This is where we talk about what it means to care for our homes and ourselves and any other humans (and/or animals) lucky enough to share those spaces with us.

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Parents: We Are Not Pregnant

Attention parents: We are not pregnant. If you are not carrying the baby, you are not pregnant. You can be expectant or expecting but you are not pregnant. If you are sitting there drinking wine and eating bleu cheese and no one is giving you side-eye or a lecture about how you’re a horrible person and will more than likely be a horrible parent, you are not pregnant. If there isn’t another person literally rolling around inside you, hiccuping you awake at 3 in the morning, you are not pregnant.

Now, let’s be clear. Being pregnant does not make you a parent. It can teach you the fundamentals of parenting on a very basic, physical level such as your life is no longer your own and get more supportive shoes, you’re going to need them. But if you are sleeping through the night the month before the baby is born, you are not pregnant. The pregnant one is on a seemingly endless track between fitful sleep and peeing. Is this meant to leave people out? No, because you’re already out. If you aren’t either the baby being carried or carrying the baby you are not part of the physical experience that is happening.

You might very well be paying a high price for the pregnancy experience of another. I don’t doubt that. That is your experience. Tell us about that. We don’t hear about it enough. What is the emotional journey of the person outside the loop? Is it hard? It looks lonely. And confusing. And kind of scary. Also, you can check out whenever you want, pack your bags and fuck off to another country because this is waaaay too much.

But the vast majority of you don’t. Why? I think there is strength of character inherent in that. A choice made day by day, minute by minute. You are outside the physical lockdown going on and yet you continue to show up.

I understand what it means to be pregnant, to be physically tied to another in a sort of doomsday relationship. There’s no getting out of being pregnant without either wrenching grief or giving birth. That’s a crap binary. But the partner? I know very little about that. I wonder if the first few months of parenting are harder for them because they had no training in what it means to have your entire existence hijacked.

And I think parents who adopt are in an endurance class of their. Why? Adoption has to be an enormously difficult and stressful experience. I’m assuming no one is sleeping the night before the baby comes. Or even the week. Or month.

There is so much more to the beginning stage of being a parent than just being pregnant. Being pregnant is special and important but it isn’t the entirety of the pre-parenting stage. Being the partner or the adoptive parent(s) are just as valid an experience as being pregnant. I’d like to hear more about those experiences (not saying I don’t love pregnancy/birth stories because I love those, too.) I like all the stories about how people become parents.

True tales of transformation? Bring them on, in all their diverse glory.

To Do List Reimagined

To Do List Reimagined with Tend

For the past four months, every day has felt the same when in fact they have often been very different. I started staying home because of Covid-19 on Saturday, March 14th. My younger son’s last day of in-person school was Friday, March 13th. For a few weeks, we had no school at all while the school district scrambled to come up with something. Then there was the nightmare of distance learning and now we are in summer. Yes, we never go anywhere but the things we do around here have changed. If I hadn’t kept a to-do list using Tend: Task Manager & Journal, I don’t know that I would have noticed these differences. I’ve reimagined and expanded what my to-do list does because of Tend. Read more

Easing the Mental Load with Tend

Easing the Mental Load with Tend

We’ve been relatively quiet about Tend over the last few months. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives and our homes. The idea of “time” has taken on an entirely new meaning. Ambiguous stay at home orders combined with re-opening plans keep us wondering what is safe for our families. The mental load of motherhood has become unbearable. Read more

funner

Funner

Are you cringing? The word funner tends to send people off the deep end. But the word runner is fine. And yet beautifuller is a big no.

Why? Something about the way two syllable adjectives pattern. I’m not completely sure.

Welcome to English grammar. It’s really confusing here and lots of super smart people disagree about ideas I don’t understand. Noun phrases still make me cry. So why am I talking about grammar? Read more

Quarantine Taught Me About My Husband

What Quarantine Taught Me About My Husband

My husband and I have been home together with the baby for a little over 2 months. We haven’t gone anywhere with the exception of my husband having gone out a few times to run to the grocery store. Other than that, we have been together 24/7. At first we were stressed out, annoyed with each other at little things, and seemed on edge. I’m sure it was the fear of the unknown and panic of what was to come.  It was a ROUGH adjustment. Read more

motherhood

This Dance is Hard: Motherhood at the Quarter Century

With Older Son’s 25th birthday quickly approaching, it’s time for me to write up a few things I think I know about motherhood.

I have been a mom for a while, longer than some, not as long as others. 25 years so far. I have two children, one is 24 years old and one is 8 years old. There are no two people I love more in this world or beyond. They have been my great adventure and terror and joy and…well, all the things. They have given me dimensions I would not have developed if it were not for them. I think I am a better person because of them. Read more

To Parent or not to Parent

For possibly the first time in human history, people are able to ask themselves if they want to be a parent. Think about that. For thousands of years you had children for reasons out of your control. Your culture, your parents, your place within society dictated whether or not you became a parent. For millions of people, that is still true to this day. But for millions of others, there is a clear choice to be made. Read more

Questions Not to Ask Yourself During Quarantine

Questions Not to Ask Yourself During Quarantine

Now is not the time for me to reassess my life. Maybe for some people, a worldwide pandemic where you are locked into your house with a partner you stopped loving and started hating 6 years ago is a perfect time to say, “Time for a change.” However, for me, quarantine is no time to ask the big questions. Read more

During the COVID-19 Outbreak Don’t Tell Me to Count My Blessings

During the COVID 19 Outbreak Do Not Tell Me to Count My Blessings

If you ask me how I am feeling, I will tell you I am marginally okay.

In the age of a modern day outbreak, I can’t tell you I am well or fine — those platitudes seem to describe a different, more carefree time before Coronavirus insidiously crept into all our heads.

Slowly, freedom has been peeled away. The virus called COVID-19 has become larger, more pervasive and insidious. What was first a series of heartbreaking headlines from distant lands is now lingering right outside my door, so I go inside and hope.

Being safer at home makes it feel dangerous everywhere else. From behind my mask, I can’t smell the sweetness of blooming Wisteria anymore.

Like I said, marginally okay over here. Read more

Quarantine

Caregiving During Quarantine

Our world has been upended. Navigating empty store shelves, parsing quarantine orders, figuring out how to homeschool without ruining my children’s already shaky attachment to learning…We’re all trying to figure out our new lives and how to safely care for our loved ones. One thing is clear, our work as caregivers and mothers has never been more important. 

Much of our mental and physical work has shifted to discovering best practices regarding how to provide for and protect the ones we love. And yet the laundry still has to be done, dishes washed, dogs walked and cats peeled off furniture. 

Here are some ways we know Tend can help you with your own caregiving during quarantine journey: Read more