Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread and Links

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you hate the day, I get it — it’s not for everyone, every year (or ever) — and it will be over soon. I like it a lot more now that I have kids – not that I didn’t like it before kids, but I get such a kick out of their excitement over tiny cards, boxes of conversation hearts, wearing red or pink. It’s all the fun and joy without any of the baggage. Joanie made a heart-shaped Valentine’s card for me at school today that has a picture of me and Miles surrounded by hearts and I felt really seen. (Don’t worry – she drew the two of us on the back and wrote “I love you mommy”— the first time she’s written that, and it seriously made up for every single tantrum she threw last year when she was three. Well, most of them anyway.)

The kids have winter break next week and we’re heading to Missouri to visit my folks. The candy they got at school today is but a small taste of what awaits them at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend, and here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

How to Make Your Marriage Gayer (Because Same-sex spouses feel more satisfied with their partners than heterosexual ones)

From The Loneliness of Early Parenthood:

“The nature of new parenthood can lead to loneliness, but the weakening of new parents’ social circles is also a result of the nature of friendship. “Across adulthood, one of the most important determinants of friendship is how our lives are organized,” says William Rawlins, a communications professor at Ohio University. When your life undergoes a major change, such as the arrival of a new baby, the structure of your friendships can’t help but change, too. “Friendship is always a matter of choice—-we choose to spend time together. The role crunch that happens in young adulthood when you’ve become committed to a partner, [or] you have children, perhaps both of you have full-time jobs—all of these things leave very little time and freedom for friendship.”

For new parents, then, the key issue is the extent to which their old friendships can both accommodate, and be accommodated within, their newly organized lives. “With friends who don’t have children, it can be a bit of a litmus test. Are they able to accept and understand that, in some ways, a child changes the center of gravity of our entire lives?” Rawlins asks. Viewed in this way, change may be inevitable, but the loss of our friends may not be, if we and they are both willing to adapt.”

Meghan Markle and the Myth of Happily Ever After

File this, from “Young Men Embrace Gender Equality, but They Still Don’t Vacuum” in the yeah, no shit folder:

“Researchers have different ideas about why the division of labor at home has been so slow to change, despite women’s other gains. One of the simplest explanations: Men might be happy to have a partner bringing in another paycheck, but not happy to do more chores.”

12 Signs of a Healthy Relationship, According to Therapists

How to stay together, according to a relationship scientist

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!
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