get to conduct experiments on: your own baby.
I have to get in a cab ASAP or else I’m going to miss the awesome Kathryn Budig, yogi and writer extrodinaire at the Yoga Journal Conference. Yesterday she was handstanding and singing really happy songs at the same time. She not only inspires me to take my yoga up a notch, she also writes awesome recipes like this one about green smoothies. I’m going to write up some tips and tricks for moms from lots of yogis I’ve met there next week. Stay tuned!
The Yoga Journal conference in Florida (theres one in New York in April) is a yogis paradise. And yesterday, someone even gave me a free pair of red yoga pants. This is totally win-win.
I know we’re checking out Free Birds, which opens today, this weekend. Hang on to your nuggets! (See the movie trailer at the end of this post.)
“These days, it’s no easy task to find a movie suitable for the entire family, whether on the big screen or at home. You scan the online theater listings and see lots of movies being pitched to your kids, but many of the promos out there can send up a red flag to parents of little ones. And at home, you’ve already watched the titles on your shelf a dozen times and the sea of Netflix choices is just overwhelming—who has time to read reviews before deciding, much less make sense of all those content warnings? But you also don’t want to start a movie and be surprised halfway through by an inappropriate scene or a startling moment of violence.
Given that we all have different taste and tolerance levels, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to make that choice for family movie night, but here are some suggestions that might help.
1. Choose a sports movie. You might be surprised to find that many excellent sports-themed films are rated G or PG, have a positive message that can prompt conversation, and cover a wide variety of competitive events, from high school basketball (Hoosiers) to women’s college basketball (The Mighty Macs) to baseball (The Rookie) to football (Invincible) to swimming (Pride) to surfing (Soul Surfer) to golf (The Greatest Game Ever Played) to hockey (Miracle) to horse racing (Secretariat)—and even spelling (Akeelah and the Bee) and chess (Searching for Bobby Fischer).
2. Choose a G or PG-rated live-action film. For families with older children, don’t discount G and PG films in favor of the PG-13 rating. Hollywood believes teenagers, the most hotly pursued demographic, won’t go to a movie unless it carries at least a PG-13 rating, which explains why so few Gs and PGs are out there. But every year some slip through and many are worth watching as a family. Recent examples include The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Big Miracle, We Bought a Zoo, Hugo, Dolphin Tale and Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.
3. Choose a box-office hit you enjoyed with your parents when you were young. Whether you are a child of the ’80s or the ’90s, you are bound to have films lodged up there in your memory that bring up warm feelings just thinking about them, so share them with your kids: Mr. Holland’s Opus, Groundhog Day, Rudy, Cool Runnings, Father of the Bride—give it some thought or browse through the rental list and you’ll come up with your own favorites.
4. Watch a vintage classic from the black-and-white era. Who’s going to sit still for black and white these days, you ask? Ease into it with an old comedy and you may be surprised that, after awhile, you have forgotten that it’s monochrome. Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine is a guaranteed laugh-getter–even for the very young–in their film The Naughty Nineties. Frank Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is funny and charming with an uplifting theme. The Marx Brothers’ anti-war film Duck Soup is a riot. Cary Grant’s double-takes in Arsenic and Old Lace are priceless. Buster Keaton’s silent Civil War farce The General is unbeatable. And there are many more.
5. Choose to have fun. Watching movies together should be a joyous experience, one that creates the same kind of warm memories you have of watching beloved films with your parents. So pop some corn or roast some hot dogs, hunker down in the TV room together, turn off your phones and have fun.
Chris Hicks, author of Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind?, has been writing about movies for the Deseret News for more than thirty years. He was the full-time movie critic for 20 years and also reviewed movies on KSL television and radio for thirteen years. Chris then became the editor of the newspaper’s features department. Now retired, he continues to write a weekly column and DVD reviews for the Deseret News.