October 25, 2006

Can I confess?

That one of the things I love most about staying home with Arun is that it actually gives me MORE time for myself? I don't know how working moms find time for themselves. If I worked in an office, I simply wouldn't have time for the Holy Trinity of my daily entertainment - Reading, Blogging, and Television. I am not sure I would be comfortable giving up too much television because it serves double duty as Knitting Time during the colder months. Some Blogging would probably have to go and that would be a damned shame because I have made some incredibly cool friends via blogging. I've always likened blogging to pen pals - just less time spent waiting around for a letter to show up, eh? The other thing about blogging that has become important to me is that it does give me some weird false sense of productivity. I mean LOGICALLY I know the Earth will continue to spin on its axis whether I post or not. However, when I don't post during my self-mandated schedule of Mon-Thur, it sets me on edge.

But Reading? Reading will never go. Never. I've always felt sorry for those of my friends that lament they've read "one book since little {insert name} was born and even that was a parenting book". That's an actual quote from a friend and it struck terror in my heart when she said it. For sure, the celebrity ragazines would be the first to bite the dust and that would NOT be a bad thing. I call 'em Brain Crack for a reason and am seriously, SERIOUSLY considering giving them up for Lent next year. That's about all I could give up, though. I can't fathom NOT reading. I do have several friends who balance the Motherhood gig with the Working gig and still manage to Keep it Real quite nicely. My hats go off to them because I don't think I could hack it.

SO, I just finished a few books that I have been mentally rolling around in my brain. They were Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce by Elizabeth Marquardt and I Hate Other People's Kids by Adrienne Frost.

First, Between Two Worlds:
I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who is the child of divorce. First, a clarification - the author examined the effects of low-conflict, so-called "good" divorces. She states unequivocally (unequivocally!) that a high-conflict, abusive relationship must be ended and that without a doubt children are better off with a divorce in that case. Like, DUH. Instead, she examines those situations where the parents cut loose because they couldn't resolve their differences or were unhappy (for whatever reason that may be, including general unfulfillment or even adultery). This book is an excellent tool for introspection if you are a child of divorce. It forced me to reflect on many of my frustrations and disappointments surrounding the circumstances of my parents' divorce. It also allowed me to examine the lingering feelings of guilt and responsibility - emotions I realize now I had no business FEELING. I do recommend this book for a PARENT, but be warned that you will probably feel bad after reading it - I would urge a parent to still read this book because it offers a unique perspective on the effect of divorce on children without laying blame and judgement. Indeed, the author bends over backward saying that instead of feeling bad that they got divorced, the parents should take into consideration what the effects are to their children. Anyway, this book hit home for me. I remember distinctly telling people proudly that my parents had a "good" divorce. It wasn't until I hit my 20s that I understood that ALL divorces suck ass and there is no "good" divorce. Yeah, some are worse than others, but divorces are still varying shades of Suckitude. I think what frustrates me the most about my parents' divorce is that the awkwardness NEVER ENDS and now Arun is going to have to face it. For example, BOTH of my parents say "I don't have a problem with him/her", but it is still painful to have them at functions together. If they didn't have a "problem" with each other, then why the hell did they get divorced? Yowser. Tangent, much? ANYWAY, this was an excellent book that it lends itself to good discussion - I wish I would have read it for a bookclub.

Second, I Hate Other People's Kids:
I picked up this cheeky text while in Boston and immediately got a kick out of it, reading excerpts to X and our friends (who are childless). So, the book starts out funny, but the premise wears thin about halfway through. Probably, because I HAVE A KID. Um, so as a Previous Devotee to Hating Other People's Kids (well, maybe not ALL Other People's Kids, like my friends' and family's, but definitely the General Public's. That shops at Target. When I am also there.), I am acutely aware of my Newfound Prejudice. However, if you don't have kids and love Over The Top Sarcasm, this book is for you. My favorite quote is "a newborn is just an eraser with a hat". Which, um, I'll give her that one. However, this author irked me when she proclaimed mommy bloggers to be "self-indulgent". Whatever. ALL Identity Bloggers (of which mommybloggers are a subset) are self-indulgent. Anyone patiently and meticulously documenting the inane details of their lives is self-indulgent. Again, whatever.

Self Indulgent? So Be It.


Modern Day Hermit said...

It's so funny that you posted about this; I was just talking about this subject not long ago.

Back a few years ago, when I was a DINK with Husband V1.0 in Texas (as opposed to V 2.0/final release in AZ), living the monetarily rockin' lifestyle, I thought I was SO STRESSED. With those crazy work hours and the 30 minute commute, the endless calls to his parents who would only inquire about personal things like babies and bank balances. Granted I was in school at the time, too, but compared to my current schedule...ha! Not a single care in the world.


Oddly enough, I do more of my needlework, reading, game play and general entertainment then I ever did then. Granted, I have a cooking blog I've seriously been slacking on...but I'll ignore that pink elephant, haha.

For probably 5 years, I think I read 3 non-technical/school books! It is sad to think of how much material I could have ingested in that time period.


Even when I was childless, I didn't get the hating kids thing. I also don't get why people get so pissed off about others writing about themselves on their own blog. I've thought so many times how I wish the technology had been around when my great-grandmother was alive and kicking. How I'd love to have her recipes, to know more about her personality and things she did and didn't do. The same for my Mother and Grandmother!

There are so many little things that are forgotten about over time that I think would be wonderful to read years and years later. Perhaps a little insight to a person's personality that doesn't always display itself in day-to-day life.


Love the pics, as usual!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Am I on crack or is he...really tall for a kid his age?

I don't hate children with a bitter burning dislike. I can listen to a child wail (though it's not my fave sound in the world), I don't mind the sound of tinny voices and small sticky hands. I guess my thing is that I don't have a keen "oh my gawsh it's a bay-bee!" squee-interest in children unless something about them really captures me...also generally if I like their parents. (For instance, Arun's hair, oh my god, I started coming to this blog approx since last December because there was this baby...and he had more hair and was gorgeous, and 1/2 desi and the mom was, like, funny...)

I am, however, captivated by the way they behave. Seriously, remember the time you told me you can't have a baby and not believe in evolution? It's kind of a scientific fascination.

Finally, striped pants on kids rock. That's all.

scribbit said...

I agree, I love my time when the kids are sleeping to recharge. And the bonus is I can put them to bed earlier than the average career-out-of-the-home mother and have luscious time with my husband where I can talk to another adult.

Oh, he's cute. I know everyone says that about everyone's pictures, but he's well above your average level of cuteness.

Goofy Girl said...

Well, I won't be reading the first book, since my parents' divorce definitely did not fit into the "good" category. Whatsoever. I actually heard the line, "we are staying together because of YOU". Nah, I never felt any guilt about that. (note the dripping sarcasm) Gah!

And I won't be reading the second book because I LIVE IT EVERYTIME I GO ANYWHERE WHERE KIDS ARE. Especially Target. And grocery stores. I only not-hate kids that have some semblance of discipline from their parents. And it's slim pickin's nowadays from what I've seen. Double gah!

Oh and yes, I am a self-indulgent, self-promoting whore (aka a blogger). Got a problem with that?

p.s. You got a walking ARun picture! You totally rock!

Cagey said...

I think having a child made me narrow my focus on many things in life, like HOBBIES. I have many, many interests, none of which I get to partake in anymore except the books, blogging, tv, knitting ones.

I'm funny?

It's crazy how important that time is when they go to sleep. If he does happen to take a long nap, by the end of it, I am sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, thinking "DUDE, wake up already". And I am GLAD that I get like that. I guess it's a good sign, no?

Goofy Girl,
Yeah, neither book is probably for you. Regarding ARun's picture - he's walking AROUND THE HOUSE now so it is much, MUCH easier to get snaps of it. The best part is when he tries to follow the cats. Talk about confidence. Like, he can't even keep up with them while crawling, much less walking.

AlaskaJen said...

YOue right abotu the reading! It will never go! I have a 17 month old, I work full-time w/ a 45 minute commute (especially now that the snow is here to stay!), I'm single, I'm working on my degree almost full-time and I have mroe or less a part-time job earning sweat equity hours for my house from Habitat for Humanity...so I indulge by reading other people's hysterically funny blogs! Please keep 'indulging' because I love reading about your life. And you were trying to decide which tv show's might have to go - don't lose Studio 60! It's getting SO good! It's the only show I make a point of watching.

And the pics of your son are adorable.

AlaskaJen said...

I really need to start running my comments through spell check before I post them...sorry about the HORRID spelling!

Wordnerd said...

I think I may have to pick up book #2. Because, really? There are some kids I do hate. They usually aren't mine.

Rozanne said...

Excellent post.

I think reading and writing (e.g, blogging!) are a great way to keep the brain nimble. That said, I don't see mine winning any Olympic medals, but I shudder to think what state it would be in if I didn't force it to read and write on a regular basis.

And I don't exactly think blogging is self-indulgent. After all, we aren't forcing anyone to read what we write!

I'm with Monkey. Is Arun tall for his age? He certainly looks fairly lanky in the latest photos.

Cagey said...

I agree regarding "keeping the brain nimble", that is precisely why I try to read a good mixture of stuff. Although I love me some US Weekly, I also read National Geograpihc.

Re: Arun's height - I am not sure if he is "tall for his age", but we have a doctor's appointment next week. The outfit that he is wearing is actually slightly big for him, so that might be misleading.

Jenn said...

Absolutely right on, girl. When you work, you can't spend time for yourself cause your too busy trying to catch up on time with the little one that you missed all week. =\ It sucks...but ya do what ya gotta do.

Cagey said...

Sadly. You are right. I should point out that I only brought it up as more of a confession than anything - I am aware it's a bit easier for me. Man, just not having a COMMUTE grants me an extra 1.5 hours a day.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

My commute globs on just 2 to 2.5 hours to my workday alone and I ride public transportation which helps me beat traffic (and the stress of concentrating on driving). I have co-workers who commute 2 to 3 hours one way!!!