How Occam’s Razor Revolutionized My Parenting

Occam’s razor is the philosophical theory of parsimony. In Latin it reads, “pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate,” which loosely translates to, “don’t assume anything extra must exist.” It is, as William of Occam put it, to take a razor to the problem and shave off the unnecessary bits. In short, keep it simple. Here’s an example: If you’re in the house by yourself, and you hear the creak of a door, it’s probably not

Why a Simple Walk is the Brain and Body Boost You Need

–Every Thanksgiving, my dad would push the family out the door right after the feast when any normal human would burp and take a nap. He’d grab his jacket from the hook on the wall, clap his hands together, and issue the decree we all knew was coming, “Okay, time for a walk!” There was no use fighting it. Only the elderly got a pass. No one would get pie until we’d done our time

The Hallelujah Moments

My five-year old came home with dirt on his nose – one long dark swipe down the side, like he’d spent his afternoon up a chimney. His dad had taken him to the park with his twin brother and sister. Early October afternoons look a lot like summer ones here, hot and muggy with the whine of insects, but the fact that you know cold weather is coming propels you out the door. It puts

On Pleasure. (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #44)

ECCLESIASTES 3:12-13 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. After Solomon rants and raves over the meaninglessness of the world as only a man with all the wealth and success in the world can, God soothes his soul enough for him to peek behind the

To Gain Perspective, Adapt These 5 Work-Related Tips to Your Parenting

You’ve been working on a project for so long that it no longer makes sense. It no longer feels unique or revolutionary or even coherent. The brilliant idea that got you going in the first place now sounds inane. How did anyone think you were ever smart? What is true in the workplace is true in parenting too. In the beginning, you’re running on endorphins and noble statutes that you feel certain will become the

This is Not a Self-Help Book

The relationship between a mother and daughter can be harrowing. It holds within its lifeline the expectations and assertions of all the mothers that have come before and all the children that will come after. The balance of such a connection shifts with age, vocation, and relationship status. It is not a thing to take lightly. Beneath Yi Shun Lai’s humor, expectations cut deep for both the mother and daughter in her debut novel, Not

I Stopped Running Away From Home When I Had Kids

I spent the first three decades of my life running away from home. During my teenage years, I bided my time until college. Then in college, I bided my time until adulthood. I managed to come home only for holidays, despite the fact that I went to a university in the city where I grew up. How did I do that? How did I not run into my parents at the park or the grocery store

A Realist’s Hope. (Sunday Thoughts #43)

MARK 12:31-33 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 1 JOHN 3:18 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. It’s dark here still–the sun on its way up chasing the moon. The sky is a purple gray, the color of a bruise. The whole world feels bruised. My children and husband are still sleeping while I think about all

Dinner’s On: How to Cook Once and Feed All Eaters

One night, in the not so distant past, I found myself cooking three meals, three times a day. If you’re doing the math, that’s nine different meals every single day for three very different types of eaters. Dinner was the worst. By 6 pm, I would begin prepping a meal for me and my husband to eat after all the kids went to bed. By 6:30 I’d whip up an easy-ish toddler dish for my

How to Rock Oktoberfest with Kids

Oktoberfest, the world’s greatest beer festival, is held annually in Munich and other cities around the world. Stretching from September to October, this salute to beer seems off-limits for kids at first glance. But this isn’t touring wine country with the littles. It is, if done right, the coolest state fair and carnival and concert wrapped in to one. This is one family event where every single one of you can have fun. It’s ironic