You’ve Got This

We all want to be a perfect parent. Some of us even already think we are. We do what we self-righteously believe is the right thing to do, in any given situation, and sit smugly at the end of the day, basking in our brilliance.

Or do we?

I think the more likely scenario is that we’re thrown situation after situation that we’ve never had to deal with, nor have we ever thought we’d have to deal with, day in and day out. And we sit in a panic at the end of the day, wondering if we handled all of those situations perfectly. The way a perfect parent would.

The inherent problem in trying to be a perfect parent is that there are so many different choices you can make and still be a “perfect” parent. Breastfeeding? That’s perfect. Bottle feeding? That’s perfect. Co-sleeping? That’s perfect. Crying it out? That’s perfect. Homemade baby food? That’s perfect. Store bought baby food? That’s perfect. See what I’m getting at here?

We make choices for our children that we feel are the right choice at that time and for that child. And so long as we have our child’s best interest in mind, and are not causing our child harm, that makes us a “perfect” parent.

Another problem with this perfect parent business is that we aren’t consistent. Those of us with more than one child know that you aren’t the same parent with your second child as you were with your first, and so on and so on for subsequent children.

For instance, I breastfed Bowie until he was 13 months old. I made about 90% of his baby food at home. I started solids at 7 months. I started potty training at 18 months.

I breastfed Ferris until he was 8 months old, at which time he self-weaned, and I formula fed until he was 1 year old. I made about 20% of his baby food at home. I started solids at 4 months. I started potty training at 2 1/2 years old.

Each child is their own little puzzle. They’ll be ready for different things at different times. You’ll have more time and more attention to devote to some things than other things, especially when baby #2 comes along. And each child has their own personality. Bowie has SPD and requires a little more attention and patience sometimes. Ferris is more daring than Bowie, and was doing things at 18 months that his 5 year old brother was still too scared to try. You have to treat them as individuals, and hard and fast parenting rules don’t work.

Most of the judgment of other parents, I feel, comes from the newbie crowd and the childless crowd. Someone who has no children of their own, yet has a pretty good idea of how things are supposed to work. Or, a mom with her first infant, with a whole long list of things she deems right and wrong for parenthood, without the actual experience to back up her claims. Parenting is one of those things you are not prepared for until you are in the thick of it. In the trenches, wiping poop off of your own face, trying to calm a screaming baby in a crowded public place, balancing a baby on your hip as you wipe a toddler’s butt, having all your lovingly homemade baby food spat back at you, running after your toddler at the zoo, the park, the museum, helping your Kindergartener with homework, being begged for the 100th time for a cookie you’ve said no to 99 times.

It is in these moments that you make certain decisions. Decisions you didn’t previously think you’d make. Jarred baby food, formula, delayed potty training, kid leashes, fast food, bribery, all those things you swore off, they suddenly become very attractive offers. And you decide that in life, there is give and take, weak and strong moments, and you know everything’s best in moderation. So you do what you have to do to survive, to stay sane. And that makes you a perfect parent.

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Come For a Visit, Karl

I’m really wistful for San Francisco the past few days, as I figured I would be eventually. Our first few weeks in Tucson, I thought I was going to be fine. I love our house, our neighborhood is great, we’re getting new furniture which is always way more exciting than it should be. We found a local ice cream spot and a sushi place, and I found a great girl to cut my hair, and I liked it here. I really did. I mean, I still do. It’s a beautiful place filled with lots of exciting new things. But now I’ve got pangs for San Francisco that I can’t brush off. And I think it all comes down to…the weather?

Hear me out here. This time of year, San Francisco is chilly and covered in a comforting blanket of fog. It’s cold enough to bundle up on the couch with your favorite sweater and a fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of Earl Grey. My favorite way of existing. But, it’s not so chilly that it’s snowing or that you’re housebound or anything. You can have a fire in the fireplace if you want to, just for the coziness factor, but you don’t really need it for heat. It’s perfect. San Franciscans love their fog. They call him Karl. He’s got a twitter account. I’m dead serious. I miss Karl.

My first weekend in Tucson, it got to 110 degrees. It went on like this for about 4 days, and I thought, this is it, this is how I die. And now, the forecast says it will be 117 on Sunday. 117 degrees! I didn’t even know that was a thing. So now, I’m out doing fog dances in the backyard, hoping something will come down our way from the city by the bay. (I’m not really doing fog dances. I would though, if I knew what they consisted of.)

And what’s more, I’m very dedicated and serious about my half-assed backyard garden, and I just got my new fledgling garden going in the backyard here. All the books told me I could plant beans, so I planted a shit ton of beans, and since beans sprout so quickly, there’s already a bunch of beautiful little seedlings there. And how do you protect bean seedlings from 117 degrees? I want to go back to San Francisco where all I could grow was fava beans, kale and carrots, but I didn’t care because I knew how to grow them every year, without fail. I have all these options now, but I have to be so careful about these heat spells.

All the locals tell me if I can survive June, I’ll be ok. The monsoons come and cool things off, and then the fall and winter and spring are perfect and warm and wonderful. So, I bought myself my first pair of shorts in over 20 years (no joke, the Mean Girls in middle school gave me a complex about my legs of all things) and I’m sucking it up. I get out and garden and do other strenuous things in the early morning and late evening, and the middle of the day is reserved for jaunts to places with air-conditioning and things for the kids to do. The best of which I have found to shamefully be a McDonald’s Playplace. But really, it’s amazing. There’s cushy leather chairs and wi-fi. I can sit on my computer or in front of a book, drink a bottomless cup of Diet Coke and the boys can play on a playground that won’t leave burns on their tender haunches. I’m sure there’s a better option out there, but for this total Tucson newbie mom, it’ll do for the time being.

Where are you Karl? I’ll pay your airfare! It’ll probably be the first time some of these people have ever seen fog in their lives and you’ll get to be a spectacle. Please come!

karl

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We’re In Tucson

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, but a long-distance move sure keeps you busy. It was a very adventurous move, and I’m so glad to be here in Tucson, unpacking and settling in.

When we left San Francisco, we had lofty plans to drive to Palm Springs, stay the night there, and continue on to Tucson the next day. But, a lot of last minute cleaning, an unanticipated trip to the city dump and a couple of minor snafus had us pulling away from the curb hours after we had planned.

We hit the infamous Bay Area rush hour traffic, and drove for hours but only made it 90 miles in the first leg. We stopped for dinner which took an exorbitant amount of time due to an understaffed diner, so we got an even later start again.

By the time we had actually hit the Palm Springs area, it was 5 a.m., so we took a half hour cat nap and decided to just keep on truckin’. We were tired, but the desire to just have the drive over with, and be at our new house was energizing enough to get us through.

We pulled into the driveway late on a Saturday night, and discovered we didn’t have water. We dealt with that, and then plopped our exhausted selves into bed.

Settling in has been going well. Things are finding a place, and it’s really feeling like home. We’re low on furniture, because we gave it all away when we left. But we have what we need, and we just got fancy new couches a few days ago.

Many neighbors have stopped by to introduce themselves, including some board members of the neighborhood association. It’s been great getting to know people, and I can’t wait to meet more people when the boys start school.

I still have moments where I miss San Francisco like you wouldn’t believe, but for the most part I’m fine. I certainly like it here, it’s a great city with a lot to do, and I love our house and the fact that it’s OURS. It makes it feel even homier to know that we own it ourselves.

So, stay tuned for stories of all of our Tucson adventures, there’s going to be a lot of them!

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Know the Skin You’re In

It was a random February afternoon. I was at the California Academy of Sciences with my boys, one of our favorite places to go. My phone rang and it was my dermatologist.

She said a bunch of stuff, but all I remember is, “It’s melanoma.” And everything around me seemed to go fuzzy. I was barely paying attention to Bowie running rampant around the museum, and people were shooting me dirty looks, but for once in my life, I didn’t care.

I had a lot of questions, and they didn’t have answers for me yet. How far advanced was it? Had it spread? Was it treatable? How could that tiny little spot on the outside of my right thigh be cancer?

I had a “wide excision” done around the spot the mole had been taken from, which is doctor speak for, “we cut off a huge chunk of your leg.” I still have a divot and a monumental scar. We call it my shark bite. They also took out a lymph node from my upper right leg, to test to see if the cancer had spread. Lymph nodes are not easy to find, so they had to inject me with radioactive dye, a very painful process, and they had to dig deep inside the leg to get it, so I have yet another lovely scar there.

I am one of the lucky ones. They caught it early, before it had spread, after the mole was removed, no trace of cancer showed up on any testing. But, the whole experience still left me pretty traumatized. Because I’ve known people who have suffered and even died from melanoma, I carry a lot of survivor’s guilt. Why am I so scared and sad and anxious when all they had to do was cut the stupid thing off of me?

Melanoma has a high recurrence rate. Melanoma puts you at a higher risk for other kinds of cancer. And, well, there’s the mere fact that my body has shown that it can make cancer. I’m not officially “cancer free” for two more years. And all the mom guilt. Remember that time I forgot the sunscreen and he got a sunburn? Have I doomed him to my same fate? What if they get melanoma and don’t catch it in time? It’s just a really heavy burden to bear, even though I’m alive and healthy. Go figure.

My paternal grandfather died of melanoma when he was 39. And I had “precancerous” cells removed from me when I was just 23. So, I had melanoma on my radar for years. But, this tiny spot on my leg, which showed up when I was pregnant with Ferris, might have gone unnoticed to the untrained eye. I almost didn’t even bother going in, being so busy with a new baby and all, except that I couldn’t get over the weird color that it was.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. I urge you to get suspicious moles checked. I urge you to slather yourself, and your children, in sunscreen. I urge you to keep an eye on your skin, a very close eye.  Please, anything that seems off should be looked at. You know your body best, and if your gut is telling you something’s not right, trust it. Enjoy the sunshine, it is wonderful, I LOVE sunshine. But be careful, friends.

melanoma_awareness ribbon

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A Letter to my Sons as I Move them 800 Miles From Home

Dear boys,

I moved around a lot when I was a kid. I moved every single year in grade school. New school, new neighborhood, new friends, new everything. Every time we moved we had to start all over again. Sometimes I had to give away pets, which was so sad.

I also moved a bunch of times in middle school and high school. We just changed houses in the same city, but it came with a lot of the disruption of a long-distance move. And I switched houses every year in college.

I always told myself I would find a place I loved living and never leave. And I found San Francisco. And it has been the most amazing 10 years of my life. This city is amazing, and I felt so fortunate to be able to be raising my family here. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one city, and I consider it to by my home.

The one caveat to living in such a great city is that it costs so much. We are throwing so much money at food and rent alone, it’s a miracle we have anything leftover for other stuff. And we looked into buying a house here. Hahahahahaha. Not only would it cost us in the neighborhood of $1 million, but we’ll still be living on top of each other in one of these tiny row houses.

So, mommy and daddy decided to expand our house-buying horizons, and now we are moving to Tucson. Which you guys seem totally stoked about, but I’m afraid for the feelings that will come when reality sets in for you. And I’ve got all these childhood memories flooding back to me of how it felt to move. To be the new girl once again. To have to make a new room mine again. To have to get used to a new city’s way of doing things.

I’m sorry to be moving you to a new city. San Francisco is where you were born, and the only home you know. And I hope you’re old enough to remember how awesome that was. But, Tucson is great too. And you’ll find lots to do, and tons of new friends to hang out with.

I understand now how my mom and dad felt each time we moved. How hard it must have been for them to uproot us all those times. But, they were following opportunities, and they knew they were making the best decision. And as parents, that’s all we can do for you guys really, just close our eyes and jump into the abyss and hope this is really as right for our family as it feels right now.

We are going to make the absolute best of Tucson. It’s a fun place to live, very vibrant and beautiful. We are going to make new friends together, we are going to find our new favorite restaurants and parks and museums. We are going to get a new library card and find a new swim school. We are going to be able to do what we do here, it will just be a little different at first. But we’ll get the hang of it.

Let’s also try to enjoy our last three weeks in San Francisco. Let’s go to all of our favorite spots and say goodbye. Goodbye for now, because it’s not as if San Francisco is going anywhere, we can and will visit.

It’s going to be awesome, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. I love you guys.

Mom

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So, today is a big day for me.

Today is huge for me. But in order for you to understand why it’s such an important day, I have to let you in on a little secret.

Today I have been sober for one year.

I’ve kept it from you guys for some reason, but the truth is, I’m a recovering alcoholic.

I don’t know why I’ve kept so mum about it on here. I guess I was feeling ashamed? Even though I’ve spent the better part of the last year learning how not to be ashamed of it.

It has been a long, hard road, but I’m so much happier today than I was a year ago. Alcoholism is a scary thing. Always feeling alone, lost, ashamed. Wondering why you can’t just stop. I wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. It took rehab and a lot of support from my family to figure it out. To figure me out again.

Some of you may judge me, I get that. It’s hard to understand addiction if you haven’t been there. It’s hard to know why someone becomes addicted, it’s hard to know how out of control they felt.

Things all started to go downhill for me 5 years ago when I had my miscarriage. When I had the miscarriage, it was like somebody turned out the lights. I didn’t know what was happening, and I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other. Instead of reaching out and finding help to get the lights turned back on as it were, I decided I could fumble around in the dark on my own and figure it out. Throughout the recovery process, I have learned about myself that I often don’t ask for help when I need it. And this was no different.

And I managed for a while. But then stuff started piling up on me. A cancer diagnosis, my 20 year old cat dying, having a blog post go viral (which essentially is a good thing, but still very stress-inducing) my mom and stepdad getting divorced, being forced to move out of our house, it was just a long, terrible couple of years. And I was still trying to do it in the emotional blackness I had been wandering around in. I was already a very anxious person, but all of this took my anxiety to new, unbearable heights.

At first I just drank in the evenings. Just to give my mind a little rest. Then the day drinking crept in. At first, one day a week, I’d start at noon. Then a couple days a week. It didn’t help that they serve wine at the museum and zoo and there was wine at playgroup, and pretty much everywhere. This is California, after all. Eventually it felt like I couldn’t go an afternoon without it. At at the very end, it felt like I couldn’t bear any moment of my life without it. I was trying to drink away all the feelings of sadness, loss, frustration, fear and anxiety. And it worked, for like five minutes. But those five minutes were all I needed to think that alcohol really was the answer to all of my problems.

It was a couple of years ago ago that my husband asked me to cut back. And then eventually asked me to quit completely. And I had some minor success. But I always kept falling back into my old habits. It was about a year and a half after those first conversations we had that I finally made the choice to be sober. I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t know how bad it really was. Only an outside observer can see an alcoholic’s problems for what they really are. I thought I was fine. I thought I had it under control. But I really didn’t.

In January 2015, I checked into an in-patient rehab home. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. To admit that my problem was so bad that I needed their help to get better. And to spend 30 days away from my husband, my children and my home. I kept a calendar in my journal at rehab, and it was the most satisfying feeling to put a big X over each day in the evening. Another day gone, another day closer to being back home.

When I got back home, things were really awkward. I had to learn how to fit back in to my own family’s dynamic. They had gone on living their days while I was gone, and learned how to do it without me as a part of it. Now we all had to learn how to be together again. And the people who knew where I had been those 30 days didn’t know how to act around me. I had the big scarlet A for Alcoholic on me.

Shortly after my return home, my husband was in a serious surfing accident, and had to have his nose reconstructed. It was one of the scariest days of my life. And my alcoholic brain tricked me into thinking that because I had been to rehab, I was all fixed, and I could have some wine to take the edge off, and it would be no big deal. Which kick-started another awful month of drinking.

I went back to the rehab house for 10 days, and basically said, throw everything you’ve got at me. I need to make this work. That was April 22, 2015.

The past year of my life has been the most difficult on record. I’m finally in a place where not drinking is not such a big deal. Most days, I don’t think about it at all. I can’t even believe who I was a year ago, I’ve made such a change. I couldn’t have done it without my rehab counselors and psychiatrist, and the support of my family. Asking for help is so hard for me for some reason, but I’m so glad I finally did.

Only one thing still scares me: the future. There’s so much unknown in the future, so much we don’t know is coming. And I hear so many stories from people at my AA meetings about having years and years of sobriety under their belt, only to relapse and have to start all over again. My addiction is something I have to keep in the forefront of my mind every day. Every morning when I wake up, I have to remember that I’ve made the choice not to drink ever again, and if I’m not careful, alcohol can creep back in and take hold again. I don’t ever want to go back to that place, but I have to stay on my toes.

I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere that alcoholism is a disease. Which is supposed to make you feel better about needing treatment and help. You wouldn’t deny yourself treatment for diabetes or cancer, they’d tell me in rehab. So of course you get treatment for alcoholism. But, it’s a disease with no cure. You can only keep treating it and live with it day in and day out for the rest of your life. So, if you know a recovering addict, have compassion for them and their fight. And let them know once in a while how proud you are of them, because this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and it’s nice when people acknowledge that.

So there you go, Internet. My big secret, out in the open. Thanks for listening, and I hope I didn’t scare you off. I found this great article on Babble that explains how to deal with some of the awkwardness when an alcoholic comes out to you. It’s a great read.

one yar

 

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Closing Day

It’s closing day on our new house. In TUCSON. For some reason, it makes me think of that 90s song, Closing Time. Which is somewhat appropriate, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

We’re moving. We’re moving far. We’re leaving our beloved San Francisco for the heat and the cheap housing in Tucson. We closed on a great house. It’s all set.

My emotions are so up and down. On the one hand, we’re super excited to go. It’s exciting to be homeowners. It’s exciting to be moving to a new city and opening a new chapter in our lives. But on the other hand, it’s terrifying. We’re leaving San Francisco, which we ADORE, and we’ve lived here for 11 years. So, it’s a bummer. A big, fat bummer. And if only it were even just slightly cheaper to live here, we’d stay.

I moved around a lot when I was a kid, and I kind of wanted to avoid doing that to my own kids. Bowie gets to finish the school year here, but I’m afraid for him when he starts a new school. I remember how confusing and scary that was. I know he’ll be fine and he’ll make friends, but I still worry.

It’s the right move for us right now, it just is. We’ll be able to give the boys so much more by leaving one of the most expensive cities in the country. We will have the security of owning our home. Renting in San Francisco is stressful as hell, not knowing if tomorrow your landlord will boot you out or raise your rent sky high to get you out. And when you have kids, that’s mega stressful.

We will have space. We will have opportunity. We will be happier in the end.

I will certainly leave my proverbial heart in San Francisco. Six months ago, my husband brought up the idea of leaving, and I said, “never!” through tears. But over time I got used to the idea, and was able to see the pros offered to us if we did move. I love it here though. The way everyone should have the opportunity to love where they live. If you’ve ever had the urge to hug a bridge, or wanted to get a cup of coffee with the fog, you might understand what I mean.

I’m excited for Tucson. It’s a great city with great people and lots of fun stuff to do. It will just be different. A good different, but still, different.

Off we go.

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Someday You’ll be Taller Than Me, But I’ll Still Hug You When You Cry

Bowie is about to turn 8. And most of the time he’s pretty grown-up acting. He mostly doesn’t need help in the bathroom anymore. He can shower himself, dress himself, and do a lot of his own homework. He can even make himself certain foods.

But, there are still those moments when something in this cruel world didn’t go away, and I find myself hugging my crying baby once again.

I thought the other day, as I just thought about how fast they grow, and the genetics of my family, and how more than likely my sons will both be taller than me. Before I know it.

And I want them to know:

I will always hug you when you cry. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be embarrassed. If other people shame you, come find your mom. I will always be there for you to let you cry, to support you, to offer advice when you want it.

When I brought you into this world, I took on the role of mother, a role that never ends. I am your mom forever. Even if something happens to you, even if something happens to me, I will always be your mom.

And right now, you are small. Coming to me for a hug when life sucks comes pretty naturally. But as the years go on, you will come to me less and less. But, I hope you never stop coming to me when you need me. You’re never too big or too old to get a good comforting hug from mom, to cry on mom’s shoulders, to get the love you need when the world isn’t giving it to you.

Someday you’ll be taller than me, but I will still hug you when you cry.

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Older Generations: 9 Ways Parenting is Way Harder for Me than it Was for You

The world I grew up in was not what it is today. Parents now are charged with raising children in a vastly different world than parents of past generations. Life was simpler, and it showed. It’s not just that parents today need to “calm down.” There’s a reason we’re total basket cases. There’s a reason there are helicopter parents and a need for free-range parenting. This gig is tough! Childhood abductions are down. Childhood mortality, in the First World, is down. But there’s still a lot to contend with. Here are some ways I’ve had to adjust my parenting style from the examples I had as a kid.

  1. Raising my kids in a country where there’s at least one mass shooting per day. Whatever side of the fence you are on when it comes to gun control, you can’t deny that the United States has a problem. Random gun violence is everywhere, and there’s little a parent can do. The odds of being a victim of these random public mass shootings is low, but too high for comfort. And we always have that fear in the back of our heads. My son’s elementary school has lockdown drills. We certainly didn’t have lockdown drills when I was a kid. They make bullet proof blankets for schools to give kids in the event of a shooting. I have to raise my babies in a world where bullet proof blankets are a thing!
  2. Caring for an infant in a sea of unvaccinated children. I try really hard to not judge other parents for their parenting choices. But, when my kids are put in danger as a result, I get miffed. Infants who are too young to receive vaccinations are at a high risk for contracting possibly fatal diseases, and even school aged children who are vaccinated can be put at risk if vaccination levels are too low. So, I do my best to safeguard my child’s health, but in the end it might not matter anyway.
  3. Childhood food allergies have risen 50% in the past 20 years. My kids don’t have food allergies. That I know of. But, many of their peers do. And though I’m careful not to send nuts to our schools, I still wonder sometimes, “Did I forget to wipe the peanut butter off his face before sending him off?” And, allergies have this awesome ability to crop up at any point in our lives. Meaning, just because my sons don’t have life-threatening allergies right now doesn’t mean they won’t develop.
  4. Raising girls is a shit show. People think this isn’t an issue for me because I don’t have daughters. But, parents of sons have to raise them to be respectful of women, and to treat women as equals. And to not be intimidated by empowered women. As a mom, especially a stay at home mom, it’s easy to fall into the role of doormat. But it’s important to stand strong and give your boys a good example of womanhood. I don’t even know how parents raise their daughters to be strong in a world that tells them to play weak. To simultaneously be proud of their sexuality, but also to guard it with their lives. To be open and honest in a world full of victim-blaming. My hat is off to you, parents of girls.
  5. Parental guilt is at an all time high. Hospital birth or home birth. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Starting solids too early. Starting solids too late. Vaccinating or not vaccinating. Preschool or no preschool. Circumcised or uncircumcised. Non-organic food. Fast food. Television. Cell phones. No matter what choices you make, someone is going to (verbosely) criticize you for it. We have the Internet to thank for that. And before you even have kids, there are people telling you how to raise them. People who don’t even have their own kids! It’s treacherous. You literally never know if you’re making the right choice or not. You just have to close your eyes and point to make the choice, and then just cross your fingers and hope you won’t fail. And grow a super thick skin for all the mean words coming your way.
  6. Other people will try to parent your children. And I don’t mean making them follow the rules. I mean, the choices you make as a parent could get you in trouble, even if you’re not really putting your kid in any kind of danger. Leave your kid in the car while you run into the store? Send your kid outside to play without you? Put a soda in your kid’s lunchbox? You get fined. Or CPS takes them away. Or you could even go to jail! So much for making your own choices, there’s always someone looking over your shoulder.
  7. Raising my kids to be present and in the moment in the age of technology. Screens are everywhere these days. Admittedly, I spend too much time staring at my phone. And I use the TV as a babysitter more often than I’d like to admit. Silicon Valley is basically our backyard, so technology is pretty prevalent here. And it’s hard to find a balance between taking advantage of all that technology allows us these days, and not using it too much. We have to teach our children when to be present, and when screen time is ok. We have to filter what they watch, because left unsupervised, they can stumble on some pretty scary stuff. But we have to allow them to learn how to use technology because their world demands tech savviness.
  8. The media will have you believe your kid can, and will, be snatched from you. Even though abductions are actually less common than they were when I was a child, the media coverage of kidnappings is rampant. One kidnapping story can be their focus for weeks. And it’s not just the TV news, it’s newspapers, magazines, and social media. You can barely make it through a day without seeing reports of yet another child gone missing. I had to stop watching the news altogether to calm myself. And this is why people turn into such busybodies when they see your kid more than five feet away from you (see #6). The fear has permeated our generation of parents.
  9. College is basically a necessity, but also completely unaffordable. If you don’t start saving your money before you even have kids, it’s unlikely that you will be able to pay their way. And if you don’t pay it for them, you send them off into the world already dragging around the largest debt of their lifetime. And even if they do well and get a good degree, there’s no guarantee that they’ll land a job. As the population grows, the job market doesn’t. Not to mention the ups and downs of our unstable economy. If they don’t go to college, they walk a rough road. If they go to college, they walk a rough road. There’s just no winning. It’s tough to help them decide what to do, because you don’t even know the answer yourself.
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I Had my Baby on my Due Date. But You Probably Won’t.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. My youngest is 3, so birth stories aren’t exactly relevant. But I have a lot of friends and family having their babies lately, many of them having their first babies. And the topic was on my mind I guess. Anyway, this is all about due dates and how it’s all a sham.

I did NOT have Bowie on my due date. In fact, that little dude stayed in 8 days past my due date. I was devastated. I tried to have my midwife do a “membrane sweep” which is apparently impossible if you’re not dilated at all. Which I was not. I wept in the hospital room when they told me if he didn’t come over the weekend that they’d induce me on Monday. I really didn’t want to be induced. I decided he would just be a June baby rather than the May baby we thought he would be, and I’d wait. And wait. And then in the wee hours of May 31, I went into labor and 18 hours later he was here.

Ferris was different. I went to the doctor on my due date. She examined me and found I was already at 5 centimeters, and we both started freaking out. The exam triggered contractions and she gingerly walked me down to labor and delivery and they admitted me, and 6 hours later he was born. On my due date.

Studies say that only 5% of women actually give birth on their due dates. Far fewer when it is their first baby. Due dates are crap. They are just a day that they assign you to give birth based on the approximate time you conceived. It means nothing, really. It gets all your hopes up and when the day comes on your calendar you get all excited, and then nothing happens and you’re pissed because you’re so sick of being pregnant.

Really, all women should just forget about their due dates. Sure, use it as a benchmark for when your baby is fully cooked and ready to come out, but not a plan for when the baby will come out.

Your body knows what it’s doing, and your body will push that baby out when it’s good and ready. Your due date means zilch when you’re body’s got it all under control. Try not to put too much stock into it. Baby might even decide to come before your due date. Lucky you! Unless it’s too early. That’s a whole different ball game.

What about you? Did you have any of your kids on your due date? Anyone you know? How early/late were your littles?

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