Equally Shared Parenting

A few months ago I was attempting to write a post for the Carnival of Natural Parenting.  The description of the month’s topic was:

November 2010: What is Natural Parenting?: Explore one concept from the natural parenting philosophy – why is it important to you/your family?

I knew right away what I wanted to write about.  I was going to write about Equally Shared Parenting.  So, I started where every good writer starts.  I googled it.  I found the website for Marc and Amy Vachon’s book by the same name.  I started writing my post.  I wrote about how we share the child raising, house work, recreation, and then I got to breadwinning.  We don’t share that.

Jason has a career that he enjoys.  He likes what he does.  He is good at it, and he wants to continue to do it for some time.  I went to school for education.  I have a double major in elementary and middle school education with areas of concentration (similar to minors) in math and history.  I also have a masters degree in special education with the general strategist certification.  I, unfortunately, do not have a career that I enjoy and want to return to.

So, while as much as I like to think that we are practicing equally shared parenting, we are not.  Jason shares all the responsibility for the tasks around the house and with the kids, but I do not share any of the responsibility of breadwinning.  I could explain why we’ve chosen for it to be this way, but in the end it really comes down to the fact that I don’t work.  Right now, I’m okay with not working (for money), and eventually I hope to return to a career.  However, shouldering all the responsibility for this area is a lot.

(As a side note, remind me in the future that my 5 year old cannot nap for more than 30 minutes or he will be up at 9:45 just tossing and turning in his bed.)

So, as I was trying to write that post, I realized that in the future Jason and I may very well practice equally shared parenting, we don’t right now.  Some days I’m okay with that, and some days I wish it was different.  Some days I feel guilty about asking him to share all the other responsibilities of our family but not sharing in the breadwinning.

I have some other thoughts on careers, motherhood, etc.  I may share some of them in the future, but until then I don’t have anything to neatly wrap up my thoughts on this.  I don’t have a great response question for anyone who might read this.  I guess I just thought I’d put this out there and see what happens.

Mamavation Monday: Week 9

So, apparently you can ask two health professionals the same question and get two completely different answers.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m still frustrated.  For quite some time, I’ve been experiencing the effects of having a pinched nerve in my foot.  Sometimes it feels like a nerve sensation through my toes.  Sometimes it feels like there’s a rock in my shoe.  For a long time, I took my slipper off several times a day trying to figure out where the rock was.  It aches most of the time, and I can feel the ball of tissue where it’s inflamed when I stand on a hard floor in bare feet.  So, I saw a podiatrist and a chiropractor.

On my orthotics:

Podiatrist says:  They’re fine.  Wear them all the time.
Chiropractor says:  They increase the force on my joints 5-7 times.  They also only support the main arch allowing the other two to remain collapsed.   When they are in my shoes, they are like walking on a board that flexes only in one place.  She can make me new ones if I’m interested.

On treating it:

Podiatrist says:  Cortisone shot or surgery.  He also says since I’m 31 he won’t tell me not to exercise so go about my exercise routine like I normally would.
Chiropractor says:  There are a few stretches that can be done.  Use biofreeze before and after anything that might inflame the area. She says avoid things that are high impact and be careful with everything else.

On whether it can be resolved without an invasive treatment:

Podiatrist says:  Probably not.
Chiropractor says:  It’s possible.  The body sometimes does what it does, and while it’s not likely sometimes it does happen.

 

So, I’m chewing that on this week.  Also, I realized that in order to get to the gym 12 times this month, starting last Monday, I realized I needed to go to the gym seven out of the last eight days of February.  So, since Monday, I’ve been to the gym and done 45-60 minutes of cardio every day except Saturday.  I’ve gotten my water and fruit and vegetable intake most days.  I figured last week would be a great week.  Right?  Apparently not great.  Meh.  I’m hoping my body and mind sync up soon.

Jonas is almost five months old now (in just over a week).  When the other boys were this age, I was already below my pre-pregnancy weight.  I had friends who struggled to lose the weight.  I encouraged them to get their lifestyles ready for when the weight was ready to come off.  I supported them.  I reminded them their babies were still young.  I meant all the things I was saying, but it’s a lot harder to be on the other side of that coin.

Over the past week, I have done somewhere around 300 minutes of cardio.  I’ve also had plenty of water and made pretty decent food choices.

Previous loss:  8.2 lbs

This week’s loss:  .6 lb gain (Boo-urns!!!)

Total loss:  7.6 lbs

Staying focused on water intake, eating fruit and vegetables, and getting exercise.

“Hi, Mom!” “Bye, Mom!”

That picture is fingers waving to me from under our bathroom door.

I remember when I was younger, I used to do the same thing to my mom.  I used to wonder what she could possibly be doing in the bathroom without me!  Didn’t she miss me?  Didn’t she wish I could be in there with her, too?  What was the point of privacy anyway?

These memories came flooding back to me the other night.  I was in the shower, and the two older boys were getting ready for bed.  First, Asa came in to get his toothbrush.  Then, he left.  A couple minutes later, he came back in to rinse it and put it away.  Then, he left.  Then, Kael came in to get his toothbrush, and I have no idea what happened next, but he came in and left five times.  Each time, he said, “Hi, Mom!”  “Bye, Mom!”  He was so happy to be greeting me both on his way in and out.  Just wanting to let me know he was there in case I didn’t know.

So sorry, Mom.  Very very sorry.

Mamavation Monday: Week 8

This week I learned a lesson.  What I’m doing is not to lose weight.  It’s to get healthy.  I need to do what I need to do, and eventually the results will come.  Weeks when I do well, I expect to lose weight.  Weeks when I don’t do as well, I don’t expect as much of a loss.  My body and my expectations aren’t always on the same page though.  That’s why it’s so important to focus on the long term goal of being healthy vs. the immediate result of losing weight.

Last weekend, we were out of town.  We didn’t eat like we normally do.  I also had *that* week of the month this week.  I expected it to be a holding pattern type of week.

Previous loss:  5.8 lbs

This week’s loss:  2.4 lbs

Total loss:  8.2 lbs

Who knew?

This week, I’ll be keeping up on the water and fruit and vegetable intake.

Mamavation Monday: Week 7

Well, after feeling more than a little frustrated last week, I am feeling better as I write this post.  I can’t put my finger on why I’m feeling better.  I think it might be a combination of several things.  A supportive friend, some advice from someone I didn’t even know, nicer weather, some decent results on the scale, and having a new book on the way.

Also, after talking with Heather, my supportive friend, I made the decision that in order to get past some of my struggles, I just need to do it.  I was telling her that since I live in a cold weather climate (North Dakota), I sometimes struggle to get my fruits, vegetables, and water intake to where they need to be.  Let me be honest with you.  When it’s cold out, I don’t want cold food.  Heather was great and suggested some alternatives, but in the end I decided that was a big ol’ excuse for not doing what I should be doing.  Instead of making more work for myself, I’m just going to do it.  My goal for this week is 3 bottles of water every day (96 oz) and 5+ fruits and vegetables every day.  Hopefully since we’ve been experiencing some nicer weather I’ll get off to a good start in this area and the week after won’t be too bad even if it’s colder.

My foot is still bugging me.  My knee is still bugging me.  While I’m tempted to keep on exercising with the foot thing just to get it dealt with, I think a better plan will be to do something that is less impact (the Pilates), let my foot and knee heal up and start again at a slower pace when that happens.  Until then, hopefully the bike and Pilates will become two of my great friends.

Thanks for the support and comments!  Every one means a lot to me.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot

Previous weeks’ weight loss:  5 lbs

This week:  .8 lbs

Total:  5.8 lbs