So, I may be a little late to the party for the latest in what the media has aptly dubbed the "Mommy Wars" (but what's new, I'm late to everything). The recent Time magazine issue that took focus on attachment parenting was enough of a spark to ignite a new wave of controversy. The cover was graced by a beautiful mother, bosom exposed, nursing her three year old son. The issue ran with the headline Are You Mom Enough? on the cover. That's all it took for the Mommy bloggers, the working Mothers, and the media to take sides, hurl insults, and point fingers. Really ladies? Not very ladylike behavior.
I saw a blogger on E! News (which lets you know this story is truly newsworthy) taking aim that the Mom was too pretty. Oh yeah, and that she wore skinny jeans and "looked like a model." Well, duh? When was the last time you picked up any magazine with an ugly cover model? And should we hate her because she's beautiful? I was annoyed by the simple cattiness of the whole segment. It made all women look vapid, jealous and simply put, competitive.
I may not agree with the whole idea of attachment parenting. Its was not the right choice for me. I nursed both of my children past one year and I loved every minute of it. I was not ashamed to nurse in public. And though I certainly did not go out of my way to expose myself, I'm sure there were a couple of people here and there who got an eyeful as they passed by. Oh well. I understand that the photo was provocative. It made people stop and stare. That's what sells magazines. I do not think it sexualized breastfeeding simply because the mother happened to be pretty. This cover would likely have gotten lost in a sea of scantily clad women on the covers of every other magazine that week. That is of course if it had not had that headline.
My issue is not with the picture, not with the mother or child, not with attachment parenting or extended nursing, and I certainly don't take issue with the attractiveness of the cover model (looking pretty and poised in a picture was a good thing last I checked). My issue is with the pettiness and judgement from other women that resulted, more from the headline, Are You Mom Enough?, than anything else. My issue is that women everywhere did exactly what Time had hope we would do: fight.
That being said, Time is in the business of selling magazines. A shocking cover story? Um, not the first time. Maybe its because I grew up with three brothers (and no sisters), but I do not get the whole female jealousy/competition/nastiness thing. If you ask me the feminist movement has taken a bit of a nosedive in last few decades, unless of course the goal was for women to have the right to judge each other, then we are right on track. Here's the newsflash that I think we all need: We are all in this together. We are teammates not enemies.
I think that someone needs to let women know that you can't have it all...but you can have a lot. You cannot be all things to all people all the time. Stay-at-home or go to work, nurse or bottle feed, co-sleep or, well lets face it, we all co-sleep, some of actually choose to, the rest of us are just too tired not to! Sacrifices have to be made, decisions may get altered, and you may change course a time or twenty. You are human, that is being a mother. You will be great at some things, others you will struggle with. That's it. We will never, ever, ever, no matter how hard we try, be perfect. I don't know who started this myth that has only been perpetuated by social media tools like Facebook, Pintrest, and Blogger.
Can we all just stop judging each other? So what if your old friend from high-school posts home baked cookie recipes and kid-friendly craft ideas on Pintrest and the class mom writes public love letters to her "hubby" on Facebook. Stop thinking that you're not the perfect little family because everyone else's kids look so clean and happy in their Instagram photos. No one is perfect. You are mom enough. Now stop judging yourself and every other mom too. The truth is that you have to do what works for you. Be the kind of mom that only your family needs and don't try to be anyone else. If you push yourself and fake it, trying your absolute best to keep up with the Mommies you will resent yourself and your kids and they will resent you when neither of you measure up.
Do you think men really care about any of this? If the phrase "are you man enough?" incites a surge of testosterone driving men to compete harder, the slogan "are you mom enough?" has caused a surge of estrogen causing women to compete harder -- with each other. We are not in a pseudo-Mommy Olympics with ever other mother. Stop acting like it.
Start by being nicer to other women. Judge them less, compliment them more. Don't pretend you have it all, just embrace what you do have. I bet its a lot. Stop caring so much about what everyone else is doing, you're probably doing just fine. And be comforted by the knowledge that in the end its a lot of luck. You do what you think is right, and hope that your kids don't end up on a therapists couch talking about how badly you screwed them up, but know that they probably will.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
My three and a half year old came home singing "Hello Mr. Turkey, how are you?" last year, and the song is back and better than ever this year. I will spare you all the lyrics, but trust me once you start singing it, it will stay with you and repeat in a loop in your head for what seems like forever. And while I find it kind of disturbing to talk to the turkey I am about to eat, I am still singing it and humming it all day. I actually caught myself humming it as I picked out my turkey yesterday!
But the song got me thinking that maybe I should try something new this year with my turkey. So here is how I think its gonna go down: http://www.howtocookathanksgivingturkey.com/. On the one hand this guy takes his turkey so seriously that he got the url "http://www.howtocookathanksgivingturkey.com/" on the other hand I feel like this is a huge gamble.
The recipe kind of scares me (a) because its always scary to make a new recipe when you are having guests, (b) how bad would it be if the turkey was inedible (on Thanksgiving!), and (c) its a slow and low cook method (which has worked for me in the past for meat but I have yet to try on poultry). (Also, I will have to swap out the butter for margarine which might be a gamble). Nevertheless, I am getting good vibes about this one and I think the turkey gods are with me here.
Wish me luck....pictures to follow tomorrow.
P.S. I always think of this scene every time I make turkey!
So lets just say that the low and slow method of cooking turkey might have worked for me, had I put my turkey in the oven on Wednesday morning not Thursday. I lowered the temperature per the recipe at 11:43 exactly, I know this because I took this picture so I would remember the time.
|I look pretty damn serious in the reflection...this is Thanksgiving people! There are no second chances.|
Well, when I checked in on my bird at around 3, nothing...no seriously, it was barely cooked. It almost looked exactly as it did when I put it in. I did use margarine instead of butter, which may have had an effect on the crispiness of the skin but not the cook time. I could see that if I had the time this might be the way to go, but 12 adults and 5 children and no turkey makes for a pretty bad dinner. I immediately cranked the oven to 350 and hoped for the best. It took until about 5, but once I got a good internal temperature on my meat thermometer.
I took it out and carved away, not easy on a still hot bird, but I had little choice. Tasted great but probably would have liked to leave it in a little longer (maybe I'm just used to drier turkey?). All in all the turkey was great, but my nerves were shot. I will definitely try this method again on a smaller bird when timing is not as important.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|Check out the little fingers on the bottom right...they couldn't even stay away long enough for me to snap a picture!|
So, its been a (really long) while since I've posted but today I did something that I had to talk about: I went on a class trip...and it was awesome! If you're thinking that I'm a little old for class trips, you're right. If you're thinking that my kid was in the class, you're wrong.
My best friend Samantha sponsored a field trip to Breezy's for her daughters class and invited me to pop in and check out the action. I got there a little early (I guess I walk faster than 5 year olds) and I couldn't leave. This was my first class but its not the first time I went to Breezy's just to hang out. The atmosphere is relaxed, the store is beautiful, and owner Breezy will help you find the perfect gift, in any price point.
I would like to think that I was a kind of chaperone on this trip but in reality I was more of an active participant. Thank you Breezy for letting me stay and play! This was seriously the most fun I have had in a while. I can only imagine how great the adult classes are, I mean whats more fun than cupcakes, frosting and candy turkeys? I am already brainstorming what party or event I can plan to have there next. (You can check out the website for products and class schedules and "like" Breezy's on Facebook for giveaways and info on upcoming events.)
My kids were quite pleased with my work as you can see below. And no they don't taste as good as they look...they taste much better!
|P.S. Breezy also made sure that everything was nut and dairy free, so everyone could enjoy their creations!|
Thursday, June 16, 2011
|New StriVectin-SD™ Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks & Wrinkles |
(2-pack 4 oz Each, $144.99, Costco.com)
The Costco Fairy (aka Mom) brought me a little gift last week...a tube of the New StriVectin-SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles. Wrinkle cream may not seem like the best gift, but at just under $145 for a two pack this is something that I likely would not have tried if I was purchasing on my own. Each tube is 4 oz. so Mom and I split the pack.
I have never used the original so I can't compare whether the new intensive treatment is really better (or worth the extra expense). What I can say is that this stuff is absolutely incredible! While I definitely don't have many if any wrinkles at 29 (I wear Clinique Sunblock of at least SPF 25 every single day of the year!) this cream has completely changed the texture of my skin. My pores seem smaller, my normal skin tone of pasty white somehow looks more luminous and any small marks or red spots have faded or disappeared completely. Since my big haircut (post to follow) I feel like I need my skin to look great because my face is so much more exposed.
I find myself slathering this stuff all over, which I fear is going to be an expensive habit, but after 2 kids, one born just shy of 10 pounds, I figured this was worth a try...and it was! Maybe its my imagination but everything somehow seems to look and feel better.
The cream is basically odorless and absorbs into the skin pretty quickly so you can almost immediately put your makeup right on top. The package says some results visible after 2 weeks and by 8 weeks you should see major results. I have been using it a.m. and p.m. for about 1 week and saw results after 2 days! At this pace by 8 weeks I'm going to look like I've been airbrushed ;)
Now all I have to do is start saving. If it comes down to buying food and water or StriVectin-SD, I may choose smooth and flawless over satiated and hydrated!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Hi Friends! Due to the huge response to my previous post and in honor of her moving to a private, new, beautiful location, Heba (affectionately known by my readers as The Eyebrow Whisperer) has offered $5.00 off to my readers. Just mention coupon code: alanabell at time of payment for your discount.
To book an appointment call Heba at 516-444-6469.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
|This is how my playroom looked after I left her alone for 5 minutes!|
Let me also put it out there that I do not find cleaning or organizing relaxing. At all. I trust those people who say they do find it relaxing about as much as I trust the people who swear they never watch what they eat, never work out, and just happen to have rock hard abs and a shelf butt! (Liars!) I put the women who swear they feel even better pregnant than they do when they're not in this category as well. (Super liars!!!)
As a reformed messy person (I started to "nest" when I was pregnant with Ruth and never really stopped, one plus of pregnancy), I understand how unappealing cleaning and organization can be to some. And while I don't find it relaxing I do find it rewarding. Here are my very basic building blocks for a solid foundation in organizing and cleaning your personal space:
1. Think small, very small. I realized that a big part of what had been holding me back on certain projects previously was thinking that the task as a whole was too great to tackle in the amount of time I had. I love a finished job, and the idea of spending the day organizing and cleaning and rearranging until every last thing is perfect is generally what I find appealing about the whole process, but most days I simply don't have the luxury of time (who does?). I split up a job into small tasks and tackle one area of a space or one thing in the space. (For example, clear out one piece of furniture or if that's too much, one drawer, but not every drawer).
2. Give yourself a budget (for donating not buying). I find that giving away clothing is a particularly hard thing for me to do. First, because I really like the things I buy. I have very specific taste which basically hasn't changed much over the years (I have certain items since about the 7th grade) so I have a lot of stuff. Second, I have a lot of sentimentality towards the things I wear. I remember particular occasions or stories when I see or wear certain items. The obvious giveaways (we have all succumbed to the passing trends, tube top anyone?) are always easy but its that next round of decisions that makes my head spin. So I give myself a budget. I look at my closet and I come up with a number of items that I must find to give away. If its 10, I sometimes find myself agonizing over the last article but I always stick to the budgeted number, no excuses.
3. Know where your items are going. This is key for me. I find that when I give items away to people or organizations that I feel will really use and benefit from them, I don't hesitate to part with things. I recently gave a dress to a friend and saw her wearing it at a party. She looked so stunning in it. Seeing it being loved by someone else made me far happier than having it in my closet. (The reverse is true also. I have been the recipient of useful or needed things, most notably the bulk of Oliver's wardrobe. That came from the always elegant Bonnie of BonniePark. It makes us both so happy when I tell her how much use I am getting out of everything. She also happens to have impeccable taste, so Oliver generally looks like he stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad).
4. Clean with purpose. If the purpose of general neatness and order is enough to motivate you that's great. I usually find that when I have a purpose in my decluttering I fare far better. Passover is coming which is a great excuse to pull out every last piece of junk in the house. Other times I want to buy a new piece of furniture or rearrange a room, so I force myself to organize everything before anything gets moved or purchased.
5. Finish what you start. Do not move on to another task until you complete the one you started. I speak from experience here. Opening up every drawer in every room usually leads to one thing: a bigger mess! You will never be able to finish and things may get worse than they were to begin with. If you don't allow yourself to move on it will motivate you to finish what you've started.
Next Messy Girl post will include some of my tips on storage and the products that help me help myself :)
Monday, April 4, 2011
So this morning when I woke up I opened up my 90 calorie Fiber One brownie only to find an Oreo cookie stuck to the top of it. Think I'm joking? Here's the proof...
|There's my purple thumb again...looks like I need a polish change :)|
Though I hadn't intended to write a post entirely on the greatness of Oreo's, while on the topic I feel so inclined. In my house, (I am probably not going to win any parenting awards for admitting this openly) Oreo's are basically like a food group. We are never without them, seriously. My kids are pretty healthy eaters and I try to push fresh foods over packaged, blah blah blah, but Oreo's are simple perfection. Not too rich, not too heavy, not too sweet. Perfection.
Just a couple of weeks ago I was chopping vegetables for a salad in the kitchen with Ruth. After each one was finished she asked for a taste, made a funny face, spit it out and we moved on to the next. After a few attempts I said, "Don't worry Ruthie, we will keep trying until you find something you like." To which she replied without hesitation, "I like Oreos." Can't argue with that.
We generally have the Double Stuf on hand (I seriously can't believe this is my post, and yet I feel the urge to press on) but occasionally we buy the Golden Oreos. Thinking we were being all sorts of cool we bought her the Heads or Tails (half chocolate, half vanilla). I ended up having to make my own "all chocolate" ones for Ruth who let me know that a black and white Oreo is "ahsgusting!" (Daddy was the happy recipient of the "homemade" vanilla ones).
Got a case of the Mondays? Eat an Oreo.
PS I forgot to mention that we additionally really like the mini Oreo's in the Snack Pack container. (Just had to share).