Momversation: When to Give Parenting Advice to Friends?

Is giving parental advice more tender than any other kind of advice? When Martin Luther King Jr. was told to slow down on integration and the civil rights of people of color, was that welcome advice? One can give advice and thankfully, one can always reject it.

Jessica Gottlieb asked the question. Me, Asha, and Maggie answer.

What do you do ?

Momversation:The Worst Parenting Stories

Hey, just in case we need to review this… Momversation.com is another site where mom bloggers send in videos to discuss certain topics in parenting. I am one of the panelists on Momversation. Today Alice from finslippy.com leads the discussion with “What is your worst parenting story?” Heather of www.dooce.com, one of the biggest mom sites out there, and I chime in.

The one bit I taped that I would add to this story (but gosh it can’t go on forever is this). We mostly address the trials of having young children, but from observing friends, cousins, and my husband, the worst parenting stories are with your older children who do things or make choices that are not good or productive for them and you cannot effect change.  Lack of sleep and temper tantrums be damned, not being able to connect, reach, or alter what your child is doing on a life choice level, that would be the worst parenting moment.

Right?

Momversation: Flippin’ Tired

I really loved the momversationalists in this. You Cool Mom viewers/readers started it when you kept adding on to my original “I’m so flipping tired..” with your honesty and humor. So I asked the panel to weigh in.

Sidebar, my makeup and lighting were good in this, but I know I was a tad tired as I didn’t have good jokes… sometime the brain is slower.

I was driving today thinking how now that I do get a bit more sleep than I had for most of 2009, I realize HOW tired I have been. Big things and small things have really fallen through the cracks, and I’m just now trying to attend to. Yet, I’m sort of amazed that any of us with little babies function at all, let alone how well we do.

Cheers!

Momversation: Did You Pick the Right Co-Parent?

Did you pick the right person to have kids with? That’s the question on the Momversation I’m in today.

I used to do a bit in stand up about how, for some reason, the penny didn’t drop till after I gave birth that my husband works at least 5 nights a week. He didn’t keep it from me, but it was my naive pre-child brain that didn’t think this would bother me as a mother. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

So, I think I picked a good man to have kids with… but would have liked this person to have a little different schedule.

Oh, well.

Momversation: Who’s the Better Gift Giver?

This was more a more interesting conversation than I would have imagined it. I ask the ladies, who is better at gift giving, men or women?  Not sure I can give it to the women. My ex-boyfriend Tim gave me arguably the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received. Before my birthday (back in the late ’90s when we dated) he asked me to go through a fashion magazine and tell him what I liked. Cut to a couple of months later on my birthday, I open up a box, and Tim had created a Daphne Doll. He had taken a picture of me standing in a slip and then cut out and created small clothes on magnets to go with it. So I could dress “Daphne” like a paper doll, or a magnet doll. I was speechless thinking of the time this must have taken. It was an extensive wardrobe. Then there was one small box left. I opened it and it was one more magnet mounted dress for “Daphne”. But it was a dress I had pointed out in the magazine. I turned it over, and he had written that he had called Cynthia Rowley’s studio in NYC (the designer), and it wasn’t in yet, but it would be sent to me within the month. I still have the dress. I am not a tenth that thoughtful.

Maybe guys are better at gifts because my mother-in-law gave one of the most questionable gifts I’ve seen. Bless her heart, but when Oliver turned 11, his grandmother gave him stuffed faux chickens. Oliver is so kind he didn’t go “wtf?” a one would expect. He looked quizzically at it and then moved on to the next present.  My family and I were stunned. I said, “Oh, when he was little did you guys have a special book you used to read about chickens?”

“No” she replied. She must have known that most 11-year-old boys love wheat sculptures made to look like poultry. After an X Box why not?

So, I bet you all have good ones about super thoughtful and not-so-thoughtful gifts.

Momversation Moments

Misty water color memories… Momversation is one year old. So they asked the moms to talk about their favorite Momversation moments. Here is what made the cut.

I have to be honest, I don’t remember much of what I have recorded on Momversation. But like a lot of the veteran broadcasters and comics I have worked with over the years and respect, I have performance amnesia. I put it all out there, and then when it’s done, it’s done. It’s like I tell the performance to get its crap and get out of here.

I think my new Momversation moment is the one Rebecca shows. It is a riot. Could not have scripted it better.

Momversation: How Do You Deal with a Public Tantrum?

Oh, who hasn’t walked in those shoes… a kid is having a full blown Exorcist meltdown in public.  How do you react if it’s your own and how do you react if it’s a strangers child?  In this I talk about my my dear friend Christine D. who comes to the aid of a mother’s on planes.  Sign, what a love.

Is there a tried and true method you employ?  Is it always out of left field or do you see it coming? Vivien and I just had an issue.  We ran to the mall to buy stuff for Mark’s bday and she was great.  Listening to mom ( as I had prepped her), staying within my sight, helping me with the purchases.  But, when we got in the car I would let her climb up and over the presents-which would have mashed them, through the front seat to the back, while four cars were idling waiting for our car to move so we could get out of there.  Suddenly, Beowulf appeared.

I was stunned, where did this come from? After a few minutes it was over and we were driving home, but I think I need some lozenges for my throat.

Keeping Kids Healthy: Momversation

Well, at momversation.com, I asked Mindy and Karen (and you all) what do you do to keep the illnesses from one child confined to only their little body? I know I really lucked out (knock wood) with Vivien’s health as she was almost a year before she had a cold. Rex has had more colds. No science to back it up, but I figure it’s because of his sister.

But when Vivien was newborn… I mean days old… Mark got whooping cough and Oliver–then 11–got it as well. I marvel and am eternally grateful that Vivien, and myself, were spared it. What did we do right? Mark and Oliver had minimal contact with baby Viv. But it was still the same house. So we really did right was get super lucky.

Momversation: Talking to Strangers

I’m not sure I ever really got this Momversation. I like hearing all of the mom bloggers in it, but Jessica was asking if we let our kids talk back to strangers, and I’m still not sure what the opposing sides of this are. Being polite to others is one issue that can be parsed here, but strangers is a different thing. If we are taking a walk and a stranger tells Vivien she has nice rain boots and Vivien launches into a story about them I don’t go “shoosh, potential molester, walk on by.” I’m there, I’m monitoring what is going on.

I was raised to be a big sassy pants, but sit up straight when needed. I think my kids are still too young to figure out where they are on this one.