Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Midweek check-in

This has nothing to do with this post. I just like this redone movie poster from the tumblr fuckyeahmovieposters
Holy holy this week is bananas.

Late meetings. Unexpected toddler bed wettings. Baby needing bottles in the middle of the night. I managed to kind of get a good amount of groceries Sunday so we have food at least - but we are already out of milk and bananas. How did that happen?

At least tomorrow is Thursday and the housekeeper comes so there will be some sense of calmness around a clean house.

I'm trying to get organized on a list of things I want to do for the rest of the summer this week too. Things with the kids and at home I mean. What should I put on it?

What about you? Your week as bananas as mine?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yes, Maternity Leave Is Necessary

A good friend of mine, who is home with her now-three boys during the day, having left her public policy job when number one was born six years ago just had number three. When I saw her first photos, I wondered what it would be like to have another baby without the looming deadline of maternity leave.

My first born was born three days after my maternity leave started. Not because it was scheduled, but because it was a three-day labor. But then I took 15 weeks off, paid for two of them.

With my second a year ago, I took 12 weeks off - paid for nine of them - and worked from home the first week back. It was also the  middle of December so it was fairly quiet in the office then. I wanted to take more time and return in the new year, but there was an implicit threat that I ought not take more that the FMLA limit of 12 weeks.

At 12 weeks postpartum, I was just figuring out how to be a mother to two littles. I was getting used to my new body. I was shocked at how tired I was. And I was just entering the postpartum depression that has largely consumed me for the last six months.

I could have taken much much more time, to get to know my baby, myself and get a grip on my new role but that didn't seem reasonable.

And now, we're being asked if we have to take maternity leave at all. The New York Times' headline asks if maternity leave is necessary. And I say, yes it is.

We can't deny how motherhood changes us. Not even the physical changes, but the emotional and psychological changes as well. To argue that we can continue with business as usual - whether we are the CEO of Yahoo! or a mid-level executive - denies us, and our babies, that magical time of focusing on only one another.

We can have dual roles as mothers and executives, but we can't bypass the time it takes to learn how to do both.

It's said you can learn a lot about a country based on how they treat their women and children. In the US it seems we care more about business, and as we slip further and further behind in the world economy, it seems that isn't working out so well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Links - Birthday edition

Today is my birthday! I'm 29, again! ;)

Here's a birthday wishlist to celebrate.

A pretty little bag: Baggu Of A Kind Suede Pouch

A new commuting bag: Baggu Duck Bag

Brightness in the winter: Heart Sweater (yes again)

A special time away from the noise: A weekend at the farm via Momfilter

Datetime!: A fun movie

XO - Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another amazing mama-to-be

Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi
On the heels of yesterday's news about the new CEO of Yahoo being pregnant, we have a new pregnant rock star.

When she competes in the shooting competition in London 2012 Olympics later this month,  Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi from Mayalasia will be eight months pregnant!

This feature in today's New York Times describes her concern that her baby, a girl, will kick when she is shooting. While not the first pregnant competitor, she is the most far-along competitor the Games have seen, the article says. Also, she has gotten better in her shooting as her pregnancy as progressed!

I love stories of women continuing with their amazing lives through pregnancy. Certainly I worked and went to the gym and generally kept up my routine, but I was definitely not at the level of these ladies! Especially by month eight!

What about you? How hard did you go into the end of your pregnancy?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Working Through Maternity Leave

Three-week-old baby Z, 2009
Marissa Mayer, the 20th employee of Google, is the new CEO of Yahoo. Being female, being young and being young and female in the tech world doesn't really matter to me so I haven't really followed the news.

But my ears perked up, waaay up, when I saw that she is pregnant. Congratulations to her! She is due in October with a boy. She is believed to be the first pregnant CEO of an American company. Amazing that it took this long!

But the news made me kind of sad, too, because she says she is planning on taking a maternity leave of only a few weeks and working through it.

I realize it's tough being at the top, but a few weeks and working through it?!

Come on girlfriend!

That's hardly time to snorgle your new baby and get to know him and the new you. My maternity leaves were two of the most special, magical times of my life and went by waaay to fast. Granted I am most certainly not the CEO of a major company but I think every mother, not to mention every child, deserves that special, undivided attention.

Many people say the glass ceiling is self-created by women placing their families and children priority over  their careers, and I won't argue mine hasn't been slowed by my family-first choices. But there has to be a middle ground between slowing our careers and working through short maternity leaves.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Other Mothers

I still feel jealous when Z comes home singing a song I don't know that she learned at school or when I first pick up G and he smells like his caregiver.

Have you read this essay from yesterday's New York Times Magazine about nannies? The photos and the online interview is heartbreakingly beautiful.

There are lots of quotable passages from the essay, but this stood out to me as I read it over:

No one can dispute the importance of raising a child. Most parents, holding a new baby, face the most monumental work of their life. Perhaps the reason we often deny caregivers the social position and the respect they deserve is that we are uncomfortable with our absence from the particular chair they occupy, many hours of the day, many days of the year.
No one will say their child is not worth $X amount that the caregiver is asking, but no one will really volunteer to pay more than they are. And everyone finds a balance between the cost of the care, the kind of the care, the situation to meet their family's needs. But cost remains a big factor I think.
I know we are very fortunate to have care for our children that is as outstanding as it is. But sometimes we still grouse about the cost.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sick day

My favorite little girl started puking at 1130 last night. For three hours.

I then had so much work today while trying to be home with her. I am really grateful for a job that I can work from home and have paid sick time, but it was really annoying and I just wanted to be home with her.

So all that's to say I didn't finish the post I planned for tonight on family dinners. Tomorrow I hope!

Stay well. XO