|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.|
True or False?
“Women, after they turn 40, often hit a point when they decide the world should be all about THEM. They just get tired of taking care of people and go through a selfish period. It doesn’t matter how wonderful a man is it. It is just where women are at this stage.”
The lifecycle of motherhood offers a wonderful gift about a decade in: the longer you are a mom, the easier motherhood gets.
Sure, I’ve heard the adage that little kids equal little problems - like what diapers to buy and whether to wash a pacifier when it falls in the dirt. Bigger kids equal bigger problems, like explaining how you slip on a condom and why it is wrong to cheat on the SATs. But mentally at least, I am an infinitely more placid, wiser mom now that I’m 15 years into this crazy motherhood gig.
The Wall Street Journal (which, refreshingly for a biz publication, frequently captures the wacky dynamics of modern motherhood) ran a piece last Wednesday chronicling all the ways kids try to outsmart their moms and get onto Facebook and other social media sites that parents have forbidden.
I read the article in our kitchen via old-school newsprint while my three kids hovered around me immersed in our family’s iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. more
You’ve heard about maternity discrimination, whereby women raising kids earn less than men, and less than women without kids, right? Ditto for the well-documented gender pay gap, whereby women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man does.
But the gender pay BUMP? Whereby pregnant women earn MORE than other women - and definitely far more than other men. At least more than men who can’t get pregnant.
Despite the 3.5 million news stories about the Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney cataclysm, a surprising number of critical issues affecting working and stay-at-homes moms DIDN'T get covered as both Democratic and Republican political machines postured endlessly about American motherhood today.
Motherhood, I’ve found, is filled with unexpected ecstasy - and dark secrets. The kind you only reveal to your most cherished friends, people who are also mothers, preferably ones who have known you since you were also a kid. Sometimes, it’s hard to confess some of motherhood’s realities to anyone. Even yourself.
Sometimes reading a best-selling book is like going to see a movie all your friends rant that you MUST see. Formula for disappointment. How can anything live up to that kind of hype?
From reading American newspapers, listening to our media, and eavesdropping on mom bookclubs these days - it seems the natural conclusion is that Americans are the worst parents ever. We all should immediately give up our children for adoption, preferably to parents in France or China. more