Monday, January 21, 2008

What is Katie Holmes on?

Motherhood can be a wonderful club and a very judgmental club all at once. I've noticed that , as soon as a woman becomes a mom, we all feel entitled to ask the most inappropriate questions, share our feelings and give our opinions to be considered as the right ones by all.

That said and since I'm a proud card carrying member of the mommy club for all of three months and three weeks now, let me give you my opinion on the latest statements by stylish, young and filthy rich Mom, Katie Holmes.

In the interest of full disclosure, I love her grown up make over. I literally copied her haircut. But that's about all I'm emulating her on. Especially after her recent comments about her one and half year old. Here's what I read on
>> Meanwhile, seemingly beaming in from a galaxy where babies mature at > an accelerated rate is Mrs. Tom Cruise, who gushes to People of > preternaturally winsome daughter Suri, "She's a very strong woman.">> "I'm very proud of her," adds Katie, who is currently out stumping for > "Mad Money." "She's actually teaching me a lot -- probably more than > I'm teaching her."

Ok, what the hell is Katie Holme's on? I'm a 33 year old mother, wife and professional and I still don't feel like a full blown woman. How can a toddler be called a strong woman who teaches her 29 year old mom. Suri is not even a girl yet. She still drinks out of a bottle (although a lot of women I know do too. except the bottle is usually glass, doesn't have a nipple and is full of beer) and she's not even toilet trained. Come on, her teeth are called baby teeth for a reason.
Ms. Holmes has gone as far as saying that Suri and her have great conversations. Yes, Amelia and I do too, but these talks mostly include gibberish, screaming and a lot of drool.

I know a few mom's that call their children gifted geniuses ,but most of them wait to say these statements when the child starts at least day care. And trust me, I find those remarks very uncalled for as well. If your child is a tested genius, don't throw it at other people's faces. That's what grandparents are for. It's just basic manners.

Besides, most of us think our child is the most beautiful, smart and charismatic kid in the world. And we might be right, but we may also be blinded by love. Hence, these statements can make you sound arrogant and even foolish, if your baby, God forbid , is average.

My problem with celebrities like Holmes talking about their kids like this is that, just like I copy her hairdo, other women might want to follow her mothering style. Or worse yet, some mothers might wonder why their one and half year old is not a woman yet or why is her 2 year old still grunting when Suri Cruise is already having enlightening conversations with her mother.
These comments annoy me as much as when celebrities say "I'm such a devoted mother", and then the next sentence in the article reveals she has two nannies for one baby. Or when they pose for pictures with their post baby body and they "miraculously" have their abs of steal back and no horrendous dark line on their stomachs. Fess up ladies, you either hit the gym right after delivery, starved yourself and/or asked for a tummy tuck during the c section.

But see, I shouldn't judge Katie. That is the way she feels and that's just great for her... The hell with it, let me judge. I guess is my right as a member of the motherhood club.

Monday, January 14, 2008

When are you having another one

I was warned... by my mother and my girlfriends: as soon as you have your first baby, everyone, and I mean everyone will ask you, when are you having your second one? A very inappropriate question in so many levels, if you ask me. Especially when no one knows, but the woman who gave birth to the token first child, how was her post labor recovery. Mine was a living hell. The worst six weeks of my life. My body gave out on me like it never had.

My baby was in perfect health, and thank God for that because, if there is one thing you learn the moment you know you are pregnant is that YOU rather go through all the pain and suffering known to womankind, than to see baby suffer at all. Nevertheless, I was a total mess, physically at first, and then an emotional wreck for about four weeks.

So when at week three of my post partum nightmare, my loving husband kept alluding to the second child and went as far as asking me if we should save some of our baby clothes for the next one, I almost killed him right there on the corner of Fairbanks and Ohio. You'd think the fact that he took me out for a walk so I would get my mind off my overwhelming sense of inadequacy, would have kept him from asking. After all, he was the one helping me with my pain, he was feeding our daughter because I couldn't sit for 2 weeks and calmed my constant crying. Why in the world would he ask that?

I literally answered, "of course, since this first delivery went so well, why not have another one". His only defense was that having 2 children was our original plan and that since he's older than me, he had to think about having another one quickly. "Well" I answered, "since your old, you'll die and then leave ME with the 2 kids, great idea". And a quick note for husbands, anything discussed before having a baby is put on hold while your poor wife gets her hormones and body under control, so, give it about a year.

From then on, everyone from my mother in law to strangers at the supermarket asked the question. When I was finally feeling physically better and crying less and less, my answer was very much true to my usual self, "if I have another one, I'll go adopt him in another country, possibly South America. He will be 5 years old and eat on his own and will be potty trained".

My issue with this question is that not all first time mom's discover that motherhood is their calling when the doctor hands that baby over. Not all women adjust to their new life immediately. Babies don't come with instructions and for women like me who like it all under control, life as they know it takes a nose dive. Plus, physically, your body is a wreck. It nurtured another human being for 9 months, it delivered a full term baby through a very small cavity, it sure as hell will not bounce back.

I have a friend who told me she didn't feel she could have another baby until her first one was
three years old. Another one called my only child husband to find out if it was horrible not having a sibling, just because she is not sure about having a second one. I'm feeling much better about the whole thing. Amelia has made me feel things I never thought I was capable of feeling. Making her happy and proud of her parents is my priority. She will have a sibling if her father and I decide we want to have another child, not because we want her to have a companion.
But that is our decision, no one should pressure us or ask us.

So, a word of advise to all of us, since I'm sure I've asked the inappropriate question before having Amelia, do not ask the obvious question when someone has their first baby. Support their experience and enjoy the moment. We don't know how they are adjusting to parenting, we don't know if they CAN have another child. We could really hurt feelings with that one single question. It's none of our damn business anyway.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ana has a new man

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ana Belaval, who never believed in awards, never submitted anything and claimed to never care, has won an Emmy and is almost sleeping with the statue.
Let's put it all in context. Submitting material for any award show is a pain in the %$#. You have to look for a category among tons of them. Gather your material, which can mean looking at hours and hours of tape. That's if you find the tapes since the filing system at most newsrooms is not the best. Then you have to copy the material on to a DVD or tape, and then fill out the paper work, which can be as confusing as filling out tax forms.

Many of my colleagues have the system down pat or an intern who has the system down pat. I have neither, so the prospect of submitting anything once a year stresses me out. I seldom do it. To be honest, I've only done it twice and have been nominated both times. At this point, my mother would say that goes to show me I should submit more often.

But this year I submitted on three categories, at the constant nagging of my Around Town producer. The process was grueling and I could've sworn I had gotten something wrong. Since I never win anything, I convinced myself I wasn't going to be nominated. But I was, for our One Tank Trip series. And honestly that was enough to make me proud. Now I could say that I was a twice emmy award nominated journalist. That's an accomplishment.

So when the ceremony came around, I was busy with my one month old baby. My husband encouraged me to go since a night out would be nice. I went with my producer and his wife. My good friend Dean Richards was my date. Steve had to stay home with Amelia. We are on a formula budget so we can't be spending money on babysitting and a ticket for my husband to an award ceremony where his wife wasn't even going to win.

I put on the only dress that fit me, put on make up for the first time in a while and off I went. Our category was the second to last one, so I was almost ready to leave. Dean had to hold me down. But then, the unthinkable happened. We won! My producer Terry Barthel and I were shocked. Since he had won one before, he was gracious enough to let me take the statue home. We will split the cost of the second one. Hey, even NATAS is on a budget, so you get a statue per category.

Once that gold statue was in my hand, I was a believer. So proud to be a winner, especially after a month of trying to figure out my new daughter. I had spent weeks feeling physically sick and mentally inadequate, so it was a fantastic feeling to be a winner. To know that I still had my career and that I knew how to do it well. "You love me, you really, really love me" to quote Oscar winner Sally Field.

As cheesy as it sounds, I was also happy to show my daughter that women can almost have it all. So I came home with my new man Emmy to my great husband, changed into a t shirt and bathed my new baby. The best of both worlds.