Earlier this week, Jessica asked the question that passes through the mind of many a woman: How do you know — really know — if you want to have kids? It’s a good question and an important one. Kids are a big decision. They’re not like those cute, fuzzy chicks people buy as gifts on Easter only to realize that they grow up to be chickens, so they just return them or get rid of them somehow. No. Kids are a bit more complicated than that.
But is there actually any way to know for sure? You would think as the mother of a 7-year-old, who has been-there, done-that, and has pondered the same questions Jessica brought up, I would have at least some answers. But unfortunately, I don’t.
Because, if there’s one, solid rule that I’ve figured out in my short time parenting, it’s that there’s no one right answer that will fit everyone across the board. What works for one woman/couple/family may not work for another. And that’s okay. Keep reading »
When I arrived at the basement of the Calvin Theater in Northampton, Massachusetts, I found folk musician Ani DiFranco in the midst of trying to get her six-month-old son Dante down for a nap. Minutes later I spotted the young baby — still very much awake — strapped into a carrier about to head out on a walk. This meshing of work and life happens daily for DiFranco, who is back on the road after having taken some time off to have her second child. Like his sister before him, Dante has joined DiFranco on tour, and the singer has been relearning how to split her time between motherhood and music.
While her son (hopefully) walked his way into a nap, DiFranco and I discussed everything from hitting the road as a mother of two, the notion of “having it all,” her ever-growing relationship with her fans and so much more. Keep reading »
I figured that after I had a baby my body would be like a soldier after war, with the proud, annoying battle scars that have a good story but don’t dress up well. A few things went differently than expected:
- I had a real baby, which is sort of impossible to imagine beforehand and sort of trumps everything else.
- I didn’t stop caring about the way I looked (this isn’t a story with a moral or something), but I was really busy caring a lot about other things.
- I looked surprisingly great.
No one ever talks about how you might feel sexy and beautiful after you have a baby. They talk a lot about how you might feel shitty and floppy and bad and you might have to work really hard to look good again and your belly might never ever be the same and the goal should be for everything to be the same as it was because that was so much better. It’s stressful, being pregnant and being yelled at by all of the headlines about pregnancy “YOU NEED TO START THINKING ABOUT HOW BAD YOU WILL LOOK AFTER YOU GIVE BIRTH!” Keep reading »
Parenting: you’re doing it wrong.
Bakersfield, California, mother Frances Hena asked a local news station whether she was supposed to “whoop” her 11-year-old daughter instead, which was clearly the only other alternative to making young Jamie stand in a busy intersection with a sign reading, “I was disrespecting my parents by twerking at a school dance.” Hena thinks that publicly embarrassing her daughter will teach the kid not to twerk. Had she watched Miley Cyrus’ twerk-performance at the VMAs, she would understand twerkers are plenty capable of embarrassing themselves, thank you. Keep reading »
When it comes to mothering and the so-called “Mommy Wars,” the one debate that will seemingly never die is the one centered around breastfeeding. I’ve written extensively about breastfeeding in the past, and in my day job I work on finding accessible ways to educate pregnant women about breastfeeding, in the hopes that they’ll at least be open to trying it out once their baby is born. I’m of the mind that “breast is best,” but I’m also painfully aware that we as a country and society do not make it easy in the slightest for women —particularly working women or those from lower socio-economic backgrounds— to breastfeed. I was a big fan of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week and I try and support women who want to breastfeeding but lack resources/information/help. I also try to support and provide information for pregnant women who aren’t sure about whether they will nurse or not. And, when possible, I help connect parents who want their babies to have breast milk with mothers who have an excess supply. I also will not shame, harass, or harangue a woman who chooses to or needs to formula feed their baby for whatever reason.
I will, however, call out someone who uses faulty logic as reasoning for not nursing her hypothetical future child. Karla A. Erickson’s “Explaining Why, Next Time, I Won’t Breastfeed” was a recent op/ed in the Iowa Press-Citizen that purports to use breastfeeding as the cause of uneven and unequal division of labor when it comes to parenting. Keep reading »
Plenty of women decide early on that having children is not for them, while others realize later on that their lifestyle will not allow for the time, money, and commitment that raising a child demands. A new study, however, shows that the decision to not have children may have a lot to do with something else — a woman’s IQ. Keep reading »
In the wake of George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict this past weekend, I wanted to gather a group of parents to discuss the jury decision as well as the larger impact of Trayvon Martin’s murder. I especially wanted to hear from fellow mothers of boys, in hopes of fostering dialogue about how we as mothers can move forward given what happened. I gathered an incredible group of women and over the next couple of days, I welcome you to read our conversation.
- Jamila Bey hosts the radio program, “The Sex Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila.” The show can be heard in NYC, DC, Miami and Chicago and online. Find her on Twitter.
- Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer living in Western Massachusetts. Find her on Twitter.
- Carolyn Edgar is a lawyer, writer and single mother of two who publishes the blog CarolynEdgar.com. Her work has been featured in a variety of outlets, including Huffington Post and CNN.com. Follow her on Twitter.
- Denene Millner is a New York Times-bestselling author of 21 books and the founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, a blog that measures the intersection parenting and race.
- Shay Stewart-Bouley is a non-profit administrator, freelance columnist who writes on issues relating to diversity for the Portland Phoenix, and blogger at BlackGirlInMaine.com where she muses on race, motherhood and middle age.
Read on, after the jump: Keep reading »
Dear the movie “Adore,” starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright,
Let me start by saying that I’m not here as another social media troll who just wants to make fun of your semi-absurd plot. That would just be too easy. I know that you didn’t just turn the satirical “Mother Lover” into a pouty, melodramatic screenplay. After all, I just Googled that your director is French and your writer is British, so they could have been clueless to its existence. However, because we are friends here, I feel it’s only fair to warn you that you’re going to eat a lot of shit for this. I mean, a lot.
You see, if you’ve been on planet Earth lately, you know that the “Saturday Night Live” music video starring Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake went viral a few years back. In it, they don bad ’80s garb and monstrous chin straps while cheering on each other on their crooning quest for mother loving. Keep reading »