Taking Action (The Posterior View)

September 20, 2006

I don’t know how to write this post without sounding like a total cheesemeister, but I’m going to make my best effort. Feel free to gag a little bit if I get too sappy. But don’t stop reading…

I spend lot of time just sitting around on my ass.

Sure, there’s a lot (a LOT) of time spent running around after WonderBaby. There’s also a fair amount of time spent pushing her around in a stroller or carting her about in a carrier or – more frequently, now – hovering a step or two behind her in the park while she toddles toward the slide that has the bad manners to beg that she climb it. And then, too, there’s the couple of hours each week that I spend standing behind a lectern or pacing back and forth in front of that lectern, and the time spent walking to and from the subway to get to that lectern. And the time spend going up and down the stairs in my house with a baby or basket of laundry in my arms.

So, okay, maybe I don’t actually spend all that much time on my ass. But I’d like to.

If I could have my way, I’d spend a lot more time on my ass. A lot more time with books and paper and pens and my laptop, of course. (Ideally, that time would come from the alleviation of laundry duty, and the addition of eight hours to the twenty-four clock.)

Reading and writing and reflecting. I could devote infinite amounts of time to it, and I would love every minute of that time. On my ass.

When you love anything that much, you worry that you might get lost in it. I love WonderBaby that much. I love my husband that much. I love these so much that sometimes the desire to just totally retreat, escape, into these things is visceral. I can feel that desire squeezing my heart, I can taste its sweet tang in my mouth.

(A cabin! The woods! Long days and nights curled up with Husband and baby and books and laptop!)

(In this dream, wireless access is everywhere!)

Escape, away from the real world of real activity. Away from mess and pain and politics and noise and stress and Bad Things.

But I can’t do that. We can’t do that. In part, because it is simply impossible: life follows you wherever you go. You can’t escape mess and stress and politics and pain simply by turning your back on them. You can’t escape them, period.

And, we can’t escape them because in escaping them we would lose our humanity. The challenges of life shape us, obviously. Any Hallmark Card or Learning-Annex-Deepak-Chopra-wannabe will tell you that. But what makes us really human is facing challenges together, and taking on challenges for each other. What really makes us human is acting as members of a community. Building community. Protecting community. Taking responsibility for community.

These past two weeks, as the ‘Call to Action’ posts have rolled in, I’ve seen so much humanity. I see it all the time, of course, out here in our corner of the blogosphere, where we write again and again and again our love for our families. But these posts, they showed me so much more. You’re all so much more than mothers, fathers, parents, friends. You are all so human, in the best possible sense.

(I know, I know… getting SAPPIER.)

(Did I mention my ass, and how I sit on it, yet?)

Here’s what we do, what we can do, how we can and do exercise our humanity, even from the comfort of the perch of our butts…

Changing the World, One Blog at a Time

(Please. Do go visit these. I tried to organize them all by issue, but it was just too difficult and this post just never would have gone up if I’d kept at it. So you need to wade through the list, but please take a stab at it. Every single one of these posts is an inspiration.)

(Yes. You MUST KEEP READING. To the very bottom of this post, and then back up through the links. Yes, it will make you dizzy. But you will be a better person for it.)

Her Bad Mother – A Place Called Hell

Her Bad Mother – Things You Can’t Tell Just By Looking At Her

Making Other Plans (Just Another Tool of the Patriarchy) – Action!

The Silent ‘I’ – A Great Man’s Passing

The Silent ‘I’ – Community Love

Izzy – Just What Your First-Grader Needs

CrazyMumma – Live Life Love

Momish – ‘Cause I Care

Lala -Livin’ Large in the First World

Jozet – Lactivists Anonymous

Breadcrumbs in the Butter – Passion

SlackerMommy – Friends of Kids With Cancer

Radioactive Girl – Forever and Always… and Even Some More

Radioactive Girl – Lonely No More: Forever and Always, con’t

My Silly Sausage – Getting Active

Sunshine Scribe – Breaking the Silence

Blog Antagonist – Mission Bad Mother

Metro Mama – Sleeping Children

Ruth Dynamite – Feminism: The Dynamite Perspective

Mama Tulip – ‘Cause Happy Babies Mean Happy Mommies

Something Blue – Utopia

24/7 – Just Say It

Troll Baby – The Motherless (new blog)

Troll Baby – Left With a Legacy

Chicken and Cheese – Save a Life

Petra’s Shadow – My Cause, My Life

The Mouse’s Nest – Protecting My Family

The Ravin’ Picture Maven – Passive Activists Rock!

Snickerdoodles – Baylie Belewe

Baylie’s Site

Mommy Off The Record – Food For Thought

Mamalooper – Social Activism, or What Gets Me Up in the Morning

Baby in the Cty – Quiet Revolution

Mama Drama – A Can of Chicken Soup

Kittenpie – Little Causes

Dirty Laundry – Call to Action

Rose DesRochers – Giving Sick Kids a Reason to Smile

Mad Hatter Mommy – It Is What It Is

Toyfoto – Look Both Ways But Cross the Street

Non-Linear Girl – For My Grandmother

One Plus Two – Not So Very Ordinary

MotherBumper – Dooooo it… come on now

Life, The Universe and Everything – Warning: Social Justice Post Follows

Homesick Home – How I Give All My Google Ad Revenue to My Grandmother

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual – Sometimes You Need a Kick in the Ass

The Lovely Mrs. Davis – Whoever tells the story defines the culture

nomotherearth – The Play’s the Thing

Writing in the Mountains – Don’t be Such a Brat

What Was I Thinking – Helping Unusual Children with Schooling

Frankly Pregnant – Lucia’s Angels

My Own Circle of Confusion – Banned Book Week

Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – Do A Body Good

If It Wasn’t This It Would be Something Else – Call to Action

The Ravin’ Picture Maven – Meet My Brother

Rose DesRochers – Safer Internet Day

RocRebelGranny – St. Judes

Write About Here – Lawn Bowling and Native Plants

Parenthacks – Spread the Word (Toys to Iraq)

The Mad Momma – The Gift of Life

Mother-Woman – Raise a Reader OR Not

Mamaritaville – Helping Others

Stupid Grin – Too Many Happy Meal Pets Laying Around? (Toys to Iraq)

MadHatterMommy – It’s a Matter of Choice, No?

Team Mimi – Run For It

If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know, and accept my apologies. And, if you’re late to the party and inspired to write a post of your own, don’t hesitate to send in a link – I’ll keep adding links in as I receive them.

*********
Another issue that we should all get behind: it seems that in some of the United States (some 28 of them), it is perfectly legal to question potential employees about their family status (married? with children?) This practice facilitates discrimination against against mothers and, especially, single mothers and sets us back, like, centuries. You may have read about it over at Amalah’s Daily Dose yesterday; you can read more about it HERE. MomsRising is currently organizing a petition to promote the passage of legislation that would make this illegal. Please, go sign this petition.
*********

Phew. Tired now. Am done doing my part to make the world a better place today. Off to bed…
*********
EDIT
… or not. A Bad Mother’s work is never done. Keep checking the links above, as broken links have been fixed and many new links have been added and are still being added. Keep sending, and I’ll keep adding the links, and eventually the list will end up on my sidebar.

And while you’re thinking about all these posts and how should you maybe write one, too, or write another one, check out my profile of another action post over at UrbanMommy.

Okay. NOW will go celebrate anniversary…

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    { 48 comments }

    mad_hatter September 20, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    Hey HBM,
    Sorry to say it but you missed me. I think I put my link in a comment on the wrong post. Sorry. Here it is again: http://madhattermommy.blogspot.com/2006/09/it-is-what-it-is.html
    Thanks for doing this and for continuing to build community.

    kittenpie September 20, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    Holy crap, we were so carefully trained in NY that these questions were off limits, I assumed it was nation-wide. Wow. Off to sign now…

    Her Bad Mother September 20, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    MadHatter!

    I actually did have you, but my first edit of the links in html kept screwing up and I must have not copied it over properly.

    So there are probably a whole bunch that I lost!

    SO sorry. Yours is up now!

    MetroDad September 20, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    Hey, Catherine! Have I told you lately how much I love you? Seriously! Aside from the fact that the only thing keeping me from spending my life in a Barnes & Noble is the love of my family, I really love this latest blog project of yours. I love seeing people being passionate about a cause in their life. If anything, I’ve always believed that the world NEEDS more passion. I don’t care what their cause is. Just have one! What you’re doing is wonderful and I stand here in adrmiration of what you’ve helped foster.

    T. September 20, 2006 at 11:22 pm

    Oh, Catherine, you have just tethered me to my Mac.

    My posterior is going to rue the day we met. However, my heart is gladdened. Now, I see some very interesting links which have caught my eye.

    So I’m off to do some linking….

    Thanks for encouraging all of us to share some passion.

    The world is a better place because of you .

    Rose September 21, 2006 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for visiting my blog and linking to me. I will try to get around to everyones blog this week. :)

    Mary-LUE September 21, 2006 at 1:03 am

    I have to say I’m a little disappointed there isn’t a posterior picture to go along with this post! ;)

    Kimmy September 21, 2006 at 1:05 am

    Wow! What a list! I can’t wait to read them!
    Oh! Troll Baby- The Motherless link didn’t work

    creative-Type Dad (Tony) September 21, 2006 at 1:23 am

    That’s some reading for the weekend…yawza!

    ewe are here September 21, 2006 at 3:54 am

    Well, seeing as I’m actually going to get to sit around with my feet up for a good chunk of today (post-yesterday’s amnio), it appears I have some interesting reading to do.

    Cheers!

    surfingmama September 21, 2006 at 6:32 am

    Hi there!

    We would like to invite you to showcase your blog articles to millions of internet-surfing mums through the Surfingmama Blog Carnival. Make a difference for mums all over the world. Surfingmama focuses only on stuff that matters. For mums. Submit to us practical, useful & informative articles that mums need to make informed choices. Topics include childcare, preschool, child-education, child-safety, pregnancy, child-health, special-needs, breastfeeding, mothers-health, childbirth, getting-pregnant, and even humor! Submit your article now to make it for the upcoming edition scheduled on 25 Sept 2006 at:

    http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_506.html

    lala September 21, 2006 at 7:02 am

    well done HBM! You are an inspiration to me because you didn’t sit on your keister.

    Mouse September 21, 2006 at 7:25 am

    Hi HBM-

    You’ve got my post linked from “The Ravin’ Picture Maven.” So I’m there, but not visibly and The Ravin’ Picture Maven isn’t getting the traffic intended for her.

    Karen Rani September 21, 2006 at 8:03 am

    Great job sweetie! It’s wonderful that you are putting these out there and I plan to visit every single one of these today.

    The motherless link is

    http://www.themotherless.com

    And I’m actually working on a 3rd, so I hope it’s okay I add it here:

    http://tinyurl.com/g2mql

    It’s about the gov’t housing project I walk through every morning to take Thomas to pre-school. It will be a photography exhibit to raise awareness about poverty and families. It might take a year, but I’m going to do it.

    Thanks again Catherine. You’re amazing.
    Karen
    xo

    Her Bad Mother September 21, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Aagh – this happens every time that I do a list – links get messed up.

    Will fix at first opp! Sorry!

    Jozet September 21, 2006 at 10:05 am

    You are a one-woman blogging movement. A force of nature. A national treasure. A Wonder Woman!

    Thank you for doing this!

    metro mama September 21, 2006 at 10:33 am

    Wow, it’s going to be a busy day of reading! Thanks for doing this.

    something blue September 21, 2006 at 10:45 am

    Thank you! I’m sure the words found here and within your links make some people’s days brighter. Just knowing that others care makes the world a better place.

    I can’t wait to visit everyone!

    jen September 21, 2006 at 10:53 am

    Not to be a baby, but yep, you missed me too. post called not so very ordinary on my blog.

    Her Bad Mother September 21, 2006 at 11:18 am

    Jen – so sorry! It’s fixed now!

    Mom101 September 21, 2006 at 11:34 am

    WOW! I mean…wow. I just kept scrolling down and down and down…

    I have my work cut out for me. Is it possible to call a moratorium on all other blog posts until I get through each of these links?

    Look how much you inspired people, HBM. You’re good people.

    crazymumma September 21, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    Wow. Thank you for pulling all of this together. What a bunch of incredible voices to read! I guess I will be up until 2 AM again, poring over it all…..

    Jenny September 21, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    I’ll be in front of my computer for a good hour now.

    I’m loving it.

    wendy boucher September 21, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you, HBM. I am enjoying working my way through these links. I didn’t participate because the issue I most want to address I don’t know of the organization who might work on it. Besides college. I want all of us, Americans especially because we can be so insular, to get up to speed on international news. I’m amazed at the number of people I meet who never read the newspaper or skip articles about foreign countries that aren’t on their wish list to visit. If world peace is ever going to become a reality, we ALL need to know about the world. Sorry, off my soapbox on your site. Sheesh, what a bad guest.

    CrankMama September 21, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    I have a dream… that one day mommies everywhere will be able to find time to sit on their asses, snuggle with their loved ones, AND make a difference. Not necessarily in that order.

    Thanks for making a difference, HBM.

    :)
    Rachael

    nomotherearth September 21, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    My chance to whine now! Don’t forget the email that I sent you with the link to my post:

    http://nomotherearth.blogspot.com/2006/09/plays-thing.html

    My little cause has got nothing on the tons of others you’ve listed. Thanks for doing this!

    Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    not exactly politically correct. But, nevertheless, a valid cause.
    http://peaceonus.blogspot.com/2006/07/in-quiet-way.html

    margalit September 22, 2006 at 3:19 am

    Hi Catherine,

    In the better late than never category, here is the link to my article, which I put up this evening:

    http://outtamymindwithworry.blogspot.com/2006/09/helping-unusual-children-with.html

    Thanks SO MUCH for doing this. I’ve already read a lot of the blogs you’ve showcased and hope there are many more to come!

    margalit September 22, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Crap, blogger truncated my link. Here it is again in two parts.

    http://outtamymindwithworry.blogspot.com/2006/09/
    helping-unusual-children-with.html

    wordgirl September 22, 2006 at 8:26 am

    I’d better go. I have a lot of reading to do.

    TB September 22, 2006 at 10:14 am

    The first part of your post reminds me of one of my favorite Cowboy Junkies songs… Anniversary Song.

    Laural Dawn September 22, 2006 at 11:17 am

    Loved this – loved all the posts. I didn’t write one because I thought I didn’t have something I was passionate enough about. And, then I read everyone’s and realized that I didn’t exactly have to be leading the crusade in order to have an issue.
    I’ve gotta say – there was a ton of inspiration in these posts. There were some things I wish I knew more about (and will research).
    Great assignment – and great reading.

    Mrs. Chicky September 22, 2006 at 11:21 am

    I see a lot of ass-sitting in my future. Reading all these links is going to take a lot of time away from that laundry that’s stacking up.

    Ruth Dynamite September 22, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Great links. Thank you!

    (Now go sit on the ass for awhile and relax!)

    kim September 22, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Im late as usual but here is my link

    http://www.ifitwasntthisitwouldbesomething
    else.blogspot.com

    thank you for doing all that you do …

    jen September 22, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    bad,
    thanks for linking me up. LOVE the post and the intent behind it.

    Jezer September 22, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    Whoa, man. I’m gonna need another coupla personal days to catch up! Way to coordinate such a purposeful project.

    Gwen September 23, 2006 at 9:26 am

    I’m posting my link super late, but it’s just so people actually remember to do something on Monday, September 25th. It’s easy! And for children! We all love children! Check it out!

    http://www.xanga.com/borneochica

    Thanks for doing this.

    Pretty amazing to read through all the links.

    Kris September 23, 2006 at 11:31 am

    Wow. So many great links! Will have to come back to read the rest!
    Thanks for the linkage.

    Glennia September 23, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    What wonderful, thought-provoking, inspiring pieces. Thank you so much for doing this, and for including me among this talented group.

    Granny September 23, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    I left you one someplace back in the comments but it’s no big deal. I’d just happened to post about Chili’s about the time I saw your posts.

    the mad momma September 27, 2006 at 5:05 am

    hey bad mother… i am late as ever.. the straggler in class.. hope you will add my link… the people in my country lack any awareness of this cause….

    http://themadmomma.blogspot.com/2006/09/call-to-action-gift-of-life.html

    thanks a lot as usual for prodding us lazy lumps into action

    Rose September 27, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    I have added another topic that I feel strong about.

    Please take a moment to sign this on-line petition which calls for the declaration of February 7th as “Safer Internet Day”. We hope the Canadian Parliament will make this declaration and dedicate that day’s government business to finding ways to make the internet safer for kids.

    the weirdgirl September 28, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Hon, you rock. This is a great idea. I’ve been angry at all my causes lately… but it’s great to see such passion.

    Kara September 30, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    Hi there!
    Kara (capebuffalo.blogspot.com) and Arwen (spicyelf.blogspot.com) are running a half marathon to raise $ for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. Read about our training and other adventures at our joint venture teammimi.blogspot.com.

    Thanks!!

    <a href="http://drugscenterhere.com">ShopMan</a> August 26, 2007 at 2:54 am

    I like articles like this. Thanks!

    <a href="http://m2.aol.com/y7uj">Anonymous</a> September 11, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for article! Very interesting.

    <a href="http://m1.aol.com/BartonCotton04/index.html">Anonymous</a> September 12, 2007 at 4:53 am

    Do you can write anything else about it? Great article!

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