Grandparents: treasure NOT amenity.
I recently read an article in the NYTimes entitled The Ultimate Amenity: Grandparents
My first reaction was-i was annoyed. annoyed that they spoke about grandparents like if they were some hot trend the wealthy were now embracing. The article was in the real estate section, so it was all about real estate, sadly it didn’t discuss the importance of family.
Many cultures embrace family time, and consider it precious and special. There are families where grandparents are not the latest “amenity” like a gym membership or a pool at a hotel, they are not something optional! There are many cultures where extended families are very much a part if everyday life. Italian families in the US are known to have big Sunday (weekly) dinners, and many Hispanic families also spend a lot of time together, very much involved in each other’s lives (for better or for worse-ha!) In India, they embrace extended family living arrangements.
My family has always been a part of my life, and now that I’m a mom, I want to make sure my son learns how to value family time and appreciate the people that care about him.
Those of you who know me know that I have a big family, and that my parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins have a special place in my life, and we don’t just see each other during holidays or special events, we try to see each other as much as we can, but most importantly we are always there to help each other out… knowing that you have people you can count on is truly priceless.
Grandparents are an important part of families, they hold a wealth of information on what life was like, on family history. They are wise (albeit sometimes stubborn). They have worked hard and grandchildren are their reward for raising children!
BabyEnzoG with Abuela, Papy, Abuelo and Mamie. (one set of Ecuadorian grandparents, one set of French grandparents!)
I leave you with a parting thought… If you are lucky enough to still have your grandparents around, give them a call, or take some time to visit them, send them a card, or shoot them an email… They are precious and realizing that when they are still around is priceless!
BabyEnzoG and his great-grandpapy!! =) Happy Holidays!
Feliz #thanksgiving!! #thankful #turkey #grateful #family #familia
What I realized when I became a mother…
When I was pregnant, hormones raging, I had a panic attack one day (not sure if you can call it that?) and I started crying hysterically… why? Because as a baby was growing inside me, I was perhaps more aware of life itself… being born, dying… and I started thinking about my parents. And I started thinking about the day when they will no longer be around. As a result, I started crying hysterically, and when my husband said “why are you crying?” I replied, “I don’t want my parents to ever die… I want them to live forever.” (in between sobs… it might have taken me a minute or two to get these sentences out.)
It is amazing how your perspective on so many things change when you become a mother. First, you experience and realize the extraordinary power of your body (you grew a human being inside you! Then… you make milk! HOLY COW –no pun intended!) For months after I gave birth I would look at myself and look at my son and say “that didn’t really happen… he didn’t really come out of ME…”
Second, and the most important thing I realized when I became a mom was the power of life and the reality of finite life… just as I am now giving life to a human being, someone gave life to me, and that there is a circle of life, birth, growth, death; and then it hit me: the awful reality that parents don’t live forever and that my time with them is precious.
Working through maternity leave?!@#&%* 12 weeks is not enough…
There seems to be a lot of hoopla over the new CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer. The hoopla is there for a few reasons—because she was hired to be the new CEO of struggling Yahoo, because she is coming from Google, because she is starting her new job today and is pregnant and due in October, and reportedly, she informed her to-be bosses of her pregnancy when she was hired, which is to be commended on both sides—her honesty and Yahoo’s willingness to hire a pregnant CEO.
I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment and say that – well, she really didn’t have anything to LOSE by announcing her pregnancy to her potential new employer. Why? She was already employed at Google, and was not actively looking for another job (they approached her about the position). If Yahoo had said “no thank you” (which would be illegal if I am not mistaken—they would have at least had to disguise it as something else) Ms. Mayer would have just stayed at her position at Google, and all would be fine in the world. (I would even bet that Google has a pretty great maternity leave policy—but I don’t know for sure, so if you do, please fill me in!)
The reason this story has caught my attention is because of what she said on regarding her maternity leave: (the article can be found here: http://postcards.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/)
“As for maternity leave, Mayer, who recently joined the board of Walmart (WMT), expects it to be speedy. “I like to stay in the rhythm of things,” she says, referring to the CEO job that she is starting tomorrow. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”
Now my first question is— is her maternity leave going to be only a few weeks long because Yahoo will not give her more weeks? (if so, then shame on Yahoo!) I do not know Ms. Mayer, so I want to be very careful as to not be offensive. In part, I commend her for “wanting to work through it” but, part of me is pissed off. Why? Well I will tell you why. Because I believe her words are a detriment to a cause that thousands of people support: Longer, more manageable and more secure (and paid!) maternity/family leave. It is no secret that maternity leave in the United States lags behind other developed and developing countries in the world. The United States is one of three countries that does not offer PAID maternity leave (the other countries are Swaziland and Papua New Guinea).
image from Think Progress
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 does not offer paid leave, only 12 weeks of unpaid leave (but, if you live in NY, you do qualify for the measly $170 “short-term disability” insurance—which is about $160 after taxes—- they should be ashamed of that amount and ashamed to tax it). You only qualify for FMLA if you have been employed for 12 months or over.
so true! we’re going to be old and dealing with the same crap that we did to our parents… OY! it’s all about karma!
my family… i’m super lucky
When I was on maternity leave, one of my dear friends asked me if I had figured out what I was going to do for childcare. I answered that my mom was going to babysit. My friend said “darn I was born into the wrong culture.” Comments like these remind me how *incredibly* lucky I am to have a supporting and loving family.
If you are Hispanic, you know that by “family” I don’t only mean mom, dad and brothers and sisters. For us, Families are much larger: abuelas, abuelos, tíos, tías, and (if you’re lucky like me!) lots of cousins! (Yes ladies and gents, I have 27 cousins on my father’s side—and that’s FIRST cousins—I won’t even go into the second and third cousins, and the godbrothers and godsisters and the kids of the lady I call TIA but she’s not really my tía by blood but by feelings… yes, a lot of people. )