I am the last of four kids and, by the time I came along, my mom was done in the kitchen. None of us went hungry but she had zero interest in cooking. When I was dumb enough to ask her what was for dinner, she would say, “Close your eyes, what do you see?” And I would roll my eyes and say, “Nothing.” And she would nod and say, “That’s what’s for dinner.” All this usually happened without her looking up from the book she was reading.
To this day I think that was hilarious. I thought it was funny at the time but I didn’t tell her. Parental shenanigans should not be encouraged. Read more
I have two children whose lives only overlapped for a few years. My dearest friend has 3 children and they are clustered together so that my friend has to feed them all together, all the time. Just writing that sentence made me tired. The care and feeding of humans is no small thing.
I only have the daily care and feeding of one child. He is six. My older son is 22. Older Son cares for and feeds himself. I consider his ability to keep himself alive a major parenting win for me. He is also kind and thoughtful and funny and an all around delight. Those attributes are his alone and I can not take any credit for them. But I digress.
An in-depth examination of what happens in heterosexual, dual-income marriages with kids under six, The Second Shift is a fascinating read that should be approached with thoughtful caution. If your family falls into the category described above, you might think twice about planning to read it while waiting to pick up the kids or while in an endless line. You may not recognize your own experience in these studies of families trying to work and raise kids while keeping their marriages intact, but if you do, it could be an emotionally difficult experience. We found it to be enlightening and at times infuriating, so we advise reading with care. If you have a book club, this might be a good title to work through with a group of friends. That’s how we chose to do it and it inspired a bevy of impassioned phone calls and text messages.
“When millions of couples are having similar conversations over who does what at home, it can help to understand just what’s going on outside marriage that’s affecting what goes on inside it.”
If you opened my fridge at any time over the past 20 years, you would have found the makings of a quesadilla. You might not have been able to make anything else and there might not have been any fresh fruit or veg, but I feel confident that you would have been able to walk away with a crispy, cheesy quesadilla. And there was probably a bottle of Tapatio hot sauce to douse it with.
I learned this trick, always have stuff in your fridge to make a quick meal everyone in the house would eat, from my best friend’s mom. When we were teenagers, my best friend and I ate constantly. If we were awake, we were eating. I’m going to pause here for a few moments to remember the joy of a life spent constantly consuming salty snacks. Delightful. Read more
When I was a kid, my mom made sure our house was stocked with toilet paper. She was, as it were, the guarantor of toilet paper. My father knew we needed toilet paper, he used his fair share. He owned a car, had access to money…why wasn’t it his job to make sure there was enough toilet paper in the house at all times? My dad worked full time and so did my mom. As you might guess, women’s unpaid household labor was a huge issue in our house.