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Performance Appraisal

Posted by savannahkase on November 29, 2018 in Lessons From Little Ones, Parenting, Personal |

It’s that time of year when employees everywhere are getting feedback on how well they are performing in their jobs.  Although pretty much everyone hates them, and there have been many calls for their elimination, these annual / biannual / quarterly sit-downs persist in most organizations because they are a useful way to provide formal feedback.  These painful meetings force managers and staff to take a hard look at what they do all day and consider how they could be doing it better.  An effective manager will cite specific areas for improvement and ask for bottom-up critique as well.  In theory, these appraisals offer an opportunity to recognize outstanding work and to correct missteps.

But what if what you do all day (or even part of the day) is raise children?  Although more important than pretty much any other way we spend our time, child rearing is frustratingly un-measurable.  There is no bottom line to track or lawsuits to win or clients to attract.  There are no pounds to lose or awards to win or records to break.  Our goal is to keep our children safe, healthy, and (generally) happy and help them develop into good people (however you define that).  So how do we know if we are doing a good job?  If our toddler bites a playmate, is that evidence we are slacking in our responsibilities?  If our child screams that he hates us, does that mean we have failed to get through to him, or that we are doing well at standing firm?

Privileged Attorney Work Product

Some say we can only know if our parenting was “successful” in retrospect, by looking at our children once they are grown.  There may be an element of “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” but I cannot accept that there is no way to know in which areas of parenting you are doing well, and where you could do better.  Read more…

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To My Schoolboy

Posted by savannahkase on September 3, 2018 in Lessons From Little Ones, Parenting, Personal |

To My Dear First Born, It sounds cliché to say it seems like just yesterday that you slept in my arms, but it really is incredible how quickly you have turned into a young man. I know you are nervous about starting kindergarten today, even though you put on a brave face most of the […]

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Ditches and Peaks

Posted by savannahkase on August 16, 2018 in Lessons From Little Ones, Parenting, Personal |

Our idyllic summer adventure has been full of many wonderful moments, when my children’s joy made my heart feel as if it would burst. My one-year-old discovered the ocean and insisted upon charging into it again and again, laughing gleefully when waves knocked him down. My three-year-old has really gotten into the safari mindset, and […]

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Land of the (Fence) Free

Posted by savannahkase on June 30, 2018 in Lessons From Little Ones, Personal |

Nothing makes me as patriotic as traveling. Don’t get me wrong, the people, animals, and landscapes of South Africa are wonderful, and even the weather has been lovely this “winter” (generally in the 60s each day), and yet, wherever you look there are signs of the corruption and distrust that are robbing this beautiful country […]

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Life at the Speed of Childhood

Posted by savannahkase on June 7, 2018 in Lessons From Little Ones, Mom & Dad Dynamics, Parenting, Personal |

* Happy Father’s Day!  None of this – my blog, my family’s summer-long adventure, or my family itself – would be possible without my amazing husband.  Similarly, I would not be as able and willing to take a three-month hiatus from my job and daily pressures without the support and encouragement of my Dad.  Both […]

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Clabballaborative Story

Posted by savannahkase on June 3, 2018 in Uncategorized |

One of the ways our family likes to pass the time when we are traveling is to tell collaborative stories. We each take turns adding a sentence until we agree the tale is complete. The narration tends to be fast-moving, but this time I did my best to keep up so I could record this […]

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A Pause

Posted by savannahkase on May 16, 2018 in Mom & Dad Dynamics, Parenting, Personal, Work/Life Balance |

The only constant is change. I know this to be true, and yet, like most humans, I find change frightening and uncomfortable, so I resist it even as it is unfolding. In a mindful leadership course last month, our guide introduced the meditation mantra, “Nothing needs to change right now.” As that temporary reality resonated […]

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The Last First Birthday

Posted by savannahkase on May 2, 2018 in Parenting, Personal, Second Child |

There is nothing like watching a baby transform from a wrinkled, helpless bundle into a walking, babbling, little human with his own ideas (“What happens if I scoop all the cat’s dry food into her water dish?”), opinions (books on floor > books on shelves), sense of humor (blowing raspberries on Mommy and Daddy is […]

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Making Mountains

Posted by savannahkase on March 29, 2018 in Personal |

I decided months ago that I would give up sugar and grains for Lent. That may sound extreme, or like not a big deal, depending on your perspective. I was inspired by a group of parents from my son’s preschool class who jointly undertook Whole30 in January – thirty days without sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, […]

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Sealed With a Kiss

Posted by savannahkase on March 19, 2018 in Advice, Research, Working Mom |

I read a lot of parenting books.  I like books, and I trust books.  I read friends’ blogs for fun, and I Google questions in a pinch, but when I want to learn something, I look in a book (something I have in common with Super Why).  So when I learned I was pregnant with […]

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