Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now

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:

Orange is the New Black

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.'”

IMG_3661 IMG_3663 IMG_3664 IMG_3665 IMG_3667 IMG_3673 IMG_3674

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?

3 thoughts on “Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now”

  1. Reblogged this on Stepping Toes and commented:
    Why should staying at home taking care for the kids only be biological for the mother? It may comes naturally to a woman, but man also has his right to ‘father’ his children with lots of love.
    Mothering full-time is not only awesome it may be a necessary asset to bring the necessary values and ways of life to the children. though a father should also have the opportunity to do so. Therefore it would not be bad if the household duties could be shared and both parents could find out in what they are best to bring over to the children.
    Being a full-time parent is not any more recognised as a hard job. It is more considered as a wast of time. Because several parents did not take the time any more to spend educational time with their children, many countries have seen generations lost and have now to cope with a lot of anti-social behaviour.
    Time is at hand that women take up again their duties and show the world that they can stand their man in the household. they also should receive again the right to give also the spiritual leading for their lot. In case the man wants to go out to earn the living of the family he should give the women the leading role in the house.

    1. You make some good points here! Apologies for taking so long to respond: I’ve been on hiatus. Thanks so much for reading, and commenting.

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