It took a letter to a bishop and a mountain of paperwork to marry my husband. He’s Catholic; I’m Methodist. Both are Christian religions, so I’m hesitant to even call us an interfaith family, but you would be surprised how different we are. Years ago, I would have had to convert to be married “in…
About Kathryn Hively
- I started Just BE Parenting as a way to cope with the anxiety of balancing work, motherhood, and the impulse to write. That’s right, I’m not a parenting expert. I, my kids, and my family are perfectly flawed in MANY ways. As a parent, I’m trying to let go of perfection and just BE the best mother I can for my kids. The ‘B’ and ‘E’ in Just BE Parenting also represents the first letters of my children’s names. What works for me and my family may not work for you and yours. That’s ok! Even if we’re not the same, I hope you’ll find something relatable here.
Posts by this author
Being an introvert during the holidays is a veritable hell. Forget the obligatory office parties and family gatherings, I fear most the packed aisles and endless checkout lines. True, I could just buy everything online and hope for the best. (I can’t begin to express my love for Amazon Prime). Sometimes online shopping works, sometimes the “huge” stuffed animal you buy your niece looks like a pencil topper when it arrives (if it arrives at all), and you’re left scrambling for a present on Christmas Eve.
I may loathe crowds (ok, people in general), but I adore my friends and family and take pride in finding thoughtful gifts each year. I’m also really cheap…not in a Here’s a roll of toilet paper, Merry Christmas way, but in a I want to give my loved ones the best presents I can without blowing my budget kind of way. If I know exactly what I want, online shopping is a snap. However, I’m often inspired by things I see in person, which means I have to venture into the world.
I’m not a nice person when I’m rushed or crowded and nothing kills my holiday spirit faster than road raging my way to a strip mall to circle a full parking lot like a vulture. Holiday shopping during the holidays often makes me feel more like a lemming or frantic slug than an elf. So, after years of buying gifts for an extensive and diverse group, I’ve assembled the following Cheap Introvert’s Guide to Holiday Shopping in the Real World:
My four-year old loves making herself burp—mouth-gaping, deep-bellied belches that would impress a locker room of teenagers. She smiles after each one, basking in her skill mastery, as she waits for me, her Southern-raised mama, to react with an eye roll, a grimace, or, in moments of sheer exasperation, a shouted “Stop that!” Dr. Catherine…
2). When He Realized His Perfect Child Wasn’t Perfect
Like most adults in my age bracket (and younger), nearly everything I know about smart phones, the internet, social media, and my digital footprint is self-taught. My brother and I sometimes help our parents through the complexities of modern tech—like strong passwords and wireless routers. My mother bought her first smartphone in 2016, and while she enjoys having instant access to the weather, she still refuses to buy anything online.
I imagine parents at the turn of the 20th century had the same hesitation with automobiles. They probably watched their children puttering along in their “horseless buggies”, flabbergasted.
Just imagine, an entire generation taught themselves to drive. The equivalent can be said for Millennials who came of age when everyone was learning to use social media and handheld devices. In most cases, the younger generation taught their parents. No one ever explained to these young adults how posting a keg-stand pic freshman year could hurt their job search after graduation.
We all know those parents.
Their perfect offspring never tantrums, learned to read before Kindergarten, kicks a soccer ball better than Beckham, and has artistic skills to rival Picasso.
You stand beside the swing set, nodding your head as they gush about their child’s seemingly inhuman accomplishments. If you’re nicer than me, you’re thrilled that such a talented individual will lead the next generation. If not, your internal monologue goes something like this: Your kid is eating boogers. Right now
Apart from what I’ve witnessed at playgrounds, birthday parties, and Thanksgiving dinners, the Mommy Wars rage in my mind. I returned to work only six weeks after my oldest daughter was born and the struggle, the crippling indecisiveness to stay in the workforce or stay at home has remained a constant for seven years.
Many children face invisible challenges. From behavioral issues to physical impairments, the path these kids travel to reach developmental milestones requires immense effort — often by the entire family.
So yes, that is my daughter crying to be rescued from the second rung of a ladder. That is me running to her. But she is brave in ways others cannot see, and I am challenging her in ways they cannot comprehend.
I never know when it will happen. The moments when Time pushes against me. It happened before I had kids, but Time shoves back harder and faster now that I’m watching you grow.
I expect it when we cross the big milestones: Whenever I pack away one size of clothes to make room for another, Pre-K Graduation, birthday parties with Elmo cupcakes, writing the first day of school on a chalk board for you to hold, grinning wide despite your fear of the unknown.
But it’s the moments I’m not expecting that take my breath away.
I am the mother of girls. I cannot speak to the challenges of raising boys in modern America. I admit my bias, but I believe it’s possible to lift women, to lift girls, without oppressing men or boys. Collective rising is the goal.