Was so much fun appearing on today’s Ricki Lake show, all about moms divulging their ‘dirty little secrets.’
Was so much fun appearing on today’s Ricki Lake show, all about moms divulging their ‘dirty little secrets.’
I was talking to a pal the other day and she was spewing venom. She’s a full-time working mom married to a stay-at-home dad of their 5 year-old girl. The minute Annie entered kindergarten, the questions started and would not stop: “Oh…now that Annie’s in school, is Chris going to get a job…finally?” “What’s he going to do with his time?” At first, my friend Sarah found herself scrambling to come up with an acceptable answer. Then, she used sarcasm as a crutch – “Oh yeah, tell me about it, we’ll see…hopefully he’ll DO something.” But then she got to thinking. Do working dads get asked the same questions about their wives who stay at home with their kids? Doubtful. Even though stay-at-home dads are much more common now, there’s still a double standards out there.
Then, Sarah got mad. Her friends knew that the couple has had financial trauma the past few years, but are now getting back on their feet. And Chris is still very committed to his ‘job’ as a stay-at-home dad. He picks up Annie from school and they either go to ballet or the park or come home and do homework. That is his role in their family, and Sarah really feels sick of being scrutinized.
Chris, on the other hand, could care less what anyone asks and just says “My job is raising my daughter and I take it very seriously.” (Now THAT attitude is something we all can take a lesson from.)
This story just amplifies the need for all of us to make the choices that are right for us, not compare ourselves to others, and make peace — really and truly — with these choices.
We can’t waste even one minute of our time worrying about what others think. It’s just not worth it.
Here’s me, every single night: “Oh god, here they go again — they are HUNGRY. Hmmm, WTF am I supposed to ‘whip up’ for dinner NOW?’”
It seriously puts me way over the edge. I’ve almost given up. Here’s a great website — Weelicious — that offers up easy and healthy recipes for dinners and even school lunches. Catherine McCord’s book is coming out in a few weeks and I’ve already pre-ordered it.
Check it out!
1. Your kids were with you.
2. Your husband was with you.
3. The aforementioned people, combined, won’t stop talking or eating. Or leaving their dirty laundry all over the floor.
4. The couple laying out next to your s&it show are clearly deeply in love and whispering about how they never want to turn into your s$it show.
5. You just got yor period.
6. You clearly won’t be having a lick of sex on this trip (wait- that’s a PRO – different list).
7. You can’t stop thinking about the laundry s$it show you’ll face the moment you get home.
8. It’s day 2 and you already need a vacation from your vacation.
9. You just finished 50 Shades and the hotel bookstore only has lame harlequin romances. Morons.
10. While you tune out your screaming kids at the pool, you cruise Facebook and see all of your pretty glossy happy ‘friends’ having perfectly perfect relaxing vacations.
Chatting with a new friend tonight, it made me really think about how important it is to talk to your spouse about expectations at various points throughout your relationship — especially when any kind of sea change is about to happen. Whether it’s before a baby is born, when one of you stops/starts working again, or when you have to take care of a sick parent, it’s so important to lay out the expectations BEFORE (if possible) the new phase begins. Literally sit down (with a glass of wine or 4) and ask these the questions that are really important, like…
Who will change the diapers at night? Who will stay home with the kids while the other parent works? Who is responsible for making the doctor appointments? How will you honor the other person so they have their ‘alone’ time? How do you expect your relationship to WORK through any of this? How will you make time to nurture each other and yourselves?
It’s such a great reminder for all of us, no matter where we are with things.
Would love your thoughts!
Whether it’s wine, vicodin, pot or ear plugs, we’ve all got a vice while dealing with our kids. Here’s an interesting article about Moms who smoke pot feeling like they’re caught in an unfair fight…
The following blog post from a Dad about ignoring his kids to text and send e-mail seems stunningly true…thoughts?
The XX Factor
Yes, I Ignore My Kids To Text and Email
By David Plotz
Updated Thursday, July 12, 2012, at 1:36 PM ET
Moms and dads who are better than you have something new to feel superior about: Parents on Phones. A tumblr in the same smug spirit as People of Walmart, Parents on Phones collects photos of mothers and fathers neglecting their kids while texting, surfing, and probably playing Draw Something. The mom who’s iPhoning while her baby forlornly waits to be pushed on the swing set, the dads riveted to their phones at the Bridgehampton Children’s Museum. Parents on Phones is not the only place that wants to tell you what a schmuck you are for text-parenting. Hands Free Mama blogs insufferably about helping “people think about putting down their electronic devices to interact with the people they love.” Why, some psychologists even posit that distracted parenting is a “social disease.”
The better parents have a stern message for the rest of us. We may be physically present, but we’re emotionally abandoning our children. Unlike (and here you should pick your option) parents of a generation ago, parents of a century ago, parents in small-town America—you, phone-obsessed caretaker, are destroying your relationship with your children through electronic neglect. You are missing the wonder and glory of truly being with them. You are teaching them that email is more important than they are.
I have neglected my children in every way it’s possible to neglect them with a mobile phone. I play Scramble with Friends rather than watch them cavort adorably in the bath. I send emails—sometimes shockingly unimportant emails—during dinner. I have drunk deep from the mobile Web during the third, and fourth, and fifth inning of my son’s Little League game. I hope and expect to see my distracted self, dead eyes glued to the screen, on Parents on Phones very soon.
Truly, the self-righteousness of the phoneless parent is unbearable. The prologue to Parents on Phones asks: “Have you ever checked your email or surfed the Web when you should be playing with your children?” That word “should”—it galls. Parents are not entertainment delivery devices for our children. We must keep our kids safe and happy and mentally engaged. Sometimes that means playing hard with them on the floor or on the playground. And sometimes that means setting them loose into the world, by themselves, to find a kid to play with, or a stick to poke in an ant hole, or a jungle gym to tumble off. Sometimes that even means—horror of horrors—letting your kids be bored.
The idea that parents should be attending to their children during every single minute they are together is absurd. The true ailment of the kinds of parents who own iPhones is not underparenting, it’s overparenting—being too intrusive in their children’s lives. (Also, it’s preposterous to claim that parental neglect is a pathology of the smartphone age. My childhood was punctuated by my parents—highly attentive and loving parents, I might add—ignoring me so that they could read, or talk on the phone, or work.)
It’s true that distraction creeps up on parents. If you carry the iPhone to the playground, you will check it. If you send one email, you will send five. Even so, the smartphone is in fact one of the greatest gifts ever made to working parents. I’m on my iPhone for a couple minutes at the Little League game so that I can be at the Little League game. I’m sending an email during dinner so that I can be home for dinner, not yoked to my desk. If the price to pay is a bit of distraction and mobile indulgence, it seems a small loss. What is gained is time together. No dad who texts at the Children’s Museum only texts at the Children’s Museum. He texts, then he shows Leo how to work the ball sorting machine. He texts, then he checks to make sure Leo is bouncing on that bouncy castle, not being suffocated by it. He texts, then he sits criss-cross applesauce with Leo at the sing-along.
The irony of Parents on Phones is that it seems to consist of photos taken by other parents, who are—certainly for that brief moment—ignoring their own children to play with their iPhone.
Many of us grew up in a world with daily chores, allowances earned, college paid for with three jobs, trips to the mall resulting in window shopping, and the idea of moving out after college a complete given.
Now, with two kids who live in a different world, one of my recurring nightmares is that they will grow up feeling entitled. I’m constantly reminding them of what others DON’T have, hoping they’ll feel grateful. I go to the craft store and make a ‘chore chart’ which we stick to religiously for about two weeks until things inevitably fall apart. I try try try to derail them from electronics (‘hey, go build a FORT!’) until I cave in after their screaming makes my head pop off.
The thing is, I don’t want to feel guilty for working really hard and doing better than my parents did. Isn’t that the goal? Wanting MORE for your kids than you had? But then…there’s the rub. Being fortunate enough to give your kids more…and not turning them into spoiled brats.
I think this New York Times article (link below) is really interesting, because the writer is completely panicked over how to avoid creating spoiled monsters. But at the end of the day…I think our core values — how to treat people, how to give back, how to see the world through others’ eyes, how to work hard — are implanted in our kids long before we realize.
We live in a different world…but I really believe (or want to believe) that we can inspire goodness in our kids regardless of what they have or don’t have.
What do you think??
Looking back in my life, there are those things that I wish I would have known. Like in 7th grade, I wish someone would have told me that not having those lavender Gloria Vanderbilt jeans wouldn’t be the end of my life, and that if Dove Lustig didn’t like my hair, so what?
I wish someone would have said, ‘Amy. Stop. These years will not define who you are. There is SO much more after this. These years will seem silly to you later on. You WILL figure out who you are. And you WILL gain some self confidence and it really doesn’t matter if you completely fail at volleyball (or any other sport for that matter). And instead of what DOESN’T matter, how about what DOES?
Well, here are 10 things I fully intend to make sure my kids hear, and I will say them over and over in different ways until I’m sure they’ve truly sunk in.
1. Being self-effacing/authentic is not a weakness; it endears people to you. It makes you sparkle.
How much pressure do we all put on ourselves to be a certain way? What a relief to let all that go…and just be ourselves, and swim in all of our imperfections. That person is so much warmer, and real, and magnetic.
2. It’s all about attitude.
No matter what, even in the worst of times, the one thing we can control is our attitude. How we react — and how we handle any situation. We have the power to change the course of the hour, the day, the year, our whole lives…just with our outlook.
3. It’s almost never about you.
This one’s huge. If someone lashes out at you, the first question you should ponder is ‘I wonder what happened to them to make them act this way?’ It’s almost never about us. Once we embrace this, it’s so much easier to let things roll off our backs and move forward.
4. Know your audience.
Whether you’re chit chatting with a friend or sitting in a business meeting, put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re with. This simple act breeds empathy, and it’s incredibly precious and powerful.
5. The energy you put out creates your reality.
We have the power to create whatever we can imagine. Sounds almost crazy..and simple. And it is. When Trisha and I published our first book, we set our sights on the highest goal possible — getting on Oprah, and sitting on that stage, for the full hour, with her, talking to moms nationwide. We never let that image go, and put 100% energy into making it happen. And it did.
Even on a day to day basis, we don’t realize that we might be putting out negative energy in small ways. Strive higher and bigger – and believe. And do not let go until you reach that goal.
6. No one else can tell you who you are.
Not your mom, not your sister, not your friend, not your spouse. Let go of any expectations others have of and for you.
7. We are very small in this world but also very powerful.
It’s important to remember that there’s a huge universe out there beyond us. And despite this, we can, singularly, make a dynamic impact in our short time here.
8. Everything in moderation.
This goes for sugar, alcohol, deep fried oreos and reality tv.
9. When your child walks into the room, light up like a Christmas tree.
Every. Single. Time.
10. Give back. In whatever small way you can.
I’m not quite sure what it says about me that finding the ultimate flip flops makes me seriously giddy — like, goose bump giddy. I was so sad when our puppy Bella chewed my new favorites up…and I just made my daughter Emily go back to Old Navy with me to find them again. I bought three pair — pink, dark blue and brown.
These are the most comfy flips ever – and the soles are 3/4″ high which is nice. They’re $10.94 right now at Old Navy. Run, seriously. They were hidden in the ‘active’ section, so don’t fret if you don’t spot them right away.