Meet the Crazies

I’d like to think that I come off as a pretty normal, with-it, together type of person. This is something that’s important to me; it’s how I think of myself.

ideal me2

In short, I hope that I seem like a warm, likable and very normal person from the outside. Those who know me well, of course, know the truth. (read more…)

Sorry, Baby, I Missed the Memo!

miro

One by one, my friends are becoming parents. There is a certain logic to this: we are in our early/mid 30’s, and it follows a few years of annually attending more weddings than I can count on one hand. But there is also something quite shocking to me about how universal it seems, like they are all reacting to cues given from off-stage that I cannot hear.

How are they all so coordinated, did I miss the memo? Maybe there was a letter that I should have received on my 30th birthday telling me that I should be preparing for parenthood with a sequence of events: wedding, home, stopping birth control, followed by labor and then 2am feedings. I imagine this memo must have hit a practical tone, with enough inspiration that everyone reading it saw a realistic, but exciting possibility and was eager to start down this prescribed path.

(read more…)

I’m an Adult Child

the-enigma-of-my-desire-or-my-mother-my-mother-my-mother-1929.jpg!Large

My mom has a tendency to do things for me, even though I’ve told her not to, that often drive me crazy.  Every time I visit her, my trip starts out in the same way. I call her, and before I discuss plans,  she asks what I eat for breakfast.

  • Me: Don’t worry about it, Mom. I’ll pick something up when I get there. I probably won’t eat at home much.
  • Mom: Well, I’ll just make sure we have some bagels. No, I forgot. Gluten-free bread!
  • Me: Really Mom, you don’t need to get anything.
  • Mom:  Yogurt?

I agree to yogurt. When I arrive, she insists on leaving me money for anything else I need. I know that providing for me while I’m home again (she still lives in the apartment I grew up in) is her way of expressing her love and affection. And she knows that I won’t use the household money and find the idea infantilizing. But I no longer point this out. I just say, “Thanks Mom,” and kiss her on the cheek. (read more…)

The Ego Whack-A-Mole Game

wackamole

My ego gets very confused about what’s important in life. Since ego, according the dictionary, is one’s sense of self-esteem and self-importance, ego can be a force for good in some doses, and can easily get out of control.  My ego desperately wants to look good, to be seen as smart and helpful. It really wants to be important, and is quite tied to how my hair looks. It drives me crazy with all of these concerns, confusing me about what is really important in life. It’s not all bad, though; it’s also my ego that gets me out of bed in the morning and to work on time.

But just when I think I have tamed it or tamped it down, when my ego has agreed not to get attached to something, like the number of likes on a post or a job title, it immediately pops up somewhere else, circling around in a new disguise.  It gets self-congratulatory about how enlightened it is. It gets attached to accomplishment, even when it comes to meditation (ironic, I know).  It gets self-congratulatory about how enlightened it is.

It feels like a never-ending whack-a-mole game: it’s just you playing yourself, for eternity. (read more…)

“Quit Slacking Off with Your Baby”
5 Fathers Discuss Paternity Leave

dogs playing poker

I’m part of a group of women who come together to discuss current issues in feminism and gender equality. At a meeting a few years ago, we discussed paternity leave and discovered that many of the husbands of group members with adult children had taken little or no time off when their kids were born. When I got home that night, I asked my husband if he would take paternity leave if we had kids – and he immediately and reflexively answered “no.”

While his answer might be different if I asked him today, the swiftness and surety of his response startled me. Since then, many of our peers have started having kids of their own, so it’s a natural time to re-examine this issue and take a close look at how and why men make their decisions about parental leave. (read more…)