Today’s post comes from Nadine Champsi of The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Yinz R Readin, where I discuss my top five favorite childhood authors.
I was thrilled to be invited to participate in the 2nd Annual Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event this year. Pittsburgh has a uniquely supportive blogger culture, and I think it’s just great :)!
That being said–I was a little nervous about which blog I would get during the swap. What if it was a sports blog? A technology blog? Or a fashion blog? Luckily, I got Orange Chair Blog, a local parenting blog. I was in safe territory.
After checking out Orange Chair Blog, I discovered that it has a really unique and cool niche: a Mommy AND a Daddy Blog. Since I’ve wanted my husband to write a blog post on the Pittsburgh Mommy Blog since its inception, I figured this was the perfect platform for his BLOGGING DEBUT! Here it is:
What do you think is the biggest challenge in raising kids in our generation?
Mommy: I think the biggest challenge is probably maintaining mindfulness during our interactions with our kids. We are constantly pulled in a thousand directions by Smart Phones, computers, television, carpools, play dates, classes, work, and about a million other societal pressures. It can be incredibly hard to stop, look your child in the eye, and really connect with him or her in a mindful, peaceful way.
Daddy: The biggest problem that I see with my friends and coworkers is the fact that their careers and schooling has separated them from their natural supports (i.e. family). I think that this forces us to find alternative sources to fill this void. This is hard, because even a best friend is far less likely than a parent/aunt/etc. to drop everything and come help out when a crisis hits. Having kids magnifies the unpredictability of life dramatically.
What do you think are the good and bad parts of social media?
Daddy: This is easy for me. In our society where most people are plugged in with phones, social media is THE way to get fast and personalized information. It is powerful, and can be overwhelming. It has the ability to connect us, teach us things, and really personalize our life experience. I think it becomes toxic when we don’t build boundaries between our access to this information and our day-to-day life. I think it is a profound weakness that many people have: to be unable to relax, breathe, and enjoy the moment they’re in, without intrusive desires to take a picture of it, tweet it, or see what is going on somewhere else.
Mommy: I think about this question a lot, since I rely heavily on social media to spread the word about new blog posts. Plus, since I’m living far from my entire family and many of my friends, I use social media to stay connected to them. That being said–it can be a horrible addiction. I have, on several occasions, purposely erased all of my social media apps on my Smart Phone because I just can’t stop checking them! I think the danger in using social media too much, is that it can take you away from an appreciation of the present moment. On the flip side, it can help you spread important information, build supportive networks, and stay connected to those near and far!
What’s your favorite “Pittsburgh” thing to do with your kids?
Mommy: My absolute favorite place to take my kids in Pittsburgh is Beechwood Farms and Nature Reserve located on Dorseyville Road. It is run by the Audubon Society of Western PA and is just beautiful. Quiet. Picturesque views. Hikes through meadows filled with wildflowers. Loads of bullfrogs in the summer. A very cool natural playground that the kids love. It’s the place I find the most peace, and where my kids are the most free to run around and connect with nature.
Daddy: I’m cheap. I’m partial to free places that are fun and relaxing. I LOVE the Water Steps by PNC Park for the amazing views of Downtown and the rivers. Plus, the kids are just transfixed by the running water. They love crawling over the irregular patterns and I consider it pretty safe even for our clumsy 2 year old. It is a great place to relax during the summer! We have so many great parks all over the city too. My favorites are Beechwood Nature Reserve and Frick Park. In the winters you’ll find me and the kiddos at Shaler North Hills Library, a friendly and brilliantly-designed place for kids and families.
Why do you think that Pittsburgh is the coolest city on Earth?
Daddy: Because Pittsburgh has great balance. It isn’t the best at anything, but it is really good at almost everything. Great neighborhoods, great public places, beautiful scenery, huge inner-city parks, low cost of living, great sports, nice airport, and wonderful schools. I also love that it is somewhat “off-the-radar.” It isn’t a flashy city, but this city kicks butt!
Mommy: I really DO believe that Pittsburgh is Planet Earth’s best-kept secret. My favorite part about it: I think Pittsburgh has an ENERGY that has been progressively growing stronger as the years go by. This energy is filling up this city with creative people, beautiful art and music, amazing new restaurants, innovative technology, sustainable lifestyles, a giant Rubber Ducky, a knitted bridge, Randyland, a Free Store in Braddock. It’s so inspiring to be a part of it all!
Nadine Champsi is the founder of the Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, one of the leading locally-focused mommy blogs in the city. Her blog exposes parents to unique, fun family-friendly opportunities in the city. It also seeks to support local mothers who have started businesses and nonprofit projects that benefit the city of Pittsburgh.
All of the photo credits are Nadine Champsi.
The other participants: