28 January 2010

MoR Reviews Toddler TV!

I’m a bad parent. We are bad parents. We let our toddler watch TV. There. I’ve said it. Feel free to pelt me with granola and pamphlets, but if you do, it’s a safe bet that this article is not for you. It is, instead, a not-so-in-depth review of Toddler Time TV Shows. Yes, today, I am…The Critic. So let’s dive right in!

27 January 2010

Talk About a Moot Point

See yesterday's post.

Today, our long wait for daycare at my place of work ended. It began before A was born and I was assured that though my records would remain on file, I shouldn't call them, they would call us. The waiting list for the Center was...long. (Oh, hello, Understatement of the Year.)

Thus began our new roles, M as the SAHD and myself as the so-called breadwinner.

And suddenly, it's over. A will start full-time daycare in less than a week and a half and M has 90 days to find employment (the Center's policy, otherwise, A gets the boot).

With this huge shift, the shift we'd been talking about and the shift that I thought I was looking forward to in a way, comes a larger than anticipated sense of loss. You see, I've learned that M and A are part of the fabric of this neighborhood now. The butchers at the meat market around the corner see her every day on her walk as she stops to moo at the cows in the window - and they give her a lolli. The women at the drapery shop anticipate the time she'll come by, press her nose against the glass door and wave. The women at the Dunkin' Donuts must watch the clock because when they get there, M's coffee is ready, along with a bag of goodies for A. They lavish her with adoration.

26 January 2010

Moms are Sexist

I asked if I could blog about this experience today because it didn't happen to me, unless "by proxy" counts. I was given the go-ahead by my husband, M, to put this out there for the world (or the tiny slice that reads MoR anyway) to read and I just realized that I am actually...angry. Fortunately, not too angry to write now, but a few hours ago, as I was thinking about what happened to him today, I can safely say I've never chopped shallots or basil more finely in my life.

First, some background. We live in a diverse neighborhood with loads of young children, most of whom we only catch fleeting glimpses of. The parents of the kids A's age don't tend to take their tots outside, no matter what the season, and those who we have encountered have unfortunately not spoken English or wanted to talk. So, A has no local friends. This is, I might note, part of the reason we're trying to pursue day care again this year. She's highly social and would only benefit at this point by being around children her age during the day. But I digress.

M started taking A to the Malden Library's Toddler Story Time and Sing-Along on most Tuesdays, each week. We thought that it would be great to get her out, get him out and maybe everyone involved could meet someone. M isn't a big socializer, but he's opened up a lot in the last year especially (he blames or thanks both myself and A depending on the day), so each time he's gone, I've been disappointed to hear that he wasn't really able to talk to the other parents there.

Today though...he stayed after while A played on with some of the kids and, to my amazement, approached a group of moms about a playgroup being organized. He was telling me this on the phone on my way home from work and finally blurted out, "Moms are sexist!"

He had been turned away from the playgroup because it was a mom's only affair. No boyz allowed.

I was stunned. Well...no, I tell a lie. I was really disappointed. I was disappointed because I suspect it took some doing for him to talk to them to begin with and because A lost out on a potential play date with other kids simply by virtue of her father being her caregiver. I was disappointed because there are 10,002 Mom Cafe type groups in this area, but apparently, local moms need to create more.

As if to reinforce my own thoughts on this subject, A chose tonight to be her Catastrophic Meltdown Over Everything Night. The one person who finally calmed her? Daddy.

Then I cried. I cried because her father is her go-to-guy when she needs comfort, but these women can't believe that men can be that person. I cried because I've had it up to here with the double standard we inflict on ourselves. I cried because it was just one of those nights where I felt totally impotent as a parent and a mother and a wife.

After that, I got angry again. I'd like to channel that anger into something productive though. I'm considering promoting the idea that an all inclusive playgroup, for all stay at home parents and working S/Os should be formed. Meetup.com is OK, but I want something better. Thoughts?

25 January 2010

Turning the Tide in Custody Battles

It's no secret now that the number of working mothers who are considered breadwinners in their households is on the rise, but Working Mother Magazine recently reported another new trend on the upswing: the number of working women losing custody battles to fathers who either work less or not at all.

At first blush, it seems a 1 - 2 punch. First, here we are, working ourselves to the bone to support our families. Many of us work long hours and miss out on time we may rather be spending at home. Then, to top it off, that very fact is increasingly being used against us when the unthinkable happens and our marriages dissolve...with kids in the balance.

22 January 2010

It's Her Story, His Story & Our Story

Whenever we endeavor to start something, we have a vision. We see how it “will” go, play out, and we set about to make that vision unfold outside of our heads, in real life. So it was that I had a vision for this blog and the vision inspired the name. I would write about all aspects of being a mother in the reserve, the wings, the auxiliary – and that also included blogging about being a birth mother, one of my two roles in the adoption triumvirate. On several occasions, I sat down to write about it. Something I saw, something I read, something that triggered a desire to talk, share my opinion, do what it is that a blogger should do.

Each time, I stopped. And chose another topic. I realized that my role as a birth mother to a wonderful young man (now – wow) was only a small part of the story and to take his story, and that of his family, and put it here for all to see was something of a violation of his, and their, privacy.

21 January 2010

The Year of the Rat? Nooo... The Year of the Fruit Bat? Nooo...It's the -

After a much needed hiatus, wherein I took the time to focus on my actual life (as opposed to my electronic life) and also to unwind and regroup, I am back. [cue the lone kazoo] With my return, I bring the fruits of much soul searching to share with you. Are you ready for it? [cue a drumroll, lone kazoo optional]

I am officially declaring this year to be: The Year of the Parent.

Well, duh, you say as you roll your eyes. We’re parents. Every year is our year. Right?


01 January 2010

All Hail 2010 and 2009, GTFO!

I would like to think that I exercised a little holiday restraint this year and did not regale you with 10,002 (ineffective) Ways to De-Stress Your Holidays or Phe’s Secret Recipes to Make Your Holiday Dinner Perfect. I refrained, mostly, from rubbing my relative lack of holiday stress in your faces (after my breakdown and subsequent attitude adjustment that would be titled, I Don’t Care Anymore, F- It) and only shared what I thought was a personal and hopefully amusing post or two about plans and, yes, the Momentous Day Itself.

But, Dear Reader, it’s not over yet. You absolutely cannot escape…

PHE’s AMAZING 2009 REDUX and FLASH FORWARD TO 2010! Muahahahahaaa…er…ha?