"So much to read, so little time." That could be the mantra for working parents everywhere. You know, the people who fall asleep before they get to "3 across" while working the crossword puzzle after dinner.
But parents who can force themselves to stay awake long enough to go online after the kids are asleep will find ample rewards in the blogosphere, whether they are a working parent (and there's a redundancy) or a stay-at-home Mom or Dad.
For a practical approach to the juggling act of holding down a job and propping up a family, Business Week's Web site has a new "Working Parents" blog.
As one might expect from a business magazine, they take a button-down approach to the juggling act that is most parents' lives.
Amy Dunkin, as associate editor at Business Week, is one of the seven writer-editors for the blog. The magazine has been looking to beef up its blog offerings (they now offer 12), and Dunkin said she and her colleagues realized there were plenty of mommy blogs in the world, "but there wasn't a blog devoted to work/life issues."
She and her co-bloggers "take a more journalistic approach" than the stereotypical "blogging in pajamas" Web site.
Because the blog is aimed at the Business audience, the topics skew toward the concerns of the Blackberry crowd, upscale professionals with full-time child-care help. Some entries are anecdotal (I had to fire my nanny for stealing my jewelry), some contain advice (Trader Joe's grocery stores are a great place to buy healthier foods for your family), and some are inspirational (Lance Armstrong's tips for beating cancer).
To counterbalance all that practical stuff is the view from the trenches you can find in Dooce.com, or the male side of the story from RebelDad.com.
"Dooce" is a true power blog, ranked in the top 10 in the world by Technorati.com. "Dooce" is written by Heather B. Armstrong, a mother of one toddler in Utah. Armstrong gained notoriety in 2002 when she lost her job as a Web designer in California because her bosses didn't like things she had written on Dooce. (Thus, to lose one's job because of blogging is known as being Dooced.)
She also increased her online audience after the birth of her daughter, when she chronicled her bouts of postpartum depression.
Like most of the best bloggers, she wields humor well. Writing from Amsterdam last week, where she was traveling with her husband, Armstrong signed off with, "Now I'm going to wake up Mr. Chooses to Go to the Bathroom Five Seconds Before It's Our Turn to Board the Plane and In So Doing Decreases My Life-Span Unnecessarily."
Rebel Dad (URL) is the blog/soapbox of Brian Reid, who lives near Washington, D.C. Reid doesn't merely write about the ups and downs of being a stay-at-home dad, he campaigns for male equality on the home front, and he monitors popular culture for signs that his movement is creating ripples of progress.
"I spend a lot of time on this site talking about the soft societal changes, over-analyzing Swiffer ads and tracking every burp of prime-time TV characters," Rebel Dad wrote in his blog last week. "There needs to be a change in the expectations of fathers when it comes to home life."
Rebel Dad also includes links to various stay-at-home dad groups around the country. You go, guys!
Greg Connors' column about Web logs appears every other Monday in The Link, alternating with Karen Robinson's NewsPower column. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.