Household Mag.

Blogger

Mom and Dad Made a Podcast - Episode 1

MotherhoodHailey AndresenComment

For our first episode Zack and I decided to tackle a pretty impossible question, "Why is parenting so hard?" We did some research, chatted with other parents, recorded our friend Ali, and shared some previously documented recordings. Here's the general overview. 

The idea that we are no longer raising our children to take over the family farm or other type of business really hit the nail on the head for me. Rather than having a specific, direct path we have the opportunity to prepare our children to do whatever their hearts desire. This has put parents in a unique roll since the 70's as we are left to prepare our children for a world of possibilities. 

What is the general reaction? Enroll them in as many language speaking courses, athletic activities, social programs and clubs as the week will allow. There are even parents who have taken to "kinder-cramming" bootcamp where they hire professionals for exorbitant amounts of money to tutor their 3 and 4 year olds so they can get into the best of the best schools for kindergarten. 

As American parents we are lost. Similar to the abundance of cuisines available in the United States we have yet to come to a conclusion on our diet, or in this case, our parenting style. We are victims of "too many choices" or "too much freedom". There are a million and one ways to parent and were all convinced we're doing it wrong or right depending on how the day is going. Moms are categorized into a number of stereotypes. There's the brain developer, the protector, the martyr, the crunchy mom, the fast food mom, the ultra controlling mom, the laid back mom, the executive and the housekeeper. And more often than not we are all trying to be each one of those moms simultaneously to mold the perfect, and most well adjusted child. 

But, I'm not perfect. And you're not perfect. And this world certainly isn't perfect. If you want my opinion I think mothers would be better off cutting themselves some slack because if you want to prepare your child for the world, don't you want them to know how to handle life and it's imperfections? Maybe this means they don't know three languages when they enter kindergarten. I speak one language and I'm doing just fine. This isn't to say mothers don't have the best intentions, I truly believe that most do. 

So why is parenting so hard? 

In an effort to provide our children with the most perfect life we often times sacrifice ourselves (martyr mom) and what we need and want. Our schedules are so overrun by playdates and our kid's activities that we leave very little room for leisure, our relationships and our passions leaving us unfulfilled. 

So what is the solution? 

I say go with your gut - your maternal instinct or paternal instinct. The mistakes you make so long as they aren't putting your child in deep emotional or physical harm will most likely make them better and stronger. 

More on the podcast. And a special thanks to the Underscore Orchestra, whose song “New Town Klezmer” was featured at the beginning of this episode and Tri-Tachyon, whose song "Little Lily Swing” we used to open our main story. And thank you to Alternative Views for providing the audio of Dr. Spock. As always, thank you to Anthony Eslick for providing the artwork and theme song for this show. You can find more of his work at anthonyeslick.com.

Photo by Amy Frances

Fall with My Little Guy

Brooklyn, MotherhoodHailey Andresen2 Comments

 

Last week I swear when we went to bed it was summer and the next morning we woke up to a fall breeze. Just like that the seasons made a switch overnight. We might be going a little overboard since it's just in the sixties, but it feels nice to turn the AC off, open the windows and add an extra layer of clothing. I'm such a sucker for this season. It's in these moments that I think to myself, "Oh, you're such a mom." All I've wanted to do this past week is make pie, drink warm drinks, make our home extra cozy, and go for long walks with Owen to soak up this weather. Last winter I primarily wore Owen since he was just a newborn, and well, it just seemed easier.

Times have definitely changed. Now that he's a year old (and twenty two pounds) I find myself leaning more and more on the stroller for our outings. We cycled through a few before landing on just the right one for our family, but I have to say the Cameleon3 Elements from Bugaboo kind of knocked it out of the park right away for us. The moment I brought it down the stairs and started pushing Owen I might have said to myself out loud (like a crazy person), "This is so nice." Honestly though, it's an incredibly smooth ride for both myself and Owen and has proven to be beneficial as we stroll through the city and the park. The park is the perfect location for a stroll with my new Bugaboo Cameleon³ Elements since the designer drew inspiration from nature when designing this stroller. The Bugaboo Cameleon³ Elements features a new soft-to-the-touch herringbone fabric on the bassinet, seat and sun canopy, which has a natural-style and unrefined texture.

The small wheels swivel to help you navigate through smaller spaces (hello any NYC market or really any establishment) and the larger wheels make trekking through rougher terrain more efficient. It’s these features that allow us to move freely and allow Owen to explore the world. Bugaboo strollers are an investment and my only regret is that we didn't make the jump to Bugaboo sooner. Bugaboo strollers are designed to carry your little one from the time they're born through their toddler years. Bugaboo turns burdens into blessings through unexpected, yet useful features found in all of their strollers such as the option to have them face forward or out which is a feature we haven't had with any of our previous strollers. Owen likes to see the world so I had him out this particular day. Watching the world through his eyes is just about the greatest thing. My Cameleon³ Elements is definitely the one for me and I’m ready to take it with me everywhere!

For more information, please visit www.bugaboo.com or join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

A Letter to O & "His" Party

Owen DrewHailey Andresen2 Comments

So when I received the photos from this past weekend my eyes filled with tears, like they often do when Amy sends over photos, but I caught myself laughing and smiling throughout those tears. I mean look at that kid’s face with the cake - come on! These photos sum up so much of this first year of life with Owen. It’s crazy to think about how different things were when I found out I was pregnant, and not just because of course now we have a one year old, but when I look at these photos it’s clear that this is our home. Not just the walls that make up our space, but that this city is our home. There are fresh faces in these photos that we would have never met if it weren’t for our move to NYC. Our life here is becoming more and more permanent and it truly warms my heart. Zack recently asked me where I would want to live if I could move anywhere right now, and my honest answer was nowhere. I want to stay right here. That’s not to say it isn’t difficult at times without of family close by. Having them here this past week was unbelievably helpful, and while I’m sure I didn’t realize it in the moment it was exactly what I needed. Despite all the craziness of life and Owen turning one I’m feeling refreshed and ready for what’s to come. Each person that came over and flipped their cup and celebrated with us last weekend is part of that. Owen is so loved and we are so lucky for every last drop of that love. Here’s this month’s letter to O.

Owen,

You are one my buddy! There is so much I could say and gush about when it comes to you and your first year of life, but I’m going to do my best to stick to the details since these details will be your only way of remembering your first birthday. Funny to think of it that way, huh? Plus you’ve got this whole blog dedicated to your life to read through so I think we’ve got it covered.

On your actual birthday you, your dad and I started the day by making you chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries. To think your dad and I were worried about you being an eater is hilarious - pretty positive you and I ate the same amount or close to it. Anyways, your Grammy and Grandpa came over as you were finishing breakfast and when your dad left for work we got you dressed and headed to the park. You swung on the swings and we took you for a long walk in your stroller. You napped and we all went to a coffee shop and worked on our computers until you woke up. Our day continued as most days do for you and I at home - the constant flow of eating, working, playing and I’d like to say you napped again, but I doubt it, you’ve been a bit of a stinker lately with naps.

We walked and met your dad at Frankie’s (our favorite place) with your grandparents for dinner. As I watched you eat fresh bread and pasta and cheers me with your sippy cup I couldn’t help but laugh at 1. How unbelievably lucky you are - I honestly don’t think I knew what rosemary was until I was deep into adulthood and you eat it regularly. 2. How big you are - I mean cheers-ing me, the cutest. 3. How funny you are - you know how to make us laugh and once you start you don’t want to stop. It’s the best. And even if you aren’t laughing but the rest of the group is laughing you just jump right in and start laughing too.

You got fussy towards the end of dinner as we were inching towards your bedtime so I took you outside and pushed you in your stroller until you fell asleep. Your dad and I and your grandparents took advantage of your sleeping out and about and parked your stroller at a bar (I know, parents of the year, but it’s Park Slope and it would be weird if there wasn’t a baby in the bar, trust me). We drank a little too much and talked about you, and being your parents and grandparents and how wild it truly is that a year as gone by. In all honesty your dad and I made your birthday equally about ourselves and surviving the first year of parenting if you can’t tell by the photos here from “your” party. ;)

We love you Owen and this year was truly the best of our lives. If this is any indication of what we have to look forward to with you I’m excited for every minute of it. Thank you for being you. I can’t imagine my life without you.

Love,

Mom

Photography by Amy Frances