Alicia Strnad Hoalcraft
Alicia Strnad Hoalcraft is hub manager for Forum Design Center. She lives in Moorhead with her husband and their daughter, Calliope. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 months
"I could never work outside the home. I couldn't let other people raise my child." I hear this a lot when I tell people I work outside the home, especially when I tell them my job involves working nights, weekends and holidays. I never understand this. First, for the obvious reason that spending some time away from my child during the week doesn't mean I've in any way abdicated my parental responsibilities.
Dads get a bad rap. On television and in advertising, dads are generally portrayed as bunglers at best, unable to take care of their own children and often completely oblivious to their family's needs. Any time dad is in charge of the children, you know you're in for some classic sitcom blunders as an incompetent father awkwardly mismanages his household.
A week ago in this space, one of my fellow columnists discussed how sad she is to hear from couples that they're putting off children because they feel they can't afford them. Go for it anyway, she urged, and you can make it work with some creativity. I absolutely agree with her that it's sad to hear people who want children feel they're not able to have them because of money. And creativity can help a lot of people make it work when they think they can't afford a child.
I love science. I find comfort in the absolute truths of the scientific world, in knowing how things work, in basing decisions on observable evidence. So it's no surprise that I try to base my parenting on science.
I have a really great kid. Well, I have a really great kid about 90 percent of the time.
Jan. 6: I don't know why we devoted all this time and money to raising this stinking kid when all she wants to do is fling herself off the furniture and break her neck. Jan. 25: A toddler just literally pointed and laughed at me. #babybully Feb. 22: One of Callie's favorite songs is "Happy" by Pharrell. So I figured I'd branch out to other happy songs. I played her "Don't Worry, Be Happy," and it made her so mad she spit on me.
"A child is a grenade. When you have a baby, you set off an explosion in your marriage, and when the dust settles, your marriage is different than it was. Not better, necessarily; not worse, necessarily; but different." — Nora Ephron, "Heartburn" A few nights ago, my husband and I were in the emergency room with our daughter. As each doctor or nurse poked and prodded her, she cried and screamed and, each time, yelled "Mommy!" "She hates me," my husband said, dejected, as he moved to sit in a chair away from the bed where I cradled our toddler. "She doesn't hate you. She's 2.
My little girl is all grown up. OK, not ALL grown up — she just turned 2 in July — but it's crazy to me to see the changes in her in just the short period of time she's been alive. The tiny, screaming bundle of joy I brought home from the hospital has become a bright, cheerful toddler who loves running and climbing, playing with action figures and watching "Ghostbusters 2." Watching a human being develop in front of your eyes is one of the weirdest parts of parenting.
I've officially kept a human alive for more than 700 days. My daughter recently turned 2, and I am quite proud of myself for making it through my parental inauguration period.
My house is clean. OK, it's not perfect—we still live there, after all—but it's considerably cleaner than it's ever been before. And, more importantly, it's now tidy enough that I can relax in my home instead of feeling a constant need to pick up. It's even clean enough that I don't mind if guests want to come over on short notice (I'd still prefer a call before you come over, though, just to make sure my kid is wearing pants—and maybe have enough time to bake brownies for your visit.) It wasn't always this way.