|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.|
Back in 2008, when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hit the international media scene as John McCain’s photogenic running mate, I was a brave, lonely voice among feminists and Democrats. I went on the Today Show to explain, rather heroically I thought, that there was a lot to like about Palin.
I respected that the woman had become more ambitious and successful with every one of the five babies she’d had. Usually the opposite occurs.
Ten-year-old girls. Sleepover parties. Tween drama. Need I say more?
My daughter attends a small school with about 20 girls in her class. Very nice girls. But not every sleepover and birthday party can include all 20 girls. So, inevitably, there have been a few hurt feelings. Tears. Playground huffs. Mean looks.
The girls talked. The moms talked. (Probably a few dads too.)
Motherhood is a comedy. And the joke seems always on me.
The latest episode featured the fourth grade end-of-year music performance.
My youngest child is ten. This is her last year of lower school. She attends the school my two older children, my younger sister, and I, all attended.
College reunions are designed to trigger reflection, nostalgia and insights into the winding, baffling life journey that connects who you were at 20 and who you are now. And maybe, for cynics, how much you owe your college, how impressive are your life achievements, and how good you look compared to your college boyfriend’s wife.
For the last 12 months, I have been practicing one of the most glorious sentences in the English language:
"I have a cabin on a lake."
I’ve only said it out loud about a dozen times. Mostly I say it to myself.
Two years ago, my mother died of cancer in my DC home on a sunny April morning. I drifted into shock and sadness. My grief reached an irrational peak the day my siblings and I sold Mom’s beloved, rambling lakeside New England retreat.
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.