The “All Things Green” Edition

Listen to this episode

S1: Just to give you a heads up, one of us is bound to say something not suitable for little ears.

S2: Welcome to mom and dad are fighting Slade’s parenting podcast for Thursday, October 21st, the All Things Green Edition and Jamilah Lemieux, a writer, Kijoo Peterson Slate’s care and feeding parenting column, and mom to Naima, who is eight and a half better. Say they have. And we live in Los Angeles, California.

S1: I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. I write the homeschool and family travel blog Dutch Dutch Goose. I’m the mom to three Littles Henry, who’s nine, Oliver, who’s seven, and Teddy, who is five, and we live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Advertisement

S3: And I’m Amy Misfiled. I’m a staff writer at Slate Magazine. I write the blog Big Eyman and Little Eamon. Just kidding. No, I don’t. That doesn’t exist. My son’s name is Moussa. He’s four months old. Yeah, yeah. I live in Newark, New Jersey.

S2: So unfortunately, you guys, this is Amy’s last week as a guest host. He’s been holding it down for quite a while while Dan is off on book Leave Aymann, we’re going to miss you

S3: and I’m going to miss you guys too. I’m bummed.

S2: Oh, well, you know, it’s really nice having a new parents on the show because Elizabeth and I and Dan are old parents and our kids are old and so sweet hearing about little Mozart. And, you know, I think a lot of our listeners have really appreciated your frankness with talking about your side of the parenting journey thus far. So we really appreciate you and we’re thankful that you were here, that you’ve been here with us and you are always welcome to come back and visit.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: That’s so sweet about my heart. Any time, any time. Just let me know. I mean, I know this is like an advice show and I’m supposed to have the answers, but it was really cool to have bring questions and have that be OK, too. So I’m really thankful to have spent this time with you guys. I feel like it made me a better parent. Hopefully, it made some new parents out there feel a little bit more understood. And yeah, I don’t know it. Just it always gave me good feelings to be on the show, and I look forward to it every week and now I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m just going to be a listener and submit my own questions.

Advertisement

S2: Well, I think that, you know, the secret of mom and dad are fighting that it’s really just about making us feel better about what we’re doing as parents and making other people feel better. It’s not necessarily that we have the best advice or any answers, but somehow just talking about this stuff makes us all feel better.

S3: It does. It does.

S2: Yeah, but for everyone this week we’ve got a question about what to do when your child’s friend comes to dinner, but doesn’t tell you that their family is vegan. I died when I read this letter. Literally, I’m so excited to this Lauren Linder. Then I’ll be talking to Lauren Linder, mom of twins and deputy general counsel of a cannabis company with Holly G&G over the role that cannabis plays in our parenting some serious pot mom bonding going on this week on Slate Plus, we’ll be talking about toxic masculinity and paternity leave. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s start off with some triumphs and failures aiming for your last episode of the show. Do you have a triumph or fail this week?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s going to sound like a fail, but it feels like a triumph. I feel like it’s a very Elizabeth of me, but I’m just going to go for it. Do it, do it. You know, my my wife had to start going back to work recently, yesterday, actually. So yesterday was my first time ever being home alone, just me and little dude. And I was I was so anxious. I was so afraid, so I dropped her off at the train station was really sad. I we were trying to figure out strategies for like how much milk versus formula we’re going to do to try to ration the milk that she was able to pump beforehand. And do you know what? It was fine like? There were some bouts of crying. Of course there were. But I feel like I figured out his off buttons well enough where I can handle him for, like the eight hours that she was going to be gone. So, you know, I just tried to pack in as many activities as I could try to get him outside and like in his stroller, because it seems to be like the only time where he really deep, deep sleeps. So, you know, I just planned ahead, took down some notes and really just tried to pack his day as much as possible and not give him a chance to sit around bored and look at me with, like the judge, you say, die. And that was it. Like, I basically figured out that I was my own worst enemy in this case and that I needed to just have faith that the baby was going to be OK. And he was honest. He was fine. And then when she came back, we picked her up from the train station together. It was fun. I mean, she was there. I think as surprised as I was that the baby was still like, fine and not everything. But, you know, I feel a lot more comfortable now with her schedule moving forward, having to go to work and I can take care of the guy right now. I got like the baby monitor set up on the lowest volume, so it’s not a distraction here, but I got him to sleep. He’s fine. No. Panicking, everybody. Everybody’s OK. So it feels like a failure because I’m barely pulling these things together. But at the same time, I feel I feel great about it, like I’m really proud of myself.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: No. Parenting is barely pulling these things together.

S3: It’s like

S2: for a living, for

S1: a living every day, barely pulling it together.

S2: But you did it,

S1: you did it.

S3: That’s great. I feel so good, honestly.

S2: What about you, Elizabeth? You have a triumph for faith this week.

S1: I’m going to call it a triumph as usual, because I like to think of my life in this manner. Otherwise, I think I’d be very sad if I thought about otherwise. But I got an email from Henry School like probably less than an hour after I had dropped him off, saying that he had been stung by a yellow jacket. Actually, the title was Henry and the Yellow Jacket, and I actually, when I saw it, I thought he doesn’t have a yellow jacket, but I opened it up and it turns out that they go on This Morning Mindfulness Walk, and they had walked through a like hive and he had gotten stung. Henry is my one with the autoimmune disorder, the pandas, and he has not been stung previously, and so we were not sure whether that would create like an immune response. Where are we going to have a like what I, you know, a flare as a result of this, like what was going to happen. He’s at school, all these new variables. And of course, my initial reaction is like, grab all the meds and I’m going to drive to school, right? But I’m like, Listen, he’s in a really safe place. He’s not that far from me. If I go up there, he’s definitely going to panic. So I am just going to. I sent an email back to the secretary and said, You know, thank you so much for letting me know. There is a possibility that this may cause some sort of reaction where you just keep me posted. You know, they have the medicine in case that happens. So just kind of trusting them. And I actually was scheduled to volunteer like later in the afternoon. So when I went up there that afternoon, they told me that he he of course, cried when he got stung, but he, like, immediately went and found a parent and told them what happened. He told them that he has this condition and that he may need some medical attention. He was like, so calm with the school secretary. She gave him some ice and had him sit there and she there were a couple of kids. They got stung, but she made him sit much longer, which in the past sometimes can really trigger this anxiety that something’s wrong with him or just like feeling left out. She said he was like so. Grady asked if he could have a book and just sat there and read. And so I just felt like, OK, this is such a weight like he’s starting to advocate for himself, which is what I need because I can’t always I’m not always going to be just a drive away. And he’s his best advocate and we’re trying to teach him that. But I was also proud that, like, I a little bit that I was able to just calm myself down, even though I’m not. I’m not like a big rush to get things, but it just feels like when you’re the parent of a kind of medically fragile kid, you feel like I need to protect him when I can, and I need to be there, and I don’t want this to get worse. And to be able to just say, like, No, I’ve done all the things I his school has the medicine. I trust the people he’s with and I trust that they can handle this and they’re going to inform me when they need me, you know, and kind of go on of my day. And he was so proud of himself like he. It was this hurdle for him. That’s something that he was really nervous about happening. Having a medical issue at school had happened. It was totally fine. His friends were like extra Dodie, he said. Everyone was asking me how my arm was, you know, I think he’s also kind of afraid that he may get isolated as a result of his medical issues. So I don’t know. I just felt like like such a nice, such a nice woman, even though, you know, he ended up with a giant welt on his arm.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: And that’s got to feel good, though it feels like you prepared him for something like that.

S1: Yeah, like the first kind of step of that’s what I want for him, right, is to be able to go, do all the things and not worry about it. And so being able to give him that opportunity and also just reassure myself, you know that he’s OK, he’s all right.

S2: Wow. I love that he asked for a book. It’s got to be. I know, but I feel like any time my child makes a good choice like that. Yeah, yeah. You know, Drew, I’m so proud because he could have very easily been like, you have games on your phone,

Advertisement

S1: you’re like, Oh, sort of place to turn on the TV. That is. I don’t even think about that. That’s so true and

S2: would have been justified. Totally.

S1: And then somebody at home, I would definitely be like, here, why this time?

S2: Would you like some ice cream? Yeah.

S1: Thanks, guys. Jamilah, how about you?

S2: So I also have a triumph this week. I have a real, actual triumph that I can claim. This is the first time since name has been in school that I have made her lunch every day that she’s with me. That has been a goal at times. Oh wow. Daycare. But let’s say she started real school. You know, like I do remember making daycare meals at times, but I don’t know that I did it every single day. And I also had a very demanding job when I was in daycare, and I don’t have anywhere else to go but home after work, you know what I mean? Like, I’m fully working from home. There are no mean everything is done by Zoom. So like the barriers between being the mom who cooks lunch, you know, three days a week or whatever, they’re not there really for me anymore. And so I’ve been making lunch every day, and so I feel really good about the fact that, you know, that has happened successfully. And oh my god, we have to run and try to grab something from Starbucks on the way there. Or, Oh my god, I can just eat the school. Lunch is like no lunch every day and every single day. There has been a note in her lunchbox. I write her note every day and I’m so like, It’s a different note every day and I try to get cute with them and different little sign offs and stuff. And so I asked her the other day I was like, Do you like, read your note privately or like, do your friends, you know, like, do you let your friends see you reading your notes? And she says, No, I let them stay. And she says, sometimes I’ll say, Oh, Naima, what does your mom say today? And I’ll read them out loud and I’m like, You read them aloud. And she says, Nothing can make me hide my love for my mommy. Oh oh

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: my

S2: gosh. And I just felt like the happiest man.

S1: That’s like an ultimate parenting.

S2: That was it. I was like that. I need to do nothing else. The Lunchbox notes her. I’m writing this to the end of the year, and this is the big.

S1: That’s amazing. OK, now are you a before school lunch packer or a like morning or evening?

S2: I found an evening is easier. I will, you know, if I didn’t get to do it the night before, then sometimes I’ll do it early in the morning and I’ve become a much earlier riser. There was the time where Naima woke me up for school and then things have shifted. She’s tired now and I’m waking up at six o’clock on my own, so I guess we’re finally balanced and whether we should be, I’m up for a whole hour for her. And so like, I could do it in the morning, but I like to have it done the night before because I just feel so much better in the morning knowing that I only have to cook breakfast because that’s the other thing. Like, I also cook breakfast every morning and my name is first year in school. Here we went to Starbucks. Like every day it was completely out of control. We did not have a car wash me as we walked to Starbucks every day and got our Uber at Starbucks every single day. It was ridiculously expensive and not necessarily nutritious, but every day breakfast is cooked by mommy. How what an egg is is up to interpretation. OK, cows, and she’s happy with it. That’s really what about that?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Oh my gosh. Keep a couple of those notes like, stick them somewhere.

S2: I found that she kept one of them in her in her book bag, and like that made me really feel special, like she hadn’t thought it away way she just like carries a garbage bag.

S3: You heard that, Melissa. Pay attention. Take notes.

S2: Yeah, yeah, let’s take care of some business. If you haven’t got enough Elizabeth this week, you are in luck. Elizabeth was a guest on Slate’s How to podcast, advising two women who are struggling to make friends as adults. Tell us about it, Elizabeth.

S1: It was so much fun, so we made a full game plan for approaching strangers and transitioning acquaintances into lifelong friends, and we even had some advice for maintaining long distance friendships. It’s just lovely. I really think like there was so much laughter. We had such a great time and legitimately I made friends with everybody on the podcast, so I am still e-mailing with them. So it’s just a really fun episode that you should check out.

Advertisement

S2: I am definitely going to check that out on my drive today because I was making new adult friends sucks, but I know you’re very good at it, so I’m looking forward to your tips.

S1: The thing is, you also say that it sucks.

S4: I don’t

S2: hide it. It’s hard. Well, the episode is live now, so as soon as you’re done listening to mom and dad of Friday, go check out Elizabeth on Slate’s How To. The link is in the show notes. Also, do not forget to subscribe to mom and dad in fighting. It helps us out, and it’s the best way to make sure you never miss an episode. Finally, subscribe to Slate’s parenting newsletter to the best way to be notified about all of our great parenting content, including this show, my care and feeding columns, and much, much more. Sign up at Slate.com. That’s parenting email. Onto our first listener question and being read as always by the fantastic Sasha Lane, our

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S5: dear mom and dad. My daughter has a good friend who comes over regularly. They’re both 13. This friend comes from a vegan family. It’s my understanding from what my daughter tells me that her friend is a vegan and that her parents are kind of strict on their kids vegan diets. When the friend is over, I offer to make her something vegan, but she declines and eats whatever protein we prepare for. The family burgers, ribs, chicken, fish, whatever. She eats several servings of the meat and cheese that we serve. My daughter has implied that her friend hides what she eats at our house from her parents. I don’t know her parents well, so I’ve never had a conversation with them on this. Am I crossing a boundary here? Should I get her parent’s permission before feeding her non-vegan food? Or is 13 old enough for her to make her own dietary decisions? Is it possible that this family is vegan for religious reasons? If so, how does that impact how I should handle things? Sincerely wanting to be respectful. Meat Eater.

S2: Oh man. Elizabeth, what do you got?

S1: OK, listen, presumably these parents know that this kid is at your house. I’m just going to assume that to be true. If that is true, it is their job to let you know what the dietary needs are because at 13, I mean, if they haven’t contacted you. Right? I just can’t fathom this whole thing just is tickles me. At 13, the 13 year old is responsible for their own actions. I think so. I i the ball. It just doesn’t feel like the ball is in your court as the host. I mean, I understand, like we are all in this in this habit, which I think is good of saying, like, do you have any dietary restrictions? Like, How can I make this meal for you or your family, like you have offered that to this 13 year old? I actually feel like at this point, if you called me, there is no way this goes well. If you call and you’re like, Hey, I heard that your child is vegan. They eat a whole lot of meat and cheese at my house. Like, that’s that’s just not going to go well. So I guess I just really feel like it was the parent’s responsibility to contact you if assuming they know that this child is at your house. If for some reason they don’t know this child, it’s your house, maybe you should get to know these parents. I don’t know, but I you are resolved, in my opinion, of of any guilt that you are feeling you. You offered the 13 year old said no and you put a meal on the table. I would not get any more involved. What do you guys think?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: Oh me, Aymann.

S3: I got I got two things to say. You got two things to say. First of all, you shouldn’t feel bad if the teenager is declining. But I don’t think you are absolved because if I get if they think that you’re, you know, in charge and taking care of this person, they should know that you’re not making bad choices or presenting bad choices and letting them make the wrong one. I mean, I have a little bit more skin in the game because I do observe like dietary restrictions myself, like I don’t eat pork. And there are certain circumstances where I’ll be at a friend’s house and they they have pork on the table and they don’t ask and they just serve it. And I’ll have to like, respectfully decline. But if I were, you know, raising my son and I feel like I’m giving him all the right, you know, ideas and like, he’s following the right path, according to me and my faith. Then he’s going to his friend’s house and they’re just feeding him whatever. And he’s just, I don’t know. I feel like I would like to know. I feel like I would like to to to be in the know for that, even if he’s 13 years old. And I feel like if I were to find out later after the fact, I would get really pissed. So here’s what I would do. I would maybe contact them and then present them the opportunity to say, Oh, basically ask the question, Are there any dietary restrictions but don’t like Narc? Don’t be like, Well, I found out, blah blah.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Now that’s just

S3: to dig deep. Maybe just tell them that if they say no. Then again, if they say, well, they’re vegan, then you say, OK, oh, and then ask them if they they should be not letting them eat that, but I would never, you know, you shouldn’t. You should never implicate them. You should just say, Hey, I want to just run this past you just in case this comes up. That’s what I would do. That’s that would make me feel better at night.

S2: So listen, you guys now. Now this parent is a co-conspirator. No, because they know what the rules were, and they gave this child multiple servings of beef pork. She of the thing is not just one, not just not just like, Oh, well, you know, OK was just chicken like the whole whatever multiple serving. So I grew up not I don’t eat pork or beef, and other parents were made aware of this. And you know, there were definitely times where it sucks, but like they always accommodated it. But it was ever it was never put. I mean, granted, maybe because like I was only around kids who knew, like other adults who knew my parents, you know what I mean? But like, I just remember, like going over a friend’s house there being leftover pepperoni pizza and like, Oh, I’m sorry, Jamilah, I’ll make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, right? And like. But in no universe was that parent going to let me just say, unless maybe I pulled the I can pull the pepperoni off kind of thing. Sometimes we work at school like generally they weren’t just going to be like, Well, have some pepperoni because you’ve decided to. You know, you want to have that today. But I do understand the argument that 13 is kind of an age where you think, OK, this person can have some sort of opinions and thoughts around what they eat. But. I guess the big question is, is this kid constantly sneaking other foods or is your house the spot like because this could very easily turn into? I never had hamburgers. I never had any of these things until I went over Billy’s house and Billy’s mom let me had you could become the entire fall guy for his whole meat eating operation. I think you need to check in with this kid and say, Look, I have to admit, you know, I feel a little bit uncomfortable because I know that your parents expect you to keep a vegan diet. But when you come over here, that’s not what you’ve been eating. Is this what you do everywhere? Do you eat beef and pork at schools? You know, do you do this at other people’s houses or is it just at my house and what my your parents check in with the kid? You know, they’ll usually their face will give it away. What? What might your parents say if they found out that you had a burger tonight? And if this seems like it’s the sort of thing that could start World War One, then you need to figure out a plan to get out of this game where you are supplying the child with contraband and start having some shake patties in the freezer when she comes by and letting it be that she eats those things, you know, because I don’t know, I just feel I’m afraid of these parents finding out

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: who really puts these other parents haven’t done anything like this girl is at this house regularly. And the other parents have never called and said, by the way, we are vegan. If you were very strict on the way you wanted your child to eat, if this was something that was so important to you that you would have your child going to someone else’s home. It sounds like regularly to me, means at least once a week, right? And you’ve never called. I don’t know my, you know, Henry Eats has a weird diet because of his stuff. It’s like I make wherever he’s going like, this is what he eats. Would you like me to provide something? Or like, can we come after the meal or can we come before the meal? Because I feel like it is my responsibility to deal with his eating issues, not your responsibility. 90 percent of the people we deal with are like, I’m happy to fix something that is that, you know? And yes, you’re absolutely right. It’s not fun, right? Like he it’s like gluten free bread never looks like anyone else’s food, but I just think I don’t know that it can continue to be. You’re like every friend that you have over. Do you do you call their parents and say, Are they vegan? Are they like before you take someone out? Do you ask like, are there any foods or things that I shouldn’t do to make my house like your house? I just I just don’t want to set the precedent that it’s your responsibility when the kid is 13. These parents must trust that this child is advocating. I just don’t see how you’re not like the narc, how you’re not calling to be like P.S.. I just found out your kid is vegan and I’ve been feeding them meat.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: Yeah, no. You can’t call the parents. You can’t. This is all about preparing for the possibility that the parents call. You know, there’s no you have to avoid these people at all costs. I just

S1: like your idea of of cornering the kid

S2: who let the kid live the

S3: preference. No, I mean, look. So this happened to me when I was like 13. I went over to a friend’s house and they asked if I wanted a shot of tequila. Right? I’m 13 years old, so I’m like, Hell, yeah. So you know what I mean? It’s like, Oh, you didn’t feel it didn’t sit right? Expecting a 13 year old to not want to do the thing they they know they’re not supposed to do. So my opinion is, you have to clue the parents in to a degree, I’m not saying, Hey, your kid is dead, a shot of tequila. That’s not a good idea. Don’t do that. I’m saying call them and say, Hey, I just want to let you know that I have x y z at the house. I know. I mean, the parent doesn’t know that. Do you have like an all vegan diet over there? I just want to know if I should or shouldn’t be offering this person, whatever. And and sort of just let them set it up. And if they say no, then you have full license to go back to this kid and say, Actually, I can’t do this anymore. Sorry, I’m not going to be your supplier. But if they say, Hey, we don’t care, then you have no reason to feel upset. You can feed them whatever you want, even if they say they should know what they’re allowed to eat. Cool, you’re off the hook. But I think it’s just a bad idea to know that these kids are vegan and to be giving them whatever because it’s not your problem. I don’t know. That feels medicine to me.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: I just I think it’s.

S1: Are you going to

S2: have already done it? You already did it. Well, what

S1: if you call and have that conversation and then they say, like our child would? Don’t worry about it. Our child would never accept he’s so committed to this vegan diet. He would never eat something or to something. So now you have you have a choice right now like this. That’s how these kind of things the parents are never just like, Oh yes, we’re vegan. Don’t worry about it, right? Like any conversation with another parent, it’s crazy town.

S3: So a 13 year old is just not an adult to me. I don’t think a 13 year old should be making their own decisions,

S1: versus the parent didn’t call ahead of time.

S3: You know how many phone calls they’d have to make if they had to call every single one of their friends as parents? But from what you’re saying, but you’re

S1: saying every single parent that he goes to, they should call his family.

S3: That’s one call per person. That’s not a thousand calls per one family. That seems way more reasonable to me.

S1: But are you going to call all of your like all of Moose’s friends? Hey, what do they eat? What are their dietary restrictions?

S3: I was going to just give him a laminated post-it note just to present to the parents when he gets old. But I mean, when

S1: he has friends over, like when you’re serving the meal?

S2: Yeah.

S3: If I know any of them have specific dietary restrictions, I will not be their supply personally because. And it’s a choice that I’m making as a parent to be on the parents side. Sure, we’re all going to be the adults together to take care of these, this gaggle of kids. That’s that’s how I see it, right? It’s a community. So if if I know about these restrictions and of like letter writer does know about these restrictions, they really shouldn’t be doing this in the first place. They know that they should. And that’s why they’re sending the letter because they feel guilty and they know that this is going to be like, Well, you know, keep giving them chicken. I got to tell you, I’m sorry, but if you give my kid pork, I might. I might have a pragmatist. I might get really pissed. And I’m not going to. I’m not going to assume that I should have called you and let you know this Muslim kids not supposed to eat pork. I’m going to. I’m going to know that, you know, and we’re going to have a very serious conversation about it. That’s what I would do personally as a parent.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: Thank you so much for writing in. Want to be respectful meat eater. We are so be I myself am invested. So we want to know more. So please keep us updated on what happens next.

S3: And if you do call the parents, record it so we can aired on this show.

S2: Yes. Yes, we would absolutely like to hear that on the show. If you would like for us to maybe answer, maybe not answer your parents in question, no matter how big or small. Send us an email at Mom and Dad at Slate.com. Welcome to my Celo segment. You’ve gotten an opportunity to spend some time with Elizabeth by herself and with Dan by himself in the past. And now you are going to hang out with me. But it’s not just me. I’ve got a very fascinating guests for this segment. Somebody who Elizabeth actually recommended a friend of hers, so she thought it would be great for us to chat with. I realized that first time mom and dad listeners, I am probably the only marijuana mom that, you know, I may be the only parent that you’ve heard talking about it openly, and it’s not something that I’m ashamed of. It’s not something that I’m proud of. It is just the thing is just simply a part of my experience. And it’s also something I’m really passionate about, which is why I talk about it openly. I understand that there’s still a lot of stigma and a lot that’s not understood. I understand that there are barriers between a lot of other parents and the ability to freely and legally consume cannabis. But the only way that the tides are going to continue to change and attitudes are going to continue to change and evolve around marijuana is for us to talk about it openly. And so that’s why I’ve chosen to open up about this part of my life with you all, and I’m really excited to have Lauren Linder Lauren is a mom, and she’s also deputy general counsel for a cannabis company. Lauren, thank you so much for making time to join us.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S4: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited.

S2: I just want to start mom to mom. Yeah, yeah. What role does cannabis play in your motherhood?

S4: I really liked how you put it before about this idea of I’m not ashamed. I’m not proud. It’s not like, Oh, this is a terrible thing. Or, Oh, I’m so you know, those people who have their like marijuana mom shirts and they’re all in the clubs and it’s a very big deal. But for me, there’s so many things that we do in order to deal with, like the human condition, you know, whether that’s your exercise in the morning or your coffee or your weed, you know, and I think that it’s just kind of a part of existing. Pandemic existing, and, you know, I’m really thankful that I can make a career out of it, but from my personal perspective, I really think it’s just a nice centering, calming, sometimes energizing thing in the same way that coffee and tea can be calming and centering and energizing.

S2: What are your earliest cannabis memories? Did your parents smoke weed? Were you aware of it from a very young age, or was it something that didn’t get on your radar until you were a bit older? No, not at all.

S4: Yeah, my parents. It’s interesting in thinking about this discussion. I’ve also just been thinking about our relationship to alcohol in general, and I don’t even have early memories of my parents with alcohol, even though I know that they they drank. But just I don’t have any memories of that. I don’t have early memories of read at all. And in fact, I was an athlete in college, an athlete and a dancer. And so I didn’t really consume until I was an adult. I think for me, probably the time when I started consuming more regularly was when my husband had a traumatic accident and fell 40 50 rock climbing. And there’s was just a lot of love caretaking, a lot of dealing with him and so in the hospitals, in and out. And I think it was during that time that I sort of appreciated the therapeutic value.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: All of us who are adults now were raised during a time where not only was it overwhelmingly illegal that in most polite society, it was shunned, right? This is just not something we do. The older I’ve gotten, the more that I’ve realized. I’m curious enough, this is hard for you to Lauren that like we smokers are all around me, and some of them are people who are in situations like yours where it’s like, you know, I either could not or did not want to do this when I was younger, you know, if college and high school are the time where most people experiment. I started in my 20s because I was in my 20s when it became more socially acceptable. Like, I know a lot of people like that. But there have been a lot of people, you know, doctors, lawyers, judges, you know, who have been consuming cannabis illegally. You know, all along while making decisions about how other people can and cannot have it while making people feel bad for using it while taking children, perhaps away from their mothers, you know, because their mothers have been accused of using it, it’s something that has been so disingenuously prohibited.

S4: Yeah, you’ve touched on so much that I like I. I agree with you so strongly. I mean, one justice, social justice issues around, you know, cannabis and marijuana. You are you couldn’t have described it better. I mean, people really appreciate the therapeutic benefit of the plan, but like how justice, you know, in places where it’s still illegal is applied is uneven. I mean, it’s it’s consistently uneven, you know? And so who actually gets arrested for having marijuana? Who actually gets, you know, their kids taken away? I also see you put you touch on something that’s really interesting. I remember the first time I found out that one of my lawyer, mom friends, was using cannabis. And really, I feel like a lot of people now aren’t smokers. A lot of people, at least in my sort of mom friend circles, really are doing more gummies or, you know, edibles or tinctures. And I remember her just talking about really the same way people talk about that glass of wine, you know, at bedtime, just how like, she’s like, Yeah, my is such a pain that, you know, I need to pop this gummy before bedtime, like this is this is part of what allows me to sort of not snap, given the pressures of, you know, the sort of normal corporate legal job.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: I think for parents, it is so rare that we have really time and space to decompress in the way that we need to and that cannabis offers you, you know, when dose correctly, right? So you have to know your dose. But when used properly, you can find vacation, right? You can find respite in the middle of your day.

S4: I think for me, because we were talking earlier about like, when did cannabis become this stigmatized, right? And so for me, I think it became destigmatize when dealing with the dealing with the trauma, you know, sort of considering alcohol use and not really wanting to overdo it there. I think just sort of being open to trying different ways of sort of calming my mind and calling my body. I think that’s why I became open to cannabis. I don’t think I think as I joined the industry, I began to appreciate more of the benefits of it holistically, right? So that’s what I began to understand before I was like, Sativa indica, whatever. What’s the difference? But now, I mean, you know, entourage effect. Now I really believe and understand those things, right? So like, if you’re having a hard time sleeping right, you could take a, you know, Benadryl or NyQuil or Klonopin or. You can have an intercuts, I feel like for me, understanding, you know, sort of how things work and how they work with your body now that sort of increased my, you know, comfort with with how it can be used in my life and how people are using it in their lives, how you consume and if you can see them in front of your kids, I think is an interesting thing. My daughter and my daughter today, my son, I have twins, my four year old twins and my son did when I go to school today and my daughter said, But but but kwadee don’t you want? Don’t you want to grow up and drive a car and drink alcohol? Because in her mind, as we said, these are all the things that you can’t do into your adult is like dhankhar drink. Alcohol is interesting that like smoking or consuming weed isn’t on her list of things because she’s never seen me do it like ever. So it’s just really interesting the how I don’t know how different parents address that, their families, the kids I’ve taken.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: This is mommy’s medicine approach. So my, you know, intention and goal is for her not to see me actually consuming it. I think she might have seen me would have vape pen near my mouth once a long time ago. But she does know that I use cannabis because we had a joint doctor’s appointment once and the doctor kind of blurted it out and it was awkward and weird. But then let’s yeah, like we had. She asked if I smoked and I said, Well, not cigarettes, and I’m hoping she would read between the lines. I keep a movie. And she, the doctor says in front of Naima is like five at the time. Well, what do you smoke? And then answers her own question and says, Oh we, oh my

S4: god,

S2: I’m just like, Are you like in that? That, to me, was a weird moment because I kind of like I wanted her. I don’t know. She was just like, if she was just kind of having a clueless moment, but it definitely was mine to tell, you know, and I’m like, I don’t know. We talked extensively about cannabis and we’ve read the book. It’s just a plan. I’ve kind of left it in that space that this is medicine and that it’s for adults only. The only, you know, this honesty in my game with her has been. I told her that it was more lethal for children and I’m still, you know, she knows that can’t be because I do keep edibles in the house like they’re not like in the refrigerator integrated into their stuff. Like, I’ve shown her the label. You know that little, you know? Yeah, yeah. And so like, she knows it and like she the other day, she found something in like her stepmother stuff. She’s like, Oh, that’s something with the label. But okay, you know, like adults do this. You know, this is this is fine. Just know that like if a kid has cannabis, they’ll die. Okay, I guess I

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S4: better

S2: actually not. But I do like I wonder, and my parents weren’t drinkers either. Like alcohol, like my mom would have a bottle or a couple of beers in the house, you know, or drink on occasion. And like, I was very angry. I couldn’t wait to grow up in smoke and drink. I wanted to do them. But you know, I wonder if, like, the fact that we keep these things around is going to make her either like, Oh, this is my parents stuff. I don’t want any parts of it or which are kind of a little bit like, that’s not the worst thing. Or if it’s going to be like, I’m going to start pinching off the weed stash as soon as I’m old enough to get in there.

S4: Yeah, and it’ll be interesting to just because I think the rhetoric around it will be so different, you know, by the time that she’s older and how we look at it is different. But it’s it’s super interesting. How so? All the products are so childproof. I mean, she was, you’re old enough, you can figure it out. I mean, even things that are like non-intoxicating ones, I had like a back rub, like, you cannot get high off of it, but I couldn’t even get it out of the packaging because it was so hard and so child proofed, you know, just really trying to make sure that kids don’t get into it. So it’s it’s interesting. I think I imagine a time where she’s older. Our kids are older, widespread legalization that there will be different discussions around it, you know, and hopefully I think hopefully better than discussions that we had around alcohol and drugs when we were kids because I feel the like the just say no or whatever else like wasn’t helpful. If I didn’t, I didn’t help. It doesn’t help you not want it. It doesn’t help you use it responsibly. Doesn’t it doesn’t help at all.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: It’s like sex, right? Like abstinence only education does not work. You know, it doesn’t work. You like young people are going to be curious. They’re going to, you know, have an interest in these things. I think the best thing you can do is try to impress upon them how unsafe it is and inappropriate for a young person. You know that you are just that they did this something you can have one day, right? You know, like there are a lot of things that are for adults in the same way, you know, when she says, Why do you get to, you know, have an extra cookie or why don’t you have to go to bed? It’s just like, I pay bills. I work all these things that come with the there’s all this stuff that comes out of nowhere that you don’t want you to have a menstrual cycle. I got a lot. It goes into being the mom. OK. There’s a lot, you know what, you’re not ready for that, you know, and sell cannabis and alcohol and pour. You know what I mean, like these other things, like part of their toys and I’m like, It’s yeah, have you? Your children are. What kind of conversations have you all had or none at all?

S4: I mean, basically nothing. So again, I think it’s just really and they’re curious. They’re so curious. But they’ve just they’ve never. They’ve just never seen me use it. I mean, it’s so not visible that like, there is no reason or way for them to know about it. I mean, my husband thinks it’s funny to say that I’m a drug dealer lawyer, which fine. So like, I guess to that extent, you know, they hear it, but they really just don’t know it’s going to be interesting. But then also, that’s so there’s so many thoughts here. That’s one of the things that’s interesting. I think about cannabis is like especially like mom or parent culture, right? Like, how do you people did you know, though, who are popping pills? And you had no idea. I mean, I think a lot of people and that’s also interesting topic, too, because you think of the intersection between recreational and medical use and we have the same issue in cannabis, right? So you’ve got places where people are, you know, talking about kids, you’ve got kids who need it, who need and use cannabis on a regular basis. Yeah, for their medical conditions, right? Whether it’s epilepsy or cancer, like a whole range, different things, and there’s adults who use it on a regular basis for medical reasons. And then there’s like the medical reasons that a lot of us, you know, kind of sweep under the rug like, you know, anxiety or depression or sleeplessness or things like that, which are sort of undiagnosed things that maybe if you’re an adult, you say you’re you’re using your sort of self prescribing, right? And then there’s just a straight up recreational right like this is sort of my equivalent to, you know, a glass of wine or whatever. It’s interesting there, and it’s interesting just thinking about like, sorry, there’s so many interesting things here, like how it replaces opioids. And so you kind of want to talk about it because it’s it’s really it’s actually really special and it’s really awesome. And I’m proud that like mommy gets to work in a space where I help people, you know, deal with life in a way that’s not going to lead to these really terrible, terrible outcomes in the same way the opioid epidemic has. So I don’t know, girl, I don’t know. I don’t have a plan.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: I’m going to suggest, and I recommended it on the show before we can link it in. The show notes today it’s just the plan, a children’s story about marijuana. It’s a really beautifully illustrated book. It’s by Ricardo Cortez, who wrote and illustrated it. And you know, it starts with a curious little girl who stumbles upon her parents smoking a joint one night, you know, and like, they get into mass incarceration. And yeah, I mean, it’s really and it’s done, I think, in a really child friendly way that a kid between the ages, you know, five and 10 basically learn what they kind of need to know, which is that not only is it just a plant and something that can be used for health purposes and something that adults can enjoy recreationally, but also that there’s this history of racism and you know, the law as it relates to it, which is why this is something you might not know about in the way that you know your parents can go grab a bottle of wine from the grocery store.

S4: I love that. I love that I every single time I talk about we cannabis marijuana, whatever you want to say, we have to talk about the social justice aspect. We have to talk about what’s happened in the past. And I love this book. That’s both of those things. It’s so important, definitely.

S2: And we do, because it has so much to do with and version to it. You know what I mean? Like that this is something that represents a lot of trauma. You know, a lot of trials and tribulations have taken place, particularly in our community, over cannabis. And for some people, that’s reason enough for them to not want to deal with it, you know, or for them to not understand, you know, taking any sort of calculated risk even right, like if you’re in a state that decriminalize but it’s not legal, do you want to be the one who gets lost because people are still getting locked up, right?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S4: Yeah, that’s so important. It’s so important. I mean, the the the fear and the stigma is huge and just in a, you know, when you’re that the black person, you’re the black parent, you just you have man, you feel like you already are working four times as hard as everybody else. And I will say that like, I am so super conscious and cognizant of being as responsible as possible, right? Like in the same way that I don’t drink and drive. I mean, there is a right, but there are so many things that I don’t do if I am, you know, under the influence. Like, I’m not driving, I’m not making, I’m not the only one at home. In case there’s an emergency without knowing a neighbor or somebody nearby, you know, they’re sleeping. I mean, there’s so many lists of things that you do, so you’re responsible. But don’t we do that with everything you know, like it’s just that’s part of being a mom is is or being a parent really is kind of being cognizant of all the factors and making sure you’re being. Responsible?

S2: Absolutely, and I think that’s a good place to wrap up and say, you know, responsible cannabis usage is incredibly important. It’s not something that I take lightly or that Lauren takes lightly. It is just tremendously important that we, you know, we take this seriously, right? That this is not something that you can just oops. I forgot. Oops, I wasn’t thinking, you know that the stakes are still very high as it relates to cannabis for a whole lot of reasons, and it can land you in a lot of trouble in a lot of places, including legal use states. Certainly, you know, would never want to put yourself in a situation where your child was not safe or that you didn’t feel that you had the capacity to keep an eye on them or do the things that you need to do to take care of them. So I hope that everyone listening to this. Oh, did you learn a little something if you’re not familiar with cannabis and parenting together and if it’s, you know, it’s just not a part of your world and the way it’s a part of ours just do know that the vast majority of us marijuana moms out here are very, very serious about safety and take that heart to heart. So with that, Lauren Linder, thank you so much for joining us. It was so lovely talking to you. Thank you. All right, let’s move on to recommendations before we get out of here. Elizabeth, what are you recommending this week?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: OK, so I just got my kids these simple, modern, insulated cups with straws like not in the kiddo size, but in the adult size. And they are water cups around the house. I’ve been using them since the start of school and they are amazing one. They keep the water really cold. I only put water in them. They don’t really spell. And they’re the nice like the kids, like the straw cups. And it has cut down on the cups everywhere. I don’t know if I’m the only one that has this problem, but like the kids, get themselves water from the refrigerator and then they leave the cup somewhere and then they don’t remember where they left it. So they get another one. And I spend the end of the day picking cups up from everybody all over the place. So these are just like their water cups. They’re brightly colored. They the kids are really into sticking like those, those laminated stickers on everything. They can put their stickers on their cups. So they’re all individual, but they’re really great. The other thing is that the the top is not like a screw top. It kind of pushes and screws just a little bit, but the kids can do it themselves so they can get a good seal. And because it’s the adult size, the kid size, you have to refill like all the time. Don’t do that. Just get them an adult simple, modern insulated cup. And then you just have three things for me three things to wash at the end of the day and then refill in the morning. It’s so lovely.

S2: It sounds awesome. So I’m like ninety five percent sure that I am repeating a throwback recommendation, but with good reason I am recommending the Instant Pot duo. I purchased mine maybe two years ago and I’m pretty sure I recommended it right around the time that I got it because I was very excited about it. It’s a pressure cooker and an air fryer and a slow cooker, and it’s just bidet, which I’m still not entirely sure what that means. And it does all these different things since I got mine like the Instant Pot Duo and there’s a bunch of different Instant Pots like the current version of the duo now has like a yogurt maker, so it’s gotten infinitely cooler, even though I don’t know if I would ever commit to making yogurt. But I can say it took me two years to get to the point where I’m using this thing as much as I’d like to like. It has become part of my kitchen arsenal and I recommended recently like just throwing a bunch of stuff in the fridge, in a pot and calling it soup. And like, I’ve been able to do that like, we’re on a pad. We’re on a routine right now, like I make turkey wings or turkey legs, I save the bones, we eat soup. And then the following week we do the same thing, and it sounds like something out of like sad fairy tale, but it’s like some of the best food that we’ve ever had. And like, I would never do this level of cooking if I didn’t have this device. If I had to use this half of my stove and my oven for the things that are coming out of my Instant Pot, we just wouldn’t have them. So I am for everyone who’s a lazy cook, a frazzled cook who just doesn’t have it in them to do a bunch of stuff in the oven and in the kitchen. Rather, the Instant Pot duo can and will change your life.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: I love this. I need one

S2: you absolutely need, and I’m sure you would do all that like you would probably make yogurt, you know, like, I haven’t even unlocked half the things I’ve never made rice. You know, there’s there’s there’s so much, but like it’s a sauce pan, like it’s just it’s so good. And I made another soup last night and I just can’t get over how quickly I just throw this stuff in the pot and how could it taste?

S1: All right. That’s what we all need, something that is quick, easy and that tastes like we put more effort into it, right?

S3: That’s the cheat code right there.

S2: Pepper tastes like ever, and I am a closet mommy soup. And she says the best soup

S1: for, you know, in a few months when she turns more sassy again says, Yes, I do. Just like like storing all this

S2: for what it is like an emotional roller coaster, it’s kind of like the highs are high, the lowest are low, so it’s great. She’s she’s also at the point where she’s embarrassed of me, like when I’m leaving her at school, like she wants. She’s like, Hurry up, give me the backpack. I have to put it on like, I can’t carry her backpack to the door because even though it’s heavy, she doesn’t want me waving or yelling her name to match like today. She put on her hood so like, and now she put her hands over her. She said, I don’t know. You hands over here. Yeah, so I like, yell goodbye and you. I have a wonderful day. Mommy, love you. I love you. So I need mommy soup to keep me sane. And what about you? What do you have for us this week? Oh, I’m going to miss this sweet little phase. We’re watching most the airplane around right now. Yeah, this is my soothing technique. The baby fever.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: I just hold it upside down and just kind of go side to side like that until you shut the hell up. OK, so I recommend something, especially for new dads to start a garden, you know, even in your windowsill or anywhere, even if you have like a any piece of dirt, anywhere you can, you can start a garden and I recommend going, don’t buy seeds because that’s a scam. You can go in to the wherever you get your groceries. If it’s like a fresh local apple. If it’s local, a lot of those seeds will be valuable. So you can germinate really simply by sticking it into a closed container. After wrapping it in like some paper towel, that’s a little moist, and it’ll shoot some runners out some roots, and you can just drop that into any really any kind of soil and you can just watch it grow. And I highly recommend it because as a new dad would call the millennial and I’m used to getting everything instantly, and especially when my baby was born, I wanted him to to be a good baby right away. And when I learned all these like soothing techniques, I expected them to all work within the circuit. And I think that was right around the time that I got obsessed with gardening. So it helped me step away from being obsessed with my controlling my baby’s emotions. And it really helped train myself to for the long game, you know, because you don’t see anything happen for a month. And then when that little little tiny piece of green sprouts up, it’s like the greatest feeling and then it just keeps going, keeps getting bigger. And even when it dies, you’re excited to try it again. So I recommend something like this because it takes months, sometimes take all year before you see any progress, and especially if you’re planting like a. Seed it it’ll be several years before you can even see it grow any kind of fruit too. So I recommended it’s really brilliant, it’s changed my life.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Do you have the picture book Harlem Grown? No, the name of the book. OK, you need to look it up. You and you and mother need that book. It’s a cute little story about gardening and like in the city, and it’s lovely, and it talks about that, like about how sometimes the things die and you try again.

S3: I’m definitely getting this. This is all. This is my vibe these days. I got a I have like a handful of seeds that I just will throw into my fridge or throw on top my fridge, depending on whether or not they’re they need to simulate a winter for them, the Germany and a couple of them. I put in there a couple of days ago and I have no idea which seeds they were because I mixed them all up. I didn’t label it. And so I’m really excited for it to start like popping leaves out and maybe even growing taller because I have no idea what I’m going to get.

S2: That is cool and a very impressive hobby for a new parent if

S3: it doesn’t take too much time at all. Honestly, it’s one of those things where you just you give it a half hour of attention at the very beginning and then after that, it’s like five minutes a day. Sometimes, even like you can skip days, it’s not a big deal.

S2: Well, we love that for you, Almond, and we love you. It’s been so fun having you on this show. Please come back and keep us updated on all things most. And we know that we’ll talk to you again. All right.

S3: Let me know. Let me know. I’m always happy to come. I realize we didn’t talk about toxic masculinity, though.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Oh, that’s in. Plus, that’s coming up.

S2: That’s OK.

S3: OK, OK, OK. I was like, we were saying goodbye. I was getting ready to dip

S1: because our regular listeners are so we have to say goodbye to you here, but then you have to stay with us

S3: by regular listeners. Get plus already. We’re waiting for you.

S2: That’s it for our show one last time. If you have a parenting question for us to laugh and point it. Just email it. So mom and dad at Slate.com or posted to Slate Parenting Facebook Group, which you can find by searching Slate Parenting on Facebook. Mom and Dad Are Fighting is produced by Rosemary Belson for Aymann Ismail and Elizabeth Newcamp Aymann Jamilah Lemieux. Thank you for listening. And let’s keep going. Slate plus listeners, you’re still here, we’re still here this week, the internet has been buzzing about preparing to leave, with some largely right wing commentators arguing that men don’t need leave if they don’t have to recover from the trauma of birth. Amen. As the new dad yourselves, you’ve been quite open about your, your challenges and your triumphs as a very new dad and you’ve been on or rather you took paternity leave. Yeah. Let’s hear about your experience and where you stand on the matter because I’d taken you would disagree with someone who says dads don’t need a time off with their new little baby.

S3: That’s so crazy to me that really pissed me off. I’m not going to lie. And it really, it was such a blessing that I was. I work at a place like sleep, and they let me have a whopping eight weeks of paternity leave. It’s insane that they even let me take that long. I was so grateful for it because I got to not only be a huge part of the recovery team, which is a very complex and sophisticated moment in your partner’s life right after giving birth, especially for us a first child. That was such a complicated and messy and tragic and emotional period for us. And so if you want to imagine what it’s like, it’s not what some of these other people are saying where you’re not breastfeeding. So there’s really nothing for you to do. That’s insane. You know, especially with making yourself useful around the house, making yourself emotionally available. All of these things would honestly keep you from being a good worker anyway. So it’s good for the company. It’s good for the parents, it’s good for everybody so that you can focus on getting your family’s feet on the ground because your wife just went through something incredibly violent and traumatizing and, you know, paralyzing like they really are. They’re not themselves, especially not in the first couple of days. So they need support and they need you. And you know, it’s hard for me as part of a larger trend where, you know, people, I even wear of using the word people because they’re getting smaller and smaller every day. But there is a contingency of masculinity where people think that in order to be helpful, you’re only helpful if you’re at work getting money. And that’s really like the role that you have for yourself. And that’s really all you’re good at, and that’s all you’re useful for, which is just not true. It’s just not true. And it’s really sad that, you know, that might have been more common one generation ago. You know, my dad was pretty much a laborer. He was a cabbie in New York City where he worked 12 hour shifts every night from four p.m. to four a.m.. That was hard for me growing up and not having him around to to to show me what it’s like to care for a baby or what it’s like to to be involved in my homework, in my day to day. You know, it’s almost like he was another one of the kids because he needed so much support at home because he was exhausting his body for for a company that really doesn’t give a shit about you, to be frank. So it’s invaluable. It’s incredible to help help me refocus what’s important to me. And even though work identity has been huge, it’s it is huge, especially as a man, because I want to be able to give my family the lifestyle that they deserve. So it is important for me to make money in supply. But at the same time, it’s nowhere near as important as being there for your family when they need you most. So I feel blessed. I feel lucky. But like, dude, come on, if you’re going to like, be afraid of somebody’s calling you a pussy or being afraid of somebody calling you like not a man because you’d rather be at home than with with your brand new child and your wife instead of being at work punching the clock. I don’t know. It’s just sad.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: I was just struck by how little anyone making these comments knows about babies. Like a bunch of these people are like, Well, I had kids and I’m like, I don’t think you’re ever home with them because, you know, with kids, you would know then no matter what age they are, it would be the more adults you could have in the building, the better. Right? Like, even if your baby came not from your body or you know, your partner’s body, there is so much transition when you bring a baby home and they need so much care. I mean, the idea that you could say that you know someone you love doesn’t need additional help when you know how little they sleep and the baby has to get fed, whether that’s breastfeeding or bottle feeding right, the baby has to get. Changed. These are they’re all all of those things. And then the person that is caring for the child needs care as well. And I think when you enable both parents of the child to be home or enable, I even think, you know, I thought a lot about this. There were comments in there about like, well, single moms do this. It’s like, I hope someone is there caring for them as well. I hope that there are family members and other people. The the idea that we can do it alone, I think, is the problem to me because nobody should have to do any of this alone. So I am just struck by the like stupidity of that. And again, this idea that, like your work is so much more important than anything because at the end of the day. You are replaceable in your work, but you are not replaceable to your child. And and I think that if you have been there, their caregiver and there like that is so much more important. And if you I hope that you can realize that when you have a baby and not, you know, like cat in the cradle style system, they’re much older. I I just I’m like, sad. I mean, these people are wrong, but I’m also sad for them because, you know, if if you are irreplaceable in your work, you’ve also done something wrong because, you know, there are many people who can do many things and you should be finding them and make sure that they can cover for your work and do other things you shouldn’t ever feel like. Well, if I’m not there, well, nobody could possibly do do this like, you know, but that is true. That statement is true. I think of your children like there. There is no one that can love your child the way you love them. You can certainly have other people in your lives and make sure that they have that other places as well. But that is something only you can give them.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: A lot of it has to do with just how work that is considered women’s work is devalued, right? And so like caring for a baby is devalued because it’s something that women are assumed to be able to do and to do on their own right. So it’s not even like partnered or not. The expectation is not that there’s somebody who is equally invested in baby care as the mom is supposed to be on her, you know, and that she is so incredibly fucked up. And it’s somebody who’s been a single mom since birth. Like, if I had it to do all over again, I do wish to name as dad and I had talked about him also taking a paternity leave and there is less of that available. You know, there was less family leave when I had my child than there is now, period. Or rather, I got less than a lot of people I know who had children since then, thanks to, you know, some legislative changes. But like. Being the full time only leg, I had relief at night. You know, he came by every night, but like during the day, I was by myself day in, day out. I had a roommate for a few months who was helpful, but it was all on me and like, I can’t fathom doing all of that when there’s a whole other person who is also my partner, right, that this person should just be expected to be elsewhere because they have a job. And especially as a working mother, you know, I find it so insulting that, you know, it’s it’s understood that we are going to have to leave the workplace for some amount of time, but that we’re the only ones, you know, that are expected to make that sort of sacrifice of our career. Right. Because you have to because physically, you know, if you carry a baby, you know, there comes a time where you can’t be there and there’s an amount of time, you know, not usually as long as it should be where you have to recover. But like, it’s just, you know, everything we do when it comes to childbirth in this country is just so ass backwards, right? Like, I was reading a Twitter thread the other day from this woman who is like goals like a decade younger than us. But life goals, goals, goals, you know, like because she just had a second child with her husband and like they have a postpartum doula who comes three nights a week and takes care of the baby from, like, was it 10 o’clock at night or until they were like 10 p.m. to six a.m. So like, she still, you know, like has night time with the baby, but she’s able to get a full night’s sleep three nights a week like that. You need other hands, you need as many hands as possible and like the people there, were largely expressing the, you know, well, if if nobody’s breastfeeding her, nobody’s recovering from giving birth to a baby, how could these dudes need paternity leave? They don’t value being around their babies, right? That is, child care is something that someone else did. So for those guys, it was their wives. Maybe it was the nanny or the old pair, but like, it wasn’t something that they felt a part of. And I think that we have, you know, our generation, the men are more invested than previous generations in baby care in being a part of their children’s lives beyond just being what we think of as a protective provider. You know, that means being in an emotionally present person, somebody who’s hands on somebody who plays and not just catch, you know, or things that are considered bad things and somebody who’s like a real full participant in the whole life of a child. And I think that’s really great. I think it’s great to see dads like Aymen, you know, in the public space so that other dads and maybe a little bit unclear or unsure or insecure because like in the same way that the work of child and baby care is used as a measure of our quality as women like the idea of work being part of your identity for men can oftentimes mean something really, really serious. And if there’s a question about money or and how are we going to work this out, you know, that can make that all the more tricky. But I think it’s if you are able for both parents to have a as higher, you know, to take child leave, it just seems, you know that that would be absolutely what you want and need.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Yeah, no, I think I think it’s all right, but I think the thing that makes me the most sad is that some of the reasoning behind some of these men saying that a man is more valuable at work is is solely an insecurity thing. And I felt that insecure, too. I know what it’s like to sort of sit around and and have a plan and wanted to be like, No, we need to feed the baby these many times and wanting to be part of the feeding procedure and the feeding care. But all you end up doing is is watching and that hurts a little bit. It hurts a little bit because it’s realizing that you aren’t the one who can do anything here to actually make the baby stop crying. But I believe there’s so much more work than feeding. The feeding is just the one part where there is so much more that a baby needs than just milk for those first couple of months. You know, it’s it’s really sad also, because, you know, one of the things that makes masculinity so uncomfortable to talk about is that there’s this reluctance to to look inward and try and figure out what’s what am I doing wrong here? Why am I not seeing it? The seeing the full picture. So you might have some men out there who think, Oh, well, this one commentator made a good point by saying, Well, I’m not going be able to feed them, but like, you need to think a little bit longer on that. You need to try and like, understand why so many women were so angry at that and why so many dads were so angry at that. It’s we need to start encouraging people to change their mind a little bit more and to be a little bit more malleable when it comes to their third, their feelings and their their positions. And in a baby’s will, so often, you know, I have people in my life who were like these hardcore. Like, really aggressive, you know, masculine men who every time they want to, they see you, they want to pick you up because it makes them feel strong, I don’t know. So some weird stuff happens. But what I’m saying is like when they had kids, you can tell there are a lot more considered. There are a lot more patient. There are a lot more willing to do a little bit of labor to to have like a thoughtful conversation. And that, to me, I think, is something that you do not want to rob yourself of, like you do not want to tell yourself that you’re not useful in this fear and you have to be this working man when you have so much to learn from having a baby, you know. So that’s the worst part about it for me, is that these people are robbing themselves of something beautiful and powerful because they’re so afraid of something different.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: Well, I think that we will continue to see more and more new fathers with attitudes like yours, hame, and that these old guys will continue to hopefully go extinct like the dinosaurs that they are, and we will hear less and less about their aversion to progress, all things that are good in the world, progress and whatnot. We treasure and thank you for sharing your daddy journey with us. We really appreciated it. And looking forward to hearing all about the adventures of raising was that yeah?

S3: Yeah. And I just want to say during this show, I said, my baby, I burnt my baby and I put my baby to bed. He’s sleeping again, guys. We did it.

S2: He did so

S3: it’s not easy work, it’s really rewarding work, and I really want to be back on the show and I want to keep talking to you guys and updating you guys because this has been the best part of my week. I feel like I’ve been learning a lot from you guys and paying attention to the way that you guys look at problems has changed my, my whole worldview. So thank you. Honestly, think you

S2: think you are going to miss you? Yeah, thank you. We’re going to miss you, Betty. All right. That’s it for Slate Plus. Thank you for listening.