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 »
Two generic versions of the emergency contraception Plan B “morning-after pill” will soon be available over-the-counter for women. The FDA issued a letter on Tuesday stating the purchase of the generic version of EC will not require proof of age but it will carry a label stating it is for use by young women age 17 and up. According to the Boston Globe, the generic versions — called My Way and Next Choice One Dose — will cost $20-$35 compared to $50 for the brand-name Plan B One-Step. This is another big step forward, after the FDA’s approval in June to sell Plan B One-Step for over-the-counter sale. Being sold on shelves means that a woman can purchase EC without being refused the medication by a pharmacist. If taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy. Well done, FDA! [Reproductive Health Technologies Project; Boston Globe] [Image of a pharmacist via Shutterstock]
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 »
It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was on my therapist’s couch. I described for her an incident over the weekend when I felt sad, deeply sad, for seemingly no reason at all. I had felt reclusive and shy and wanted to stay in my bed; when my husband encouraged me to go to a birthday party that night that I actually wanted to go to, I had started crying. I’m a sensitive person, sure, but even while I was crying I knew my tears didn’t make much sense.
I shared some other strange behavior changes lately. I’ve been more hungry than usual, more often and ravenously so. I get snappish when I can’t eat immediately (hangry, I believe, is the technical term). I’m usually pretty easygoing, but lately I’d been having random mood swings. I was beginning to feel embarrassed about my behavior.
“You’re emotional … your appetite has changed …,” she paused. “Have you considered that you might be pregnant?” Keep reading »