As your kids get older, how has the way you've thought about their routines changed?
My kids are now (almost) 7 and 8, so we're in a "growing pains" transition of asking them to do more for themselves. For example – when they ask me to get ketchup out of the fridge I ask them to grab it themselves – we also look for examples where we can help each other out, but we're trying our hardest to teach them to be self-sufficient.
How do you monitor screen time for your family? Do you have tips and tricks for how you ensure screen time is intentional?
It has to be earned most of the time. Last night they got to play on their iPads for 30 minutes because they finished dinner, showers, put their laundry away, etc. We also set parental limits on their iPads so they can't download anything that's above TVY7, and it shuts off after they've been on for a certain amount of time.
How do you and your partner share the workload of running a home and a family?
There's never a perfect balance. We both work and things are busy. But we try our best to play to our interests/things we don't dislike. For example, I don't like yard work, so he takes on the majority of that work. He doesn't like laundry, so I do the lion share of laundry. I cook more during the week, and he does more on the weekends.
What is the best piece of parenting advice you've been given?
To have a "roots and wings" mentality: do your best to give your kids strong roots, but let them "soar" when they're given the chance. My mom and dad were great about this, even if it meant putting their agenda second (e.g., when I moved away from home after college for the best job opportunity I was offered).
What advice would you give parents struggling to find balance amidst life's often chaotic and over-scheduled moments?
Even on your most efficient days you're not going to check everything off the to do list. Get comfortable with that. I fought it for many years and just exhausted myself trying to keep up!
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