22 February 2005


She snuggles in, latches on, and munches away. I feel relief. She twists her little hands in my shirt. I hold her close, and wish I never had to let go.

This is a time I will never get back. This is the one time in her life when she needs me for comfort and for food, and it is something that no one else can provide.

I'm going to try and make this time last as long as I can.

The first time, it barely lasted three weeks, as I was fighting against my own ignorance and a baby who, at best, could be called challenging.

The second time, I fought hard to make it work, through tears, hording pain pills to deal with the agony of the early weeks when we were both learning the skills.

The third time, I know all the tricks, from the difference between eating and comfort sucking, where to buy the Lansinoh, that oatmeal and lagers increase milk supply and Sudafed will kill it.

I'm using every trick in the book to make this time last. I know some disagree with breast-feeding, others just don't understand. And few women in the United States make it past six months. I'm determined to make this time last as long as I can, and enjoy as much as I can.

It's my last time with a nursling, and honestly, it rates among the best time I've ever spent with my kids.

16 February 2005

Amen, Sistah!

You want to know what my life is really like?


Go read the current issue of Newsweek, on newsstands now: February 22, 2005. "The Myth of the Perfect Mother" by Judith Warner. It's not on the Web, so you have to actually read paper.

Yes. To every word she says.


As Gen-Xer moms, we are preconditioned to be perfectionists. To try and do it all, and do it all well. After growing up listening to '70s feminists, Betty Freidan, Patricia Ireland and their ilk sold us on the fact that we could do it all, and we drank the Kool-aid.

Here's the deal: We can't. I speak from experience. It is impossible to hold down a full-time, high-powered job, have kids, be super-involved, find great daycare, join the PTA, have dinner on the table, and a perfect house.

Can't be done.

So she calls for radical changes: Tax-subsidies for companies that offer part-time work arrangements. Let money flow back to the middle class, so we don't HAVE to have two-parent working families to make ends meet. Actually put money into the daycare and educational systems, so we don't have to worry about our kids, and enroll them in extra classes after school to make up for the drastic cuts to music, art, and gym to pay for more drill work to meet the idiotic state standards tests.

And I'm a lucky mom: I have a boss who understands parenting, because he's a Gen-X dad. We both burn the candles at both ends, but we make it work. Sort of. As long as no one (especially us) is sick. I have a great husband who tries to pitch in when he can, despite the fact that he works 50- and 60-hour weeks.

Read the article. Then help us poor, tired moms lobby to make some serious societal changes.

11 February 2005

The Little Bird, The Little Bird

That line from "The Crucible" sent my friends and me into hysterics during sophormore honors English back in 1988. But the larger story, the story of witch hunts, both historical, fictional, and in an era when folks were finding Communists under every rock, or in every screenwriter, sparked the tinder that led to me becoming a journalist.

I owe that to Arthur Miller. He died yesterday. He was 89.

I can't wish him well with Marilyn, as I believe she's in Heaven teasing Joltin' Joe, who loved her more. But I can thank Arthur for sparking my will to fight injustice and fear. And to write about it when I can.

Here's his obit from The New York Times:

  • Read the obituary here
  • 09 February 2005

    Pensive mommy

    How is it possible that my boy is nearly 3?

    Just a mere two years ago I was cuddling him on the couch, nursing him, snuggling with him. Every moment I can cuddle them as they are small seems blessed, and they are passing too quickly.

    Now he is up and around, talking in complete sentences. He hardly ever wants to "swuggle" anymore.

    My little baby started rolling over this past weekend. She's started cereal.

    My eight-year-old daughter barely resembles her infancy. Some days that's a blessing, but other days, her approaching teen years seem like a curse.

    This is the last time for the baby firsts for me: I know we're done. To steal a phrase: My quiver is full.

    And while I don't want any more babies, the aging and growing older is stabbing my heart a bit more each day.

    I now know what it means in the Stations of the Cross when they say that "sorrow pierced her heart."

    It's bittersweet, it's painful. It's also what you know they need to do, know where they need to be.

    You can't keep them little forever. Though God knows I'd like to.

    In spiritu humilitatis, et in animo contrito suscipiamur a te, Domine.

    In spirit humble, and in soul contrite
    may we be received to You, Lord.

    07 February 2005

    Impressions in a busy week

    "Rubber Ducky" in full arrangement played by my daughter apparently sounds impressive to other parents attending her school's talent show. So much so that one was stunned when she found out that we've been teaching her in our spare time.

    My son was thrilled to learn that the object of bowling was to knock pins over with a heavy ball. He was in absolute bliss the entire time we played at the local alley.

    My littlest daughter can sleep eight hours solid if she wants to sleep for eight hours.

    Even a nearly three-year-old boy can need some serious snuggle time during the Super Bowl.

    Being asked to dance by my son was the highlight of my weekend. Even if it was to Sir Paul McCartney's performance during halftime on Sunday night.

    01 February 2005

    Overbooked, over guilt

    So, I've managed to cram my week with not just meetings, but also mommy-guilt make up time.

    As in:

    * Extra nursing sessions to help accomodate the child with a growth spurt and the daycare workers who don't know how to cope with a breastfed child.

    * Going to child's talent show on the one evening I don't have much of anything going on, after a full day of back-to-back meetings.

    * Delivering snacks to my daughter's Girl Scout troop on Friday afternoon, even though I really don't have time on my lunch hour to get the snacks (see above for why).

    * Delivering a home-cooked meal to one of my Moms Club folks, because she just had a baby. And they did it for me back in September. Payback is hell.

    * Trying to fill in for overworked husband on the parenting end, so he can have some semblance of free time this week.

    * Finishing gigantic project at work that was neglected for weeks because of ill children taking up my work time.

    Why do I do this to myself? I know superparents don't exist.

    But in one quick bound off a tall building, I leap into parenting duties and work without fear of speeding bullets (or deadlines).