I make this announcement with a sense of sadness: Playground Revolution is readying for hibernation. That means I'll be slowing down for a good long rest, and waking in spring with a new spirit and purpose.
I am starting work on a new book, which means I need to carve out time to write, and I need to be focused on fewer things. When I chalk up the tasks of my life, this is what I see:
a baby at home
an active 8-year old
a weekly seminar to teach
writing, correspondence and email
a part-time administrative job at a nearby university
a small business--MotherTalk-- that recently launched
not to mention:
a yard that I love to till
a neighborhoodful of relationships
That's without counting my everyday share of the laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and cleanup, not to mention the energy it takes to stamp down the mild dramas of everyday life. Writing a book about the labor of being a parent does not, no surprise, make that labor go away, even if it does help demystify it all.
Add my twelve hours of babysitting each week,
plus another nine of baby naps,
add untold late-night hours,
mix with my desire to spend afternoons with the girls;
Something has to give. Internet grocery delivery, my newest time-saver delight, helps some, as do paper plates. Still, I find myself needing to limit the sheer number of different things I do. I need to clear some space so I can focus on new directions, and so I can be calmer and happier with what's in front of me right now. In the two years of this blog I've published a book, birthed a new baby, and have experienced all sorts of personal things that haven't even reached the pages of this dear blog. To the extent that I've been part of raising political issues about mothering, parenting, and gender, I'm proud, and I look around now and see all sorts of people carrying on good work. I'm in good company, which also means I can take a well-deserved break.
Playground Revolution will stay open, should anyone wish to read through, search the archives, or otherwise muck around in what I've written over the past few years. If you're new to these pages, welcome, and enjoy.
My book The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars remains available almost everywhere, should you need my insights in book form. If you want to reach me, miriam at mother-talk.com is a good way to get my attention.
If you sign in to blogarithm.com (look to the right....), you're sure to be alerted when I post again.
The good news: I will continue to post 2-3 times each week at Everyday Mom, so in reality, we'll not be apart for long. Please, please follow me over there. It can be a bit hard to leave comments, but I'd love it if you did, just to know I haven't lost you all. Just follow the directions and it all works out.
Why there and not here, you might ask? Simply, because Everyday Mom is sponsored by Hyland Homeopathy, and they send me a check once a month. In my calculus of time and income, that's an economic reality that matters. I resisted refashioning Playground Revolution into an advertisement-driven, income-earning site. I wanted us to enjoy ideas without who-knows-what peering over from the left-hand column. I'm glad I did, but as we all know, good blogging takes time. I can't continue to keep up both with different content on each blog, so help me out and come on over to Everyday Mom.
When the political spirit strikes, I will blog at MomsRising.
About MotherTalk: Andi, Stacy and I are very excited about MotherTalk and the networks we are building. We've been organizing blog tours and literary salons around the United States, and Canada too, for authors of all stripes. We really believe in MotherTalk. Some of my favorite evenings over the past three years have been MotherTalks in DC and in Philadelphia. We love spreading MotherTalks, whether in the blogosphere or in a living room near you.
To add your name to our list of MotherTalk bloggers, or to our list of salon hosts, people who are open their living rooms to 30 friends and strangers and an author traveling through, for ideas and conversations that would not otherwise happen, write to me at miriam at mother-talk.com. We keep a MotherTalk blog that announces current and future tours, tells which authors we are representing. It will let you know if there's a salon coming to your neighborhood, and show you how to get involved. Help us spread the word and build community through books and ideas.
Please stay with me at Everyday Mom. Most of all, as I gather acorns and prepare for the Playground's winter sleep, I want to thank all of you for the sheer pleasure of your company, and for the happy luck of finding you in this huge world of ours. Thank you for the comments you've left, the emails you've sent, and the incredibly good blogs so many of you write, blogs that inspire and educate us, and which let us into your world. Thank you.
I really believe in the playgrounds, virtual and material, where we meet, talk, scheme, plan and envision. This work and play will continue for years to come. I'm so glad to be hanging out with each of you, pushing the kids on the swings while we think big and talk about the good future of the world.
Oh, and the revolution part. I've never been much of a messianist, you see. I grew up with tales about various European political revolutions and the supposed glory of it all, but that's never been my model. Personally, all that drama, all those people out in the streets standing in front of bulldozers and tanks...heroic, yes, but the next day? The moms are still getting the kids up for school, packing the lunches, still making it all happen. Where's the real change in that?
One of my mentors, Jean O'Barr of Duke University, impressed me with her vision of social and gender change that happens almost silently, apart from public view, in the backroom and the living room, in the exchange of conversations and the intangible flow of ideas, in the crevices of our families' rhythms, in the give-and-take of workplace relationships. Sometimes we see change in broad rallies and marches in the streets, sometimes through the judges in our courts and our government's new laws. There's change that's reported by our journalists and theorized by our scholars and discussed by all of us with our friends.
Change comes big, and change comes small, and all of it matters. Change enters the quiet corners of our lives and consciousness, until different sorts of decisions are made. Like that. This is the kind of revolution I've always imagined, the kind where you don't realize it's happened till you wake up one day and realize things are different, and you wonder how it all happened so quickly.
Let me end. Take care of yourselves, we inhabit our bodies and minds for a long time. Love your kids and your favorite people. Believe in the lives you are living, the witness to a better way that you are creating. Know that the legacy of gender can be changed. We've seen it happen before, and we are, I believe, in the long winter of making gender change once more.
Above all: don't forget to raise a fuss when a fuss needs to be raised. Bon courage, and know that we've all got your back.