Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Awful Truths

Unfortunately for all you picture hounds, this is another picture-free post.  Hannah's grandparents from Michigan are visiting so I'll break out the camera soon and get some shots of her playing with her new toys that Grannah is spoiling her with.

In the meantime, I've been reading Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More, Argue Less, and Communicate Better As Your Family Grows (it's listed in the Amazon ferris wheel widget on the left sidebar) and keep coming across parts I like that I want to share.  In general, I think it's a pretty helpful book and an easy read, though it's a bit disorganized, extremely repetitive in parts, and has some "duh" information.  But there's also a lot of stuff that makes you go, "YES!! That's exactly how I feel!!" which is nice because then you can stop feeling like you're in some crazy situation all by yourself because you're not.  And really, that's the main reason I read and the reason my favorite genre is creative nonfiction: because as it turns out, I am not such a weird individual and reading other people who have found better words for my thoughts is a huge relief.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite parts.

This one sums up how I feel about parenthood, how it's insanely hard but worth it because I feel like I'm becoming a better person as a result.

"Parenthood fills us with awe and humility and gratitude.  It is also a soggy, uncomfortable, life-altering trial by fire.  Babies are the great levelers.  Like a drill sergeant who tears down his weak new recruits so he can rebuild them into soldiers, babies break us down and rebuild us into parents.  They flatten everything in sight, and then make us better, stronger, and hopefully, wiser than we were before."

The authors went on to quote my all-time favorite quote and what I have TRIED to make my personal motto and goal since I first read it in a college English class nearly a decade ago (I say TRY because I usually fail miserably).  The writer George Eliot said: "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"  The authors spend a lot of time emphasizing that if your mate is not happy, then you won't be either and neither will the kid.  It's a good point.

And the dilemma of the stay-at-home mom: how to justify to pay someone else to do your job especially when you don't have an actual job...

"Some stay-at-home moms feel a sense of isolation after having more kids.  They're on entertainment duty solo all day long....When they don't get that adult stimulation, they feel like the walls are closing in on them.  But if they pay a sitter to give themselves a little break, many wonder, "How can I justify paying someone else to do my job when I'm not bringing in any income?"

This next one was a quote within the book and despite being a former English major, I don't know how to quote a quote within a book and don't feel like figuring it out, but the book is in the sidebar  and I included a link to the original article so hopefully that's good enough. It's. by Mark Cleary who wrote an article called The Awful Truth about Parenthood":

"Unfortunately, it's not until you've had children that you discover how selfish you actually are. That's one of the paradoxical aspects of becoming a parent: at the very same time you realize precisely how selfish you are, you are forced to become less selfish."

I'm gonna read that article now; it sounds interesting.

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