wednesday ramblings

It turns out that since Monday, all three of my companions from the weekend (Bryan, his dad and his stepmom) have been suffering from violent bouts of food poisoning or stomach flu. Bryan has missed two days of work and our family members are faring no better back in Florida. So the big question: was I spared? I know there are bigger things going on in the world, but I am crossing my fingers. Someone did offer me a seat on the tube today and I accepted. A small victory all around.

Speaking of this spawn thing… I have been interested for as long as I can remember in the bizarre tension about motherhood and women working outside the home vs. staying at home and all the semantic landmines involved in that discussion. For example: if it’s true what Oprah says that “mothers have the hardest jobs in the world”, does that mean a mom that goes to an office every day has a dual career? If you have a nanny, are you only a part-time mom worker? These are rhetorical questions because they’re just part and parcel of the way women analyze other women’s choices endlessly throughout time until something actually important comes along to think about.

But this week it came back on my mind because this 2007 Washington Post article recently found a resurgence on Facebook. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the “friend” being maligned, but a powerful retort nonetheless.

And then I am reminded of the controversial 2005 New York Times article by the always-discussion worthy Ayelet Waldman in which she said she loved her husband (who happens to be Michael Chabon) more than her four kids. The day her article was printed you could practically hear the sound of one million mothers lowering the volume on the Elmo cartoon so they could better hear the sharpening of their knives. But I am better for reading it.

A friend recently sent me a jokey survey about how one knows they’re ready for mini-me’s. My stomach hurt a little while reading it. I live on a daily dose of delusion right now and when I worry that I am caught too close in the cross-hairs of thousands of baby products and admonitions that my entire being will become a slave to my child- I think wistfully about an article I read once (which I cannot find online for the life of me) about a young couple that strapped their infant into some flowy fabric papoose thing and travelled the world for a year backpacking. It turns out the child did not die, and changing a diaper on top of a mountain is pretty cool. And so there it is- the shocking truth- nomadic herds of people who have babies do not register for Pack N Plays. And I hope you’re sitting down when I tell you this: they do not watch Baby Einstein either.

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6 Comments

Filed under family, health, in utero baby, prego-land

6 responses to “wednesday ramblings

  1. Great post! I went back to work when Phoebe was 3 months old (she’s now 8 years old!) and I’ve never regretted it. I’m expecting twins now and I have no desire to be a SAHM (not that there’s anything wrong with it). I have friends that are and we just both know we have different feelings and situations. I also will say I love my DH fiercely. I can’t say I love anyone in my family more than the other, just differently. I think it’s very important to have “date night” and have quiet time at night with your husband. I don’t want to have the kids leave the house when they are grown and wonder what DH and I do now? We’ll know what to do, wink, wink.

    Wishing you lots of luck with your upcoming child. Make parenthood what you want and not what others think you should have it be.

  2. Here you go, a little levity (hopefully you’ll find it funny and not depressing! It is at the Onion…)
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/this_is_the_happiest_day_of_my
    There’s also some good advice here about maintaining your grown-up life
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/opinion/05coontz.html?_r=1&ref=opinion
    Good luck! 🙂

  3. yael

    Loved your comment Heather. Esp the wink, wink. May we all be so lucky.

    NFAH, I definitely laughed at The Onion, thanks for sending. I wonder which ex-boyfriend I will think about at that same moment…

  4. Lauren

    It’s a little like when Jack Bauer puts his arms around someone’s neck when he doesn’t want to kill them, he just wants to make them pass out for a while. And what does he say? “Don’t fight it. Don’t fight it!”

    Don’t fight it Yael, darling. Own your fate. You went and got yourself knocked up and now you’re a mom. Hold your breath and register for the freakin’ Pack n Play. (Alternatively, when you visit someone’s home, ask them to empty out their underwear drawer so you can stick your kid in it).

    And for goodness sake, why on earth would you want to change a diaper on top of a mountain? What would you do with the diaper once you changed it? You’d be carrying it in your backpack, that’s what. Cause they don’t have trash cans on top of mountains. Then, at some point when your kid is crying (cause he’s sick of being in a papoose), and you’re tired (cause you’ve been traveling around the world with a baby), and you have a poopy diaper in your backpack (so now you smell like shit), you’ll scream. And you and Bryan will get into a huge fight about who had the dumb idea to travel the world with a baby. And you’ll both agree that what you really want to do is go home, turn on a little Baby Einstein, put the kid in front of it, and buy yourselves ten minutes to take a shower.

  5. yael

    All salient points my friend Lauren. And of course I’ll have a Pack N Play. In fact, in a small apartment, it’s likely that’s ALL we’ll have. Tough life, kid.

    I should mention though re diapers on mountains… we are going diaper-free. Haven’t you heard about the new craze of “elimination communication”? http://www.nypost.com/seven/01072007/news/regionalnews/early_toilet_regionalnews_elizabeth_wolff.htm
    This person is related to my former boss so I will withold further comment.

  6. Re: NY Post article

    Ewwwww. From the article: “She added that the results have been incredible. ‘We rarely have a ‘miss,’ she said.”

    But when that miss happens – you don’t wanna be anywhere near it!!

    Oh, and god, I’m such a loser lawyer – I formatted the quote.

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