Musings

Why I Started Lifemin
Lifemin is for any parent who could benefit from help keeping organised, but there is a special place in my heart for the women who are defying the odds in the male-dominated corporate world, and the men who are defying stereotypes by stepping up on the home front to give their partners the space to thrive professionally.

Are weekends with kids ever enjoyable?
What % of weekends do you actually enjoy? I don’t know whether this is like or unlike other families but in our house, unstructured time leads to boredom and fighting. Recent plan-free weekends have reminded me that my kids, despite being tweens, still need active management and stimulation. Aka the tween version of the playground, or the human version of the hamster wheel.

It's All Work: For Parents, Everything Must Be Planned, Including Leisure
A recent visit from a friend that left me feeling both delighted and guilty got me thinking. Friendships, and leisure more generally, like anything else important, require prioritisation, time, and energy and planning. In other words, even pleasure is work.

Patriotism and Family
Today is July 4, a holiday in the US celebrating its founding and independence. With everything going on, I’ve heard talk of Americans opting out of July 4 celebrations. I understand the sentiment, but I disagree with it. I am American; I was born and raised there and lived there till 2006, when I moved to London. I am also half Spanish. So I have plenty of distance and perspective to turn a critical eye to the country I called home for so long. And yet, I am proud to be American - as...

Should You Volunteer for the PTA?
Volunteering for your PTA or PTO can be rewarding, but it is also a drain on your time and energy. The vast majority of people DON'T volunteer. You might consider them free-riders, selfish or lazy, but maybe they're actually just smarter.

The Three Stages of Parenting
My kids are of an age now, I have learned the hard way, that they need to be consulted and involved in planning things. Long gone are the days when their dad and I could unilaterally decide what they would do, when and with who. So before the Easter break I sat them down and explained that since we would be staying in London, and since they resist camps that don't involve a friend as if they were the cruellest injustice, they needed to plan their break out so that they were occupied and...

Unstructured Time with my Kids
I don’t know about you, but Q1/this term has been a real doozy, and I’ve never looked forward so much to a 3 week school break with - wait for it - NO TRAVEL OR EXTRA CHILDCARE PLANNED. The last few months brought multiple bouts of illness, both for me and for multiple members of the family, each time bringing interruptions and delays to my standard routine (mostly work). In addition, I finished a work contract - one that I was thrilled to see the back of - and jumped straight into a new...