The Universal Mom Conundrum: on daycare, stay-at-home-moms, leaning in, and stepping back

The Universal Mom Conundrum: on daycare, stay-at-home-moms, leaning in, and stepping back

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My son started daycare about 4 months ago. Every time I mention this fact, I feel compelled to immediately clarify that he’s only there part-time, for 3 half-days a week.  Can someone please tell me why this makes me so defensive?  I think subconsciously I’m convinced that the stay-at-home-moms of the world will see enrollment in daycare as a major mom-fail – abandoning my little guy and turning him over to the care of strangers.

But as much as some people might look down on the decision to put children in daycare, there is just as much derision thrown at SAHMs. In casual conversations with someone you’ve just met, one of the very first questions is “What do you do?”  When the answer is “I’m a homemaker,” the response tends to be “Oh!”, stated in an awkward high-pitch as if to overcompensate with forced enthusiasm for the initial reaction of “oh, so you don’t really have a job.”  Even many well-intentioned people  Read more

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If you’re worried about whether you’re a good parent, you probably are one

If you’re worried about whether you’re a good parent, you probably are one

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A Facebook friend recently posted about an incident that happened after dropping her daughter off at school. On her way home she found a one-year-old playing in a busy street without an adult in sight. She called 911 and took the child to her home for safety, and eventually the mother was located and came to pick him up. As she said in her post, unfortunate incidents can certainly happen to anyone, but what concerned her most was that when the mom came to pick up her child, she wasn’t remotely upset, apologetic or appreciative. If anything, she acted mildly annoyed.

The incident was upsetting to be sure, and I can’t help but worry about that little guy who appears to have a mom who is pretty neglectful, or at least alarmingly clueless. But as a parent myself who tends to worry constantly about how every single parenting decision I make will affect my son, it’s weirdly comforting Read more

An Open Letter to the Dad-to-Be

An Open Letter to the Dad-to-Be

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Dear Dad-to-Be,

I know you’ve probably already been bombarded with unsolicited advice, so I’m sorry to throw some more at you.  Even though I’ve only been a parent for 2 years, it feels light-years away from that period when I was eagerly awaiting my son’s arrival.  The little bit of wisdom I’ve picked up seems worth sharing, so here’s some advice from a relatively new mom’s perspective.

First things first – do the stuff on the mama-to-be’s To-Do List.  Yes, I know there’s a list, and yes I know there are things you haven’t done yet.  But here’s some insider information about why it’s so important to her. Almost everything about the baby’s arrival and the reality thereafter feels totally out of control.  This to-do list gives her a feeling of control amidst the chaos.  Everything on the list that she can’t cross out is slowly driving her crazy. So just freakin stop putting it off and Read more