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April 05, 2005

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Super... Dad?

From the other side of the realtionship... my wife is incredible, and by all accounts above, easily qualifies as the infamous SuperMom. She's put herself through college and her Master's, and now is one of the hardest-working people I know.

Our Harry is about to complete his first trip around the sun. He's easily the happiest kid I know.

Harry has gone from the giggly gurgling newborn to a real little kid... Dimples and all. My wife has come full circle from hardcore exercise enthusiast and health nut, to more chocolate than even I could eat, to incredible mom who yet again manages to balance pilates classes, personal fitness training sessions, and enough business trips in a month to make a seasoned jet-setter sleepy, all while still making time for daily daycare pickups, trips to the organic market, and quality playtime. She does an incredible job, and deserves every single belly laugh she gets from the little guy.

My own transformation has been from a nervous wreck who dreaded that first e-ticket intinerary that she was eventually going to get, to someone who actually enjoys getting to play single dad every now and then. It gives me a certain sense of accomplishment to be able to get him off on his day, and me on mine, without the world imploding. That said, there's nothing I love more than to see the smile on Harry's face when she gets home.

I see and hear about other families who don't seem to have the balance and symbiosis that we feel we do, and perhaps it's just completely naivete, but I truly don't understand why.

Who am I to hold her back? My "role" is to be there for her as much as she is there for me, and as we both plan to be for our son.

I just don't get why it would be any other way...?

Keep doing what you're doing, and don't beat yourself up about it. More importantly, don't let anyone else.

mammabutterfly

Chacun son gout!

Christine

Peyton --

I can really relate to what you are going through. First, congratulations on all your hard work. You deserve a big pat on the back for keeping it altogether.

We live in Germany, a very traditional society with little day care and the expectation that women stay home with their kids for the first three years of life. While I love being a stay-at-home mom, there are times when I get sideglances and mean comments from the "mommy peanut gallery" that says "But they are so little -- how can you travel to New York without them? How can you leave them for even a day to give a seminar somewhere?" The reality is you have the right to make choices about your own life. Only you know what is best. Congratulations on finding your path. I salute you!!

amy s.

People do pass judgements on moms all the time - there's no winning. It helps me, as a working mom, to know that even if I stayed at home people would be passing judgements. My motto for all new mothers has become, "Do what works for your family and ignore the extraneous opinions." Same for you - as long as it's working for your family, it works!

RobinP

Because I can be a huge bitch when provoked,I would say "It's amazing that you don't know me but you THINK you know what's best for me. Maybe you should pay more attention to your OWN family and stay out of my business! We're happy with our life. Obviously you're not happy with your own life!" Then I'd make a "hmmmph" noise and turn away. When people are rude,I can't always be nice back.

Jennifer

with my first baby, I remember some man asking me what I did all day long. I wanted to punch him. comments like that used to make me INSANE! It's better now, b/c with four kids I guess now people know for sure I'm not sitting around eating bonbons. When I do get comments now though, they don't bother me as much- I guess I've heard it all? Just get ready, if you have all girls you get the questions all day long- and stupid comments. I've never come up with a good retort. I like the middle finger idea someone had.

northridgmom

I just wrote about this subject on my own blog - an entry from yesterday, entitled "Judgement Day". People just need to worry about their own problems, not someone else's. It IS crazy!

GG

Wow. People can be real jerks, can't they? It smacks of jealousy to me. I don't even know you and I'm proud of you for all you are doing. Given the various comments that you've received,(Both in your life and on the board), it appears that you can't win, no matter what you choose to do. People will just steamroll you no matter what. Sorry!

autumn hour

wow. i must say that i think you're crazy too. but in a good way. it's awesome that you can do all of that. i take 1 class (2 in the fall, god help me), work 40 hours, take care of my 6 year old with little help from dad since he goes to school full time at night, and we do t-ball in addition to house duties. and i feel like i'm on a nonstop rollercoaster. i'm blown away that you can do all of that, but think that it's great.

i just wonder why people don't praise you for bettering yourself and your education so that you can make a better life for you and your family. and when ella is older, she won't remember you being busy right now anyway. better now if you have the help than later when she'll notice more. so here's my two cents.... congrats on being a great and driven mother!

Michelle

I'd be tempted to give 'em the bird. But, seriously, what is wrong with people nowadays? Say something like "Wow, your life must be so perfect for you to pass judgment on others. I am so envious of you!"

Dori

I do what my 10 year old does when she thinks something is stupid and ridiculous. I roll my eyes.

ada

Peyton,

I think Amy is right. The sense of relief I have got from reading your essay is incredible. I get the same thing over and over again. I too have a wonderful partner. I find it interesting that if it were he who was taking the classes and working full time he would be considered a "dedicated father" yet the women who are doing these things are somehow programmed wrong and will ruin our children.

Thanks again.

If you ever want to vent, drop me a line!

Lana

I'd suggest, if it's a perfect stranger you're dealing with and thus don't have to worry about crossing paths with him/her again, a simple "Talk to the hand" response might work best.

:)

amy

You know Peyton, Most folks just have to share their opinion no matter what. I had my first after I had gotten my graduate degree, and then decided to SAH and raise him. Not having family nearby, and having a very...intense...high needs... baby, this was the right choice for us. Do you think any one applauded my decision to stay home? No, I heard lots of wasted education comments. Every one wanted to know what I was going to do now that I was home all day. Uh...nurse the baby for 12 hours a day?

Listen, find some friends who also work or go to school, and use them as sounding boards to vent and save your sanity. We all do what is best for us and your baby is the best indicator of her own happiness. If she's happpy then her needs are getting met.

Good luck.

muse

Remind them, with a smile, that you didn't ask their opinion and that it's none of their business.

And you and your family will be fine!

Rayne of Terror

As a fellow law student with a 2 month old I don't know how you do it either. I don't know how you should respond b/c I feel like saying the same thing. Not so much on the time management front b/c my hubby is super dad also - but my brain is still baby mush. Maybe if I wasn't off this semester that wouldn't be so, but at this point I can't see how I could possibly do more than attend class right now, much less do the hours and hours of reading I did pre baby. Also breastfeeding keeps me on a short leash. Maybe after a few more months my smarts will return. But for now the only law reading i'm doing is blogs and Grisham :)

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