About five years ago, just after enrolling in graduate school, I read that—for married women—attending graduate school is sometimes the fast road to divorce. Yikes. More than two years after finishing my degree, my husband and I are still together—it's been 22 years now—and the D word was only uttered once, in the pitch of (a stupid) battle.
Six weeks ago, I was cruising through my happily-ever-after in a mid-size SUV. I had one foot planted in soccer mom territory, the other firmly in "I’m still the cool chick I was before I had kids" land. My vehicle reflected this. But five weeks and three days ago came the news that the stork had us on his spring delivery schedule. This is when my husband suggested the mini-van.
Yes. No. In my mothering lexicon, these are each complete sentences and everyone in my house knows it. Sure, I'm all for conversation, dialogue, discussion and open lines of communication. My husband and I like a good game of verbal volleyball, and we'll talk with our kids about almost anything. But I also reserve the right to not discuss, to sometimes employ just one word. Or make that two. No. Or, yes. Sometimes I don’t even explain. That's okay.
Being a sex writer and all, it seems as if I should now feel overprepared for the eventual sex talk with my future children, I'm not. I still wonder: how much do I share, and how much is too much? What if I tell my kids something, and they tell other kids, and I'm then approached by angry parents who feel I'm revealing too much? How do I know if it's too soon to share something with them, or how do I know if I'm waiting too long?
Famed mommy blogger Heather Armstrong—better known as Dooce—recently wrote about the reasons behind the dwindling coverage of her older daughter on her blog. She mentioned that her daughter had been squeamish lately about getting her photo taken, and also wrote that she now asks for her daughter's permission before mentioning her on the blog. It brings to mind questions that have been swirling around the blogosphere for awhile now: Do parenting bloggers compromise their chidren's safety by revealing so much online? Is this type of blogging exploitative? How much is too much, and where should we draw the line?
Next week my wife and I enter the modern world—that rush of jobs, school, daycare and preschool, that buzz of fast mornings and exhausted little kid evenings—for the first time as a couple. Let's put it this way: we just bought our first ever family calendar this week, and it's already full.
Some family stuff is just plain hard. Like now. My mother is 84, lives 2,700 miles away, has been in and out of the hospital due to illness, and is now in a rehabilitation center. I've flown from New Jersey to Nevada to relieve my brother, who lives down the block from her. I'm now navigating conversations with doctors, figuring out what isn't being said and working out what happens next. I'm staying for several weeks and, since I've done this a few times, I know the terrain. I'm not complaining. But I am keenly aware of what such separations and circumstances do to my own family, to my marriage and to me as a mother.
Sara Gilbert (a.k.a. Darlene from Roseanne), is all grown up and co-hosting a new daytime talk show with Sharon Osbourne, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Julie Chen, starting this fall. We're told the panel of six celebrity moms will discuss and debate (to put it ever so politely), issues relating to motherhood and parenting. (Um, and yes, the premise does sound strikingly similar to Barbara Walters' The View.) But back to our point. The show may be about mommyhood, but we all know that whenever a group of women get together, it doesn't take long before men, women, relationships, sex—you know, the good stuff—comes up.
I’m smack in the middle of my 30s and recently married. For some childless women my age, this is tick-tick-tick time. However, while other women may be intimately in touch with their ovulation cycles, I’m in no hurry to have kids now, if ever. My old man and I have talked about it, but we’re both horrified by how much our lives would have to change—not to mention how big a pain in the ass kids are for, oh, say, 18 years.