Monday, May 19, 2014

Response to: Apology to All Stay at Home Moms


Last week, an article went viral (OK, it popped up on my Facebook feed from several people) and while I applauded it at first, I'm now having second thoughts. Scratch that - I'm still applauding it, but I have some additional concerns. Let me explain.

Daddy Fishkins, a stay-at-home dad blogger, wrote an open letter about how hard it is to be a stay-at-home parent. He openly admitted that prior to staying at home, he was guilty of thinking things like "must be nice to sit around and watch TV all day." To prove how difficult it is even on a good day, he broke down a typical day with his kids by the minute. One minute he's trying to get work done, the next someone is on his head. Or his kids are still in their pajamas at 2 p.m. when it's time to walk to the bus stop to pick up their older sibling. And the chores don't get done in a timely manner because frankly, who has time for that? Basically, he's not sitting around watching Judge Judy all day.

And all of us stay-at-home parents applauded him and sent his blog post around the world on a viral mission of enlightenment to better inform our spouses who are probably thinking we sit around watching TV all day.

So, what's my issue you say? My issue is that it took a MAN to legitimize the role of a stay-at-home parent despite the fact that the majority of stay-at-home parents are in fact, women.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Ramblings (coherent thoughts are overrated, right?)

While some would argue that Mother's Day is an opportunity for businesses to cash in on our emotions, I like to think otherwise (does this mean they got to me?). Or rather, I should say that even if that's the case, I don't care. With the chaos of everyday living, it's important that we pause one day out of the year to show our moms some gratitude. And no, I'm not just saying that because I am a mom (or because I saw that viral video from Cardstore.com about it being the toughest job on the planet).

Although I'd be lying if I said my perspective hadn't changed in the past year.

I'm not going to say that "you never understand what it's like to be a mom until you are a mom" because some people might find that offensive. Two years ago, I would've argued that I appreciated my mom just as much as anyone with kids. How dare someone suggest otherwise, right? But once you become a mom yourself, it does make a difference. 

Last year, I was only about three weeks into motherhood when Mother's Day rolled around. And while it was special, I still had no idea what I'd really gotten myself into. I was so sleep deprived you could've told me the Easter bunny was making dinner and I would've said great, make me a plate. A year later, I have a better understanding of what it takes to be a mom and in turn, appreciate mine that much more. 

Because just like I have struggles with E, she had them with me. I look back at myself walking in circles trying to calm a crying baby and know that she experienced it firsthand. I remember the initial frustration I felt with breastfeeding and know I wasn't alone. I think of all the times I held E sleeping in my arms, counting my blessings and know she looked at me the same way. I appreciate how much she did for me - the long nights, the diaper changes, the feedings, helping me learn to walk and talk and sing songs. I know now that it wasn't always easy and she did it anyway and loved me in a way that I didn't fully understand. We share unconditional love between us, but a child's love for a parent is different than a parent's love for a child. I get it now. 

Thirty years after being born, I'm able to relate to my mom in an entirely new way. Going through childbirth and the ups and downs of raising a child - those are experiences that we'll share forever. 

I could ramble on and on and I'm not sure I'd make any more sense than I'm making now (am I making sense? I've read this several times through, but I'm still not sure. Putting how much you love your mom into words is tough). All I know is that I love my mom. I appreciate my mom. And I will forever be grateful that she showed me the way during my first year of motherhood. 

She may be a Mimi now, but she will always be Mom to me.

I love you, mom!

Cheers,
Jen


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Wanna Marry "Harry"


I am no stranger to trashy television. Rock of Love? More than one season. Flavor of Love with Flavor Flav? An unfortunate full series viewership. Marriage Boot Camp on WE TV? Ugh, yes, the whole damn thing. The only layer of scummy television I've yet to tap is the Kardashian trash and I refuse to go that low. Hey, I have standards.

And sitting firmly in the gray area is the new reality series called, I Wanna Marry "Harry." It's Joe Millionaire redone with a "prince." This guy - I seriously don't even know his real name - pretends to be Prince Harry and 12 American women (they would be American) try to date him, fall in love and get engaged in the span of five weeks. Of course, they're whisked away to live in an amazing house with a lovely staff in the UK so you know, it must be real.

Sigh. If this were really Prince Harry, I'd be glued to the screen. Can you imagine? An actual ROYAL on a reality dating show? The queen herself would probably keel over from utter humiliation (and this is a woman that survived him playing naked billiards in Vegas).

But a fake Harry? Eh. I'm also on the fence because I'm both amused AND embarrassed by the 12 women on this show. This guy may look similar to Harry, but anyone who has seen a photograph of him EVER can tell it's not the same guy. Um, and I mentioned the whole royal humiliation thing, right? So what person in their right mind would ever believe this is real? See - it could be amusing and definitely embarrassing.

Obviously these women are a) in it for the title, b) not what I would call real world savvy, c) probably don't understand royal standards and d) not the brightest America has to offer (why do they have to be American? Why?!).

I'm fairly certain in one of the show promos a contestant said she didn't care if it was Prince Harry or Harry Potter. What the what.

Maybe the twist is that they tried out for the show and had no idea it was "Prince Harry?" Maybe they just know it's a "Harry" and that's it? I could cut them a little more slack if that's the case. Somehow I doubt I'll get that lucky.

Ugh, I'll probably have to watch the first episode at least. Damn you, Ryan Seacrest. Side note - this guy has his finger in every pie. Do you remember that in the first season of American Idol he had a co-host named Brian? He quit because it was too hard to watch the criticism from the judges. Big mistake. HUGE (and yes, I am using the Pretty Woman voice there).

Cheers,
Jen

PS - You know that the real Prince Harry is going to watch. How could you not watch? If I had a lookalike doing a reality show, I'd totally watch. So if a royal is watching this trashy show, then maybe it's not so bad if I watch it. I'm in good company, right? What you say? Did you just rationalize watching this trashy television program? Why yes. Yes, I did. You're welcome Fox. I just upped your summer ratings.