Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Mom Video

By now, I'm sure you've seen this video....

I loved it. Jeff hated it. This is us battling it out via e-mail...

Jeff's take on it (seems to have a lot of anger for such a calm and gentle dude): 

This is a pretty good article articulating why I hate that video. I despise the new trend of making parenting out to be a depressing chore that leaves no time for anything else. It's bullshit, at least in our circle and to everyone I saw share that video. Parents still run marathons, go out to concerts, dinners, watch Game of Thrones, drink wine, etc. 

Parents, with normal, healthy kids that feel that this "job" accurately describes raising children are assholes. 

Do kids demand attention? Lots. Is it boring. Sometimes. Challenging? Absolutely. But is it the "toughest job"? Fuck no. I'd take hanging out with my kids over lots of jobs. Night security guard? C'mon no contest. Effort for a task does not correlate to the enjoyment extracted from it. Something can be challenging and equally enjoyable. 

This article doesn't mention that fathers are also not completely useless. 

I understand that a single mother, with no family or available daycare, and a colicky 1 month old may have a different opinion.

My response: 

1. It was for Mother's Day so it's not about fathers....or anyone else, intentionally. Plus, all the moms I know (myself excluded) do a shit-ton more work than dads. 

2. Even when moms (and dads) are out drinking with friends, at work, running marathons...they are still parents first and foremost. The responsibility, love, planning, worry, etc. never ends and has no boundaries. 

3. The video said it's the toughest job, not the worst job and I agree 100%.  Just the way marathons are doesn't mean we don't enjoy (or at least get some satisfaction from) all the ups and downs and hard work involved...we do, which is why we run more of them and have more kids. 

I bought this coffee and muffin at our corner coffee shop at 8am this morning (I took Julien with me and Colette and Jeff were still asleep). It sat there mostly untouched until 9:30am....because I was too busy trying to get Julien and Colette ready to daycare and out the door and their immediate needs (food, clothing, cleanliness, safety, etc.) will always come before mine. I'm home now, kid-less, and can write this post, drink my coffee and eat my muffin (which, by the way, no one interrupts in a professional office setting). I'm sure if I was a SAHM, I'd be eating this muffin for lunch and pouring the coffee over ice with Kalua. 

Was my morning enjoyable? Yes. Was it tough? Yes. And I will do it again, or some version of it, for the rest of my life and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Little Plan Derailers

I’ve heard others say about parenting that the days are long, but the years are short. I couldn’t agree more.  Some mornings drag on and on and I feel like 9am, our daycare drop off time, will never come. But then, I catch glimpse of one of Colette’s baby pictures and I am amazed at how quickly the last several years have passed and how much they have changed me.

My 'hood

Becoming a mom and going to therapy have made the past few years, the most life changing. I stopped seeing my therapist, whom I saw weekly, for almost two years shortly after Julien was born. I felt we had worked through the issues (anxiety, guilt, stress, depression, babies, work, marriage, moving, etc.) that initially drove me to seek help. I ended the relationship feeling incredibly happy, proud and empowered and those feelings remain to this day. The more openly I speak with others about my experiences, the better I feel. Maybe, it’s the crowd I roll with, but everyone seems to have relatable feelings and stories of their own to share.

Just the other day I ran into my therapist on the street in my neighborhood (lucky for me, I was on my way into work and looking like my best self).  She gave me the warmest hug, was happy to hear I was doing so well, and reminded me that she’s always there for me if I ever need her guidance down the road.  It was nice encounter and I walked away smiling and I’m sure she did too.

The biggest discovery through therapy was letting go of, or at least, tightening the grip on my life’s plan. For the most part, my life has been pretty well scripted and has unfolded as I have envisioned it…go to college, graduate college, live with roommates, date, become a professional, travel, get married, and have kids, remain a professional,  stay married, travel. 

I never dreamed of moving to NYC (nor really wanted to) and I certainly never envisioned staying in the city for as long as I have (9 years), and I definitely did not see myself having children here, and I was absolutely against the idea of raising a family anywhere but Connecticut.  Deviating from the plan made me anxious and caused a lot of tension between Jeff and me. Finding things to hate about the city and our life here was exhausting, mostly because our life is really good. Good jobs, good childcare, good friends, good apartment, lots of culture and things to do and great take-out (as Uncle Jay and Uncle Dave will attest to).  The more I uncovered and accepted that I need to find my best self regardless of location, I felt better, and the pressure to move diminished. Also, my family, the main draw of relocating, has been incredibly supportive and understanding. 

My little plan-derailers

Instead of only focusing on what I’ve planned for myself (raising a family in West Hartford), I’m focusing on what feels right for my family and me in the moment. Right now, our lifestyle is working for us and we are staying put.  Having kids has forced me to be more flexible and accepting of deviating from the plan, if not forgetting it all together.  Over the passed two years I’ve learned that babies make every process take 15 minutes longer than it would normally and toddlers’ main goal in life is to take your plan/schedule/itinerary and make a mockery of it....combine the two, and it's a miracle I'm able to write this post.