What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Month: January 2017

Episode 8: Are Our Kids Overscheduled?

overscheduled 2Are our kids overscheduled? Compared to our own childhoods, definitely. But is that necessarily a problem? And how are we, as parents, supposed to tell?

According to Dr. Michael Thompson, author of The Pressured Child:

There is a line between a highly enriched, interesting, growth-promoting childhood and an overscheduled childhood…. and nobody knows where that line is.

In this episode we are all about FINDING THAT LINE. We hash out

  • the myth of the overscheduled child (spoiler: it’s a myth)
  • why even non-scheduled time needs to be— well— scheduled
  • whether to let our kids decide how many extracurriculars they can handle
  • how loving an activity, and being stressed out by its demands, aren’t mutually exclusive ideas
  • how our overscheduled kids have costs for our marriages as well
  • how to push back against the overscheduling creep: (rage, rage against the dawn of the travel sports)
  • making a “priority pyramid” for your family

As you’re finding that line between enriched and overscheduled for your own kids, here’s some links discussed in this episode plus more useful reading:

The Over-Scheduled Child, the book that started the conversation 15 years ago

Pew Social Trends polling kids and parents on extracurricular activities

Health America poll: 78% of kids wish they had more free time  (Amy says yeah, but they just want more Xbox)

Harvard School of Public Health poll: a shocking 26 percent of parents with high-school-age children who play sports hope their child will become a professional athlete one day. (Margaret says these parents should Google the odds. Problem solved.)

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by mom-of-four Laura Vanderkam, about making room for what you want your life to include (she’s on the overscheduled-as-myth side)

9 ideas for slowing down your family schedule, from Joshua Becker

and our personal favorite: Ten Signs Your Parent is Overscheduled, by KJ Dell’Antonia for the NY Times. Chew on this nugget of truth:

A schedule full of action is indeed cruel, overbearing and destructive to someone’s well-being: mine.

Are your kids (and their parents) hopelessly overscheduled? What, if anything, have you done to set boundaries? Tell us in the comments!

how to review a podcast on iTunes (now Apple Podcasts)

One of the best ways to support our podcast (or any podcast you’re enjoying) is to rate and review it on Apple Podcasts. But it’s not always easy or intuitive to do so.

Here’s step-by-step instructions on how to do so, either from your computer or from your phone or tablet:

How to leave an Apple Podcasts review on your computer:

  1. go to the Apple Podcasts landing page for the podcast you’d like to review (ours is http://bit.ly/whatfreshhellpodcast )
  2. click “view in iTunes”
  3. if you get the prompt “Do you want to allow this page to open iTunes?” select “allow”
  4. click “Ratings and Reviews”
  5. under “Customer Ratings,” click the stars next to “Click to Rate”
  6. under “Customer Reviews,” click “Write a Review”
  7. write the review, click Submit

How to leave an Apple Podcasts rating or review on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. download the “Podcasts” app if it’s not already on your device
  2. launch Podcast app
  3. tap the Search tab (you need to do this even if we’re already listed in your app)
  4. enter “What Fresh Hell” (or name of podcast you’re searching for)
  5. tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  6. tap the album art for the podcast.
  7. tap the Reviews tab.
  8. tap the purple “Write a Review”
  9. review, click Submit

here’s a YouTube video to walk you through the iPhone review steps, in case you prefer a visual guide.

Thanks for reviewing!

Episode 7: Mom Goals


momgoalsNew year, new leaf! In this episode we’re talking “mom goals” for the coming year. Productivity guru (and mom of four) Laura Vanderkam says that “goals should be our tools, not our masters.” But since we need to set goals in the first place in order to make them achievable, we’ll take her advice, skip the feel-bad part, and kick this year’s butt.

 

Amy’s mom goals for this year are:

  • more meditation, because it makes me a happier and calmer parent.  Headspace is a great app offering a user-friendly introduction. My kids like it too.
  • more one-on-one time with each of my kids (and I may steal Margaret’s idea for one-on-one birthday dinners)
  • keep up the #devicefreedinners, and institute device-free playdates (a great idea from author Daphne Uviller)
  • reconnect with three old friends— and Facebook doesn’t count (from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast episode “Revive a Dormant Friendship” )
  • more books, less smartphone scrolling
  • structure more time for my personal goals by writing them down. I got a great Christmas present— the Productivity Planner— that I love so far!

Margaret’s mom goals for this year are:

  • get fit, and she’s not playing. She’s going to use self-help dude Keith Ferrazzi’s goal-setting system to lay out how she’ll accomplish this in the next five days, five weeks, and five months.
  • yell less. If she needs more advice on this topic, she might look to this foremost parenting expert quoted in this New York Times article, who prefers the word “hollering.”
  • set specific personal goals for the rare free non-kid-focused hours that she has. Vague goals=Candy Crush.

Another approach to resolutions in the new year, from Lisa Belkin in the New York Times, is to choose a one-word goal to guide your coming year. Amy’s word is “participate.” Margaret’s is “don’t-be-this-mom:”

What are your mom goals for the year? Tell us in the comments— we’d love to hear them!

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