In my last blog, I told you that I’d started a new job. I know I owe all of you an update about it, but that’s honestly not what I want to write about today, so you’ll just have to keep waiting for more news about that. Instead, I want to tell you about mom guilt, overcoming it, and then getting hit HARD.
Apologies in advance if this ends up sounding like a bit of a rant. I’m just fed up. I’m tired of people sharing crap on social media without thinking. I’m tired of couch researching moms deciding that debunked documentaries about vaccines are right or that the radiation from phones will disrupt your kid’s brain development. So, the next time someone shares something about how screen time is evil, I figure this blog will serve as a way for me to give a rebuttal without leaving essay-length Facebook comments.
To be clear, I am not saying that ANYONE should consume content all day. We all need multiple stimuli throughout the day, and kids in particular have specific needs to help them develop and grow. You can check out my child development posts to read more about ways that you can help your kid grow, become a genius and generally just be awesome. But some people enjoy unwinding with video or interactive media. And to somehow make gamers, Netflix bingers and Pinterest scrollers into lesser people because of screen time use is irresponsible and untrue.
One of the ways that I make the most of my gym time is listening to audiobooks. It’s how I was able to hit my reading goal last year, and expands my general “reading”. I wouldn’t sit down to read non-fiction time management books, but they’re pretty cool to listen to while lifting weights or pushing myself on the elliptical. Most recently, I listened to Laura Vanderkam’s I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time and it had some really interesting points that have helped to reframe some aspects of my life.
I like the way she uses different women as her case studies. Each person, each family is unique. While there are some common trends or ways of life that can be found across her sample, it was helpful for her to talk about the differences in careers, in families, in locales and more. After listening to the book, I think I might try to keep my own time log and share the results with you all soon. But for now, here are some of the best parts that I got from this book.
I have a list of blog posts I plan to write one day. When ideas pop in my head, I try to write them down. Sometimes I brainstorm blogs to write for the month. Either way, there’s a blog post that has been on my list forever. It was titled “How I potty trained my kid”. In some versions of the proposed title, I combined it with my interest in early childhood development, “How I potty trained my kid, and helped her learn to read” or “Additional skills learned while potty training”. Other times, I thought I could help other moms with titles like “I potty trained my kid and you can too” or “The no-stress way I potty trained my kid”. But the reality is, I hate potty training and it’s awful.
Every kid is different. I say this as a reminder to me and to you. The kid who is an amazing sleeper might refuse to eat anything other than mac and cheese or breadsticks. A great eater might decide not to walk until 18 months. The fabulous running, walking, talking kid might take forever to potty train. In the end, they all get there, but your life as a parent will vary quite a bit depending on which elements end up being a hurdle for your kid.
(Photo credit: Becca Gutierrez with Rusty Metals Photography // @RustyMetalsPhotography)
I’ve written about this question a couple times. First I wondered when we should start thinking about a second baby, and then I went on a whole ramble about second baby questions and concerns. The reality is, that there is no right answer. I know that some people dream of having large families while others never want kids. Some people fall into second pregnancies while others struggle to conceive once. We were going to wait until Harley was three to even have the conversation, but I sorta jumped the gun with Dean, which ended up being a good thing.
I promise I’ll share more with you below, but the main thing that I took away from the conversation and reaching a conclusion about it is realizing how big the topic was becoming in my head. Did I want another baby? If so, when? And what about all the worries and concerns? Even when I was busy with other tasks, I’d find myself thinking about a baby, or not a baby, or the impact it would have on our family, and how much time did I have left, and what impact it would have on my body. Well, now we have a decision, and it feels like a weight has been lifted.