Tag Archives: mothers

Mommie Dearest: Talking About Abortion At Book Club

book club

One of the awesome things about having a new book out [The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality] is that sometimes people actually want to talk to you about it! I’ve been having a blast the past couple of months traveling across the country doing bookstore readings and signings. Each place I visit, there’s always a handful of folks who come up and want to talk all things motherhood.

In New York City, many of the people in the audience wanted to touch on how the media portrays women — particularly those who are mothers — versus men. In Portland, Oregon, I heard from women who were increasingly frustrated by the work/home divide and the tired notion of “having it all.” Chicago found me chatting with young college students who had come to the book reading as part of a class field trip. We talked about their relationships with their own mothers and the concerns they had about becoming mothers themselves.

And then, there was book club. Last week, I was invited to join in for a local book club that had read my book for the month of February. I was pretty excited. I arrived at the host’s house, eager to hear what everyone thought of the book. After some snacking, drinking and a bunch of chit-chatting, they started to dig into the book. They had some questions for me, ranging from how I got the idea to create the book, to whether or not I used a pen name. (Let’s just say that if I had chosen a pen name, I probably would have gone with one that gets pronounced and written correctly at least 50 percent of the time …)

I also got to hear reactions to specific essays in the book, which is always nice. One that stuck out to the women in this group in particular was Liz Henry’s “The Macaroni and Cheese Dilemma.” Liz’s essay talks about choosing to have an abortion, and why that choice was the best for her family. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: A Pregnant Person Is A Person First

pregnant woman

Growing up, I thought the perfect host was a combination of Betty Crocker and Donna Reed: perfect clothes, perfect hair, perfect food, and perfect personality all coming together to ensure her guests are well taken care of.

However, Steve Martin, a Republican State Senator from Virginia, has a different take on the what it means to be a good host. He recently received a Valentine’s Day Card from the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition asking the state Senator to protect women’s reproductive health options — everything from raising healthy children to having access to safe, legal abortion. Martin took it upon himself to reply publicly via his Facebook page. His response originally included the following:

“…I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it to remain alive.” Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Avital Norman Nathman, Editor Of The Good Mother Myth

avital norman nathman

You know Avital Norman Nathman as the columnist behind Mommie Dearest, our feminist parenting column. But Avital is also the “mom” of her first book, The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood To Fit Reality.

The anthology explores the same ground she writes about here on The Frisky, like teen parents, postpartum depression, the changing face of the American family. Contributors included maternal health advocate/model Christy Turlington Burns, New York Times Motherlode blogger K.J. Dell’Antonia, Feministing co-founder Jessica Valenti, Manifesta co-author Jennifer Baumgardner, The Radical Housewife blogger Shannon Drury, and many others.

I’m not saying this just because Avital is one of our columnists — I genuinely loved The Good Mother Myth. It provoked me to think about feminism and motherhood in ways I hadn’t before and opened my eyes more to how gender identity, race and class alter the experience. I gave Avital a call over Skype to chat about her book, myths surrounding motherhood, and how to know when you’re ready to have kids. Our interview, after the jump: Keep reading »

10 Things That Happen When You Move Back In With Mom (In GIFs)

Insane Mom Advice
They mean well, but sometimes our mothers have the worst advice. Read More »
Mom Secrets (GIFs)
There are some things we'd rather die than tell our mothers... Read More »
8 Types Of Mothers
...and the issues they gave you! Read More »
10 Things That Happen When You Move Back In With Mom (In GIFs)

Let’s face it. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we planned.  Breakups, unemployment, and other sudden life changes can leave one stranded.  The feelings of uncertainty and helplessness are hard to combat when trying to get back on track.

And sometimes to get where you want to go, you need to move back home. My husband and I are temporarily shacking up with my mom and the experience has been … interesting to say the least. Here are 10 things that happen when you move back in with mom … in GIFs of course! Keep reading »

A Mother’s Amazing Letter To Her Gay Son Makes Us Feel All The Feelings

a mothers amazing letter to her gay son makes us feel all the feelsEarlier this week, teenager Zach Gibson came out as gay on Facebook. His mother found out about her son’s sexual orientation through the social networking site and penned the touching letter above, noting that she loved him very much, but he really needed to do something about those empty soda bottles (they attract ants!). Zach posted the letter and it immediately went viral, which blew Zach and his family away. “When I came out last week, I never expected this much support,” he wrote on the Facebook wall of the NoH8 campaign. “I knew my mom would be fine with it, but I never expected this letter and I never expected this many people to spread it around. This means so much.” [NoH8 Campaign]

Girl Talk: Breaking Up With My Mother

8 Types Of Mothers
...and the issues they gave you! Read More »
My Mother Is A Hoarder
An essay from a woman with a hoarder in the family. Read More »
Breaking Up With Mother

“Oooh this one looks discreet.”

My mom held up a hot pink vibrator. I was 16 years old and instead of going home to do homework or grab a snack like any normal teen, our mother-daughter outing consisted of going to the Love Boutique. I knew in my gut that none of this fell under the guise of “normal parenting.” She wanted me be the self-possessed, precocious young lady that she has spent years cultivating. Still very much a virgin, my eyes widened at the extensive array of sex toys that lined the dimmed store. Picking up a tiny silver bullet, my mom nodded her head in agreement. She was my constant companion and I never wanted to disappoint her, so I remained silent as she took the device that I was so nervously clutching onto.

While my friends were envious that I had been blessed with such a young and attractive mother, I loathed being in her presence. Yet, I was addicted to her in a way I couldn’t shake. The rest of the world thought I was the luckiest kid this side of Santa Monica Blvd. to have my mom as my best friend, while I viewed it as a nasty curse.

“You’re going to need some lube for that one,” her soft South African accent instructed. Keep reading »

Real Talk: Mothers Of Sons Respond To The George Zimmerman Verdict, Part 3

This Is Shameful
This Is What's Shameful
Amelia's response to the Trayvon Martin verdict. Read More »
Juror B37 Reacts
juror b37 on anderson cooper
Juror B37 thinks George Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place." Read More »
Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
trayvon martin

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. Part one of our conversation ran on Wednesdaypart two ran yesterday, and this piece is the conclusion.

The participants:

  • 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 »

Real Talk: Mothers Of Sons Respond To The George Zimmerman Verdict, Part 1

Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
This Is Shameful
This Is What's Shameful
Amelia's response to the Trayvon Martin verdict. Read More »
Frisky Parenting!
twins
All the posts The Frisky has ever done about parenting! Read More »
Real Talk: Mothers Of Sons Respond To The George Zimmerman Verdict, Part 1

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.

The participants:

  • 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 »

An Open Letter To The New Movie “Adore” (Which Is Eerily Similar To That Andy Samberg & Justin Timberlake Song “Mother Lover”)

8 Types Of Mothers
...and the issues they gave you! Read More »
Unwanted Dick pics to mom
Trevor and Sarah dick pic
Woman sends a guy's unsolicited dick pics to his mother. Read More »
Naomi And Liev
Can we join them on date night next time? Read More »
SS: Naomi Watts
Cop Naomi's chic airport look! Read More »
Adore- trailer

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 »

Mommie Dearest: On Having An Only Child

It Takes A Village
mom and kids
Stop the mommy message board hate. Read More »
Mommy Wars Ceasefire
I want a ceasefire on the mommy wars, because it helps no one. Read More »
Mom Vs. Dad
Which parent takes the lead when parenting? Read More »
Jessica Valenti Q&A
The author of "Why Have Kids" explores parenting and happiness. Read More »
only child

When I first read a review of Lauren Sandler’s new book, One and Only: The Freedom Of Having An Only Child And The Joy Of Being One , I was hopeful. As the mother of an only child (and with no plans at all to have any more children), I’ve had my fair share of judgement from others. I’ve been told I’m selfish, that I’ll live to regret this decision, that my child will grow up lonely, that he’ll end up resenting me and his father for not giving him any siblings, that he’ll feel burdened when it comes time to care for us in old age. The list goes on and on. I’ve heard variations on these remarks from family, people I know well, and complete strangers.

Trust me, this wasn’t a decision we came to lightly and it’s one that is constantly on my mind. In fact – shameless self promotional plug – my essay in my upcoming anthology about the myth of the “good mother” deals specifically with this topic and is titled “Yes. I Am That Selfish.” So to read about a book that thoughtfully takes on the notion of having one child — and debunks many of the myths commonly associated with it — felt a bit liberating. Keep reading »

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