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Woman With A Plan - Issue #34

“Mothers are all slightly insane.” ― J.D. Salinger

Woman With A Plan

July 13 · Issue #34 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“Mothers are all slightly insane.”
― J.D. Salinger

Growing up, my parents were self-employed and my mom was always home after school, ready with snacks and eager to chat about my day. I spent muggy summer vacations lounging around the house reading The Babysitter’s Club or perfecting my swan dive at the town pool. My memories of those days are simple; the kind of childhood you hope to give your own kids, especially in today’s climate. I don’t know a working mom who hasn’t grappled with the thought of staying at home instead. It was a fantasy of mine every time I passed the brink of frustration in the office or pried a crying child from my body as I rushed off from daycare. Questions and doubts constantly came to mind. What am I doing? Is this what I want? What kind of childhood will my kids have? Moving abroad was an unexpected opportunity to flip the switch. Here I am, home all summer with our three kids. Long, hot days are spent lazing around the apartment, frequenting our favorite playgrounds, or trekking to the city pool. This is how I always hoped it would be, yet I am going out of my freaking mind. I feel like a cheetah who moved into the monkey house (we just visited the zoo, clearly). I am not built for this habitat! I thrive on schedules and intellectual debate, critical thinking and fashion blogs. Creating a simple childhood is somehow exhausting and boring all at the same time. How does it take so much energy to barely accomplish anything? How many times do I have to say we’re not having ice cream today? I think what scares me most is the fear of losing my professional skills and the ability to return to work someday, that relaxing into this new role will somehow drive me away from the previous one. A friend of mine went through a similar transition recently and told me about a pivotal moment when she finally let go and embraced the pace, appreciating a basic activity with her son and the impression it would leave in his memory. She also pointed out that staying at home introduces a completely new skill set, one filled with patience, empathy, and love (she is a very smart friend). If anything, I’m learning to get off my high horse and give stay-at-home-moms waaay more credit. I’m not sure what the future will bring, whether I’ll find a job here in Vienna or not, but if I’ve learned anything from being a parent thus far, it’s that you will always be more successful when you focus on one task at a time. If that task is building a sand castle, better get on the ground and start digging. 
I feel you, sister
Media Diet
Egads, didn’t we move to Europe to get away from this guy? At least we have this to look forward to. 
White men are at the center, our normative citizen, despite being only around a third of the nation’s population. Their outsize power is measurable by the fact that they still — nearly 140 years after the passage of the 15th Amendment, not quite 100 years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, and more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts — hold roughly two-thirds of elected offices in federal, state, and local legislatures. We have had 92 presidents and vice-presidents. One-hundred percent of them have been men, and more than 99 percent white men.
Get outraged, get involved, and VOTE. And don’t be afraid to ruin a nice meal
In case you missed it, be sure to read this account of a Guatemalan woman’s incredible journey to reconnect with her three children (via NY Times). One heartbreaking story among countless others.
If you love former White House photographer Pete Souza’s Instagram account as much as I do, you’re bound to be a fan of his upcoming book.
Is the NY Times trying to make me homesick?
This explains so much about our middle child.
I may or may not have let my kids binge on Teen Titans Go Wednesday morning so I could watch the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale. #worthit 
If you’re experiencing similar symptoms of Offred withdrawal, I recommend Sharp Objects, the new HBO series based on Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s first novel.
Ooh, this beautiful home is right up my alley.
On a related note, enjoy this stunning collection of inspiring decor. 
Cusp by Eric Zener
Open Tabs
My parents are coming to visit in the fall and I’m already making a mental list of all the items I’ll be asking them to pack in their luggage, including this, this, and possibly this.
Also planning to stock up on all my favorite Kristen Ess hair products from Target, like this, this, and this.
I’ve had my eye on this summery top for months and it’s finally on sale.  
Ooh, love these baskets for storage or totes (via Swiss Miss). 
I want to buy these H&M jeans so badly, but I have no idea how the sizing works in Austria. Hilfe!
Ah the good life
Have a Wonderful Weekend
Woman With A Plan is a newsletter by Sarah Richey, an American expat living in Vienna, Austria, and mom of three feminists in the making.
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Vienna, Austria