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Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“The Secret Life of Grief” [via The Atlantic]

“2nd-Grader’s Cure For Playground Loneliness: A Buddy Bench” [via HuffPo]

“Fear of dying alone drives women AND men into bad relationships” [via The Week]

“Millennial Searchers” [via NYTimes]

“My Kid’s Insane Christmas Wish List, Annotated” [via Deadspin]

Modern Moms Aren’t as Busy as 1960s Moms Were: Moms now spend more time on activities like TV and the computer than on housework, playing with kids, and exercising combined.” [via The Atlantic]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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{ 73 comments… add one }

  • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Modern moms may not be as physically busy as 1960′s mom but we are constantly on the go. My impressions of kids brought up in the 60′s is that there wasn’t nearly the pressure to reach developmental milestones nor the vigilance and hyper-awareness of predators and physical dangers with small kids. It seemed kids pretty much just went outside to play when mom needed time to clean a house or make a big meal. My mom brought us up in a similar fashion. We came out okay but there is no way I could raise my children the same way; I’d be arrested or blasted all over the web as negligent. But it used to be very common. I think we are finding a new balance between all the research in the last couple of decades in childhood develop, the need for dual incomes or serious lifestyle choices, increasing expectations for kids just coming into school, and having a remote and transient lifestyle (keeping up with friends online as opposed to living in the same house for twenty years and being besties with all the neighbors)

    There is definitely a challenge in remaining physically present and not living in our heads and computers too much. We do need more physical activity at our jobs and in our homes. But how to we make it profitable?

    • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 1:23 pm

      Also (brag alert), my five year old asked Santa for two presents :) I’m so proud of him.

      • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 2:36 pm

        Good for him! And good job to you!

        • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 3:13 pm

          Thanks! I know every mom thinks this but he really is just the sweetest kid the whole world.

    • Kate Kate December 6, 2013, 2:31 pm

      Good point… My dad grew up in the 50′s, and he said after school the expectation was that he’d go outside and play until dinnertime. Like, you did NOT come in the house and whine that you were bored or watch TV or ask for snacks. You went out and played with other kids. And I think the older siblings took care of the younger ones. Really young kids could be out playing in the neighborhood and out of mom’s hair. But I do think moms’ lives sucked a lot more back then and a lot of them were probably going out of their freaking minds because of the hard limitations on their options in life.

      • avatar bethany December 6, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I grew up in the 80′s and that’s exactly what it was like for me growing up. I have very few memories from childhood that don’t involve playing outside!

        • Kate Kate December 6, 2013, 2:47 pm

          Yeah me too, unless I was reading a book. We didn’t need parental supervision the way it seems like kids do now. And it seems like now, because kids can’t just go out and entertain themselves like they used to, they look to their parents to entertain them, and honestly that’s probably a big burden on moms, whether they are home with the kids all day or working outside the home… so more and more it seems like they’re giving the kid a tablet or a game or something to play with while they simultaneously try and relax with some kind of media. But what do I know, really!

          • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 3:16 pm

            Actually I think that’s pretty true. Except replace relax with clean, organize, shop, cook, and manage budget, projects, ect. I’m trying to scale back on the leapfrog time.

        • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 2:59 pm

          Me too. I was either running around in a field, reading a book, or watching TV supervised by my parents. My internet usage was supervised until high school! We had one video game (Sonic the Hedgehog!!) and it was only played on the weekends. Homework was done as soon as you came home from school. So yeah. I plan on trying to raise my kids similarly.

          • Kate Kate December 6, 2013, 3:07 pm

            I would want to, too, but I don’t know how you could. I never see kids playing outside unsupervised. There’s a grassy area in the middle of our apartment complex, which is away from streets and traffic, and lots of kids do play outside on it, but their moms are always out there with them. I guess if you had a fenced-in yard?

            • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:12 pm

              I lived on a farm, so that’s how I did it as a kid. I’m hoping at least for a large fenced in backyard they can run in. But yeah, supervising is a different ball game now.

              • avatar AliceInDairyland December 6, 2013, 3:39 pm

                A farm, a farm!!!

                • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:43 pm

                  You’re right. A girl can dream. GGuy is on board with farming, I just logistically have no idea how to do it. Also it’s REALLY hard work which scares me.

                  • katie katie December 6, 2013, 3:51 pm

                    you could just live on a farm too.. like, obviously not an operational full farming thing, but like, a hobby farm, where you could plant some stuff and have a few animals. jakes brother just did this. i think they have 15 acres or so?

                    • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:59 pm

                      I think that route is more likely for us. I’m super hoping GGuy’s career path works out like we want it to and he can teach at a liberal arts college and we can own a plot of land and have chickens and raise a bunch of our own food. I am a terrible gardener so I’m going to have to work on that. I really want my kids to experience growing their own food and playing outside (rather then glued to a device).

                    • katie katie December 6, 2013, 4:02 pm

                      yea, that is what jakes brother is doing basically, but he is an engineer. they have chickens, goats, a pig, and are growing random stuff. jakes SIL wants to start canning to sell at a farmers market a la alice.

                      the SIL was happy this year because her daughter put a tent to go camping on her christmas list, haha

                    • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 4:15 pm

                      Yup, I totally want that life. I’d like to be a mostly stay at home parent with a side business too (like something crafty or baking sold at the farmers market). But who knows!

                    • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 4:22 pm

                      “I really want my kids to experience growing their own food and playing outside (rather then glued to a device).”
                      Probably stating the obvious, but you can do that even without a farm really. I think if you let a kid be glued to a device, they will be, but if you offer other things, they will find interest in those things too.

                    • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 4:25 pm

                      Oh, I know LBH! I just think it would be easier on a farm type setting (like I grew up). We’re going to put a focus on device free time anyways.

              • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 3:52 pm

                Ugh, this is really sad but my sister had a friend who let her children play unsupervised in their fenced in back yard. They were old enough to be doing so, but someone called CPS on her for being negligent even though she could see them through the window.

                • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:58 pm

                  um….that’s f-ing ridiculous. I hope CPS laughed at the person reporting her. What? Unless the backyard was covered in poop or the kids where beating each other…what??

                • avatar bethany December 6, 2013, 4:22 pm

                  That is insane. Kids SHOULD be playing outside in their back yard!

  • avatar Taylor December 6, 2013, 1:32 pm

    The article on grief is really lovely, I’m weeping at my desk at work.

    • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 1:37 pm

      I’m almost afraid to read it. I’m trying to avoid melancholy-inducing stuff for today. I’ll take your word.

    • avatar TECH December 6, 2013, 4:04 pm

      I know the grief article is a little heavy and a lot of people will avoid reading it, but I would love to have a conversation about death on DW. I am really interested on what people here think happens to you after you die.

      • Fabelle Fabelle December 6, 2013, 4:29 pm

        I’m avoiding reading it right now, but I’m interested in this conversation about death, too.

        • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 4:36 pm

          Yea, I’m avoiding the crap out of that, but a convo about what might happen after death sounds cool.

      • katie katie December 6, 2013, 4:31 pm

        havent we talked about that once before? i think we did. i mean im always up for it again, not trying to dissuade you!

        death is super interesting.

        • Fabelle Fabelle December 6, 2013, 4:57 pm

          Someone should start a forum thread ;) (I don’t know why I’m winking)

  • BriarRose BriarRose December 6, 2013, 1:52 pm

    The article on moms was really interesting! It makes sense that they were more active, given the amount of work that had to be done manually. The way we raise our children now is certainly different, but there’s no denying that a lot of chores are a lot easier. It’s fascinating that in an era when physical fitness is such a “thing” that we’re burning less fat that our 1960′s counterparts.

  • avatar bethany December 6, 2013, 2:05 pm

    the grief article… i cant even.
    I’m not done yet, but the part that really got me was Karen Everly’s quote about her daughter: “There is always a little flicker there. It is a bit like the small glowing embers you see after a fire dies down. I carry that around me, a little ember, and if I need to, if I want to have Claire next to me, I blow on it, ever so gently, and it glows bright again.”

    • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 2:11 pm


  • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I was chuckling at my desk at the crazy christmas list. I’m sure I made a similar list. My fiance’s cousin asked for a $4000 segway golf cart this year (which she is not getting, for obvious reasons) and it just made me sad over some children’s materialism. But I know that most of them grow out of it. I did!

    • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Ok, and on the mother’s physical activity level article: I think the end of the article was a little off the point. They mention how many stay at home or lower income mothers may not have the resources for expensive childcare or mommy&me activities, but from what I understand a lot of mothers have exchanged chores/cooking/play time for time in front of the tv/tablet. So what I say to that is that walking to the playground and actually playing with your child for 1 hour doesn’t cost anything. Invest in a jogging stroller. Go to free activities at the library/community center. Use a babysharing service through your church. I think there are a lot of ways to be physically active with a small child, so we can’t really blame it on not being able to afford mommy&me yoga.

    • Fabelle Fabelle December 6, 2013, 2:29 pm

      This part destroyed me: “The fuck is this? What am I, Galactus? Do you understand the catastrophic universal implications of possessing a shape-shifting, time-traveling device?” hahahaha. The entire paragraph, really, for the “little thing that can turn into anything” one.

      • Fabelle Fabelle December 6, 2013, 2:35 pm

        Also, I think I’m starting to understand Santa now. Santa is the person to blame when there aren’t 5 North Face jackets in all different colors under the tree on Christmas. “Oh sorry honey, guess Santa only had it in BLUE”

        • avatar Morgan December 6, 2013, 3:18 pm

          Yeah, my parents tried “santa was out of purple” one year. Didn’t fly.

    • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 2:46 pm

      Ok, so I’m really glad to see this on the links because I dealt with this last night and I’m pretty…feeling like I did something wrong.

      We went to see Santa last night and you’re supposed to hand him a letter (a letter, not a list), so she wrote Dear Santa, I want… and went on to list over a dozen expensive things. Not things like a pony, which every kid asks for yet is never gonna happen. I, I guess naively, was pretty surprised. I get asking for a handful of things, but I’m used to seeing normal things, just a few of them, an actual letter, not a list, and maybe even a thank you or a merry christmas at the end? I was pretty, well, I threw it in the garbage, told her to write an actual letter and not sound like the greediest kid on earth. I might have also said she’s only allowed to ask for world peace as punishment.

      • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 2:54 pm

        I don’t think you’re reaction was too crazy. The deal was to write a letter, not a paragraph form list. (Okay maybe the world peace part was a little harsh.)

        • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 3:10 pm

          Haha, thanks

      • avatar bethany December 6, 2013, 3:07 pm

        My friend’s 3 year old told Santa she wanted a cell phone!

    • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 2:57 pm

      I sent that article in, and it cracked me up! “1000 bucks” really?? I mean that’s on my list too but I seriously doubt it will happen!

      I really like the idea of doing the “I want, I need, I’ll wear, I’ll read” list. So still a list, but a nicer list maybe? IDK.

      • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 3:05 pm

        That’s a good idea. Also, my parents gave me cash last year. Not a thousand, but still a very large amount. I was overwhelmed and felt guilty. I think once you earn money it feels weird to be given large amounts of money. At least for me.

        • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:15 pm

          GGuy’s parents give us a VERY generous budget for Christmas (generous IMO). We’re supposed to make a list of things we want that add up to the total. It freaks me out.

          • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 3:21 pm

            Thats how my parents are and my mom gets mad cause I never want anything “big” (like they would prefer to just buy me an ipad every year or something). I’m not into technology and I don’t need any furniture so I never have 1 big expensive gift I want. It’s usually like oh I need new headphones and some socks and these underarmour leggings.

            • avatar bethany December 6, 2013, 3:25 pm

              Tell your mom she can buy me a new couch! :)

            • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:26 pm

              It’s so annoying! Like last year GGuy’s sister asked for a watch that added up to half of the budget. I would never wear a watch that cost that much (my Coach watch was only $100!). We’re like I guess some new Gator’s t-shirts? It’s weird because we’ll get 25 boxes and they will get like 2 (because we want cheaper stuff). Anyways. I’d prefer no gift giving at all I think.

            • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 3:30 pm

              My idea, at least with my parents, is that its laziness. Like if they could go to one store and spend X amount on the 3 of us and not have to do anything else they’d be happy. Don’t they know that christmas is supposed to be hard!??? :) but on a serious note, I’m about to pull a “no more gifts lets donate to charity” next year if I can get everyone to go along with it.

          • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 3:26 pm

            wtf! that’s pretty strange. I’ve never heard of anything like that.

            • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:29 pm

              I hadn’t either!! We literally send her links to items and she buys the exact item! It’s bazaar. As a kid I remember being like “I want a new cd player” and my mom would pick one she liked/was in budget/etc. I have a really hard time with it. They do the same with grandma too. Literally a $50 item and she’ll buy the exact thing. This year we where under our combined $100 so we’re getting like a $15 Target gift card to make up the difference. It takes the magic/fun out of gift giving IMO.

              • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 3:31 pm

                Yea, definitely takes the fun out of it, and honestly, the effort to show love (?). My dad always gives cash and I know its because he can’t be bothered spending more than a minute thinking about what his kids might actually want. He ALWAYS picks out Lil’s gifts though, so I guess that’s cool.

                • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:36 pm

                  It feels really impersonal. I hate it and rebel. I put things like “JCrew tops size S” I refused to totally participate. I also said what ever was left on our wedding registry. That way she would at least have to pick and there would be a little surprise.

                  • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 3:43 pm

                    Good for you!

              • avatar kerrycontrary December 6, 2013, 3:31 pm

                Yup, that’s my mom! I just send her links and she’ll order it right now.

              • katie katie December 6, 2013, 3:31 pm

                “we where under our combined $100 so we’re getting like a $15 Target gift card to make up the difference” — that is hilarious. why doesnt she just give you money? or gift cards or whatever?

                • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:37 pm

                  I would be pretty hysterical if she just tucked $15 cash in our box full of grilling accessories. Last year one of our generation asked grandma for a Victoria’s Secret giftcard…I thought that was odd.

              • avatar Ladybug December 6, 2013, 4:05 pm

                That sounds kind of strange to me too, but I guess if your primary goal is making sure people really want/need the stuff you’re giving them it works. Then again, my grandfather used to give my dad and uncle (his sons-in-law) wrapped boxes containing a picture of a tool or appliance he thought they needed cut out of the sears catalog and check for the appropriate amount.

    • Miel Miel December 6, 2013, 2:57 pm

      I don’t know where kids get all those gift ideas. There are just so many of them. When I was a kid, the teacher at school would make us write a letter to Santa (in Canada, you can mail a letter to “Santa, North pole” and it actually works and you get an answer from Santa) and it would always be like “you need to write 4 things you want”. And I only wanted one thing : an electric train toy set. And nothing else. So every year I had to invent whatever three other items I could possibly think of, and then my parents would end up giving me one of those, instead of the electric train. I got the train at age 13 (finally !!!!!) and it wasn’t even “from Santa” at that point.

      • katie katie December 6, 2013, 3:03 pm

        haha, ever think that maybe we shouldnt pile on the whole “reach for the stars! shoot for the moon!” on kids? because these are the lists for santa you get. shoot for the stars, kids, and maybe santa can invent you a shape-shifting device.

        • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 3:10 pm

          I already told you I loved this, but I’ll say it again :)

    • avatar Morgan December 6, 2013, 3:15 pm

      I once refused a bouncy horse my parents had gotten me because it was a brown (you know, horse colored?) bouncy horse and not a purple princess bouncy horse (Which the company was out of, and which my parents had confirmed they could return the brown one for unopened when it came back in, but they just wanted me to have something to open on Christmas because I was two and “santa had the flu and came late” wasn’t going to cut it.) I was (cough *am* cough) high maintenance.

  • avatar something random December 6, 2013, 2:21 pm

    I need a buddy bench. We actually try to make our time out chair a place where our kids can calm down peacefully even when they haven’t done any wrong as opposed to just being a punitive place. This sort of sounds like the opposite.

  • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:00 pm

    Have you guys seen this?


    (I personally think it’s f-ing ridiculous.)

    • katie katie December 6, 2013, 3:02 pm

      the news had that last night, lol

      although, when i spent a long weekend with one, i learned that babies do like looking at themselves, like in the camera feature..? but then just, you know, put a freaking mirror up there.

      • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 3:13 pm

        The default is a mirror (like before you put the ipad in). I get that in SOME cases it could be helpful (like maybe a single mom who needs to shower and this will comfort baby for 15 minutes) but I just think its a REALLY slippery slope.

        • avatar lemongrass December 6, 2013, 3:50 pm

          I would totally use it with a mirror. E is so vain, he loves his reflection. Loves it so much that he makes out with it.

  • avatar starpattern December 6, 2013, 3:52 pm

    So I have a friend who has a middle schooler and I think he’s awesome and basically I want to be like her if I am ever a mom. She makes him write a Christmas list in a format that goes something like:

    I want:
    I need:
    I would wear:
    I would read:
    I would give:

    So he gets to ask for 4 things for himself and 1 thing for someone else (like a kid from the Angel Tree). I think it’s the coolest thing ever.

    • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 4:01 pm

      I put that in a post earlier! I think that’s what I want to do too.

      • avatar starpattern December 6, 2013, 4:05 pm

        That’s what I get for skimming comments! Is this A Thing with parents? If it is, that makes me really excited – I think it’s a great idea.

        • GatorGirl GatorGirl December 6, 2013, 4:14 pm

          I’ve seen it on Pinterest a bit. I only know one person with a kid (who is 9 months old) so I’m not sure if it’s a trend. It should be though!

          • avatar starpattern December 6, 2013, 6:32 pm

            It totally should be!

    • avatar lets_be_honest December 6, 2013, 4:25 pm

      Doing this tonight, thank you!

      • avatar starpattern December 6, 2013, 6:32 pm

        So cool!

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