Time change coming for US and Canada

If you’re in the US or Canada, the time changes from Daylight Savings Time back to Standard Time on November 3rd in the middle of the night. This is next Sunday. We are falling back so the current 6 pm will be the new 5 pm. Here’s the plan if you want to be proactive:

Starting Monday (today) OR Tuesday (tomorrow) night, put your kids to bed 10 minutes later each night. So if you start Monday, if they normally go to bed at 8:00, put them to bed at 8:10. Then the next night at 8:20, then 8:30, etc.

If you start Monday, on Saturday night you’ll put them to bed at 9:00, and then the next day that 9:00 will have become 8:00 and you’ll be back on schedule. If you start Tuesday, on Saturday night you’ll put them to bed at 8:50 and then on Sunday put them to bed at 8:00.

Remember that the worst day is not the Sunday of the change or even Monday, it’s Tuesday.
So be prepared. Build in some naps for yourself if you can. The kids
will have problems staying away at night for the first week or two.
You’ll have problems with the kids waking up too early for the first
week or two.

We can all do this.

Also, heads up that Candletime starts this coming Friday!

2013 is the fifth year
of Candletime, the holiday I made up in 2009 to stop Christmas from
pushing back to Halloween. Candletime runs from November 1 through the day before American Thanksgiving (November 27th
this year). To celebrate, when you come home at night, light some
candles (or use electric candles) and sit enjoying the sparkly light
while drinking a beverage of your choice. Popular beverage choices
include tea, hot cider, cold cider, water, wine, beer, hot cocoa,
coffee, soda, and bourbon. Candletime can be celebrated alone or with
others, and you can observe as many days of the holiday period as you

(Since the last day of Candletime this year is also the first night of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, maybe we should do some big finale.)

Go here to the Like the Candletime Facebook page


Primal Scream Friday

Yelling too much and want to stop (or at least cut down)? I revised my popular Release The Yelling course into a self-paced workbook and it’s up and available now. $12. All the details and the button to buy it are here.

The newest MoxieTopic is also up! Called “Parenting With Another Person” it talks about what can happen when the parenting gets lopsided so one parent is in charge of all the kid-related stuff and the other parent isn’t. Once it lays out the problem, it then tells you how to either avoid that problem or get back on a better track to share parenting in a way that feels equitable and keeps everyone in relationships and roles they’re happy having. $5. (This went out automatically last week for free to subscribers of All MoxieTopics.)

Heads up that I’ll be releasing a workbook about how to make the Christmas season work for you and your family no matter what you want out of it and what your feelings about the meaning of the day are. My hope for this workbook is that it will take the stress, disappointment, and sadness out of the season for us by letting us focus on what’s important to us. It’ll be out November 1, and I’m doing a version for people with kids and people who are childfree. If your community or religious organization is interested in doing an easy fundraiser that will help their members through the super-fraught holiday season, watch for the details about the fundraising program I’ll put out when I release the workbook.

Now. You see that I have written nothing all week here. I am busy. And stressed. I’m attempting to put a positive spin on my issues, but would like to invite you to do a Primal Scream Friday. Topic of your choice. No scream too big or small.

Dealing with the roller-coaster of a second pregnancy

If anyone remembers our delightful Nanny B from several years ago, she got married over the weekend and the boys and I flew to the West Coast to be in her wedding. We’re so happy for her! 

An anonymous (because she hasn’t announced her pregnancy yet) but regular reader writes: 

you written anything about how not to be totally overwhelmed with
second pregnancies?? I’m in such a bad place right now and even the
smallest of symptoms is causing me to panic.

It’s like I had forgotten how rough pregnancy is physically.

And emotionally.


I left the “Gahhh” in because I thought that was the essence of the email. 😉 

To give some background, her first pregnancy was uncomplicated and her child is a preschooler now, but she was worried throughout that pregnancy that something bad would happen.

I was the same way. I wasn’t relaxed for a second until the baby was out and I could see that he was fine, either time. And I had depression during pregnancy both times. So those nine months were a time period to slog through to get to the goal of having the baby, not something I could enjoy. 

So the first thing I’d say to Anon is to cut yourself some slack about feeling bad. Some women love pregnancy and enjoy it, but others do not, and there’s nothing wrong with being either way. Liking or not liking pregnancy doesn’t mean you’ll be a better or worse mother. 

I also think that once you’ve gone through pregnancy and labor and delivery you’re not as fearful of the delivery because it’s not unknown anymore. So if you’re a person who enjoys pregnancy you can enjoy it more, but if you don’t like pregnancy it seems even more interminable and every symptom is both insult and injury. 

I’ve really got nothing for Anon, because my coping technique the second time was just to complain constantly. While I think it was the right thing for me at the time, I don’t recommend it to others.

So, what do you have for Anon? And yes, she does know she’s lucky to be pregnant and to have a live child already. She’s thrilled about both of those things, just not about the actual experience and emotions of pregnancy. 

Buy a book you were going to buy anyway, help another woman

Remember back when I reviewed Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh’s Minimalist Parenting book and loved it?  And you thought, “Hmm, it sounds like I’d like that book and I should probably get it” but then you forgot to buy it?

Well, now is the time to buy one for yourself and one for a friend. 

Asha and Christine are donating 100% of the royalties from book sales during the month of October to the organization Women At Risk. Women At Risk is an Ethiopian organization that, together with the
FashionABLE scarf company, helps Addis Ababa women lift themselves out
of prostitution (which, for many women, is the only available source of
income). For more information, click here.

In addition, their publisher is matching those royalties for the first 100 copies sold.!

The funds will only match if you buy through this tracking link:


So now’s the time to buy for yourself and for anyone else you’ve been thinking of buying for.

Q&A: Question about safety

Anonymous writes: 

“Hope you are doing well. I had a question that I was wondering if you or your readers had any insight on. 

husband and I bought our first house a year or so ago. We have zero
home-maintenance skills, and have had several lousy contractors come
through. We finally found a contractor that we liked, trusted, and have
been happy with for the last year. He started out doing some small
projects and we were so happy that we used him and his team when we
wanted to embark on any larger projects since then. Coincidentally, our
son was born around the same time as his son, and we’ve been happy to
support a guy that has a small family like ours. 

Last week, I went on Google to try to find our
contractor’s email address (we usually just call him, but I had a list
of items I wanted to email) and saw a picture of him that looked a
little like a mug shot. I clicked through the link and found out that he
is a registered sex offender. He plead guilty early last year to
assaulting and raping a deaf woman he solicited off Craigslist in 2011.
He was put on probation, and as a violation of that probation, he was
sentenced to 50 days in prison. He is currently still on probation.

Needless to say, my husband and I are shocked and
more than a little disturbed. Should we screen all your contractors?
Some of them? Now that we know, do we hire him again (as I mentioned
earlier, we have a laundry list of items that need to get done)? Would

I wouldn’t hire him again. No. 

There are plenty of categories of crimes that someone could be on probation for that wouldn’t make me worry about hiring someone, but sexual assault is not one of them.

I’ve typed and deleted about six other things here, but the bottom line is just that I wouldn’t hire him again. I wouldn’t make any more contact. 

And it sickens me that someone gets only 50 days in jail for rape. 

Anyone else? 


Vent post about your relationship with your parents

(Turns out I’ve had an RSS feed here the whole time: http://askmoxie.org/blog?format=rss)  

It feels like there’s a lot of emotion out there about people and their parents. So I thought I’d create a safe space today to talk about whatever you need to say about your relationship (or lack of) with them. Just put in fake info to sign in to the comments and say what you need to say. 

As usual, everyone’s pain is valid. No Misery Poker. If you have a little extra today to give someone else some support, give it, but don’t feel bad if you’re tapped out. 

Hugs all around.

Q&A: Do babies wear Halloween costumes?

Hey, divorce! 1. Writing Through your Divorce: The Blog
is up and running, and we have some stunning pieces leading off. Go have
a read. 2. Flourish Through Divorce registrations are in process for
the November 4 start workshop that stretches across the holidays. Pass it on to
anyone you know who might be interested. 3. I wrote a piece for HuffPo
Divorce about the whole moving-in-with-Doug thing
. (I’m out now, but
still coming to help when he’s got cardiac therapy stuff.)

Hey, parenting! Aline writes:

people do Halloween costumes for babies? My LO is going to be 7 months
at Halloween and I see all the cute bunting costumes but doesn’t it seem
a little silly? And I’m not going to take her trick or treating, since
no houses will be handing out mashed sweet potatoes, I’m sure. Do I just
wait until next year?

Back when my 11-year-old was 8 months old at his first Halloween, I sewed (yes) him this elaborate turkey costume.  Why a turkey? Because I knew it was probably the only year I’d be able to choose his costume without his input so I should make it good. It was fantastic, with a light brown body and wing and tail feathers made of felt that snapped on and off, and a headpiece with a waddle.

So if you ask me, yes, people dress their babies in costumes. But we were also in NYC at the time, so we just took him to the children’s costume parade at Washington Square Park, and he got to parade around and show off his costume. I can’t imagine that we would have taken him trick or treating at that age unless we were trying to get candies for ourselves.

But what do people do in parts of the country without Halloween parades? Do you take babies trick or treating? Do you dress them and just hang out? Or do you wait a year or two?  

I’m going to guess that this varies regionally, so if you give a data point could you also tell us where you are? 



Middle school changes, anyone

So I’m no longer living at my ex-husband’s, but I am at his house three days a week so he can do cardiac therapy. Slowly digging out.

In the meantime, our older son is in 6th grade this year and I’m noticing some adjustment issues, and I thought some of you might be in the same boat.

The things I’m noticing most are: 

* issues with keeping track of things now that he has multiple teachers

* hormones  

* getting grades (instead of “Proficient,” “Satisfactory,” “Unsatisfactory”) 

* getting grades based on actual work instead of on perceived soft skills from the teacher

Anyone else with middle school stuff?