Making Connections

Getting Support When You're Home Alone

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There are times when I wish I had been raising my children during the time my grandparents were raising kids. I remember being told about how wonderful it was to be able to walk next door at any hour of the day, and find another mom home with her kids.

Helping Click by Click

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Now and then, life lands us in a really low energy place. Could be you're postpartum after a challenging delivery, or it could be, like me, that a sudden illness lands us in the hospital. It takes time to recuperate.

During that time, we simply don't have the reserves of energy that we're used to having. More physically active volunteer works, (like cleanup days) are, for the time, right out. Can't stand up long enough to make brownies for the bake sale? If you can sit at your computer again for a few minutes, here's something you can do.

It's a Miracle

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As I write this, it is Halloween, the night before what many cultures around the world call the Day of the Dead--Hallows, All Souls, Dia de los Muertos, November 1st. In cultures that celebrate this day, it's a chance to reminisce about loved ones no longer with us, express our gratitude for everything they did for us when they were alive, and think about how much we miss them. It's especially important to remember those who have left us since last year at this time.

Political Involvement

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Growing up in a politically active college town inspired my lifelong interest in politics. As a teen and young adult, national issues had my attention, and I worked on presidential and senate campaigns.

Now that I'm a mom, my political interests have expanded beyond political parties and national issues. I am becoming more aware of local issues about the school systems and growth in our town. In both national and local issues, I have learned that there is power in using your political voice.

Who's the Real Enemy?

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When TNH went "live" a few weeks ago [This was written in 1999--Ed.], I got a careful letter from a work-outside-the-home (WOH) mom who cheered the magazine and then asked me if this was going to be one of those stay-at-home (SAH) mom things that bashes WOH moms.

I told her, and I'm telling you, that's not going to happen here.

Why Make Time for Volunteering?

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Any stay-at-home parent is busy, busy, busy whether she has one child or more, whether all of her children are under age five or they have all begun full-day school. For me, it's the busy-ness of my life that keeps me sane. I have never held a typical 9-5 job, save for the ten months shortly after I first married.

Small Charities

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Charity isn't always about money.

Years ago, when we had a farm, I sold produce at the local farmers' market. We set up in a parking lot in an urban area, near the factories and low-income apartments which housed many elderly and close-to-homeless people.

Five Ways to Avoid the Mommy Wars

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Mothers hear so much about the Mommy Wars. We're told there's an absolute no-holds-barred battle that leaves moms in the paid workplace and those at home fulltime raising kids unable to share a playgroup or a carpool, let alone a smile or a story. Is life at the local playground and the preschool pick-up line as bad as all that? Mothers report that for the most part, it doesn't matter who's getting a check at the end of the month, that--to quote the latest kid-rave High School Musical--we're all in this together.

Refreshment for Homemakers

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The hardest thing to do when you're stay-at-home is take time for yourself. I get so stressed and so--well, depressed, that I don't take care of myself. There's always something else to do when your job is your home. It also doesn't help that I'm a workaholic, a tendency that seems to be part of the American character.

I've been reading Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much again, and this bit leaped out at me today:

A Perfect Christmas

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I have this tendency to try and get everyone in my family everything they could possibly imagine for the holidays. While a reasonably noble cause, it is not always a responsible one. Believe me, I have gone well over the limit of both credit cards and checking accounts alike trying to find "the perfect" gift for Mom and to provide a veritable sea of new toys under the tree for my four children.

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