Not sure if you've had the pleasure of watching this hugely popular youtube clip of a toddler getting accidentally kicked into the air by a Times Square breakdancer. I have to issue a parental advisory that, despite hundreds of gleeful viewer comments, this is NOT an OMG LOL situation for the new mom. It's more of a WTF-is-wrong-with-these-viewers situation. The overwhelming response has been nothing shy of a public stoning of the mother.
She gets the following support from her community:
stupid ass woman who couldnt control her child.
fucked up for the baby, well yea, if you got parents like those all you can do is LOL, so fuck off
stupid mom. what were you doing?
what a b-tch of a mother to ignore her kid like that
Fuck the kid, fuck the parent.
damn i hate irresponsible parents like that woman... someone else should got that kick
accident my fucking ass! keep an eye on your child god dammit! beter still go to parenting class! see that what you get!!!!hahahahahahahaha
When I saw this video my first reaction was: wow what an amazing example of how quickly this kind of thing can happen. It was about three seconds in real time...you turn around to find a toy for your other crying kid, the stroller gets knocked over by a passer-by and your wallet hits the floor... I'll leave it to your imagination to think of more reasons why this could have happened. It happens to me all the time. We can't cage our toddlers 24/7. Things happen. But what explains this intense vitriol for the mother???
The FDA has approved a birth control pill that will eliminate periods. There’s an excellent account of the pill and surrounding debate at Slate. The basic back–and-forth goes:
It’s not natural to stop periods!
It’s not natural for women to have so many periods!
If we were cranking out babies and breastfeeding starting at the “natural” age of about 15, we’d have way less periods. According to Reproductive professor Ian Fraser,
"Breast cancer in our society is 100-fold greater than in primitive societies and having lots of menstrual cycles probably plays a role in that."
This whole discussion echoes so many other debates about what’s "natural" for women. That word always makes me wary: while "natural" often connotes goodness, nature can also suck: morning sickness, the fact that a baby doesn’t easily fit through the pelvic bones, miserable periods, death! Sometimes when I hear someone say "your body knows what to do," I curse that knowledge!
I used to to think it was wrong to prevent menstruation. Partly, it’s because I have an association between being a woman and blood: stopping the periods felt like a denial of biology, even sexuality. After all, anorexics stop menstruating. Also, ovulating involves becoming, for lack of a better word, ripe-- which is part of the whole sexual arousal package. I'd miss that sexually charged mid-month feeling if it were hormonally erased.
But the idea that maybe it wasn't so great to have so many periods for so long is starting to make sense to me: The thought of raising a child with my high school boyfriend still makes me shudder, but my body was ready to start conceiving at 15. Had this pill been available earlier and had I been--in the promiscuous heyday of my immortal twenties--able to contemplate things such as cancer risk and a limited egg stash, maybe I would have taken a couple years off and saved a pretty penny on tampons, Advil and bleach.
New research suggests that women whose husbands have been sent to war while they're home having babies have a higher risk of experiencing postpartum depression. Women who have more exhaustion are more likely to be depressed. Women who have less support and more anxiety are more likely to be depressed. Is it just me, or is this another sort of obvious revelation? Maybe people are slowly (very slowly) realizing that hormones are not always the whole story....
A Kansas City toddler danced all over an intricate work of art made by Buddhist monks, completely destroying it. The monks: Not "despondent." Wow. I have been known to get a tad despondent when my toddler mashes a Lego tower I've labored over for ten minutes--let alone a stunning sand mosaic, two days in the making. Two-year-olds and monks seem to share an healthy ability to stay detached from the material world! I am taking note.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one who noticed that The Girlfriend's Guide suggests stirrup pants as a fashion solution for the pregnant. Stirrup pants. And not just now, as part of the semi-ironic 80s/90's fashion revival. But all the way through, since the actual 90s. Perhaps this information has been removed from the newly updated edition (just in time for the aforementioned revival). I hope my curiosity doesn't actually drive me to open the book since I always emerge from its pages feeling somewhat inadequate (in the personal grooming department, anyway)
Thanks to Jo at the Leery Polyp (someone get that girl an English pub immediately) as well as Mom Writes, mama(e) in translation, wet feet and stirrup queens (who may or may not wear stirrup pants, but if so, probably ironically) for making our day(s), in this and many other ways...
We did our first, and hopefully not last, TV segment: a piece for the CBS Early Show that will air Monday, May 28 at 8:08 AM (for those not sleeping in on Memorial Day morning).
The two of us have been blabbing about our book pretty much every day for years, but after all the coaching ("be thorough" "stay casual" "plan who speaks when" "speak conversationally") we were nearly stunned to silence. Luckily we had time to gain composure in the fancy town car on the way to the set. When we got there, they clipped mics under our clothes (note to future TV guests: pull cord around your back if you're wearing a dress so you don't have what looks like a long black tampon string dangling between your legs) and we were ushered onto the frigid, beige set where the indomitable anchor woman Hannah Storm took over: "We'll worry about the TV stuff. You just do your thing." And so we did for four and half surreal and glorious minutes! If you tune in you will learn that we believe that "babies are people, not problems" and that Ceridwen has finally had her roots done!
After three long years of intensive study, outreach, debate and pumping we are so thrilled to be able to say our book, From the Hips, is finally on the shelves! We're really happy with the way the book turned out, and we hope you like it, too. Also, if you ever filled out a survey at thenewmom.com check the book for your own words-- we used tons of real quotes from real parents to show the many ways pregnancy, birth and having a baby can go down.
Check back here for press info, we'll be coming to an ivory leather couch near you sometime very soon.
According to Consumer Genetics Inc., you can now do a home blood test to find out the sex of a six-week-old embryo. It's all through international internet mail order, and the $215 will not be covered by insurance. Here's a story about the goings on with the company. Here's the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists telling everyone it's a bad idea to obsess over gender (at least this early in the game). What I want to know is when will we be able to get a home amnio kit?!
I love Australia. Here's an Opinion piece-- tag line "So shut up about the method you used for giving birth"-- I hope it makes your day, it made mine.
... The problem with criticising other women's birth choices is that it might start there, but pretty soon you're casting aspersions on other mothers for their choice of pram, whether to bottle or breastfeed, their use of dummies and crying control methods or the fact that they named their child Brangelina. Before you know it you've wasted enormous chunks of your life judging women you don't know for choices they've made based on reasons you couldn't possibly know, when you could have been doing something useful like teaching your child to speak Sanskrit or achieving world peace...
I just read Waiting for Daisy, Peggy Orenstein's new book about her six year struggle to become pregnant. I loved reading it; it's beautifully written and brutally self-aware. Orenstein does not hold back about what an obsessive, one-track minded freak she became, losing site of pretty much everything, including her marriage, in her quest for a child. I did enjoy the crumbling marriage stuff a lot. I know how hard it is when a kid comes into the picture, even just the idea of a kid! But my favorite parts are about miscarriage. Here's Orenstein on the confusing state of being pro-choice and embryo-obsessed:
...I'd already calculated my due date on a Web site, ogled pictures of "my baby's" development and joined an expecting club on iVillage... All of this encourages a mother-to-be to see the fetus as a person, at least in the psychological sense, at an ever earlier stage. You tell friends. Names are bandied about. The baby feels real. Yet, if the pregnancy goes amiss, that personhood is abruptly revoked and you're supposed to act like nothing ever happened...Voicing my confusion, admitting that the bundle of cells I so adamantly called a zygote had felt to me more like some sort of life, seemed like playing into the hands of the enemy.... What I'd experienced had not been a full life, nor was it a full death, but it was a real loss."
I recommend the book to anyone, but especially to anyone who's gone through miscarriage(s).