Magazines seem to love writing about women’s choices, particularly if they can inspire readers to conclude that we’re making the wrong ones. Just before the new year, a much-talked about New Republic cover story focused on women and men becoming parents at an older age. The piece was written by an author who is herself an older mother and was concerned about a steady increase in birth defects and autism in recent years, although it’s been difficult so far to prove a direct correlation. Meanwhile, one of Boston Magazine’s cover stories that same month was about a growing breed of women who believed that it’s okay to have an “occasional” drink while pregnant. Yes, that was the language — “occasional” 00 yet the subject was so provocative that it warranted top billing. Let’s not forget the May Time cover of the woman breastfeeding her three-year-old son (she didn’t appear to be drinking wine at the time). Soon after came the story in The Atlantic by Anne-Marie Slaughter that blared: “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” (The Atlantic has published at least three stories since 1995 about women facing diminishing marriage and pregnancy prospects if they wait; one of the most famous such pieces, “Marry Him,” from 2008, urged women to settle for “Mr. Good Enough” rather than waiting to have babies.)
It isn’t these stories themselves that are frustrating as much as the fact that they appear to blame women for waiting to have children – as if it’s impossible to fathom that they didn’t find decent or willing men to date at the right time. Some of the stories blame the feminist movement, as if having more freedom is simply so confounding to women that they just can’t figure out what to do with themselves. There’s a wide swath of people in this country who appear to resent the idea of women having leeway in making life choices, and hope we’ll get our comeuppance if we don’t marry the first person who holds a door for us. 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 »
“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]
I’m not sure if you all heard about it or not, but Kim Kardashian is pregnant. I’ll wait a moment for the shock to sink in.
We can now look forward to six more months of paparazzi falling all over themselves for the newest baby bump shots, interviews with Kim and Kanye’s potential nannies, photoshoots of their nurseries, and “in depth” articles that pontificate on everything from what Kris Jenner will go by (something tells me she doesn’t dig “Granny”) to whether Kanye will cut the cord, to dissecting which potential weight loss programs Kim will utilize/shill to get back into her “pre-baby bod.”
And I can tell you already, I’m over it. Keep reading »
Motherhood is one hot topic. From magazine covers that pushed people’s buttons to daily headlines on both news and gossip sites, moms were praised, targeted, and questioned.
While most headlines were pure click bait, some were actually attached to insightful, thought-provoking pieces. As we head into 2013, let’s take a look back at the good, the meh, and the ugly when it came to motherhood in mainstream headlines from 2012: Keep reading »
I am not a mother. This fact has kept me from expressing my heartbreak over the shootings in Sandy Hook. In the aftermath of this horrifying event, I’ve watched countless friends — mothers, all of them — post wrenching status updates on Facebook. I’ve read them, feeling oddly ashamed inside. These moms talked of compassion for those poor little children, of the need to step up to the plate as adults, of the fear they have for the future, of roiling anger toward the government, and of utter helplessness. They posted pictures of the beautiful young faces lost to this insane tragedy. They urged others to take a stand, and to hold their own children close.
The same thoughts streamed through my head. Tears welled in my eyes, too. I texted my siblings and begged them to hug and kiss their little ones for me.
But something was silencing the part of me that wanted to join these moms in their outrage. I felt it wasn’t my place. How could I know, after all, what kind of fear these parents were expressing? How could I possibly relate to their protective instincts? I am not a mother. Keep reading »
Mommie Dearest is The Frisky’s new biweekly column about being a mama.
I have a love/hate relationship with catalogs. There are some that I love to flip through and pretend that I have the money to burn. Who wouldn’t want her own cotton candy machine, night vision goggles, or handcrafted teak patio furniture? (I don’t even have a patio.) The holiday season provides me with an ample supply of these catalogs, depositing no less than three catalogs a day into my mailbox. However, they’re not all fantasy furnishings and expensive gadgets. The majority of the catalogs I receive actually cause me to roll my eyes, gnash my teeth and fill my already stuffed recycling bin to the brim: toy catalogs promoting tired traditional gender stereotypes. Keep reading »
I have known since I was a wee child that someday, there would be a woman in my life that I would hate more than any person on the planet. She will be the epitome of all things evil; a seething skin-bag of meddlesome, ignorant lady-pus, hardly worthy to walk among us and yet, walk among us she will. Unabashed, her goal in life will be to make me miserable. She will shame me and mock me and re-fold my towels in the most offensive possible way, all in the name of “helping.” She will make passive aggressive comments about my weight and my pot roast. She will kiss my husband on the mouth in front of me.
She will be my mother-in-law. Keep reading »
Originally appeared on Role/Reboot. Republished here with permission.
Last week, two young children, Leo and Lulu Krim, were allegedly stabbed to death by their nanny in their home in Manhattan. The children’s mother discovered the bodies as Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny, began to hack at her own throat. Although the nanny survived, she is hospitalized and unable to speak.
The reports to date are that the Krim family was kind to the nanny — there were no bad feelings on either side of the relationship. A friend of the Krim family recommended Ms. Ortega, and she’d been their employee for approximately two years.
Parents are searching for an explanation that makes the incident understandable believing that if they can understand why it occurred, they can take precautions to avoid a similar catastrophe. These deaths happened at the hands of a nanny, but children may be harmed in daycare, in school, at Boy Scouts or … the list is long. Too long. Keep reading »