Tag Archives: motherhood

To Lean Or Not To Lean?

19 Mar

Last week I received my pre-ordered copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s controversial new book Lean In, and I gobbled it down in just a few days.  I’d been reading a lot of the reviews and hearing a lot of press (including, annoyingly, discussions on shows like Bill Maher where it was obvious none of the panelists had read the book), and I was very curious to read it for myself and make up my own mind.

I could write many posts just on this one book (and I may eventually do so), but what’s on my mind today is the notion of when to lean in and when to lean back.  Sandberg points out, I think accurately, that men are generally more likely to be confident and to “sit at the table,” faking it till they make it.  I’ve certainly witnessed this phenomenon amongst friends and colleagues.  But what I think is also true is that men are more comfortable saying no to certain opportunities or responsibilities — in other words, leaning back — when they don’t feel that it will serve their present needs or schedule.  Sandberg talks about burnout, and I think saying no is a key aspect of preventing burnout:  the ability to trim the fat and avoid those activities that are unnecessary or unproductive.  

I have almost always “leaned in” at work.  But because I have an extremely hard time saying no (guilt isn’t new to me as a mother after all), I find myself sometimes just trying valiantly to keep my head above water.  I’m not talking about things that are part and parcel of the job: as a lawyer (and a relatively junior lawyer at that), I obviously work on any cases to which I am assigned and try to provide the best possible service to the clients.  I’m talking about all the extras: committees at work, charitable organizations, networking groups.  Some of these things energize and excite me, and allow me to meet interesting people and support worthy causes.  But some of these things, admittedly, become just another item on an overlong “to-do” list.  

Recently an article has been circulating about never saying “yes,” only ever saying “hell yeah!” or “no.”  Critics of this philosophy point out that some people don’t have the option to say no — for example, if you need to work three jobs to make ends meet, you are hardly going to turn down opportunities.  But for a discussion about trimming the “extras,” I think this philosophy is basically a good one.

When I was growing up, my mother was always very committed to her work, whether she was teaching elementary school, later being a professor, or doing consulting and workshops in schools.  Before retiring last year, she was also often overcommitted.  Some of the things she did so clearly brought her immense joy and satisfaction, and so she didn’t mind her plate being so full.  But with others, I knew they were more of a burden than a pleasure.  I often lectured her about scaling back and learning to say no to people.

It’s only recently that I’ve realized how similar I am in that respect.  But whereas before my daughter was born, I was resigned to continuing with all these various activities, I am now forcing myself to take a hard look to see if there is any fat I can trim.  Once I go back to work, I will have very little time to spend with her, and I know I will be resentful if too much of that time is spent on additional meetings or conference calls.  The difficult part is trying to figure out which things may be helpful to my career advancement (even if not terribly exciting in the short term) and which are not.  I previously operated under the premise that if someone offers me an opportunity of any kind, I should grasp it, because it will wind up being helpful in some fashion at some point down the line.  That may be true in the long term, but I know I need to think more critically about what I want my life to look like in the present.

Among professionals and new mothers alike, there seems to be a cult of sleeplessness, of bragging about how much can be accomplished on minimal sleep.  But I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m exhausted, and that I don’t want to be indefinitely.  For that reason, I’m committed to getting my head permanently above water so that I can really swim.

Not A Newborn Anymore

18 Mar

It happened.  I blinked my eyes and suddenly my tiny newborn isn’t tiny or a newborn anymore.  

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Newborn Lucy and Hubs

Lucy is four months old now.  Multiple friends have had babies in the meantime, and they have taken over the newborn title.  Lucy is rolling over, babbling, grasping objects with both hands, laughing out loud, holding her head up strong, and looking into our eyes with what everyone notes is an intense gaze.

 

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And, most recently, on Saturday Lucy moved into her own room to sleep at night.  I totally felt like the last holdout in this regard, at least in my Mommy & Me class.  The other three women had moved their kids to their respective nurseries long ago, leaving me to mutter about how I was “getting to it…”  We had started putting Lucy in her crib for naps a few weeks ago, and had started putting her to bed in the bassinet in our room a couple of hours before we went to sleep, but I just wasn’t there yet.  Though she’s certainly not a newborn anymore, when I hold her and look into her eyes she is so young and so vulnerable.  It was comforting to know that if I woke up and wanted to check on her, all I needed to do was peer down the end of the bed and make sure she was OK.  (Speaking of that, I read an article the other day about how new moms demonstrate signs of OCD, such as repeatedly checking that the baby is breathing. Um, yeah!)  

So I surprised Hubs and myself when I was the one who suggested last week that we should finally make the move.  The bassinet Lucy has been using in our room is a mini version, and at 26 inches long and the 96th percentile for height, Lucy is definitely not mini.  She is also a Houdini and, once she inevitably escapes her double-swaddle (which we need to stop using right about now — shudder), her fingernails would scratch against the mesh sides.  Plus I suspected that Hubs and I were also potentially disrupting her sleep with our noises.  (At least one of us snores.  Out of respect to Hubs — ahem — I won’t mention which one…)  

Hubs was actually hesitant about making the move (with the same “but she’s still so little!” rationale) but he was easily convinced.  I, on the other hand, continued to waffle.  I postponed making the move until the weekend, and then once Saturday night rolled around, I was still hedging: “But I really do love having her in the room with us…”  Finally I decided we just needed to try it.  She was going to outgrow the bassinet sooner rather than later, so either she was going to be sleeping in her crib or else we would have to figure something else out.  We had a ginormous Pack n Play that wound up in the living room because I didn’t realize when I bought it that it would obstruct the path through our bedroom, but moving that to our bedroom and forcing us to squeeze through every time we needed to get in and out of bed was not appealing.

As seems to be the case with most things, Lucy handled this whole thing much less neurotically than me.  We did the bedtime routine like normal, except instead of putting her into the bassinet, we put her into the crib.  She barely fussed, and then she had the best night’s sleep she’d had in days: 7:30 pm to 6:00 am.  Hubs also slept better since we weren’t having to listen so loudly to her every whimper and coo, not to mention her sounds when she flops around like a fish.  (I still can’t make it through a night without waking up multiple times, and I’m still getting up in the middle of the night to pump, so my sleep is another issue.  Baby steps!)  

Also as seems to be the case with most things, this step is simultaneously wonderful and heartbreaking.  Of course we are so blessed that she’s growing and thriving, which is as it should be.  This is the first little step towards her being more independent, which is also as it should be.  But it’s the official end of the era of her sharing our room.  The era of her sleeping on our laps has also mostly ended, sooner than I would have liked.  I know that she is only four months old, and so I should really rein in the thoughts of “Ohmygod, before I know it she’ll be in preschool and then she’ll be dating boys and driving and going off to college and ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod….” And admittedly there are some days where my constant exhaustion gets to me, or the fact that I hardly ever wear makeup anymore, or the fact that by the end of the day my shirt almost always has spit-up on it.   In those moments I think I might be OK fastforwarding to a time when Lucy is more independent and I have more time for me.  

But then I realize that like it or not, the days are whizzing by.  In a month and a half I’ll be back at work, and these days spent with Lucy will begin to fade from memory.  When I think about that, it seems impossible to let this phase go, and I want nothing more than to  press pause.

 

 

Why I Care About Marissa Mayer

5 Mar

I’ve been thinking of writing about this topic ever since word emerged that Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, was abolishing the company policy which previously allowed employees to work remotely.  But I was particularly inspired to do so when I read this post by Sarah Lacy on Pando Daily, admonishing that anyone who disagrees with Ms. Mayer’s decision– which Lacy equates to my decision to eat Chinese food for lunch–should just shut up because Ms. Mayer is busy keeping her head down and trying to run a company, thankyouverymuch.  Lacy previously issued a condescending response to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in which she basically said Slaughter should shut up about women not having it all because Lacy has figured out how to “have it all,” thankyouverymuch.  (The one part of Lacy’s piece I did agree with was that every person has a different definition of “having it all.”)

By the way, what’s with this preoccupation with shutting people up?  Disagreeing with people’s viewpoints is one thing; trying to silence dissenting viewpoints is another.

On the topic of “having it all,” as well as on the topic of Marissa Mayer’s policy edicts, I think Lacy misses the point.  Just because Lacy has figured out — kudos to her — how to create a balance that works for her family doesn’t mean that there aren’t institutional problems.  The fact remains that, as Slaughter discusses at length, the American workplace is generally unfriendly to the realities of family life and child-rearing.  This is not just a woman problem or a feminist issue.  It is a problem that affects us all.

As for Ms. Mayer, I can’t disagree more with Lacy’s suggestion that her decisions don’t matter unless you work at Yahoo!  At this moment in our society, we can either move toward policies that are more progressive and flexible, or away from them.  Companies and their CEOs do not make these policy decisions in a vacuum; they look to other similar institutions to see what’s being done.  Yahoo! may have previously been used as a template for flexible work arrangements, and now, it will likely be touted by those in favor of the traditional emphasis on “face time” to insist that we haven’t moved past needing to be at our cubicles all day, after all.

One thing I can concede is that I don’t work at Yahoo! and I don’t know the realities of the company’s operations.  Perhaps Ms. Mayer’s conclusion that her employees need to be in the office to do their work is well-reasoned based on past performance.  And as Slaughter herself points out, Mayer’s job is first and foremost to save her company, not to concern herself with the cultural zeitgeist.  But there is still no doubt in my mind that how Mayer runs Yahoo! –as well as how other CEOs, men and women, run their companies– will have a broader impact, and for that reason it matters to me.  If you care about how America’s economy and society are structured, it should matter to you, too.

Catching Up

4 Mar

Hello, dear readers!  I know it’s been too long since my last post.  I’ve had lots of thoughts and post ideas percolating in my head, and not enough time/energy to get them down — I was going to say “on paper,” but I guess “on screen” is more accurate!  

Before I dive into my more substantive posts, a quick update on what’s been going on over here at Loving Lucy.  Hubs’ parents visited this weekend and we had a lovely time.  Lucy has been showing off some new skills, including increased comfort with tummy time and an ability to grab onto toys with both hands and move them around.

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We also visited the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, which I found extremely cool.  I admit. though, that I was relieved when Lucy slept through most of the visit.  I found myself preoccupied with whether she’d see something bizarre that would then be burned into her subconscious and give her nightmares for the rest of her life.  (Is that even a thing at this age?  Better safe than sorry, I guess.)

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

And in what is probably the most exciting news for this mama, Lucy has become even more of a champion sleeper.  A couple of weeks ago, at the urging of my Mommy & Me instructors, we initiated a bedtime routine.  Before that, I admit that we hadn’t had much of a routine at all.  When bedtime approached, we went from having Lucy with us in the living room while we watched TV and played with her, to moving her to her bassinet when we were ready to retire to the bedroom and expecting her to go right to sleep.  As a result, her bedtime was late (9:00 or 10:00 pm) and it sometimes took a long time of Lucy whimpering and us retrieving her dropped binky before she’d finally go to sleep.

Now, the routine is bottle, bath (or at least wiping down with warm washcloths), PJs, sometimes more bottle, some snuggling/rocking, and bed.  In the beginning, this entire process could take up to 2 hours (including a lot of screaming and crying), and I was on the verge of giving up and thinking that maybe we were trying to make her bedtime too early.  But now that we are settled in the routine, I am a total convert.  We try to start the routine between 7:00 and 7:30 pm, and she is asleep between 7:30 and 8:30 pm.  Ideally it will eventually be consistently on the earlier side of that time frame (or even earlier), but we are definitely making progress.  Some nights I end up having to rock her to sleep or at least rock her until she calms down enough (despite the top sleep tip from Mommy & Me being “DO NOT ROCK YOUR CHILD TO SLEEP!”) but it only takes 10-15 minutes max.  Plus, while I understand why you don’t want to set a precedent and end up having to rock your 5-year-old to sleep, my feeling is that they are little for such a relatively short period of time, and I want to get my baby snuggles while I can.  I may or may not tell my instructor that part…..shhh.

Anyway, once she is asleep, most nights Lucy is sleeping 10-11 hours straight!  And because she is well-rested and the timing of her sleep is better, she is now putting up much less of a fight at naptime.  This also means she is mostly extremely calm and happy during the day.  (She’s always been a pretty easy baby but a few weeks ago we had several days of her being a  fussy bunny.  That has passed, at least for now!)

Speaking of the little bean, she is waking up from her (2.5 hour!) morning nap now.  More to come this week on the Marissa Mayer controversy, my own struggles re work/life, and my admittedly bad tendency to be a Judgy McJudgerson.  Stay tuned!

The Other F Word

25 Feb

This morning, bright and early, I received the following text message from my friend M. who lives in New York:

Oh what a FUN WEEKEND I had!!!! 🙂 

M. is in the process of getting divorced and she is admittedly devoting herself almost exclusively to the pursuit of pleasure: dating, going to lots of parties, dressing up in wild costumes, taking burlesque dance classes, etc.  I know from her emails from last week that this weekend she attended a huge dance party on a boat, and I saw photos of her decked out in amazing false eyelashes and glittery mask.

Needless to say, M.’s life and my life could scarcely be more different right now.  Her main “down time” to send me long gushy emails is when she’s bored during her day job as a paralegal.  Mine is in the middle of the night when I’m pumping milk for Lucy.  We try to find times to chat on the phone, but I am always tiptoeing around during one naptime or another, and she is always on the go to another event.  We’re lifelong friends, so we are trying hard to navigate our friendship despite not only the many miles that separate us geographically, but the vast differences between our current day-to-day existences.  I’ve known M. since I was seven years old, so I’m sure we’ll figure it out, but it may take some doing.

I admit that whenever I receive these effusive messages from M. (which, these days, is very frequently), I am struck with competing emotions.  On the one hand I am genuinely happy for M. because she really does seem to be doing well and having a grand time.  On the other hand, it always leaves me with a glimmer of doubt:  am I not having enough fun?  When was the last time I sent someone a text message crowing about my uber-FUN (with a capital F) weekend?

Then I think maybe that’s not the correct criterion for my life.  Every day I look at Hubs and Lucy and I am full of love for my family.  Every day I am grateful.  Every day I am content.  We do have fun: Lucy makes us laugh and makes us smile and sends my oxytocin levels through the roof, but it’s still a quieter happiness.  More steady enjoyment, less exclamation points.  When Hubs and I heard Lucy in her bassinet at 2:00 this morning and found her smiling up at us ready to be fed, even my bleary-eyed self could appreciate my happy baby, but still wouldn’t necessarily say it was “fun.”

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In a few minutes I’ll sit down and write M. a long-overdue email.  I’ll tell her how Lucy rolled over for the first time two weeks ago, and started making lots of funny and cute sounds.  I’ll tell her how sweet my mom and dad are with Lucy when they babysit.  I’ll tell her how my favorite part of the day is when Lucy smiles up at me from her crib.  I’ll tell her that Hubs and I have reestablished our date nights and how nice it is to enjoy a good meal and a glass of wine and really focus on each other.  I’ll tell her about seeing several of my best girlfriends this weekend and catching up on each others’ lives.  

I probably won’t use lots of exclamation points or emoticons.  I will stop trying to compare my life to hers.  And I will try to work my way back closer to M. — and to myself — by just being me.

What’s In a Nickname?

22 Feb

I don’t know about the rest of you parents out there, but I was basically obsessed over Lucy’s name before she was born.  We revealed to everyone that we were expecting a girl, but we kept the name (and before we chose it, the short list of names) under lock and key, even from the grandparents.  My very clever mother-in-law even tried to trick me into revealing the name through this text message exchange:

MIL:  Don’t worry, we will be waiting on you, you don’t need to do anything for us.  It’s all about you and the baby!  What was her name again?

Me: Can’t wait for your visit!  Nice try with the name.

MIL:  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I bought or borrowed multiple baby name books and trolled BabyCenter.com daily for new ideas.  Ultimately, the short list included Josephine (Jo or Josie for short), as a nod to my favorite Little Women character.  (By the way, I read that book again recently.  It seems all the religious overtones were lost on me as a non-religious kid.  But I still love it.)  We also thought about the name Lucia (pronounced Loo-SEE-yuh), with Lucy as a nickname, but I was concerned that people would pronounce it “LOO-sha,” as in the Virgin Island.  Ultimately we settled on Lucy Claire, which was Hubs’ favorite and which has a meaning I love (“bright light”).  

During this process, Hubs humored my fixation on names, but he didn’t really understand why I was so preoccupied with it.  (C’mon, what else was I supposed to think about when I was eight months pregnant and trying to sleep half-sitting up on the couch in a ginormous nest of pillows?)  But In my mind, this task of naming had taken on monumental proportions.  After all, it was my first real, decisive act as a parent.  I had followed all the pregnancy food rules fairly strictly, I had taken my prenatal vitamins, I had attended my doctor visits — but what if by choosing the wrong name I charted a disastrous life course for our precious angel?

This week it occurred to me that despite all the deep thought we gave to the name Lucy, we gave little to no thought to the nicknames that we’ve ended up calling her.  When I was pregnant, we called her Bambina (not sure how that one started, but it was definitely Hubs) or just Little One.  Now, we call her Luce or Lucy Lu (which rolls off the tongue with such ease, but unfortunately calls to mind the Asian actress), and I call her Baby Bear.  (Hubs thinks this is strange and “not very feminine” — I guess I started calling her that because if I’m the mama bear then she’s the baby bear?)  

But the most frequently used nickname we have for her is “the little bean,” often shortened just to “the bean.”  (This leads to very strange statements and email exchanges such as “the bean is sleeping” and “feeding the bean.”)  She was indeed a little bean when she was born — 6 lbs. 10 oz.  Now, she’s long and lean — in the 98th percentile for height and the 18th for weight — so I was inclined to start calling her “string bean” until my mom admonished me that she could end up being self-conscious about her height/weight.  I stopped immediately:  I certainly don’t want to give my infant daughter body issues!  (But it’s so dang cute…)

Names are chosen with care, but nicknames often stick and can have an equally big impact.  Now that I have a laundry list of parenting issues to keep me up at night, this one has moved down the list.  Still, whenever I find myself trying out a new nickname, I can’t help but thinking about what Lucy will think about it in five years, ten years, fifteen years (if it lasts that long).  On the other hand, if as a teen she isn’t horrendously embarrassed by everything I do and say it will probably be a minor miracle.

Dear readers, what are your nicknames for your kids and what do your kids think of them?

The Whatever Works Club

21 Feb

Any of you who are mamas or have mama friends know that there are two main, and diametrically opposed, parenting philosophies: attachment parenting (babywearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding) and…actually i don’t know the name of the other philosophy, but it endorses crying it out among other things.  When I was looking for a Mommy & Me group, I specifically avoided one (even though it is located less than a mile from my house and came highly recommended by a friend of mine) because the description was very attachment parent-y.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I am all in favor of parents doing whatever they want to do, and have absolutely nothing against people sleeping with their babies, wearing them 24 hours a day strapped to their bodies, etc.  (I actually wish Lucy liked being worn, but she seems to feel too constrained.  I hope she’ll change her tune when she’s older and we can forego the infant insert.)  I just don’t want people judging me for my choices, and I get the sense that attachment parenting enthusiasts tend to be more judgy than the average mama bear (is that me being judgy about them being judgy?  Ok, now I’m making my head spin).

I love discussing all things mamahood with my dear friend T. because we don’t ascribe to either of these camps and rather share the same general philosophy, which is a hybrid best described as “whatever the hell works for you.”  Yesterday T. sent me this blog post with the comment, “finally a moms’ club we can join!”  The author shares our viewpoint and eloquently describes her club as the “I think I’m doing this ok but I might be wrong, but that’s ok too and maybe you’d like to join me group.”  I loved this paragraph so I’ll just paste in the whole thing:

Whatever happened to just being a middle-of-the-road mom? Can you try to feed your kid organic food, but still let them have a Nutter Butter? Can you insist on bedtime routines, but occasionally let your kids stay up late and or let them sleep in their superhero costumes? When did the rules become so rigid and extreme? I’d like to start a new club called the “I think I’m doing this ok but I might be wrong, but that’s ok too and maybe you’d like to join me group.” We meet every Wednesday night after the kids are asleep. And if you’re late because your kid was on a sugar high and you caved and read her 10 stories instead of two because you didn’t have the strength to argue, that’s ok. We’ll save some wine for you.

A couple of things:  First, I totally want to have a glass of wine with this author, based on this post alone.  Second, I ended up looking up this author’s bio because her tagline says “Lawyer/Mother,” and I thought, “I’m a lawyer / mother!”  It turns out in addition to having her J.D., she also has an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies (which explains why she’s qualified to blog for HuffPo and I’m qualified to blog for my enormous audience of 27 followers — no offense, I love all 27 of you, by the way!).  I have a close friend who also blogs for HuffPo (also one of the most impressive people I know), so I think I will try to find out how one gets that kind of gig.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get my crying child and feed her a bottle of pumped milk.  Don’t judge!

A Voice of A Generation

20 Feb

“I’m the voice of my generation. At least I’m a voice. Of a generation.”  — Hannah Horvath, Girls

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Whenever I watch Girls — which, if you haven’t seen it, is a funny, often shocking, bitingly well-written show on HBO about four twenty-something girls in New York — I have the following three thoughts, not necessarily in this order:

1.  CRINGE!
2.  I am SO glad I’m not in my 20s (especially my early to mid 20s) anymore!  This is one of the rare times when my age, 33, sounds like the perfect age to me.
3.  Wow, Lena Dunham is a damn good writer.

Lena Dunham is incredibly impressive because while the show (and its predecessor, her film Tiny Furniture, which is like Girls‘ unfunny indie cousin) center on characters played by Dunham that are clearly drawn at least in part from Dunham’s life, Dunham herself is obviously a lot more put together (or at least a lot more focused) than her character Hannah.  If Dunham purports to be confused and struggling twenty-something, then she’s a twenty-something with a Golden Globe and a show directed by Judd Apatow – not too shabby.  I can only imagine how amazing it must feel to have someone, especially someone with so much cache, really “get” the appeal of your voice and your point of view and decide to get on board with it.

I laughed aloud watching this week’s episode where one of the characters, Ray, commented that “when people say they want to be writers they just want to eat and masturbate.”  It suddenly occurred to me (hello, Captain Obvious) how many people are aspiring writers.  Especially in L.A., if you go to a coffee shop I guarantee that among the college kids and grad students with their laptops, you will see at least one dude working on his screenplay.  (I was tempted to write, “You can’t swing a cat without hitting an aspiring screenwriter,” but that expression is kind of gross.  Sorry, Noodles.)  And now that blogging is so easy that anyone can figure it out, people can get their worldview and their writing out there instantaneously.  But among all the ordinary “here’s what I did today” writing out there (guilty as charged!), there are some real standouts, and Dunham is definitely one of them.

I think what Dunham does so incredibly well is just what Hannah Horvath says — she really speaks to and encapsulates the experience of a particular generation (or at least a particular white, New York-dwelling subset).  I think I’m on the young end of the prior generation, so I can’t attest to whether Girls is true to life for today’s twenty-somethings (those crazy kids!  Ok, now I sound old), but it certainly comes across that way.  And maybe that’s what I’m aspiring to do as well.  Maybe I won’t be the voice of my generation, but I can be a voice of a generation, right?

While Dunham’s girls are trying to find jobs, boyfriends and generally figure out what to do with their lives, many of the “girls” in my generation have jobs and/or husbands (and in many cases, kids) and now we’re all trying to figure out how in the world to manage our lives.  What kind of job and work schedule do we have?  Do we work full time, part time, flex time, are we stay at home moms?  If we have kids, what do we do for child care?  How do we focus on our marriages and our partners when we are also so focused on our kids?   Not the sexiest,  most glamorous, or most titillating issues in the world, perhaps, and maybe not the stuff good TV is made of, but these definitely the issues that keep me up at night and I know I’m not alone.

Recently I joined a Facebook group of other moms who attended the same women’s college as I did.  The group has grown to a couple hundred women, all of whom attended sometime in the mid-late 90s to the mid-2000s.  People post questions and get a flurry of responses from moms who have been there before — it’s a really awesome resource and I love reading the posts even if Lucy isn’t experiencing a certain issue yet, to sock away the information for future reference.  Last week one woman posted saying that she’s unhappy with her current work/life balance and wanted to know what other peoples’ work arrangements consisted of.  She received about 40 responses from every variation from full-time work to stay at home moms.  I found it so fascinating what a vast difference of opinion there was with respect to the desire to work outside the home or not, even among women who attended the same school at approximately the same time.  One woman admitted that she finds playing with her kids really boring.  Another said that she couldn’t imagine working outside the home and being away from her three small children.  One woman described herself as a “reluctant” stay at home mom who regretted having left academia when her son was born, and another expressed that she wished she could afford to stay home.

But despite all the differences between these women,  absolutely nobody makes judgy or condescending remarks (which, if you’ve ever looked at any online mom resource, you will know is quite a feat).  I’ve written before that one of my biggest pet peeves — at work, with parenting and in life in general — is when women cut each other down instead of supporting each other, so it’s wonderful to know that I can pose questions in this forum and receive nothing but positive encouragement and advice.

I must say…. if this is my generation, I’d be honored to be a voice of it.

Paparazzo

19 Feb

Before Hubs and I met, he took photos as a hobby.  I’m not sure if it’s because he had less free time after we started dating or some other reason, but he has done much less photography over the past 4 years since we met than he used to.

But now, Hubs has found the perfect subject for his photography:  Lucy!  And while I snap photos all day long on my iPhone, Hubs actually has a nice Canon for which he recently purchased a new lens.  In the past 3 months, his photos of Lucy have been getting progressively better, and now some of them look almost professional.

Yesterday I decided to pick up Hubs’ camera and start snapping a few photos.  Hubs commented that there are tons of high-quality shots of me with Lucy, but very few of Hubs, since most of the photos of him to-date were taken with my phone.  So now, I am making a concerted effort to get comfortable with the camera so that Lucy can have great photos with her daddy too.  I took one photography class in my senior year of college and found it to be very difficult — I ended up with nothing but a lot of blurry prints (despite many hours in the darkroom), so lucky for me (and Lucy) Hubs’ camera is still basically a point-and-shoot with autofocus.

Here are my favorite photos of Lucy from yesterday (I got some great ones with Hubs too but I am leaving those out to protect his privacy on the internets):

Hmmmm....

Hmmmm….

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Auntie Love

18 Feb

Lucy has lots of adopted aunties.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an only child, so my close friends have often felt like family.  That being the case, Lucy has no shortage of amazing women to shower her with lots of love, cuddles and gifts!  I think everyday about how blessed we are to have people who love us so much.

Lucy also has a real aunt — Hubs’ sister who lives back East.  This weekend she came out to meet Lucy for the first time.  It was so fun and so heartwarming to see the two of them together.  She even made Lucy laugh for the first time!  It was the best sound in the world.  Hubs and I have been trying in vain to replicate it, but apparently Aunt R is funnier than we are.

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It was a gorgeous weekend in Los Angeles, and we took advantage by going to Santa Monica on Saturday to have lunch and walk near the beach, and yesterday we walked down to our local farmers market.

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Wide awake on the ride to the beach

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Not so awake on the jaunt to the farmers market

Today Hubs doesn’t have to work, and we celebrated by sleeping in (otherwise known as getting up with Lucy at 6:00 then going back to bed till 8:00) and having bagels from our favorite place.  Right now he’s getting a haircut, then I’m going to get a pedicure (I haven’t gotten my nails done since Lucy was born and I’ve actually ripped a hole in a sock with my clawlike toenails.  I know, ew) and go grocery shopping.   I don’t know that I ever would have considered that a terribly exciting day, but I’m loving it now!  Then tonight Hubs and I are having a date night while my parents watch Lucy, which we haven’t done in a few weeks.  I wouldn’t trade my days and nights with Lucy for anything, but I admit it will be nice to take a quick break from focusing on Lucy’s sleep patterns (which are definitely improving slowly but surely, but it can be taxing being the nap police!)  This week if her naps continue to get better I also hope to have time to do some more substantive blogging.  On tap:  an update on my struggles with my oldest friendship, thoughts on work/life balance, and more!