The Gluten Bigot

Monday, March 16, 2015

Men & Women, Becoming a Parent & The Work Place

In the past almost two years, I've noticed the comments that differeniate men and women in the workplace when it comes to babies. It starts with the pregnancy, and what I have seen has been pretty similar in terms of announcements and initial acknowledgement. As the months go on is where the divide begins. 

I have never heard anyone speculate on if a man would come back to work after the baby arrives. I hear this about almost every expectant women from colleagues, friends and family. Women are expected to want to stay home, abandon their careers and focus on raising the offspring. Yes, working is the norm. But if you're female you're at least supposed to WANT to stay home.

Next is leaves... but this one is larger than me and varies by country. In my family, we were lucky, my husband had equal time off to me (his employer has an amazing new parent leave policy, well beyond what is legally required). In fact, he had more paid leave than I did - and I was the one who had a csection haha. The result was my husband had lots of time he took over the span of the year to bond with Bricklet. Most of the dads I know in the US have no paid leave and therefore can't afford to take much more than a week or two off.

Once the leave is over, no one is shocked when the dad comes back. Expectations do not change. But when the mom comes back in some cases there will be the shock of 'I didn't think she would come back.'  And sometimes the expectations from her do change, but not in a positive way. I was lucky and had an amazing boss who didn't modify his overall expectations of me. 

Finally, once back and in the swing of things almost no one remarks to dad "Wow, you're doing a great job balancing work and family... you really can' have it all!" But women will hear this, even when they feel they are sucking at everything so long as they aren't hiding in the mother's room crying about missing their baby. I've had several people make similar remarks to me. All well-intentioned. I'm flattered each time, especially if it's a day where I really feel like I"m failing someone - why aren't we giving this support to dads? 

I wonder why no one remarks? Is it because women are still carrying the load at home (the second shift)? What about when you have someone who is a complete equal contributor (ahem, my husband)? Why don't they deserve acknowledgement? 

This isn't intended to be a rant. I just want everyone to think about it. Is the speculation of whether a woman comes back to work progressive and supporting equal expectations of men and women? If you knew the conversation was about you, how would you feel about it? When you're giving the new mom kudos, are you acknowledging the new dad who also has dark circles and is on his third coffee? Is this the conversation you want your kids to be having in 20 or 30 years? If the answer to any of those is no, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate if your conversations match you values.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dear Internet: Do Something Good Today

Hello internet friends! So much craziness happens online - but so much good happens and I hope some of that good can be funneled towards on of my friends today. This blog gets a few hundred visitors a day: I hope at least a few of you can help the cause by giving or sharing!

One of my best friends, Kailee, needs help. If you'd like to do something awesome - please give (yay for creating positive karma!) or share.  Doing either you can feel good about not only helping financially but showing Kailee that the world doesn't only take from her and that it can give back too.  

One of my best friends, Kailee, has opened a gofundme. The father of her daughter has initiated a custody battle she cannot afford. The money she is raising will cover her retainer - but the fees can really get crazy.  Kailee has an amazing little girl, Ellexys. Ellexys' father, who has for six years has been infrequently involved in her life, has dropped a 50/50 custody filing on Kailee. If you read their story you will get more context about why this would not be a good situation for Ellexys - and I can say her father has been very flaky her whole life and I feel would change his mind quickly if he managed to get joint custody which would break Ellexys' heart. This girl deserves the love her mama gives her! Despite the fact he does not deserve it, Kailee has always encouraged, and fought for Ellexys' father's involvement in her life - even when he didn't want to and it required supervised visits and all efforts on Kailee's behalf. Kailee has worked hard to provide a stable home and a happy life for Ellexys, who is a gorgeous, happy, smart, and well mannered little girl. While the courts are not likely to put Ellexys into a disruptive situation, Kailee still needs to appear in court and has to pay a lawyer and court fees. She was rejected for legal aid, and has a family lawyer she has worked with since Ellexys was born wants to stay with who cannot take the case pro bono. Kailee works incredibly hard and is doing everything she can get get money on her own. She would do anything for anyone, however the universe has not always offered her people in her life who would do the same. I would love for all the goodness she has put into the world to come back to her.

Please share via her GFM page, this blog (buttons to all the things below), or, if you can, give. Thanks for your help everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2015

My 200th Post!

It took a bit longer than I thought it would with my lack of posts in the past year and a half or so, but this marks my 200th post on this blog! When I started this blog a few years ago I didn't really think anyone would look at it, I just wanted a creative outlet and excuse to make sweets and use my DSLR! I never thought that hundreds of thousands of people would stop by and that many of them would even come back!

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by my little space on the interweb, and supported by writing, photography, gluten free life, pregnancy and first year as a mom! I really appreciate you taking time to read my random posts and sometimes leave notes, tweet or message me! 

I really do miss the time I used to invest into making and finding awesome gluten free food. As my life has changed, youl'll notice my blog is going to continue to roll with me and I will post about mom life, parenting randomness, and really whatever I feel like. When I have time to write I really just want freedom to go with my current stream of consciousness. If you don't like certain post types and have subbed my RSS, please feel free to subscribe to only the label (or labels) which interest you. 

Once again, thank you everyone. If you have any post requests, let me know in the comments!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Upper West Side Restaurant Round Up | GF & Family Friendly

Last year in need of more space and wanting to try out a different neightborhood, we made the move to the Upper West Side. Of course, having a little one our restaurant adventures are quite different now. I thought I write up our go-to places in case you're in the area and are looking for somewhere that will not scorn you for having children. I will note we don't order off of kids' menus, I will note where I know they have one though!

Nice Matin (79th & Amsterdam) - a long time favorite of ours. They have high chairs, bunch time there are lots of families. It's a nice brunch to bring the little one to. 
Parent Bonus: Has highchairs, coloring kits

Cafe 82 (82nd & Broadway) - not just for hangovers! Also great for family diner breakfast or lunch. I still love their waffles, but have gone for pastrami sandwiches the last few times. Honestly, the pastrami isn't the best, but they do have very good fries.
Parent Bonus: Has highchairs, very friendly staff

Rosa Mexicano (62nd & Colombus) - I just realized I haven't posted on this place before. It's a chain which usually discourages me, their food is very good. It's high end mexican. Their pom margaritas are awesome, and their guacamole is the best. A couple months ago we discovered Bricklet loves re-friend beans, so win. This was actually the first proper restaurant we brought him to. 
Parent Bonus: Has highchairs, has kids menu, gave us a plastic cup (which beats bringing my own so the baby can have water)

Crepes & Delices (72nd between Broadway and Amsterdam) - another place I haven't posted about, this one is newer. We nipped in one day that I was hungry and shared a salted caramel crepe (my husband and I, we didn't share that with the baby). We go here every few weeks now. Bricklet LOVES crepes, and so do we! I will note this is not a sit down restaurant (as most crepe places are not)
Parent Bonus: Custom order the crepe to kid or baby's liking, you can do takeaway

What are your favorite gluten free family dining options on the UWS?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stokke Scoot Review | 1 Year In

My favoite guys on our
trip to Washington

Last year I wrote about our search for the perfect stroller for us and our city lifestyle. If you read the original post, you may remember that we ended up purchasing the Stokke Scoot. I will note there is a newer Scoot out, while they did make some changes, it's not a completely different thing.

I will lead with things I love about this stroller. First, it maneuvers really well on flat surfaces and pavement. So many stores we go into are really tiny and this stroller fits in them. Another thing I still love about the stroller is the look of it; it is sleek. The under storage is something I have ended up using much more than I anticipated, especially come home after work with groceries, my two bags and his lunch bag - I get 2 big bags under at least. I'm also very fond of the handle bar. It's stupid simple to adjust and goes up quite high - so even in my big girl heels it's at a comfortable level and I'm above average height. We've traveled with it on a few occasions and that's gone well. It's a bit annoying in airport security if you use a carseat (we did when he was really little - Mico Maxi Cosi), but there's no avoiding that if you buy outside the stoller OEM. Most importantly though, Bricklet seems to be comfortable in the stroller - it's not a totally bumpless ride but he seems to like it and it's not too harsh, even on cracked sidewalks in Hell's.

In addition to the actual stroller, we purchased the infant softbag and footmuff. The softbag we didn't get a ton of use from. When he was a baby baby it was way too big, enough though he was a big baby. The footmuff has been awesome, and along with his parka coat, has kept him toasty through this crazy cold winter - for real, sometimes he's like sweating when we take him out.

Now, the things I don't fancy so much. Adjust from sitting up and reclining or vice versa is annoying and you do have to stop walking to do it. Also, the recline is not completely flat, so we didn't use this until he was +3months. This stroller is not meant for snow or offroad - and it has been a snowy year in NYC! I've at least gotten a good workout shoving the stroller home a couple of times this year. 

What's annoyed me most is the durability of the hood. A piece popped out and while my husband managed to fix it once it popped right back out. Then I tried to fix it again and it got worse. SUPER annoying. Also, the canopy doesn't come down very far - in summer months I was lusting after the UppaBaby's extended UV canopy, especially since Bricklet was too young for sunscreen.

Which brings me to the million dollar question: Would I repurchase? In general yes. I'm very happy with the stroller purchase, it's certainly served us well. 

However, if I were to rewind time and tell myself I would end up in an apartment with 200 sqft more than I anticipated and that had an elevator I may have gone for to the Stokke Crusi or Uppababy Vista for scalability and the carrycot/bassinet seat I really love. It sounds like such a strange thing, but the fact we didn't have that makes me sad in retrospect; first because I feel like it's so proper and was something that went with the vision in my head, but mostly because we spent up to 3 hours a day walking when I was on maternity leave since Warren consistently slept, and slept well, when we were walking. I think it would have been nice for him.

Have you gotten the Scoot? Are you trying to decide? Let me know if you have one and if you liked it, or if you're thinking about one and have any questions!

Share This Post