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CityMama wrote a thoughtful piece the other week about the trouble some of us mamas face: working too hard, and not having enough fun, wanting to recapture some of the joy of youthful carefree days.

At my best, I can find verve and joy and life in pink shoes, laughing with girlfriends, being silly, and acting like the world is my personal oyster full of pearls.

Other times, I bend and reach and find only that I’ve come up short. Terribly short. I’ve been selfish, preoccupied, and completely less than all of the things I so long to be.

I have good vision, but poor execution. And I wonder if I bend more, reach farther, will I reach that point of joy and fulfillment beyond motherhood and work — those two lovely pillars that keep me standing?

I’m having much more fun over at Imperfect Parent contemplating fantasy vacations…. 


Softly into Wordlessness

As a very late adopter of Google Reader (the one that lets you have your favorite blogs stream), I’m continually stunned into silence by the beauty of the things I read. As my list of must-reads grows each week, the problem is compounded now.

I become at these moments, a dedicated word worshipper but also oddly wordless… my fingers frozen over the keyboard pausing to absorb what I’ve read, stories I want to share…

About loneliness

About teaching children to fly

About longing to hear good news about raising kids

About heartbreak

And I simply cannot write anything better. So I sit and read instead. And wait for my own words to come again…


Who’s Afraid of the Mommy Wars?

Had enough of the mommy wars? Despite the fact that many of us claim to be all done with the slings and arrows, there is no way around the fact that motherhood is incendiary. Newsweek’s article “Enough with the Mommy Wars” is case in point.Mojo Mom takes author Kathleen Deveny to task for neglecting the deeper issues and sticking to the shallow end of mom-theory typified by mommy lit lite. Expecting Executive demands an apology and encourages Newsweek to turn to better sources for the real story on motherhood, including BlogHer. Last week, Kelly wondered if we’ve become narcissist mommies.

But really, what is the big deal? Ms. Deveny commits heresy by claiming she’s bored to death of the mommy wars and the snobbiness on message boards ( the Internet makes mommy mean) as well as the tiresome taxonomy of motherhood represented by mom lit (rocker mamas, MILFs, momzillas, slummy mummies…). I say go ahead and be bored and oversimplify as much as you like. Write about how dull it all is in Times, Newsweek and the New York Times. You’re missing the point.

That the Mommy Wars exist primarily online and in print doesn’t mean they aren’t real. They provide a safer (and less confrontational) outlet for people to yell about childrearing. Just take a look over at the comments generated on Babble by the hospital formula ban and one easily sees what all the fuss is about.

These debates serve a real useful purpose. They help us parent better. They help us articulate and define our positions. They help us understand different approaches and viewpoints more effectively. And yes, they are also silly and catty and petty. But the Mommy Wars are also empowering and enlightening. And that is why I hope they continue for a long long time.

**cross-posted at Babble**


Family Math.

I’ve downshifted again. This time fundraising and writing (mostly from home) as my dots make ready for Kindergarten and preschool, respectively. Having given up working in offices (for the time-being) in favor of chumminess I’m often doing the math in my head during the day.

Mom home + kids = happier?

Intellectually stimulated enough + kids happy enough = me happier?

Ultimately it comes down to

Me + them + every day = Easier than me working in an office.

Ultimately, when my daughters treat me like wallpaper, regular gasoline on the highway pit-stop, then. Then I know I’ve arrived at that right combination of Mommy + self + their happiness. We’ve become an imperfect loud smelly soup of “us.”

We’ve become a family.


Sweet Adelina.

My daughters (all 800 of them) like to talk about “baginas” and as a child of the 70s this makes me at once proud, and a little embarrassed (especially, when “baginas” are yelled about during gymnastics).

We know what’s what in my house and we’re not afraid to call a spade a spade.

Once in awhile, however, I do long for a more lyrical and poetic discussion of the matters of the body (and of the heart?). And the question I sit with often is: What is that right line between words and heart? Between poetry and descriptive literalism?

When does “No not there, you silly” give way to nonverbal cues and shifting hips.

And this from a girl who clearly doesn’t often know the difference between calling out about the naked emperor and keeping her own counsel about his lack of clothing.


In other news, I’m in the Seattle P-I today sounding like an anti-breastfeeding meanie.


I’m blog sitting over at Pundit Mom today.


Adventures of Break-O-Man

In my family, there is one beloved relative who is known fondly as “Break O Man.” Break O Man has a heart of gold, but can be generously described as having a very difficult relationship with the physical universe. Things simply do not function in her grasp. Doors won’t open, cars won’t start, things fall apart.

I am known around my house as “Break O Man, Jr.” for the way in which I too cannot seem to track simple things like keys, cars, houses, directions. If it’s without a pulse, I’m in a relatively solid state of confusion over its workings.

B o M and our kind require “keepers.” Patient kind people who help us find things like grocery stores and gas stations and doctor’s offices. We credit the name B o M to this lovely New Yorker cartoon, without which we would have had to continue using the less loving name “the Breaker”

I dedicate this post to all of you Break O Mans out there (you know who you are)…



Fun with Boobies


We all know that breasts merit attention, and that many women (and men) are happy to attend to them with adoration, ogling, grabbing, and gentle administrations. But once the boobies become part of the breastfeeding equation, fun and playfulness depart for warmer climes.

We like to look at the boobies, but talking about what we do with them (or not) in regard to feeding children? That is political. And exactly why conversations like this one happening right now over at StrollerDerby need to happen.