Monday, September 24, 2012

Facebook Baby Bombing

I'm not on Facebook, nor do I mind friends posting pictures of their kids.  I mean, I get it.  I'd probably do the same thing.  I don't mind bloggers talking about their kids (though if before they didn't talk about kids and now that's all they talk about, I do still miss the other content), because again, I get it.  When you become a parent, your kid becomes the center of your universe.  Plus, kids are really freaking cute and funny.

BUT...but...if you are not as tolerant of your friends bombing your Facebook with pictures of their baby, then is the site for you!  The New York Times just had a piece about this site which, once installed in your browser, changes any baby photos on Facebook to pictures of stuff you really care about: bacon, cats, dogs, tattoos.  I know, I know, you're welcome.

So, spill it.  Would you unbaby your friends' baby photos?

(Photo via BlogHer)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I've been debating whether or not to post about this:

After all, most people have talked up a storm already.  I spent most of Friday in an outrage about the cover, and probably not for the reason that you think.  Every free moment I had with colleagues, I engaged in a debate over the cover.  Here's why:

This is ridiculous.  Perhaps I will lose some readership on this fledgling blog as a result of this post, but guess what?  I guess I don't give a shit.  I'm breaking all the rules and judging both Time Magazine and the women who discussed the ridiculous parenting choices they make.  Oh, well.  But I think it's important for me to explain why I'm judging them.  It's not because the thought of breastfeeding a 3-year-old weirds me the hell out, though that is definitely a part of it.  And it's not because I am one of those women who goes around judging the choices of other women.  I'm not.  Instead, my frustration and, frankly, borderline hatred of people who go down the route of attachment parenting derives itself from both my experience and my job.

Those of you who know me well and know about my personal life (specifically what I do for a living) probably understand a bit better what I'm about to say and where I'm coming from.  But for those of you who don't know what I do for a living, I think you will still find my reasoning logical.

Here's why you have every right to judge parents who do crazy shit to their kids, like sleep with them in the same bed or breastfeed until their child is pre-school age (or older):  because these decisions, no matter how personal, affect other people in society.   If you raise a child who needs you at every drop of the pin, you are not raising an independent member of society.  Imagine working with someone like that.  We probably all already do this.  

Parenting has become incredibly insular and many parents make a lot of decisions for their children based on what they think is best for them (the parents, not the children), not what is best for all the other people these children will have to deal with in their lives: teachers, future employers, future girl/boyfriends, etc.    I'm not saying you should navigate all parental decision making with future bosses in mind, but you must consider what kind of end product you are creating.  How will your "attached" child function in society?  

Plus, all this feminist bullshit about how we shouldn't judge other mothers is such crap.  As members of society, women already judge other mothers ALL THE TIME.  If we see a mother hit their child, we would call the police.  Guess what?  That's a form of judgement.  If you knew a child was being neglected, you would call DCFS on the parents.  Again, a form of judgement.  Not that those judgements shouldn't be made, but you get where I'm going with this.  People make snap judgements about other people's parenting choices all the time.

Somehow, the message has become, these are educated people, let's not judge their wacky decisions.  Well, perhaps that's the problem.  I see attachment parenting as a syndrome among, for lack of a better term, over educated yuppies.  Mostly white.

When I was putting myself through grad school, I nannied for people that would fit into this same category and who practiced attachment parenting in various forms.  Let me tell you just some of the effects of attachment parenting on a non-family member:
  • These children were always the worst sleepers and eaters.  They needed a million comforts to fall asleep and they were the pickiest eaters.  
  • These children lack a lot of discipline.  One day, in the not so far future, I will discuss my view on discipline and how it's a huge, necessary component of parenting that many are either too afraid to do, too guilty to do, or simply believe it's more harmful than helpful.  All of these are problematic in our society.
  • These children were often some of the saddest I nannied for.  This wasn't always the case, of course.  But definitely a few were sad when they, for instance, couldn't have a non-organic ice cream cone when all their friends were having one.  Or they were sad that they couldn't do the things their peers were doing because of all the rules their parents had in place.  So, while I'm sure many children whose parents practice attachment parenting are extraordinarily happy children, there does come a point for some when the rules become more of a hindrance to your child's happiness than the cause for it.
Of course, the retort is always that I haven't given birth and I'm not a parent, so I have no right to judge or comment on others' choices.  I vehemently disagree with this close the book argument.  I have EVERY right to comment on ANYTHING that affects the society in which I live and my job.  And just because I choose not to be a parent does not mean that I don't have a right to be a part of this discussion.  Especially given my extensive experience with children.

Let's go back to an earlier point in rant, though.  My nickname for these decision makers: over educated yuppies who are mostly white.  Let's think about this for a second.  Breastfeeding your child and having them sleep with you is a decision only certain members of this society can actually make and get away with.  Imagine if that Time Magazine cover featured a black woman or a Latina breastfeeding a child old enough to ask for it.  Imagine if that woman was lower income, but again not so low that it is nutritionally necessary to breastfeed (because I want to be clear that breastfeeding a child in order to actually feed them because you have no other options is not the target of my wrath). Do you think that so many people would be crying in outrage about judging mothers???  I don't.  I like to call problems like this white people problems.  And it has nothing to do with most white people.  Because I love white people.  My husband is white.  My mother is white.  I'm not hating on the white race.  My point is simply that no one is going to bat an eyelash at a blond, somewhat wealthy woman who makes crazy decisions about parenting.  But if you change the race and the income level, there are a number who would not only bat an eyelash, but who would also call the authorities.  That's not to say that there aren't people of color practicing attachment parenting, either.  I'm sure there are.  I'm just saying that more often than not, these are, well, white people problems.

Okay, I think that about sums up my angry rant.  I understand if you hate me now, but I hope that you really just hate crap like this.  : )

And to make up for the rant, I give you Seth Myers's take on the cover (and the inspiration for my post title):

(Time Magazine Photo cover via Time; SNL clip via Huffington Post)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Skateboarding Spacemen

How sweet would this print be in a little boy's room?  I know that A.P., the former skateboarder, would love it!

(Image by Naolito via Society 6)

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Seriously considering having children has become a giant elephant in our relationship, both metaphorically and literally.  It started last year.  Sometimes I like to shop for vintage stuff on eBay and last year, I came across this adorable vintage figurine of a Mama Elephant with her two babies.  I bought it.  I didn't lie, per se, about what it was for, I just didn't go on and on about it.  But the truth was, I bought it for a nursery.  Not one I'm currently decorating.  Or even one I plan on decorating in the near future.  But I figured I would never find it again and if I wanted it for a someday nursery, best buy it now.  I haven't really thought about a nursery since.

Then, a few months ago, I was in Target.  They had these adorable animal shaped chalkboards in my favorite place in the store: the dollar bins at the front.  Like the elephant figurines, I figured it I wanted them for that nursery one day, I'd better buy them when they were still around.  I bought four and hid them with the vintage ceramic figurines.

It's all become reminiscent of my early wedding planning, the stuff I started doing before we were even engaged (including starting my wedding planning blog, Not the Marrying Kind...yes!  Shameless self-promotion!).  Before I was asked and answered and became affianced, I would look at wedding planning blogs and magazines and bookmark them in a folder ever so cleverly titled "Secrets & Lies."  That's not mysterious AT ALL.  I should have named it something like Data for Work or something.  But I felt like I was sneaking around and doing something bad even though we'd talked a great deal about marriage and I knew it was coming down the pipeline soon.

That's how I feel now.  We've talked about kids.  Oh, boy have we talked about kids.  And up until the past six months or so, I didn't feel like my body even wanted them.  But that has changed.  The past six months I've definitely had physical and mental automated responses where I quite literally craved having a baby.  It's so freaking weird.  I mean, I know that's my "biological clock ticking."  But, who the hell would have seen that coming from the girl who made her sister tell her about giving birth as a form of birth control??  Seriously.  I'm the same girl who all throughout undergrad had NIGHTMARES about getting pregnant and having to tell my family.  And I'm the same girl who feels extraordinarily reluctant to have children, despite the perfectly comfortable marriage, the financial ability, and all the other check, check, checks you go down before you get yourself knocked up.

So the real question is why the hell am I buying elephants for a baby's room that doesn't even exist?  If I know I don't really want kids or at least not for a while, then why am I buying things for the unwanted child's non-existent room???  And don't say hormones.  That's not an answer.  : )

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


When I first got married, I had the enormous realization that, for the first time in my life, it would be totally acceptable to get pregnant. No one would judge me, no one would cast me out of society. In fact, the opposite would happen. People would welcome my pregnancy. People would (gasp!) congratulate me on getting knocked up. Craziness, I know.

But just because you can have children doesn't mean you want to have children. Or at least that's how I feel. I struggled with the idea of getting married before I became a wife, so in some ways, it only feels natural to struggle with the idea of having children before I become a mother. Still, I am completely comfortable without children. And I have never been a person who craved children and couldn't wait to start a family.

At my last lady doctor visit, the lady doc said to me, "I see you're married. So, you're not actively trying to prevent pregnancy."

To which I replied, "No, we are actively trying to prevent pregnancy." Because, well, we are. We use birth control and aren't ready to have children yet. We like our lives the way they are and we're reticent to change them.

Last fall, we got a puppy, Ollie.  If we wanted a glimpse of the hell that would become our lives with children, we have certainly gotten one.  A.P. (that'd be my husband for those of you not in the know...see this post for an explanation on the name) and I have both talked about how we may as well have children since we barely get any sleep with the puppy anyway.  The reality, though, is that we're not having children.  Not any time soon, anyway.  

There are my many, many reasons I don't want children, here are some of them:

1.  They cost a ton of money, and, well, I'm broke.  We're not broke, but I'm broke.  I have a ton of school debt still, which I feel immensely responsible for.  Which leads to number 2...

2.  If I were to have children, I would want to stay home with them.  Chastise me all you want for not wanting to be a working mother, but for many, many reasons that I will probably go into at a later date, I want to stay home with my kids.  Because I'm so broke from all the debt and because I don't want A.P. to have to pay that debt, I would feel extraordinarily guilty about quitting my job and having him be the sole provider for our family.  

3.  There is so much I haven't done yet.  Not that I think I can't do it after we have kids, but I know the chances of some of this stuff happening will decrease greatly.  

4.  We like our free time.  A lot.  A.P. and I come home from work and if we don't have to work more, we like to pursue our different hobbies, spend time with one another, watch TV, etc.  Not that those things would disappear altogether if we had kids, but for at least a while, they'd fall to the bottom of our lists.  And frankly, we need them.  Work is a huge, frustrating part of our lives.  There would be no end to our stress and I think we'd be pretty miserable.

5.  We already get little sleep.  Some Fridays I come home and just crash on the couch.  Two weeks ago, I got off work early.  I came home and fell asleep from 4-9pm and I could barely wake myself up at 9pm.  A.P. and I spend a good deal of our weekend sleeping because we're constantly sleep deprived during the week.  If you were to add a child into that mix, well, I just don't think we'd sleep again until we were either 50 or dead.  

6.  It may sound selfish, but we like our childless lives.  A lot.  We like spending money on whatever the hell we want.  We like traveling whenever we want.  We like that we don't have to find a babysitter to go to the movies.  We still feel like we do too much and enjoy doing it too much to give it all up for something that we quite honestly don't know if we want.

I wish I had a nice, rounded out list of 10 things, but I think those things are reason enough.  I know there are some people who would just laugh at this list.  And that's fine, I guess.  But it is how I feel.  I've never been someone who knew from the get go that they wanted children.  If anything, the older I get the more I don't want kids.  My hormones say otherwise, but that's a story for another day.

So where is the uncertainty?  Well, it's having kids.  It's what we're told to do, what we're expected to do, what we're biologically put on this planet to do.  Babies having babies, man.  It's the way of the future.  Seriously, though, coming up with reasons to have kids isn't hard.  It's the allure of liking my life the way it is that knocks those reasons on their ass.  And quite honestly, what I worry about most is that I will have kids and resent my kids because I had to give up so much for them.  I know that seems unlikely, but sometimes I felt like my mother felt like that about me and my siblings.  And I think I felt it more because there was such a huge age gap between my siblings and me.  I think that after my parents' divorce my mother resented still having a young child at home when she could have gone out and dated and been free (which she did anyway, but I felt like I still prevented her from doing certain things).  I already worry about my capacity to love versus normal human beings.  I struggle with how that translates to children.  

Do you feel uncertain about having children?  Or if you have children now, did you feel uncertain before?  And if so, what changed your mind?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

If We Do Have Kids...

He or she is for sure going to need one of these!  Talk about the right stuff!

(Photo via Vicarious Clothing shop on etsy)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Welcome to Not the Parenting Kind!

This is a sister site to my marriage and wedding blog Not the Marrying Kind. I've been plotting and planning this blog's inception for some time and am super psyched to finally get it up and running.

It's ironic that I would start a second blog in the middle of a bit of a blog drought on NTMK, but part of the drought was because I was getting bored writing about marriage and weddings. I still love it, but I was itching to write on parenting and children. I knew I wanted to do that here, and not on NTMK, and so put off writing a lot on NTMK while I dreamt up this site. And now it's here!

The two sites look extraordinarily similar intentionally. They are meant to be sister sites, that you would read in conjunction with each other. Marriage, weddings, and various topics of interest are covered on Not the Marrying Kind and parenthood and my reluctance to jump into it are discussed here. I hope you'll join me in this venture. I can't promise I'll update here as frequently as NTMK at first, but I promise to make it worth your while when I do. : )
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