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07/25/2009

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Here are a few things that might help: 1. For just a minute, pretend you're a MALE television writer who is the father of a young child, who has arranged for top-notch loving childcare while he works at his fantastic and high-paying TV writing job, who so much wanted to be a father that he decided to adopt/parent a child on his own, and who is ten-thousand-percent committed to that child's well-being and happiness. That is a great fucking dad and one lucky kid, and hopefully that dad doesn't waste time microscopically examining himself for imperfections. (As you might guess, when I have the impulse to beat myself up for not being the perfect mom, I think about male TV writers I've worked with, all of whom are great fathers, and ask myself, Would they beat themselves up over this minor thing? No, they wouldn't, and they are still great dads. So I'm not going to beat myself up either.) 2. If you somehow WERE perfect, imagine what an unbearable amount of pressure that would put on your kid. Some of my most cherished and valuable experiences growing up were because of the rare occasions when my mom screwed something up or admitted her own fallibility. 3. All parents fuck up constantly. It's part of the job. You'll get used to it.

Ha! Oh, Melinda, I just so think you're awesome! You're SO right about the male TV writer thing. And I am going to fully embrace your second point. If I WERE a perfect mom, that would be BAD for my kid! This is an ideal way to think about it-- because it's so straight forward and TRUE. Kids really do need to see their parents imperfections and foibles. And I'm going to immediately replace my "it's a fun job, and I enjoy it" motto with "all parents fuck up constantly." Is that a t-shirt? AC, can you have one of those printed up?

The best part of being a parent is knowing that it's O.K. to be bad...at times!

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    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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