Your guide to parenting in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

Talking about how we raise community minded kids, seems as relevant today as it was when first posted in 2011. Check out our booklists and download the PDF for for some guidance and useful suggestions.

How do we raise our children to be thinkers and doers and to care about the world around them? I invited five community-minded parents and the community to share resources and ideas at AS220 on May 25, 2011. Some of the ideas discussed; Tell stories and read to your children about people with different experiences and from different cultures, teach them to be socially responsible by being a role model–sometimes it is the simple everyday things we do such as where and what we shop and how we treat our neighbors that teaches our children to care about the world around them. If you missed the conversation, join in now. Watch the video here.

Download a PDF version of the CMK Field Guide here. *If you would like to special order a large quantity of CMK Field Guides, please contact Anisa (at) Kidoinfo (dot) com.

BOOK LISTS

I believe books are important to share with our kids at any age. Here are books recommendations from local experts that support the idea of kids learning a sense of self, diversity, tolerance, compassion for others, awareness of their sense of place in the world, and social responsibility to their community.

BOOK LIST FROM LINDSAY SHAW, children’s librarian at the Providence Athenaeum

PICTURE BOOKS: VERY YOUNG

PICTURE BOOKS: AGES 3-5 AND UP

FICTION: AGES 8-12

NON-FICTION

PARENTING

BOOK LIST FROM CHERYL SPACE, youth services coordinator / library program specialist at Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services, BONNIE LILIENTHAL, Providence Public Library and AARON COUTU, Greenville Public Library

PICTURE BOOKS: VERY YOUNG

PICTURE BOOKS: 5 AND UP

FICTION

NON-FICTION

BOOK LIST FROM ANISA RAOOF, publisher of Kidoinfo

PICTURE BOOKS

Resource Books:

Kidoinfo Presents: Raising Community-Minded Kids Conversation from Kidoinfo on Vimeo.

quatiaIntroducing Quatia Osorio, or simply "Q.": business owner, mother of 5, and passionate advocate for healthy families, communities and the environment. Q is the owner and one-woman powerhouse behind Mama Blu Diaper Service, swapping soiled cloth diapers with clean "fluff" at customers' doorsteps, every week, across Rhode Island and into Massachusetts. As a community doula under the name Our Journ3i, Q provides birth and postpartum support and education for "families of the vulnerable and marginalized communities." Q has also just launched the Chocolate Milk Cafe, a weekly breastfeeding support group in Providence for Black/African American/Afro Latino families.

Kidoinfo: What inspired you to start your business?
Q: Our fourth child, Evangeline, is what they call a “rainbow baby,” a baby born after a loss. We wanted to make sure we gave her the best, from a healthy start in the womb to Earthside. Pregnancy planning begins and ends with plans, changes, and new plans, but we were lucky that our plans didn’t deviate too much from our original best-sought plans: natural delivery, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and baby led weaning. It was in 2011 that Mama Blu formed out of a babywearing group meeting in which I realized that this was something I felt was needed and wanted to share with others. At the time of the idea I had 3 children in cloth! No twins, but two of my own and my niece while my sister was in the police academy in Georgia. It was quite an experience, but I think of all the money and environmental factors that were “saved” during this time.

mama bluKidoinfo: How did you start your business?
Q: RESEARCH. PLANNING. RESEARCH. It takes a lot to grow a business, nevermind a diaper service. I am a member of the Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA), a non-profit organization focusing on promoting cloth diapering and sustainability, and Real Diaper Association, a collective non-profit organization in which parents and small businesses take the lead in creating a cultural shift to increase the use of simple, reusable cloth diapers.

I often get asked about my business name: Mama Blu is a play off my college nickname, “Mama Q.” Blu happened to be a nickname that stuck with me in during my early cyber days and my favorite color, so it seemed serendipitous to name my business after my passion for both my love for knowledge (college) and the ever-changing digital world.

Kidoinfo: How do you balance work and family?
Q: Ummm… A lot of coffee, herbal tea (to flush out all the overdosing on coffee), and sleep - I love sleep. Also, I have a supportive family. On my sick days or when I’m out of town for business, my husband runs the deliveries and often you catch my youngest son helping me to deliver the new clean diapers. No one helps me with washing, though. Figures, right?

The balance is finding what you love and making time to enjoy the journey. Everyone has to find their own way of balancing. Sometimes I do burn out with five children, a small business, an upcoming non-profit, community work, traveling, an aspiration to become an urban farmer, 2 dogs and well...ME, but those days I just veg out watching anime, cuddling with my little ones, and resting. I really allow myself to take care during these times. Having a home business, sometimes I have to schedule “out of office” work days, which helps to streamline productivity.

diapers

Kidoinfo: Do you have any time-saving tricks that you could share?
Q: PLAN your day. Even days when you don’t want to do anything. Some days nothing goes fully to schedule, but I make a priority of must-do’s for the day and get it done. And if it can wait, let it wait. Buy BASKETS to help with quick cleaning and to give children accountability and responsibility for their own property. And honestly, people with children don’t care how “clean” your house is; real friends step over toys or ask if you need any help.

Kidoinfo: If you could give your past self any advice, what would it be?
Q: Take more pictures. Some memories just can’t be recalled, and it’s nice to have lots of pictures to reflect and remember.

Kidoinfo: Where do you find inspiration?
Q: Life is too short to just suck air and die. Do something with the little time you have to live. Make an impact. Take up a cause and make a difference. Inspire yourself to be like you when you grow up.

Kidoinfo: What is the one kid or parent product that you could not live without?
Q: LOTS OF PILLOWS!

Kidoinfo: What is your favorite children's book or music CD?
Q: Please Baby Please by Spike Lee. My children love this book and the art is beautiful. We are ordering a 2nd copy since the youngest two have literally turned it until pages ripped right off.

Kidoinfo: What do you do with your kids on a rainy day?
Q: Watch anime, play video games, play board games, build forts, have “sleep overs”, eat popcorn, sleep.

Kidoinfo: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Q: YES! The chorico stuffed clams at Whole Foods are my “pick me up” food.

Kidoinfo: If you had an extra hour each day, what would you do with it?
Q: Umm… SLEEP!

Kidoinfo: Can you share a story or anecdote that is symbolic of your dual life as a business owner and a mother?
Q: You intend the ordinary consequences of your voluntary actions. I read this in a book when I studied paralegal studies and it always stuck with me: to make my actions worthy.

Kidoinfo: How has the experience and on the job training of being a mom prepared or changed you in business?
Q: You must plan and adapt accordingly. I didn’t give birth to the same 5 people. It’s my first time as a Mother of each of my children: I must learn from them and they must learn from me. We are teaching each other. It’s like business - each of my customers teach me and I teach them. It’s great. Often I solicit feedback, suggestions or recommendations from my customers. I am a business-matter expert in cloth diapering, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything new to learn, especially with so many new diaper styles still being created to adapt to the different lifestyles of families.

Kidoinfo: What is next for you and your business?
Q: We just received our Green Certification from the Department of Environmental Management. This summer we are vending at the Hope St. Farmers Market, once a month at the Armory Park/Dexter Street Park, and looking forward to building a business relationship with the new Urban Cooperative building planning to break ground this summer. Our partnership with Yummycloud, a natural parenting and cloth diaper store in Swansea, MA continues to provide cloth diaper service to Massachusetts customers. Our hope is that parents at least give cloth a try to help our environment. Maybe we will establish a cloth diaper store locally in Providence, but that requires a lot more customers than I have right now. As far as what is next, continue to work hard, spread the cloth love, and provide quality service and products to my customers and families.

13521909_10100226796210693_580829722440936106_nAs for me, currently I am starting up the Chocolate Milk Cafe, continuing my work with Our Journ3i as a Community Doula, and in the fall I will take the Certified Lactation Counselor exam.

Chocolate Milk Cafe Details: Fridays, 10am - 12 pm, at Unified Solutions at Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies on the 3rd floor until August 12th, then we switch locations to St. Joseph Hospital for Wednesday evenings from 4:30 - 6:30pm.

Home Work: Lessons from Work-at-Home Parents. This series of Kidoinfo interviews with parents look at how they manage to squeeze in work time at home (whether working for someone else or running their own business) along with juggling kids, home life, and childcare (or lack of it).

flier with text merged 2016In celebration of WHO/UNICEF World Breastfeeding Week, the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting the 4th annual Born to Breastfeed event at Roger Williams Park Zoo. This event invites the community for a unique opportunity to explore the zoo by night and makes  breastfeeding information and other family health resources available. In addition to the zoo exhibits and dozens of vendors, there will be music, performances, raffles, concessions, and more!

The Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition is a non-profit coalition of community organizations and groups dedicated to supporting breastfeeding in Rhode Island. By hosting events to promote breastfeeding best practices, RIBC hopes to increase rates of breastfeeding in the state and improve the health and well-being of Rhode Island women and children.

The RIBC website is brimming with breastfeeding information for families including local resources and groups for support, and details about state laws for breastfeeding in public and in the workplace.

The Details:

 

 

By Anna Johnson

When the school year ends, kids are excited. They can’t wait to leave the hallways and homework behind. But despite the thrill of those summer months ahead, the transition can be hard. For kids who have learning, social and/or sensory challenges, this change in routine can be especially difficult and creating unexpected problems.

To make things easier for you and your child, here are a few things to watch for. Try to plan ahead and manage things with some of these preventative strategies.

hiking

The Outdoor Elements

For some kids, the sunshine calls and they’re off. But for others, the hot sun is like kryptonite, zapping them of all their powers. These kids might drag behind, complain, and, pardon the pun, experience “meltdowns.” Loose cool clothing, hats, beach umbrellas, water bottles and shade are extra important for these kids. Other enemies, like bugs, sand, even grass, can also get heightened in the summer Recognize what outdoor sensory elements trigger your child’s discomfort and come prepared. Find favorite things they can do to redirect their attention and calm them. Art supplies, special snacks, journals, or a favorite toy might do the trick. Special blankets to sit on, hand held fans, and bug spray are useful tools to keep ready for your bag of tricks.

New People & Places

Festivals, fairgrounds, vacations, family visits, cookouts and camp. So many fun things to do in the summer months! But interacting with different people, learning the social rules at new places, adjusting to a different schedule and routine, can feel disruptive and difficult. Help your child by preparing them for upcoming events and new situations. Create a visual or written schedule for the day, don’t force new friendships, and build downtime into your child’s day. In some cases it is helpful to create a code word or signal to use when your child feels overwhelmed or needs a break.

Less Structure

It’s great to not have the rigid schedule of school in place, but children still need a sense of their day to help them manage their time. Using a white board or notebook, make a schedule with things like free time, meals, chores, travel and screen time. Use pictures if your child is younger. Structure = security for most of us, so having routines in place makes a difference. And while bedtime might be later, make it consistent. Sleep is a priority for all of us! The whole family will manage summer activities and changes better if they are rested.

Summer is a wonderful season, especially in Rhode Island, but it’s okay if you don’t get to everything on your bucket list. Enjoy the little things every day. Give yourself and your child time to breath and enjoy each other. Your summer may not be 100% stress-free, but with a little planning, it can be full of special moments and family fun.

Anna Johnson, Head of School at The Wolf School, is a devoted, passionate educator with more than 17 years of classroom and leadership experience. She holds a BA and MAT from Brown University, and speaks locally and nationally on topics related to Complex Learners.

The Wolf School, located in East Providence Rhode Island, inspires Complex Learners to discover confidence, compassion, and a love of learning to reach their full academic and social potential. To learn more about Complex Learners and The Wolf School, visit www.thewolfschool.org.

11039153_10205066684239121_30935655782435110_nJoin us today as we meet one of my favorite local Moms, Jamie Glowacki, an energetic, acrobatic, entrepreneur who happens to be a potty-training ninja! I first met Jamie when she opened up a kid consignment shop years ago in Hope Artiste Village before moving the shop to Hope Street and then selling the business (this amazing shop is still mom-owned, renamed Hope Returns) so Jamie could pursue new projects. She has never ceased to amaze me how she juggles parenthood and work, managing to find her own sense of balance amidst all of her creative endeavors. - Anisa


Briefly describe your business here…

Jamie: I am the author of Oh Crap! Potty Training, published by Touchstone, Simon and Schuster June 2016. I also consult with parents, run a Potty Coach business, and do a lot of public speaking about poop. A dubious honor, to be sure.

Kidoinfo: What inspired you to start your business?

Jamie: Oh Crap started very organically out of need. I can honestly say I never wanted to be a potty trainer when I grew up. I was a social worker in San Francisco and taught parenting classes. Part of this was teaching potty training. Fast forward many years and I had my son, moved to RI, and potty trained him at 22 months. My mom friends were shocked and amazed! I literally started holding potty parties at my house, walking my friends through the process. Then I started classes, which sold out and were in high demand. I decided to write all the information down and realized I had a book. So I put it on-line on the WORST website known to man and it started selling. I owned a local store at the time and potty training consulting took over my time. A few pediatricians used the book in their waiting rooms and BAM. I was on the map. I had to sell my other business in order to keep up with the potty training. It’s been my full time job ever since. Earlier this year, in a whirlwind of beautiful crazy, I made an incredible book deal with Simon and Schuster and the rest is potty history.

FullSizeRender-6Kidoinfo: How do you balance work and family?

Jamie: I think balance isn’t an end goal. As a former acrobat and current hand-stander-doer, I know balance is, at it’s core, fleeting. So I have no illusion of maintaining it.

The best and worst part of my business is that I work mostly from home. I also homeschool. And I’m also a single mom. When I first started homeschooling, I struggled with making time to do all I needed AND all he needed. Then one day it hit me: include my son in my business! He helps make my Youtube and Facebook videos; learning how to edit and add music. He loves giving a kid opinion to clients who are struggling and he helps me with the finances, which is great for homeschool math.

Kidoinfo: Please describe a typical day.

Jamie: I get up at 5 to do my writing and social media planning. I’m super grateful my son is now old enough to stay home alone for a couple of hours so I can hit a 6:30am yoga class or the gym. Bad things happen if I don’t move my body. I usually have a few networking meetings in the morning via phone or skype. Then we do Pascal’s sit down work. Most of the mid-day is spent with homeschool friends at either a class, field trip, or an outing. I schedule clients and working with the other Oh Crap experts in the late afternoon. I go to bed ridiculously early. I get more done in the early morning so I have to sleep sometime.

Kidoinfo: Do you have any time-saving tricks that you could share?

Jamie:
My biggest one right now is no multitasking. I find that I actually expand time when I do one thing at a time with my full attention. Everything gets done so much faster with so much less frustration.

Kidoinfo: If you could give your past self (pre-kids or pre-business) any advice, what would it be?

Jamie:
Do it. Whatever it is in your heart, don’t make excuses, do it. Do it now. There’s endless excuses that are just fear in disguise. Make the mistakes, fix it as you go, and don’t worry at all of what anyone thinks of you.

Kidoinfo: Where do you find inspiration?

Jamie: Currently, other women who speak their full truth and do it with kindness.

Kidoinfo: What is the one kid or parent product that you could not live without?

Jamie: My cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner. How lame is that?

Kidoinfo: What is your favorite children's book or music CD?

Jamie: Jack Johnson, Curious George soundtrack. It’s so not annoying, I can still listen to it and sing along.

Kidoinfo: What do you do with your kids on a rainy day?

Jamie: Play in puddles and mud.

Kidoinfo: What is the last great non-kid book or film that you loved? What made it so great?

Jamie: Chef. A fun film about following your dream, the incredible power of social media, and connecting with your kid(s). All rolled up with some outstanding actors.

IMG_0088Kidoinfo: Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Jamie: When the first season of the Serial podcast came out, I got a babysitter, so I could walk for hours listening to it.

Kidoinfo: If you had an extra hour each day, what would you do with it?

Jamie: More yoga.

Kidoinfo: Can you share a story or anecdote that is symbolic of your dual life as a business owner and a mother?

Jamie: We were at Impact Skatepark for homeschool hours and my phone kept ringing. I ignored it for 3 times and then realized someone was really trying to reach me. It was the producer of a radio show that I was scheduled to give a live (and long) interview. I wrote it down wrong in the calendar. I called him back from inside the bathroom with 30 seconds to spare before going live. And I did the interview in the bathroom with my hand cupped over the mouth to eat up the bathroom sound. Yep. That’s a typical dual mom-business person story. Although, in hindsight, the bathroom stall isn’t all that odd when you’re a professional potty trainer.

Kidoinfo: What is next for you and your business?

Jamie: So many exciting things! We are working on a series of children’s books for potty training, each addressing some of the major problems families run into. We also working on a songs to accompany those books. There’s all different styles of learning, so we’re trying to help families with better tools for potty training. I’m also working with two therapists on a parenting program centered around grounded parenting through the noise of the internet.

Home Work: Lessons from Work-at-Home Parents. This series of Kidoinfo interviews with parents look at how they manage to squeeze in work time at home (whether working for someone else or running their own business) along with juggling kids, home life, and childcare (or lack of it).

Nathan Bishop Middle School PTO presents the film, SCREENAGERS Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about one of the biggest parenting issues of our time. The screening takes place, Friday, May 20 at 7pm and is open to the community. (Tickets required, see details below.)

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that happening with her own kids and began a quest to uncover how it might impact their development. As with her other two award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and also offers solutions on how adults can empower their kids to best navigate the digital world to find balance.

This film brings up some interesting issues - and as a parent of teenagers the digital world is full of challenges but also exciting opportunities for our kids and families. Thinking about my own multi-tasking digital use and how it impacts my life and the example I set for my kids. Looking forward to the conversations that unfold.

Details:

Sponosred by Nathan Bishop PTO
Friday, May 20, 2016 @ 7pm
Nathan Bishop Middle School - 101 Sessions Street, Providence, Ri
Tickets: $10 Adults / $6 Students (All funds support Nathan Bishop PTO school programs)
Buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nathan-bishop-middle-school-pto-presents-screenagers-growing-up-in-the-digital-age-tickets-25140057589

More about the film: www.screenagersmovie.com

A Families First RI mother and her twin babies with mentor.

A Families First RI mother and her twin babies with mentor.

It takes a whole village to raise a child -Igobo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb

No matter what her circumstances, even with the most abundant resources surrounding her, when a woman becomes a new mother her hormones surge, her sleep is deprived, and her life as she knows it is completely rocked. When stressors like post-partum depression, lack of family proximity or support, single parenting, health problems, or financial concerns are added to the universally-experienced demands and fears of new-parenthood, the weight is simply too much to bear alone.

One local organization is bringing “the village” that much closer to mothers in need of a helping hand and listening ear. Families First RI is a non-profit organization that matches pregnant women and new mothers with compassionate, experienced mothers trained as volunteer mentors in the innovative “Moms for Moms” program. In this unique relationship, the lives of the mentor, mother, baby and entire family are positively impacted. Executive Director Beth Hurt, whose involvement with Families First RI began as a mentor, posed, “How often in your life can you help someone so directly, supporting a person in the most vulnerable time in her life?”

How to Get Involved

Be Matched with a Mentor
If you are in the late stages of pregnancy or the mother of a new baby and feel you could benefit from a weekly visit in your home to ask questions, share concerns, and receive guidance from an experienced mother mentor, all you need to do is reach out. The program is free of charge. A Families First RI clinician will do an initial visit to learn more about you for your match and help guide you toward additional resources if needed.

Become a Mentor
Perhaps you’ve made it to “the other side” of your own early parenting struggles and want to be there for a new mother in a way you wished someone had been there for you. After participating in a 4-week training with Families First RI clinicians, you will be asked to commit weekly 1-hour visits for a 1-year minimum with a mother to offer confidential, non-judgmental support, mom-to-mom.

Monthly Community Gatherings
Families First RI offers monthly Community Gatherings which feature guest speakers and an opportunity for parents to connect and nurture themselves while babies and older children play together. Community Gatherings are open to all families with an infant – you don’t have to be involved in the Moms for Moms program. These drop-in events are held the first Saturday of the month from 10:30-12:00 at the First Unitarian Church of Providence at 1 Benevolent St., Providence. The next Community Gathering is May 7, 2016, then they will take a break during the summer. Check back at the website for fall gatherings.

Annual BBQ Fundraiser at Mulligan’s Island
Support the mission of Families First RI while having a blast at this family event featuring BBQ fare, live music, a silent auction/raffle in addition to the usual fun Mulligan’s Island activities: miniature golf, pitch & putt, driving range, batting cages. There will also be a golf tournament on Mulligan’s 9-hole, Par 3 course. This year’s event honors the Kristen Kardos, MA Ed., and Kathy McGuigan, LCSW of Rhode Island New Moms Connection for their impact on the RI community of pregnant and new mothers.

MomForMomsLogo-HD copy

When: Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Where: Mulligan’s Island Golf & Entertainment Center, 1000 New London Ave., Cranston, RI
Tickets: $30 for regular admission, $15 for children aged 3-11, $50 for golf tournament (includes regular admission, space is limited)
Purchase tickets HERE

For more information on Families First RI – Moms for Moms
To be matched with a mentor or learn about volunteering as a mentor, contact Tania at (401) 383-9933 or email Tania@familiesfirstri.org
Website: familiesfirstri.org
Follow them on Facebook

By Cathy Saunders, Director of Education, Providence Children’s Museum

Children in the U.S., for the most part, are not growing up in a “hands-on” society. Toys are bought, not made by hand, and are not designed to be fixed if they break. Classroom time is more focused on test preparation and less on project-based learning as this Washington Post article outlines. Cooking from scratch has largely been supplanted by microwavable meals and fast food. The list goes on.

This lack of hands-on experience with real stuff creates real deficits: children are not learning about materials. At 8 years old, I remember being surprised to learn how much easier it was to hammer a nail into a two-by-four than a piece of plywood, and discovering that honey does not make a good substitution for sugar in a frosting recipe. (What a gooey mess!) A recent study found that toddlers are more likely to correctly identify foods by name if they have been able handle them.

April2014-WoodWorking

Hands-on experiences also provide opportunities to develop important learning behaviors, like observation, experimentation, persistence and risk taking. I recently watched two children parallel playing in our Water Ways exhibit, working to connect the fountain pipes. The 5-year-old was alternating between watching the 7-year-old and working on her own construction. The children made adjustments to their fountains that didn’t work — sometimes bringing them crashing down — but both went back to building, trying new ways to connect the pipes and move the water.

In recent years there’s been a trend toward working with real stuff again, which goes by many names — DIY, crafting, tinkering and maker movement — all of which share the basic tenant of learning by doing while using real materials. They all provide great inspiration for creating a “hands-on” environment for your child.

For some easy activities to get kids experimenting with materials, see these recent posts from the Children’s Museum: Home Grown Fun, Celebrating Engineers Week and Cardboard Challenge. If you want to take it up a notch, our friends at the Exploratorium in San Francisco have developed the Tinkering Studio which has a terrific website — find instructions to make a wearable circuit and read bios of many interesting grown-up “tinkerers.”

Take a field trip! There are plenty of opportunities to create with and explore materials at the Children’s Museum. There are also events that showcase and celebrate making and tinkering such as Maker Faires held around the world, including in RI, MA and CT.

Providence Children’s Museum is the best place for April school vacation FUN! From April 18-25, meet bunnies, chicks, goats, lambs and ponies. Build with big blue Imagination Playground blocks. See a show and try activities celebrating Earth Day. Encounter lizards, snakes and other incredible creatures. And explore Mad Science in a mind-bending interactive show! Learn more at Providence Children's Museum.

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On Saturday March 22nd, Bradley Hospital hosts the annual Parenting Matters conference.  This conference is intended for anyone who raises or works with children.  The conference will be held at Barrington High School from 8:00am-12:40pm.

There are a large number of workshops lead by some amazing and insightful local minds - behavioral experts, child-rearing gurus and everyone in between.  Workshop topics range from Children's Behavior and Discipline to Talking to Kids about Sexting, Family Nutrition and Raising Happy Children.

More information about workshop topics can be found at the Parenting Matters website.

Registration Information

ec8a0da30420501dce791a4256aaa582Having become a new parent for the second time recently, I had conveniently forgotten how long it takes to do regular, day to day tasks. The last 9 months were also spent frantically de-cluttering our family nest and it would be over my new jiggly bits that I would allow more gear, gadgets and fluffy rabbits to take over this minimal mothership!  You see as nice as one more onesie or blanket would be, what we new parents really need is time!

Below are some ideas for time-giving gifts - hope you enjoy and share with other new parents (they will think you are fabulous - honestly)!

1.  Dinner.  If you are not able to take over dinner yourself, how about a gift card to a local eatery, preferably one with takeout or delivery.

2. Booze, Drinkies, A Tipple, A Wee Tot!  However you call it, an occasional libation has brought much relief to this frazzled Mama.  Bottles located on Providence's East Side offers free same day delivery on orders over $75 or a $9 delivery charge.

3.  Cleaning Service.  This can be a true luxury for a lot of new parents as well as a total sanity-saver.  A local Providence friend uses the Merry Maids company and really likes them.

Photo Credit: Pinterest4.  Laundry and lots of it!  There is definitely an untapped market for a machine that can either hang laundry out on the line or transfer it from washer to drier!  In lieu of this invention, check out My Laundry Hamper who will collect and deliver laundry to your door. If your new parent pal uses cloth diapers, then check out local companies, Mama Blu and Mama Earth.

5.  Errand Runner. Task Rabbit is a new site that came to my attention when a friend needed her large couch moving.  She posted the job on the site and the next day two charming and much-muscled fellas helped her move said couch for a low price.  Task Rabbit is great for new parents as they handle everything from taking your pets to the vet, going on an Ikea run or mowing the lawn.

6.  Walking the dog.  As a Mama of two fur babies, walking the dog is one thing that, in the initial stages of parenthood is unfortunately way down the list. Ruffin Wranglers offers amazing door to door doggie excursions. Peace Dogs Canine Care offers great dog walking for your pooch (401 429 3647).

Photo Credit: Ruffin Wranglers7.  Grocery shopping.  Groceries delivered to your door at a time that suits you is available from Wholefoods, Eastside Marketplace, Peapod and Monroe Dairy.  All of these stores offer online shopping which eliminates the overwhelming job of getting oneself presentable and out of the door with a new baby.

8. Your time, if you can spare it. If you are able to give some of your own time to a new parent then this is the best option in my book. Free to you and providing your pal with not only a few minutes to take a shower, throw in some laundry or take a nap, but also a much needed adult chat.

Photo Credits: Clock (Pinterest), Laundry (Pinterest), Dog (Ruffin Wranglers)

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