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. 

Elite Deadbeat Dads

Thanks to Court TV, most of use can define the term “Deadbeat Dad.” We know the dismal reality that over 50% of single moms do not receive the financial support they are owed by their children’s fathers. Our country is united in the belief that fathers must support their children, financially at least.


Breastfeeding on the Job

When my first child was two months old, I decided to take a chance and breastfeed in public for the first time.  When it came to nursing, I barely knew what I was doing, even in private.  But when a few friends hosted a small July 4th barbecue for families, I figured I’d give public lactation a try.


Five Short Years

This past week, my three kids went back to school.


Two of my kids celebrated by throwing parties for their classes.


Two, thank God, not three.


First, our ten-year-old daughter invited 33 fifth graders over for swimming, pizza and ice cream.  I sent out an email to the class cheerfully labeled: Welcome to fifth grade!  At the front door, I made all the kids leave their shoes and backpacks, lest they jump into the pool with them.


What if There Were No Men?

“Ooooo,” I said when I saw the recent New York Times Op-Ed piece, provocatively titled, “Men, Who Needs Them?”. 


The author - a man - argued the following (although I have rearranged the order of his points):


My Celebrity Summer

Twenty years ago, when my darling husband and I were first in love, we lived in Manhattan.  He spoke often of his wonderful childhood summers in nearby East Hampton, New York. 


Should Your Kids Tell You When They Start Having Sex?

When you first had sex, did you tell your parents? Either parent? BOTH of them?


In my case, being a 70s child, I never discussed sexuality (my own or others) with my mother or father. After I had three kids in my 30s, I assume they figured out I knew what to do between the sheets. But the subject continued to be an unexplored, let’s say completely closed, family topic.


Spotlight on Single Moms

At just 16, Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas is the first African-American since Dominique Dawes to represent Team USA on the Olympic gymnastics team. However, in my mind, her mom, Natalie Hawkins, also deserves a medal. A lifetime achievement award of a different stripe.


Girl Gangs

Over 20 years ago, the night my first marriage ended, I spent hours dialing the phone.  My husband had beaten me unconscious, I’d given statements to the police in my wrecked living room, and then I’d driven with my dog to City Hall to file a restraining order at midnight. 


But when I got back home at 2 am, bruised ribs and glass cuts on my face, the first thing I did was make several calls, all of which were as important to my survival as the police, a locksmith, a divorce lawyer, and a good therapist.


When Beauty Fades

Beauty is the strangest gift ever given, because you have to give it back.


Try telling that to a teenage girl.  Or any woman under 30.  Or, maybe, any woman of any age.


The Triumph of the Mommy Wars

When I was eight months pregnant with my third child, I informed my boss, my staff and my colleagues, that I wasn’t going to take any maternity leave.  I loved my job as general manager of The Washington Post Magazine.  Our bottom line was at a critical growth stage.  Stay home with a baby?  Been there, done that.


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