How to Decide If You Should Have a Third Child

Apr 20, 2015 by

image courtesy of madewithmolecules

image courtesy of madewithmolecules

 

Having a third child is not in the cards for me. I’m entering my late 30s—nay, I have indeed arrived. I have my hands full with a kid starting kindergarten and the other one starting preschool this fall. And I’m investing nearly all of my creative energy into my work, with scant time left over for the writing projects I wish could gain some forward momentum on.

With that said, I miss breastfeeding. I couldn’t wait to kick my toddler off the boob, but here I go again. What I miss the most about it is the oxytocin rush. Nursing a babe did something wonderful to my brain chemistry.

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Keep Trying, You’ll Get Better! (But Maybe Not.)

Apr 10, 2015 by

fail cat

 

One of my toddler’s favorite shows is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  For the uninitiated, it’s a trippy take on what it would be like if all the puppets from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood had children.  The kids are preschooler-aged, and they spend the episode singing songs about learning to use the potty and going to the doctor and whatnot.  It’s your typical annoying kids’ show, but at least my girls are learning something from it, and I’d rather they watch this one than some of the more brainless programs that are popular right now.

The jingle featured in this morning’s Netflixed episode used the following line:  “Keep trying, you’ll get beh-eh-tter!!”  This is a sentiment I often agree with, in many scenarios.  Kids will usually get better at tasks like brushing their teeth, tying their shoes, hiding quietly in the closet so they can jump out and scream to scare the bejeezus out of you when you enter the room — all the normal skills that we want our children to eventually master to be independent adults with fulfilling lives.

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Deep Work: Parenting Prevents You from Doing It

Mar 13, 2015 by

Down_the_Rabbit_Hole

You can’t get anything done if you are constantly hopping from one thing to the next, only to find yourself plummeting down the rabbit hole.  Also, you should get an awesome pocket watch on a chain, because at least you can be stylin’ while you’re unproductive.

 

I stole the concept of “deep work” from this guy’s blog, and maybe some other places that I can’t remember. I may be mangling the concept here, but my interpretation of it is the incredibly detailed and well thought out focus you give to a project or problem. Deep work is important, because without it, you can’t turn out work product that is of the highest caliber, or obtain your desired outcomes in the most efficient yet thorough way possible. In other words, if you’re just putting out fires all day, multitasking (which is really just rapid fire single-tasking, if you’re being honest with yourself), and checking items off a list as you rush to and fro, you are not really performing your best quality work and achieving the best possible outcome you can achieve.

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ADHD Mom: Fun with Amphetamines, Part 2 (Is It Working?)

Feb 28, 2015 by

amphetamine salts 20 mg

I can’t tell if my Adderall is working or not. I have had mixed results over the course of the first week on it, starting at half the target dose. Now that I’m on my third day at the target dose, I can’t say for certain that it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing, at least to the extent that it should be. Earlier today I despaired at the thought that this, my second attempt at an ADHD medication (the first was Strattera, a non-stimulant), could be another failure. Even now, after the wearing off of the initial high from the second dose, the feelings of disorganization and chaos in my brain are returning at full force. I’m getting antsy, noticing unfinished projects everywhere, and carrying things into rooms with me only to forget what I intended to do with them in the first place. I was getting to the point where I considered that the Adderall may actually be making things worse, not better.

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ADHD Mom: Fun With Amphetamines

Feb 22, 2015 by

Yeah, I'm gonna need some stronger stuff.

Yeah, I’m gonna need some stronger stuff for this.

A thing that happens when you’re diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 35, after quite a bit of life experience, is that you suddenly look back on all the work you’ve done in school, your career, etc., and wonder how much more you could have accomplished if you had been diagnosed earlier. You speculate whether you could have been more productive and accomplished had you known earlier on that the dragons you were always trying to slay were just a tad bit stronger and deadlier than those most people need to deal with. The same principle applies with a late diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or the fun combination of both that I have. But ADHD is its own special pain in the ass, because it is the definition of anti-productivity. Its primary afflictions are those that impact our executive functioning: the ability to plan and organize, focus our attention, utilize our working memory, inhibit our impulses in order to carry out the task at hand, exercise patience when sorting through a difficult task or unexpected roadblock, and solve problems. Neurotypical folks usually take the executive functions for granted, because to them, they are as automatic and natural as breathing. And many of us who are diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood have spent our lives unconsciously compensating for these deficits with our strengths in other areas.

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