I was a child of the ’80s (and part of the ’90s), which means I had plenty of exposure to what parenthood would really be like from iconic greats like Diane Keaton, Tom Selleck, Michael Keaton, Kirstie Alley, and Goldie Hawn. When I had kids, I was fully expecting to be a Manhattan exec turned baby food inventor just like J.C. Wiatt in “Baby Boom.” It didn’t quite go down like that when I had my daughter a couple of decades later. My husband and I were both work-at-home, stay-at-home parents who knew nothing about making baby food.
Movies from the ’80s made parenting seem like a terrifying, identity-erasing abyss full of diapers and bottles. The reality is a lot less dramatic, really. Sure, there are diapers and bottles and plenty of really difficult times, but I’ve learned parenting is an endurance test. It’s about blending elements of your pre and post-parent life together. But still, I learned some valuable lessons from my favorite 80′s movies. Here are a few of my favorites and what they taught me…
When I was pregnant, everyone warned me not to judge myself against other women either positively or negatively. They told me not to compare myself to the Super Moms, the Momzillas or even the Deadbeat Moms. People warned me that once I was a mother there would be some things I would do effortlessly, and others I would fail dismally at.
Largely, I ignored their advice and trusted in my own self-worth and confidence. I was a little older than most of my mom friends and figured that with those extra years came extra wisdom. I instinctually understood that hanging out on online baby forums leads to intense paranoia about teething, and battling it out with anonymous strangers is stupid. I never thought I would succumb to the motherhood comparison game. But in the end, I was wrong. I did judge myself harshly. But it wasn’t against other moms. It was against my own husband. Keep reading »
I was commenting on how packaged pregnancy tests resemble fruit roll ups when my mother told me scientists once injected bunnies with a woman’s urine to determine whether or not she was pregnant.
“A rabbit?” I was a little stunned by the idea of poor, floppy-eared, innocent rabbits getting shot up with pee. “Oh yeah!” My mother said nodding. “People used to say, well, the rabbit died. And everyone would know she was pregnant.”
An episode of “M*A*S*H” even made reference to the practice when Hot Lips thought she might be pregnant and the only available test was via Radar’s unsuspecting pet rabbit Fluffy.
This method seemed so bizarre to me, that I was compelled to learn more about the history of pregnancy tests. Click on to see what kind of crazy stuff I discovered.
My husband and I weren’t making a political statement, revolutionizing the stay-at-home parenting dynamic or sticking it to corporate America when we deliberately choose to both be work-at-home, stay-at-home parents. While there are lots of acronyms for one parent doing this—WAHM, SAHM, WAHD and beyond—I have yet to see one that fits our family. Perhaps DIWAHSAHPWOB (Double-Income-Work-At Home-Stay-At-Home-Parents-With-One-Baby).
Regardless of what you want to call us, we don’t really fit into any of the categories Elizabeth Wurtzel’s now infamous piece in The Atlantic mentions. Though I do sometimes shrug off work to go do errands (that don’t involve yoga or pedicures). Because to me, it’s a necessity to do errands during non-mobbed Trader Joe’s hours so my husband and I can de-career our marriage for a few hours and do adult things. Like have a beer before I try to finish freelance assignments I’ve barely scratched because I spent all day wrangling a baby girl with a stuffy nose. Keep reading »