Steady Nerves, Parents

Before there was valium or prozac, there were always dubious quack remedies to help women medicate their sometimes grim realities. (The Bilerico Project)

Vintage advertising is always good for a chuckle, but Dr. Miles' Nervine struck me as especially perfect for anxious parents. Effervescent tablets too! So you can hear and feel the mellowing magic working.

Anyone know what the stuff actually was? Brandy? Laudanum? Both probably.

I'm midstream a two week visit from two of my favorite little beings in the world. The closest I'll ever get to witnessing my own (or much of my own) DNA in youngsters. It's exciting. Exhilarating. Exhausting. And sometimes scary as hell!

I have a few observations percolating that I'll try to unravel diplomatically in the weeks ahead, but for now just a couple of quick asides.

  • Kids — especially 5 to 10-year-old kids — are wildly unpredictable marvels.
  • Even when they don't eat and sleep, kids are veritable nuclear power plants.
  • It feels really good to have little kids think you're cool and want to spend time with you even more than playing video games, watching TV, surfing on iPads…
  • Kids are staggeringly stubborn and smart and naïve.
  • Parents invent, nurture and enable some of the most frustrating children's behavior.
  • I'm 100% confident that my childfree choice is right for me, right for my bride, and very, very, very right for our unborn children!
  • Kids find it really gross when adults “kiss on the lips”, especially when “they look like they mean it”. Which, of course, makes it all the more enticing.

One more week of laboratory research to go, and then I'll fill you in on my hypotheses. Stay tuned. Until then, steady nerves!

 

Why Men Still Can’t Have It All – Esquire

English: An artist's depiction of the rat race...

 

Soooo many words have been dedicated to women and men not “having it all” recently. The latest comes from a father’s point of view. This piece by Esquire’s Richard Dorment is well written and thought provoking and certainly worth a look if you have the time and energy.

 

If you don’t, here is a quick summary:

 

1) No one knows what “having it all” even means. Though a baby or two is unquestionably part of the recipe.

 

2) No one can actually have it all unless they do not need sleep… unless good sleep is also part of “it all”.

 

3) Just chasing it all is stressful. and ultimately no one seems completely satisfied with our collective “work-life balance”

 

4) It is unclear whether this unsettled state is a product of our culture, biology, competition between the sexes, cooperation between the sexes, or the unrealistic expectations hoisted on us by each other, advertisers, technology and contemporary society.

 

5) I am sure I am missing something (a lot). I read the story during a sweltering blackout at two in the morning and found myself wondering:

 

a) Has the ability to work remotely made our lives more full and balanced and provided us with unprecedented opportunities to balance our lives? Or the opposite? Everyone seems to be working their asses off when they are not pretending to be fulfilled… not that meaningful work, conquering challenges and purpise-driven living is unfullfilling.

 

b) Is all of this emphasis on capturing an elusive, undiefined thing intended to make us feel inadequate and insecure so we keep working harder and buying more things?

 

I digress. Read the article. Give us your definition of “having it all” or skip the words and go directly to the slideshow by clicking here
Read more: Why Men Still Can’t Have It All – Esquire

 

 

in response to Why Women Still Can’t Have It All – Atlantic

My best definition of having it all: Living a purpose-driven life of one’s own choosing.

But here’s the problem for parents I think: Putting kids at the top of the purpose pyramid means you may only get to choose ONCE, while the childfree can adjust their pupose and pursuits as they grow… Thoughts?

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Am I trying too hard to be the cool Auntie? (Giving gifts to the kids in your Childfree life)

The Production poster for the original Broadwa...

Original Annie on Broadway (Credit: Wikipedia)

UPDATE: For some reason this post got lost in the holiday mail!

I’m too excited to sleep! On Saturday I’m taking my goddaughter to see Annie on Broadway for her 9th birthday. It’s going to be the best birthday ever – just like it was my best Christmas gift ever when I was nine and my parents took me (31 years ago)! I think. I hope.

Am I trying too hard because I don’t have kids of my own? Nope. I just want to be the cool Auntie, like my idol the Savvy Auntie. I want to be the best godmama in the world every time I see my godchildren (four and counting). There is no way that I could sustain this level of pressure 24/7.

Am I forcing my own wants on this little girl that I love to bits? Perhaps. Last year I bought a rare Barbie – because I loved/loooove Barbie! The year before it was art supplies and jewelry and a fancy dress, all things I craved as a kid and still do. No complaints from the recipient so far.

Am I trying to buy love with gifts? Maybe. I had a cool aunt who bought the best gifts and she was my favorite until she had little girl of her own. (Me? Jealous?)

Am I trying to influence this poor child into becoming more like me? Ha! Isn’t that what “real” parents do? (I still want to be my mom when/if I grow up.)

Still, I can’ t help thinking: what if it’s the worst birthday ever and she winds up in therapy because she really wanted to see Mary Poppins on Broadway instead but, no, I MADE her see Annie? Gah! To be continued…

Hey WNKsters what did you get your nieces, nephews, godchildren this year for Christmas/Hanukkah?

UPDATE PART 2: No one cried or died! Hooray! Success. Now how do I top it?

Scary Mommy: Cards For New Moms

Scarey House page 1

Scarey House page 1 (Photo credit: the_toe_stubber)

Wow. This site is truly scary. Scary Mommy gets a TON of traffic and the posts and complaints alone could be used to dramatically increase the frequency of vasectomies. There may not be a need for WNK or preach to the choir childfree sites after all. Maybe we should just provide a single link to these angry moms and let them take the heat? The cards are possibly the least depressing and most amusing part of the otherwise scary….

Cards For New Moms.

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Dads Are Using Their Kids’ Sporting Events to Get Out of Household Chores

“at least dads are doing something to keep kids from mucking up the house with their dirty fingernails and carelessly-brandished Ring-Pops”

OK. Lets agree to save the anthropological discussion about how men are not meant to be domesticated for another post, or another era maybe? In the meantime, perhaps someone can do a study of mens’ dorm rooms, bachelor pads and fraternity houses so we can conclusively report that MEN ARE DISGUSTING! We are the last beings anyone should want to be responsible for disinfecting! Men will give themselves double diarrhea or watch The View (or give themselves double diarrhea by watching The View) in order to avoid cleaning toilets, so “I have to drive to a swim meet while listening to (childfree) Justin Bieber songs” must absolutely be an acceptable excuse to get out of household chores. No?

Those conducting the report, or commenting about it, don’t necessarily think so:

“men aren’t making much progress in taking over some of the less-glamorous housework. “The fathers we studied,” said Kremer-Sadlik, “are finding ways to create a new ideal of fatherhood, but they are not creating a new ideal with their partners.” He added that some fathers even use sporting events as an excuse to get out of doing housework”

via Dads Are Using Their Kids’ Sporting Events to Get Out of Helping with Household Chores.