Posts Tagged: Mom Guilt


Wide-Awake In A Marriot At 4AM (Or: The Grand Myth That Is “Having It All”)

Jordan Reid California

I'm not even sure what to write today; all I can think about is how happy I am to be home.

I am so grateful to get to travel, and to get to do the kind of work I do. I'm so scared of sounding like I'm not, or like I'm not aware that I have a choice in the matter - I mean, obviously there is no one ordering me to take on multi-day shoots in far-flung locations. But the fact that I'm incredibly excited about the projects I've been working on lately doesn't change how much anxiety I'm having over the possibility that my schedule might stay this way, because I haven't been handling being away from my kids especially well, and I don't know if that's going to change.

I was talking to my mom about this, and she said something to the effect of "Jordan." (With a period, which tends to indicate that whatever's coming next is accurate and also something I should have thought of myself.) "Most working parents have to return to an office a few weeks after their children are born. You mostly get to work from home, and if now, several years in, you're starting to have to occasionally travel for a week or two, that's how it goes. Jobs evolve, and your family will evolve too."


High Alert

Does cognitive behavioral therapy actually work

I met with a therapist today. Not a psychiatrist - a therapist, and specifically one specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy. What CBT is, essentially: an intensive, results-geared 12-18 week course of therapy during which you learn specific techniques that you can use to better cope with your anxiety (or depression, or whatever it is that brought you in).

I sat down on the therapist's couch next to a little machine bubbling lavender-scented steam into the air and gave him my best "Look at how happy and okay I am!" smile (because, as everyone knows, the most important part of therapy is convincing your therapist you totally don't need it. ...Right?). He asked me why I was there, and even though I knew this was a pretty unhelpful way to begin the session, I told him the truth: that I didn't know.

It really was true; these days, I feel more or less...fine. Great, actually. My anxiety is under control; my insomnia has virtually disappeared. I'm stressed about various things, of course, but they feel like things I probably "should" be stressed about, like travel and mortgage payments and such. I only booked the appointment in the first place because the psychiatrist who I see about once a month to check in on my medication suggested it, and so while I paid for that day's appointment at the reception desk I also scheduled a new one with his colleague. And then all of a sudden it was a month later and there I was: sitting in a therapist's office and talking about feelings.


Almost There

Mother's Day 2016 temper tantrum

It's 7AM on Mother's Day, and I'm writing this from a Southwest flight somewhere over...Colorado, I think. I was originally scheduled to fly home from St. Louis this afternoon, but yesterday morning I was on set and called my kids to FaceTime with them, and that one call ended up changing my plans. I hadn't seen their faces in a couple of days because I couldn't get my FaceTime to work (discovery: restarting one's phone more than once a year is apparently a good idea) - and when they finally popped up on my phone screen my heart started pounding and I started feeling like I might cry (which is not a thing I want to do on a set, ever). When we hung up, I went straight to my computer and started hunting for a flight - any flight - that might get me home even an hour or two earlier.


The Story Of Who I Am

Road trip in New Mexico by the river

{ New Mexico road trip with my then-boyfriend Jason | 2005 }

For about four years in my mid-twenties (roughly ages 22 to 26), I was anorexic.

Just typing out that sentence is a big deal for me, because for a long, long time it wasn't something I admitted even to myself, and certainly not to anyone else. I've always referred to it as "that time when I was super fucked-up" or "that time when I decided not to eat ever again" - jokey, hyperbolic half-truths intended to swing the conversation towards lighter subjects. I've never even said the word "anorexia" to my mother; I called her yesterday to talk to her about this post so she wouldn't be blindsided (although of course she knew anyway). But over the past few weeks, I've found myself saying out loud to one friend or another, whenever a related subject comes up, "Oh yeah, I was anorexic." And we talk about it or we don't, but it's out there either way.



Mother and daughter laughing in black and white

Let me tell you about the moment when I realized that even though my work is incredibly important to me, I need more separation, and I need to be able to shut off sometimes - not just in a half-assed way (where I'm technically playing with my kids but 60% of my brain is devoted to the email I need to remember to send by the end of the day), but all the way.

And I need to do this on purpose, because it doesn't come naturally.

This realization has happened to various degrees many times over the years, but it really happened - like, can't-get-it-out-of-my-head-happened - a little less than a year ago, when I was visiting a Children's Science Museum with Indy and Goldie. They were playing with this massive model of hills and trees and buffalos, and I was half-watching them play and half-checking my text messages because even though I'd taken the afternoon off I still needed (wanted?) to make sure everything was cool work-wise, and suddenly I looked up and realized how photogenic and symmetrical the background was and how great the colors were, and thought, oh hey - I should Instagram this! It's cute! And symmetrical! And those colors!



Waxed canvas khaki diaper bag

Jetlag + rain = a baby who sleeps until 9AM (and a VERY happy mother)

You know how usually you get off a plane after a cross-country flight and you're like ugggggggg I'm exhausted I just want to be home already? Yesterday, as I was pushing my daughter's stroller through the snow towards the taxi stand with one hand and pulling a sixty-pound (oops) suitcase with the other, a laptop bag and a camera bag and a diaper bag and a purse hanging from my body and a half-eaten package of popcorn suspended precariously in the cupholder, I heard actual music playing in my head. And it wasn't, like, Sarah MacLachlan: it was a TRIUMPHANT ORCHESTRAL SYMPHONY. I think it may have been the Rocky theme song.

Because I KILLED IT yesterday.




It's been awhile since I published my post Someone With Problems, about my decade-long struggle with anxiety and my decision to finally, despite a deep-rooted discomfort with the idea of seeking outside help, try medication (Zoloft, if you're wondering).

Now it's a year later, and so I wanted to talk about how it's going.

It's better. So much better, most of the time. But not always.


The Post I Wish I’d Read Before Having My Second Child

| Follow Ramshackle Glam on Instagram |

Six weeks after my daughter was born, an email landed in my inbox that sounded like it had come from the inside of my own head. A reader, J, wrote to me that she was pregnant with her second baby, and that she was excited, of course...but also scared. Scared of how her life was going to change - rewind from the calm of the toddler era to the madness of the infant period - and scared that her relationship with her first baby would be...not lost, but dimmed somehow. Pushed aside.

Her email was such a relief to me to receive, because I understood it completely. I had struggled so much with these fears myself and experienced such enormous guilt about them that...I guess it just helped to know that others felt exactly as I did.


The Village

Some of my favorite memories from when I was growing up are of the times we drove upstate to visit my parents' friends at the 1950s-style family resort they owned. All day (and night) long the grownups hung out in the common room and drank wine and played chess and talked and laughed while the kids played a board game, or searched for Tiny Toon Adventures on the old TV by the bar, or hid under dining room tables telling secrets, and it was all just so...communal. Not just family units in threes and fours braving the waters in rickety little boats; an actual village full of parents and children and grandchildren and babies, everyone doing their own thing, but together just the same.

I remember the sound of it, you know? The sort of grownup buzzing that's the soundtrack of so much of your childhood; those conversations about politics that you can't even begin to make sense of, those jokes that make your parents laugh until they turn red and that you don't understand but laugh at anyway, just because they're happy and so you're happy, too. It's the same sound that you hear late at night when you're in the backseat of the car driving home from somewhere, and your parents start talking about work or something else your kid self doesn't care about, and you fall asleep to the sound of their office frustrations and traffic reports on the radio, and feel warm and peaceful and safe.

It's cool, seeing how happy our kids are when we have friends over. Not because anyone's doting on them, especially, but just because I get the sense it's exciting, getting to be a part of what Grownup Life is like. The other day we had a few friends over for lunch and swimming, and when the sun started to set we decided to take a mini-picnic out to the trellis-covered tables by the playground down the block. We swung on swings and climbed hills and ran around with the dogs and just sat and talked, and the kids stayed up late and ended the night watching cartoons on the bed while we ordered Thai food and talked some more, and it reminded me of those weekends at the hotel way back when.

powered by chloédigital