Thursday, March 26, 2015

everyone gather round the internet round-up.

what type of sense of humor do you have? i got "witty."

slouching towards bethlehem the sex talk: one father's thoughts on teaching sexuality to his girls.

an old essay from the new yorker. it's by lena dunham, so therefore it's full of a) frank discussion of stereotypically uncomfortable topics, b) observations i wished i'd made & one-liners i wish i'd said, c) swearz, & d) immensely readable thoughts.

two beautiful, amazing, inspiring, fantastic projects HERE, & HERE. (photo below from that first link)

a peek at a day in the life of a venture capitalist & mother of two. granted, it's a day in her life from five years ago, but i found a lot of what she said really sensible, & it's motivated me to want to make my days more productive & effective.

do you watch girls? i have a few more episodes to watch from this season before i'm all caught up. here's an article on how to dress like the girls of girls.

"feminist tinder."

okay everyone, real talk: i absolutely love, love staying at home doing the *mom* thing with norah. it is incredibly challenging, fulfilling, & joyful. i'm obsessed. but, only 2.5 months into this lovely gig & i already have to fight feeling like i'm totally lazy when i'm still in bed feeding norah, or catching up on some sleep, while ben does the morning hustle of preparation to get out the door & onto campus for his full day of work. i know it's not being lazy, this caring for our tiny beautiful norah eliot that i do, but it's hard for me, sometimes, to not feel like i've taken the lazy way out by staying home with her & not continuing my education or work opportunities. i think a lot of it is my personality; i'm restless by nature, always looking for the next project to undertake, the next book to read, the next race to run, the next...whatever. i look at the life of a SAHM &...sometimes there's just a slow, seeping, quiet feeling of dread that comes over me. i want to look forward to it, & i do. but also, knowing myself, i know that i might not love it. i'm sorry to say it, folks, but it's true. all of this to say, this post perfectly captures a lot of the severely complicated feelings i have about stay-at-home motherhood. it's really worth a read. here's a bit of it:

Recently, as I’ve talked more about my struggles of being at home with the kids, I realize I’m not alone. I look around, and see many of my friends, who’ve also chosen to stay at home with their kids, feeling overwhelmed, depressed and isolated the way I do. Many have started trying to find little jobs and activities they can do on the side, in order to maintain sanity. The stories are a little different for each stay-at-home mother I’ve talked to. What seems to be common though, for mothers who’ve been at home a few years is that no one I know seems perfectly happy just being at home as a parent day in day out. Everyone seems to have to work pretty darn hard to not feel like they’re drowning in some dark hole. And if they are no longer in that dark place, it seems like they have been at some point at least...
But it bothers me that [my husband & I are] still in this position to begin with. We’ve never considered anything else. We always figured the best and right thing to do for us, would be that my husband gets his career going to provide, and that I’ll be at home. Now we’re finding that path doesn’t really make us happy, and we both wished we would have considered our future family set up with more ideas in mind in order to find a path that really fit our needs and wants. The current set-up is simply not balanced, and slowly drives me insane being with little kids constantly, while it leaves my husband feeling like he’s missing out on so much with his children – and both of us feel like we can’t do much to improve the situation of the other.
...on a lighter note, seven questions you were too embarrassed to ask about zayn leaving one direction.

my friend told me about this app recently. it's intense! also, check out the reviews.

this movie is playing at a tiny theater near us. i'm planning on seeing it!

"when your child speaks a language you don't."

& finally, do you suffer from pop culture exhaustion? one xojane writer says (careful, there's a bit of the swearz coming up):

"I mean, it’s every damn day — a new John Oliver thing, or a new Jimmy Fallon thing, or President Obama on a talk show, or some guy director doing a nifty thing with this movie, or this band based on Foucault or some shit, or this reality show, or a book by a white dude about a white dude but the white dude who’s recommending it swears that it’s really unique, or this trending news piece about some horrible person, or a woman writing a thinkpiece about feminism, or Bill Cosby, and oh, by the way, I’m also out of the loop for not yet understanding ISIS/ISIL and Boko Haram, on top of everything else."


  1. It's such a hard transition out of the ultra-standardized, scheduled, consolidated, industrialized model of time that we've been trained in since the age of five. (Have you ever read Dickens' _Hard Times_? It captures this model perfectly and hilariously.) Babies are the ultimate hippies, counter-cultural drop-outs from the modern rat race, and they force their caregivers along with them, for better or for worse! I was reading a bunch of marxist literary criticism when Elena was born, and it was so fascinating to read accounts of industrialized Europeans encountering non-industrial native peoples, whose concept of time was so foreign that Europeans could only understand them as "lazy" or "idle," when really they simply operated on a different notion of time and productivity -- cyclical, rhythm-based, and sufficiency- rather than accumulation-oriented. I think in some ways our minds are colonized by modern time, so then we internalize and beat ourselves up with these notions of laziness when we are forced to step out of that model by illness, baby, choice, etc. In the blink of an eye, Norah will be in school and you'll be back on the modern time treadmill!

    Every mother needs her own form of continued learning, growth, and expertise. I know you and Benjamin and Norah will figure it out. Can't wait to see the wonderful things you three will do!

    1. It's been a while since I read Hard Times! I read it at BYU & now the only thing I can remember is really liking Sissy :) Also, I never thought of that before & it's totally true - babies are totally hippies! They don't heed anyone's schedule but their own & definitely take their caretakers along with them. This baby girl has changed lots of aspects of my life (*MOST* things), & even though I went into motherhood EXPECTING that, it seems to have altered things even more than I thought. It really is such a hard transition out of the rigorous, scheduled life I have known & like to live...I feel like I am at my best when I have places to be, responsibilities to follow through on, & people who rely on me. Of course it can be said that now I have a little someone who COMPLETELY relies on me for EVERYTHING. & there is something to that, for sure; it adds a whole new important significance to my life, having someone so reliant on me. Patience will be important, as you say, as will making it a priority to figure out how to continue to grow, learn, & progress in a house full of kids. If I can ever forget the pain of this last labor to brave getting pregnant again...I'm *mostly* kidding :)

  2. I relate entirely to what you are saying about being a SAHM. For me it was a little different, having twins first, since I never quite felt like it was the "lazy" way out. :-) And I was working from home. But later, when Ben was working and I had quit my job and was at home with the three kids just going to the zoo or the library or play groups, etc., I felt the same kind of angst. I felt kind of indulgent and lazy, while at the same time completely overwhelmed with the relentlessness of parenting small children. I tried to have a small photography business at the same time, just to have another direction for my mind to go. Parenting small children is hard. It is SO much FUN, and SO FRUSTRATING, and SO much WORK that gets undone before your eyes, it's just a big bundle of contradictory emotions all the time. I am amazed at the mothers that do it all so gracefully. I'm sure I didn't.
    I was raised with such strong achievement and goal-oriented values, that the transition into mothering small children, when I felt like my efforts to achieve even the simplest of goals were futile and that these goals (laundry, cleaning, showering) were pretty meaningless anyway, wasn't easy. Once my kids were school-aged, though, things changed. I now had a "work-product," my children's education and enrichment (especially since we homeschool), and I had specific goals and a plan of action, and it fit my personality instincts much better, I think. Of course, thinking of anything to do with your kids as your "work product" has its own set of problems, but I definitely haven't struggled with feeling like being a SAHM has been lazy or indulgent or unproductive or boring. Quite the opposite.
    You will find your way, but know you are not alone in feeling the way you do, and it doesn’t mean at all that you won’t be a good mom or that you won’t actually LOVE being a SAHM, if that is what you do. Parenting children constantly changes as your kids grow. So the way things seem NOW won’t be the way they are in 3 years, which won’t be the way they are 2 years after that or 5 years after that, etc., etc. Try not to extrapolate your mothering experience now into the foreseeable future, because things will shift a lot as your children grow and the challenges change.

    1. That's a really good way to think of it, Gabrielle - to be present in what's happening with my child NOW instead of dreading a future that will definitely shift & take on a new form by the time I get there. It is something I struggle with, though: it takes great effort to achieve even simple goals, & those goals are things like showering, washing dishes, & other tasks that don't have TOO much import in the grand scheme of things anyway. At least it's good to know I'm not the only one who feels & has felt this way :)



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