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New Year’s Resolutions: Parenting Edition

With only 41 days into the new year, you have done one of two things with your new year’s resolutions: stuck with them or got rid of them. Parenting resolutions tend to be things that can help individuals become better parents. You want to hug more and yell less. You want to have more family time and say “don’t” a little less. You would like for your children to eat more kale. However, juggling your responsibilities of being a parent, a student, co-parent and/or a partner makes keeping resolutions—even really good ones—hard.

I’m here to tell you that if you stuck with them or did not keep up with them, “It’s ok,” and “Tell that inner type-A personality to calm down.” Sometimes, the children won’t be in bed by 8 p.m., or your partner duct taped the kids to the wall because they couldn’t find a babysitter. Life of a student parent is unpredictable and hard when you are trying to balance a full-time course load and full-time parental duties.

Typically, this is the portion of the blog where the author gives you a list of their own parenting resolutions, but this author is giving you only one resolution: Give yourself a break, and appreciate the small wins. That’s it. Parenting resolutions tends to be about doing something more or something less because you feel guilty or remorseful. Parenting is more complicated than that, and change is hard. There is more to change than making the decision to change.

In order to create change, you need to acknowledge and understand the causes of the problem or behavior. Next, you need to create an effective strategy and stick with it until it becomes a habit. This process can involve endless amounts of research and books on child development to come up with these strategies. This takes time, effort, and energy. How can you do this in addition to being overwhelmed and exhausted as a student parent? Trying to be the perfect parent by learning and applying these strategies while balancing other responsibilities is challenging and nearly impossible.

So, give yourself a break. Take one challenge at a time, and celebrate the small wins. If you get the kids to eat a bite of vegetables, give yourself a pat on the back. When you tackle one obstacle at a time, they tend to have a lasting positive impact on our kids. You can help them have higher self-esteem, gain confidence, and teach them self-control so that the yelling decreases as you figure out the best way to communicate with your children.

Change is a layered, non-linear, maybe even cyclical process, so take a moment to breathe. Start with your parental instincts, acknowledge your talents, and improve your skills one step at a time—not all at once. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to figure it all out immediately or in one go. We can ask for advice or google search “my child doesn’t burp as often as other kids” or “I accidentally ate baby poop, am I going to die?”

Parenting is a lifelong process that allows us to learn about ourselves and our children during different stages of our lives and through different life events. In the words of an awesome therapist, “be gentle with yourself.” Take it one day at a time or one moment at a time, and lean into the unexpected. It can be a beautiful thing without the pressure.

GOT KIDS?

College is an exciting time for students, but it can also be a time of anxiety, planning, and late nights as you obtain your degree and take care of your family.  This blog is designed to offer awesome advice, resources for student parents, and share student parent stories. So, don’t panic: we got you covered. (Who is we?)

Have you seen this magnificent website for student parents? Oh, you have not?

Here it is: Parenting@UNC (http://womenscenter.unc.edu/resources/parenting/). This newly redesigned website will give you information about navigating Carolina as a student parent. To get you started, here are the top 5 things student parents should know while at UNC.

  1. P2P Accessibility Service: If you are in your last month of pregnancy or experiencing a high risk pregnancy, you can obtain a P2P pass from Campus Health.  This will allow you to have the P2P pick you up and drop you off from anywhere on campus.  You can call 919-962-3951 for more information or visit the parenting website to find the application.  One thing to note is that the P2P can only take you to and from campus locations. You can also receive a temporary disability parking pass under the same qualifications for the P2P Pass. You will need to have a physician fill out the form, and the pass can only be used for less than six months. For most cases, the temporary passes will be assigned to the Bowles (S11) lot on Manning Dr. For more information and to download the application, go here.
  2. Loans for Daycare: If you have any daycare fees, the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid can extend your financial aid package to include daycare fees. Please note, these funds are given in the form of loans, and you need to provide proof of daycare fees.  You can find more information on that cool new website aforementioned in the post.
  3. Students for Life Scholarship: Students for Life offers $500 scholarships from their Parenting Student Association Funds.  Applications are available from the organization or at the Carolina Women’s Center.
  4. Bring Your Children to the Library:  Student parents, you can bring your kid to the libraries.  They are family friendly and also breastfeeding friendly.
    1. The libraries have designated group study rooms— aka a quiet and semi-private study space where you can study while your kids can run in circles.  These rooms can be reserved online through the library websites or checked out at the front desk.  The Library has a “Place to Study” website to find the rooms with great furniture.
    2. The School of Library Science has a library filled with children’s books available for check-out with a OneCard in Manning Hall.  If you cannot find the School of Library Science, you can reserve the books to be delivered to other libraries through Carolina Blue delivery service. They also have reading spaces for children.
  5. Emergency Fund: If you are ever in a financial emergency, Dean of Students offers help to students who are in need due to unexpected crisis situations. Visit this cool website to find out eligibility requirements and the application.

 

CAROLINA WOMEN’S CENTER ANNOUNCES 2015-2016 FACULTY SCHOLARS

Chapel Hill, N.C. (September 23, 2015) – The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is proud to announce its Faculty Scholars for the 2015–2016 academic year. Dr. Jocelyn Chua (Anthropology), Dr. Tanya Shields (Women’s and Gender Studies), and Dr. Kumarini Silva (Communication) will use their funding to undertake projects that reflect the Center’s mission to further gender equity.

Dr. Jocelyn Lim Chua’s project, “When War Comes Home: Violence among U.S. Veterans and their Families,” seeks to understand violence among returning US veterans and their families. Alongside the constellation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI); an overwhelmed VA system; simultaneous treatment with multiple psychoactive drugs, Chua will “also consider how families variously draw on, complicate, and resist medical and social understandings of postcombat violence as they struggle to make sense of, and seek social and institutional support for, life after war,” and she hopes to “develop a gendered reading of homecoming after war.” Chua is an assistant professor in the Anthropology department.

Exploring archives, legal texts, and a range of fictional texts, Dr. Tanya Shields will “reconsider[] the status of women as proprietors and laborers [of slave plantations in the U.S. South and Caribbean] and how these roles have a sustained impact on current socio-sexual economies.” The project, “Gendered Labor: Place and Power on Female-Owned Plantations,” suggests that “[b]ecause earning a living wage free of harassment continues to bedevil most women, it is critical to rethink the institutions that govern labor relations and explore the ways in which women’s participation in work is an intersectional dynamic impacted by historical relations and ‘market’ forces.” Shields is an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies.

“Circulating Romance: Global Gendered Fantasies,” Dr. Kumarini Silva’s second monograph, “maps the ways in which contemporary narratives of femininity and the feminine reinforce historical socio-political and economic conditions that disadvantage women, on a global level.” It will examine the material and economic history of Harlequin Mills and Boons as it grows into a global romance novel powerhouse, and she will conduct a “local ethnography” of the buying and reading habits of networks of women readers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Silva is an assistant professor in Communication Studies.

Previous Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholars include Dr. Joanne Hershfield (Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Mary H. Palmer (School of Nursing), Susan Harbage Page (Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies), Dr. Emily Burrill (Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Minrose Gwin (English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Miriam Labbok (School of Public Health), Dr. Sahar Amer (Asian Studies), Dr. Mimi Chapman (School of Social Work), Dr. Rebecca Macy (School of Social Work), Dr. Pika Ghosh (Art), Dr. Jeanne Moskal (English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Kia Caldwell (African and Afro-American Studies), Dr. Ming Lin (Computer Science), Professor Francesca Talenti (Communication Studies), Dr. Kimberly Brownley (Psychiatry), and Dr. Maxine Eichner (School of Law). Senior Faculty Scholar Diane Kjervik (School of Nursing) held the first CWC faculty scholar position.

The Faculty Scholars program is funded through the Office of the Provost. This year, the Faculty Scholars Selection Committee was comprised of Karen Booth (Women’s and Gender Studies), Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies), and Clare Counihan (Carolina Women’s Center).

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through education, advocacy, and interdisciplinary research, the CWC builds bridges and enhances the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university. To learn more about the Center and its mission, please visit the website.

Applications for 2016-2017 funding are also now available and are due Monday, February 1, 2015.

 

CWC ANNOUNCES 2014-2015 FACULTY SCHOLARS

Chapel Hill, N.C. (September 22, 2014) – The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is proud to announce its Faculty Scholars for the 2014–2015 academic year.  Dr. Joanne Hershfield and Susan Harbage Page from Women’s and Gender Studies department and Dr. Mary H. Palmer from the School of Nursing will use their funding to undertake projects that reflect the mission of the Center.

During Fall 2014, Joanne Hershfield will complete “Planting the First Seed: Making a Home for Formerly Incarcerated Women,” a documentary film about Benevolence Farm in Alamance county, North Carolina. A newly established work and residential program for women leaving prison, Benevolence Farm will “provide an opportunity for women leaving prison to live and work on a farm where they grow food, nourish self, and foster community” and “to create a more equitable, just, and nurturing world for women and communities they transform.” Some of the funds from this award will be used to make “Planting the First Seed” available to people still in prison and to educational institutions in order to inspire conversations about what life after prison is and could be.  Hershfield is a professor and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Susan Harbage Page’s project combines scholarship with creating an “Anti-Archive” of the objects—lipstick, a single sock, scraps of paper—that undocumented migrants leave in their wake as they cross the Mexico-U.S. border. “Testify[ing] to a life that has moved on, reminding
the viewer of what else may have been left behind,” these objects reveal the everyday and gendered lives of migrants. The project will culminate in “Objects from the Borderland,” a limited edition book that combines Harbage Page’s photographs with essays about the border’s political and cultural context. Funds from this award will contribute towards cataloguing and production costs. Harbage Page is an assistant professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Taking advantage of the medical field’s gradual recognition of the impact of sex difference on health-related behaviors and outcomes, Mary Happel Palmer’s project, “Enhancing Women’s Lives Through Bladder Health,” studies the long term consequences of women’s gendered social and cultural toileting behaviors (for example, “hovering” over a public toilet because of acculturated fears about dirt and disease). In addition to developing a “conceptual model” for understanding the behavioral and cultural influences on women’s bladder health, Palmer and her collaborator will revise a web-based questionnaire to better capture the behaviors of women from different age, ethnic and racial groups. Deeply collaborative, Palmer’s project also includes “providing a research training opportunity for a next generation scholar in women’s health.” Palmer is the Helen W. & Thomas L. Umphlet Distinguished Professor in Aging at the School of Nursing.

Previous Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholars include Dr. Nadia Yaqub (Department of Asian Studies), Dr. Emily Burrill (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Minrose Gwin (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Miriam Labbok (School of Public Health), Dr. Sahar Amer (Department of Asian Studies), Dr. Mimi Chapman (School of Social Work), Dr. Rebecca Macy (School of Social Work), Dr. Pika Ghosh (Department of Art), Dr. Jeanne Moskal (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Kia Caldwell (Department of African and Afro-American Studies), Dr. Ming Lin (Department of Computer Science), Professor Francesca Talenti (Department of Communication Studies), Dr. Kimberly Brownley (Department of Psychiatry), and Dr. Maxine Eichner (School of Law).  Senior Faculty Scholar Diane Kjervik (School of Nursing) held the first CWC faculty scholar position.

The Faculty Scholars program is funded through the Office of the Provost.  This year, the Faculty Scholars Selection Committee was comprised of Emily Burrill (Women’s and Gender Studies), Jan Bardsley (Asian Studies), and Christi Hurt (Carolina Women’s Center).

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Through education, advocacy, and interdisciplinary research, the CWC builds bridges and enhances the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university.  To learn more about the Center and its mission, please visit the website. Applications for funding for 2015-2016 are also now available and are due Monday, February 2, 2015.

CAROLINA WOMEN’S CENTER ANNOUNCES 2014-2015 FACULTY SCHOLARS

Chapel Hill, N.C. (September 22, 2014) – The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is proud to announce its Faculty Scholars for the 2014–2015 academic year. Dr. Joanne Hershfield and Susan Harbage Page from Women’s and Gender Studies department and Dr. Mary H. Palmer from the School of Nursing will use their funding to undertake projects that reflect the mission of the Center.

During Fall 2014, Joanne Hershfield will complete “Planting the First Seed: Making a Home for Formerly Incarcerated Women,” a documentary film about Benevolence Farm in Alamance county, North Carolina. A newly established work and residential program for women leaving prison, Benevolence Farm will “provide an opportunity for women leaving prison to live and work on a farm where they grow food, nourish self, and foster community” and “to create a more equitable, just, and nurturing world for women and communities they transform.” Some of the funds from this award will be used to make “Planting the First Seed” available to people still in prison and to educational institutions in order to inspire conversations about what life after prison is and could be. Hershfield is a professor and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Susan Harbage Page’s project combines scholarship with creating an “Anti-Archive” of the objects—lipstick, a single sock, scraps of paper—that undocumented migrants leave in their wake as they cross the Mexico-U.S. border. “Testify[ing] to a life that has moved on, reminding the viewer of what else may have been left behind,” these objects reveal the everyday and gendered lives of migrants. The project will culminate in “Objects from the Borderland,” a limited edition book that combines Harbage Page’s photographs with essays about the border’s political and cultural context. Funds from this award will contribute towards cataloguing and production costs. Harbage Page is an assistant professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Taking advantage of the medical field’s gradual recognition of the impact of sex difference on health-related behaviors and outcomes, Mary Happel Palmer’s project, “Enhancing Women’s Lives Through Bladder Health,” studies the long term consequences of women’s gendered social and cultural toileting behaviors (for example, “hovering” over a public toilet because of acculturated fears about dirt and disease). In addition to developing a “conceptual model” for understanding the behavioral and cultural influences on women’s bladder health, Palmer and her collaborator will revise a web-based questionnaire to better capture the behaviors of women from different age, ethnic and racial groups. Deeply collaborative, Palmer’s project also includes “providing a research training opportunity for a next generation scholar in women’s health.” Palmer is the Helen W. & Thomas L. Umphlet Distinguished Professor in Aging at the School of Nursing.

Previous Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholars include Dr. Nadia Yaqub (Department of Asian Studies), Dr. Emily Burrill (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Minrose Gwin (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Miriam Labbok (School of Public Health), Dr. Sahar Amer (Department of Asian Studies), Dr. Mimi Chapman (School of Social Work), Dr. Rebecca Macy (School of Social Work), Dr. Pika Ghosh (Department of Art), Dr. Jeanne Moskal (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Kia Caldwell (Department of African and Afro-American Studies), Dr. Ming Lin (Department of Computer Science), Professor Francesca Talenti (Department of Communication Studies), Dr. Kimberly Brownley (Department of Psychiatry), and Dr. Maxine Eichner (School of Law). Senior Faculty Scholar Diane Kjervik (School of Nursing) held the first CWC faculty scholar position.

The Faculty Scholars program is funded through the Office of the Provost. This year, the Faculty Scholars Selection Committee was comprised of Emily Burrill (Women’s and Gender Studies), Jan Bardsley (Asian Studies), and Christi Hurt (Carolina Women’s Center).

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through education, advocacy, and interdisciplinary research, the CWC builds bridges and enhances the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university. To learn more about the Center and its mission, please visit the website (www.womenscenter.unc.edu). Applications for funding for 2015-2016 are also now available (http://womenscenter.unc.edu/programs/faculty-scholars-program/) and are due Monday, February 2, 2015.

Leadership in Violence Prevention Course – Fall 2014

Applications are now open for Leadership in Violence Prevention, a course co-taught by Christi Hurt, Director of the Carolina Women’s Center, and Bob Pleasants, Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies. The course will meet this fall on T/Th from 3:30 to 4:45PM. APPLICATIONS are due APRIL 4th, 2014.

This APPLES service-learning course is an examination of interpersonal violence and violence prevention. We will examine sexual assault, abusive relationships, and stalking from individual to structural levels, considering both perpetrators and victims. We will address questions such as: What kind of societal conditions enable violence? How are forms of oppression and violence related to each other? How are campuses and communities reacting to and working to prevent violence? Particular focus will be paid to root causes and prevention strategies. Students will begin training as peer educators by facilitating parts of the class and opting to become One Act peer educators. At the end of this course, students will have developed a broad knowledge base about violence, practiced facilitation skills, identified skill areas of strength and improvement, and identified opportunities for peer education, both formally and informally.

As part of the service-learning component of the course, students will train to facilitate One Act and/or have placements in the community and on campus. One Act is a peer education program that deals with issues of interpersonal violence, particularly relationship violence, sexual assault, stalking, and the role of bystanders in working against violence. For more information and information on resources, please visit safe.unc.edu.