I’ve never been the kind of mom who has a plate of warm cookies waiting on the counter for my kids when they come home from school. Certainly I’ve made plenty (okay, a few) batches of cookies in the past 18 years, but mostly any sweets we have in the house come straight from Safeway’s cookie aisle. My own mom was the same: she made a pretty good chocolate chip cookie from time to time, but usually it was Oreos or Nilla Wafers after school, and I never felt neglected. Continue reading
You know me: I’m the one always encouraging you to ditch work, to take a snow day, to join me at a silks class or climb a tree, to run an obstacle course. Responsibilities are boring, while fun is – well, you can finish that sentence all on your own, I bet.
Tuesday I took a great class at my aerial arts studio called Flight & Flow. The class starts with half an hour of yoga and ends with half an hour “flying” (that is, working out on the sling and silks – doing upside down sit-ups, pull-ups, climbing, sweating, having fun). As we often do, we began the yoga portion with deep breathing, letting our breath go all the way down to our bellies.
Here’s a thing: I never relax my stomach. I grew up being told to suck in my gut because it supports your lower back, blah blah blah. I suspect my mother just didn’t like my belly Continue reading
Let’s talk about mushrooms. And when I say “mushrooms,” what I mean is “motherhood, and the incomprehensible fact that someone is actually letting me be a parent and I haven’t gone to jail yet and maybe I’m not fucking up that badly after all.”
(Side note: don’t those mushrooms look delicious? They probably were, but I don’t know, because it’s not my picture and those aren’t my mushrooms. Photo credit: Lewis Suraz, Flickr Creative Commons)
“Yes, Jim. The Queen of Europe. It was one really giant oligarchy…”
I submit to you more proof, if you need it, that it is the children in my life who have caused me brain damage and the inability to function like a contributing member of society. (Actually, shoot… since I came first, maybe I’ve caused them brain damage.) This conversation took place between Lizzie and my son’s friend, Jim, as I drove Liz to an evening event at school. (Note: Jim’s name has been changed to protect the “innocent,” youth. But Jim, you know who you are. You are not blameless in this situation, even though you often empty the dishwasher for me.) Continue reading
One of the reasons parenting is so exhausting, in addition to all the usual running around, is that you’re giving your all (and then some) to teach your kids how to live. I was struck by this thought today: it’s all up to Paul and me. Yes, other people come into play: grandparents, friends, teachers, other people in the line at Starbucks. But for the most part, the shaping of their character — the teaching of right from wrong — is in our hands. With newborn babies, our main job is simply keeping them alive. But later on? You have to teach them how to be.
It seems we’re bombarded daily with inspirational quotes and mothering advice columns that encourage us to take time for ourselves by having a bubble bath or a massage. A bubble bath is nice on occasion, but I get bored in about 10 minutes, and personally, I find it comfier to read in bed with my seven pillows than in a slick tub. Also, bubbles make a scummy mess. And massages are great, but I need a LOT more than one hour to recharge. In fact, ever since the kids were born, I have felt guilty about how much time I seem to want (need?) for myself. Those encouraging articles always suggest taking time “every now and then.” But I want a chunk of time to myself DAILY. In fact, I want a regularly repeating bunch of consecutive hours to do what I want without guilt, without questions to answer or obligations to fulfill. And I finally realized why I need so much of this: it appears I have very few consecutive grown-up days in me before I feel myself reverting back to a kid again. I can’t help it. It’s just a fact. Continue reading