Author Archives

The lazy shrew and the breeder pig

Last year there was a discussion on an e-mail list I’m on about the Duggars, the notoriously large family of 17 (soon to be 18) children. There were comments about how that was too many children to give individual attention to each, a snide comment or two about Mrs. Duggar’s hairstyle, and the general consensus […]

Bouncing back after baby

British mother of 13 (soon to be 14) Joanne Watson was featured in a Daily Mail story the other day. One photo in the story shows the 37-year-old blonde Mrs. Watson with her blond husband and baker’s dozen of mostly blond and beautiful children. The other photo is a full-length shot of an amazingly slim […]

To boldly go…

As I was reading Maureen Dowd’s cleverly titled column “Ich Bin Ein Jet-Setter” about Barack Obama’s world tour, the phrase “he will have to successfully complete a number of tasks” jumped out at me: yet another split infinitive appearing in what is arguably our nation’s most illustrious newspaper, The New York Times, written by one […]

C-section moms to the back of the bus

For years I’ve been reading about how there are too many cesarean deliveries performed in this country, that vain celebrity moms choose c-sections to have smaller babies and preserve their figures or suit the convenience of their schedules or avoid some of the potential after-effects of vaginal birth. We hear repeatedly from natural childbirth advocates […]

Portia Louise, home at last

Portia Louise Russell and her exhausted but deliriously happy mother came home from the hospital on Sunday, and it’s taken this long for me to get around to writing about it. First, the name. Portia is the name we had in mind when I wrote my earlier post about baby names, but I was keeping […]

Parenting news and blues

Newsweek poses the question: Having Kids Makes You Happy: True or False? The article cites several studies that find parents are in fact less happy than the childless (or childfree, as many prefer to call themselves), and that they have less happy marriages as well. The author, Lorraine Ali, is herself a parent, and counters […]

Men behaving badly – and the women who blog about it

One of my husband’s friends gave him a hard time because I “slammed” him in my blog the other day. I was dumbfounded, since the post in question didn’t mention my husband, and my comment was a general one about how mothers tend to feel guilty for frittering away time on the internet instead of […]

The worst mother in the world

Is there a mother who doesn’t feel like this is her once in a while? When we yell at the kids over something stupid and feel like a complete jackass afterward. When we sit like a zombie surfing the internet instead of reading to our children like we promised ourselves (or God forbid them) we […]

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Age has been on my mind more than usual lately, probably because I’m 43 and about to have a baby. Because I had children relatively late in life, I’m in the position of being in a playgroup where I’m old enough to be the mother of some of the other moms. They like different music. They […]

Essentialism

Contemplating the maternal urge to nest the other day, I started thinking about what feminist theorists derisively term essentialism, the idea that there are essential differences between men and women. I heard this term for the first time my first semester in grad school, when the USC History Department’s mandatory seminar for first year students […]

No more nurseries?

What do you mean you don’t HAVE a nursery????? This was my dumbfounded response when I toured the maternity ward (the only one in Santa Fe) where I’ll be delivering next month. The hospital where I had my other three children had one, and since all my deliveries were c-section and I wasn’t quite up […]

Wherefore art thou Ethelbald?

If Romeo and Juliet had been called Ethelbald and Hildegarde, would their names be synonymous with romance? Names have been on my mind lately, since we have to choose one for our fourth daughter next month. Our first and third daughters have traditional, mainstream names, Elizabeth and Theresa, and we didn’t catch any flak about […]

DNA explodes Greek myth about women – or maybe NOT

The Guardian‘s headline reads, “DNA explodes Greek myth about women,” but after reading the story, I’m not particularly impressed by the magnitude of the explosion. In the 1870s Heinrich Schliemann excavated the Bronze Age tombs of Mycenae, which contained 35 bodies and a great deal of treasure, including the gold funerary mask pictured at left. […]

Motherhood as battleground: Alice and Rebecca Walker

This story appeared yesterday on my friend Patrick O’Hannigan’s blog, The Paragraph Farmer, but my friend Martha Brozyna, medieval historian and author of a recently published book on stock trading, had already sent me the link to the Daily Mail article. In it, 38-year-old Rebecca Walker blames her famous mother, author Alice Walker, for very […]

The Myth of Ageless Motherhood

On Mother’s Day, a story called “Ageless Motherhood” dominated the front page of my local paper, the Santa Fe New Mexican. The cover photo featured Joyce Bond, 53, with two of the triplets she recently bore. Births to women over 40 are “soaring” according to the article, with the birth rate to women 40-44 growing […]

Does the world really need another new blog?

I’ve asked myself that question for several years now, hesitant to join the countless multitudes already offering their unsolicited opinions on everything under the sun. Probably not, but I wanted to start one anyway. After all, what makes my unsolicited opinions any more superfluous than anyone else’s? So why didn’t I? For one thing, I […]