Friday, February 18, 2005

Dads at the Cafe

I'm doing some work at Infusion, my neighborhood coffee shop. Some days I just can't stand writing at home, and I need the background buzz. There's a large group of moms with very young children in the back. When another mom comes in with a large stroller, everyone helpfully moves the chairs so she can join her friends in the back.

My friend Dave walks in, with his youngest son. Dave's not a stay-at-home Dad. He has an important job, as does his wife. His son is sick, and I was impressed that Dave had taken the day off. Statistically speaking, mothers are 70 percent more likely to take time off when the kids are sick (you can find these numbers on the New America Foundation's website). Go Dave!

Also, Dave brought his computer and was checking email via wi-fi while his son played at the table. I was writing about an event I went to last night, the first ever author's night sponsored by LiteraryMama.com. Author Faulkner Fox talked about judgment between mothers. I couldn't help but think about the casual judgments a mother would get if she sat at a cafe, with a computer, and a three-year old across from her at the table. Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps I'm remembering one mean thing someone said once and making a generalization. But I don't think I'm entirely wrong. I think women get judged more viciously when we publically combine work and kids. More later on Faulkner's energizing talk on mother judgment and why it's a political issue and we need to stop doing it.

Meanwhile, while I write the reading group guide for my book's website, and jot down my thoughts about last night, take a look at Faulkner Fox's website and her book, Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life.

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