The media loves a good “mom story.” Flip through the TV or hop on a news website and there will invariably be some sort of story with a mom at the center. Whether it’s celeb-based or breaking news, moms make good media. Why? Because everyone can connect to them — whether they are one or not — and because the shaming/belittling/exploitation of women always sells, unfortunately. While occasionally there are some gems among the sludge, many mom-centric stories are all about outrage and impact, regardless of whether it’s beneficial or not.
Just days into 2015, I thought it would be helpful to offer suggestions of what I’d love to see covered when it comes to moms this year… Keep reading »
Like many American families who celebrate Christmas, mine does it in a pretty secular way. The more observant among us attend services to mark the holiday, but the magnet that pulls our scattered members across the country to one point in the Midwest is, I think, the same as what brings you and yours together on your special occasions. Togetherness. Kinship. Love — however mixed up with less-exalted emotions — of family.
This gets a little complicated when, like me, you’ve publicly stated you may never speak to your mother again. Keep reading »
Kim Kardashian recently posed naked for Paper magazine, and despite the prediction, she did not actually break the internet. Instead, she got a whole lot of people talking. While many people are naturally talking about her shiny posterior, others are rightfully discussing the racial implications of the photoshoot. Along with the thoughtful critique, there’s also a hefty dose of personal opinion, like “Glee” actress Naya Rivera who left a snarky comment on Kardashian’s Instagram, reminding the reality star that she is — gasp! — someone’s mother! And Rivera isn’t the only one. Tons of internet commenters brought up the fact that Kardashian is a mother, as if mothers all of a sudden stop being sexy or sexual after they have sex that one time to reproduce. I have no clue what Rivera’s plans are for her own uterus, but I wonder if she’ll stop participating in scantily clad photo shoots once she gives birth? Keep reading »
I’ve been writing Dater X for almost a year now, and can honestly say that putting everything out there about my love life hasn’t been easy. Writing this column is therapeutic in a way, because it allows me to reflect on my relationships, both good and bad, and figure out how to move forward with more insight, intuition and confidence. But with that somewhat comforting self-analysis also comes a lot of pressure. I write my story because I want to, but I’m also making myself vulnerable by writing about real people, real feelings and real struggles. Some weeks I blog freely, not giving a fuck what kind of criticism will come my way, and other weeks, I worry about being judged, disrespected, and oftentimes, having my identity uncovered. I’m never certain how I’ll feel at the end of the day, especially on days when I write Dater X, but I know why I do it. I do it because I don’t want to end up like my mom. I’ll share her story with you to give you more insight into why I do what I do—from writing this blog to dating tirelessly and relentlessly for the last several years. It’s hardly a sob story, but it’s one that’s shaped me into who I am. Keep reading »
Many little kids, at one point or another, have wanted to be a Disney Princess. We grew up watching Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan and others teach us that it’s okay to be brave, strong-willed, vulnerable and fiercely independent, and as the times have changed, the brand’s Princesses have adapted to become more culturally diverse. But there is one kind of Disney Princess we’ve never seen: one with special needs. Keep reading »
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 »