Friday, July 08, 2011

Weekend Reading: The Smorgasbord Edition

Petunia's cuteness coupled with frustration inducement continues... she is feeling better, so tonight we all went for a walk after dinner. She insisted on bringing her Magna-doodle with her. And she used it. Every now and then, she would stop and scribble on it. Very cute, but that coupled with an intense interest in the rocks in one of the front yards we passed, made us get home long after Pumpkin and Hubby did.

Anyway, I have a veritable smorgasbord of links for you this week... as in there is no unifying theme whatsoever.

I came across this post in praise of "small art" via Cyd Harrell's twitter feed. She tweets a haiku pretty much every day- which is reason enough to follow her, in my opinion. She tweeted this link with a comment about the sentiments applying to her haikus. I wonder if it also applies to dilettantish blog posts?

Awhile back, One Tired Ema linked to the excellent Gravity Circus blog, written by an OB/Gyn, and I've been hooked ever since. It is a fascinating look at pregnancy and delivery from the doctor's side. She had a post this week about the importance of just getting things done as a doctor. I think her conclusion that 50% of success is just getting things done applies equally well to a lot of other jobs, too.

The MamaBee's twitter feed led me to a post about one of the unexpected benefits of being a working mom. It isn't a particularly deep post, but it does make a point that is worth remembering- there are some aspects of parenting that may actually be easier as a working parent.

My friend Jennywennycakes' twitter feed led me to a more depressing article about motherhood. The article made me so sad for the writer, mostly because none of the things that she feels she missed out on because of motherhood seem incompatible with motherhood to me. It reads more like an indictment of rigid class structures and/or poor advising that led the author to think that her only path after finishing secondary school was to get married and have kids. (But, having said that, I also readily admit that I gave something up when I chose to have kids- it is a trade off I was happy to make, but I do still miss some of the freedom and spontaneity of my pre-kids life, and that feeling- which I suspect is common amongst parents- doesn't get discussed openly all that often. So I can understand a bit of where she is coming from.)

And finally, a couple of more light-hearted things from Australia. First, blue milk has found some funny baby beanies on Etsy. I am generally not so "in your face" about breastfeeding in public, but perhaps that is because no one has ever given me a single bit of grief about it. Ah, the joys of living in Southern California, where women on the beach routinely expose more flesh than I do when I nurse my baby.

And my husband had been finding funny things on the internet again. This is an oldie but goodie (although I do find the fact that they had to give the entire history in the intro a bit depressing):


  1. Anonymous3:58 AM

    On that depressing article... Dude, she is only fricking 50. She can still go back to school and start a new career. I get plenty of returning students. Though perhaps freelance writing is her new career. But seriously, she should read Mindset and work to fix hers. I don't think it's healthy to make a career out of writing about being depressed. (Though that Steve Martin movie on the topic, the lonely guy, was kind of funny.) And therapy, she definitely needs therapy. Especially if she's going to be spending time as a caregiver for her husband. Also: sad that she doesn't find work as a teaching assistant fulfilling. Yet, she offers no suggestions for anything else she might have wanted to try. Also sad she doesn't talk to her husband about her feelings. It's like the angst many women had before Betty Friedan. Which this lady should read, since she what she is experiencing is not new, but has a name, "the problem that has no name."

    And yes re: the working mother article. Even if you're not a working parent you can teach your kids self-sufficiency. It's just easier if you don't have time to feel guilty about it. Even in gen X rather than gen Y, I thought my college classmates were pretty coddled, and I taught many of them basic life skills.

  2. Anonymous7:10 AM

    I think I have identified one of my pet peeves as martyrs choosing to be martyrs then complaining about their martyrdom and not trying to, for example, not be martyrs.

  3. @nicoleandmaggie, yes, I did want to reach through the ether and shake the author of that depressing article. But then maybe that is being a bit unfair- she is (presumably) just writing her feelings, honestly. I guess the deeper question is why did she just fall into a life that doesn't really seem to suit her? And why does she feel powerless to fix it now? Some of it may be a martyr complex, but there is probably also something larger going on, too. Perhaps you're right, and someone should send her a copy of the Betty Friedan book!

  4. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Regardless of why she ended up feeling powerless and martyred, it is never too late to get a boot to the rear to get some therapy and move forward. I hope someone gives her a boot to the rear and she moves forward. This is 2011, not 1957.

  5. Wow. Just finished the depressing article and you're right... it *is* depressing.

    One one hand, I do feel that she shares a taboo truth that other women do feel... I remember someone talking about motherhood--someone who doesn't yet have children--who mused, "You never hear anyone say they regret having children." People may never say it aloud, but as the writer of this article reveals, I think it happens more often than we think, and there are definitely people who shouldn't have had children. And no one should be misled by the "you'll never regret it" canard when in truth there are those who will reget it.

    On the other hand, I'm also with you, nicoleandmaggie. I'm tired of "martyrs choosing to be martyrs then complaining about their martyrdom." This feeds into another comment I think you made somewhere else on the perennial work vs home debate--about women who hated their jobs anyway, then quit their jobs to stay home with their kids under the pretense that they are "sacrificing" their career for the good of their children. Most of the mothers I know who quit their careers to be stay-at-home mothers were all women who either disliked, were indifferent to, or outright hated their jobs anyway. Don't pretend it was a sacrifice and that you're a martyr.

    The writer in question seems articulate and intelligent, despite her assertion that she was never good at school and not talented at anything. She clearly has big self-esteem issues, and I suspect they predated her marriage and children. I do hope she gathers the courage to go for what she wants in life. Truthfully, it's all too easy for many women to use their families as excuses for not pursuing the dreams and goals they have.

  6. @the bean-mom: a big YES to this: "Truthfully, it's all too easy for many women to use their families as excuses for not pursuing the dreams and goals they have."

    I have a post on that starting to form in my head.....

  7. On the depressing mom article. Remember this was in the daily mail, a rag at the best of times, and it may have been just attempting to spark a bit of a debate.

    What I took away from it is that it appears to be extremely frowned upon for a woman to have any misgivings about becoming a mother, whilst I've heard of many fathers who openly admit they regret having kids.

    And yes, I really hate martyrs, I have come across several people recently who think they are giving up a lot to help various people, then get upset when they dont get recognition for their sacrifices. Recognizing that as an adult, you may have to give yourself a 'gold star' instead of expecting it from elsewhere is very valuable.

  8. "I think her conclusion that 50% of success is just getting things done applies equally well to a lot of other jobs, too." I agree! Sounds like a corollary to "99% of life is showing up."

    Not sure I have it in me today to read the "depressing article" - maybe when the sun is out later I can muster up the willingness. ;)

  9. Finally read the depressing article, and seems like everyone here already said everything about it that needed saying. "Secret resentment" has got to be a terrible thing to live with - and even though she made her choices a generation ago (to the extent she had full "choice" within her SES), the old taboo against mothers ever admitting they sometimes hate mothering is a hard, awful thing that I think ultimately hurts all mothers.


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