The Holidays Are Out Of Control

Last week when I read Kristin Howerton’s Can We Bring The Holidays Down A Notch? I laughed and cried.  I laughed because I didn’t have multiple school age children complaining to me about St. Patrick Day celebrations, but I cried because I know it’s coming.  As it is, I’ve already struggled with how to bring them down after insane birthday celebrations and the holiday festivities are creeping in right behind them as sugar-fueled, expectation-riddled greed-fests. Continue reading

The Motherlode in Context: Blog Comments Validate Me, Make Me Think, and Rip Me To Shreds

Even though she warned me, I didn’t listen to my editor and I read the comments on the essay published through the NYT Motherlode.  All 210 (and counting) of them.

Anyone who blogs, or even has ever read a blog, knows comments can get ugly.  It doesn’t matter how simple the subject or how much humor you inject into the piece, people hear and read what they want, not necessarily what you said.  Readers often attach to the line or thought that speaks to them and address only that.  I guess that is human nature.

This week I learned even the NYT comments get ugly.  Many of them were also very smart and true.  I had no choice but to dissect a topic I thought Ian and I had analyzed to death.  What I hadn’t looked at more closely was the context in which this fight came up. These are not excuses and they don’t negate any of the real issues set forth in the Motherlode piece, however they provide insight into why this divisive topic elicited particularly high stakes.  Continue reading

Nature vs. Nurture

I’ve written about it here before, but a year later I am still struggling with nature vs. nurture in two ways.  Mainly because I am starting to believe there is no such thing as nurture at all.  My kids were born with complete personalities all their own and I find it hard to imagine that I influenced them in any way other than providing my DNA.

Second, they were born with completely opposite natures.  Thanks, Mother Nature/Mother Hood for not throwing me a bone with two kids that are at least a tiny bit similar.  I’d like to be able to apply the hard lessons I work out on the first child, to the second child, but you had other plans for me it seems.

Of course, they are still young, just one and three-years-old (even if this is the last week I can say that).  So as they grow can I get my cautious son to be more bold?  And can I temper my fearless daughter with just a touch of mindful awareness?  If so, how?  Because everything I do just seems to reinforce the way they already approach the world.

I’m exploring the topic I call “Parenting Upstream” over at Moonfrye today.

Three Generations Under One Roof

Although I am a full-fledged mama’s girl, I have always thought my dad was an amazing person.  We have never had a “traditional” father/daughter relationship, but our connection is so deep and automatic, it sometimes feels like it began in another lifetime.  On Moonfrye today I am recounting a night where I saw my father and my son. two people I hardly consider in roles apart from me, sharing their own special bond.  And it totally made me cry.

In this moment I witness a different kind of love too: the one that my father gives to my son, his grandson.  It’s different from the love the same man offered me, his daughter.  More carefree perhaps.  My parents were barely in their 20’s when they had me.  Two years later my brother was born.  They had nothing “figured out” – nor did they have time to ponder life goals and parenting philosophies with a family to support.

Read the whole story here: Not Always Perfect, But Always Together

Just Wait Elizabeth Banks, Two Is So Much Better Than One

All my life I had wanted a big family, 3 or 4 minimum.  That was before I experienced parenting first hand.  After the challenge of being a first time mother I was honestly thinking that might be it. Having one changed my mind on having more. Then you know what happened?  We had another.  Having two children is the most rewarding experience of my life.  Yes, it beats getting in to my first choice college, receiving my juris doctor, landing my dream job, and then leaving it to teach yoga.   All of that pales in comparison to seeing my two children interact on a daily basis.  Watching them share secrets, steal hugs, and laugh together is heartwarming beyond words.  Overhearing my know-it-all first-born try to explain potty etiquette, or math, or the minimum safety requirements for jumping on mommy and daddy’s bed – and watching his reckless baby sister take the time to really listen – makes me laugh, tear up, and swell with pride all at the same time.  For some people, having one child is the right choice.  But if you are on the fence and feeling overwhelmed by first time motherhood, I am here to tell you to go for it and don’t listen to what Elizabeth Banks is saying.

I wrote at length about this topic today on Mommyish:

I Could Barely Handle One Kid, But Two Is Easier