|Leslie Morgan Steiner is the editor of the best-selling anthology Mommy Wars and the brand new memoir Crazy Love. Steiner is a frequent guest on the Today Show, MSNBC, and regularly contributes to The New York Times, Newsweek and Vanity Fair. She lives with her husband and 3 kids in Washington, DC. In this column, she will offer her Two Cents on issues relating to modern motherhood.|
When I was collecting essays for Mommy Wars one of the questions I asked each contributor was the following question I ask you to ponder now: Did you know, before you had kids, whether you wanted to work or stay home once you became a mother? Everyone reported that they had known exactly what they were going to do once they had kids. Everyone was wrong. more
Six years ago, as I was getting ready for my third maternity leave, one of my bosses in the Washington Post advertising department asked if my team could take on an intern. The girl was a senior at a prestigious all-girls private school. At The Washington Post, it’s a colossal pain to hire interns because of newspaper guild rules. But we did it as a favor to my boss, the girl and her family. Our intern showed up for her first day of “work” wearing shorts and flip flops. more
When my first child was born, I was 32, married twice, divorced once, with an MBA from Wharton and a senior marketing job at Johnson & Johnson. My primary work/family observation following my child’s arrival: I still had time, brain cells and energy to work fulltime. But if I wanted to actually see my baby, I needed flexibility. more
I have total recall of every breath I took the day I went back to work three months after the birth of my first child. I loved my job – yet I felt like my heart had been surgically removed and lay beating next to my baby in his crib at home. I was paying another woman to do what I wanted to do most, at that moment, in the entire world. It was painful to me that her job was taking care of my baby – and that my job required me to be in an office 30 miles away.
Pamela Paul’s new parenting tell-all, Parenting Inc., promises to answer How We are Sold on $800 Strollers, Fetal Education, Baby Sign Language, Sleeping Coaches, Toddler Couture, and Diaper Wipe Warmers – and What It Means for Our Children. The book makes for provocative, insightful reading. But we don’t need 271 pages to tell us why parents today do such nutty things. It’s actually pretty simple. more
Usually, adults consider bullying a childhood phenomenon. A normal part of growing up and parenting. We focus on solutions for our children: how do we teach them not to bully others? What productive, effective ways to stand up for themselves can we pass on? more
A younger working mom I met at a recent conference told me she and her
husband were contemplating having a third child. She looked like I
remember looking when I had only two children – hair well coiffed, pink
lipstick carefully applied on her actual lips, minimal bags under her
eyes, a flat stomach. She looked so happy, dreaming of another baby.
Then she asked me if it’s harder juggling work and family with three
kids versus two. Like I always do when a woman asks me this question, I more
I’ve always hated to say good-bye – to boyfriends, summer vacations, apartments, worn-out jeans, dead flowers. Lila Leff, the founder of a Chicago-based nonprofit youth organization called Umoja, puts goodbyes in better perspective in her Mommy Wars essay: "I see [fill in the blank] as one of the greatest chapters in my life. But all chapters lead to the next chapter, and there is nothing worse than hanging around in a chapter after it has already ended." more
Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an article that’s got me gnashing my teeth. Work & Family columnist Sue Shellenbarger reported the disturbing news that on average, over the past decade U.S. businesses have dramatically shortened childbirth leave for new parents: more