Leslie a.k.a Leslie Morgan Steiner
Leslie Morgan Steiner shares her thoughts each week in her column, Two Cents on Working Motherhood. She is the editor of the best-selling anthology Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families. Steiner regularly discusses working motherhood on the Today Show, MSNBC, and in Newsweek,Vanity Fair, Parents, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. Leslie lives with her husband and three children in Washington, DC.
Leslie Morgan Steiner Author Alias
My most cherished Thanksgiving took place several years ago, when my children were all under 10. At that point, most of our Thanksgivings had been at home. My husband and I both hate to venture out on Thanksgiving weekend. We especially despise traveling with three kids who relish bickering in public places like airports and relatives’ houses. So for years we stayed put. We usually entertained a mélange of friends and family with a simple, casual meal and a lot of football playing and TV watching.
“You’re hungry all the time, even when you’re sleeping,” Rhonda Wile explained the first time we met. “It feels like constant starvation. You gradually understand that you are going to be starving - starving for a child -- for the rest of your life.”
In the United States, only 1 in 100 dads take more than four weeks off from work following a baby's birth. For comparison, about 50% of employed new mothers take the same time off</a
I loooooved being a mom when my kids were 10 and under. I was the unrivaled hero in their lives. My middle daughter once presented me with a crayon drawing scribbled with “There are many pritty things in life, but you are the prittiest of all.”
I am not sure how parenting has sunk quite this low, but last week I actually had a serious 20-plus minute discussion with four other adults about whether or not schools should ban dodgeball. The arguments went like this: 1. Dodgeball has limited educational or fitness value for kids.
The Washington Post doesn’t have a Parenting section, although one might be as, if not more, useful than a Sports section. But there was an insightful, funny, comforting article about parenting recently in the Health & Science broadsheet. It was called “A Pre-College Snooze” (great title) and was written by mom Rebecca Lanning.
Motherhood is a comedy. And the joke seems always on me. The latest episode featured the fourth grade end-of-year music performance. My youngest child is ten. This is her last year of lower school. She attends the school my two older children, my younger sister, and I, all attended.
When I was growing up in the 1970s and '80s, sexism came in the guise of construction workers who whistled at me when I walked by on a summer afternoon.
I watched the back of his T-shirt as my 16 year-old-son marched off with another woman. She was a gray-haired African American grandma, her hair pulled back in a bun pulled so tight it looked like it had to hurt. Her clothes were starched as if she had spent most of her life in the military.
There is a new book out with a title sure to spark parents’ interest: The Smartest Kids in the World. Doesn’t every parent hope - or believe -- that our kids are the smartest?
A few weeks ago, my three kids went back to school. Two of my kids celebrated by throwing parties for their classes. Two, thank God, not three.
Another bullying suicide hit the news recently: a 12-year-old Florida girl, Rebecca Ann Sedwick, leapt to her death after enduring a year of cyber taunts and threats perpetrated by a group of 15-year-old girls at he
A college boyfriend once asked me the following question: What does every person on earth need to survive? He liked to quiz me like this every so often. His tone made it clear that there was only one correct answer. “Love,” I said instantly, 100% confident my answer was right.
I had lunch with an old friend recently. She’s a New York-based Broadway actress. My friend is a pixie -- waifishly pretty, sweet and thoughtful. You’ve seen her in a few commercials playing a ditzy young housewife and a cute first date trying to figure out how to use her new phone.
I grew up in a chaotically messy home, with a busy mom who disdained cleaning AND cleaning women. Our cat’s litter box was changed approximately every three years. If the screen door ripped, it stayed ripped. Half the food in the fridge was covered in green and white fuzzy mold.
Every parenting self-help primer seems to stress how important the ages 0 to 5 are for children’s development.
For too many working parents, summer is a nerve-wracking roller coaster of scattershot camps, vacations with relatives, and kids left alone for too long. We gratefully return our children to regular school in September. This nutty “break” is stressful for parents and kids -- a far cry from idealized summers together at the pool, beach or backyard.
Do I look the same? Does the cafeteria still exude that overcooked broccoli stink? Will my first boyfriend be there with his wife? How strange will it feel to walk those fluorescent hallways again, older, wiser, far stronger now?
In one short, 12-day span, The New York Times published two articles that serves as feminist bookends, of a sort, regarding the pitfalls facing women when we try to be too darn nice.
Last week, my take on young girls, high heels, and bikinis generated a lot of dialogue - ok, mostly disagreement - from my fellow moms. So it seems worth it to dig into this topic again. Here’s a sampling of what other moms wrote:
Does letting your daughter wear a bikini increase her risk of becoming anorexic or bulimic? If your daughter wears high heels, does that means she’s on the path to sluttiness?
Women’s affect on men has long been a half-hearted joke. You meet a boy or man raised with lots of sisters, and you can just TELL. Little things like he doesn’t freak over a box of tampons in the bathroom. Big things like he’s a good listener and knows exactly when to put a hand on your shoulder (and not on your thigh).
Big news in New York these days: disgraced politicians Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner are both running for political office again. Spitzer, who was New York’s attorney general and governor, is pursuing city comptroller. Weiner, a former New York Congressman, is making a play for mayor.
I barely need to add a syllable to Slate’s recent, brilliant article by 30-something dad of two, Peter Mountford.
Six years ago, when my body mutinied against the rigors of Stairmaster and daily jogging, I took up yoga. I quickly came to love the inner peace and physical flexibility it gave me. Since then I have taken roughly 900 yoga classes (not that I’m bragging…well ok, yes, maybe I am).
One of my grandmothers was married three times. Each time a husband died, she found another within a year or so. My other grandmother lived the same way. Her adored soulmate died after 25 years of marriage and a cruel illness; within a year she had a new last name.
I have one brother, a kind and unselfish man who lives 3,000 miles away from me. When our mother died three years ago, the money she had carefully put away for us was divided equally among her children.
My heart breaks for Nigella Lawson.
Over 20 years ago, the night my first marriage ended, I spent hours dialing the phone. My husband had beaten me unconscious, I’d given statements to the police in my wrecked living room, and then I’d driven with my dog to City Hall to file a restraining order at midnight. But when I got back home at 2 am, bruised ribs and glass cuts on my face, the first thing I did was make several calls, all of which were as important to my survival as the police, a locksmith, a divorce lawyer, and a good therapist.
When my kids were little, I worried about three critical safety factors, which in fact were the top three causes of preventable deaths in children ages 1 to 14:
It is a simple idea: that women in leadership positions will result in more just treatment of women everywhere.
Next week is my kids’ first taste of summer vacation. Like moms everywhere, I dream of lazy, fun-filled summers with my kids. Packed with adventures they will treasure for the rest of their lives. Sprinkled with the smell of fresh cut grass and ocean breezes, featuring lots of sunshine without any sunburn.
When you first had sex, did you tell your parents? Either parent? BOTH of them? In my case, being a 70s child, I never discussed sexuality (my own or others) with my mother or father. After I had three kids in my 30s, I assume they figured out I knew what to do between the sheets. But the subject continued to be an unexplored, let’s say completely closed, family topic.
She looked beautiful in a simple crimson dress with a flattering V neckline. She sang a few lines from one of her favorite hymns. She made mistakes as she spoke, and then told us that failure is life trying to nudge you in a different direction.
Call it Volunteer Vampires - a dilemma many of us struggle with (and feel guilty about struggling with). In simple terms, how much to volunteer at our children’s schools?
On Mother’s Day, one of my closest friends from summer camp left me a voicemail message. This woman has witnessed my ugliest, most vulnerable, childish stages over a 30 year stretch and therefore can share her own hellish moments with me with impunity.
On April 18, a profanity-filled email from Delta Gamma sorority sister Rebecca Martinson hit the Internet via Gawker and Deadspin. The blistering rant from Martinson, a junio
Just thinking about all the childcare arrangements I’ve made for my three kids over the years makes me break out in an icy sweat even today. The list reads like a daycare c.v. of modern American motherhood, no less important to my career than a resume.
Ok, moms. We’ve had our go at parenthood. We’ve moved the finish line forward on reading before private school pre-k applications are due and potty training before age two. Plus we’ve stressed the importance of bringing only handmade patisserie quality cupcakes to school bake sales. Now it’s time to let dads take over.
On the way home from spring break, I sat in the back of a certified “completely full flight” surrounded by my husband and three kids, ages 11 to 16 (my husband is 47, just to be clear). Behind me sat a cute mom and two super cute, albeit plump, blonde kids with adorable freckles. A boy and a girl.
When my three kids were younger, I felt like a watching-machine. It was as if I had three GPS chips that constantly transmitted the coordinates of each kid. I knew, 24/7, the precise location of each child. In crib. In babysitter's car seat. In daycare center. At field trip to the zoo - probably in Monkey House. Watching my kids was a critical component of motherhood. In order to keep each kid safe -- out of an open pool, sewer, toilet, or kidnapper's hands -- I needed to know where each one was.
We moms have recently had a darn good run as far as scintillating, empowering, enraging mommy commentary in the media goes, even without the Sheryl Sandberg explosion. Take this blog you are reading right now, which is going to review an article about a magazine - all about the frustrations of modern day motherhood! Extra bonus: thousands of comments from real live moms that accompany each article, blog and sidebar.
I suspect I am just as weary of the buzz over Sheryl Sandberg as everyone else with a TV in their kitchen, Internet access at work, or a radio in their car. During the past two weeks alone, Sandberg has been interviewed by 60 Minutes, The Diane Rehm Show, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and other media outlets too numerous to cite, reaching well over 50 million people. She has been the subject of at least 43 million blogs, articles, Instagram posts and Twitter comments. So I’ll make this quick: one observation everyone else seems to have overlooked.
Now here’s a concept that would have made my '70s mom spit out her martini: Dads who kvetch about the frustrations and joys of changing diapers, setting up playdates, and the best products to use to clean vomit off a highchair. What would have amazed her even more: hundreds of these dads gather annually at daddy conferences. The get-togethers are just as glitzy as marketing-to-moms conventions, with the dads’ events sponsored by mammoth brands such as Honda, Dove, Kraft and Huggies.
Silicon Valley’s most notorious working mom has ground her high heel in the proverbial diaper again. Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer tackled the top job when five months pregnant and then (in)famously took only two weeks maternity leave. Now she has banned her employees from telecommuting.
I spent the weekend wallowing in the media blitz that broke on Friday as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, hit the headlines, along with her goal of raising the consciousness of working women everywhere. My first observation: Woo hoo!
Nearly every day, I thank my lucky stars that I live in this country. But sometimes, I hate our country. Twenty years ago, just before my first child was born, Congress enacted the Family Medical Leave Act. It was our country’s first (and still only) law that explicitly supports employees who need to take care of our loved ones.
Two American women. Both victims of relationship violence. Two horrifying photos. Four years ago, on the eve of the 2009 Grammys, the world learned that one of our most famous young pop stars, Rihanna, had been viciously beaten by her boyfriend, Chris Brown, in his automobile.
It is true that I am obsessed with the PBS show, Downton Abbey. Also true that I have read all 1,040 pages of Gone With The Wind at least four times. But that doesn’t explain why I recently bought two corsets made from cold hard steel and reinforced black nylon. Twenty years ago, I bought a beautiful black dress. Handsewn black lace sleeves. Sequined fitted top. Fluffy black polka dot crinoline skirt. Purchased at the same fancy-schmancy Madison Avenue boutique where I got my white silk wedding gown.
Two of America’s most famous and wildly different moms - singer Jennifer Lopez and mom-in-chief Michelle Obama - revealed nearly identical haircuts last week. Bangs. Mom bangs, to be exact. For most of my life, I thought bangs were for first-graders. A badge of childhood. Something you outgrew by age seven. Instructions your mother gave the hair salon for your little brother’s first haircut, as in “Just give ‘im some bangs.” You know, cute.
Gang rape is not just a problem in India. Last summer, in a small town in Ohio, two teenage boys allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl who was intoxicated into oblivion.
The Drug Lady came to 8th grade this week. You may think I’m joking, but that’s what the kids at our school call the prevention specialist who visits our 13 and 14 year olds for a week each year as they prepare to face high school’s chemical perils. One student saw her in an airport security line and called out “Hi, Drug Lady!” which led to a long visit in a private screening room and the Drug Lady missing her flight. True story. I love the Drug Lady almost as much as the kids do.
People always say raising a boy is easier than a girl. I’ve never been sure why. From the moment I realized I had grown a male infant inside my decidedly female body, I was impressed to the point of being intimidated.
My New Year’s resolutions all have to do with motherhood.? Regrettably, before I can write one sentence, the topic gets dicey. Guilt, self-defensiveness, even panic, rise up like tidal waves.
As we sift through the shiny gift wrapping and toss out the empty iPod and Ugg boxes left behind following Hannukah and Christmas, let’s pause to contemplate a parenting conundrum gummier than double-stick tape: How to love our children without spoiling them rotten.
Naturally, many of you hate holiday newsletters. I do, too. That doesn’t stop me from writing my own. Family life once again proves to be irresistible fodder. Happy holidays, everyone.
Part of parenting - a weighty and unglamorous responsibility - is keeping your kids safe.
What do you remember from grade school? What do you think your kids will remember, 25 years from now? I remember not being able to speak the entire first day of kindergarten. I couldn’t, wouldn’t, make a sound. My terror was so great, I thought not speaking could translate to not actually being there.
The title of a new marriage handbook caught my eye: The Secret Lives of Wives. At first the book terrified me. Another submission and sacrifice manual? Instead, journalist and longtime wife Iris Krasnow delivers astonishing candor, realistic compassion, and invaluable wisdom when it comes to how paradoxically infuriating and rewarding long-term relationships can be.
I spent this week gingerly checking in with all my married girlfriends. It felt like that first call you make to someone after the funeral of a relative. Important but dreaded. My calls were to see how they survived the first hurdle of the annual holiday marathon.
In college I had a friend who adored cooking for me. She said she put love in the food while she chopped, cooked, and served. I swear, the simple meals she made for me in her family’s kitchen tasted better than anything I’d ever eaten.
The recent infidelity scandal involving generals Petraeus and Allen has focused on how and why powerful men cheat on their wives.
What can a rat tell us about good parenting? Actually, a lot. New York Times Magazine writer Paul Tough spent the last few years researching rats and humans for his latest book, “How Children Succeed."
When I was in elementary school, my favorite Halloween costume was a cat. Every year. Now that I am an adult I still have a strong feline proclivity - extra black eyeliner, cat ears, and a tail tied to my jeans. 1-2-3 meow!
Two weeks ago, I happened to call an old friend who lives in Ohio, with whom I speak once a year or so. Before I could even ask how the kids were, my friend launched into a fiery political diatribe that caught me by surprise.
Not surprisingly, recent headlines about free birth control really caught America’s attention.
Thanks to Court TV, most of use can define the term “Deadbeat Dad.” We know the dismal reality that over 50% of single moms do not receive the financial support they are owed by their children’s fathers. Our country is united in the belief that fathers must support their children, financially at least.
When my first child was two months old, I decided to take a chance and breastfeed in public for the first time. When it came to nursing, I barely knew what I was doing, even in private. But when a few friends hosted a small July 4th barbecue for families, I figured I’d give public lactation a try.
The latest Census figures show that for the first time in recorded U.S. history, unmarried adults are close to outnumbering married couples. According to 2010 Census data, there are 99.6 million unmarried Americans age 18 and older. Nearly 44% all U.S. residents 18 and older are not married. Over sixty percent of unmarried adults have never been married - the rest are divorced or widowed. Why?
When London School of Economics research fellow Catherine Hakim published Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom in September, the mix of sex, candor, and salary stats c
“Ooooo,” I said when I saw the recent New York Times Op-Ed piece, provocatively titled, “Men, Who Needs Them?”. The author - a man - argued the following (although I have rearranged the order of his points):
Twenty years ago, when my darling husband and I were first in love, we lived in Manhattan. He spoke often of his wonderful childhood summers in nearby East Hampton, New York.
At just 16, Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas is the first African-American since Dominique Dawes to represent Team USA on the Olympic gymnastics team. However, in my mind, her mom, Natalie Hawkins, also deserves a medal. A lifetime achievement award of a different stripe.
Beauty is the strangest gift ever given, because you have to give it back. Try telling that to a teenage girl. Or any woman under 30. Or, maybe, any woman of any age.
When I was eight months pregnant with my third child, I informed my boss, my staff and my colleagues, that I wasn’t going to take any maternity leave. I loved my job as general manager of The Washington Post Magazine. Our bottom line was at a critical growth stage. Stay home with a baby? Been there, done that.
One of my mom-mandates is that I’m easy when it comes to food. My job is to put out nutritious items; the kids’ job is to eat what they like. Having survived a bout of anorexia as a teenager, I have zero tolerance for pressuring kids to eat or not eat. I have a loose definition of “nutritious.”
Two Sundays ago, I picked up my nine-year-old daughter from a girly girl sleepover birthday party at her friend Jo-Jo’s, five minutes from our house. In addition to her rumpled pink sleeping bag, my daughter left the host’s front door carrying a purple balloon and a goodie bag filled with unicorn stickers. Before we got home, her eyes welled with tears.
Two years ago, one of my daughters made the colossal mistake of declaring, to the family, that she was not going to finish high school. “I’m just going to marry a rich man,” she said. She’d been watching a few too many episodes of The Kardashians. Fortunately for her in the long run - albeit unfortunately for her in the short run -- we all set about educating her.
Last week, after school got out but before my three kids scattered to camp and basketball tournaments, we kicked off summer at our new lake cabin in New England. Although none of us had ever driven a boat solo, we purchased an old 1986 13-foot Boston Whaler for the lake. The marine salesman gave us a 20-minute lesson. Then he pushed the boat away from the dock
Back in 2008, when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hit the international media scene as John McCain’s photogenic running mate, I was a brave, lonely voice among feminists and Democrats. I went on the Today Show to explain, rather heroically I thought, that there was a lot to like about Palin.
Ten-year-old girls. Sleepover parties. Tween drama. Need I say more? My daughter attends a small school with about 20 girls in her class. Very nice girls. But not every sleepover and birthday party can include all 20 girls. So, inevitably, there have been a few hurt feelings. Tears. Playground huffs. Mean looks.
College reunions are designed to trigger reflection, nostalgia and insights into the winding, baffling life journey that connects who you were at 20 and who you are now. And maybe, for cynics, how much you owe your college, how impressive are your life achievements, and how good you look compared to your college boyfriend’s wife.
For the last 12 months, I have been practicing one of the most glorious sentences in the English language: "I have a cabin on a lake." I’ve only said it out loud about a dozen times. Mostly I say it to myself.
On vacation recently, I caught up with an old friend who lives several states away. We raised our toddlers together, long ago. “So how old is Jessica now?” I asked. “Sixteen…” my friend cooed. Long pause. “And her BOYFRIEND comes to visit us tomorrow for the rest of vacation.” Her tone was almost… gloating.
True or False? “Women, after they turn 40, often hit a point when they decide the world should be all about THEM. They just get tired of taking care of people and go through a selfish period. It doesn’t matter how wonderful a man is it. It is just where women are at this stage.”
When my first child was born, I lived in New York City. My husband and I were accustomed to eating breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert in restaurants far more often than our own kitchen. We got a rude awakening the first time we tried to take our adorable infant to my favorite Italian restaurant. Think red-checked tablecloths, candles, and olive oil imported from Tivoli. I was on first-name terms with both the ricotta ala rigatoni and the maître’d.
The lifecycle of motherhood offers a wonderful gift about a decade in: the longer you are a mom, the easier motherhood gets.
The Wall Street Journal (which, refreshingly for a biz publication, frequently captures the wacky dynamics of modern motherhood) ran a piece last Wednesday chronicling all the ways kids try to outsmart their moms and get onto Facebook and other social media sites that parents have forbidden. I read the article in our kitchen via old-school newsprint while my three kids hovered around me immersed in our family’s iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks.
You’ve heard about maternity discrimination, whereby women raising kids earn less than men, and less than women without kids, right? Ditto for the well-documented gender pay gap, whereby women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man doe
Despite the 3.5 million news stories about the Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney cataclysm, a surprising number of critical issues affecting working and stay-at-homes moms DIDN'T get covered as both Democratic and Republican political machines postured endlessly about American motherhood today.
Motherhood, I’ve found, is filled with unexpected ecstasy - and dark secrets. The kind you only reveal to your most cherished friends, people who are also mothers, preferably ones who have known you since you were also a kid. Sometimes, it’s hard to confess some of motherhood’s realities to anyone. Even yourself.
“A little hope is good,” says the wicked President Snow in the best-selling science fiction novel, The Hunger Games. “But too much hope is very dangerous.”
Big news for 2012: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided, after three decades, to include FEMALE models in the simulated
Sometimes reading a best-selling book is like going to see a movie all your friends rant that you MUST see. Formula for disappointment. How can anything live up to that kind of hype?
Last Sunday, I sat with a group of parents watching our nine-year-old daughters play the first basketball game of the season. Next to us, a young boy, maybe five years old, sat playing on an iPod. No headphones. It was very loud. It was very annoying.
When my son, who is now 15, was in 7th grade, I became appalled by the amount of time he and his friends spent online. None of them had Facebook pages. All the timesink occurred via gateway drugs like Google Buzz and iChatting and other communication vehicles I had never heard of.
I recently calculated how many dinners I have prepared for my three children, who are ages 15, 13, and 9. My best estimate is 5,000. When I cook, I also do their dishes and clean up the kitchen, so I’ve also done that at least 5,000 times.
Most of my life has been spent in groups of men and women. First, my family of six. Then elementary school classrooms. Then more school, including business school, where 100% of our work occurred in study groups. Then actual business, with its endless small meetings and large presentations, as wel
You know that saying "youth is wasted on the young?" Well, my latest opinion is that motherhood is wasted on moms. At least moms like me. Don’t get me wrong - I waited until I was 32 to get pregnant, I desperately wanted children, and I have loved every minute of motherhood. Almost.
A few days ago I stumbled across a poignant blog post on Facebook. The essay, written by a hospice nurse, recounted the top five regrets people in their final days had shared with her over the yea
The most important woman in my life (rest in peace, mom) never talked to me - or my two sisters or my brother - about sex. Zilch about menstruation, pubic hair, hormones, intercourse or conception. We snuck our tampons, bras, and birth control into the house like Cold War spies. It was a surreal way to go through adolesc
My first child - the one who made me a mom - is a boy. I remember, among the mix of overwhelming, hormonally-charged emotions, feeling incredulous that my body had created not just a baby, but a boy. "I grew a penis!" I secretly exalted in my mind.
According to Working Mother’s Top Ten Moms of 2011, Michelle Obama ranks as one of the ten most powerful moms in the world. As much as I respect Working Mother magazine, and delight in Michelle Obama (along with most of the world), I beg to differ.
Most of us have a short (or long) list of innocent comments that make us see red. The one that infuriates me most: when people criticize working moms for wanting to “have it all.” As if we are gluttonous, whiny, selfish amoebas intent upon devouring the universe.
Seven years ago I left my full-time corporate marketing career. I didn’t know it was the end at the time. I was too addle-brained to take in any long-term trends, the result of running a weekly magazine, editing Mommy Wars, and frantically caring for my kids, ag
“Lainie’s mom said Kira’s shorts are too short and she shouldn’t wear makeup to school.” “Anil’s parents told him he’s lucky both his parents are Indian. His family feels sorry for Sarah because her dad is African American and her mom is White.” “Jill told me it is too bad you’re Christian and Dad is Jewish. That’s why I don’t get a bat mitzvah.” “Erin’s mom says Jordan is NEVER welcome in their house again.”
Most people are ashamed of family violence. Ashamed that it happens in our communities, ashamed to be victims, ashamed to be perpetrators. So naturally, with all this shame silencing everyone, it’s hard to know what family violence really is.
My daughter turned 13 last Tuesday. A month before her birthday, I received the following useful email (I was in the same room with her when she sent it). Mom -- I feel that in past birthdays, I have been not been the happiest girl with what presents I get.
Okay I admit it - one of my illicit joys is keeping a secret tally of other parents’ annoying, infuriating, embarrassing helicopter mistakes. From bearing my soul in Mommy Wars I discovered that other parents - in particular, other moms -
For the past year, I’ve been researching a book on the ways radical fertility treatments are transforming American families. I’ve learned that infertility strikes 10 to 12% of the human population, regardless of age, income, race, ethnicity and gender. Gay men, virgins, nuns, sexually active teenagers - they all can be infertil
Do you ever ponder, in moments of bafflement at the world today, how differently our globe would spin if women ruled instead of men? It would be such an easy fix. Women are more nurturing, less interested in dominance, less violent due to estrogen instead of testosterone running through our veins, more collaborative. Right?
This year’s back-to-school season twisted me inside out. Maybe I’ve just been through too many presentations on “authentic learning.” Maybe it’s because this year, with kids ages 14, 12 and 9 in three different school divisions, I have too many back-to-school events to attend.
The day the movie version of Allison Pearson’s 2002 best-seller, I Don’t Know How She Does It hit our neighborhood theatre, I insisted my husband go with me.
It’s always refreshing when the latest parenthood headlines focus on fathers instead of mothers. Last week, the front page of the New York Times read: “Fatherhood Cuts Testosterone, Study Finds, for Good of the Family.” Regardless of exactly why the New York Times editors consider this front page news, or exactly what the data shows, it’s inspirational that expensive research resources, and newspaper ink, recognize how critical dads are to raising kids. Unlike so many sensationalist headlines stirring moms’ guilt and our hormones, this headline suggests fairly that good parenting is not all about us moms.
A friend spent the summer teaching his son to tie his shoelaces. It took all of July and half of August. It required endless patience and persistence. As we all know, it is not easy to learn to tie your shoes, nor is it easy to teach it.
One of the peak challenges of life as a female is combating our irrational, self-destructive, I-Know-This-Is-Crazy-But-I-Can’t-Stop impulse to please others. Our parents. Our teachers. Our boyfriends. Our bosses. Our mirrors. Our husbands. Our mothers-in-law. Our therapists.
Now that my three kids reliably use a toilet and can brush their own teeth, it’s been a while since I’ve been so flustered and frustrated that I felt like pulling out my eyelashes.
Last month, an obesity specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston and a lawyer at Harvard’s School of Public Health set off a firestorm parenting debate: they recommend
I encountered my first research subject, Billy Chumbers, in first grade. Our experiments were quite literally puppy love - I remember zooming around his living room with a sock in my mouth, pretending to be a dog carrying a pup. However, I thought of him quite seriously, and described him to everyone as my first boyfriend.
Most American First Ladies bow to unrelenting political and social pressure to be seen -preferably smiling and wearing an attractive-yet-affordable outfit by an American designer - but never heard. Controversy and opinions are definitely out. Witness beloved First Ladies Barbara and Laura Bush.
When baby number one arrived 13 years ago, I had no email account or Internet connection. My Fortune 100 company used an internal company network - employees were forbidden to use computers to communicate with anyone or conduct any research outside the corporate ‘net. This seems like cave-woman days in terms of technology.
Like a lot of us modern moms, I was intentionally late to the child-bearing party. I established my career before having kids. I waited to find the right man to marry. At the right time.
Freedom was on tap to everyone in the world on July 4th weekend. Except apparently the fiancée of Prince Albert of Monaco.
When I was ten, my best friend’s mom was the smartest woman I knew. She was a 4’9” spitfire from New York City who wore a great deal of black along with a sophisticated perfume never before sniffed in my staid DC hometown. As a young woman, she’d been one of the early Peace Corps volunteers in Africa, and then written a best-selling memoir about the experience.
Dear God: Thank you for helping me unclog the kids’ toilet just now, although I recognize I must have looked funny doing it naked, especially from your view up there. Taking care of that toilet was the last item on my To-Do List before I leave for my two-day-one-redeye business trip to California, so I especially appreciate your help.
Yikes. Being a girl today is hard work. Those of us who were once teenage girls know firsthand there is no creature on earth as critical and perfectionistic as a teenage girl. However, our squeaky clean friends at The Dove Self-Esteem Fund have collected astounding data quantifying precisely how challenging it is to be a girl in American today.
6:15 am. I am awake, people, and I have to pee! Which is why I am putting my paws on the side of your bed, and trying very hard to get my tongue to reach your face. I know you don’t like it when I pee on your carpet, but seriously, if you don’t get your lazy ass out of bed in the next thirty seconds, I am going to have no choice. NO CHOICE, do you hear me?
People who frequent the blogosphere love to argue about women’s equality and lack thereof, at home and at work, and to dissect hot-button subjects like equal pay and gender discrimination, who changes the diapers and who takes out the trash, in our relationships and in society at large. And I love to argue right back.
I have two daughters. Between three to five both went through utterly insane “princess” phases. You know, periods during which they SLEPT in the itchy blue Cinderella dress and showered in the excruciatingly painful, lethally-slippery glass slippers (which were actually made out of plastic)?
Most of us have heard educators’ maxim that kids lose one to three months of academic learning during summer vacation.
Twenty years ago, a dress changed my life. I was living a modern-day Cinderella nightmare. The villain: my physically abusive husband. Instead of worrying some prince would never rescue me, I agonized over how to leave my pseudo soulmate without dropping out of the MBA program I needed to secure a future free of bruises and erratic terror. In the middle of this drama, a long-standing upper crusty friend took me to New York City.
At a recent school fair - you know, the type with a moon bounce, funnel cakes, and kids running around tipsy with glee to be off-leash for a few hours -- my nine-year-old daughter strutted around with a puzzling pink cell phone sticking out of her front pocket.
I have a confession: I love Justin Bieber. But not for the reasons my daughters do.
Bear with me for a brief but essential women’s history lesson.
At times our cultural angst reveals itself on the front pages of our national newspapers. Last Friday, USA Today presented its 3.3 million daily readers with a front page story about tween girls titled “Growing Up Fast, But With Less Independence” as part of its week long, dramatically titled “Saving Childhood” series.
It’s the motherlode of motherhood’s darkest topics, guaranteed to make you recoil even if you have personal familiarity with miscarriage, infertility, birth defects, stillborn infants or child abuse: moms who kill their own kids. The predictable reaction when a mom murders children: headlines sure to inspire shock and horror.