A friend’s dad, visiting from the UK, told me he thought that women made better stay-at-home parents. This was within the context of my friend, his son, taking 6 weeks off in-between jobs, and going on and on about how great he would be at stay-at-home-dad-ness. His father didn’t agree.
“It’s just natural [for women to stay home to take care of kids],” he kept saying. “It’s biological. It comes naturally to you.” (By “you”, he apparently meant “all women, everywhere.”)
Really? Because I don’t know that it comes naturally to me, let alone to most women I know. Sure, we can give birth, and breastfeed, and all those hormones can make us superhuman, especially when it comes to getting up in the middle of the night. But being a full-time parent is hard, people! It’s not the running-about-after, cooking-for, cleaning-up-after a toddler that does me in; it’s the mental exhaustion of doing all these things, all day long, every day, without the built-in adult stimulation that full-time, paid employment brings to the table.
Don’t get me wrong: mothering full-time is also awesome! It makes me feel alive in a way office cubicle-ism never did, although that’s hardly surprising. I love trail walks, and finger paint, and bubbles, and slides, and playgrounds, and visiting galleries, and chasing the dog, and curling-up-sleeping, and children’s books. But sometimes I crave adult thoughts, and adult ideas, and adult conversation, and critical analyses.
To survive daily motherhood, I also have to find cool, grown-up things to get me out of bed in the morning, otherwise I might snap somewhere around the 14th verse of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Here are some of the things I’m excited about right now:
Like many of you, perhaps, the premise of this Netflix original show–young white woman incarcerated in a federal prison for a 10-year-old (arguably negligible) drug crime–didn’t really grab me straight off the bat. However, after watching the pilot on a whim one evening, I’m pretty much hooked. There are myriad reasons why Orange is the New Black is the best TV show not on television: complex characters, great dialogue, and of course a lot of thoughtful commentary on race, class, society, and our criminal justice system. All in all, OisNB makes me think, while serving as a great, not-completely-mindless evening entertainment.
Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread from Cookie+kate
It’s pumpkin season! Before we carve, let’s all do some baking.
Jane D. Marsching’s Field Station Concordia
Charlie and I ended up at deCordova Sculpture Park yesterday, and were lucky enough to catch the final episode of Marsching’s installation there. Built from reclaimed materials in the dimensions of Thoreau’s Walden cabin, the “field station” is an interactive exhibit that allows the viewer to “engage in participatory ecology in a desire to activate our connection to this vague thing we have called ‘nature.'”
Filled with prints made from elm-bark or poke-berry inks–ferns and flowers and Thoreau quotes–this tiny half-shed made me want to drop everything and become a hippie-naturalist installation artist. Or at least start doing more art with Charlotte, starting NOW.
Street Pianos coming to Boston!
What could be more exciting than pianos, set up all over the city? What if they were gorgeous, painted pianos, set up in a city with some of the top music schools and musicians in the world? Yes, that’s exciting.
Amy Leach’s Things That Are
A good friend of mine (who writes at todirtwithlove.com) just gave me a copy of this breathtaking collection. As a being-of-the-natural-world and a lover-of-beautiful-writing, Leach speaks to my daily existence in a powerful way. Here’s a little taste, below. Does it give you goosebumps, too?
- “We used to want it all…now we just want to pee alone”- Motherhood (n3wbeginnings11.wordpress.com)
- On Motherhood and Exhaustion (daratmathis.wordpress.com)
- Sunshine and Thunderstorms: Real Motherhood Unveiled (pocketfulofmotherhood.wordpress.com)
- Owning My Strong (ctworkingmoms.com)
- Piano installation across Boston, Somerville and Cambridge will begin Friday (boston.com)