[Parentsgroup-list] Older parents/Parents of older children

wenc at fas.harvard.edu wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Dec 6 10:08:29 EST 2006

Thanks, Kara, for your great message.

I just wanted to make one not terribly important comment--and that is that as
the list managers, I and one other person actually CAN take people off the
list.  I've also just told people to let me know if they want to unsubscribe
and that I'll do it for them.  (This is not the mommy in me, but just the
technical ignoramus in me, who didn't know originally that people could remove

That's all,

Quoting Kara Swanson <kswanson at fas.harvard.edu>:

> Dear All,
> First all, as has been said before, any Harvard student controls their
> own list subscriptions.  Follow the link at the end of any listserv
> message to manage your account and take yourself off.  Also, you get a
> monthly reminder of your list memberships, which also tells you how to
> unsubscribe.  No other student can take you off, and emailing the whole
> list doesn't help.
> It is of course, very appropriate and useful to let the list know how it
> isn't meeting your needs.  So I did want to address Huazhang's message
> and advocate for the value of this organization for all sorts of parents.
> I've been a member of this group since its inception (although not a
> founding organizer).  I have two girls, who are now 6 and 9.  As a
> mother of school age children, I am well aware that I am outside not
> only the general demographic of Harvard grad students, but the majority
> of Harvard student parents, who tend to have kids in the 0-5 range.
> (Although those kids do have a way of growing up.  When I started, and
> there was no grad student parent group, I was the mother of  a 3 year
> old and a 6 year old).  That said, one of the founders of this group is
> the mother of a middle school student, and I know there are other
> parents out there with kids the age of mine and older -- including
> college age.  The questions of time allocation, financial strains, and
> quality childcare are something we all have experience with and can
> advocate for in common, even if, for example, my issue is after-school
> sitting, and vacation day camps, rather than a nanny.  The issue of
> being an older student in a sea of seemingly endless 22 year olds is
> also a common link for us, no matter how old our children are.  We all
> probably struggle with making friends, juggling work and home life, and
> attending evening and weekend events when we have both different family
> obligations that the childless, and feel a little too old and/or too
> partnered to join grad student bashes or Dudley House parties.
> And even as our needs are different, this group is what we make of it --
> I hope we will all work to shape it to support parents of all ages,
> types, schools, partner-status, etc.  I may not be struggling with
> breastfeeding any more or looking for ways to entertain a toddler, but I
> do have experience with Cambridge-based day cares I can share, plus a
> few  boxes of nursing gear I should probably pass along some day.  And I
> can benefit by the research some of the new parents among us are doing
> on local pediatricians, and let others know that in a few years, when
> they are kindergarteners, your toddlers might enjoy the (cheap!) milk
> and cookies matinees the Harvard/Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan players
> hold once each semester.  Those of you who have high school and college
> age kids -- I would love to draw on your experience with parenting
> adolescents as my kids grow.  The issues of sleep away camp, cell phone
> usage, text messaging are are lurking my not-too-distant parenting future.
> So as I am sorry that Huazhang and Xiajuan are giving up on us (and I
> fully support the decision to let some organizations/listserves go as we
> all struggle to do too much), I wanted to shout out to those parents of
> older kids who remain and express my hope that we will continue to make
> this group useful to parents of all stripes.
> Cheers,
> Kara
> **********************************
> Kara W. Swanson, B.S., M.A., J.D.
> Ph.D. Candidate
> History of Science
> Harvard University
> Science Center 371
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> kswanson at fas.harvard.edu
> ***********************************
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