Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'life'

nyfw: this season

September 5th, 2014 · 3 Comments

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So, New York Fashion Week started yesterday.

And where am I?

Not there.

Yup.  I’m skipping this September.

I’ve attended eight straight seasons over the past four years, and it’s become a big part of my life — the planning, the anticipating, and then attending (and recovering from…) the shows each season.

But this season?  I’m staying home.

On one hand, I’m bummed.  I love Fashion Week and I miss being there so much.

On the other hand… I’ve had to face the fact that my life is a little (a lot) different right now than it was a year ago, and this season, the idea of packing up a four-month-old and heading to New York just seemed…

Insane.

Truthfully, that’s the best word for it — the idea that I would attend NYFW this season was one of those decisions that I made when I was pregnant and thinking about the idea of a baby, and not the actual, living, breathing, crying, screaming, non-sleeping, messy little real baby who showed up a few months later.  I imagined myself strolling up to the tents in heels, a sweet little newborn cradled in my arms.

(Yes, you read that right: In my imagination, not only was he coming to New York with me, but he was actually attending fashion shows in my arms.  Oh my god, you guys.)

Basically, I thought that I was Victoria Beckham.

And it turns out that no, without a staff of nannies and drivers and someone to hold your bag and phone and burp cloths… heading to Lincoln Center with a four-month-old is sort of out of the question.

I had still planned to go until a few weeks ago, when I was sitting in Bear’s room, putting him to bed, and I realized that the reality probably wouldn’t look the way that I imagined it.

Instead, I realized that I was most likely going to miss half my shows because the baby would (1) spit up on every outfit I’d  packed, (2) insist on breastfeeding until twenty minutes after each show was scheduled to start, or (3) GET SICK because full-grown adults with healthy immune systems get sick during Fashion Week every year (myself included, without fail)!

And with that, I came to the realization that, just for this season, I was better off staying home.

Fashion Week will be there for me next season.  But right now?

We are better off staying home.

I’m planning to be back in February, and truthfully, I like February Fashion Week best of all — it’s a little smaller and less of a “scene,” a little less competitive and a little more fun.  I’ll miss the shows, and I’ll miss seeing all of my my many friends, but there is no question that this was the right choice for us, right now.

So I’ll be livestreaming the shows this year, and poring over Instagram as the models make their ways down the runways.  Because that breathless anticipation, that moment as the lights go dim, just before the music starts?

You can feel that no matter where you’re watching from.

Even three thousand miles away.

 

Tags: baby · life · new york fashion week

our calvin

September 2nd, 2014 · 18 Comments

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I’m sitting here trying to write the words, and I just can’t make them come. 

As many of you know, our beloved dog Calvin has been sick for quite some time.  Last fall, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a condition that we knew would eventually be fatal.  We kept him alive for almost a year with medication and very careful care, but ultimately, his sweet little body just couldn’t go on. 

He’s been with us since he was a puppy, for almost nine years.  Through law school, jobs, three apartments in Manhattan and two homes in Texas.  He held on long enough to meet our child, thankfully — I spent many nights while I was pregnant wondering if Calvin would get to meet the baby, and I’m so happy that they could spend even a few months together.

I know that time will heal this void that he left behind, but the Calvin-shaped hole in my heart is gaping and raw right now.  Even with two dogs and a baby, our house feels empty without him.

I am trying to be grateful for the many wonderful years that he spent with us — right now, my mind can’t get past this overwhelming grief, but I know that in time, I’ll be able to remember our wonderful, loyal, playful, kind, sweet little guy with love and peace and gratitude.  I wish I could come up with words to do justice to his memory, but I can’t. 

He was the most wonderful creature I’ve ever known, and I will miss him every day, for the rest of my life. 

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Tags: life

the perfect parenting pipe dream

August 13th, 2014 · 11 Comments

A few weeks ago, at my postpartum checkup, my doctor asked me what about being a new mom most surprised me.

I answered her completely honestly, and told her that I was surprised at how much I loved it, how wonderful it was. Even despite the 3 a.m. feedings and the grocery store meltdowns, all it takes is one lopsided little grin from our baby boy, and I just melt.

I love him so much more than I ever could have imagined; it brings me to my knees, every single day.

But there’s a second thing that surprises me, one that I didn’t mention… and it’s a lot less wonderful to talk about.

There is so. much. pressure.

Oh my gosh, you guys. The amount of pressure on moms to do their job completely perfectly is so prevalent and so pervasive that it’s completely overwhelming.

Baby doesn’t sleep? There are literally five thousand books you must read.

Want to change something about the baby’s schedule or diet? Search the internet for seven straight hours. Read every forum post on TheBump and BabyCenter. Don’t give up until you find the answer, even if the answer is comment #463.  You must read the first 462 to know for sure.

And you know what kind of a culture this creates?

In a world where you make a million different choices every single day, it gives you the information and opinions to second-guess every single one of them.

I’m a perfectionist.  I’ll admit it.  My whole life, I’ve shot for the A+.  In high school, after getting an SAT score that was thirty points shy of the perfect 1600, I told my parents I wanted to take the test again.  I wanted that perfect score, and I wanted more than anything. (Yes, I realize now how totally insane that was, and thankfully, my parents talked some sense into me.)  But that’s just my personality.

And here’s what’s scary: I want to make the right decisions for our baby boy a million times more than I wanted that perfect SAT score.

And so I have been making myself completely crazy for the last three months.

I have been trying so hard to make everything perfect. To give him the perfect schedule, the perfect food, the perfect set of developmental activities, the perfect amount of one-on-one time with mom, and everything else I can think of. If there is a perfect way to raise a child, I have been determined to raise our baby that way, exactly that way, with no compromises whatsoever.

I have been treating parenting the way that I treated high school, and college, and law school, and my legal career: with single-minded determination to be the best.

And do you know what is a quick and easy way to make yourself completely insane?

Doing exactly that.

But, you know what? I realized it. This week, I had a moment where suddenly I realized just how hard I was being on myself, trying to be the perfect, A+ mom.

Because the reality is this: I am doing my best, but I am probably making mistakes as I go. There are some things that I don’t do by the book, because they don’t work for our son. I am trying as hard as I possibly can, and I am putting a ton of pressure on myself to make all the right decisions, but sometimes life gets in the way.

Case in point: this past week, I kept Bear up past his bedtime for a totally selfish reason.  I was sitting at a cafe with a friend and we talked a little too long and by the time I get him home, it was half an hour past his usual bedtime and the kid was cranky.

Stinks, right? Sure. But then I got him to bed, and once he was peacefully sleeping, do you want to know what I did?

I beat myself up over it! I thought about how if I were a better mom, I’d have him in bed at 7:30 on the dot, every single night. I worried that skimping on a few minutes of sleep would cost him precious brain-development resources at this early age, and I made crazy resolutions like, “I will never meet a friend after 6pm ever again because it is not fair to our son to cost him half an hour of sleep.”

Yes, I do. Because he is my #1 priority, and when I do something, I do it perfectly.

Even when expecting perfection is making me completely miserable.

So here is my resolution, three months into our son’s life:

I will recognize my tendency toward alpha parenting.

And I will nip it in the bud.

I will spend time with our son engaged in activities he enjoys, and not just plow through a list of “recommended” and “right” things to be doing with him.

I will breastfeed him, which we both love, but I won’t make myself crazy if he has a few ounces of formula occasionally when I can’t be around.

I will not stress if his bedtime includes one or two “sleep cues” and not all the sleep cues that any baby book has recommended, in the world, ever.

I will make his life as conducive to sleep as I possibly can, but I will not burst into tears if the doorbell rings during his nap.

I will keep him away from germs, but my head won’t explode if Rambo licks his face.

I will do what works.

I will do my best.

And I will let perfection slide.

I think we’ll both be a lot happier this way.

Because motherhood isn’t something that’s graded. In a few years, when our son hits high school, he won’t score my performance. It’s not something that I can get an A+ in, and it shouldn’t be. 

There are a million different ways to do it right. And the way I choose, the best way that works for our family, is just fine.

So instead of worrying about whether I’m doing everything perfectly, do you know what I’m going to do?

I’m going to look into our baby’s eyes. And watch him smile. And sing him songs and read him books and sometimes keep him up a half hour past his bedtime.

I’m going to spend my time enjoying his company, not reading parenting books.

We are going to have adventures.

We’ll probably make some mistakes.

And, you know what?

That’s ok.

In fact, it’s better than ok. 

It’s perfect.

Tags: baby · life