Tag Archives: moms

Real Talk: On Debra Harrell’s Arrest, Motherhood & Race

Real Talk: On Debra Harrell's Arrest, Motherhood & Race

In last week’s Mommie Dearest column, I wrote about Debra Harrell, a South Carolina mother who was arrested for “abandoning” her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. (Just yesterday we learned that Harrell has been let go from her job.) I had mentioned in my post that Harrell is Black, prompting a few folks to ask why I needed to note her race. Instead of penning my own response, I thought it would be a good idea to hear from women of color who are mothers. We gathered for a virtual roundtable to discuss Harrell’s situation and  explorehow race impacts motherhood in the United States today. Meet:

Our conversation begins after the jump: Keep reading »

Awesome Teenage Barista Defends Breastfeeding Mom Against Bully, Is My New Hero

breastfeeding-baby-042314

Given all the stories we hear about women getting flack for breastfeeding in public, it’s so uplifting to hear about the experience of Julia Wykes, who was defended by a teenage Starbucks barista. Wykes stopped at the coffee shop while running errands with her five-month-old son; when he started to get cranky in line, she sat down to nurse him.

A fellow customer spotted this, and loudly bitched to the barista about Wykes. She asked the barista to stop her from breastfeeding because it was “disgusting.” The barista told the woman he’d take care of it and approached Wykes, but instead of confronting her, he offered her a voucher for a free drink and said, “I’m sorry you had to deal with such unpleasantness today,” prompting the bully to storm out of the shop. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: How Moms Talk About Their Bodies Matters

Mommie Dearest: How Moms Talk About Their Bodies Matters
Bikini Body Truths
Bikini Body
Six "bikini body" truths to remember this summer. Read More »

We’re on the cusp of “bikini season,” if magazines in the grocery shore checkout line are to be believed. I’m sure you’re familiar with the wide variety of products — ones that remove hair, ones that firm up jiggly thighs, ones that promise to burn stomach fat — which supposedly get a body ready for a teensy two-piece.

Want to know my secret for getting a bikini body? Buy a bikini. Put it on. Voila.

But, we don’t live in a society that allows people to just put on a bathing suit and not think twice about it. Instead, we live in a time and space where we are inundated with messages of what the “right” type of body looks like. I felt and absorbed those messages growing up, and that was before the 24/7 barrage of media via the Internet. I remember going through my tween and teen years, always giving a second or third glance in the mirror. I never felt 100 percent comfortable in my skin. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: 3 Things Not To Say To A Woman Who’s Going Back To Work After Having A Kid

After almost two years at home with my son, I’m going back to work. As I’ve told people the news — family, friends, other moms, the checkout guy at the liquor store who sold me the celebratory champagne, the customer service rep from Citibank’s fraud department who called to check on my unusual activity – I’ve been taken aback by some of the responses. I assume the inappropriate reactions were simply people being dumbstruck by my good fortune, so I created a guide of what not to say when a woman tells you she’s going back to work.

Here they are, in a very particular order: Keep reading »

This Mother-Daughter Exercise Team Is Totally Adorable (And Strong)!

FIERCE.

Meet Cheryl and Tessa, a mother and daughter who pledged to spend 100 days getting fit together — and happened to lose a combined 74 pounds along the way. These ladies are amazing. When I first came across this video, I was skeptical. Sometimes “inspirational” videos about losing weight irk me because they encourage a very specific way of looking at body shape, when plenty of women are perfectly happy with whatever size they are right now. Keep reading »

27 Things I’m Glad My Mom Taught Me

27 Things I'm Glad My Mother Taught Me

For better or for worse, our first impressions of the world usually come through the people who raise us. Luckily for me, the women in my family were able to gently guide me through any situation, offering their priceless opinions and advice along the way. They conveyed much of their wisdom through words, but I learned even more through their actions. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some of the best bits of advice and life lessons I’ve learned from my amazing mom (and by proxy, my aunts and my grandmothers). Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Hip Mama Editor Ariel Gore Talks Parenthood, Abuse & Her New Memoir

ariel-gore-the-end-of-eve

Mother’s Day is when advertising distills motherhood down to home-cooked brunch, a bracelet, or a fragrant bouquet. But for far too many people, the relationship with their mom is a complicated one. Not all mothers have been nurturing and caring; not all daughters and sons have overcome the trauma of their childhoods as adults.  There can be a lot of love in a mother-child relationship, but also a deep well of pain. That’s why The End Of Eve: A Memoir, by Ariel Gore, is the perfect antidote to Mother’s Day.

Several years ago, Gore, who is the editor of Hip Mama magazine, was happily in a relationship with her partner and raising a college-aged daughter and a toddler son, when she got some news. Her narcissistic, emotionally abusive mother, Eve, announced she had cancer.

So, Gore and her family picked up their lives and moved to spend the last couple of years caring for Eve — who, in turn, made everyone’s lives difficult in every possible way, like reporting Gore and her partner to Child Protective Services for (nonexistent) child abuse. But Gore was dedicated to both caring for her sick mom and trying to keep her relationship with her girlfriend together.

As a memoirist, Ariel Gore is gifted: she is able to tell a heartbreaking story of illness and betrayal with the perfect mix of respect, humor and irreverence. I called Gore at home to talk about The End Of Eve, which I absolutely devoured. Our conversation is after the jump!

Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Let’s Talk About The Placenta

MD-placenta

It always amuses me when something concerning pregnancy, birth, or parenting pops up as a “trend.” Odds are, that “trend” has been in practice for ages, but most likely in non-urban, non-privileged, non-U.S. areas. Take, for example, the notion of using midwives to deliver babies over OB-GYNs. Only when it hit Brooklyn and the New York Times Style section covered it, did using a midwife become a trend. Nevermind the fact that midwives remain the only option for maternal health care in much of the developing world! They’re also the preferred choice in places like the UK: midwives perform 80 to 90 percent of all low-risk births in England.

Recently the “trend” of doing stuff with your placenta post-delivery seems to be resurfacing. I say resurfacing because I feel like I’m always hearing stuff about other people’s placentas and what they’re doing with them. From burying them under a tree in the front yard to dehydrating them them into capsules, eating them , or using them as art pieces. Recently, Nick Baines wrote a piece for UK Guardian in which he described in great detail the various ways he ingested his wife’s placenta after the birth of their son. Keep reading »

California Considers Bill To Put More Diaper Changing Stations In Men’s Restrooms

diaper-changing-050214
  • Sounds like a good idea to me. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Brunei, which is located in Southeast Asia, has instituted a penal code which would publicly flog women who have abortions, jail women who get pregnant out of wedlock, and stone to death lesbians and gays. [Feminist.org]
  • A member of the all-female band Warpaint has apologized after saying Beyonce’s new album had her “basically looking like a slut.” [Pitchfork]
  • On the meaning of Lupita Nyong’o's ”Most Beautiful Person” distinction. [The New Yorker] Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: An Interview With Dana Ben-Ari, The Filmmaker Behind “Breastmilk”

"Breastmilk"

Breastfeeding: it’s one of those heated topics of motherhood where everyone has an opinion and they’re not afraid to share it. For me, nursing was just something that was a part of having a baby. I was breastfed, I grew up among women who breastfed, and it was assumed that I would as well when the time came. After a bit of a rocky start, I got the hang of it and had a successful three-year run nursing my son.

Personally, I’m a proponent of breastfeeding, as there are numerous benefits to it for both baby and mother. But I’m also fully aware that we live in a society that is not set up to help support women who want to breastfeed. When debates surrounding breast milk versus formula arise, I’d rather attack the system rather than individuals. That’s why I appreciate the new documentary “Breastmilk” by filmmaker Dana Ben-Ari, which follows a handful of new mothers to learn more about their breastfeeding journey and the challenges they face. There’s no stigma or judgment about choices here. Instead, it’s a refreshing look at breastfeeding in today’s society and the challenges and joys that come along with it.

I had the pleasure of talking to Ben-Ari about the film to learn more. Our conversation, after the jump: Keep reading »

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