I think I’ve Committed Adultery

…but perhaps all mothers – to some extent – do.

Recently, my younger sister sent me a couple of articles about the changing landscape of marriage once kids enter the picture.  The pictures, as told by these two writers, aren’t pretty.  The idea is simple: when kids are introduced to a home, a mother falls in love with them and forgets about her husband. One article comes at the issue from a mother who refuses to love her kids more.  She loves her kids, she says.  But she is IN LOVE WITH her husband.  The other article comes from a sad dad perspective (I can’t get a link to it online…it’s from Redbook’s column Whys Guy, February 2011).  This husband says he wants his wife back.  He wants to be the one she snuggles with.

The articles call for a sort of binary that pits love for husband against love for kids.  And I so badly want to resist that dividing line.  I mean, can’t I love my husband and my kids?  Doesn’t love just grow and grow the more we enhance it with life forms?

But the more I think about it, the more it seems I am cheating on my husband.  I am having an affair.  With my kids.  It’s been going on for a while, and I don’t plan on ending it anytime soon.

Here is the proof:

1.  I don’t let my husband anywhere near my chest right now.  I live in a nursing bra and even have two nursing pads tucked  in for an extra layer of protection/concealment.  But Sidney has an all-access pass.  Anytime day or night.  She starts to root and out they come!

2.  I haven’t cuddled with my husband in weeks (except for one night when we just had Sidney).  Sometimes, Riley asks me to hold her, and I fall asleep with my arm draped over her.  Sometimes, Adrian crawls on top of me and drifts off to sleep there.  All the time, I have a little person next to me in the night.  We cuddle.  We spoon.  I breathe in their hair.  I kiss their soft, round cheeks.  This, I think, is intimacy.  This is love.

3.  I woo my kids with “special surprises” and “little treats.”

4.  When I splurge, it’s on them.

5.  When I do talk to my husband, I’m distracted, sometimes even distant.  I want to know how Riley’s day was, what Adrian is up to.

6.  I can’t even make eye contact with Shawn.  I’m too busy smiling at Sidney.

7.  I melt when Adrian asks me to hold him.  My heart swells when Riley tells me she loves me to ten Plutos and back.  And even when she tells me she loves me to snot and back.

8.  My perfect date night now: milk shakes at Chic-fil-a.

9. I don’t smell like myself any more.  My clothes, my skin no doubt carry unmistakable aromas of otherness: breastmilk, chocolate, and dirt.

10. I notice differently now.  When Shawn shaves, his face feels just like it did when he was weekend scruffy.  He has to point out changes in his facial hair to me.

And if not with my kids, then something funny is definitely going on with my coursework…

Advertisements

Link

How Forbes Stole A New York Times Article And Got All The Traffic

Titles are tough, right?  I think I spend more time on titles than on my posts.  My brother sent me this article, and it illustrates the power of a title so well.  Now, killer headlines are nothing new, but now there are so many places to go online.  There is so much to read and only so much online time.  So of course, my anxiety about titles is warranted.  I mean, how do I convince readers that my latest post is worth their time?  How do I attract the attention of other bloggers, other mothers?  And I think this also gets at a bigger underlying question: Why write?

For me now, I am writing to share my ideas and experiences – and, connect with other mothers.  I am interested in reflecting on my own trials and moments – and, seeing how other mothers deal with the stress in their life.  Writing this blog is about connection.  It’s an attempt to understand motherhood one post, one comment, one recipe at a time.

Okay, but what about the title?  Let the brainstorming begin…

1.  Snakes on a Plane (don’t ask)

2.  Why Write?

3. Title Anxiety

4.  Blog Stress

5.  What’s in a Title?

6.  Read Me

7.  The Trouble with Titles

Okay…think I got it.  Time to tag and publish!

Thoughts on Pinterest

Social Bookmarking?

Life Coach?

Inspiration?

Manual?

Personal Shopping Assistant?

Cookbook?

I use Pinterest for all of these things fairly regularly.  It works for me because it allows for serendipity, as well as more focused discovery.  I either browse Pinterest to let the images and ideas roll over me (and then I repin and categorize the ones I really like and think I may use some day) or I type a term in the search box and seek inspiration that way.

Here’s an example:

I needed to make something with eggplant.  I scanned about ten different recipes (I wasn’t in the mood for eggplant parm, so I skipped all of those).  Finally, I went to the kitchen and got to work.  I  cut-up an eggplant, half an onion, and two small tomatoes.  I layered these in a baking dish with a little olive oil, breadcrumbs, and garlic.  Then I sprinkled basalmic vinegar, some cinnamon, and a little brown sugar on top.  I started cooking the dish at 375 degrees and checked on it every twenty minutes.  It probably took an hour.  While it was cooking, I tasted and added more vinegar and more garlic.  In the end, I made my own sweet and saucy eggplant.  And it turned out pretty good.

As I was working on my eggplant dish, I realized that Pinterest helped to show me different ways of working with eggplant, but I ultimately went to work without a recipe.  I was confident enough in my abilities and tastes to create my own dish.

For all things domestic especially, Pinterest provides a visually-based wealth of knowledge and ideas.  I’m a fan!  It has benefited my closet, my cooking, and my kids.  Thanks, Pinterest.

For your continued reading pleasure, here are a couple of articles a friend of mine at school shared with me on Pinterest.  See what you think!

Article in Salon.

Article in Slate.

How do you use Pinterest?

CBPP

These four initials now define a way I have been looking at the world.  We recently read an essay by Yochai Benkler called “Coase’s Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm.”  Incredibly dense stuff, but fascinating.  In the essay, Benkler discusses CBPP, or commons-based peer production.  He uses this expression to define projects like Linux, Wikipedia, and a Nasa one that involved copious clicking.

On Saturday morning, my mom and I went to pick up our Bountiful Basket, and amid the 96 people/groups gathered to pick up our 15 dollar feasts of produce, I realized that our co-op functioned like a practical and very loosely related application of CBPP.  Those of us who had purchased baskets worked with a group of volunteers the morning of to create a way to access produce that was more cost-efficient than what we could buy in grocery stores.  How cool was it to see a community of people committed to healthy, cost-effective eating convene!  Standing in line, my mom and I chatted with a couple of other basket-buyers, relatively newbs to the Athens enterprise.  I talked about how different the experience was in September when just 13-20 of us purchased baskets.  Now, the co-op has really taken off, and we have sold out for the past couple weeks.  I am enthused to be a part of our Bountiful Basket group (I talk about it all the time…and now my sister has started participating in a similar program in VA and my parents are going to start in May!), and I love being a part of such an efficient, effective community endeavor.  I’ve eaten more fruits and veggies in the past six months than I have in years while saving money.

You can read Benkler’s article here.

You can check out Bountiful Baskets here.

Happy reading and co-oping!

Oh, and check out what we got in our basket this week!  Good stuff.  We’ve already enjoyed salad, cinnamon-grilled pineapple, and cut-up strawberries.  

Why My Children Will Be Gamers

I have grown up in a family of game-players.  My husband and I are big gamers.  For the most part, though, I’ve viewed my fondness for gaming as a guilty pleasure, time spent away from more important things.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many hours I spent playing Tetris in college.  Or Settlers of Catan last semester and over the holidays.  Or City of Heroes and WOW before the kids were born.  But now, I’m starting to rethink all that.  Thanks, Cathy Davidson!

I’ve been reading her book for class, Now You See It.  Not only does she make me feel better about all the games I play/have played, but she encourages me to consider games as a critical part of my kids’ education.  In a chapter called “The Epic Win,” she focuses on the importance of games to learning.  She relates the five characteristics of the “gamer disposition”:

Gamers:

1.  are bottom-line oriented

2.  understand the power of diversity

3.  thrive on change

4.  see learning as fun

5.  marinate on the edge (Davidson 158)

Yes, please sign my kids up for these qualities!