Saturday, December 23, 2006

Celebrity mothers and privacy

Supadiscomama blogged about celebrity mothers a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking about her views in terms of my own interests of public and private. Supa argues that celebrity mothers should come clean about their ability to instantaneously recover their figures after childbirth. Like Supa, I find myself a bit annoyed by women like Heidi Klum who are able to don lingerie and walk down the catwalk in front of thousands a mere few weeks after giving birth. I am fully aware that such women pay lots and lots of money to regain their figures quickly--and I can only imagine sacrifice lots of time with their newborn children to do so. While I applaud women like Patricia Heaton and Sarah Jessica Parker who have publicly explained how they were able to regain their figures, I don't think I have any right to know that. For me, it is a privacy issue--and part of the reason why I've tried to stop reading E news and watching E! I'm not claiming any sort of moral superiority here either. But I've complained about the tabloid nature of our culture enough that I feel like I need to stop contributing to it. So while I will still feel bitter about Heidi Klum's abs while I struggle to even find the time to do a single sit-up, I pledge to try to not care about her abs or any other celebrity's abs. After all, I darn sure don't want anyone looking in my bathroom and discovering what few "beauty secrets" I have.

Will they use it?

I am thrilled at the prospect of a male birth control pill, but I wonder if men will really use it. . .

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Public vs. Private

The more I blog (and admittedly, I haven't been blogging that much lately) the more C & I discuss the public nature of blogging, something he is increasingly uncomfortable with. We've discussed setting up a family blog, so that our families and friends (most of whom live far away) could get more regular updates and see pictures of S, who is changing every day. C is really uncomfortable with this idea. He dislikes the idea of anyone being able to see pictures of all of us, especially S. I'm not sure why it bothers him so much, but he is genuinely concerned about posting pictures of S on the web. For him, it blends the public and private too much, whereas I'm largely unconcerned. I do try to maintain anonymity, although several people do know my "true" identity--but these are all the people I consider to be close friends. So we will continue this debate. . .

Is anyone really surprised?

Considering the state of women's equality in the world, are we really surprised that the UN failed to elect a woman Secretary General?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Proposal Approved!

My proposal has officially been approved by all committee members! Now I just have to get everyone's signatures on the official form (a feat in itself), and I will officially be ABD. That is a load off of my mind.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Things about motherhood no one can prepare you for #3

As C, S, and I slowly establish a routine (notice I didn't say schedule!), these things aren't coming to me as quickly. My latest revelation is that no one can prepare you for how fast your child grows and changes. S is now almost 7 weeks old, and he is a completely different baby. He has gained 4-plus pounds, grown at least 3 inches, and changed so fast. He can hold his head up and is kicking his legs like crazy. He is also sleeping better, nursing more efficiently, and cooing all the time. While I'm so thrilled to get to know his emerging personality (he is both stubborn and demanding, as things must happen on his time table!), I do miss the little guy we brought home from the hospital. I am enjoying be able to put him down more often as I can get things done, but I am a little sad that he no longer feels the need to be held constantly. I'm learning that motherhood is about love, acceptance, and moving on. I don't have much time to dwell on how fast he is changing since I have to be on my toes to keep up with him.

Motherhood, Fatherhood

Mommy, Ph.D. and Supadiscomama have an interesting and insightful discussion of motherhood and fatherhood on their blogs, which I've commented on. I would like to add that I find it equally interesting and ironic that in a society where we tend to value motherhood over fatherhood (as Ms. Reads pointed out in her comment on Supadiscomama's post, people rarely ask a father how much time he is taking off after the birth of a child) we also emphasize the importance of the two-parent household. Stay at home mothers with husbands who work full-time jobs often feel like single mothers (I have a good friend who has this complaint. Her husband owns his own business and often works 70-plus hours a week.). They have a happy, healthy marriage, but she does everything at home, not by choice but by necessity. So their 2-parent household is effectively a 1-parent household much of the time. The people over at Focus on Family don't seem to address that issue. . .

As if new moms didn't have enough to worry about. . .

I found an article on mental health and new mothers that is interesting, but it certainly isn't reassuring.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Focus on Family

Sarah over at Mommy, Ph.D. has introduced me to the Focus on Family website, especially its discussion of working mothers. I'm so flabbergasted that I can't even speak, let alone write a coherent response. James Dobson (who has a Ph.D. in child psychology) writes "The issue, then, is not whether a woman should choose a career and be a mother, too. Of course she has that right, and it is nobody's business but hers and her husband's. I would simply plead that you not allow your family to get sucked into that black hole of exhaustion. However you choose to divide the responsibilities of working and family management, reserve some time and energy for yourselves -- and for each other. Your children deserve the best that you can give them, too."

I always want to throttle anyone who makes statments like this. He assumes it is a choice. We couldn't survive if only one of us worked, even if we weren't both working on advanced degrees. I know very, very few families that could. And his statement regarding fathers is antiquated and offensive. Most fathers I know, including C, work just as hard as I do to give their children the best while trying to fulfill their own needs.


The holidays are upon us, and as usual, I anticipate them with mixed emotions. I actually really enjoy the holidays. C & I have our own traditions that we like to follow, and we're both very excited to experience our first holiday season with S. That said, our families can make the holiday season much more stressful. We live across the country from our families, so every year (in July or August) the inevitable questions begin: are you coming "home" for Christmas? I've yet to figure out how to answer that question. I'm not being cryptic or sarcastic--for a change. It is simply that as a married adult who has not lived in the same city as her parents for over 8 years, I don't necessarily think of the city where I grew up as "home" anymore. I also have a hard time thinking of my parents' house as "home." I really like visiting our families, for the most part, but I have to be honest--I prefer my own space. I dont necessarily think of TX as home either, but it is where C, S, & I live together. It is our space, with our things and our habits. This year's travel is going to be doubly stressful. We haven't been "home" during Christmas for 2 years, we have S, and C's dad died in October (the day after S was born). I have so many mixed emotions about this trip that I feel compelled to write about it, and since this blog has become my journal of sorts, it seemed like the best place.

We've been married for over 6 years, and we've yet to figure out how to have a stress-free holiday with our families. One would think that since they live in the same city it would be easier. Nope, nope, nope. We are still expected to divide our time precisely, and we're constantly concerned about not hurting anyone's feelings. Our parents also conveniently forget that we both still have friends in town we'd like to see, but that becomes almost impossible with all the things planned for us. And that is what stresses me out the most. I HATE to have things planned for me; actually, I just really dislike being told I HAVE to do something. Like attending an extended family dinner with people I don't know, have nothing in common with, and who barely acknowledge my presence while I'm attending said dinner. Being with C's extended family stresses me out a great deal. I'm not who they expected C to marry, and I feel like many of them blame me for "taking" him out of the family circle. In their minds, I'm somewhat unconventional. My family, in all honesty, isn't much better. My parents take a very laid back approach, telling me "do what you need to do," which actually only works to add more stress. So it will be interesting, needless to say. I plan to use a very convenient excuse my good friend Sarah has suggested: I'm going to spend a lot of time breastfeeding S in my old bedroom to get away from all the excitement. . .