snapshot saturday

7 months


what happened to the 50's wife?

I always get quite the response from women when I tell them that I wake up with my husband on work days. The catch is, he wakes up between 3 and 5 a.m. I make him breakfast and lunch- and head back to bed.

mMy husband thought all women did this. He said, “They just don’t make women like they used to.” I barked back, “No, they just don’t make women like your mom.” I remember when we were dating and he told me this was something that he would like in a marriage. I would lay in bed and think “no way.”

Once I began meeting other logger’s wives, I saw this was not something that was lost in the 1950’s. Most of them got up with their husbands, made them breakfast and lunch and sent them on their way.

I knew that the first time I got up with him would be the last time I snoozed all the way through the night until 10 a.m. But it was OK. I wanted to. I saw how hard he worked and felt good about helping him start is day off.

Of course, there have been mornings where I have stayed in bed just to prove a point of independence. But even then, I lay there with guilt listening to him run around. He normally won’t eat breakfast and packs a sad, little lunch.

At our wedding, the officiant read the famous passage from Ephesians 5:22.
                “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…”

And while my husband and I are both Christians and know the true meaning of “submit” – many find it offensive and sexist. After the wedding, all Chris and I heard from my side of the family was “how could he say that.”

Many envision “submitting” as this clan of Stepford Wives: robotic and always saying, “Yes, dear.” Chris and I find it to mean trust.  Trust your husband with decisions and work together in a partnership.

It isn’t that many men miss the 1950’s wife- it is that society has invented a new wife. A wife that is empowered to say, “I’m not your slave!” or “You do it yourself!” Trust me, I have said those things. And women root you on when you say those things. We’ve just become this army against men.

And while I am stubborn and love to prove a point, saying those things does not make me feel good. I think about my husband who never says those things back when I ask him to take out the garbage or cook dinner.

Yes, it is called marriage. In other words, a partnership and union. You are working together, helping each other. And each relationship has its own compromises and recipe.

Sure, the newlywed stage of making him pancakes or eggs and ham at four in the morning has died out. He now gets frozen breakfast sandwiches. But the appreciation is still there.

I don’t feel like a Stepford wife for getting up early with my husband. I feel like a best friend doing something that makes my husband's day better.


dear mom-to-be

Being pregnant is far scarier than being a mom. You look like a whale, are crying all the time, you get no sleep which turns you into a delusional, hormonal mess and well, there is something growing inside of you.

Pick who you want to talk to about labor. Pick the moms that had it pretty easy and don’t listen to the bad stories.

Don’t read all the books and please do not Google everything that could go wrong. I believe there is actually too much information in the world about what to do and what not to do.

Trust me, you won’t get bored. You might get a little stir crazy when they are a newborn because they can’t quite interact with you. By the time they are four, five onto six months, their personality blossoms. Pretty soon they will be doing new things every day, moving around, wanting to play and not wanting to go to sleep.

You’ll feel satisfied. I am a career woman and I love working, but being a mom is even more satisfying. Teaching a dance class, writing freelance, blogging, etc… all those things keep me in check that I can still use my education and work while not relying on day care. I am a mom first.

You’ll still have a life. Be easy going. Let your baby go to grandmas for the weekend or even just for a night so you and your husband can get away or just have a quiet dinner. Or arrange a girl’s night or girl’s weekend and have baby do some bonding with her dad. Just arrange it far in advance and do daily reminders to dad.

Speaking of dad, he is a huge help. But like a lot of men, we have to ask. They can’t just read our minds. Seeing that I was running my days short and not being able to do my hobbies (even if that is just an hour of watching television or catching up on celeb gossip), my husband came up with the brilliant plan that Tuesday’s are my night off. He will come home from work, take the baby, cook, do the dishes and put her to bed. I can do whatever I please whether that is going out to dinner with the ladies or just sitting on the couch.

You’ll never be “ready.” For the women waiting to feel a magical ping in their uterus saying “I’m ready!” Forget about it. You’ll never be ready physically, emotionally or financially. But guess what, it somehow works out.

No, you probably won’t get to sleep in anymore. But it will all come naturally and will definitely get better. Somehow you zombie through newborn stage and before you know it, they are sleeping. Getting only four hours of sleep sounds worse than it is. Moms just adapt to it. You won’t sleep through her cries- you will wake up to every little movement she makes or have instincts that tell you to go check on her.

Being a mom is absolutely the greatest thing. It is exhausting, emotional and expensive, but the wonderful things that it is outweigh those other things. Mom’s like to complain about not getting sleep, their kid throwing tantrums or going to the doctor and waiting three hours (I am one of them), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Be scared. It is totally normal and expected. But like I said before, don’t do anything to make you more freaked out by reading too many books, watching those unrealistic TLC shows or listening to someone that is negative about labor or mommy hood. Earmuff it.


Elephant trumps Tiger in my parenting book

Like many parents, my husband and I had a list of parenting methods we planned to use for raising our children. Things like not coddling them when they get a scratch, making them do their homework before playtime, only allowing a small amount of television per day and making them finish their fruits and vegetables. Pretty basic.

No parent wants her child to be spoiled, rude or uneducated. We want our children to feel loved, motivated to conquer their dreams and know they can succeed in anything they set their minds to.

In the new, controversial memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” Amy Chua lectures on her method — the Chinese method — of raising children. According to the book cover, “This was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures…”

A Yale law professor and the daughter of Chinese immigrant parents, Chua praises her upbringing. She writes that she is bringing up her two daughters in the same way to make them the most successful.

No sleepovers, nothing other than an A, no bathroom breaks until that piano piece is perfect and no choosing your own activities. Only the best is accepted. Chua states that children do not know what is best for them and she would never praise her children for accomplishing something great.

Tiger Mother would eat me alive. She is like the mom on those nature shows — the one that leaves her young to die if they have a gimp and are too slow to keep up with the pack. Chua told a story about how her young daughter made her a birthday card and she handed it back, disgusted. “This isn't good enough,” she said to the girl. (In my family, homemade items made everyone cry.)

I suppose I would be an elephant mother. Nurturing, playful, easygoing and organized. And in the animal world, Elephant Mother can sit on Tiger Mother. I agree with discipline, rules and tough love. Just not to this extent. But more important, when did being the best, the most successful and the wealthiest, become what life is all about?

Childhood is such an important time and escapes so quickly. Many of the most successful adults would love to have their childhood days back with summer camp, sleepovers, riding bikes and treehouses. I know I would. For many of us, these are the fondest memories, and being an adult isn't all it is cracked up to be.

Elephant Mother praises her daughter all the time. I smile and clap every time she eats all her food, takes steps, says a new word or doesn't cry for an extended period of time. Elephant Mother showers her child with encouraging words and hugs, and would never leave her behind if she were slower than the others.

A bitter clash of cultures is right on. There are many methods to parenting and not one of them is the correct one. We can just listen and decide what feels right for us, individually. As for now, I will remain an elephant and you can remain a tiger. I'm just thankful elephants and tigers don't travel in the same pack.

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By the Numbers:
75 percent of mothers agree with discipline and tough love
100 percent of those same mothers would never hand a homemade card back to their child, but tear up at the thoughtfulness
Zero out of 10 ten mothers wish more for their children’s happiness other than wishing for them to be the best or most successful. 
An elephant lifespan is 60-70 years
A tiger lifespan is 15-20 years

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