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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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You can't do everything

Uploaded: Oct 26, 2017
As the days get shorter and school and other scheduled activities take up more of our time each week, I find myself telling our kids more frequently that "we don't have time for that," "not today," "sorry, we need to wait until the weekend," "let's plan to do that next week."

I love the days when we can do whatever we want. We can make a city on the dining room table, watch a movie in the middle of the day, or check out three parks. But even on these special days, we can't do everything.

Earlier this week I saw a post called "I'm a mom who doesn't. You don't have to, either." The author talks about what things she doesn't do as a parent and how not doing those things opens up time and energy for the things she wants do. The important things in her life. What a great reminder as the holiday season begins.

Are you a "mom who doesn't?"

I don't cook fancy dinners.
I don't fold clothes right away.
I don't make all of our own baby food.

I do take tons of photos.
I do love play doh, sand, mud, water, and science experiments despite the mess.
I do love watching our kids grow up together.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Oct 27, 2017 at 8:41 am

I have always struggled with this and it gets harder as the kids get older rather than easier.

My mantra has always been on the doing rather than the going. Story times at home are always more successful than toddler story times at libraries. A picnic outside in the backyard is so much easier than going to a park. Obviously there are times for family outings, but we like to keep these to once or twice a month and make them feel very special rather than an almost daily event.

Apart from that, doubling outings with routine trips works well for us. I always have sand toys in the trunk for a stop at a park on the way home or having lunch at a fun playground near our doctor's office works very well. I enjoy doing things like visiting the Children's Library during school breaks, but not during school time as finding a suitable time doesn't work well for us.

Keeping life simple for me tends to keep the little ones happier, always being told to hurry up and get ready to go out when they are quite happy at home playing with their own things always seems counter productive. I end up with more energy to play with them as well as get daily household chores like laundry and meal preparation too. BTW, I love the fact that most of our meals are cooked from scratch rather than eating a lot of take outs or ready to cook and the children enjoy seeing what ingredients actually go into their food too.

Posted by Judy, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 27, 2017 at 10:23 am

"I do take lots of photos"

I don't understand why it is necessary to take so many photos. It doesn't seem that anyone can get through an activity without stopping for constant photos to be posted on social media. I don't think children appreciate having to constantly pose for photos, and I don't think it's healthy for them to grow up thinking it's the norm. Try getting through a day of fun activities without taking a photo. Enjoy the moment without stopping to pose or to take a pic. It's very liberating.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Judy - Thanks for commenting. I was just chatting with a friend about this at the park yesterday. A group of us have been hanging out on and off since our oldest kids where babies. We decided to get together yesterday to celebrate Halloween. Our oldest kids ran off together and played for hours. I only snapped a blurry picture or two of a handful of kids on the teeter-totter at the end of the outing. Definitely didn't want to interrupt their serious play for a photo.

Mother of 4 - Thanks for commenting. We also keep a bag of books, sand toys, crayons and paper in the minivan just in case we find ourselves with extra pockets of time. Our kids enjoy helping to cook and bake. We don't do it every night, but it is a fun activity, especially during the holidays.

Posted by Rosy, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

I do say no to my kids... a lot.

They have labeled me the "no machine". I have a belief that saying no to most things my kids want is a good thing. Mean right? Not really. This keeps them grounded to a certain extent and helps them appreciate the things when I do say yes. It also saves me time and money because my kids don't ask for much anymore unless they really do need or want something.

My life became a little more complicated after moving from Palo Alto to El Paso,TX due to my husband's work. At that time I became co-owner of a daycare When you own a daycare you get used to saying no a lot. I recommend being a mom who doesn't say yes too much.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 7, 2018 at 11:25 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Rosy - Thanks for commenting and reminding us about the importance of saying "no."

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