WBEZ | motherhood http://www.wbez.org/tags/motherhood Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Worldview: Criminalization of youth and the best countries for motherhood http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-05-10/worldview-criminalization-youth-and-best-countries-motherhood-107123 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP06041704828.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F91611564&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Ahead of Mothers&#39; Day, Worldview asks: What is the best country in the world to be a mother? Then we compare the criminalization of youth in Palestine and Chicago. And Weekend Passport includes Afro beats, Balkan kebabs and a tour of Mexico through folkloric dance.<script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-comparing-the-criminalization-of-youth-a.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-comparing-the-criminalization-of-youth-a" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Comparing the criminalization of youth and the best countries for motherhood" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Fri, 10 May 2013 10:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-05-10/worldview-criminalization-youth-and-best-countries-motherhood-107123 Mom's solo staycation http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/moms-solo-staycation-106675 <p><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.8282150000838506">For my husband&rsquo;s birthday in January I gave him a present with a totally selfish ulterior motive in mind: I packed the baby and dog up and went to my parents&rsquo; house for the night and stayed there until late afternoon the next day. I did this under the auspices of &ldquo;letting you have some alone time,&rdquo; but the real reason I did it was because I wanted Steve to do the same thing for me when my birthday came around. Which he did, because he gets it.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4305416938_7bb19b6088_b.jpg" style="height: 561px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="(Flickr/kirikiri)" />I come from alone time stock.</p><p>I had a stay-at-home mother who wrote up math quizzes for me when I was struggling with fractions, sat by my side on the bench as I learned piano, cooked dinner just about every night and sometimes even purchased clothing options (&#39;this dress or this one?&#39;) for me when she was out shopping.</p><p>She was/is a very dedicated mom which probably explains why she needed us to get the hell out once in awhile. Every year, my dad took my brother and me on a little vacation, just the three of us, while mom stayed home. We were under no illusions: mom didn&rsquo;t stay behind because she hated flying or loathed skiing. It was her vacation as well as ours. It was nothing personal.</p><p>Like Steve, we got it. Who wouldn&rsquo;t like a few nights without the burden of cooking for three other people or keeping the TV volume at an unreasonable 10 (you really needed it at least to 13 to hear) after my dad&rsquo;s 9 p.m. bedtime? When I finally moved out to my own apartment, with no roommates, when I was 25 or so, I think she was a little bit jealous, since she&rsquo;d never lived alone.</p><p>I loved my apartment, a little skybox that had a view of both the lake and Wrigley Field (pretty awesome, even though I&rsquo;m not a Cubs fan) that was perfectly cozy, just the right size for one gal. I didn&rsquo;t move in with my husband until several months after he proposed to me, partially because I didn&rsquo;t want to give up that place until the last possible second.</p><p>Steve and I are pretty good roommates I think, although part of what made it easy our first few years together was a good deal of independence even when we were in the house together. He&rsquo;d work downstairs while I&rsquo;d work (or watch TV) upstairs, so we didn&rsquo;t have to be in each others&rsquo; hair.</p><p>The baby, of course, changed all that, because he&rsquo;s not an independent fellow quite yet. There is naptime, but the rest of the time you kind of need to keep an eye on him, and our lives revolve around this. It&rsquo;s not that difficult&mdash;that&rsquo;s what babies do, and there&rsquo;s only one of him, but I missed my alone time. I didn&rsquo;t realize this at first: it took a strange situation for it to hit me. The baby got sick in November and was hospitalized (he&rsquo;s fine, it turned out to be nothing).</p><p>My parents took the dog (we don&rsquo;t have a yard so he has to go on at least three walks a day) and I spent two days at the hospital, including one night where I tried to sleep in a chair holding the baby because he was inconsolable unless he was in someone&rsquo;s arms.</p><p>That second night, Steve and I switched and I went home to sleep while he spent the night in the hospital with the baby. All had been declared fine by this point: the baby was just being held for observations, so I wasn&rsquo;t anywhere near as upset or scared as I had been when he got his little baby spinal tap.</p><p>So with that relief and the opportunity to finally sleep, I realized that I was alone in the house for the first time ever without: a dog, a baby and a husband. And...it was kind of awesome.</p><p>I felt guilty about this but also reveled in enjoying my guilt in utter silence. Then I took a couple Benedryl and drifted off in front of Law &amp; Order in bed, which is one of my favorite things to do when I don&#39;t have to worry about keeping someone next to me in bed awake.</p><p>So when the birthdays rolled around, I decided it was time to splurge on purposeful, relaxing alone time, not the kind that only came about because something very scary and expensive happened.</p><p>What did I do with my approximately 20 hours of alone time? Nothing amazing. I went out to dinner with a friend. I jogged outside. I cooked. Laundry was done.&nbsp;</p><p>To be honest, there were a couple of moments where I felt scared about being alone in the house, where I missed the baby. I didn&#39;t sleep that great. I lightly monitored my husband&rsquo;s Facebook page in case he put up cute pictures of the baby.</p><p>But there was a luxury in waking up Saturday morning and knowing I didn&#39;t have to speak to anyone, change anyone or take anyone outside. I hadn&rsquo;t been that completely alone for about five years. It was a wonderful gift. And the bonus was that I was more appreciative of the guys when they came home.</p><p>So if you have a spouse who might appreciate alone time, if it&rsquo;s practical, perhaps think about either buzzing off or sending him or her away for a little bit of uninterrupted time. Of course, alone time is a luxury and it isn&rsquo;t for everyone: I&rsquo;m sure there are lots of people out there who would tear their hair out with that much solitude. But I&rsquo;m not one of them. I&rsquo;m sure there are also people out there who question moms who send their kids away for short periods of time. But I&rsquo;m not one of them, either, because I had one.</p><p><em>PS: Side note, for my birthday, I also gave my husband a bunch of gift cards I had acquired from a department store and requested that he get me something there, the present being that I didn&rsquo;t have to go shopping, because that just seems too exhausting these days. The thing he picked out for me was lovely but what I especially love about it is that I didn&rsquo;t have to go and try it on in a store, which was another thoughtful present for me to give me.</em><br />&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/Zulkey"><em>@Zulkey</em></a></p></p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/moms-solo-staycation-106675 Maternity leave: Finding your new reality http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/maternity-leave-finding-your-new-reality-103688 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8107076002_69951db0aa.jpg" style="height: 266px; width: 400px; float: left; " title="Soaking it up (Claire Zulkey)" /></div><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.36721461067155736">First, let&#39;s get something out of the way: the phrase &ldquo;having it all&rdquo; needs to be terminated, wiped off the planet or made illegal. It&rsquo;s pure gobbledeygook nonsense, like &ldquo;losing weight and eating everything you want.&rdquo; Unless you actively dislike your child or you absolutely have no professional or creative ambitions beyond raising a child, it&rsquo;s simply impossible for a woman (or man) to &quot;have it all.&quot; Taking care of a kid means time away from other things and vice versa.</span><br /><br />Right after I had the baby I congratulated my husband and myself on our equal partnership. He was right there alongside me feeding the baby, changing him, going to the doctor&rsquo;s, everything. None of this too-good-for-a-poopy-diaper, you-get-up-instead-of-me stuff. It was great. I felt bad for women who had caveman partners.<br /><br />But then he went back to work and I stayed on maternity leave.<br /><br />There are a lot of great parts about maternity leave: Being able to wear sweatpants all day and catch up on TV; time to do the dishes and the laundry; being there for the baby.<br /><br />But those can also be the bad parts about maternity leave. I missed talking to adults and I missed having a place to go. I didn&rsquo;t think I resented spending time with the baby, except sometimes, like when Steve came home from work and would express frustration when the baby didn&#39;t cooperate. Then I thought, &quot;But I get this all day long and I put up with it.&quot; I knew the baby a little better than he did; I folded his little socks, ordered the diapers and massaged his blocked tearduct. But I realized that it wasn&#39;t awesome, all this incidental knowledge. Our equal partnership wasn&#39;t quite so equal anymore.<br /><br />We had a good &ldquo;come to Jesus&rdquo; talk last weekend, where I said, &ldquo;I need to vent to you but you can&rsquo;t take it personally.&rdquo; I told Steve that I felt very reduced, in a lot of ways, to this feeding, cleaning, providing automaton whose work was necessary but not exactly fulfilling in a way I was used to (finishing a load of laundry, for instance, feels a lot less satisfying once you already have half a new pile of dirty laundry built up from the time you started doing the laundry).<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m sorry,&rdquo; Steve started to say. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just that&mdash;&rdquo; and I said, &ldquo;No, I need you to listen as my friend, not as my husband. Because I&rsquo;m not mad at you. I know you&rsquo;re not out there drinking beer and sitting around letting me do all this work that you have all the time in the world to pitch in on.&rdquo; Because he didn&rsquo;t. What was I going to do? Let all the housework pile up just to make a point? Force him to do things I had the time to do?<br /><br />Then Steve confessed that he, too, sometimes resented my role. He&#39;d be out working and getting tired, then he&rsquo;d come home and I&rsquo;d be in a bad mood when all it seemed that I had done that day was spend time with the baby and maybe have lunch with a friend. Even if I had gotten more bad time with the baby, I had gotten more good time with him, too, and he had missed that.<br /><br />It will all be fine. We&rsquo;re still luckier than most and are blessed to have support and health on our side. But the truth of the matter is that no matter how smart, ambitious or sophisticated you are, or how enlightened and helpful your husband is, at some point after you have a baby you are going to be The Mommy, doing Mommy Things. These are things that need to get done, but it&rsquo;s not the same as completing a good work project or finishing a race or something like that.<br /><br />I go back to work today. I am melancholy about this (sometimes heartbroken) and yet I know it&rsquo;s what I need. It will probably help me continue to find the new me and to be happy, and it&rsquo;ll be better for the baby as well.</p><p>Things don&rsquo;t go back to normal after you have a kid &mdash;&nbsp;you have to find a new normal instead.</p></p> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/maternity-leave-finding-your-new-reality-103688 Screaming baby syndrome is highly contagious http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/screaming-baby-syndrome-highly-contagious-102518 <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.4379162789753476">Today I confessed to my husband that I yelled at the baby. </span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5400775250_0441de33ca.jpg" style="height: 375px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="Oh, shut up already. (Flickr/Chris. P)" /><span>I&rsquo;m sure the baby couldn&rsquo;t hear me, as he was much louder than I was, but what they say about the sound of a baby crying being calculated to a certain pitch that drives you insane is true. I don&rsquo;t typically yell as a way of expressing frustration but it had been a rough couple of days. Our kid&rsquo;s not even </span>that bad in terms of crying; most of the time we can figure out what it&rsquo;s about and, blessedly, most of that time can do something about it.</p><p>But our kid hasn&#39;t yet figured out how to modulate his requests. Everything is an emergency &mdash;&nbsp;dire and desperate &mdash; and everything merits a scream at full volume. Somehow this one-month-old doesn&rsquo;t understand when I tell him, &ldquo;I will feed you shortly! I just need to finish making your bottle!&rdquo; He goes from sweet and sleepy to full-blown tantrum, which is hard to handle all day and all night. You wouldn&rsquo;t go to a restaurant and scream &ldquo;I&rsquo;M HUNGRY I&rsquo;M HUNGRY I&rsquo;M HUNGRY I&rsquo;M HUNGRY NOW NOW NOW WAAAH!!!&rdquo; even as you saw your food approaching the table, now would you? Also, this kid hates being naked almost more than he hates sitting in his own filth. You wouldn&rsquo;t go &ldquo;I&rsquo;M COLD OW OW OW OW OW I HATE THIIIIIIS!!!!&rdquo; while you were using the restroom, would you? I sincerely hope not.<br /><br />Fortunately, my husband didn&rsquo;t judge me when I told him that I did not react maturely to the baby&rsquo;s fifth fit of the day. In fact, he told me that he was worried he had woken me up the other night as he gave our baby a piece of his mind as well.<br /><br />I know how I sound as I confess that my husband and I tell the baby to shut up. (We&rsquo;ve also called the baby an a-hole and a sh*t, and we frequently mock him. Steve does a good impression of the way the baby furiously shakes his head back and forth before eating his own hand.) It makes us sound like <strike>abusive mean insane</strike> parents.</p><p>Unless you have a newborn that only makes tiny dainty noises when he/she is in discomfort (in which case, please keep it to yourself), the language barrier between new parents and kids &mdash;&nbsp;paired with the lack of sleep &mdash;&nbsp;can quickly make you nuts. There you were just a few months ago, lovingly folding baby clothes and looking forward to welcoming this new life into your world. Then your tiny new alien rewards you by throwing fits as you try to keep it alive &mdash; and attempt to engage its brain, nurture it and bond with it &mdash; while also trying to take showers, see friends, write blogs posts and whatnot.<br /><br />I love the baby (see: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/cries-moms-not-babys-102160">this earlier post</a>) but I won&#39;t mind when he&rsquo;s learned to express himself differently &mdash; or at very least has learned to smile at more than just his dreams.</p><p>In the meantime, just like at work, talking smack about &ldquo;the boss&rdquo; can really help you feel sane. I&rsquo;ll be the first to say that our baby looks like Jackie Mason, that he has a terrible attitude sometimes, that he&rsquo;s a fart marchine, that he&rsquo;s a disgusting eater. We even have something of a &ldquo;slam book&rdquo; about the baby: We are still keeping track of how much he eats, sleeps and poops, and the records we use have a comments section. Comments left behind have included notes like &ldquo;Worst baby ever!!&rdquo; or &ldquo;Baby 4 sale&rdquo; and &ldquo;Evil baby from nightmares.&rdquo;<br /><br />But we can say these things, because he&rsquo;s ours, and because for the time being, he can&rsquo;t understand what we&rsquo;re saying. Because he&rsquo;s yelling so loud.<br /><br /><em>Postscript: Of course, after I wrote this the baby proceeded to have a nice, quiet night and is being a complete angel this morning. I think that this is how they get you&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash; they&nbsp;</em><em>break you down.</em></p></p> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/screaming-baby-syndrome-highly-contagious-102518 Film series at Chicago Filmmakers focuses on lesbian films http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/film-series-chicago-filmmakers-focuses-lesbian-films <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Coquie Hughes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Dyke Delicious Screening Series starts Saturday at <a target="_blank" href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/index.php">Chicago Filmmakers</a> with some films by local independent filmmaker <a target="_blank" href="http://seetruepeace.com/">Coquie Hughes</a>, including her latest, &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1774499/">My Mama Says Yo Mama&rsquo;s a Dyke</a>.&quot; Hughes makes films covering a range of topics: lesbian love, motherhood, even the difference between good and evil. And, she does it all on a shoestring budget.</p><p>Hughes joined &quot;Eight Forty-Eight's&quot; Alison Cuddy to explain how she does all <br />&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 06 Jan 2011 16:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/film-series-chicago-filmmakers-focuses-lesbian-films