Well, now every day of your life is like a 24-hour school day, but you and your partner have the power to grant that all-important freedom to each other, just like your wise and trusting teacher did. The difference is that the potential benefits to be gained from this little freedom will reach much farther than the junior high bathroom. More
Author Archives: Angela Arsenault
Donāt you hate it when you and your partner have an argument that escalates into a full-blown fight and you donāt talk much for the next three days and all that time youāre trying to remember what the hell you fought about? Man, I really hate that. It makes me feel stupid and childish and unevolved ā and yet, oh-so-human. More
Iām a visual person. I have super vivid dreams and often imagine odd little stories playing out in front of me complete with costumes and facial expressions and well-placed set details. One of the stories thatās been floating around in my brain lately is this image of mothers hovering just above the ground in little translucent pods, going about their days feeling alienated from their spouse, cut-off from their friends, focusing only on their children and forgetting altogether that they matter. More
I hope this note doesnāt seem too out of the blue. I know itās been a while since we spoke, but we were once so close and I was really banking on you remembering me. I want to first acknowledge that our time apart has been mostly my fault. Not sure if you remember, but you and I worked so well together that Iāve actually had two kids in the past four years. More
What?! Impossible! ME? Selfish? No, thatās his department! Heās the only child, the one who didnāt want his life to change when our kids were born, the one who tells them ānoā when they ask to listen to some annoying childrenās music or pound their forks on the restaurant table. Itās always about him! More
Iām building a community. Itās a somewhat half-baked, hair-brained idea at this point, involving large pieces of real estate, a potential web of legal concerns, the very real need for serious budget talks and myriad other logistical issues. But at its core, itās about people; good people who want to live among other good people with a great deal of trust and healthy co-dependence floating around. It is for this reason that the āpeopleā part of this complicated equation is by far the most important. More
The urge to connect (or re-connect) with my husband, either emotionally or physically, rarely popped up during the first few years of parenthood. I stole moments alone to read emails or celebrity gossip or to (gasp!) fold laundry. It sounds so shallow to hear myself say it now, but itās the truth. And who knows ā maybe it was for the best; if I had completely lost myself, I doubt there would be any navigable path back to an āus.ā More
I have a dream. (Ugh, did she really just say that?) I sure did, and itās oh-so-appropriate here because a dream is exactly what Iām about to describe. I dream of my children growing up with other children whose parents are caring and creative and open-minded. I envision those other parents teaching my children some of the things that I canāt, like how to build a bridge or care for chickens. I see myself learning from them, too, and I imagine sharing my personal talents in a lifelong information exchange. The kicker is, I dream of this all happening right where we live ā in a big house that we share with another family on a big piece of land with a few other houses for more friends and family to live in. Yes, maāam ā I want to build a commune. More
I realized the other night as I was breastfeeding my son that I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since September of 2007. Yes, you read that right. It has indeed been nearly four and a half years since my body was actually my own. More
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Source: The Stir
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Source: The Stir
When she woke up this morning, I asked my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter what she wanted to do today. Her initial reply was one of standard toddler contrarianism: “Nothing!” But a moment later her eyes lit up as she declared, “Mommy, I want to make brownies today!” For multiple reasons, this was the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. More
My husband and I are spending three weeks on the same island we visited for our honeymoon. That trip was also three weeks long, but the similarities between the two excursions end there. Thatās because, this time, our children are with us. Itās not that we were naĆÆve enough to think we could recapture the magic of our newlywed vacation, but neither did we fully understand just how different things would be. More
My daughter has never had a particularly big appetite. Neither have I, so we had that in common. I understand eating small amounts of food several times a day and having what other people consider incredible portion control. What I donāt understand is my 3-year-oldās new penchant for fasting. Like, straight up choosing not to eat. It pains me, and I get the feeling that she knows this. More
I can vividly remember packing for college. It felt so significant, monumental even, but it wasnāt stressful. Here I was preparing to leave home for several months, to live on my own for the very first time, yet I wasnāt terribly concerned that I would forget to pack something important. Sixteen years later, Iām packing for an eight-week family adventure and itās gotten me so turned around I can barely eat.
The reason I actually feel stressed out this time is that the gauntlet has been thrown down. My husband insists that itās entirely possible, and preferable, to pack light despite the fact that weāre traveling to a Central American island with two children under the age of four. More
For a lot of people I know, the thought of spending the holidays with both their own parents and their in-laws, together, would conjure up feelings of nausea and images of awkward conversations followed by even more awkward periods of silence. Not for me. I see four people from very different backgrounds who nevertheless manage to have a warm and happy Christmas surrounded by their children and grandchildren. I also see at least a 50% reduction in pain-in-the-ass traveling. More