Yellow Blog, Up High in Banana Tree

I love the beautiful world at night.

Friday, February 18, 2005

More stupid crap for moms to fret about.

This article pisses me off. Thought I'd share:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6959880/site/newsweek/

Moms are too attentive to their kids these days? Too concerned about their kids' education? Not dressing sexy enough (or screwing their husbands enough)? Too perfectionistic? Too worried about what experts ("Newsweek" -- hmmmm, are they parenting experts?) have to say about their parenting? Are we spoiling our kids? Is it an EPIDEMIC?

Freak out, mommies! (And buy the latest book.)

I love what the hilariously funny lady with the bad, bad uterus at "Chez Miscarriage" has to say about the Newsweek article:

http://chezmiscarriage.blogs.com/chezmiscarriage/2005/02/the_mothers_the.html

She puts this lame crap in historical perspective, and describes how mother-blaming-and/or-instructing has been yo-yo-ing back and forth for years: Go to work. Stay at home. Go to work. Be attentive. You're smothering him! But be attentive. You're spoiling your kid, but if you ignore him too much, you'll make him anti-social or autistic or something....

*sigh* Here's my free advice to mommies, including myself: Mommies, follow your hearts. Relax. Find lots of friends. Ask for help when you need it. Do what works for your family. There's no recipe for perfect kids, and anyone who tells you different is selling you something. Your kids will probably be just fine, honest. And their temperments probably have a lot less to do with your machinations than you think. Or with whether you co-sleep, or breastfeed, or whatever.

I think the pressure to be perfect is largely self-generated. What things on my mommy-to-do list are worth fussing over? What things can be totally dropped? Maybe Warner and I are agreeing about a lot of things, in fact, but I just don't enjoy her tone. I think moms might need to take the first steps with the people close to them in order to get what they need. They need to let their husbands, wives, pre-school mom friends, etc. know what's going on with them and what they need. Example:

I recently came out to some of the other mommies at my co-op preschool as...well...poor. It felt good to admit it, and to talk about how our family won't be able, probably, to afford the best private schools, or lots of expensive Gymboree-type classes, or a house -- not yet, anyway. (Our family is the only co-op family that lives in an apartment, I'm pretty sure.)

The other parents were a little awkward at first (discussing class issues always makes people twitchy), but later one of the moms told me about our co-op preschool's scholarship program, which I didn't know existed. She said that she thought our family was a major asset to the school, and that we were totally welcome there, not in spite of our being different, but precisely because we're different. I was really touched by her offer and her compliments! But my point is, I had to reach out first and expose myself a bit emotionally to get that help and support.

Eventually, can we get what we want from the government? Maybe (though I wouldn't count on it with W gutting social programs to feed his wars), but in the meantime, I think we mommies have to put energy into reaching out to each other and forming communities.

Back to that article: it's nobody's business how sexy I wanna dress, dammit! I dressed frumpy before I completely lost my identity and sanity and became a mom!

And doesn't this "slacker mom" have immaculate pillows? I don't have freakin' pillows like that:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6960732/site/newsweek/

Maybe the only reason I'm NOT insane is because there's two mommies in my house? Instant community right here? I don't know. But I know these "Newsweek" articles are annoying to me.
That delightful Chez Miscarriage gal wrote a wonderful IM conversation between the New York Times and Newsweek regarding mothers. I lovelovelove it:

NYT: those women are so boring

Newsweek: who?

NYT: the ones who stay home with their kids
NYT: they're so self-absorbed
NYT: unless they went to princeton
NYT: if they went to princeton and they stay home, they're cutting edge

Newsweek: no, that's wrong
Newsweek: they're overinvolved with their kids
Newsweek: they neglect their personal hygiene to take the kids to soccer practice
Newsweek: it's called "overparenting"
Newsweek: you should smell their sweatpants

NYT: no, they're self-absorbed
NYT: they get too many pedicures
NYT: they get that glitter painted on their toes, it's really expensive

Newsweek: no, they're over-absorbed in the kids

NYT: no, you have it backwards

Newsweek: whatever, it's not worth arguing about
Newsweek: either way, we agree that we hate them

NYT: that's true
NYT: let's just focus on our common ground

4 Comments:

  • At 1:57 PM, Blogger Vilda Chaya said…

    And if there is an "epidemic" going on here, the solutions in the article seem to be aimed at political changes, which have their place, and I am not saying they can't help, but is that all we can do?

    I mean, suppose we get this part time gov't funded daycare? Now what? Does that help the woman who doesn't WANT to leave her kids? What about the mom who needs emotional support?

    See, I think the changes that need to happen have to do with a society of little pockets of isolated nuclear families. And gov't funded part time daycare isn't going to do a damn thing about that.

     
  • At 6:05 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    Maybe that Newsweek article made me defensive because I wear the same pants for three, four.... even five? days a week. D'oh!

     
  • At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can vouch that she dressed frumpy before being a mommy...

     
  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    Hey, you! Yeah, YOU -- Mr. Anonymous in the peanut gallery!
    I can say I'm frumpy, but you better SMILE when you say that, cowboy.

    (That you, Jim? Are you the same anonymous that has dust mites? *hee*)

     

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