Mother Talk

I’m not going to address the latest dad blogging controversy (You guys! You have a controversy! You’ve arrived! AGAIN!), mostly because it’s a debate over trolling, and I am just so, so tired of talking about how mean we can all be to each other online. I’m tired of even thinking about how mean we can be to each other here, because, seriously, there’s enough horrible crap in the world to be depressed by that the question of WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG in an inclusive, communicative space like the Internet just seems stupid. Really, really stupid. Also: dumb. We should just all be getting along. We should just all be endeavoring to be gracious toward one another. We should all be trying to be nice. Which, yes, is very probably a girly thing to say, but whatever. GENDER STEREOTYPING ALERT.

There is, of course, that whole other controversy, about the gender stereotyping, which I am also not going to dig into here, because my inner academic, the one who spent the better part of a decade studying the place of women in public life, just gets really agitated if she thinks about the arc of that particular conversation, and I don’t like to agitate her, if I can avoid it. Bad things happen when she gets agitated. She kind of turns into this great, raging storm of discursive aggression. PHILOSOPHER-SMASH.

Anyway. In lieu of digging into those things, I am going to revisit/tweak/repurpose something that I wrote a little while back, for Babble, when we were building our dad section, and talking a lot about the whys and wherefores of dad blogging. Dad blogging matters, I kept saying. In different ways than mom blogging matters, but still. It matters. I still think this, but sometimes, when I get frustrated with the discourse on dad blogging, I have to stop and reflect on why it matters. Which is what I’m doing here.

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The Camaraderie Of Motherhood

September 27, 2011

It’s only a snippet of what was an hour long conversation – you can watch that whole hour, if you want (and if you want to spend four bucks and change, which is less than a single movie ticket to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, PLUS you get an extra two hours of not [...]

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I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar

September 18, 2011

(The post below repurposes, with some revisions, a post that I wrote late last year after TEDWomen. I’ve been revisiting it this weekend as I prepare notes for a panel that I’m moderating tomorrow at the WIE Symposium, on mothers and social change. The discussion tomorrow will be, to some extent, a consideration of the [...]

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A Certificate Of Presence: On Why I’m Obsessed With Taking Photographs, And Happier For It

July 29, 2011

There’s a post at Babble this week by a mom who regrets having been too obsessed with photographing every moment of her family’s life. She forced herself to put the camera down, and, she says, is happier for it. “While I still desperately want my boys to be able to look through photo albums of [...]

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A History Of Looking; Or, Why I Post Pictures Of My Children On The Internet

June 3, 2011

A couple of years ago, I received a very sweet e-mail from a self-professed ‘dedicated lurker’ who asked the following question: I wonder if you are ever concerned that your daughter’s (beautiful) image will remain in cyberspace, with no mechanism for you — or her — to reclaim it or her privacy? She meant no [...]

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The Lonely Cry Of The Selfless Mom

March 25, 2011

The other week, my mom wrote about something that I’d been unable to write about: my sister’s struggle to cope as the single mom of a dying and disabled child, and the dark, difficult space of that struggle, and the breakdown that came when that space became too difficult to occupy. I’d been unable to [...]

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In Defense Of The Selfish Parent

March 22, 2011

“Parenting is the most selfless institution in the world.” The words jumped out at me from the screen. Most selfless? In the world? I sipped my coffee and considered the ethical calculation that would rank me as more selfless than, say, Mother Teresa. Maybe, I thought. I can see that. Mother Teresa, after all, never [...]

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Fill Your Paper With The Breathings Of Your Heart

March 18, 2011

I wasn’t going to comment on the little controversy over that mom who wrote that Babble post that put forward that horribly awkward assertion that she loved her son more than her daughter, to the extent that she thought that ‘it wouldn’t be so bad’ if she lost daughter, so long as she didn’t lose [...]

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Why We Do What We Do

February 17, 2011

This week has been one of those weeks during which I find myself fully convinced, every hour upon the hour, that I am not cut out for this motherhood thing. Sure, I hear you say, but isn’t that every week for you? To which I respond, why yes, Clever And Careful Reader! That is indeed [...]

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Bad Mother Is As Bad Mother Does

February 4, 2011

Usually, when I say that I’m a bad mother, I have my tongue jammed pretty firmly into the fleshy innards of my cheek. Even when I insist that I am not making a tongue-in-cheek statement – when I state that we’re all bad mothers, according to someone (because someone, somewhere, always thinks that we are, [...]

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