Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guilt...

It seems like guilt is the name of this game called motherhood. Read this article and you'll see some statistics to support this claim.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pinned

Are all of you obsessed with Pinterest yet? I definitely am. It's changed my life. Facebook can't hold a candle to pinterest, in my opinion.

I was pinning along, and stumbled across this website, which offers tips to help moms take photos of themselves with their kids. Some of them are great tips. Some of them go beyond my very, very amateur photography knowledge. But either way, the tips are based on the idea that women don't like having their picture taken. True? Probably, yes. The author recommends putting on makeup and picking up the house to overcome self-consciousness. But that's only half the problem, as I've mentioned previously. The other half is that many dads are not taking part in capturing and documenting family memories. Many of them don't pick up the flippin camera.

She suggests using a tripod, pre-focusing, and using a remote control to take the shots.


Is this empowering or degrading?

If you're doing this, snaps to you for managing to get in some photos. I know how hard it is! But am I missing something? The photos accompanying the post are only of children with their mothers. Not the whole family. It doesn't take a self-timer, peeps. If you're married or partnered, tell your significant other to PICK UP THE CAMERA. Because it's just a little sad for me to envision you setting the tripod and aperture (whatever that is?) in order to get a photo of yourself when you take so many photos of your partner with your children. In fact, it's painful.

Agreed?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And We Have Initiation!

OMG. It happened. The kiddo did something funny last night (said "sweet" after being proud of peeing on the potty) and the hubs looked at me and said, "I HAVE to write that one down."

I'm so excited! To play off of Neil Armstrong's famous post-walking-on-the-moon quote, this is one small step for men, one giant leap for humankind. It's also one small step for my hubby, one giant leap for our family. I'm so thankful to not be doing all the family documentation alone. I have to admit, I had to remind him to write the memory down, but he gladly asked, "where's the memory card system?"

He's such a good daddy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dust in the Wind


Yesterday, we were on our way back home from a day at my husband's parents' house. We were doing our typical debrief session (do you do that on your way home, too?) and I told my hubby that I observed how his mom is always looking for something to do in order to maintain their home. She rarely sits down to watch television or surf the net. Here what our debrief looked sounded like:

A: Your mom mentioned that she vacuumed and dusted before she came to our house on Tuesday, just because she had a few extra minutes. I wish we were more like that.

B: Yeah, me too.

A: She's so lucky she didn't grow up in the internet generation. She doesn't know all the things she's missing online.

B: That's true [laughter]. I wish we did more of that kind of cleaning on a regular basis, too. We never dust and we rarely vacuum. I've never dusted since moving in to our house.

A: I dust all the time.

B: Oh, you do?

A: Yes.

B: I was wondering why it wasn't more dusty. Thanks for doing that!

We both laughed. At least he's grateful, right?

Friday, September 9, 2011

That's Not a Scrapbook...


We hosted breakfast for some friends the other day, one of them is a freelance writer. She also took this photo of me and my cutie. Since I have few photos of the two of us, I'm trying not to focus on the fact that it may or may not appear that I have a double chin. I don't care, of course, because she captured one of my little dude's sweetest expressions. Pure joy.

We were discussing the topics about which we write. I told the group about the scrapbook Brent and I are making together. He looked at me as if to say, "we are?" But the words he actually uttered, cluelessly, were, "For Thomas?"

Later that day, I said "Why did you act like you didn't know what I was talking about when I said we're making a scrapbook together?" He still didn't know what I was talking about. When I said, "we've been writing down memories and finding photos, remember?" He said, "Oh, that? Oh, I wouldn't call that a scrapbook." I asked, "what would you call it then?" He replied, "it's a memory card system."

Leave it to my hubby to make it sound technological.

Hilarious.

More updates soon on how we're ROCKING our memory card system. Ha!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Power of Motherhood


A friend of mine from high school's mom was famous for her cookies. A Julia Child devotee, she had perfected her cookie baking method timed down not to the minutes they should be baked, but to the seconds. Not surprisingly, their home was a major hub because her kids were super cool and because she made delicious cookies every time people gathered. Can any CHS grads guess this family? The truth is, kids are attracted to hang out in a home that is welcoming, accommodating, and has cool stuff.

This mother made her home a place of comfort and enjoyment for her children and their friends. I'd say my mom successfully did this, too. And I think I've succeeded in doing this for my friends when they are over. It feels good. And once people start praising you for the food you've made, it feels even better.

The role of family nurturer allows women a source of power in their lives. What would our roles and lives look like if all that power was relinquished? The family/home is the one place in which society bestows mothers with a substantial amount of dominance over men. We turn to moms to learn how to to get a stain out of the carpet, how to decorate and organize a home, and how to hold and burp a baby. Remember the lack of leisure time discussed in an earlier post? Including men in more kin work would allow women to indulge in a few more margaritas and pedicures. But would it allow them to still feel powerful in their roles in their relationships, families, and society at large? What is this power worth?

Developmental psychologist, Diane Ehrensaft, advocates for “shared parenting” which involves both parents serving the purpose of what most people think of when they hear the word “mommy,” in terms of comfort and support. According to Ehrensaft, releasing this power in shared parenting can be difficult for mothers. Although doing so would provide mothers with some freedom and then men can enjoy a new connection with their child, it is easier said than done.

If your kids' daddy fulfilled many kin work roles, what would that do to your place in the family? What if he planned your kids' birthday parties? Came up with a theme, created, stuffed, addressed, and sent the invitations, bought and wrapped the presents, made or acquired the cake and food, decorated, wrote all thank you notes (or successfully made the kid do so) with you only having a peripheral role?

I predict two scenarios could ensue:

1. You could LOVE the fact that you had a very small role (like most husbands probably do. Wait. They're too oblivious to know to appreciate it).

OR

2. You could resent the fact that it wasn't done your way. The decorations weren't quite right. The invitations weren't pretty and elaborate enough. The thank you notes didn't sound sincere. You get the gist.

That's because kin work is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt attached to our identities as women and/or mothers. I do feel, however, that the resentment would eventually decrease if all families operated with more male involvement in kin work.

When practicing shared parenting, mothers are then introduced to guilt for not acting as a “real” or potentially “bad” mother. If, for instance, you thought you'd love to have your husband plan and execute the entire birthday party in the scenario above, you might be perceived as an unmotherly mother. Would you mind?

What do you all think? Are you willing to give up some power in order to gain leisure time?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Late Birthday Cards

Welcome ICLWers! I'm thrilled to have you perusing my blog. If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, a good place to start is with this post, which answers some questions about me and why I write this blog. Another important post defines kin work, which is the topic frequently revisited. My hubby and I are also challenging ourselves to a kin work project, in which we'll attempt to do as much kin work together as possible. Follow me and comment away!



Two of my brothers have birthdays in the first week of July. Like a good sister, did I send them each a card? Yes.

Were they on time?

Ha.

No.

I sent them on Saturday. I told one brother on the phone, "Hey, I'm embarrassed to say that you'll be getting your birthday card in the mail this week." He laughs and says, "I haven't thought about my birthday in a long time." Almost two months, to be precise. WHY can't I get it together? There's always something that gets in my way of conducting kin work in the way most women are able. Like....

1. No stamps. And I hate going to the post office. HATE. I was excited to move adjacent to a university because the post office is right next door. This helps me out quite a bit, actually. I'm rarely out of stamps for more than a few days now. Plus, when I do make it over to the post office, I hoard stamps like a chipmunk preparing for winter.

2. No cards. Sometimes I make my own cards. Sometimes I buy cards but then forget where they are. Sometimes I can't decide whether I should buy or make a card for that particular occasion or for that particular person. Or sometimes, I've had to write so many thank you cards to one person that I'm actually repeating the card. You shouldn't repeat cards, right? Those packs of 12 can be bad. Especially when you have some mighty generous folks in your life.

3. Decluttering. In this case, I was tidying before a 4th of July gathering and put the cards in a drawer. They were already stamped and everything! Of course, no one would probably believe me, would they? I swear they were. Note to self: Reclutter after parties. Recluttering sounds fun.

4. Procrastinating. I think I'll do it tomorrow. I think then I'll be more inspired to write a perfect message. Tomorrow turns into next week, which turns into next month, which turns into the month after that.

Bad, bad kin worker. Guilty as charged.

I didn't tell my other brother that his card was on the way. But I did receive a text that said, "Thanks for the great bday card!" I wrote back saying, "Sorry it's so late. Love you!"

He loves me, too, despite my poor kin work skills. I think they've all lowered their expectations of me. Appropriately.

And the hubs still has no clue that a) it was my brothers' birthdays, b) we were going to send cards, and c) the cards were almost two months late.