Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On Choice and Childrearing

Did you see the recent post, Nine Reasons I Regret Being a Stay-at-Home Mom, from Lisa Endlich Heffernan at Grown and Flown? It made the Huffington Post, and the author even did an interview on Fox and Friends.

I didn't read the comments on Huff Po or F&F. I didn't think I could stomach what I am sure were some vitriolic gems from people safe behind the soft "anonymous" glow of their computer screens.

But I did read the post. Because I know Lisa from my former place of employment, where she sits on the Board of Trustees. I know her as brilliant and accomplished (three books! three sons!). She was also a warm, genuine person, easy to work with. Everyone on our management team thought she was great.

Which is why I was surprised when I detected a harsh note of self-criticism in her post. She writes, in her ninth reason for regret:
But far and away my biggest regret about my years at home was that I lowered my sights for myself as I dimmed in my own mind what I thought I was capable of.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just Another Day in Paradise

This morning I took Henry and Hudson* the crazy corgi to Fort Greene Park during off-leash hours. That's before 9 am for those of you not up on New York City's dog-park rules. Or just not up at that time, period.

Rayne is traveling for "business" this week. I put business in quotation marks because he is technically away for work, but he also gets to go out to dinner and drinks with people and sleep wholly undisturbed in a king-sized bed all to himself.

Meanwhile, I'm up at 5:55 am with Henry needing -- absolutely needing with every fiber of his being -- for me to read him The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Immediately. If I don't read it to him, he will spontaneously combust. That's a fact.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Yeah, Well My Kid Didn't Get That Memo

A good friend of mine gave me the book The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia F. Lieberman, Ph.D. when I got pregnant. I trust her judgment, so I started reading it several months ago.

I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of parenting books. I find them contrived and contradictory at best. This book, written in 1993, explains the basis for attachment parenting. While it is interesting and sometimes helpful in explaining tantrums and such, the level of psychobabble is slightly too high for me.

For example, this gem on page 27:
It is generally accepted that girls wish they had a penis and express this wish in many overt and covert ways.
Really? Is that actually still generally accepted?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Introduction to Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders 101: I'm Fat?

Spring 1988, Suburbs of New York

"Girls, raise your hand if you think you are thin," Dr. M said to her seventh-grade science class, or, more accurately, the female half of the class.

Photo credit: sattva
I do not recall what this question had to do with science, what lesson she was trying to impart. I do remember, though, that the class, in the midst of self-loathing puberty, went deadly silent.

I was sitting at a lab table in the second row. I raised my hand without thinking about it too much.

"You?" she said to me incredulous. "You think you're thin?"

I looked around bewildered. No one else was raising her hand. I had made a terrible mistake. I slowly lowered my hand.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blogiversary: 5 Things I Learned In My First Year of Blogging

I launched Urban Moo Cow one year ago today.

I decided to start the blog approximately two days before launching it. (Once I make up my mind....) Not six weeks later, I stumbled, green and clueless, into the BlogHer '12 conference in Times Square.

"Hi!" I chirped with a big goofy smile. "I'm a blogger!"

No, I was not. I did not have the first clue.

Thankfully, Liza Hippler, who is developing a cool new way to organize your blog life called Bloganizer, took pity on me and directed me to the SITS Girls website to learn a little bit about what I was getting myself into.

A year later, I have learned a lot. My husband even conceded that I wear the "interwebs social media" crown in our family. That's a big concession from a computer nerd. (He quickly clarified that he is still family king of the entire interwebs; he's just giving me the social media sliver. Thanks, honey.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Greatest Gift

Today I am over at Kristi's Finding Ninee with a guest post for her Our Land series. The series started with Kristi's poignant and beautiful post called The Land of Empathy and Wonder, in which she describes the world she wishes existed for her maybe-on-the-spectrum-maybe-not young son.

The only thing important in my imagined land is a person’s heart. And his empathy. And his ability to find wonder. To find joy in blowing bubbles on a breezy spring day rather than worrying about a job, a disease, a bill, a blog…

Monday, June 3, 2013

To My Son, I Sound Like a Hyena

I've written before how much Henry covets my phone. The buttons, the flashy lights, the fact that it often has my rapt attention... what's not to love?

I catch him with it sometimes, "talking." He holds it up to his ear and says "Aah?" in a distinctive tone that I know means "Hello?" Then he talks for a few minutes, pausing and laughing as if having a real conversation.

Who knows, maybe he is.