Thursday, February 17, 2011


The air is filled with that sound. The sound of helicopter parents.

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they carry their kids' backpacks and lunchboxes after school

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they put away their kids' laundry

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they zip up every jacket, button every pair of jeans and tie every shoe

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they micromanage how their children can sit, stand, talk, sing and play

Here's a little friendly advice from your friend Kim: back away from your children. You're not preparing your kids for the real world of immediate, logical consequences and creative problem solving by hovering over them every minute of the day. If you spend 90% of your interaction with your kids telling them what to do and how to do it, why are you surprised when they stop listening? If your significant other or best friend spent all your time together nagging you about the way you exist, when you were just doing your best, you would stop listening, too.

Let's talk about logical consequences a little bit. When your kid is 28, and working, and the boss asks him or her to complete a task, what do you think will happen? Either your kid does it, or not. Boss isn't going to give reminders. Boss isn't going to walk Kid through it. If it's not done on time, Kid will be reprimanded or fired. You can't step in to save Kid at that point. All you can do is raise your kid to understand consequences and the power of his or her choices.

I've been really getting into Love & Logic lately specifically for this reason. Love and Logic is about making your word "gold" instead of "garbage." Request something one time, and pray you don't screw it up by endlessly reminding your progeny (or the kids you nanny, in my case) and see what happens. I'm not nagging anymore, we're all having fun and the best part? It works.

I'm not saying that I don't worry about my kid, or that the littles I watch sometimes don't really get on my nerves. ("Miss Kim, is it snack time? Miss Kim? MISS KIM?"--"What time do you think it is?") But what I am saying is that when I let go of the fear of everything not being perfect, I enjoy spending time with kids more. I fully intend to raise Caroline as a Free-Range Kid. I'd rather teach her that she is able to solve her problems and take care of herself than teacher her that I'm in control.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Epidurals Anonymous

Lately, I've been running across a lot of media that makes me feel like less of a mother. Seriously, stop judging my choices, society. I'm tired of hearing that my child will be stunted because my milk supply disappeared. I'm tired of "natural childbirth this" and "prenatal yoga" that. I'm sick of people acting like your labor experience is only valid if it's "long, arduous and difficult." And I'm especially sick of people acting like they are better mothers because they felt every contraction. It's not right to make your birth or parenting choices because of others' expectation for you. As one commenter on that blog pointed out, "I often feel like there is an implication that any child who isn't born "naturally" is to be pitied, or will suffer irreperable harm." I mean, come on, people! If the baby is happy and healthy, who gives a flying fuck how it got here??

I had an epidural. I was young and scared. Oh, my God, I was so scared. How can I possibly explain what it feels like to go into labor with no coach, no particular doctor, no proud papa and no place to call a home of your own? How can I describe what it was like to get up at 4 a.m., after enduring twelve hours of contractions alone and in the dark, and smell the blood before I even saw it? I. Was. Terrified.

So, yeah. I had an epidural. And it was a great decision for me. I vaguely remember telling my anesthesiologist that I loved him. And when breastfeeding was more painful than labor and I started seeing pieces of my nipple sticking to my nursing bra when I took it off, I let it go. And you know what? I'm a better mom because of it. I was able to bond with my daughter instead of crying every time she needed to eat. I was able to sleep during my labor so I had the energy to push when the time came.

I'm just don't want to be anonymous anymore, so I'm coming out: I had an epidural. And I love my child. Those two aren't mutually exclusive.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sometimes, You Just Can't Save the Dog

This is a thing that I say when you just have to cut your losses: you can't always save the dog. Like right now: I wanted to write a post about the whole you-can't-save-the-dog story, and now Caro is grumpy and so we're going for a walk instead. Scratch that, we're going to find her diaper and put it back on, then we're going for a walk.