Archive for April, 2009

For the Love of Animals

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Our cat is 16 years old. I defy anyone to claim to have a better kitty than our Emmy. She’s endured six moves, three across country; two airplane rides; weeks alone in our house while we’re on vacation and yet she still purrs like a revved up engine when we come near her. Despite being an old lady, she looks like a teenager, slim and nimble.

But one day a few weeks ago she stopped eating.

Turned out she has liver disease. No problem, the vet said (the first time Emmy has been to the vet since she was adopted, BTW), just give her this medicine. FOUR TIMES A DAY. Two pills and two liquids.

You try giving a cat a pill! She won’t eat, so putting it in her food is useless. Tonight as she was hissing at me and squirming, and I was pressing on her mouth with my fingers and pushing a syringe through her fragile old teeth, I felt like a beast. But it’s let her die or force medicine into her.

I thought about pets and kids after my heart stopped pounding and I got her to calm down and she began to purr again. What we do for our kids. What we do for our animals. I am exhausted.

Moms Think Recession Can Be Good!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

We just did a survey of all our newsletter subscribers–thousands of moms all across America–and were stunned by the implications. Thanks to all for participating: we got statistically important results that were astonishing!

It was so exciting, because it proves to us that we’re on to something with this idea that mothers want solutions to their crazy-busy lives. We’re all dying for some positivity! Moms don’t want to complain anymore; we want to figure out how to manage things so that life doesn’t just speed us by.

The most shocking realization comes when your kids are suddenly taller than you are and you think to yourself, wow, it’s almost over already. And I spent so much time grumbling and complaining and being too busy to enjoy the moment. What a waste!

Here is some info on the results:

We asked whether the recession was good or bad for families in the long run, and the results showed that by an incredible margin of almost 2:1, modern mothers feel the recession provides an important opportunity to reassess family values. Contrary to the doom and gloom stories on the economy that continue to play in the media all around us, American families do not think the recession is all bad news.

When given a variety of options as to why, there was universal agreement that the recession provided a broad-based opportunity to improve family life.

72% of respondents answered “all of the above” when offered the following reasons for their optimistic outlook:
•    tightening our belt educates kids about the value of money
•    re-adjusting our schedules helps kids find more precious downtime
•    being less busy and distracted helps us focus more on the small pleasures of life

Of those who answered no to the question “Is the recession good for families in the long run,” the majority expressed concern about children reacting to parents’ stress levels.

There’s enormous pent-up demand in American families for getting back to basics. The economic recession is viewed by many as a chance to make dramatic, holistic life changes. Parents are seeking opportunities to revisit their family’s goals and aspirations, to reset the family calendar, to help their children appreciate the value of money and work and to find more time to enjoy simple pleasures.

Time for some good news to hit the airwaves!

In the Motherhood

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I’m happy to see that women are more and more comfortable talking about the reality of motherhood. Increasingly, you’ll hear moms telling it like it is, and stopping with the pretense that an insane amount of blood, sweat and tears = guaranteed superstar kids.

There’s this hilarious webcast, In the Motherhood. Just listening to these women takes a load off our shoulders. What’s even funnier is that the episodes were written using submissions from real moms.

Then there are these new TV episodes on abc. And this book about the dirty secrets of parenting. Lots of videos on YouTube making fun of over-the-top moms. I mean, wherever we go there’s an opportunity to either laugh at ourselves or to sigh with relief about the hilarious moments we find ourselves in.

But…. while I’m fine with not taking myself too seriously, I also get a little tired of the “make-fun-of-how-foolish-moms-are” mode. Yes, we do stupid things, we worry too much, we work too hard and we make fools of ourselves. BUT, what do we do if all this causes us and our families great pain? What happens when it’s just not funny anymore?

Many mothers out there are seriously stressed out.

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center conducted a study in 2003 of mothers who brought their kids into the ER for non-threatening problems. Thirty percent of those moms screened positive for depression, anxiety, panic attacks or physical problems related to stress! So how do we help parents control their anxiety? What steps can mothers and fathers take, right now, that will help them instead of make fun of them? That was the goal of our book. To tell it like it is, with raw honesty, and then take the next step: help mothers figure out what to do next. Or, even better; WHAT NOT TO DO!