A mom's mental load: embracing and forgiving my forgetfulness

I've been thinking a lot about forgetfulness and mental load. I had a boss at work who constantly referred to freeing up your "psychic space" as often as possible. Much like defragmenting your computer in order to free up memory. I have always been considered "forgetful" — even before I had a baby. During pregnancy, I had the luxury of blaming things on "baby brain." Now that my daughter is crawling, my ability to keep up with everything in my brain seems exponentially worse.

Here are some of the more serious things I've forgotten this past month…

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Figuring out why I'm so uncomfortable with my partner's self pleasure

My partner masturbates without my knowing and for some reason it really bothers me. My reaction surprised me and I had to dig into it to understand why. We have had a lot of conversations about how I struggle with the fact that he masturbates. Thankfully he is typically able to be open-minded and not take it personally. He knows that it's my issue, and he knows that I know it's my issue and that I'm not trying to control him. Here's how I'm parsing my feelings…

The realness of early pregnancy and loss

My pregnancy was real. Really brief. Really scary. Really exciting. Really surprising. Really sad. Really hopeful. Really exhausting.

There were three emotional weeks between the moment I saw two lines on a pregnancy test in my bathroom at 4am and the moment an ultrasound confirmed we'd lost it. This wasn't our first pregnancy, but it was our first since knowing the pain of losing one. We were scared and sad from the start that we might lose it, yet we were hopeful this might finally be our time…

My same-sex marriage is as real as yours no matter what happens

With all the movement towards marriage equality in Australia (and now speculation in the US again), I thought it was time to talk about and maybe even open a discussion about gay marriage. Luckily for me and my wife, it is recognized in America post-Obergefell v. Hodges. I have mentioned my upbringing as a late-bloomer in the South, and the fact that I was raised to believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Little did I realize, when hearing these things, that I would find myself deeply in love and married to a woman when I grew up. Falling in love with someone of the same sex really puts a dent in those childhood teachings…

I'm pregnant and in a metal band: how do I protect baby's hearing?

I'm an audio engineer and an electric violinist for a metal band, and just found out that I'm pregnant. It's early days, but do I need to cancel gigs after a certain point? As an engineer, I experience up to 105db at work, but generally staying under 90db. As a musician, though, I'm onstage next to drum kits and loud amps, including my own, for an average set of 50 minutes. Is there anything I can do to keep them safe without cancelling gigs?