Friday, March 30, 2012

attachment parenting and feminism

Photo: Chasing Virtue
New York Times review of Poser
I'm in the midst of Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer, a self-conscious freelance book critic and new mom, surrounded by North Seattle's organically living attachment parenting moms. Dederer's voice is funny and often right on in pointing out how exhausting attachment parenting can be. Still, I find myself viscerally reacting against some of what she's saying.

What bothers me, I think, is how Dederer puts up this simplistic division between her mom's generation of women who, intoxicated by the women's movement, left their families to pursue their own lives, turning their children into attachment parenting moms with mommy brains on a mission. That just doesn't sit with my own experiences of attachment parenting as a feminist woman:

Which is why I found blue milk's recent post on feminism and attachment parenting, and why they’ve more in common than in conflict. Excerpt:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

peace, love, courage: a yogi's mindful approach to birthdays

My birthday falls on the first day of spring, and spring is my favorite season, but not for that reason.

Spring has that ecstatic sentiment of new life to it—the rejuvenation of life—but also a tender, almost vulnerable, skinless feel to it.

Some spring days have me flying high, and I've been known to take my birthday celebration seriously. But this year I wanted a more mellow observation. Something sincerely true to where I'm at in my life right now. Which is a mixed bag.

Professionally, I really am flying high. I have a book coming out this fall; I got a new job; and I've been invited to give talks and readings from my book this fall in places around the world, including in Mexico, Norway, Germany, and England. I also have found more balance in my life, with more hours for me to work, and more opportunities for dates. I even got an extra special early pass at the gym, so my time working out there won't interfere with my work-work time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

different cultural approaches to parenting and uses of homes: books i'd like to read

Summer arrived this past weekend just in time for spring break, and it makes me want to kick back and relax in the sunshine with a good book. Of course, that's not so easily done when you have a 3-year-old home from preschool all week, but should the opportunity arise, these are a few of the books I'm eager to get my nose into:
  • Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman.
    The balanced, laissez-faire style of parenting her memoir recounts appeals to my own approach to parenting. "Most French children, unlike many of their American counterparts, did not need to be entertained constantly by their parents," explains Druckerman to NPR. — "'French children seem to be able to play by themselves in a way.' Some might see this scenario as evidence that the French are less thrilled with having children and are more selfish as parents than their American counterparts who are constantly playing with their children. But Druckerman does not think this is the case. 'The French view is really one of balance, I think. ... What French women would tell me over and over is, it's very important that no part of your life — not being a mom, not being a worker, not being a wife — overwhelms the other part.'"

Friday, March 9, 2012

mama gets to work

Work and Dates
used to look more like this.
I've been craving more time to pursue my work, so we've made some positive changes around here. Leighton has cut down on hours from his position, meaning I now have a total of at least 25 hours to work each week: 15 in the morning when Lilly's in preschool, and 10 spread out on three afternoons. Two days a week I have a full 7 hours, and I still get to pick up a hungry, tired, mama-needy Lilly from preschool and spend a couple of hours with her before I head back to the library to write.

It's a good thing for us. Now I get to be the coveted, fun parent at the end of the day at least a couple days a week. And I'm more patient when I'm around Lilly, in general just happier to see and be with her.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

now, where was i? diagnosed with add as an adult

I almost leaped up from the couch when my therapist asked if I'd ever been tested for ADD. Back in 2006, after my second round of therapy, I was almost convinced by a person I met at a conference that I had ADD. It would explain so many things! Difficulties concentrating in numerous ways that I had worked so hard to cover up and compensate for, especially as a scholar and teacher, and even as a friend.

I immediately called a friend I thought would sympathize, but was brushed off with a "that's just talk." How could I have achieved so much, intellectually and academically, if I had ADD?
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