Do online photos tell a one-sided story of motherhood?

Umm, yeh, they do. And for so many of us, even those fully versed in the magic of filters, Photoshop and staging, social media pictures can create pressure and unrealistic expectations.

For perspective:

1. That photo of mom and baby on a pristine white couch (why do they even make white couches), posing next to color-coded books and toys? That might be the only clean square foot in the whole house, which hasn’t actually been cleaned in weeks and now smells like pizza and air freshener (and you can’t really see the 114-load-pile of unfolded laundry shoved to the side of the couch).

2. The picture of a family laughing in a sunny park? It’s precious, but behind the scenes, they might have had a fight that morning or the kid threw up in the bushes.

Continue reading

The New York Times: The Particular Horror of Long Commutes for Young Families

New York TImes

Credit: Brian L. Frank for The New York Times

“Traffic jams and delayed trains are infuriating for everyone, but they’re especially painful when they make you miss your baby’s bedtime yet again.”

This article was published by The New York Times on Oct. 31, 2018, the Well Family section. Click here for the complete article. 

 

SheKnows: Bilingual parenting matters — even if the White House says it doesn’t

cwsl35osdcbgjwrebehg

Originally published in SheKnows on August 21, 2018

Late last year, the White House has stated its intent to create an immigration system favoring refugees who can “successfully assimilate.” A senior White House official confirmed this in a January briefing: “A properly functioning immigration system promotes assimilation in all its forms,” he said.

For much of U.S. history, the country has helped immigrants escaping persecution — so putting the immigration focus on assimilation instead would be a brand-new and troubling way of deciding whether someone can legally live here as a refugee. And it may well spell doom for bilingual parenting — and for foreign languages in the U.S. on a larger scale.

Read more here

Kveller: What do you do when your beloved childhood books scare the crap out of your kids?

Watery Octopus Tentacles

This essay was published in Kveller on August 22, 2018

For three years now, I’ve been blowing a chunk of our budget shopping online. But instead of cashing in on deals for gadgets or baby wipes, I binge buy vintage kids’ books on Etsy — editions no longer in print, dating back to the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s. They aren’t rational purchases. But I have to have them.

Read more here.

Scary Mommy: When a woman in the shoe store called me a ‘monster’

This essay was published by Scary Mommy on August 14, 2018

Mother and baby in shopping mall

When my son was a baby, he and I ventured out into the adult world. Our mission lacked the cinematic complexity of saving the Earth from an alien invasion or defusing a bomb while wearing a leather dominatrix outfit. That winter afternoon, my mission was this: drive to a strip mall by my parents’ home while they watched my toddler so I could return some shoes I’d bought while still pregnant.

Read more here.

I’m a former college instructor and I don’t agree that arming teachers is the answer

students

(Image from The Huffington Post

I was once a pretty decent shot (practiced as a kid in Russia), but I have a hard time writing on a whiteboard in a straight line. You’d think that after six full years of teaching college as an English instructor, I’d learn. Nope. I called students by the wrong name on a couple of occasions, lost track of time during some lectures and got upset when someone plagiarized.

Yes, I felt offended when a lacrosse-playing freshman in my Composition class turned in an expository essay about “bitches and hoes.” It was also a little bit alarming when a withdrawn teenager in my remedial English class at a San Francisco community college wrote, “Die, bitch” on the cover of his notebook, then turned it in. In fact, I was scared to walk back to my car that night and feared for the safety of other students. My thinking was irrational and unclear.

Continue reading