Parents, Take Heart: The Library Is Here for You

There’s a lot of talk these days about living life with “balance” and “mindfulness.” Great ideas, but easier said than done. Many of us can feel how “out of balance” we are: too much work, worry, or kid concerns. Sure, we could eat better and exercise more: someday we’ll figure out how. As for mindfulness, it’s hard to be “in the moment” with so many thoughts whizzing by: “What’s for dinner? Does the roof need to be fixed? Does the car need an oil change? Did my kids finish their homework? Where’s that soccer game of my daughter’s? Can my son bring up that ‘C’ in Math? How will they score on those annual MAP exams?…”

Being a parent may be the most stressful job around: it generates dozens of new things to think about each day. We want our kids to be healthy, inquisitive, stimulated, engaged with good role models—including us!—and of good character. Helping them achieve all that is what makes parenthood tiring. “We could use a little help out here,” parents might say. “We need resources which will help us and our kids to live better, smarter, and longer.”

Well, good news: among the resources likely to help is the Niles-Maine District Library. We know kids; we know stressed-out parents. (We know many different kinds of people in need of many different things. That ranges from books, magazines, reference sources, downloadable content, and DVDs on everything from potty training to do-it-yourself stock analysis.) And we don’t just have stuff: we have programs to help rejuvenate patrons.

Take yoga. Many adults swear by its stress-relieving benefits; others who partake wish their small children could sample it, too. The library says “yes” to all of the above. Every third Monday of the month (4:30 to 5:15 p.m.), parents and their kids can unroll their yoga mat (or one of our loaner mats) with Yoga Joan, a veteran teacher who make everything from Cobra to Down Dog poses fun and challenging for parents and kids alike. Want to bond with your baby over low-intensity/high-fun yoga? You can do that, too, at Baby & Me Yoga on Wed., October 17 and Nov. 14 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (Like Yoga Joan, you’ll find it in the Commons Meeting Room.)

Maybe the parent needs a general introduction to “healthy living” principles to consider. A good tour guide might be Dr. Andrew Weil, whose books tells how to pursue health goals through the everyday application of nutritional and healing principles. However, maybe trying to find time to read (or even “graze”) such a book is, in itself, another source of stress; if so, a CD audiobook—like his Self-healing Strategies (on the shelf at 613 W422se)—might be just the thing. Great thing about audiobooks: people can treat themselves to new information during scraps of time spent driving here and there.

Dr. Weil is not for everyone: he definitely hails from (for lack of a better description) “the New Age” side of the healthcare universe. If so, a good alternative—a more conventional and equally pragmatic approach to managing health—is the Adult Health Concerns Sourcebook, a family-friendly reference book on the third floor at 616 A244. It is intended to be “a one-stop shop” for information about managing medical and mental concerns. What family doesn’t have questions, and need answers, about those?

Hey, what about just having fun? You and your kids? That’s therapeutic, right? It goes without saying that your Niles-Maine District Library is the place to go for free—let’s emphasize, shall we, the FREE part?—movies, CDs, Playaways, and more. (What’s a Playaway? It is both player and content combined: an entire book—say, 7 hours—recorded on something the size of a deck of cards, requiring only a AAA battery and ear buds.) And, of course, thousands of items can be accessed from home: for example, downloading books onto your eReader or using your library card number to access movies and magazines from streaming services to which we subscribe.

A modern library is kind of like a SuperStore for entertainment and information, but where they don’t take money. It makes “better living” possible by offering the laughs, thrills, intrigue, exercise, and facts that fiction, nonfiction, electronic media, and library programs provide. Kind of a life-changer, really.

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