Monday, July 31, 2006

Is Motherhood Boring?

Here's the latest that's circling around the mom-blog-and-listserv-world, a British article about how boring it is to be a mom. In a way, I don't even want to be continuing this discussion. In part, it's really important to challenge all the "I love being a mom and every minute is wonderful" celebrity dish that's being passed around--by mothers who have nannies and night nurses to help them through the day. But the tone, oh why does every article about motherhood these days have the same awful, petulant, "it's-all-those-other-moms-against-me,the-only-one-who-sees-the-world-as-it-really-is" tone. Oh, that's right, its the mommy wars theme, once again.

The thing that also bugs me about every new article about motherhood--unlike other sorts of politics, no one feels like they should pay attention to what other mothers, writers and journalists have already said. It's all about reinventing the wheel, getting a contract, finding an edge against others. We've already seen the motherhood-can-be-boring-and-annoying theme before. It's from the book Mother Shock, which says the same thing without the venom. In every other field of writing, the theme has to be new, but when it comes to writing about motherhood, newspaper and magazine editors lower their standards and keep contracting the same old, same old. Too bad for us.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Also blogging at....

The Hylands site is being moved, and that's where I do everyday blogging, so add to your list! That's where you'll learn things like that baby Amelia's been to the hospital this summer, and all sorts of day-to-day details of life, and comments about motherhood.

We've udpated the site so it's much prettier, and as important, we've stopped all the icky spam that was squirming its way into the old forum. I'll be building the blog roll there, too, so leave me a note here or there if you'd like your blog to be added. I'll also be pulling together a resource list, so if you have a fave online service or product or place, tell me about it and it'll find a home.

Keep me company. Come on by. Have a great day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cross-blogging at Mom's Rising

The big news: I will be blogging and crossposting at MomsRising. I'm thrilled and feeling energized by it. I'm looking forward to working with the MomsRising team, with Kristin and Joan, and behind the scenes, with my editor from Truth Behind the Mommy Wars, the incomparable Leslie Miller who is now, among the many paths in her life, coordinating the Mom's Rising blog. Everything I write there will be cross-posted here, so check here, check there, either way will work.

Family-and-work rights

Andy, the spiritual leader and coach of Wild Things Girls Softball, teaches the mothers some throwing, catching and batting skills so we can play against our daughters in the annual Mother's Day mother-daughter softball game, the game that comes right before he gathers everyone under the shady maple and reminds us that mother's day is political. Because softball, all sports, our psyches and the history of gender can combine in such torturous ways, he shows us how to throw and catch, and then unleashes the most important tip of all:

We must never say we are sorry. When the ball drops because the other person can't catch--when we are most ready to say "I'm sorry" as the other person gives chase--we must stop ourselves. Break the habit. Convey our apologies for things we really do wrong, or when empathy is needed badly. But apologizing because someone else drops a softball: no way.

Thus, I will not break this round of blogging silence with yet another apology, but with a let's-hit-the-ground-running here's-what's-going-on update. Accompanied perhaps by a promise to stop by and post more often.

The baby has passed the six-month mark. She's wonderful. Enough said: she's quickly passing into the family privacy zone. You know how I feel, like her sister and dad, she didn't choose to have a writer for a mom, or her life splayed out for all to see. And me: I am starting a new book, details many, many months from now when I'm ready. It won't be on motherhood or family life, but don't worry, I'm still here at the Playground, giving the world a sane voice on the Mommy wars and some ideas for how we're going to make the world a better place for women, mothers and families, without sacrificing one or the other.

A current story I'm following: the new district attorney of Nassau County, NY. A woman, Kathleen Rice, runs and wins on a pro-choice, feminist, anti-corruption platform. Less than a year into the job, she announces the end of all part-time work for lawyers in the DA's office. I see this as a classic conflict between the new feminism and the old. Reproductive rights aren't extended into family-and-work rights, the right to have a job and some kids and some flexibility to make it all work out. We gotta be seeing how feminism includes both these things. Gotta be seeing that. I grew up in Nassau County, so I'm feeling particularly grumpy about this one. As is my mother.