We don’t need the New York Times to tell us that not growing up has its benefits.
#NeverGrowUp #RBwisdom @brooklynkids
Just spend a couple hours with a baby or toddler — doesn’t even have to be yours — and see the world through their eyes, and, trust me, they’ll change your perspective on things. Try lying on your back below a colorful mobile, looking up into the sky on a stroll, walking on your knees or crawling on the floor — the view looks different from there.
Just wonder, wander . . . it’s Friday, you deserve it. Go find your extraordinary, baby.
What would life be without books? Not a life I’d like to live!
No video games or tablets or any electronics can replace the feeling of holding an actual book in my hands, writing my name in ones that I own (made me feel so special as a child, owning a library), flipping through pages, even ripping them!
For this week’s Throwback Thursday, here is a set of children’s self-help books from Joy Wilt that I just rediscovered at my parents’ house. Do they look familiar to you?
Both my parents worked full-time and were immigrants so they did their best to school us on the “American way of life.” This set of books, as well as a couple others (I recall a very comical cartoon book set talking about privates and the birds and bees I’m dying to find!) that was their way of saying, “Hey, life is complicated and you’ll need to figure sh*t out. These might help.”
While I’m definitely more sentimental about Gus Was a Friendly Ghost than A Kid’s Guide to Managing Money, the latter reminds me of the different ways my parents did their best to support and teach me and my sisters — AND that I still haven’t figured my sh*t out. Which is why I’m re-reading the books again, some three decades later.
Which books couldn’t you live without as a child?
See all our book picks below! And don’t miss our own Rockabye Baby book, only available in our release Good Baby, Bad Baby.
Today is a day unlike any other in recent years. For one, it’s slightly rainy outside (rare in Los Angeles). Second, I’m typing this on my phone while I’m riding on the subway, something I haven’t done in a long time; something I now realize, I’ve sorely missed. Third, I’m going on a day trip today that is all about what I want to do.
See, the thing about becoming a mother (arguably more than a father) that I’m only really beginning to admit to now, more than two years into this role, is that I have given up a lot of things and pretended/forgotten that they mattered. I hear this from other mothers, too. Maybe because you’re so damned happy to have a baby or you’re too damned busy and overwhelmed to remember. And some of those things may have been really important to you and/or integral to who you are. And, actually, it begins before the kid is even born: if you’re carrying the child, the sacrifices (and anxiety) begin the minute you know you’re pregnant.
Maybe not all mothers see them as “sacrifices” per se, but there’s certainly an extended period of “giving up . . ”
For me, in total, I’ve really been looking at 4 ½ years of giving up various things, as I’ve been pregnant off and on since late 2010.
I gave up pretty much all vices as soon as I found out I was pregnant each time (and, to be honest, picked them back up in between each).
I gave up taking the Metro when I finally got to my third trimester partly for fear of getting sick, but also the klutz that I am was scared of falling down the ridiculously steep stairs/escalators at my two regular stations.
I gave up taking trips because of budget restraints and I simply was too preggers to even enjoy walking at times.
I continued to give up the Metro when my daughter was finally born because her daycares weren’t very accessible by public transportation and, admittedly, for fear of her or me getting sick.
When she reached toddler age, I gave up a couple of my freelance jobs and some personal projects because I simply couldn’t find quality time to spend with her, and give my all to the work.
I gave up any nights alone. (I honestly haven’t spent one night apart from my kid since she was born. Not that I’m complaining about this.)
In some ways, I stopped dreaming big dreams and the dreams that took their place were dreams of simply having a clean house and the opportunity to take a long shower.
You get it, parents, I don’t need to tell you this — we stop prioritizing ourselves. But is that a good thing for our kids? Which brings me back to my adventure today: I am currently heading to a vigil in downtown for victims of recent terrorist attacks in France. My husband questioned why it mattered so much to me to go. It’s not like I’ve been politically active in recent years (save two community meetings: one regarding homelessness and another on crime and safety). And I was incredibly defensive to the point I was driven to tears, unexpectedly. “Why now?” he asked.
Because I’m a writer.
Because I work with artists.
Because I’m scared.
Because I’m angry.
Because I want to be with other people who are feeling the way I do instead of living in this self-imposed bubble I have been living in.
Because I want to be part of something bigger than me.
Because I have had three miscarriages and if there were a gathering for people who were sad about them, I’d go to that, too.
Because I’m terribly upset about cancer and injustice and healthy food being too expensive and want to find time to do something about those things, too.
Because I don’t want to feel alone.
Motherhood does feel that way sometimes. Lonely. For as much love as I get from my daughter and joy from caring for her, I often get confused about who I am along the way, and that’s where the loneliness comes from. I miss me. Now that my daughter is older, I want us both to realize that I’m more than just the one who gets her to brush her teeth, kisses her owies when she’s sad and applauds her when she learns something new. I’m the one who mourns with others, who likes to sometimes act like a child instead of an adult, who wants to fight for things that help more than just our family — a woman we both could be proud of. A woman who still dreams.
Interested in more parenting posts? Click HERE. Or check out the posts below!
We asked our team and here’s a mixed bag of real parent life tips worth listening to — or running from. Really, who wants to admit they listen to their parents? Okay, some hands are going up at Rockabye Baby HQ. We’re good like that.
“It’s the things that you don’t worry about that really blindside you.” And “just decide what you want to do and do it,” which sounds really obvious but is actually kind of genius. — Hannah’s mom
I mostly learned through observation with my parents. They have never given any particular advice other than to contribute to a 401K and save money for the important stuff. My parents are very punctual with everything (bills, mortgage, etc.) and are sometimes so far ahead that they have credits for months on end. I try to model my own financial responsibilities after the way they handle theirs. Also, the common sense stuff like be good to other people and don’t do anything dumb — think of the consequences. — Jennifer’s parents
Always think outside the box. — Scott’s parents
I was a pretty homely lookin’ teen growing up and I got mocked a lot for my looks/body shape. I remember my mom rubbing my back one night while I was facedown on my bed, upset about something that had happened at a party (people were being laughing about my big ass). She just said, “One day all of these *ssholes will see what I see. And one day you’ll see it too.”
Sure enough, a couple years ago, when we were at a bar in my hometown, the main dude shouting his distaste for my large butt came up to me with his tail between his legs and just said, “I’m so sorry for what happened all those years ago. You’re so far out of all of our leagues now.” And blah blah. I told my mom that next morning and she just nodded her head with this smug smile on her face and said. “See, I told ya!” Don’t ever let the bastards get you down. — Ms. Rockabye
Dream big, have a kind & open heart, it’s okay to be weird, and never give up! — Rockabye Grrl’s parents
I had the PERFECT present planned to share with everyone this holiday season. It was the ultimate gift that every person would enjoy, that would get old but not in a boring way, and would give back again and again: news of another baby.
My husband and I would tell my family and friends at the end of my first trimester, when most expectant parents share their big news. That was our plan. With our first child, Little D, we unveiled my bulging belly to my family on Thanksgiving, when I was five months pregnant. But this time around, we thought, surely, Christmas was ideal.
But I just found out, I had another miscarriage. (Big sigh and many sobs go here.)
Yes, another. This is my third, and second in a row. I’ve been pregnant four times in four years — but only one has worked out. Because of this and so many other reasons, I don’t take any day with my daughter, now 2 ½ years old, for granted.
You probably can imagine how heartbreaking this situation can be when you really want to have another child (or child, period). It simply sucks. It quadruple sucks when you actually get to see another heart beating inside you — twice — and two weeks later, the fluttering is gone. (Another big sigh goes here.)
I’ve had three miscarriages.Not that many people in my life know I’ve had one, much less two. But I’m going to tell more people this time around. Why? Miscarriages happen. Now that wouldn’t be a pleasant bumper sticker at all, would it? But it’s true. And rather than being so private about it, I want other women to know that it’s okay, and to be open to all the feelings you have if it does happen to you. Some people are able to totally shrug it off, others never do. I didn’t know how common miscarriages were and how to heal from them physically and emotionally until I talked to other people about it.
But know that I didn’t write this post to throw a pity party. I wrote this because I want people who have loved ones who have had miscarriages to also know that while there really are no right words to make us feel better, we appreciate your love and are grateful nonetheless for your support.
Here’s what people have said to me:
“It’s nature’s way.”
“Miscarriages are totally normal.”
“It will work out next time.”
“I told you that you need to take care of yourself.” DO NOT say this to someone who’s just had a miscarriage, please. (Moms, how do they love us so much, but find the absolute wrong things to say on some occasions? Mom, you’re forgiven.)
“I’m sorry.” These two words are always welcome, as is this question, “What can I do to make you feel better?”
My dear friend Andrea — seriously an expert at making anyone feel better — brought me a Baskin-Robbins mint ’n’ chip and chocolate ice cream cake after my first miscarriage, because she knows it’s one of my favorite desserts. After my second miscarriage, she brought me the same cake. This time around, I told her I would happily have a serving of her turkey pumpkin chili.
Okay, this isn’t a joke, but we have to power through these disappointing moments in our lives and find the strength to be happy again, to try really, really hard not to blame ourselves (or others) and to continue to open ourselves to the love around. Despite this loss, I know I’m not alone in this experience, and in my hope for the future.
In the first 36 hours since getting the news, I’ve done the following to not let 3 Ms get me down: told my sisters and parents, played couch potato for three hours accompanied by many helpings of Häagen Daz ice cream, not done any dishes, got the tightest hug from my daughter when I picked her up from school, hugged my husband, kept dinner plans with out-of-town friends (who coincidentally have had back-to-back miscarriages, followed by two kids), went to sleep, got up and packed lunches, dropped off my daughter to school in the rain (by choice, she wore a Minnie Mouse jacket, Darth Vader shirt, pink sweat pants, a Smokey the Bear hat and Batman rain boots), went to work, listened to the Belle and Sebastian Pandora station, wished two of my friends “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, walked and hugged my dog, tolerated a tantrum from my daughter, kissed my parakeet, brushed and hugged my cat, put two bags of recycling out, ate some leftovers, made donations to Wikimedia Foundation and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and wrote this post. I smiled more in that time than I cried.
How do you find joy when it’s hard to be joyful?
I’d love to hear from you.
Finally, have I ever told you how incredible my husband is? He’s been my hero through every tear, laugh, and smile. This song is dedicated to him, and to everyone who lifts you up and brings you joy. (Thank you, too, Dre.)
More than half the country is covered in snow right now. (Sorry, Los Angeles isn’t, but if we drive just two hours, we’re with you!)
And this snow generally brings kids joy, the coveted “snow days,” snowball fights, you name it — fun, fun, fun . . . for them. Adults, on the other hand, are often faced with scraping frozen windshields, shoveling driveways and entryways and, oh yes, those winter heating bills!
As always, we’re here to remind the parents of those joyful kids about how to be smart during the season. This rocking parent tip comes from the parents of Bill in our sales department, and it’s an important one!
Do you have a great parent tip? Post it below and you may see it in an upcoming post! We’d love to hear from you.
There was one gift that I always, always wanted when I was a kid that my parents for some reason would never buy me—the Slinky. But I totally understood why later, it had one of the shortest life spans of any toy. Every kid I did know with one had that thing wound up in the wrong direction within minutes, then would throw tantrums while their parents had to somehow, usually unsuccessfully, try to coil it back into shape.
Now that I have a kid of my own, I do my best to only get her gifts that will last: won’t break (right away), won’t harm her or any of our pets, that she will treasure years from now, and will entertain her as much as they entertain me. (Sounds like a Rockabye Baby album, right?) So, to tell the truth, I’ve bought her very few presents — books, mostly, art supplies, and essentials — while her father buys her at least two a week, including stuffed animals, DVDs, dolls and action figures, and says he’s making up for my lack of gifts.
Maybe it’s partly me being a middle child that prevents me from spoiling her, an only child, but I always tell my husband, “I just don’t want her to want things that she doesn’t need,” especially in this age. I only like to give her things she needs and convince her that she really, really wants them. It’s actually not that hard! A cute toothbrush, colorful tights, Batman rain boots (what kid, doesn’t need a pair?). But, yes, kids want more, and when I was a child these were among the gifts on my wish list for the holidays or my birthday.
Do these date me, or what? Were any of these on your wish list?
What are the gifts from your youth that still make you smile?
I may have to put it on my shopping list this season for my daughter! Here’s one gift from my parents I’ll always treasure.
See more memorable presents from yesteryear on our Remember When Pinterest Board! And don’t forget these latest releases from Rockabye Baby to consider for your loved ones, big and small.
Parents, do you dream of peaceful nights without baby's cries? Well, the rumours are true: Lullaby Renditions of Fleetwood Mac will soothe those woeful tears. Don't stop spinning these gentle instrumentals - they'll make sleeping fun.