A recent Murphy's Love question started off looking like a request for parenting advice: Mom was frustrated by Dad's honesty-is-the-best-policy policy. But looking a little deeper, it becomes more of a question of how a couple will address the inevitable and complicated disagreements that are part of parenthood. Read the full article here.
There is so much I love about this Washington Post article, I will just beg you to read it yourself. But please ignore the ridiculous headline - Elsa Walsh is not being preachy, and the headline was likely written by an editor. Some favorite lines:
- The debate has become twisted and simplistic, as if we’re merely trying to figure out how women can become more like men. Instead, let’s ask: How can women have full lives, not just one squeezed around a career?
- There is no real safety net for working mothers.
- When it is time for my daughter to make her way through this culture of overwork, I hope she follows some of Sandberg’s advice.
- I’d also tell her, if she marries, to work hard on her relationship. It’s not only much easier than getting divorced, it’s more rewarding and more fun. Love. Full stop. That’s what matters.
Every so often I am assigned a story idea that resonates in my counseling office. My recent piece about diet and mental health was this kind of experience, in that the research gave me some great new language for getting the conversation going with clients and colleagues. Read the full article here.
This week, my counseling office has withstood some very intense, complicated emotions. I wasn't unprepared, however, because this is usually true of any week before a major holiday. Most of us use some of this time to reflect on where we are, what we still want to do, and how we would like to change our lives.
My constant (repetitive?) refrain has been this: please be gentle with yourselves at this time of year. Self-flagellation is only effective at inviting deeper despair. It never leads to the sort of open-hearted, thoughtful steps that lead to real, transformative change in our lives. When we're struggling with sadness, grief, or other issues, sometimes it's just about maintaining the current level of functioning so that we can get through a stressful time. I've written about holiday stress and despair before - here are some suggestions for maintaining at this time of year:
"Murphy's Love," my advice column in the Georgetowner, has recently become a biweekly feature in the newspaper. This means more deadlines and more fun questions to explore. But it also means that I have to be more diligent about keeping up with posting the columns here, which has been a challenge lately! For those keeping track, here are links to the most recent questions:
A reader responds to my advice about a husband putting rules on how his wife can discuss his unemployment.
A groom's friend is uninvited to participate in the wedding because he ticked off the bride.
A newly-blended family struggles to combine holiday traditions.
A well-meaning mom wonders how to explain family estrangement to her preschooler.