- Season 1, Episode 3: Now we’re the adults
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All right. Today, we are talking about the point in which you realize you’re not the kid anymore. You’re actually the mom. So ladies. Was this like a point in time when you all of a sudden realized like I, and the nature of my family and you just now mean who will determine all the norms.
And I will, if I, if I make my kids go to therapy, it’s because of me, like, was there a point in time when you realized I’m now the mom? When was that for you? If ever? No, not because my mom is still living with us 50% of the time. And she bosses both me and my husband. You still feel like a kid? Well, it’s Asian moms like parents.
You’re always a kid. My parents treat me like, I’m a, five-year-old constantly, it never goes away. Basically. Do you remember that SNL music video or it’s like you’re home from [00:01:00] college and you feel like royalty because your parents are doting all over you. Did you ever watch that? No, but I w I’m going to check it out after this this session, you can imagine the feeling, right.
Because they’re like, Oh, I made you all your, your dishes that you want. And like, maybe somehow they’re doing your laundry. Like, sometimes my mother-in-law does my laundry and , I don’t want her to wash my underwear. You know, it just makes me feel like, I just feel like that’s crossing the line a little bit, you know?
And, but anyways, yes. Great SNL music video. Okay. So Kate it’s been hard for you to transition because your mom’s around. Well, yeah, my mom’s around and then my mother-in-law’s around. And I get treated like a kid by my mom. But you know, I think it’s sort of flashes. I don’t know how you guys feel.
It, it wasn’t like, you know, I suddenly one day woke up and I was like, Ooh, I’m a mom. I think it’s just sort of sudden flashes when I’m with my daughter. And I looked at her and I realized. Crap, like in, you know, a few years, you’re gonna start talking back to me and [00:02:00] who’s going to be, you know, um, like I can’t just be like, you know, to my own mom, you know, my husband, I have to like start thinking about how we want to raise her.
We’re like responsible for, we don’t own her, obviously, you know, but we’re bringing, you know, she’s going to be a contributing member of society. And I was just thinking, gosh, all the things that, you know, we have to do to prepare her for it, but then not in the same way that maybe in the same overbearing way, perhaps that my, you know, our parents, Asian parents, immigrant parents raised us.
So it’s like sometimes, you know, flashes when I see her doing certain things or, um, yeah, it’s still kind of scary actually to, to be honest, like when I think about it and I’m like, Ugh, I don’t really sure if I’m in such a, you know, I’m, I’m going to do a good job, so yeah. Oh, good job. Yeah. We’ll definitely talk about that in future episodes.
What does it mean to be good? What about you Jeanette? Like where, at what point in your mothering journey where you’re like, hi, and the mother of this [00:03:00] family? Um, that’s interesting. I’ve been seeing a therapist and as this thing comes up, because even though I’m, Asian-American some parts of my upbringing are a little bit different than the stereotypical, tiger parents stuff.
You know, my parents actually were not tiger parents. Like at all, they really gave me free hand to do whatever I wanted, like me and my brother. Because we were first generation immigrants, my parents, for instance, speak English. And because of various other circumstances, I think I sometimes feel like I was the parent in some degree, like from a pretty early age.
And so I think in that way, I mean, it’s definitely a big step up in responsibility to have a kid. But I think in some ways, I already have that kind of , I need to take care of the people around me mindset for a while. I’m not saying it’s not different. It is, but I think in some ways it’s [00:04:00] like I’ve been doing the shadow of that for a long time.
Does that make sense? Totally. I mean, and part of it too, I mean, growing up as Asian daughters, we’ve also been taught to, just to take care of things much more than. Asian sentence. Like, would you all agree about that too? Yes. I have a brother. Um, he may list, we may or may not listen to this ever, but I would say yes.
Yeah, for sure. I think we talked about in last, you know, I think the last conversation to where we just just, well, my parents, you know, trained me to do more stuff already. Uh, you know, and so I think, um, yeah, but I think being a mom is also, you know, before you’re just responsible for yourself. Yeah. You know, I’m the one like cleaning or folding laundry or all those things.
And, but then you almost feel like, that seems like the easy [00:05:00] part now. Right? Just like, um, taking care of just like the stuff it’s more the abstract, which is, you know, thinking about how you will with your partner, you know, shape or this child to become. You know, a member of society, that’s the part that, you know, being a mom, when I think about it, that’s like the biggest thing for me.
I, the only other stuff like packing lunches, like, you know, a baby led weaning, like, you know, whatever, all this other stuff, that’s like, it’s, it takes up a lot of time because you have to do stuff. Right. But it’s actually, that’s less stressful than when I think about the existential aspect of being a mom.
Right. I don’t know. Yeah. Sometimes I’ll talk to Marvin about like, I was like, art’s going to be that kid on the playground, you know, I’m just going to train him so that if someone’s like making fun of him, he’ll just like scream back. Like you’re only mean because people are mean to you at home. And then like, we’ll all get called into the principal’s [00:06:00] office.
And then the bully will be like crying and then I’m just going to be like this. This, this is healthy, this is very healthy. And that art will be like, no more can be saved. These things, you know, like I was like, I fantasize about that, of like how I want him to communicate with other people and like, be aware about his own feelings and how, you know, how he’s going to treat other people.
So do you have that fantasy too, or? No? Yeah. I’ve been reading this book called, raising emotionally healthy child. And like listening to some other podcasts that was recommended to me by other moms of toddlers. Um, especially by this woman named Janet Landsbury, who does this podcast called on ruffled?
I think that that is important to me kind of emotional intelligence and there’s so much wrapped up in there.
Right? It’s like not only them growing up to be like a healthy person, but knowing what they [00:07:00] want and being resilient and being kind to others. And , Not being anxious, being able to solve problems in relationships. Like there’s so much things. I feel like that’s wrapped up in this emotionally healthy, like emotional intelligence that I feel I really didn’t have growing up.
Not that I didn’t have emotional intelligence, but it was not taught to me in any intentional way. And I think because of various things, I grew up with a lot of baggage there. And so this is an area where I would like to try to equip my kids, like better, but it’s hard.
Like, because humans are not predictable. You’re not like training a doc to salivate. Like every time the bell rings, right. It’s much more nuanced and they come with their own personality and you can’t control it all. Yeah. I mean, so Marie and I have this conversation all the time of like, how do we know we succeeded as parents.
Like, is it, if art [00:08:00] gets into Harvard, is it if, you know, he’s financially independent by the time he’s 25, you know, like how do you know if you were successful as a parent? Or like, what is your, what’s your end game as parents of how you want these kids to be like, is kindness enough? Or do you want them to be high-achieving too?
For me, the answer is looking at how I wish I were, you know, I think I’m sure every parent does this. Right. You look at yourself and you say, I wish I had been more like. X and for me and, you know, nerve and I have talked about it for me. It’s like, I feel like I worked really hard. This is such a Harvard thing too.
Like, because I was afraid to fail, but actually working hard or, you know, wanting to do something because you’re afraid to fail is completely different from wanting to go after something because you want to go after it. And not [00:09:00] because you’re afraid of failure. And as I have, like, uh, I think. Uh, left, you know, as we’ve graduated so many years ago now, um, I realized that was one of the biggest handicaps for both me and the me.
And I think a lot of my friends and our peers in college was that people were successful or they worked really hard because he didn’t want to fail. And, you know, so that’s like one of the things I would really want for, right. When I think about, you know, how I want her to parent, I want her to just be not afraid to do something, but at the same time, right.
You know, this is sort of like the second third generation, you know, problem is like, Oh, okay, well then, you know, you just do whatever you want and what if they want to be an artist? Is that okay? And, you know, um, The other things, then we talked about a lot. It’s nothing wrong with being an artist because as Susan, I know you want to, but
no, there isn’t. So our parents would be like, no, like not a good profession, but the thing is like, it’s less about the profession and more how you apply yourself. Right. Susan, as you know, like, cause you work damn hard and [00:10:00] you’re like, you know, super intense about your being an artist. Um, and so I think it’s that combination of encouraging for us, like encouraging RIAA to, you know, pursue what she would really want to.
But at the same time, realizing you got to still work hard, right. It’s not just like, Oh, I like like clay, let me go, you know, be like, you know, works randomly with clay and like drop out of school. Right? It’s like, you still want to be able to provide this sort of framework for them to understand that things, you know, they still have to work really hard anyways.
I’m rambling now, but that’s sort of a combination of things for us, definitely based in. Something that I wished that I had more of, cause I still feel like I operate out of fear of failure a lot. And it’s actually quite psychologically crippling. Yeah. I definitely feel like I’ve been trying to, I don’t know if unlearn that is the right word, but kind of a, yeah.
In business school we had this case study about like, [00:11:00] to the recall, like the, to coach K’s . They’re college basketball coaches. One was like a really, really hard ass on all of his players. The other one was just, he just used like basically only positive reinforcement.
They were both extremely high performing teams, but the one with positive reinforcement did a little bit, but consistently better. And I think I just kind of reached a point also where. You know, I was kinda like, I don’t want to live like this. The bigger point was that I actually just felt like I didn’t want to live with so much stress and always feeling like this thing was over my head, you know, I wanted more freedom to yeah.
Be motivated out of a love for something then by fear. Um, and I think that’s scary because fear can be [00:12:00] a very powerful motivator. And I think a part of me, and I’m still working through all of this, right. It’s not, I haven’t completed the journey, but it’s like a part of me feels like, well, if I’m not motivated by fear, am I going to be able to , be as high achieving as.
Like I identify as, you know what I mean? So anyways, I, I agree with you, Kate. I hear what you’re saying. I feel like my thoughts aren’t fully fleshed out on this, but I would like my kids to pursue something more out of a love for it then out of a fear, although I also want them to be practical somewhat.
Yeah. I don’t want my son to be getting high in my basement until he’s 40 living on his knees and not knowing how to cook. No, I mean, there’s, there’s a point where I’m like, you’re going to be self-reliant, you know, like you need to take care of yourself too, right? No grown ass, man. Okay. He’s 10 months old, but you’re a grown ass man.
You’re practicing the [00:13:00] speech. Like I can’t even stand, I don’t have any cartilage in my knees. Um, so I mean, I don’t know what book it was, but wasn’t there some, uh, there was a book where it was like, don’t praise kids, right? Don’t praise. Hey, like, you’re so smart. You’re supposed to say, is that the thing you’re not to say you’re smart.
You’re specific. You did a good job or something where you’re supposed to be specific about the actions. Oh, like, so in a soccer game, if they just scored a goal, you don’t be like, yeah, you’re a winner. You’re like, wow, you’ve worked really hard at that. Right. You’re like, really you really cooperate with other people are like, wow.
You know, It’s like that. And I have, I wrote about it in my show in over 140 pounds where I was like, I’m paranoid that even though I’m trying to like, not say good job, you’re a good boy. Everyone else is still saying it around [00:14:00] him. You know, my mother-in-law’s saying it. And I’m trying to be really careful about it.
I did so hard, like praising, it’s just like immediate feedback that I’ve received all my life. Right. And it’s, it’s kind of like this, like cue where, you know, where your stand around other people. And so I have lived this life where I was like, yeah, I want approval. I want to get an a, I want to get an award.
And there was a teacher in high school. Mr. Katzenberg. Who I think I didn’t get some award my senior year that I thought I was totally going to get or something like some citizenship award or something. And then I’m like crying in his class, like after the award ceremony. And he goes, he he’s like a screw G kind of guy.
He goes, what do you want? And you want me to just write your name on a piece of paper and saying number one, and are you going to be happy? I’m the first student in my high school to get into Harvard, you know? And I’m just kind of like, was like, God, you’re such a Scrooge, but at the same time you were kind of [00:15:00] tapping into something.
So real, which is why did I need outside approval when you, if you look at facts, the history like Susan isn’t that enough. Right. But I think that the, like I was like focused fixated on achievement. Like that was enough. That was all. It was conditional. I wasn’t inherently enough. I needed to get all these things.
And so I recognize this. And then, so freshman year, sophomore year, I wasn’t high achieving. I was a B student and I just really wanted to spend time figuring out who I was taking a lot of therapy, spirituality, like doing whatever I felt I was in college. Yeah. Oh, they sound just like me, Susan. I totally like fell off or in class.
Are you kidding me? No.
But then I like basically gave up after the [00:16:00] first semester. I know, but then I gave up Vinci my grades afterwards, Susan. I was a straight bean student after first semester of college until I studied abroad. So big confession to everyone. And that’s what the great inflation at Harvard. So you can imagine probably,
uh, B a B student is actually being a CC student to everywhere else. So if you were just like, just kind of cruising, just kind of cruising. Um, so anyways, I, so, uh, I saw myself in college, so addicted to approval, and I just wanted to see how I could remove myself to the point where yes, I shaved my head, you know, after I like took a semester off, helped run a nonprofit, shaved my head, got an eyebrow piercing.
My, my father pulled my brother aside to talk to me. And then my brother was like, Susan concerned. Are you a lesbian,[00:17:00]
you know, like that’s the worst thing you could have imagined. Um, and so I, I I’ve done so much work. I feel like I’ve done like personal growth workshops and silent meditation retreats and affirmations, and like trying to unprogrammed myself, as you said, Jeanette, like this fixation in addiction, because even though I do still achieve, and there’s some great things that happen great as, as measured by, you know, mainstream success, I still get right when I hear criticism or a little bit of negativity, and then I start to completely doubt myself and then that it, it all shatters, you know?
And so I guess, In terms of like, thinking about art, like, I don’t want him to be rocked so much, you know, and I think the way I’m thinking about this is directly related to my own, [00:18:00] you know, father, daughter, relationship of like me, my relationship with my dad. Um, and I’m trying to, to, to kind of ease off on that.
But at the same time, I don’t want him to be a stoner in my basement. You get what I’m saying? Like, but intrinsic motivation is key, right? Because I did all the fancy things. And when I was an Android consultant, I was miserable, but externally I was making more money than I’ve ever made. And my dad was finally happy with me, but I was the most miserable that I ever was.
And so, so now I’m intrinsically motivated and yes, it’s a harder path to be an artist. And yes, my dad has his not approval approving of me, but it’s like, Hey, this is the path I must do. And, but, but I’m also not a stoner in my basement. Right. Yeah. A couple of weeks ago. I went on of Renee Brown binge.
I think I texted you guys something about, but [00:19:00] what about it? What is it? Well, um, I always listening to a hot cast that she did with Tim Ferriss actually. And one thing, they talk about is how, actually like people who love themselves, um, are not lazy.
Like people who really love themselves, want to improve. Right. They, they, they want to apply themselves. So I think, you know, which is like this interesting idea, because for some of us who are motivated by fear or like external validation, we feel like. If we are just complacent or like just love ourselves and are self satisfied.
We will lose motivation and we will not want to do anything like, including maybe that’s the fear we have for our kids. And like her assertion is that actually people who really love themselves and have like a very deep rooted confidence. [00:20:00] They are not like the, the human nature is not to just sit there.
Human nature is to still want to apply yourself and work hard. And I don’t know. I think like, I mean, a part of me is like, Oh, that’s so beautiful. And then a part of me is like, is that true? Second thought I had was, um, did you guys watch the movie Birdman?
So. Was it the dude in the costume, like, was it Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton. I generally hated the movie Birdman.
I thought it was super narcissistic. Um, but I did think there was like this one line where the wife of Michael Keaton’s character tells him, like, you know what you’re Oh, it says ex-wife. And she says like, you know what? Your problem is, your problem has always been that you don’t, you don’t know the difference between admiration and love.
Um, Ooh, I know. So Deep right out of, right out of like a Hollywood movie. But I mean, I [00:21:00] think that there is some truth to it. Right. I think that is something I also want to pass on to my kids is that, you know, there are people who love you, but people giving you like a words or like congratulating you for something you do, or they’re, that’s admiration.
That’s not love. Right. And I do think a lot of people get super messed up because they’re pursuing admiration because they’re craving love and they don’t know the difference. Dane Janette real time. That’s what we’re here for. Right.
Okay. So we’re saying, Hey, great to raise our kids. Be intrinsically motivated, follow their passions, hallmark card, you know, Oprah advice, all of that. What about grit? I mean, Jeanette, you kind of touched on it, but. Our existence has been founded upon because we have so much [00:22:00] grit, you know, and it got us through where we are today.
Like, is grit that important? Do you want them to have grit? How do you create grit,
Kate? I mean, your daughter’s named after Disney princess, excuse me. Yes. Uh, maybe the Disney princess named that for my daughter no week at coincidence coincidence, but, um, right. Uh, you know, I don’t know that I actually have a lot of grit. Right. People might think, I think it’s like, you know, what’s projected versus how I feel.
Um, I would say, you know, my parents and definitely had a lot more of it. Right, right. They went through the cultural revolution, came to this country, you know, and made a life for themselves. I think they really, really, really have a lot more grit. Then I do, um, like there’s a phrase in Chinese, um, means it’s Chuuk, which literally means to [00:23:00] eat bitterness.
It basically use it to describe someone who’s really able to like has a ton of grit. They’re basically able to just like deal with whatever shit comes their way and like get through it and not like complain a lot about it. Whereas I feel like I’m kind of a complainer, so I wouldn’t want my daughter to be like me in that way.
I don’t know. Yeah. I don’t know that I have necessarily a lot of grit. Maybe that’s unfair, but, um, Because I think this is coming from a person. Kate, you published a book when you were in high school, isn’t it? Oh, there’s a little bit of nepotism in that my dad had a publisher already and they were interested in us doing a book together.
So I would have to say there was like, you know, a little involved, I guess maybe I’m thinking about grit in terms of like, just your sheer, like ability to just like get through things when things are really, really, really hard. Um, and yeah, I don’t, I don’t know if I’m as, I don’t know. I don’t know if I [00:24:00] have, yeah.
I don’t know if I have that. Like, I guess I’m always comparing myself to my parents. I don’t know if you guys think about it, cause I’m sure your parents also had a really, you know, like they’re all immigrants, right? So when I compare, you know what I’ve been through, quote unquote to my parents, I can’t help, but feel like I don’t have a lot of that, but then maybe I do, you know, if you compare me to someone else, that’s the real question, right?
It’s like what constitutes grit what’s enough, right? Like, you know, it depends on who you compare, who you’re comparing yourself to.
Yeah, but I think the downside, there is a downside to the kind of grit though. I would say that my parents have, because now that I’ve like, I’m an adult and I kind of look at them, I’m able to look at them a little bit more objectively. Right? Sure. They had a lot of grit, but I think the downside to that is that they’re not like very, um, emotionally plugged in.
I think it’s like a defense mechanism, right. When you have to go through so much trauma. Um, [00:25:00] and you’re just able to, I remember reading about this. It’s just it’s it happens to people right. When you survive, like, you’re just, you got to, you know, a lot of people just kind of compartmentalize. So I don’t know if you know, grit is, I dunno if I want right.
To just have like the kind of grit that my parents have. Right. Because it comes at a cost. I feel like for them, what do you think net? Is it binary? Like a gritty person is like a emotional unavailable or is it like, I mean, do we have any examples of people who have grit that, you know, I don’t think it’s binary, but I feel like the most salient examples in my life it’s, you know, are my parents.
Right. And then like my other relatives and it did definitely seem to kind of binary there. I think it’s also like, kind of goes back to what is driving you to get through [00:26:00] this thing. Right. It’s like, sometimes, sometimes it’s like fear of failure, but I think sometimes like, you know, I think in the cases of a lot of what our parents went through, it’s like just survival.
Right. Like you, you get through it with grit, but it also leaves scars . And, um, again, Bernay Brown reference, sorry, I’ve been really into this space lately, but you, um, develop coping mechanisms to get through it.
And then once you’re like, out of it, it’s like you can’t shed that armor, right. Shed, those coping mechanisms that you do to develop, to like get through that and then they don’t really serve you in that next stage anymore. Um, I think that there could be a grit to pursue something that you really love because you want to get there.
Um, I think that it’s much, much more common to see examples of grit based out of more like a negative, like a [00:27:00] reaction to something negative. And I’m not saying that’s anything less to be admired. I mean, I think like surviving all these things, like as incredible. But I do think that that’s like a more common example of grit that at least like, I feel like I see then grit of somebody going after something, because they really love it.
Yeah. It’s so complicated. Like, you don’t want to wish trauma on anyone for them to overcome it, you know, and make meaning out of it. Um, which I unfortunately have done with my life. You, you have, you feel like you in for like the trauma on yourself too? No, no, no. I mean, my, my mother’s early death, early death.
It’s like, my, my profession now is making meaning out of that, you know? And like, what does healing look like for myself for a generation? Um, and that’s what I fixate on because [00:28:00] it’s so close to me and it is so a part of my identity. So it’s like, Art is born here and I’m trying to be so conscientious and careful
just enjoy life more. I don’t know about y’all, but like when I go get a massage, right. When I get down on onto the bed, I I’m stressed out. I’m stressed out because it’s going to end soon and I’m actually more anxious getting a massage, then not like I have a lot of trouble relaxing. And like the only way I can relax is if I even edible.
But besides that, I can’t relax. I am a very high strung person, but I try to be like really chill. I try to be really hippie, but I’m not at my core. You know what I mean? Like the DNA’s just wired in this like fight or flight kind of way. And I don’t, I don’t want [00:29:00] art to be like that.
Yeah. And there are scientific evidence that as moms, like, we’re actually like even more wired that way. Right. In that, uh, Netflix series babies, they were talking about how when a couple, like a heterosexual couple has a baby, you, you like do like MRI scans of their brains and like the section of the brain that responds like automatically to any kind of danger.
Like, I think it’s the amygdala or something , it just like enlarges in the mom, like there’s actually like a noticeable brain structure change in the mom that you don’t see in the dad. Right. So, um, I think that being a mom definitely heightens that. Uh, interesting side note is that they did the same study in gay couples.
And you like both men, two dads. And , in that situation, [00:30:00] you see, like one of the dads also experienced the change that you typically see in a mom. So it doesn’t seem necessarily like a genetic, um, biological, like sex based destiny is just that one parent seems to need to be like this kind of hypervigilant one.
Right. Kate, would you agree? Yeah. I mean, you know, I think one of the things in Irvin, I always argue, argued over since the beginning is he thinks I’m too overbearing and obsessively thinking about all the different kinds of things. And I don’t know. Yeah. I think mom’s just, yeah, you just worry about a lot more things.
You do have a lot of spreadsheets though? Oh, no. I gave up on the spreadsheets. I’m like very hands-off mom. Now. I know you guys don’t believe it, but like, I can’t remember the last time I read a parenting, anything or listen to a parenting podcast. I think I got like [00:31:00] burned out on that because I realized, you know, it was interesting, right?
Like talking about parenting style, you know, my husband, I have really different styles and I realized one of the things for me, you know, especially I’m sure Jeanette, if you remember being a first time, mom, it’s like, you’re like, okay, I just need answers. Okay. There must be like the right answer. You know, there’s one thing that’s like magical and that works.
And you’re just like looking at all the resources and trying to find answers solutions in. And then for me, I realized I wasn’t really as much paying attention specifically to the unique needs of my baby. Right. Cause every baby is so different, but you, you know, as a first time doing anything, especially like wanting to be a perfectionist, you just want to like find the best.
There must be one thing. And so. I felt like it was getting in the way after the first, like few months of just actually just being a parent. And so I kind of dialed back and I’m just trying to more like observe, you know, my daughter kind of figure out things. I mean, I’ll still like occasionally read some articles and stuff, but yeah, I [00:32:00] would say my parenting style, I don’t know that it’s relaxed.
I think it’s just kind of oriented itself differently from what it was like the first few months, which is just reading everything and then like, you know, digesting it, spreadsheeting it. And then now it’s more like, okay. I feel like I haven’t killed my daughter thus far by accident. She seems to be doing fine.
So let me just, you know, try to just let, let it, let her kind of show me what she needs. Yeah. Kate. I think you’re employing that owl method observe, wait and listen. Wait really? Is that a thing? I think someone told me that the other day. Oh my gosh. Okay. Yeah. So I guess I’m using the app method. It really stressed.
I dunno. I mean like you, if any of you were like this, well, I guess if when you were a first-time mom, right? Cause now you have two kids, but like every time I’m like, I read something, I was like, okay. So she should be like AB you know, X, Y, Z, and then like ABC happened. I just said like, Oh my God, what’s going to happen.
This is a disaster. Like I would get so stressed out. And [00:33:00] then my, like my husband be like, um, she’s fine. Everyone’s happy. She’s fine. Why are you stressed out? And I was just like, okay, I need to not, I’m like the only one who’s, you know, suffering here. So anyway, what’s your parenting style?
I think the technical term is the authoritative style. The whole idea is you give your kids a limited set of options, um, so that they have some agency, but , you don’t let them pick from like everything. Right. Um, and, uh, so, and what I’ve learned the hard way is that both of the choices need to be acceptable to you as outcomes, you as a parent.
So, I mean, it’s sometimes like a lot of work to think about those options. So, uh, I feel like a lot of times the options we give Isaiah are like, you know, it’s like, okay, it’s time to like go upstairs for a bath.[00:34:00] Do you want to go up right now or do you want to play for five minutes and then go up, you know, it’s kind of Brady, of course I want to play for five more minutes or he’s like, I don’t want to wash my hands.
And I’m like, well, do you want to wash your hands on your own? Or do you want me to help you? You know? So those are like the two options right there. Like it’s often, like you can do it on your own or I can help you, which means essentially I will force you to do it so that those are your hobbies, what’s sex.
So clever. I should try that on my husband. Um, but yeah, no, I mean, I think I tried to give him some choice. But also I think we are maybe more traditional, I don’t know, even if this is a traditional, but like, I think we’re in our minds, firmly, like in charge, right? Jake and I we’re in charge, we’re the parents, right?
Like, you know, the kids don’t [00:35:00] get to run the house. They can have some agency, like within a limited scope, but , they don’t get to call the shots. Right. And I think that that’s now that I say it that way, it feels traditional, but I think that’s our mentality, right? We are the benevolent dictators here.
Our benevolence is on your, on your behalf. And that benevolence will recede slowly as you get older, until you are ready to take the reins on your own. And hopefully we will have prepared you well, but like, until that point, like we are in charge, I feel like you should write a black book on parenting or something.
I just need to like, look through the pages, read the summary section. Okay. Um, but yeah, I think that’s our parenting. Philosophy. And that’s just one dimension of it, right? I mean, there’s so many different dimensions of how you interact with your kid in different situations. I mean, did any of y’all read raising the day?
I mean, what is it? The French are like the kid isn’t at the center. Right. Yeah. Okay. So I have my feels about without having, I will fully admit, I have not like read the book except the first couple of chapters. So first of all, the premise bothers me because I feel like Americans love to hate the French.
It’s like, Oh, the French, like there. So whatever I caught of me sucks, like they’re mean whatever. And then on the other hand, we just like fucking idolized, like all their shit. Like I read the book, like French women don’t get fat, which is like the same premise. Right? Like bringing up a bit, it’s like the French do everything so much better than we do.
Let’s like hate them. But then also think that they’re the best. Okay. So sorry. I’m done with that rant. Uh, as someone who’s fluent in French and lived in Paris for a few years, I love, I love language. I love the culture, you know, French people. Great. But I just really hate that American like weird obsession with like the French.
Okay. Sorry. That’s my rant. Yeah. The colonialism goes deep, right? It’s like, I mean, anyway, France [00:37:00] gives you a childcare there. Mat leave is awesome. Yes, I think, yeah, I think my problem is without, again, having read the book is that we’re trying to look for things from there to apply in a totally different context.
I already ranted last time about how America’s sucks at childcare at like this sort of like system where, you know, uh, moms get, especially moms get so burdened in France, like childcare, like the cost of your gym membership. Right. And like, you know, in French people don’t our fitness or like Equinox. Oh no, not in between like, Yeah, exactly.
You have more like orange theory. Exactly. And then like, you know, because much more stable it’s really, if you have a real, an actual, like full-time job, it’s really hard to get fired. And like, you know, people don’t work as the same crazy hours. Right. It’s, it’s just, it’s everything. Culturally is very different.
It’s easier to support the French method of parenting because of other [00:38:00] cultural norms and practices and policies, or, you know, that are in place that we don’t have in the U S okay, sorry. Again, I’m just ranting. I mean, in going back to social studies, 10 or something, you know, Puritan work ethic, like Americans identify who they are and their value through their work.
Whereas I guess apparently Europe just like, does it, you know, somehow, so I do have to say though, I, I think, unfortunately, one thing that I’ve noticed that is that Americans are being very. You know, the Protestant work ethic being very entrepreneurial. There’s a lot of feeding off of, um, like frenzy feeding off of parents, American parents, like, uh, fear of like, not being able to do something just right for their kids.
Right. For example, this whole like slew of like sleep training experts in like these online classes now that you can take and like, [00:39:00] you know, the perfect stroller, the perfect everything. I find that generally my European friends are a little less obsessed with like the perfect, you know, XYZ thing. But in the U S especially among like, I think, you know, fairly well-resourced or, you know, well-educated parents, like it’s like a rat race, you know, even for a friggin teether, what’s the best.
Every time I see ads for love every toys, I feel so guilty. And then I go, Marvin, how do we make it ourselves? It’s like, we like try to cut all this cardboard and stuff. And like art doesn’t even care. And I’m just like, and he’s just like, he just takes like an empty plastic cookie container and just like puts it on his head.
I’m like, is he going to be smart? You know, like
for French, I do feel like this goes to a broader conversation. And I feel like what I’m about to say,[00:40:00] I’m like walking in my territory. Right. But it’s like, um, I feel like we, as Americans are like insecure about a lot of things.
Like about raising kids, but like about how we eat, about how we dress about like a lot of things, right? Like about how we should take care of people in our family or not. And, we don’t have as long of like a tradition , to pull on, right.
Because we’re like a nation of immigrants and for a lot of us in a couple of generations, you kind of like. It’s sad, but like you can, you do kind of lose touch with the traditional ways.
Right. Um, and I’m not saying traditional ways are always the best, but I do think that they do give a certain sense of confidence that this is the way it’s always been done. And so, you know, my kids are going to be okay if I do it this way. In America, like that kind of reliance on tradition has been [00:41:00] replaced a lot by consumerism.
So it’s like, we rely on like, on like companies to tell us this is the best way to do things. And we’re like, is it like, I don’t know, what’s the research like, who’s we know what is everyone else doing? And like, whereas I feel before, you know, like your grandma would be like, Oh, you know, just stop doing that.
Like, she doesn’t need that. You know, she’ll just like, let her roll around in the dirt or whatever, you know? I’m interested in your thoughts. Yeah, I can imagine a bit East Graham, I’ll just be like, are you dumb? And then you’re like, no. And then, so you can just like, do whatever she told you to do.
And you’re like, that’s just fact I’m not dumb. You know, I hear you with these companies, like whenever there’s some new product, they’re like X Warby Parker, X, Facebook, X, Google, whatever, like alums doing this cool thing. And it’s like, we’ve placed so much value on certain types of companies that we want to be associated with that.
And then therefore we must be right, right. Like we want, we [00:42:00] want to be with these like great brands because we are great. And also we don’t feel like we know what we’re doing. Right. Because we don’t have the grandma being like, Oh yeah. Like she can like suck on that. That’s fine. You know? Or like she’s not sick or whatever, you know?
Um, So I feel like, uh, like companies fill a lot of that gap. Um, yeah, I think there’s also a lot of praying. I mean, I don’t know if the company’s intention is now that I’ve like tried a good Jillian things. I, you know, the parent who like bought everything that was advertised to her, and now that I’ve time have time to reflect both companies.
And also, I would say individuals who are like Hocking their wares on Instagram, which I’m very, you know, like now there are all those classes that you can take and stuff. I do think, I don’t, I’m not saying it’s malicious, but I do think it [00:43:00] preys upon the insecurities, especially a first time parents and first time moms.
Right. And, and because, and then you feel like, okay, if I pay something or buy something, then I can solve this quote-unquote problem. Right. Like things that are normal. Li like a normal part of, let’s say a child or baby’s like growth development, things that you encounter they’re portrayed as like problems or like, you know, stressors and then so that you will pay money to like solve them or make them go away.
Right. And I don’t know, this does actually come to profoundly bother me, but I also recognize part of that is because like, what you guys were saying is that in the past, you know, if you live near family or you live in a place that has a very strong, like, you know, um, you know, many generations of, um, Culture and traditions that haven’t changed a lot.
You’d get that wisdom from, you know, neighbors or like your great [00:44:00] grandma or something like that. But now in the U S we’ve lost all of that. Right. We don’t, like Jeanette said, we don’t have generations of cultural passing down traditions. And then just like also, um, you know, Susan, you said we don’t have grandma breathing down our necks to tell us.
So, um, yeah, I don’t know. I think on one hand I do kind of resent the taking advantage of like the, you know, moms and stuff. But on the other hand, it’s like, well, what, what can, what will fill the void? Right. Yeah. And there’s pros and cons. Right. I don’t think it’s all bad and all good. That that is just the dynamic, at least in my observation .
Is that there is a void and it needs to be filled by something. And right now it’s filled by commerce. Um, and in that way, it’s like a very American thing. ,
With like the toy company that you mentioned, Susan, I remember when Isaiah was like little and I used to spend time with him. And sometimes like after five minutes, I’d just be like, what do I [00:45:00] do now?
Like, I just like have like a little bit of this anxiety. Like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with him. Right. It’s like just carrying him around for like two hours or what, like when’s his next nap time? I mean, I love my child, but you know, there is just this feeling of , I don’t, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do with him now.
Like he doesn’t need a diaper. He seems like a little bit grumpy. He’s not sick, he’s not hungry. Um, it’s not time for his nap yet. And so. Um, you know, my mom would just be like, you know, it’s fine. Like, he’s fine. Like he just, just let him beat you. Right. Um, and, uh, I think there’s also like child development people who will say, you know, boredom, like just letting them be bored is part of development.
Right. And like, that’s how they observe things. That’s how they have like chance, thoughts. And that’s how they notice things going on around them. Like they don’t constantly need to be entertained or distracted or whatever. But I think that when [00:46:00] I also get served those ads. Right. But now like being on kid number two, I just realize, okay, like, no, it’s actually, she’s like fine.
She needs just time to roll around on her back because she needs to figure out how to roll over. And that’s naturally just going to be sometimes boring and frustrating for her. Right. Like, I don’t need to, I don’t need like a new toy, like every week to entertain her. Look, I I’m, I’m not throwing shade on the company because my friends who actually have those toys say, they’re so engaging, their kids love them.
Right. So I’m sitting here going, I feel guilty because it sounds like they work, you know, like I would, I can tell when art is engaged and when he’s not engaged. And I just sit there thinking about the money and I think about what my parents had at their disposal and like, how am I using my money? And should I invest it for the long term?
You know, that I think about all these things and I go, no, we’re not going to spend, I don’t know, whatever it is, $60 a month or [00:47:00] $40 a month or whatever, because it’s almost like a pride thing. Like a principal thing that I’m holding onto. Like we should reuse things. We should, we should be creative. We should create our own toys.
Like it, it comes from that kind of spirit, but that just takes more work. And then I understand why you would just pay for it. You know, like someone already researched. You know, developmentally where they’re going to be at and all this stuff. So I think that’s where I’m kind of sitting is just that I heard the toys are really great, you know, but I’m like kind of cheap, but then also I think we should be like creative and resilient.
I mean, I think so then you’ve got a lot of good points. Um, well actually, if I’m really honest, sorry, I liked the company in principle, but actually my daughter doesn’t really like their toys very much, which is why I stopped the subscription. So you can find one person now, Susan, whose kid does not like the toys that much.
Um, and you know, so the thing that I’ve started doing now is that also, I didn’t want to be [00:48:00] overwhelmed by toys mostly from like it, I don’t want them to just be tons of like stuff and like, you know, actually, um, more toys doesn’t mean the kid will become more engaged with them. Actually. It might be quite the opposite, especially as they get older, but what I try to do now, and maybe Susan, if feeling less guilty is that I kind of just like watch right.
Especially now that, you know, there she’s almost one, she has very specific preference, you can tell, but she likes to do. And so then I try to like, get things that I wouldn’t be able to make or slash would take too much time to make. I’ll just buy those things based on what I see that she’s actively interested in.
Right. If that makes you feel less guilty. So you’re not just like throwing a bunch of resources at, you know, like, just because something looks nice or, um, yeah. So I don’t, I don’t know. I guess my, again, with the owl approach, I’m sorry. Well, okay. So I’ve been having anxiety because art hasn’t started to crawl.
He doesn’t have any teeth. He doesn’t [00:49:00] actively roll over. I’m sitting here going like you’re this 10 months old. Angel, but you don’t hit all these other developmental milestones. And then, so I was like, I think a friend showed me a mommy, PT, Instagram. So I’ll, I’m like going through all the stories and looking at it and I’m like, okay, I’m going to get a laundry basket, flip it over.
And he’s going to like crawl on his legs and like push it around. Great. What I didn’t realize is that he’s kind of pushing, but he kind of actually just wants to stand. So I’m towering over him and I’m pushing it. I’m also holding him and pushing him all around the kitchen. Like five minutes later, my knees are bruised.
They’re so bruised. I like, and then I saw you had some posts where like, Ryan is like doing a Walker thing and I’m like, I’m buying some, like finding a Walker right now. I find one on Facebook marketplace, right? Like retail price is like $40. I find it for $7. We drive a mile. I’ve disinfected would get home.
He still can’t use the Walker. This boy does [00:50:00] not have cartilage in his knees or so I don’t know what it is. So we just gotta press the button sometimes. And then we just like, listen to the same music over and over again. It’s like crazy. So that was like my compromise, which is like, if I bought it used it’s okay.
Because I don’t want to mess up my knees. You know what I mean? Like I was trying to get all creative and then there just came a point where I was just like, someone already created this and I don’t want to suffer anymore. So I don’t it’s you do make another good point. This is when you’re talking about, you know, like milestones.
I think that’s the other thing is a parent, you know? Uh, I mean, I don’t know, Asian parents love to compare stuff. Luckily my parents are actually pretty good about it, so I didn’t really get compared to other people. I think mostly other kids hated me cause they got compared to me. So,
no, there’s the weird thing. What I’m saying is that like what’s weird now is that, you know, you have access to social media, right? So then you can see other people’s kids. Um, and then. You know, w it was funny. He’s like our pediatrician, if you talk to him, he’s like, [00:51:00] Oh, you know, some kids, like, they just don’t crawl.
They just go from like, you know, fitting to like walking. And he’s like, yeah, some kids teeth come in later. And this is a guy who has been practicing for like, I dunno, almost 40 years. Right. And so you feel like you almost want to believe someone like him, because he’s just seen literally everything versus, you know, Oh, like, you know, somebody, you know, on Instagram, all your friends are like, Oh, my daughter has like five teeth now or something like that.
But there is a lot of anxiety in that too. Right. Cause you can’t help as a parent, but like, you know, it starts out with milestones. And then later on, you know, we’ll, I mean, we’ll we keep, which school did you get into? What classes are his? He takes extracurricular activities.
Oh, English programs course talented. Yeah. Um, and they also, I mean, I think that that [00:52:00] can really chip away at their confidence. Right. I think to their, like, to our earlier conversation about what kind of kid do we aspire? What kind of character do we want for our children? Right. It’s like confident, you know, like they believe in themselves, they have grit.
It’s a fine line, right? Because as a parent, like you are naturally anxious and you are responsible. You, you are responsible for helping them. If they, if there is like a serious. Need, but at the same time, you don’t want to be so overbearing that you’re second guessing everything they’re doing or not doing and, transferring your anxiety to them.
Right .Like I said earlier, like, um, my parents were not perfect, but I think one thing that I’m thankful for is that they were not tiger parents and they really didn’t like, just like, I think to a fault, like they didn’t know what I was reading. They sent me away to school when I was 14 to like a state they’ve never been to like, you know, [00:53:00] they just let me do all these things and they didn’t second guess things, um, really very much.
And I think that that did help me just like have more confidence. Right. Even today, I’m just like, Yeah. Like I can do that. Um, and I, and I want that for, for my kid. So, you know, I’m curious, like, how are you trying to improve yourself? Because now you have kids, like, is there any bad habits that you’re trying to get rid of earlier?
Kate? You said you are a complainer. Like, are you like actively not complaining around? Like, did she make you a better person or is this not really a new still complaint around her? So being a complainer is the least of my problems. No. Oh boy. Um, no, [00:54:00] I was telling some single girlfriends recently that, you know, one of the most interesting things about being a parent is that.
It, um, is like holding a mirror to yourself. I mean, in some ways, you know, obviously being married, being in a committed relationship with a partner does that to you too. Right? Cause you can’t really hide yourself from someone that you’re around all the time. Um, but I think having, uh, a child brings that to a whole nother level because there are some behaviors that, you know, you’ll tolerate with your partner because you don’t like fight or argue or you get petty or you say mean things to each other sometimes, but then you make up.
Right. But now that it’s tinted with the dimension of like, Oh, there’s this little creature. Watching us and what we do in say the her right. For better or for worse. Um, and you know, and, and, and also just, you know, I’m [00:55:00] guessing second guessing, you know, my behaviors and the way that I do things thinking, am I doing this as a reaction to something?
Or am I doing this because I’m afraid, am I doing this? You know? So as I think I do ask myself a lot more questions. Um, I actually generally think it’s a good thing, right? Like some people are like, Oh, why should you change it? Just because you have a kid. I actually think you should, if you don’t want to change, then maybe you have a, or maybe you’re just perfect.
These specific here, what is one thing you’re going to change? Or what, what’s one thing that you’re actually looking at right now? Oh, it definitely less try to be less anxious and OCD about things. Cause I feel like, you know, it affects, it makes me stressed out. Like I saw my acupuncturist yesterday and she’s basically like.
In the nicest possible way in a very roundabout way. She told me I needed to chill the fuck out. And so what, what is she saying? Like, Oh, I’m just noticing some tension. No, no, no, no. It’s cause I have a kidney problem. Sorry, I’m laughing, but it’s actually quite serious. [00:56:00] I have, um, high, low, my, my kidneys are basically in layman’s terms leaking, leaking protein to the point where it’s like eclampsia levels, which is really bad.
And so I was telling her and she was basically like, look in Chinese medicine. Um, you know, issues with kidney, um, long are kind of related, uh, are also really affected by, you know, your lifestyle. Right. And she knows me long enough. I’ve been seeing her for over two years that she knows that I tend to get really tense.
I’m like multitasking on, like, I can’t really be in the moment. I’m just always like worrying about a lot of things. And so her point was that I just needed to learn to just. Basically be in the moment being engaged in what I’m doing, let go of most things, which I don’t really need to worry about nothing, you know?
Cause I was telling her, I was like, Oh, I really enjoyed being on vacation. Cause I didn’t have to worry about so many things. She was like, you can be on vacation mentally every day by which she meant that you can be in a state of not worrying about all, all this stuff. Like the stuff is still there.
She’s like, but you need to [00:57:00] learn how to not worry about it. Anyway. So you went on this like very nice longish lecture. And as my husband knows, I only listened to my acupuncturist. I won’t listen to anybody else. He was like, I literally told you that the other day. And I was like, yeah, but you’re not Maria.
Anyway. So I think that’s a big thing for me, you know? Cause I feel like I’ve been like that my whole life just very anxious, worrying like, Oh I can’t really enjoy now just worrying. Oh, something bad is going to happen to her. Oh no, this is not perfect. You know, I don’t really want that passing on to. To my daughter.
So the question here is, you know, are there any bad habits that you’re actually trying to be more aware of because these creatures are watching you or you’re just like, no, I’m me. Yeah, no, I think there totally is everything from like, I can’t keep ice cream in the house and I can’t have ice cream every night after dinner because, I don’t want Isaiah to have ice cream every night after dinner.
Um, so wait, so you don’t have ice cream in the house? We [00:58:00] do, but I keep them tucked away, but I could already see the day coming when he will be physically able to just open the refrigerator or open the freezer on his own. Right. So the bar just gets higher as the kids get older, by the way, because they just know more, they pick up on more.
Um, and, um, The, I mean to some more serious things, like how do I deal with my parents? Because my mom lives with us. if like, Isaiah’s, um, not polite to my mom, she immediately says , you know, she, he gets this from you. Um, and, uh, I think there’s some truth in that, honestly.
Right. Everything becomes a higher bar and I can’t change everything, but you just have to pick the ones that you think are the most impactful and that are achievable. Um, so you don’t end up saying do, as I say, not as I do. I think [00:59:00] for me, the thing I don’t want art to see is that sometimes I have like, like really low moment.
Where I’m on the couch. I know I can feel this wave of like depression coming. And, and I know it’s like next to my period. I know it’s not going to be a very long time, but once I’m in it, it feels like it overtakes me and it’s forever. And I don’t know how I’m going to get out. And then I, like, I complain and whine a lot to Marvin, you know?
And I, and I, and I I’m really hoping he pulls me out and we have, we’ve gone through it with our couples therapist, like what tools he needs to show me this picture, this book of affirmations of people, writing nice things. Like he always forgets every time. And then I’m like drowning on the couch and then I’m just like in a dark place.
And, um, you know, I’m trying to like meditate more every day and like be consistent about them, the exercise and all that. But like, I [01:00:00] don’t, I want art to know that you can have feelings, um, But I think for so long, I felt so safe to fall apart in front of my husband. And I don’t want to completely fall apart in front of art.
You know what I mean? Like I, I want to at least just do it privately in my roll room and have Marvin takeover for a little bit, but I don’t, that’s what I’m nervous about. You know, it’s like, I still want him to know that you can have conflict in life and that emotions come in waves, but I don’t want him to just see a debilitated, you know what I mean?
Um, so I think that’s kind of like my, my concern is that I’m trying to just get better. Like I have such an intense care team that I now have started acupuncture. Um, now the therapists, we, we, weren’t good at doing couples counseling and physical therapy and it’s just like so much care just to take care of [01:01:00] me.
Um, and I don’t know how much of it is the hormones. You know, I don’t know how much of it is now. I’m a mom, but I don’t, I don’t want to keep doing that. You know? So I just, that’s, I’m just speaking this all out loud, kind of for the first time here, but I, I don’t want him to think I’m so weak, you know, because I am so strong, but I do want to be vulnerable, but I don’t want him to see me fall apart.
Can I have all those things? Yeah. we should talk more. I mean, maybe we don’t have maybe not on the podcast, but like, I mean, one of my, uh, parents actually went through a really depressive episode growing up and, literally , could not get out of bed for like half a year.
Um, which I think is on a totally different scale than what you’re talking about. And I, it was my dad and I think we, he and I also had, um, a lot of [01:02:00] other issues that compounded on top of this. Um, and so I think it is something to think about because it can impact kids. But my personal view is that it’s okay to show your kids that you are not perfect.
Um, I think it helps them. I think it’s a part of growing up and giving them A healthy sense of responsibility. I don’t know how to put it. Maybe this is not the right way to think about it, but it’s like, I think it’s just part of growing up. Honestly. I think the few friends I have who think their parents are perfect are like really kind of, they’re like weird in their own ways.
At some point you’re going to realize your parents are not perfect. And so it’s okay to show some weakness. I’ll send you this book, the, uh, raising an emotionally intelligent child, because it talks about this.
Not like [01:03:00] in the sense that, like, how do you model for your children dealing with negative emotion? Um, and I think that it’s something really important, right? Like I think having been raised in a family where negative emotions were super explosive. And sometimes I think because of what I saw with my dad, um, some times like this, this bottomless pit, it really affected the way that I react to negative emotion.
Um, but I think it doesn’t have to be like that. You know, I think you showing art that like, yeah, you can feel down, but then you eventually come back up again is good because everybody feels down sometimes. But I think helping him see that you will eventually come [01:04:00] back. Right. And like kind of being more open about it, I think actually can be hugely helpful even.