Monday, April 9, 2007

Internet Parenting Resources

As anyone who has spent time on a parenting message board can tell you, the internet can be a tendentious place to find parenting advice. That said, I have a few favorite sites I rely on:

Ask Moxie (, for parenting Q&A from a sensible person. If you have a non-sleeper and want to feel less alone, check out her posts on sleep regressions. She's also got a great series on preventing post-partum depression.

Dr. Sears' web site(, especially the medical section. I love the concise descriptions of childhood illnesses, and how they clearly articulate what symptoms are 'wait and see,' 'call the doctor,' and 'take that kid to the ER, stat.' There are also useful dosage charts by weight for most common over-the-counter medicines.

Berkeley Parents Network ( This is kind of my dream for what Parents @ Duke's online empire could someday be. Until we have 18,000 members and 10-12 weekly email newsletters, this is a great place to look for archived advice from parents in an academic context not unlike ours (questions like, "Is it possible to write a dissertation with a baby in the house? How?")

What I haven't found is my ideal website for local parenting stuff, activities, etc. There's Carolina Parent ( and they have an events calendar that's pretty useful, but I'd love to find something less corporate and more funky.

Do you have a favorite parenting web site, or blog? I'd love to have more on my list of timewasters research. Leave a link in comments.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dining Out with Little Kids

I have been to Elmo's about 400 times. Now, I love Elmo's, but there must be somewhere else to eat that's as kid friendly, right? And that isn't fast food. My children are adventurous eaters, so it's mostly the environment that we look for. Right now, the baby is 8 months old and the big one is three and a half, so they're both at phases that are good for public outings - the little one can't go anywhere and cheerios keep him happy for hours, and the big one can actually use manners occasionally.

(If you haven't been to Elmo's, both on Ninth Street in Durham and down in Carborro, you should go, and take the kids. It's sort of diner food, and extremely child friendly. If you are there before 10pm and there are no children in the place, something is weird. Get the chocolate chip pancake. Tell 'em my daughter sent you.)

Recommend your secret favorite place to take the kids in a comment.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Occasional Babysitters

We've had a couple of conversations recently about where to find good, steady, occasional babysitters - evening and weekend stuff. Here are some ideas - feel free to add your own in comments!

Duke HR's Spring 2007 Babysitter and Elder Care guide is out:

Place an ad in the Duke Chronicle:
(easy! online! costs money, though.)

Place or answer an ad in the Duke Trading Post
(easy! online! free! Duke students/faculty/staff only.)

Advertize on your neighborhood, place of worship, or other association list-serv or newsletter looking for responsible teenagers or grannies looking for a child fix.

Join or start a Babysitting Co-op, where you trade care with another family or families (great for the budget!)

Other thoughts? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Flexible Work Options: Share Your Story

Comment on this post and share a story of how flexible work options at Duke helped you balance work and family. Others might get ideas for creative solutions to their work-life balance problems, and ideas that could help persuade managers that flexible work options can work for them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Key access to Perkins Lactation Room

If you ever have a lactation room emergency - forgot your ID, place where you usually pump is unexpectedly closed - there is key access to the Perkins lactation room. Ask at the Reference Desk in Perkins to be let in to the room. Tell the librarian that the key that opens the room is the public spaces zone master key.

Do be aware that this room is fairly heavily used, so if you want access during working hours, especially between 10 and 2pm, there may be someone already using the room so you'll have to wait (we have a sign-up sheet inside that will let you see people's schedules.)