HuffPost Parents is starting a club. If you are a mom or dad who feels stressed out, we want you to join because we are going to find some peace together.
The mission for HuffPost Lifestyle in 2013 is “Less Stress, More Living.” Across the site, our editorial colleagues aim to help readers like you feel calmer about every aspect of life -- from what you cook to what you wear, how you feel about your relationship (or your split) to your career and more. However, beating stress while parenting is tricky business. When we asked on Facebook what you are more stressed about now that you have children, answers came pouring in -- and ranged from germs to money to death to, well, pretty much everything. It’s no secret that once you become a mom or dad, the best-laid plans for relaxation fall the heck apart.
The kids of HuffPost Parents are 9 months (Teri’s twins), 3 (Farah’s toddler), 5 and 8 (Lori’s kids) and 18 and 21 (Lisa’s boys). Our compatriots at Huff/Post50 have teens in middle and high school. In other words, if there is a crisis to be had while parenting, we’re talking about it here in the newsroom. Sleep issues, allergies, too much homework, too much screen time, birthday party etiquette, college applications, work-life “balance” (or lack therof)... and that’s just the light stuff, and it’s all happening here.
That is why we’re launching our Stress-Less Parenting club, where we will offer workshops led by authors, experts and fellow moms and dads. We realize you may not be able to take a day for yourself (or even five minutes), and the pressures you’re feeling are likely coming from forces very much outside your control and possibly under 4 feet tall. Each installment will be a bite-size challenge to do at your own pace complete with tips and assignments that you can work on during the week. Every piece of advice we provide will be in the name of sanity.
We’re kicking it all off with Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting and Bebe Day By Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting, which goes on sale Feb. 12. Like many of you, we were skeptical when we first heard about Bringing Up Bebe last year. Lest you forget, The Wall Street Journal, where Pamela previously worked as a staff reporter, ran an excerpt with the inflammatory headline “Why French Parents Are Superior." (The piece harkened immediately to an earlier essay, "Why Chinese Parents Are Superior," which the newspaper excerpted from Amy Chua’s memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.)
But then we read Pamela's book, and eventually moved past our defensive posture.
Because at its core, what Pamela calls French parenting is de-stressed parenting. In France, she says, she found a society of mostly calm adults and kids. Since her new book is essentially the Cliffs Notes to her memoir --100 keys to becoming more like these laid-back people she speaks of -- we thought it would be the perfect guide for our first workshop. Pamela offers easy-to-follow advice on everything from curing picky eating to teaching kids patience to effectively responding to tantrums.
Visit the purple box on the right side of this page to sign up and receive a newsletter with each week’s challenge. We’ll be reading and learning together as well as meeting up in Google hangouts and chats to get to know each other. Then, going forward we’ll email you about new workshops led by many of our favorite writers and friends.
We can’t wait to get started. Here’s to making life a little easier, one week at a time.