Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holidays at Home

The kitchen is finished. As far as I know there are no loose ends. I have to make sure the fan on the microwave is vented to the outside, but other than that, there's nothing on my punchlist. We need to paint and finish unpacking boxes, but other than that, we're in GREAT shape.

This is very cool.

So, we start a new holiday tradition: Christmas Eve dinner at our house. My mom is coming over on Saturday morning and we're going to spend much of the day making dinner for 11 people. Then the next day Me, Rich and Eric will do a quiet Christmas morning together. Eric has discovered presents. He saw my cousin had a large box of wrapped presents and was running around the house saying "I want some presents!" It will be less cute when he's four. But given his recent verbal advances, it's cool to see him articulate himself like this.

Should be a fun week. I am exhausted and a little worried about keeping up with Eric, but we've arranged some playdates with some folks from E's school and I think Rich will be there 3 out of five days. But the pregnancy-induced exhaustion is rearing its ugly head once again. I pick up Eric and play with him and the minute Rich walks in the door and starts playing with E, I loose consciousness. It isn't pretty. But I just can't help it. I'll be tired after the baby comes, but it's a different kind of tired. Right now, I've been sick with a mild but annoying cold for over 2 months and the pregnancy makes me tired anyhow. I need about 12 hours of sleep a day, and there are probably better odds of me winning the lottery than of me getting enough sleep.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Working mom VS Staying Home Debate

There's been a lot of articles written recently about women who stay at home with their children by "choice" are somehow anti-feminist. The Boston Globe, Salon and the NY Times have been covering this raging debate ad nauseum. The gist is, that it is a major failure of feminism that women want to "opt-out" of the work force. To this I say PIFFLE! The failure of feminism is the lack of family friendly policies in the workplace.

It is so stressful being a working mother. Childcare options in a large city are SO limited. Space is limited and the hours are limited. You have to get your kid on a waiting list while he or she is in utero. I'm not kidding. Plus it's very expensive. It's 1-2 thousand dollars a month for fulltime care for ONE child. That's more than most people's mortgages.

I love my son's daycare, but I HAVE to be there by 5:30 on the dot to pick him up or they can start charging me $2 per minute I'm late. Given the miserable state of the MBTA, it is a challenge.

If he's sick, I have to use my sick and vacation time to take care of him, which makes me loathe to use my sick time when I'm sick. (Unless I'm unconscious and hallucinating like I was a couple weeks ago).

My employer is wonderful about all of this, so I'm very lucky there. But I'm at their mercy as far as that goes. There's no inherent support structure there for a parent with an asthmatic (or otherwise sick) kid. We're reliant on the whim of the day.

Is it any wonder why so many women "Opt-Out" of work these days? Raising kids is meaningful work. It can be mind-numbingly dull but it really has an upside. Hanging out with your kids can be really fun.

Perhaps the failure of feminism is that the work of a stay-at-home-mom is undervalued because it is "women's" work?

I find the whole debate so frustrating all around. Work, stay at home, they're both valid, important paths to take. And we're not all cut out for either/or. If you're lucky enough to have the choice, live it, love it and embrace it.

Love you kids and they will be alright.