Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Off to NY

Lots going on, but little time to blog....the story of everyone's life, and to avoid sounding like an addict trying to reform, I promise not to promise to blog more (but I do promise to write about my new fave self-help book, the one about how you can't make a difference if you can't find your keys, and how now most times I do put my keys in the same place all the time so my days are no longer punctuated by key-searches every time I need to drive my car.

I'm off to NY today, excited about doing an event at Barnard this evening with Cecelie Berry, author of Rise Up Singing: Black Women on Motherhood, Judith Warner, author of Perfect Madness, and NYTimes reporter Lisa Belkin. I've been on a listserv with Cecelie, and she wrote a blurb for the back of my book, so I'm very excited about meeting her, as well as the others. And Barnard is a place I've spoken before, and where close friends work. The first time I spoke there my daughter had just been born, about 7 years ago. My mother drove in to help watch her during my talk, and several people asked me if she were the nanny. Since I've never had a nanny, and can't afford one, I was tickled, also sad that for most of us family isn't around to help. At the time I was living in Atlanta, so it was a rare moment that I was near enough to my mom for her to help out this way. Info on the event at Barnard.

I'm also meeting Isabel Kalman, of Alpha Mom TV, for lunch. She's the woman who was featured in New York Magazine several months back, stereotyped as classic socialite affluent hyper mom mom making her kid crazy, etc, etc, we all know how the stereotype works. I do have in mind to write an article called "In Defense of Affluent Moms," since these days, it seems the media only pays attention to wealthy mothers, and when they do so, the general lack of understanding of motherhood just gets disguised as more palatable critique of their upper class trappings. I've been able to look behind the article's bad press, and had the chance to talk with Isabel by phone, and also check out her channnel, Alpha Mom, on Comcast's On Demand, and I really like the segments, which are very down to earth, and quite helpful (thanks to Liz Lange on third trimester dressing and what to do when all your clothes no longer fit, I now know to just get a long black camasole to layer underneath my shirts when my belly button starts to peek out.) More on this later, but I think it's a good media outlet, and perhaps the relative length of video, and the release from the conventions of magazine and newspaper publishing is something that can be more helpful to mothers and fathers who want help and info for caring for their kids.

More later, must toss some toiletries and a change of clothes into my bag and head for the train.


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chip said...

I'd love to see a panel on "Rewriting parenthood"!

Hope it goes well!

Miriam Peskowitz said...

Hi Chip!

I totallly agree. On the one hand, we need to be able to talk about motherhood explicitly, because so many mothers shoulder childcare, etc. On the other, when we don't talk about what fathers are doing, it seems to reiterate the old idea that only women parent, and it leaves out what dads are doing now, and the changes. In a way, dads parenting is become even less visible. This came up, when one speaker said that she used to talk about "mothers and fathers" but stopped, because among the people she knew, it was only mothers who were doing this work. And just last week I had a press call from a reporter who swore to me that stay at home dads don't exist "apart from the random bohemian artist." That's a direct quote. It was horrible, and she really wouldn't listen when I explained otherwise.