Two Cents
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. 

America Loves Moms.... Sometimes

Nearly every day, I thank my lucky stars that I live in this country.

 

But sometimes, I hate our country.

 

Twenty years ago, just before my first child was born, Congress enacted the Family Medical Leave Act.  It was our country’s first (and still only) law that explicitly supports employees who need to take care of our loved ones.

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Two American Women

Two American women.  Both victims of relationship violence.  Two horrifying photos.

 

Four years ago, on the eve of the 2009 Grammys, the world learned that one of our most famous young pop stars, Rihanna, had been viciously beaten by her boyfriend, Chris Brown, in his automobile.

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Corsets 'R' Us

It is true that I am obsessed with the PBS show, Downton Abbey. Also true that I have read all 1,040 pages of Gone With The Wind at least four times.

 

But that doesn’t explain why I recently bought two corsets made from cold hard steel and reinforced black nylon.

 

Twenty years ago, I bought a beautiful black dress.  Handsewn black lace sleeves. Sequined fitted top. Fluffy black polka dot crinoline skirt.  Purchased at the same fancy-schmancy Madison Avenue boutique where I got my white silk wedding gown. more

Mom Bangs

Two of America’s most famous and wildly different moms - singer Jennifer Lopez and mom-in-chief Michelle Obama - revealed nearly identical haircuts last week.

 

Bangs.  Mom bangs, to be exact.

 

For most of my life, I thought bangs were for first-graders.  A badge of childhood.  Something you outgrew by age seven. Instructions your mother gave the hair salon for your little brother’s first haircut, as in “Just give ‘im some bangs.”

 

You know, cute.

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The Steubenville Rape: A Fatherhood Issue

Gang rape is not just a problem in India.

 

Last summer, in a small town in Ohio, two teenage boys allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl who was intoxicated into oblivion.

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The Drug Lady Came to 8th Grade

The Drug Lady came to 8th grade this week.

 

You may think I’m joking, but that’s what the kids at our school call the prevention specialist who visits our 13 and 14 year olds for a week each year as they prepare to face high school’s chemical perils. 

 

One student saw her in an airport security line and called out “Hi, Drug Lady!” which led to a long visit in a private screening room and the Drug Lady missing her flight.

 

True story.

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Why Raising Boys is Harder

People always say raising a boy is easier than a girl.  I’ve never been sure why.

 

From the moment I realized I had grown a male infant inside my decidedly female body, I was impressed to the point of being intimidated.  Fortunately my son was sweet and gentle and uncomplicated.  His early years were a cakewalk - in marked contrast to the way my head spun from his sisters, one of whom, pre-language skills, once bit me on my right butt cheek in lieu of asking me to move, and then a few months later toilet-trained herself. 

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If Holiday Newsletters Told the Truth

Naturally, many of you hate holiday newsletters.

 

I do, too. 

 

That doesn’t stop me from writing my own.  Family life once again proves to be irresistible fodder.

 

Happy holidays, everyone.

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Dating, Domestic Violence and Our Children

Part of parenting - a weighty and unglamorous responsibility - is keeping your kids safe.

 

The recent elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut are a terrible reminder of how unsafe our kids are at times.  However, random attacks by strangers, although terrifying and tragic, are far more rare than a common danger lurking in our children’s lives as they grow up, become teenagers, and start to dabble in the world of love.

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Lessons from Elementary School

What do you remember from grade school?

 

What do you think your kids will remember, 25 years from now?

 

I remember not being able to speak the entire first day of kindergarten.   I couldn’t, wouldn’t, make a sound.  My terror was so great, I thought not speaking could translate to not actually being there.

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