Omamas live chat with "Minimalist Parenting" authors Asha Dornfest, Christine Koh
1:56
The Oregonian: 
Hello and welcome to our "Minimalist Parenting" live chat. Asha Dornfest, Christine Koh and The Oregonian's Omamas will join us at noon Thursday. Until then, please feel free to submit your comments and questions. We'll feed them into the chat starting at noon Thursday.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 1:56 The Oregonian
11:55
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
Hi everybody. We are just setting up now. We'll start the conversation at noon.
Thursday February 21, 2013 11:55 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:00
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
Hey I'm Kjerstin, one of the Omamas team, and your moderator today. I also have a 10-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl. Ladies, would you all say hello and tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:00 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:00
Asha Dornfest: 
Hi everyone! I'm Asha Dornfest -- coauthor of Minimalist Parenting and founder of the blog Parent Hacks. I live in NE Portland and have a 13 YO son and a 9 YO daughter. So excited to be here!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:00 Asha Dornfest
12:00
Jillian Cohan Martin: 
I'm Jill, A&E editor at The O and mom of a 1 1/2 year old. I reviewed Minimalist Parenting for Omamas.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:00 Jillian Cohan Martin
12:00
Amy Wang: 
Hi, I'm one of the Omamas. I have two boys, 8 and 5. I was secretly hoping that Minimalist Parenting was about sitting on the couch watching "Mad Men" while the kids made themselves cold cereal for dinner, but .. Just kidding. Thanks for joining us today, Asha and Christine!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:00 Amy Wang
12:00
Kathy Hinson: 
Hi, I'm Kathy Hinson, one of the Omamas bloggers. My three kiddos are 19, 17 and 9. I have the privilege of knowing Asha Dornfest outside of work and the Omamas universe -- our youngest kids are classmates and pals.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:00 Kathy Hinson
12:00
Christine Koh: 
Hi everyone! I'm Christine Koh -- I have an 8.5 year old and an almost 2 year old. BIG GAP! So happy to be here and I welcome all questions.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:00 Christine Koh
12:01
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
To get us started, Christine and Asha. Give us the quick definition of "Minimalist Parenting"?
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:01 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:01
Asha Dornfest: 
Minimalist Parenting is really two things. It's identifying what you and your family uniquely consider important…
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:01 Asha Dornfest
12:02
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
Minimalist is very hard to type. Let's say MP for short.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:02 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:02
Asha Dornfest: 
…and then, taking practical steps to clear away scheduling and physical clutter to "make room" for that important stuff.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:02 Asha Dornfest
12:02
Asha Dornfest: 
The great thing about MP is that it's unique to each family. No "you must do XYZ" rules here. We're not about telling you how to parent…
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:02 Asha Dornfest
12:02
Asha Dornfest: 
…we want to help you found your *own* parenting "right."
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:02 Asha Dornfest
12:02
Christine Koh: 
Asha and I have been blogging for many years... we've heard over the years from so many parents...
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:02 Christine Koh
12:02
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
So why write this book now?
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:02 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:03
Christine Koh: 
...that there's a palpable sense of overwhelm.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:03 Christine Koh
12:03
Christine Koh: 
So many people have the best intentions for their kids, but the options are OVERWHELMING!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:03 Christine Koh
12:03
Kathy Hinson: 
I think the MP idea of each family finding their own way and their own values is very refreshing.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:03 Kathy Hinson
12:03
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
Overwhelmed is right!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:03 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:03
Asha Dornfest: 
So many choices, right, Christine. It can paralyze you.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:03 Asha Dornfest
12:03
Christine Koh: 
Yes, very much Kathy. Everyone's situation is unique.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:03 Christine Koh
12:04
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
Who would you say is the target audience for this book?
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:04 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:04
Christine Koh: 
This book will resonate for both moms and dads...and really, there's so much about general lifestyle editing too.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:04 Christine Koh
12:04
Asha Dornfest: 
Thanks, Kathy! It seems our parents felt a lot more comfortable following their own way than we do.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:04 Asha Dornfest
12:05
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
I have to say I thought I was the target -- busy working mom with kids in crazy school and after-school schedules. But after reading the book, it's really a great starter set for new parents.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:05 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:05
Jillian Cohan Martin: 
I sort of see the two of you as the high school seniors who have it all figured out, while I'm a freshman just finding my way. I'm kinda jealous but I think it's the right time for me to establish minimalism.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:05 Jillian Cohan Martin
12:05
Asha Dornfest: 
Also, we talk about the pressures on both at-home and dual-working parents.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:05 Asha Dornfest
12:05
Amy Wang: 
Love the phrase "lifestyle editing." Sometimes modern parenting can feel like keeping up with the Joneses.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:05 Amy Wang
12:05
Christine Koh: 
Jillian: I was a total geek in high school. I didn't have anything figured out!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:05 Christine Koh
12:05
Jillian Cohan Martin: 
Great to know!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:05 Jillian Cohan Martin
12:06
Asha Dornfest: 
Jillian: we are clear in the book about NOT having it all figured out. One of our keys discussed in the book is "course correction..."
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Asha Dornfest
12:06
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
Every mom needs a mentor, Jill!
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Kjerstin Gabrielson
12:06
Amy Wang: 
Asha and Christine, do you see yourselves as following in the footsteps of Anna Quindlen's "good enough parenting"?
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Amy Wang
12:06
Asha Dornfest: 
...that's okay -- necessary -- to adjust as you go along.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Asha Dornfest
12:06
Christine Koh: 
Also, Jillian, a big part of the book is that we advocate making change anytime. Just getting started is awesome. You don't need to have it all (or even partially) figured out now.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Christine Koh
12:06
Jillian Cohan Martin: 
I met a few in the book, happily.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Jillian Cohan Martin
12:06
Kathy Hinson: 
Jillian and I chatted after she wrote the book review, and how some things apply for her now as the mom of a toddler and then some things she's going to hang on to for when her son is approaching school age.
So, there's stuff to pick and choose no matter your kids' ages and your stage.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:06 Kathy Hinson
12:07
Asha Dornfest: 
Amy: there are many great conversations on this topic! Anna Quindlen, Pamela Druckerman, Wendy Mogel, Madeline Levine...
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:07 Asha Dornfest
12:07
Amy Wang: 
Here is the Anna Quindlen article "The Good Enough Mother": http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2005/02/20/the-good-enough-mother.html
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:07 Amy Wang
12:08
Kathy Hinson: 
Yeah, Pamela Druckerman's book also resonates with some similar ideas of not bowing to others' ideas of what you should do.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:08 Kathy Hinson
12:08
Asha Dornfest: 
...Our perspective is about trusting your own gut on prioritizing and taking practical steps to find room for them.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:08 Asha Dornfest
12:08
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I suppose I should just read the book, but... are you arguing that I should take my 4 year old out of karate and swimming classes?
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:08 Guest
12:08
Christine Koh: 
RE: classes... the reality is, families differ. Some love being booked nearly every day, others need a lot of breathing room. Our recommendation: if you currently are feeling overwhelmed by the schedule, START EDITING.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:08 Christine Koh
12:09
Kathy Hinson: 
Here's a review of Pamela Druckerman's latest, "Bebe Day by Day."
http://blog.oregonlive.com/themombeat/2013/02/author_explains_french_way_of.html
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:09 Kathy Hinson
12:09
Christine Koh: 
...And just do it bit by bit, remove one parameter and loosen up a degree of freedom.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:09 Christine Koh
12:09
Jillian Cohan Martin: 
And, not parenting wise, Brene Brown's book on the gifts of imperfection really resonates with me: http://www.brenebrown.com/
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:09 Jillian Cohan Martin
12:09
Christine Koh: 
@Jillian YES. I am a Recovering Perfectionist. Life is much easier now. :-)
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:09 Christine Koh
12:09
Asha Dornfest: 
Re: extracurriculars: I just wrote a post TODAY about that topic. Will look for the link...
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:09 Asha Dornfest
12:09
Kjerstin Gabrielson: 
i really appreciate the advice to carefully consider everything activity you put on your family's plate, what it will mean for the family's sked, stress and joy. Oh, for a couple of do-overs.
Thursday February 21, 2013 12:09 Kjerstin Gabrielson
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