From our June issue, a selection of thought-provoking, laugh-inducing, and just plain interesting thoughts from around the web and the world of parenting.
Fish, Spilled Juice, and Guilt
“Crying is one way I safely channel the anger I often feel when I’m home with my kids. It’s also a side of me that only the people smiling out from my annual fabulous holiday card know about…. I know that my kids would rather be home making dolphins from Play-Doh with me than visiting the seals at the aquarium. They don’t need to get out, but I do, in order to see the beauty of life at home. Otherwise, I lose control, and the hurt feelings, the extra snacks, and the spilled juice overwhelm me.”
—Mindy Berry Walker (@mindybwalker), a freelance writer who lives in Dobbs Ferry with her husband and three daughters, in a blog post entitled “A ‘Happy’ Mom’s Confession” on babble.com
“I think what gets me the most is that I feel guilty over feeling angry about the children that I love more than life itself. How can so many emotions coexist and be so rooted in the same place at the same time? As someone who holds onto moments so tightly it hurts, I often wonder why I let the ‘details’ that get in the way consume me so? Perhaps it is because as mothers we just feel an ever-present need to be the mother we want to be at all times? And nobody can be that all the time.”
—anonymous response to Mindy Berry Walker’s blog quoted above; Walker’s honest confessional stirred lots of strong emotions on babble.com, ranging from complete identification and gratitude to harsh dismissals, even one commuter claiming it as proof of why she’ll never choose to have kids herself
“The minute kids get in a car now, they have barely buckled their 17-point harness when they demand a snack, entertainment, and some refreshing cold spring water."
—Kelcey Kintner, a New York City mother of four (including twins) who blogs at mamabirddiaries.com, in a post entitled “When Did Our Kids Get So Thirsty?”
“I wonder if it’s time to reign in parallel screen play, to set aside daily screen sabbaticals? Deliberate windows where we don’t process side-by-side, but rather engage, eyes-to-eyes, words-to-ears, soul-to-soul. I wonder if the very thing that’s flattened the world and enabled relationships on a global scale is now insipidly degrading the ones that exist in our own backyards. What good is connecting with the world if it disconnects you from the soul sitting next to you?”
—Jonathan Fields (@jonathanfields), former NYC mega-firm lawyer turned serial-entrepreneur who sold his companies to focus on writing, speaking, and “being a strongly present dad and husband,” from “Parallel Screen Play” on his blog at jonathanfields.com; he refers to a study that revealed that the amount of time family members in Internet-connected households spend in shared interaction over the last decade dropped from an average of 26 hours a week to less than 18 hours (#screenlovegonemad)
"Even though physically he is not always able to keep up, his spirit is up there with an Olympic athlete. I want to be just like my son when I grow up."
—Mary Meyer, East Setauket mother of 9-year-old Nicholas, who was diagnosed with a seizure disorder as an infant, as quoted in "Heroes Come in All Sizes," a new book by fellow Long Islander and speech therapist Cynthia Rubino