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 »
Millennials are getting married later and at a slower pace than previous generations—in part because of economic harships—and that’s leading to a lot of babies born out of wedlock. Roughly 47% of the millennial women who had babies in 2012 weren’t married, compared with 35% of mothers from Generation X when they were that age, according to a new Pew study on the generation. Read more interesting Millennial findings on Newser…
Recently, a mom and a dad and their baby went on a vacation. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? The family went to a ski resort in Colorado, where the brain surgeon dad had a conference, staying at a local hotel. And hotels, for those of you who have never been, have thin walls. During the night, the baby did what lots of babies do: cried. And the people staying next to the parents and the baby, understandably, weren’t happy. But instead of talking to the front desk about a room change, they slipped an incredibly nasty letter – anonymous, of course — under the family’s door, essentially telling them they were the worst people in the world and they completely ruined their vacation. Read the letter on The Stir…
How awesome would it be if we could hand a kid a doll that didn’t have absurdly unrealistic proportions like Barbie does?
You may remember last year’s 3D print of a Barbie created using the average measurements of a 19-year-old girl. It made waves on the internet because, spoiler alert, the original Barbie’s shape was nothing like the average-sized doll. Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm, the genius behind that project, got bombarded with questions about where parents could buy a doll like his creation. Lamm couldn’t point to any doll on the market with a realistic look, so he took things into his own hands. Keep reading »
All right parents, who thinks they need to take parenting classes? Wait, scratch that. Better question: who has free time to go take parenting classes? Four parenting classes to be exact? Parents in one part of the US might be forced to find the time … or their kids will fail the sixth grade! Read more on TheStir…
I can still remember some of the quieter moments of my pregnancy: laying on the couch, my fingers trailing over my ever-expanding belly, wondering about the baby inside and if everything would be okay. During our first ultrasound appointment around 20 weeks, the tech had been concerned about the size of the baby’s kidneys and some fluid that surrounded them. He pointed it out to me on the screen, and later on the printed pictures we were given to take home. To me, the blurry image looked no more like a baby than a Rorschach inkblot test, but I so desperately tried to see what the tech saw. In the weeks that followed my anxiety shot through the roof. Was this a random anomaly? Was it something I did? Was it something I could have prevented? Keep reading »
On my way into work this morning, I had the displeasure of walking behind two women who, in each of their hands not clutching their coffee, held leashes that were harnessed to their respective children. Not dogs — children. The woman on the left had three kids, all on individual leashes, and the woman on the right had one child. All of the children appeared to around age five or younger. I am not a parent, and so I generally shy away from expressing my opinions about other peoples’ parenting choices, but if there is one thing that makes my blood boil, it’s parents who treat their children like they’re animals. And in my opinion, strapping a harness around a child’s belly and keeping them on a leash, even if it’s a leash meant for a human, is coming pretty damn close. Keep reading »
An Annapolis woman was robbed while in labor — how’s that for a baby story? According to the AP the woman and her boyfriend were making her way to the hospital when they got held up by three men. Get this — the woman’s boyfriend fled. She is in labor, they’re getting robbed and he runs away. Let that sink in for a minute.
The robbers tried to make her let him into the apartment, but she didn’t have a key. Instead, they stole her car. Thankfully, police busted them shortly thereafter. (Had they instead noticed she was in labor and taken her in a car to the hospital, we would have the plot of a rom-com on our hands.) No word on how this poor woman is doing, but she deserves all the gold stars. And all the epidurals. It turns out that giving birth on the New York City sidewalk and a nearby local news crew catching it on tape is not the #1 Crap Terrible Horrible Way To Give Birth. [AP] [Image of pregnant belly via Shutterstock]
Everyone knows that having a newborn baby is a hellish, sleep-deprived ordeal that is quickly forgotten when your baby grows into a “TV newborn” who smiles and laughs and melts your heart every time he does something, also known in the real world as a 3-month-old. Many kind people attempt to offer words of consolation to the sufferers during those first difficult months but get viciously snapped at for their efforts. Part of this is because new parents are irritable folks with half their brain functions temporarily disabled, and part of it is that these words of consolation are bad. Here I will explain how some common attempts to be helpful are in no way helpful. Read more on Cracked…
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 »