Only one reproductive choice is stigmatized: voluntary childlessness. Many protest against this cultural bias, arguing that childfree (preferred over childless) should be a respected choice, says Berkeley clinical psychologist Mardy S. Ireland, Ph.D., author of Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood from Female Identity (Guilford, 1993). Motherhood is the defining life experience for many women, but it's not for everyone. Being female doesn't mean your instincts, talents and needs destine you for maternity.
Erica Jong, known best for her book “Fear of Flying” is waxing poetic in the Sunday New York Times about what has happened to the sex lives of the younger generation. According to Jong, younger women are yearning for the nostalgia of a 50’s era happily ever after notion of monogamy, marriage and motherhood. Jong says it’s a kind of rebellion and a desire for control.
As it became clear that Caylee probably wouldn't come home safely, the nation learned more about her mother, Casey. A young single mom with an irresponsible streak, it was obvious that she wasn't ready to be a parent. And as I held my own child, it wasn't only Caylee's story that scared me, it was Casey's. Just as Caylee brought to mind my daughter, Casey reminded me of myself when she was first born.
I just turned 38. Am I too old to contemplate one more pregnancy before I hang up my fallopian tubes? After all of the drama I've endured with my last five pregnancies (and three births), I feel like I've gotten pregnancy down to an art. It seems unfair that I might be considered too old or too risky to bear another child.
It seems like everything that we moms do is subject to intense scrutiny and judged by the "good-mom-eter." If we dare stray from the straight and narrow we are automatically cast aside as evil women who are neglectful at best, abusive for sure and likely to end up having to pay for years of therapy.
Here's what I know for sure about parenting: That after 17 years, I don't know as much as I think I do, as much as I'd like. And, that the mental list I keep of my parenting failures continues to grow. Sometimes daily. Failing occasionally is not an option with parenting, it's a given. I'd guess that any parent without a mental "FAIL!" list is basically delusional. Here's a look at what's on my own parenting FAIL list. As of today, that is.
Sex expert Dr. Marianne Brandon shares advice on how to merge motherhood and sexuality postpartum By Sex Expert Dr. Marianne Brandon If you are a mother, you might be thinking that it often feels more like it’s either sex or the first year postpartum … not both. For so many women, it is a veritable challenge to meld these experiences into one life. In my practice, I regularly work with postpartum women who describe their sex lives in the past tense:
I try to be a happy person and I really am the vast majority of the time. I am usually that annoying Pollyanna who thinks everything is going to be all right. My down times are few and far between, but, man, when they happen they are fierce.
When you talk about dealing with infertility, you get a lot of different reactions. Some people sympathize, some people criticize, some people wonder why you would want to bring a child into the world when there are already so many children unloved and unclaimed. I’ve had pretty much all of that directed at me.
Jealousy is ugly on me. I suppose it's ugly on anyone but it feels particularly nasty when I wear it. I would love to do away with it completely as an emotion, but it keeps cropping up again. It's not that I'm jealous of women who are taller, thinner, prettier. I'm not jealous of women with more money or more glamorous lifestyles. I'm jealous of one person and one person only: the mother of my stepson. And maybe not for the reasons you would think.
When I lost my second child in a second trimester miscarriage, Angelina Jolie was also pregnant, and was quoted as saying something along the lines of loving how much she felt like a woman, like her body was functioning exactly as it was designed to function. That quote left me, volatile and reeling, a sobbing mess – although to be fair, a sobbing mess pretty much describes me for the months following the miscarriage. What was wrong with my body? Why hadn’t I functioned as I was supposed to? I already had one beautiful and healthy child. What had I done wrong the second time around?
Do you want to hear something really sad? It took me three weeks to sit down to paint my nails. Not to find time for a mani/pedi at a salon, not to buff and polish and shape at home. Three weeks to slap a coat of pearly-pink paint on 10 fingertips. Seriously. Just paint. Two coats of color, no base, nothing fancy. Don’t even get me started on how long it's been since I've had time to deep condition my hair. For real.
Here at LoveMom, we bring you the love. Our weekly Baby Bytes bring you everything else. Here are this week's 7 must-click mom links: Charlie Sheen falls into an ugly custody battle with Brooke Mueller, while other single moms learn how to tell dates that they have children. Unexpected costs incurred upon having children, using the TV as a babysitter and how to make motherhood the most rewarding adventure of your life. These links, along with 10 things moms never thought they'd do to get their baby to sleep.
Before I begin, let me preface this piece by saying that I take dog parenting very seriously. I don't just wake up, take the dogs out, make sure they're fed, leave for 10 hours and come back to do it all over again. I actually "parent" my pooches. Parenting these two furballs has been wonderful practice. I believe that, through them, my husband and I have established our roles as a parenting duo.
The moment you announce your pregnancy to the world, everyone and their cousin feels the need to tell you what's best for your child. It's one thing for a close friend to mention that you may want to reconsider your baby's soft-drink habit; but, it's quite another when a stranger feels the need to comment on how best to discipline your toddler. Here's what to do when you find yourself face-to-face with a wagging finger pointed at you and your child.
If you have kids, you will inevitably be asked questions about everything from sex to whether or not there's a devil. But what about when they want to know who you love more?