Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pirates Pessimists

So far, the fool-me-once (or 20 times) Forsters have proven to be quite pessimistic about the Pirates prospects this season.  The battlin' Bucs are 23-17 through twenty games, which would project to 93 big wins this year.  Charlie's closest at the season's rough one quarter milestone, but he's even seven games under.

All I can say is that I hope we continue to be this wrong in the same direction. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pro: Choice.

This NPR story about stay-at-home dads starts with a familiar framework for SAHD stories: Biff was a highly successful investment banker/neurosurgeon/forklift operator who didn't even know the names of his own children...until he lost his job.  Now, he's a happy stay-at-home dad.

That paragraph may have been stuck in cynical font, but there is a certain strain of SAHD stories that (while not quite that cartoonish) feature that premise.  Those stories make me deeply happy that I chose my part-time work arrangement and that I chose the role of primary parent for my kids.  For one, it makes me feel like I'm smart for making such a satisfying life decision without having to bumble into the enlightenment that it's really better for everyone involved to have one of us work less and earn less but be around more.  Secondly, though, on the hard days with this lifestyle, it's bracing to know that I chose this.  That this arrangement wasn't foisted on me by some outside force or circumstance.  When I want to blame someone else (because I'm frozen out of an important decision at the office because I work part time or because I'm facing menu planning fatigue at home), it's actually better that my bedrock is: I proposed and have executed my portion of this family work/life balance arrangement.  Whatever slings and arrows I face because of it come along with the stronger parenting and semblance of serenity that working less for pay affords.

It also helps me seize positive opportunities when they arise.  Today, when Teddy got off the bus and asked to go to the park and work on his fielding, I quickly did the math:

  • Do you have any homework?  No
  • Do I have intensive dinner prep work to do tonight?  No (Thanks, Peppi's!)
  • Did I cut my salary in half so that when my kid wants to improve his fielding, I can say yes and grab a bat and some baseballs?  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.
Four-and-a-half years into it, I wouldn't change this decision.  If I regret it in moments, I regret it rarely for whole days and never for as long as a week.  As a veteran part-time working mom said when I was mulling the decision: "You won't look back in thirty years and say 'I wish I hadn't missed that meeting.'"