“So, this is kind of a random question…”
I nodded my head at the man across from me. I was in the kitchen of a fellow parent from my child’s school. I had come to pick my son up from a playdate, and found myself hanging around making small talk while the kids finished up playing. Between multiple playdates and a few shared meals, we had become friendly with this family and had reached the level of Facebook friends and random text exchanges. I was curious what his random question could entail.
“Do you … well … do you know where I could get some pot?” Keep reading »
New York Times’ writers KJ Dell’Antonia and Bruce Feiler recently went head to head over parenting for the latest “Room For Debate.” Their discussion focused on whether moms or dads more often take the lead when it comes to parenting, and more importantly, why?
This particular debate is an age-old parenting topic. In an era where women are constantly reminded about “having it all” despite stereotypical gender roles being enforced, it’s no wonder that we’re still discussing who takes on what when it comes to parenting. For a long time, parenting actually meant mothering by default. It was traditionally assumed that men were the wage earners while women were the caretakers, no matter how much that “ideal” didn’t match up with families that needed two incomes to stay afloat. Regardless of the advances in equality accrued by feminism, that traditional framework has been a hard one to shake off and families still have trouble when it comes to equal parenting. Keep reading »
This essay was published with permission from Gender-Focus.
My spouse and I are seeking permanent birth control, and the entire process has been difficult. At this point, we are sick to death of unsolicited advice on the subject (Pro-tip: If someone you don’t know says they’re not judging you, they are judging you.) Everyone’s heart is in the right place, I can only assume. People think they are telling us new information that will keep us from making what they perceive to be a mistake. I get that they’re trying to help. But we continually find ourselves defending this very personal decision to total strangers. So to keep myself from screaming, I’m going to outline why the condescension disguised as concern is totally unfounded. Trust us. We’ve thought it through. Keep reading »
Let me make this clear: I don’t have a problem with dating a divorced man. No problem at all.
What I do have a problem with is when a divorced man isn’t up front about it.
Menfolk of the world, I’m going to lay down some real talk right now: if your online dating profile doesn’t disclose that you are divorced, the moment you explain you are really “divorced” and not just “single,” I immediately think you are acting shady. Even if you weren’t trying to hide it! Even if you just married her so she could get a green card! Even if you have been divorced so long you’ve forgotten her middle name! Keep reading »
The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about “a new model of at-home fatherhood,” spawned by the rise of stay-at-home dads and inclusiveness of fathers in the day-to-day parenting. While the WSJ wasn’t quite arguing that parenting is all duded up and bro-ed out, it did argue that stay-at-home dads have put a “distinctly masculine stamp on child rearing and home life.”
Yes, there is research to back up the claim that the relatively small amount of stay-at-home dads — who comprise only 3.6 percent of all SAH parents — do rear children differently than the larger sample of stay-at-home mothers (an elite 18 percent of male-female couples). SAHDs allow their children to take more safety risks and also plan more spontaneous trips.
But I just don’t see how those traits are being ascribed as “masculine.” Surely there are mothers who don’t hover over their child’s every move? Surely there are mothers who are spontaneous? The WSJ interviewed fathers who do things like take their kids to the park and on errands to Home Depot (where a toddler “studied different kinds of hammers”) … because moms don’t take their kids to the park and run errands, I guess? Keep reading »
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. I spent the day reading, writing, and thinking about abortion. I’m clearly not quite done.
I’ve never had an abortion, but that doesn’t mean that I — like many women — haven’t been in a position where I ended up considering having one. I certainly thought about abortion when I was 17 and completely freaking out after my first time having sex, both an unexpected and unwanted event. In the painfully long two weeks that I had to wait until I was finally able to take a pregnancy test, I considered all of my options, among them abortion. While I thankfully didn’t need to make any sort of choice in the end (except to head to a doctor for a full battery of STD testing), just knowing that abortion existed provided me with some sense of comfort in all of the swirling chaos that comes with being a teenager suffering heartbreak and confusion. Keep reading »
A mini-explosion occurred on the Internet this week when Bishop Larry Trotter, pastor of a Chicago mega-church, posted a picture of himself in the bathtub with his four-year-old granddaughter. Trotter sat in the tub smiling beside the little girl, whose face has been blurred out; both are covered in bubbles, so it’s impossible to tell whether he or she is naked (or wearing swimwear, or otherwise clothed).
Quite understandably, people got very concerned. Keep reading »
“I didn’t really fully comprehend the level of guilt involved [with being a mom]. I like to pride myself on not being a person who really functions at a level of guilt, and yet, man, I never knew I could feel so guilty when I work 16 hours and I really don’t get to spend enough time with my son. It’s awful.”
–”Nashville” star Connie Britton tells People magazine about the newfound capacity for guilt she’s discovered as a mom to her adorable 2-year-old son Yoby, whom she calls “the most incredible kid.” Despite the struggles, Britton says, “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” and in fact she would love to add to her family: “I would love more kids. Why not? Bring it on.” God, can you imagine having Tami Taylor for your mom? Luckiest kids ever. Connie, just FYI, I’m totally available for adoption. [People]
Dara-Lynn Weiss, the woman who became infamous for writing in Vogue about putting her daughter on a diet, wants it both ways: she repeats over and over in her new memoir The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet, how much she loves every inch of her daughter, including her pesky belly, but then painstakingly details the lengths she went to in order to shrink it. That dichotomy surely wasn’t lost on her daughter, and there’s no telling how that will affect her in later years. Weiss’s attitude is that she had to take extreme measures to combat the extreme problem of childhood obesity, but it’s the very extremity that concerned me. I felt anxious reading it as Weiss panicked and seemed completely consumed by this project when her four foot four, 93-pound daughter was pronounced obese by her pediatrician. Keep reading »
“I understand the desire to make a child feel beautiful at any weight. I truly advocate for size acceptance. The culture of body image upsets me and has tortured me personally. I do think we should be able to be different sizes but I draw the line at when it starts affecting her health.”
– Dara-Lynn Weiss, who was ostracized after she published an article in Vogue all about putting her seven-year-old daughter Bea on a diet. Weiss has a new book out, titled The Heavy, which expands upon that article. Here, she attempts to explain why she put her child on a diet. Elsewhere in the NYMag.com interview, Weiss notes that she was afraid of giving her daughter a complex because of her own discomfort with food. But she also painstakingly explains that the Vogue photos were misleading, because they don’t show Bea’s midsection, and how fat she really is. UGH.
If nothing else, this interview — which focuses heavily on Weiss’s own body issues — sheds light on the vicious cycle of body image problems that mothers pass down to children. Will you give The Heavy a read? [NYMag.com]