Nine Years After the NICU

On my birthday last week, I was at Brain, Child Magazine’s Brain, Mother blog discussing two other birthdays – the day my twins were born and the day they came home.  I talk about the scars my twins’ NICU stay has left on me, but not on them.  It’s a piece I thought about writing for many years, but had not collected my thoughts.  The essay is here.

The twins on their actual ninth birthday

The twins on their actual ninth birthday

Are Breadwinning Moms Happy?

A new study by Working Mother Media about breadwinning moms reveals that more breadwinning moms who chose their roles are pleased with the way chores are divided at home. As Kelly Wallace writes on cnn.com:

The survey found that 89% of the moms who were happy to be breadwinners were satisfied with how much their spouse or partner took care of the children, versus 58% for the “reluctant” breadwinners. Meanwhile, 75% of “pleased” breadwinning moms were satisfied with how chores were divided at home, versus 48% of the group who would prefer not to be the primary earner.

I spoke with Kelly about my own experience for the piece. I am not a reluctant breadwinning mom; it was a choice we made. Lots of elements went into it, including my own earning power and our natural temperaments, but, at bottom, these were roles we chose. I told Kelly that I thought another aspect of making it work was the lack of measuring — I don’t count each task my husband does at home and consider whether he is pulling his weight.  Similarly, he didn’t resent me for not taking more lucrative jobs. Kelly includes a short quote from me at the end of the piece, and one from my youngest daughter Charlotte, who knows no other situation than her mom working and her dad cooking, cleaning and changing her diaper way more than her mom does.

Having Twins First v. Having Twins Last

Having twins is tough — whether you have only the twins or those twins have siblings. But if you do have singleton(s) also, how does birth order matter? Lauren Apfel, of omnimom.net, and I were recently on Brain, Child Magazine’s blog comparing our stories. She had her twins as numbers three and four; I had mine as numbers one and two. We found there are some big pros and cons to both.

You can see our essays here.

Third Kids, Sixth Kids and Last Kids

My youngest daughter, Charlotte, just started nursery school.  She attends the same school my twins did, who are six years older than she is.  When the twins started, I was grateful for the phase-in period, where caregivers had to stay in the back of the room for the first few sessions, all of which were shorter than the full 2 hour 45 minutes.  I was not sure they were ready to be dropped off – it seemed like a big transition for them and for me.

This time around, when I got the phase-in schedule for Charlotte, I wondered aloud to my husband why we could not just drop her off for the whole session the first day. He reminded me of how grateful I had been with the twins in 2007, and that she is actually three months younger than they were when they started. But even he, as the primary caregiver, is willing to drop her off much more readily than he was the twins.

This third child seems to benefit from our experience and also maybe suffer a bit.  It’s a strange brew of impatience and wisdom and jaded parenting.  Continue reading