Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's finally the day my children have been pining for since, oh, about July. It's Halloween! I'm surprised they even slept last night. Especially since they had seen an episode of "Arthur" on PBS Kids yesterday that apparently featured zombies? And they were too scared to go to bed. Thanks a lot, PBS Kids.

So, what will you be doing today to celebrate Halloween? I will be helping at BOTH my daughters' Halloween parties at school, one after the other, which means that from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, I will be in the company of shrieking, laughing, overly-excited 1st- and 3rd-graders dressed in costumes. I might as well get a cocktail ready for myself for 3:30 p.m. right now! Yes?

I also plan to make my traditional Halloween supper, which is Jack O'Lantern Sloppy Joes. For those of you who still need a quick and very easy idea for dinner tonight, here's what you do. You take a tube of pre-made biscuit dough (Pillsbury makes an all-natural kind called Simple something? Or Simply something? It's in a white package) and flatten each biscuit on a baking sheet so it makes a nice-sized circle. Bake a few minutes or until puffed and golden brown (check directions on package, and improvise). Spread hot sloppy joe filling (I make a meat-free soy-protein version made by Fantastic Foods) on the circles, then top each with a slice of cheddar cheese from which you've trimmed off the corners and into which you've carefully cut small triangle eyes, a nose, and a jack o'lantern mouth (use a paring knife, and don't get too worked up about appearances). See? Easy.

Here are my daughters in their Halloween costumes this year. They dressed up on Sunday to go to a kids' carnival at the college where my husband works. Genevieve is a cat. Julia is the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. These were both their own ideas, and Julia came up with the elements of her costume completely on her own, from hand-me-down velvet jacket to old cardboard top hat from a New Year's party several years ago and handmade paper bow tie.



Could not be any easier. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm not one of those creative, crafty moms who sews or hot-glues elaborate homemade costumes. Our kids' costumes tend to come out of the dress-up stuff in our playroom, at the last minute. This is the first year I've even had to make anything with construction paper and tape (kitty ears), or an old pair of tights stuffed with paper towels (kitty tail). That's about the extent of my Halloween costume-making ability.

Have fun today!

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Update About Random Things You May Not Care About

My new running shoes, with turquoise laces! Aren't they pretty?

Hurricane Sandy is wreaking havoc with half the country, which is a little funny because my mom's name is Sandy. It's all Sandy this, Sandy that, and all I can think of is my mom. But this weather bomb doesn't affect anything where I live--at least, not unless you're planning on traveling east. I'm not, so I'm fine. It's interesting to monitor the happenings from afar, though. Here in southeastern MN, my main weather-related concern is the fact that it suddenly feels like fall. You know, the period of time that precedes WINTER. Shudder.

The other day I suddenly felt the urge to update you, my loyal readers. I don't know why; you may not even care about the things I was thinking deserve an update. But I haven't been a very consistent blogger this autumn, and it occurred to me that maybe you have wondered what happened with my running injury, or that job I applied for a few weeks ago, or book number two, or those 10 lbs. I couldn't stop complaining about all spring and summer. Or maybe not. If not, feel free to leave. I won't be offended. There are, after all, so many more important things going on in the world. But if you like a little mindless diversion, you may want to read on.

So, my pesky hip/glute/IT band running injury is gone. I know I've said this before, so I don't really know how long such good fortune will last. But honestly, after my trail-running fall a couple of months back, it resolved. (I know; weird, right?) I'm back up to my normal mileage, somewhere around 25-27 miles per week (unless I'm sick, which yes, I have been), which is beyond awesome.

I may have mentioned in the past that when I was 28 years old, I developed arthritis in both feet (a hereditary condition in my family). Because of my various joint issues, I will likely always be prone to running injuries beyond my control. I do the best I can, and I'm thrilled when things go well, like they are now.

I never heard back about the job. I guess that means that I'm either grossly overqualified (Ph.D.) or underqualified (have never worked retail). It would have been a fun little job, though. It was a seasonal gig at this super-cute cookware/kitchen boutique on the historic main street of my Norman-Rockwell-ish little town. I LOVE this shop. It's one of my favorite places in town, and given my love of all things cooking and kitchen-related, I think I would have found it a really fun way to earn some cash. But it's OK. And maybe I'll still hear, who knows?

Thank God, I lost the extra 10 (err, ahem, 12 or 13 or 14) lbs. Now don't get me wrong; I know I wasn't overweight with them, they didn't affect my health necessarily, and it wasn't the end of the world. But they were definitely mysterious, a bother, and abnormal to me, because they made all my clothes too tight and were also accompanied by an odd mix of feeling exhausted and sick and achy and just physically not right all the time. Something was definitely going on with my health.

I have this personal theory that I have crazy delicate hormones and odd, super-sensitive brain chemicals. I dragged out my trusty lightbox in late August at the advice of my doctor (I react very strongly to the reduction in daylight in my part of the world in the fall and winter; did you know that the angle of the sunlight starts to change as soon as early August?), bought a pedometer to motivate myself to be more active during the day (this has really helped; I love it and highly recommend it), and fully moved on from some extremely stressful things that happened to me last winter/spring, and the weight fell off like water. Well, if water fell off slowly, at the rate of 1 to 2 lbs. per week. Ha!

Anyway, I can't tell you how much better I feel. Not just because my clothes all fit again, but because I believe that whatever was causing those pesky pounds to take up residence on my body was also making me feel extremely tired, achy, old, and all-around sick-ish--for MONTHS. It felt hormonal/chemical. I don't feel like that at all anymore, and life is good. The body is a mystery. All of this certainly bodes well for menopause, doesn't it? Ha. Ha.

What else? I finally updated my Facebook cover photo, to this lovely shot taken by my dear friend Angel, on the prairie near my home:


Because Mama hula-hooping (my last FB timeline-cover photo) is fun and all, but I needed a new photo up, one that showed sunlight and golden vegetation rather than the gray drear of early spring, which was what the world looked like back when I was learning to hula-hoop and Genevieve took a candid action shot of me doing it.

As for my book, readings and speaking engagements continue. I know! It's amazing. My book came out last February, but is still going strong, and I'm so fortunate to continue finding groups of people who want to hear from me. I have a reading coming up this Friday and another one toward the end of the month, plus one more in the scheduling phase--all in the Twin Cities-south-metro area. Yay!

People ask me all the time if I'm writing book number two yet, or if I'm planning to. Actually, I do have an idea for a second book, but I'm not currently writing one. The truth is, the entire experience of getting a book published, and then marketing it, was more stressful than you could probably ever imagine; it was certainly more stressful than I ever imagined. I will have to think long and hard about whether I feel passionate enough about my next book idea to jump back into those waters. I do enjoy using my career as a psychologist to write books rather than treat clients at this stage of my life. My sister (a freelance editor) wants me to consider self-publishing for the next book, but I'm just not interested in self-publishing. For now I'm musing on my book idea during my long runs; thoroughly enjoying my current life as a stay-at-home mom, school volunteer, blogger, and freelance (when I can find the work) writer; and basically living a relatively stress-free existence--which is good for my hormones, my weight, my blood pressure, and my arthritis. Hurrah!

Finally---I caught double-pinkeye last week, so there's that going on as well. (Boo.)

Whew! You are all caught up now. So much to say. So little time.

Coming soon: my picks for fall must-haves for moms (or an early holiday-gift-idea list, your pick). Stay tuned.

Love you guys!







Ode to Parenthood


I saw the poem above on Facebook yesterday, on the I Love Being a Mom page. It's actually a portion of the text of a board book by Maryann Cusimano. So sweet; I just had to share. It's just how I feel about these two littles:


What would I do without them?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Home Sweet Small-Town Home

photo courtesy Griff Wigley & LocallyGrownNorthfield.org


This is the town I live in. Doesn't it sound incredible?


For a town the size of Northfield (population: 20,000, with nary a single movie theater to be found), the live music activity is impressive, and signs of a cohesive scene are everywhere — from the area’s fertile roots (The Nightcrawlers, The Big Wu, Something Fierce, Gospel Gossip, Casey Wasner, Rogue Valley, Tapes ‘n’ Tapes, Storyhill, Spymob, Afternoon Records, and many more got their start in Northfield dorms, clubs and coffeehouses, including Carleton College’s seminal new music club The Cave), to the current crop...  Throw into the mix a healthy house concert scene; an insatiably curious and well-educated populace; a pipeline of music-mad high schools and colleges...the locally owned and truly independent KYMN-AM; and the lure of Division Street in downtown Northfield...it becomes clear...that Northfield “could be a mini-Olympia, Washington, or Athens, Georgia."
.....
To be sure, something outlaw and Wild Wild Midwest is baked into Northfield itself...  From the sounds of it, the wide-open prairie provides unique inspiration. Similarly, the area seems to be populated by particularly good listeners – nurtured by a studious landscape and spiritual silences.



For the entire article, by renowned music writer Jim Walsh, go here.

Of course, a separate article in the same vein could be written about my town and its writing scene, too. After all, we are the home of Sidewalk Poetry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two Things Going On in the World Right Now

Right now, two mamas I love are going through some hard times. One is a personal friend, and one is a writer who feels like one (to me and maybe to you, too; perhaps you know (of) Glennon Melton, of Momastery?).

One has a hospitalized child; the other has just been told some news that has rocked her marriage, and her entire existence really, to its core.

One of them I can at least cook for and help with her older child; the other I can only think of and pray for. I don't know if you believe in the power of prayer, good vibes, well wishes, or the like, but if you do, you might want to send some loving energy out into the world for these two mamas today. You may not know them personally but I think they'll take your prayers anyway.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Love This.


Fellow Minnesota blogger Jen posted the following poem (sent to her by a friend) on her blog today. I loved it so much I just had to post it here too. You can apply it to just about any trip-ups in life--bad habits, unhealthy relationships, negative coping mechanisms, poor choices. And as a therapist, I just find it so awesome. Read on. (Thanks, Jen.)


Autobiography In Five Chapters

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

Portia Nelson
From: Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Brother-in-Law Promises Me This is Building Up my Future Immunity.

random photo of my daughter reading in a box, because it's cute

Oh my. More strings of days gone by without me writing here. So sorry, friends! Let me tell you. I've been out of town, and I've been sick, and the kids have been on school break. None of which lends itself to regular blogging. However, here I am today. My brain is a mish-mash of unrelated thoughts, however, so humor me as I lump them all in one post today.

On a daily basis--sometimes on an hourly basis, I swear--I give thanks for my job as a stay-at-home mom (yes, even when we're down to our last dollars ten days before the end of the month, like we are now, and when an upcoming freelance writing payment of $43 is looked upon with relief because hey, $43 will help a little bit this week).

That's because when there are young children in the house, the busy-ness never ends (I'm told this continues even when the children are not "young" anymore), and it can get overwhelming and anxiety-provoking to realize and consider all the things crowding around the edges of your days and filling up your calendar. Whenever I start to get anxious about everything there is to do, everything that's coming up, everything that needs my attention, it's a huge relief to be able to remind myself that I have time to do all of it, it's my job to do all of it, I am given TIME to do all of it.

I have so much more time to attend to household/family obligations and needs now that both girls are in school all day than I ever have before. I don't have to squeeze every big and little task into tiny snatches of time and space between each childcare need and kid activity. I don't have to rush and race through every single to-do item because time is so scarce. I have the time. And I have it because, even though both my children are in all-day school, I'm still a stay-at-home mom. THANK GOD.

I'm so happy to see my babes every day when they run off the school bus at 3:30, but in between the morning and afternoon bus, I work and work and work and get all the things done that families need done. Then I can properly enjoy my children from 3:30 until bedtime. It's wonderful.

So I'm broke, but happy. Does that make sense?

On the next completely unrelated note, life is weird. We went up north for school break, and it was cold, rainy, wet, windy, and gray the entire time--from the moment we got in the car to leave until we arrived home. Then the minute we got back from our little trip, it turned sunny and lovely, and today it is slated to be 70 degrees outside. Just in time for me to be horribly sick (read: no running, no outside play for me) and for the kiddos to go back to school. Boo.

cousins playing (crowdedly) inside at grandparents' house, 
because there was no playing outside in that weather

Then there's the fact that, because the cat has not thrown up for many, many months, I finally had our carpets professionally-cleaned last week, to the tune of a hefty invoice that left us broke. Then we went out of town and came back to find....that the cat had thrown up. On the carpet. Of course. 

Also: while up north, I slept on the couch because in the past the guest bed has given me a debilitating pinched nerve in my neck and shoulder. Then we came home and I slept in my own bed and today I woke up with....a pinched nerve in my neck and shoulder. I currently cannot turn my head to the left. I haven't had this malady in at least two years, and it pops up immediately after sleeping on the couch so that the mattress wouldn't give me a pinched nerve? What the?

See? Isn't life weird?

Lastly, on another unrelated note, writer Rita Arens has an interesting piece up on BlogHer today about parenting a gifted child. As a formerly gifted child now parenting two gifted children--including one who is off-the-charts-prodigy-like in her gifted-ness--I found this piece very interesting. Rita includes an excerpt of an article about gifted children that is revelatory to her, and it was to me, too. It describes PERFECTLY my personal experience as a smart person with this particular temperament, as it did for Rita. It reminded me that this is how my daughters are, too, and I had better remember that as I parent them. If you are the parent of a gifted child, were one yourself, or otherwise have contact with gifted children, I recommend you read Rita's column. It's not terribly long, and it's very insightful and helpful.

Blah, blah, blah, right? Sorry for the wandering collection of random information. I'll be back later this week hopefully feeling better, able to turn my head, and with more interesting things to say. In the meantime, happy October Sunday. It's a gorgeous day out there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So, So Worth It.

I had a bit of a crazy day yesterday. I had our carpets professionally cleaned (for the first time since we moved in, uh, almost seven years ago, cringe) so I couldn't walk anywhere in our house and all the furniture was stuffed in odd places. (Note to self: Much like touching up one's highlights, carpet cleaning is always, always worth it, and once you do it, you'll wonder why the hell you didn't do it a LONG time ago. Except, in the case of carpet cleaning, the reason you didn't do it earlier is because you had LITTLE CHILDREN who would have spilled all over the carpets the minute you had them cleaned.)

Then later in the day we had the children's parent-teacher conferences. I won't say much about those other than that my six-year-old's standardized reading score was 202. The average score for children her age is 160. To be frank, considering the fact that she is reading books for 6th graders, that 40-point differential doesn't even seem to adequately illustrate the situation. I feel like her score should be, oh, 500 or so.

I will repeat my usual disclaimer: when I write about these things regarding Genevieve's extreme intelligence, I am not boasting. I am just as incredulous as you are. I do not know what to make of such genius. We had a long talk with her 1st-grade teacher about the journey we are on, parenting such an unusually gifted child--about how we will always have to be re-evaluating her schooling, her needs, resources for families with gifted children, other ways to challenge her. Julia is extremely bright as well--her scores were mad high too, and her teacher just shook her head over the crazy-advanced test scores on Julia's conferences report--but Genevieve is in another realm. She is like a different being. I don't know how or why she was blessed with the brain she has. It will be incredible to see what she does with it in her lifetime.

Anyway, I apologize. You probably don't care one whit about how smart I think my kid is. So, I will direct you to this post by my friend Rita, because it sums up EXACTLY how I feel about my life as a mom right now, too, and she seems more able to write interesting and lovely posts right now than I am. Thanks, Rita.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Elementary-School Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Mom

Yesterday I did the stay-at-home mom thing whole-hog and showed up at my daughters' elementary school's soccer field three separate times to walk laps for the school's annual (fundraiser) Walk-A-Thon. Parents are invited to join their child(ren)'s class(es) at the different grades' own walking times (half an hour a time, which ends up being about four laps, or one mile)--though not that many can/do--many parents have to work, obviously, or have younger babies/toddlers, or other schedule complications--and then there's an all-school, all-family walk at the very end of the school day, when most parents show up.

Two and three years ago, I only had one child in elementary school; I did the classroom walk and the family walk. Last year, Genevieve was in afternoon kindergarten, which meant that her class walked only the family session because they weren't there in the morning for the classroom walks. I did Julia's morning walk and the family walk. This was the first year I had two children in two different morning classrooms. I walked with Genevieve in the first grade, with Julia in the third grade, and with both for the family walk. And let me tell you, if three miles total felt like a lot to ME, imagine what two feels like when you're only 3-1/2 feet tall! I was proud of my little walkers.

Yesterday I also signed up to help with both girls' classroom Halloween parties. That puts me at the 1st-grade party from 11:45 to 1:15, and at the 3rd-grade party from 1:30 to 3:00. You might as well just get the Advil ready for me right now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Retail Therapy

at the lovely Sogn Valley Craft Festival on a really cold day

The other day I read this post on Momastery, and laughed really hard over the part about how the phrase "money can't buy happiness" is inaccurate, and how, in fact, money does a really good job at buying fleeting happiness. Word, Glennon. Target is my mood-improvement destination as well. Well, Target and various websites. A couple of weeks ago the online sales were ridiculous everywhere, and come on, how can you NOT buy a few things when J. Crew Factory runs a 30% off sale? I got some GREAT deals, you all.

I had a stellar online shopping week. Every single item I ordered fit me perfectly. How often does that happen? The shopping gods were looking out for me.

Because shopping does not seem like a worthy enough activity to have kept me from writing regularly over the past week or so, I'll try to come up with a few more things I've been busy with. None of it sounds all that engrossing, but the thing about parenting is that it's really in the details. For example, last week I lost an entire couple of days to problems with this new school bus driver my daughters have. We used to have this wonderful, saintly, cheerful, kind driver who'd had the route for years and years (long before my kids were in school) and who knew everyone by name and did special things like talk to them specifically about their days and give them Rolos on Halloween. This year we have this crabby, odd, unfriendly driver who snaps at the little kids when they can't find an open seat and pulls the bus over repeatedly and tells the children to "shut [their] mouths" and makes them late for school. When you just know it's not the kids, because our old driver never, ever had to do that. And you just think, Listen, if you don't like children, maybe you shouldn't be an elementary school bus driver. You know?

Seems minor, I know; but when you're a parent, these things can eat up entire days, because your kids come home from school in tears and you have to get it out of them, and then you have to talk to other parents, and call the bus company, and watch and wait, and keep an eye on things.

Also, in order to support my online shopping habit (oh, and pay bills), I applied for a job. Just a little, minor, part-time, fun, tiny, non-serious job, one that I'll tell you about if it goes anywhere. But it took me an entire morning to complete the online job application, because apparently in this market of ten million people for every one tiny job (I perhaps exaggerate a small amount), you can ask essay questions and personality assessments for part-time seasonal jobs. (It really did take me a whole morning.)

There is so much more I could say, but I sense your boredom. So I'll just quickly say this, in case you're a grandma who really would like to know what we've been doing. Swimming lessons, leaf piles, autumn arts/craft festival, homemade pie, hike in the woods, self-serve frozen yogurt shop, bike rides, playdates, homework, playground, cooking, school fundraising, planning for upcoming school conferences AND fall break. Whew. Oh, and I did a reading from my book for the parents' group at a local church, which was a grand success with a large turn-out and some book sales, too. Woot! Super fun. (Two more book readings coming up in November, too.)

I'll try really hard to come up with more enthralling material next time. Cheers. Happy shopping!



Friday, October 05, 2012

Fall Fun (In the Picture)

Yesterday fall arrived here. On Wednesday I took the girls on a hike with a group of friends after school, and the kids all wore shorts and t-shirts and ran around and got sweaty. Yesterday after school they asked for hats and mittens.

Despite the change in weather, yesterday was a glorious day. I put the kiddos on the bus and immediately did a 6-mile run in the woods and across the prairie, where the 40 mph wind gusts gave me an extra-hard workout. Afterward, I spent the rest of the day baking and cooking--a blissful thing to do on a blustery, chilly autumn day. I made granola, pumpkin bread, chocolate/white-chocolate chip cookies, and an egg/ham/kale casserole, for dinner.

When the girls came home we went out into the backyard to rake, jump in leaves, and generally embrace the season. And since this piece from Huffington Post Parents has been (justifiably) making the rounds this week (read it; it's very moving), I got in a couple of the pictures--somehow. So, in the spirit of Allison Tate's essay, I leave you with this:



Better than nothing, right? You go and get in the picture too, mamas. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Early Autumn Baking

Just a peek at some of what I've been busy with this autumn:

 Baking, of course.

The pie I made last weekend. I used my famous (at least in my social circle!) rhubarb crumble pie recipe, using late-season rhubarb my dear friend Laura gave me (how nice is Laura?! so nice!), but because I didn't have four cups of it, I also used about 1-1/2 cups frozen (unthawed) blackberries I had sitting in my freezer. (For future reference: I will take any extra rhubarb anyone ever has, ever, at any time. Just keep that in mind if you're one of those lucky souls with an overgrown rhubarb patch.)

I think it's time to re-run this recipe, since I get requests for it all the time. You can substitute other fruits for any or all of the rhubarb, but if you do, you'll have to reduce the sugar quite a bit. For the rhubarb-blackberry version I made last Sunday, I reduced it to 1 generous cup. If you use only sweeter fruit (no rhubarb), I'd halve the recipe's amount, for sure. Click here for the recipe.

Be warned: this pie is dangerously addictive, absolutely delicious, juicy, tart and sweet, and if it's in your fridge (where I recommend you store the leftovers), you may just be tempted to eat it out of the pie plate, with a spoon, in place of your lunch. Not that I've done that. But I've been very, very tempted.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Falling (and Getting Back Up)

So, fall is going really well (other than the fact that Julia thinks 3rd grade is "really boring"). We've had the most spectacular weather--it's been warm and sunny every day, and though we're in the midst of a severe drought and I know I should be upset that it hasn't rained in many weeks, every day that it's sunny, warm, and dry--read: sort of like summer still, only with colored leaves vivid enough to take your breath away--I feel like the luckiest person on earth.

All this warm wonderful weather has meant that I've been running my beloved trails often--soaking up the beautiful scenery of woods and prairie, the sunshine, the brilliant skies, like I'm storing it up for the many long months I'll be snowed out of my countryside trails. (A friend of mine, an avowed road runner who has just recently discovered the joys of the nature preserve where I run, said to me the other day, "I can totally understand why you get depressed every winter! Not only do you no longer have the pool to go to every day, but you can't run on those trails anymore!" Um, yes.)

Ah, but it's autumn. So it's time for this!

cutest candy dish ever

Moving on.

Do you remember how I fell on that trail run a few weeks back? (Side note: I still have bruises! It's been four weeks!) Well, when I resumed running after several days of recovery, I was understandably rather nervous. I kept thinking I was going to trip and fall again--especially as the leaves started to fall and the trails became more covered in debris that can hide the many rocks and roots. So I started running with little baby steps rather than my usual longer stride. I was too scared to do anything but slowly and delicately pick my way down the trail, so I took tiny short steps on purpose.

But a funny thing happened. From the first time I did this, my hip/glute/IT injury calmed right down. I had my first pain-free run in weeks. And ever since, as I've purposely continued to run with a short little stride--slow, yes, but who cares?!--I've been injury-free. What the...? As this has occurred, I have realized that if taking a hard fall on a rocky trail led to the resolution of my hip problem, I am glad I fell. Crazy, right? But true.

As I mused on this strangeness over the past few weeks, it reminded me of something else. Last May, when Genevieve graduated from kindergarten--which meant the end of my time with ANY children home with me during most of the day--I was devastated. I mean, I was proud of and excited for her, but I was SO SAD, too. For the two remaining days of school after her graduation and before summer began (after which I had numerous other distractions, most notably BOTH children at home with me all day, every day!), I cried. A lot. My heart was broken. I even ran with tears in my eyes.

But now, a month into school, I'm realizing that stay-at-home motherhood to two children in school may be the best period of life I've ever had. I seriously love it. And it makes perfect sense: my two favorite activities besides mothering are cooking/baking and running. And now I have TIME TO DO BOTH during the day, in between the early-morning and late-afternoon/evening parenting duties (and when I'm not doing everything else, of course). Plus, my kids LOVE that I don't have to run in the evenings anymore. I'm home every night, and their favorite thing is to join me on "the big bed" in my bedroom every evening between bath and bed, where we all pile up together with pillows and blankets and read. They adore this ritual, and so do I.

You might think all that suffering I did last spring was unnecessary and for naught. I've considered that at times. It certainly seems ironic that the very thing my heart ached over is allowing me to hit my stay-at-home mom stride so nicely. But honestly, I believe that pain--like the physical pain of crashing to the ground on a rocky trail--was necessary to get to where I am now: ready for, accepting of, and thrilled with the very existence I thought would be sad and lonely. Just like my fall on the trail led to the resolution of my hip problems.

Believe me, no one is more surprised than I. But sometimes life has a funny way of working out PERFECTLY, like that.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Housewife Life vs. Two-Working-Parent Life

BlogHer has a good post up today about the benefits of stay-at-home motherhood to the family life of the piece's author. Not the benefits to children, of which plenty has been written over the years--instead, the benefits to the family/household/parents, which is a different thing. Not all details of the piece apply to me--I never worked full-time during the days, for example, after having babies; only evenings in my private practice, at first, and later part-time from home as a writer--but the author deftly describes exactly what I'm trying to avoid by staying home as a full-time housewife/mom, and how things are different now that she's home. It's worth a read--check it out.