Thursday, December 20, 2007

Three for Thursday Returns With: To Freeze or Not to Freeze, the Ghost of Christmas Eve Past and Dragon Vomit

After a hiatus, “Three for Thursday” has returned . . . consider it an early Christmas gift.

Item #1: To Freeze or Not to Freeze

It comes as no shock that trying to have a career and parent young children simultaneously is insanely difficult and makes legions of parents stressed out. It also comes as no surprise that when women strive to climb the career ladder during their childbearing years, they oftentimes find themselves torn. Some want to get to a certain point in their career before having children and then some find that delaying childbearing can make getting pregnant more challenging. Others have children without regard to career concerns and later find that hitting the “pause” button on their work can hurt their careers.

Enter into the fray this piece from the Wall Street Journal by Ronald W. Dworkin, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, about the evolving technology which allows women to freeze their eggs – therefore suspending their fertility — indefinitely while they work on their career. Dworkin wrote:

“Our culture encourages women to pursue high-powered careers. Many women must pursue at least some kind of career: With the divorce rate over 50%, women can no longer rely on the integrity of the family unit to support them. The culture paints a rosy image about career and family. Then biological truth breaks through, by which time these women have lost a decade of their best childbearing years.”

On the newspaper’s working parents blog, “The Juggle” blogger Sara Schaefer Munoz asked her readers whether, when they were younger, they thought that men and women would have the same “career trajectories” through their childbearing years.

Item #2: The Ghost of Christmas Eve Past

I just returned from visiting my first grade son’s classroom for a “holiday” party and, after hearing several mothers discussing the vast number of children who’ve recently succumbed to a vicious stomach bug – striking victims in not only my son’s school, but in my twins’ school as well – my own stomach began to churn. It’s nearly the first anniversary of the Christmas Eve From Hell when, just after I finished eating our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, I fled to the bathroom where I spent the next two days making close friends with my toilet. I missed Christmas and was miserable for days afterward.

I’d been trying to blot that experience from my mind as my family’s Christmas Eve dinner draws near (though I did tell my mother that I can’t bring myself to eat the baked stuffed shrimp she’s planning on making as not enough time has elapsed since The Incident for me to stomach that particular dish yet).

However hearing that there’s a stomach bug going around has sent me into a hand washing frenzy. But it’s hard to wash your hands when your fingers are crossed as you pray that the bug will skip your house this year.

Item #3: Dragon Vomit

Random pediatric comment of the week, uttered by my 9-year-old son after suspiciously eyeing a pan of lasagna his father made: “That looks like dragon vomit.”

At least he’s got a flair for colorful adjectives.

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