Thursday, May 24, 2012

And now he is four


Homemade dinosaur cake, by request, with volcano. We also had a dino-safari. Paper dinosaur footprints were taped to the ground, and the young nature trackers followed the prints to a 'nest' filled with dinosaur eggs to collect (Easter eggs containing a tiny baby dinosaur), and then followed more prints to collect 'fully grown' (6-8 inch) dinosaurs. It got quite hot by the end of the party (you can see the buttercream frosting starting to melt) but thankfully we had plenty of water and shaded areas at the park.

Happy birthday to my SchmoopyBoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On Excellence versus Perfection

I found these quotes on striving for excellence versus perfection. I like them a lot. Motivating and inspiring.

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing
Harriet Braiker

Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is. It's your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best
Sir Laurence Olivier

It is not the straining for great things that is most effective; it is the doing of the little things, the common duties, a little better and better
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way
Booker T. Washington

Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends
Brian Tracy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Problem with Dad

...is that he doesn’t have milk producing breasts.
It’s like this. I get up at 5am and slowly and gently pry my body away from the sleeping baby. About 3 minutes into my shower he wakes up. Sometimes I hear the husband try in vain to calm him as he hollers his disapproval. When I come to him, barely clothed and with my dripping wet head wrapped in a towel, he looks at me with surprise and admonishment. His eyes then turn down towards my chest and you would think it had been 15 hours rather than 15 minutes since he had last nursed.
He latches on, and looks up to my eyes as if to say “How can you possibly expect me to tolerate Daddy? Don’t you know by now I must have my soft pillows filled with warm sweet milk no more than 2 inches from my face at all moments? Duh!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Good reads by attachment parenting feminists

There have been some excellent articles lately on issues that are important to be as a feminist and a parent. I don't have the time to provide well thought out and written commentary on them all. Nonetheless, here are the links and a few snipits to whet your appetite to click the links and read more.

1) First, Annie from PhD in Parenting really hit the nail on the head with this essay about women and the media.  In this article, she quotes Tara Sophia Mohr in her Huffington Post critique of the montage of great movie moments shown at the Oscars:
When women can't see strong, interesting, female protagonists in the stories we watch, it becomes harder for us to see ourselves as the strong, interesting protagonists of our own lives. When girls grow up seeing story after story that tells them they are sex objects, accessories or victims, they will learn that to be a "woman" is to play one of those three roles.
This was certainly true for for me. I had a rather defining experience when I was young. I was old enough to stay at home at night by myself, and was surfing the channels. My family had gotten cable fairly recently and I settled on an HBO movie that I was much too young to have been watching. Without going into too much detail, I saw images that taught me that my role as a woman in this society would be that of sexual victim, and the role of men is that of sexual predator. I spent a good portion of my young adulthood challenging and resisting that role of woman as sexual victim.

2) Here's another by Annie from PhDin Parenting about the controversial book by Elizabeth Badinter called "The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women". I've read quite a bit about this book and the perspectives of mothers that challenge Badinter's assertions. You can read those articles too through links that Annie provides. I highly encourage you to do so, especially the articles by one of my favorite feminist parenting bloggers, Blue Milk. Here is a highlight of Annie's analysis:

Choosing a parenting style shouldn't be something the mother does alone. She should have control over her body (and therefore have the final say on issues like breastfeeding), but decisions about how to parent the child should be something that both parents make together and that both of them invest equally in. There are certainly mothers who choose very intensive parenting styles and take everything on their own shoulders. But I don't think the answer to that problem is to suggest that certain parenting styles (like attachment parenting) are wrong.

The solution is to ensure that fathers are equal partners in parenting, so that mothers are not the only ones to suffer physically, professionally and personally from the demands of parenting. Being a parent is incredibly fulfilling, but it also involves challenges. In my opinion, both the rewards and the sacrifices stemming from the decision to procreate should be shared equally by both parents.

3) I love this perspective on the fire storm that occurred in the media a few weeks ago when the SAHM vs WOHM war was rekindled by Hilary Rosen's comment that Mitt Romney's wife "never worked a day in her life". Paige at Baby Dust Diaries brings up the primary issue on what makes the best mom - and it has nothing to do with whether a mom works outside the house or stays at home, per se:

I’m not a better parent because I’m at home – I’m a better parent because I love where I’m at and I throw myself fully into it. You are not a better parent because you work – You are a better parent because you love what you do and throw yourself fully into it.
All of us are valuable to society because we are raising the next generation! We all deserve the support and accolades of society.

The sad circumstance is when a woman is not in a place that fulfills her and thus maximizes her mothering potential. This is where I want to see OPTIONS for women.