Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekend Reading: Things I Liked Edition

I'm in the eye of the storm at work... Pumpkin is doing much better with school. (No more tears! Kindergarten is fun!) We completed specification on one project (phew) and have finished preparations for the big vendor visit to install customizations they did for us (major phew).

But the vendors arrive on Monday and are here all week with a very busy schedule, and then the following week we release version 2.0 for another project. Oh, and next Tuesday is Petunia's birthday, Wednesday is our "back to school" night where we get to actually speak to her teacher in English, and next Sunday is her party.

All of which is my excuse for why the links I have for you this week are just a random mishmash of things I've liked recently. In no particular order (except maybe the order in which I found these things... and I wouldn't swear to that):

First, I really liked this review of Redshirts, even though I am completely non-religious. Warning, though- there is a GIANT spoiler in the first comment.

Second, how cool is it that Google has implemented an algorithm to calculate an actor's Bacon number?

Third, I love this post from Bad Mom Good Mom, which I just find wonderfully eclectic. It also makes me want to read Little Brother.

Fourth, Oil and Garlic had an awesome mini-rant about useless financial advice and the fundamental wrongness of expecting people to bargain hunt on health care in a crisis situation.

Fifth, Hush had a thought-provoking post about whether or not yelling at your kids is really the terrible thing it is sometimes made out to be. As I say over there, I remember getting yelled at from time to time as a child, and do not think it did me any harm whatsoever. Which is a good thing, because, uh, there's been some yelling here lately while all members of the family try to find their way back to equilibrium in the new routine.

Sixth, my friend Steve had a great post about being a Taker. If only there were more Takers like him out there. Really, go read his post.

Seventh, The Mama Bee has a post decrying the lack of working mother mentors out in the public sphere. I agree that there is a dearth of specific advice out there. But I wonder if part of that is because getting specific gets you backlash, and seems to open up your life and your advice to be scrutinized for evidence of imperfection. I have at various times been told that my career isn't "big" enough to make my advice useful, that my husband is too unusually involved to make my advice relevant, and that my life is so overscheduled that I must be miserable and be lying when I say I am happy. And that is just writing on a little personal blog. Imagine if I published my advice on a larger stage!

I'll also own up to finding things I liked in the Slaughter piece about not being able to have it all and in the piece The Mama Bee links to about not trying to be perfect. They're neither of them perfect, but then maybe that is part of the point. I guess I can live with imperfect writing about being a working mother, although I really like The Mama Bee's point about how these pieces are all coming from women who have already reached the top of their professions, which lends a certain oddness to their words.

I also can't help thinking as I read these pieces about how limited the various solutions on offer are, and how much better we could make things if we could really shake off the constraints imposed on our imaginations by centuries of patriarchal culture. Reading Mother Nature gave me some ideas about what we could do differently if we started from a more inclusive place. I really should get around to writing up my thoughts about that... but not until things calm down a little bit on either the work or home front!

Finally, my husband is on a quest to keep me up on the latest memes... and the best parodies of said memes.

Enjoy! Posting may be light to non-existent next week while I wait for the second half of the storm to blow through.


  1. I'm not really a print magazine person (anymore!) but my OB's office has Working Mother magazine, which I (mostly) like. I think there are still too many not-so-useful articles about cleaning/home organization type of things, but I like that they have a wide variety of mamas profiled in there - doctors, lawyers, high profile folks, part-time workers, etc.


  2. I liked the Mother Bee post, and I admit I was also sympathetic to some things about the Slaughter piece; maybe I appreciated the conversation more than anything, even though the initial piece didn't really say anything new.

    I think you're right that giving specifics about one's work-life/balance does open you up to criticism... but it's really the best way for us to learn from one another. Your specific situation might not apply to me, but it likely applies to someone else, and I can probably learn something regardless.

    I'm in a crunch at work, too. Good luck pulling through, and see you on the other side!

  3. mom2boy6:17 AM

    "Biology matters—not that it determines everything, but that it’s one of those areas of life that probably shouldn’t be ignored."


    "Women need to make these choices and plans consciously rather than simply hoping for the best and trying to do it all."


    "Men must help."


    "It takes two to make a thing go right."

    1. Thanks for the love @Cloud - I appreciated your comments.

    2. @mom2boy - "It takes two to make a thing go right." Now I have that 90s song in my head.;)


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