Before I had kids, I was so quick to judge. When I would see a child running around the front yard wearing nothing but a diaper in the middle of May, I would scowl. Toy guns were trashy and unacceptable and lawns were meant to be lush and pristine. I would never be the one with the dirty kids and cluttered house, I vowed. I'll be the classy one whose child is always properly clad, grass is well manicured, and house is neat and tidy.
At some point in the next three to four weeks, I will be giving birth to mine and my husband’s first child. As the big day approaches, and while I waddle around in public, I get the inevitable question: "Are you nervous?" The truth is, not a single bit. And why should I be? I am completely educated and prepared, and I trust that my body knows just what to do. After all, this baby kept on growing inside me with very little effort on my part. I believe that it also will handle most of what needs to happen in order for her to move on out. I said, most.
“You’ll never sleep again.” “You have no idea how tired you’ll be.” “Forget sex.” Expecting a baby? You’ve heard it all before. As a recent Wall Street Journal article put it, babies are “So Cute, So Hard on a Marriage.” According to the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, about two-thirds of
The world outside shifts quickly when you're at home. It starts to feel too big; there's too much you need to protect your children from in it. But the truth is that the world outside isn't too big; it’s that when you let a part of yourself go—like your career—your world becomes smaller. And without balance, you lose perspective, a sense of proportion.
Children inevitably go through periods of wanting to be with one parent more than the other. This can be trying for both parents. One feels neglected while the other dreams of peeing in peace. David is jealous that Alex always wants to be with me, while I envy his ability to go places alone. While this is natural, it's difficult for us to navigate the waters of childhood favoritism.
When we're sick, we struggle with how to manage childcare. Debates over who is more sick or who is more in need of rest more rage between us. When you're sick and also have to care for a baby, how do you manage to get well and keep your child safe without ending your marriage?
One morning in November 2009, I woke up after yet another drunken fight and told my husband I wanted to get help. He left anyway. It took me months to get my issues with drinking under control, and a lot of work to reconnect with my husband as "sober me." Though this was the greatest struggle of my life thus far, I’m forever thankful that it all went down exactly when it did.
The kids of the Millennial Generation are far more keen on the titles of Mom and Dad than Husband and Wife. According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of Millennials cited being a good parent as "one of the most important things in life." Only 30 percent thought the same about having a successful marriage—a glaring 22 percent gap among the 18-to-29-year-old set.
We're currently living on the edge of a new pregnancy, and the tension this involves has us virtually climbing the walls. Our relaxation solution? Plan an adults-only trip for our five-year anniversary. We're thrilled at the prospect of having some time together, but just planning this trip around work, childcare and our finances is eventful in itself. Parenting really is, and always will be, living on the edge of chaos.
Letting my son cry it out has not been the main issue in our house. Instead, convincing his father that sleep training works has been an epic battle. Sleep training impacted our marriage, and my job, in ways that no sleep training guide prepared me for. Some light needs to be shed on the conversations that happen in the parents' bedroom while the baby cries.
Life changes when you add kids to the mix. Sounds like a bulletin from the Department of the Obvious, I know, but you never really appreciate how true it is until you have actually have one around. Since becoming a step-mom, I have discovered a million little ways that my life is different, as well as a few big ways.
I wasn't sure how David would fare being so close to my family. He assured me it would be fine. I suspected that all he really wanted was to own hardwood floors. He had found us a house a mere four minutes from my parents' home that I wasn't thrilled with it but, ultimately, he convinced me that moving there would be best for both my nuclear and extended family.
Everyone tells you how important it is to stay connected to your spouse once you have a child. What they don't tell you is how hard that is to do, since all you really want do on a night off is sleep. A recent haphazard date night my husband and I had highlights this conundrum well.
This month, I'm taking my first vacation alone since I got married. The primary emotion related to this should be excitement. Instead, I'm struggling with leaving my husband, leaving my baby and leaving my husband alone with the baby. When did a little "me" time start to seem so selfish? More importantly, how will I know what my husband is feeding our son?
I recognize that parenthood is a journey filled with responsibility and challenges far greater than political quibbling. I also realize, that in the end, the political choices of our child are not up to us, but up to that squirming little fetus, who is currently making me puke and want to eat jars and jars of caramel ice cream topping. And yet, I am worried about what we will teach our child about conflict and resolution though our political wranglings. Will our child grow up to be polarized? Afraid of confrontation? Apathetic? Or will our child learn to build consensus and disagree with respect and love?
We went hang gliding together; surely we're ready for kids. When I was young and channel-surfing, I happened to catch the tail end of "The Boy Who Could Fly." Your typical dreams-do-come-true '80s movie, it revolves around the life of an autistic boy who has a fascination with flight. In short: he believes he can fly. Of course, after seeing this movie, I wished more that anything else that I could fly, too. Well, consider my bucket list complete.