Why I'm raising my sons like daughters

Why I'm raising my sons like daughters

Gloria Steinem recently posted her Christmas wish list. The list is fantastic, but one item really spoke to me as the mom of three boys. 

“I’m glad we’ve begun to raise our daughters more like our sons – but it will never work until we raise our sons more like our daughters.”

The societal expectations placed upon little girls are far from perfect. Women are expected to beautiful and nice and never, ever bossy. However, we’ve come a very, very long way from the 1950’s when getting married and raising a family were the only real life goals presented to women.

I was raised to believe I could be whatever I wanted. I was praised for having big dreams in the traditionally male-dominated worlds of law and politics. 

The same is not true of little boys today.

5 Lessons from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Several months ago, my dear friend Annie texted me pictures of her neatly organized drawers and told me to stop what I was doing and read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

When Annie says, “Read this book. Do it now.” I do it.

I have been battling with my stuff for a long time. A few years back I announced a massive project in which I was going to declutter and inventory my entire house. Never happened. I tried going room by room and intensely declutter. Never happened. 

I would walk around my house and feel like the piles of stuff were mocking me. I would spend weekends purging and organizing but never feeling like I got anywhere.

I was exactly what I didn’t want to be. I was a stuff manager

The problem was I thought I already knew everything there was to know about organizing. What could Marie Kondo possibly teach me?

Turns out. A LOT.

Stop trolling my tragedy

Last year, my family experienced a tragedy. At 20 weeks pregnant, I found out the baby I was carrying was no longer alive. It was an incredibly difficult time made easier by family and friends - and even strangers - who reached out and said they understood or they couldn’t understand but that they loved us and were there for us just for the same.

This post is not about those people. 

This post is about the people who wanted to seem thoughtful or sympathetic or supportive but who were actually there for themselves - not me or my family.

I call those people tragedy trolls.

Felix's Birth Story

The word STORY seems a bit of a stretch for something that took less than two hours but nothing about this child's arrival fit the mold so we'll just go with it. 

Let's begin at the beginning. Both of my other births began in the morning after a nice full night's rest. Not this one! I woke up around 12:35 am with a hard belly. I thought maybe I just had to pee but knew it was odd because I almost never have Braxton Hicks contractions in the middle of the night. On the walk back from the bathroom, I realized the hard belly was accompanied by the slightest bit of cramping. 

So, I laid down and waited to see if I would have another one. Sure enough, a few minutes later the hard belly made another appearance - this time with WAY more cramping. I decided to download a contraction counter app and call my midwife. 

"I can't get out of my driveway," she replied when I told her I was in labor. 

Why I went back to a cheater

My first love cheated on me. Repeatedly.

And I went back to him. Repeatedly.

He was my first real boyfriend and had followed me from high school to college. (Mind you, he did not attend the college - just moved to the same town.) I was head over heels in love with him, as only a teenager can be. I truly believed I was going to marry him. Then, I found a love note in his apartment from a sorority sister — not just any sorority sister but a close friend who had taken me under her wing and showered me with affection.

It is a betrayal that still stings eleven years later.

Ashley Martin and "Picture Perfect Births"

Home birth is back in the news. In early December, the British health service released new statistics on the use of midwives at home and in birthing centers. Based on these findings, they concluded healthy women were safer delivering with a midwife at home or in a birthing center than in a hospital. These findings prompted the New York Times Editorial Board to officially recommend a more welcoming approach to midwifery and home births here in the United States

On one of her recent shows highlighting these findings, Diane Rehm noted that there seemed to be consensus among her guests and the medical community - midwives offer a better standard of care and real lessons for the medical community on how the patient experience. 

Unfortunately, despite the growing evidence that midwives and home births can be a safe options for mothers, my most recent discussions involving home birth have centered around a viral post on PopSugar entitled "What A Home Birth Is Like: My True Feelings Regarding My Home Birth Experience" by Ashley Martin. 

My Memories of December 1st, 1997

I was 16-years-old, a junior at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. Born and raised in the small Western Kentucky town, I was the fourth generation of my family to attend Heath. My great-grandparents had skipped out on a basketball game to ride the ferry across the river and get married in Illinois. My great-aunt had been the home economics teacher for years. My mother had been the prom queen.

It was a cold, gray December day, the first after Thanksgiving break in 1997. Not owning a license yet, I rode to school with my friend Beth and her dad. I remember I was wearing my brand new blue fleece from the Gap that my stepdad had given me as a reward for getting all A's that semester.

We were running late, but as we circled the parking lot, I noticed a large group of students standing outside the gym -- mostly upperclassmen, including a boy I had a crush on. One of our classmates ran up to Beth's car and pounded on the window.

"Some guy just started shooting people!" he yelled. 

The Best Advice for visiting the Magic Kingdom with Small Kids

Here are the lessons we learned from our first visit to Disney World's Magic Kingdom with a 5-year-old and 3-year-old!

We've just returned from our first family trip to Disney World and we had a blast! After months of planning, I have to say our day at the Magic Kingdom was indeed magical and I'm here to share all our tips, tricks, and advice.