One thing at a time: Managing a baby and everything else


One thing I quickly realized when my baby boy was born was how hard it suddenly became getting things done.

People did warn me that babies, especially breastfed ones, take a lot of your time.

I considered this and told my mom, “I guess I will need a week to figure it out.” I asked her then, woman to woman, to pass on to me all her secrets about managing motherhood and balancing it with work.

Yes, I was super naive. There are no secrets. My mom is just a super-woman who managed to raise 3 children while working, not unlike many other mothers out there who are not me.

Six weeks later, I can only congratulate myself on being able to keep my child alive and healthy. As for getting things done in the mean time, I am struggling.

I am a mess of a stay-at-home mother/aspiring author. Dishes pile up, the bed doesn’t get made, laundry doesn’t get folded, food gets burned; also blogs don’t get written, stories don’t get published, novels don’t get edited or sent out. Instead I increasingly find myself (figuratively) sitting in a corner of my apartment reciting all the ways that I am a complete and utter failure.

Combine that with sleep deprivation and you get depression lurking at every corner, sharpening its claws and teeth, ready to attack.

But, I should be happy with my life. I have wonderful husband and a healthy, sweet baby boy…what else could I want?

I want to get things done. I don’t want to be just a mama; I want to be an accomplished mama whose son will be proud of her.

Take one step at a time.

When I had difficult projects at my former jobs or at college, I panicked for 5 minutes, got depressed for 10, but finally I made checklists.

Accomplishing one thing at a time not only made me feel good, but got me closer to my goals.

I thought, if I do one new thing a day, get used to it, make it part of my routine and then introduce another, I will, maybe, be able to get things done!

It may not make me an overnight success as a wife/mother/author but each day will be a success.

To my future kid: The greatest thing I should teach you is empathy

Dear Future kid,

If you grow up and have great empathy towards others, I will consider myself a successful parent.

This is the one greatest thing I could teach you.

And this may sound like a sweet trait that nice people have, it is also a trait that tough people have. It is a characteristic that could help you change the world for the better, but it is also one that will cause you great pain.

I am going to warn you first.  Empathy is not something that you should expect to be reciprocal, even by the people closest to you. But, my child, if you have it you will not only feel with your fellow man, you will also know people, understand their joy, their anger or pain. You will be able to see where they come from and what drives them. Even if you don’t agree with them, you will be able understand why they are acting the way they are.

I want you to try to understand everything; understanding is power.

I am going to explain to you what “understanding is power” means, because I don’t believe in using important words for pure wow effect without providing any real essence.

Understanding and empathize with others, gives you power to cause change. This is because if you choose to help, or intervene, you will act in a way that matters.

Sometimes you will be able to predict behaviors, even.

But the number one reason I want you to have empathy is that you will be unable to hurt any living creature. Treat others as you want to be treated. Be gentle. Gentleness is not a weakness either. The world has enough harshness, cruelty and darkness, but if there is one individual willing to make it just a little better, there is hope.

Love and Kisses,

Your future mama.


On Relationship Advice Books- Best and Worst Buys

Recently it was my hubby’s birthday and I got him a customized silver key chain with his name on it and added “The Great” below.

On one hand it was meant as a joke (we really think megalomaniacs are funny) and on the other I truly think he is a great man and I’d like him to remember that whenever he is down.

I really believe we should let the people around us know from time to time that not only we love them, but also believe in them.

Without a doubt, people are very complicated. Relationships are also very complicated. No wonder there are so many books on relationship advice and being interested in psychology I have read a lot of them:

  • Men are from Mars Women are from Venus (John Gray)
  • Why Men Love Bitches (by Sherry Argov)
  • Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man (Steve Harvey)
  • Why Men Lie and Women Cry (Allan Pease & Barbara Pease)
  • He’s Just Not That Into You (Liz Tuccillo’s and Greg Behrendt)

I will begin with the worst picks.

Definitely and by far the worst book I have read is Why Men Love Bitches. I see what Argov is trying to say in the book. Don’t be a doormat, be self confident, have high self esteem and the guy will fall head over heels. That’s what she is trying to say, but you don’t need a book about that. A good article will do.

There are a lot of issues with this book. We can’t ignore the title.  I really don’t think having high self confidence and high self esteem makes you a bitch, or at least it shouldn’t. While Argov does say that by bitch she means Babe in Total Control of Herself, I believe she could have created an anagram around a better word. The title is just meant as an attention-grabber, a ploy to trick you into buying it.

As for the content, at no point you feel Argov has any background in psychology or that the book was written on any kind of respectful research. She just asks a few male or female friends and states her conclusion afterwards. This book just did not earn my respect. I am not saying it’s worthless, just you won’t get much out of it. There are much better books about self-esteem issues.  I bet this book did made Argov a lot of money, so its purpose has been fulfilled. You don’t actually have to read it.

Allan and Barbara Pease’s books also tend to grab your attention. They have many books on men and women including Why Men Lie and Women Cry. They are entertaining, very well researched, but I don’t think they add much to the table. When I read their books I tend to skip over many things because I already know a lot about the issues discussed. There was no unique insight to make it interesting.  I know it doesn’t make their books bad just because I read a lot and I have heard it all before, but there are better picks.

Act Like a Lady, Think like a Man by Steve Harvey was very amusing. I read it whole on one afternoon. As a book, it served its purpose on entertaining me. A lot of relationship books are written by men, but you don’t see the husband’s or boyfriend’s perspective on the relationship. You mostly see the author playing the part of the psychologist/ the brother/best friend while giving advice. By writing a book from the husband’s perspective, I don’t question Harvey’s expertise as a psychologist or researcher. He is a man who has been married, divorced and remarried that’s his background. About the content, not all was new info for me, but I just loved the book. Steve Harvey is an entertainer I was really entertained. I am not saying you should buy it though, you won’t learn much.

The best book you can buy for the ultimate insight into the world of men, women and relationships is Dr John Gray’s Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus. In fact if you don’t have it, you must buy a copy right now. It will give you the answers you are looking for. It will help you understand your partner better and will even coach you. It doesn’t tell a woman to be a bitch in order to get what she wants, because it’s wrong and bad for the relationship. It teaches both sexes to act lovingly even in situations that are stressful. Most importantly this is a book for both men and women. No other book in the genre has more value than this one. Trust me I checked.

I purposely left Liz Tuccillo’s and Greg Behrendt’s book He’s Just Not that Into You for last. That’s a good book for a gift to a girl you know caught up with a guy, you all of her friends know that he is not interested in her. Maybe it will knock some sense into her.

That was fun for me. Feels good to put all my excessive reading to good use.