Mommy Guilt

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Is Shouting the New Spanking? IS IT? WELL?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Update! I will be part of a panel discussion today at 12:30 EST on MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman Show. As I said on Twitter and Facebook, I am trying not to worry about a wardrobe malfunction. Although MochaMomma urged me to “PLEASE have a wardrobe malfunction, a planned one.” Gotta admit, it’s tempting. Too bad I don’t have extra pasties from BlogHer ’06. I hope you’ll tune in and send me “Don’t say stupid shit on national television” vibes!

The article written by Hilary Stout, For Some Parents Shouting Is The New Spanking appeared in the New York Times Styles section today and Aviva is quoted. Our post with more on the story, plus response to over 300 questions, concerns and observations found in the article’s comments,will be up sometime over the weekend.

Oh, and don’t think for a minute that it escaped our attention both photos included in the piece are of mothers yelling at their kids. Sure our book is called “Mommy Guilt” but this doesn’t mean we support the notion mothers should just sit back,take the heat and wind up sticking our collective head in the oven whenever we admit we’re experiencing tough times in the Parent-hood. We all know Dads yell too. And no doubt there are fathers who feel guilty about it. Parenting is not about perfection. Learning to be a more effective parent isn’t the same thing as learning to be skilled glass blower. Glass doesn’t have an ability to talk back, challenge, or call you “the meanest parent in the world.” We’re not parenting inanimate objects and we’re human too.

(and on a separate note, this is the first time I have ever written a post, hit “spell check” and got a “No misspellings found” message. It’s monumental. It is.)

Got Mommy Guilt? Let’s chat LIVE! TONIGHT! 9PM EST!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009


Come join us over at The Motherhood tonight at 9PM EST! We are thrilled to have been invited by Emily and Cooper to facilitate the down and dirty about being a mom and what role guilt plays in the parenting experience.

Got guilt? Bring it with you!
Don’t feel guilty? We’re not going to guilt you into feeling it.

This is a conversation not a lecture, so we’re counting on you to interact, share your stories and or just hang out. We’ll answer questions, we’ll talk about whatever it is you want to talk about. Nothing is off limits, nothing is too serious or too outrageous. Whatever is on your mind, we’ll tackle together.

So come on over to The Motherhood tonight, we’ll be there waiting for you!

Go! Mom (and Dad) Go!

Motherhood Is A Gas

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

I’m very happy to be recognized as a “Go To expert on arm farts.” After all, I’m the same “expert” who uses Saturday Night Live as a parenting tool. And I also laugh at my own mistakes when it comes to my parenting on a fairly regular basis.

But even I, laid back about many many things, am a stickler when it comes to decorum and manners. While I am okay with arm farts, I am not okay with them at the library. I may use Saturday Night Live as a parenting tool, but I dont‘ allow my children to watch SNL without me right there, and truth be told, we don’t even watch it”live”; All hail the DVR!

But this post isn’t about how technology has changed our TV habits. It’s more about something that happened way back in 2005; Aviva and I wrote a book which encouraged moms decrease the guilt and increase the enjoyment of parenting. At that time, we felt the hyper vigilant parenting needed to come to a halt. Anywhere we went (and still we do this) we attempted to absolve parental angst. Gave permission to parents not to worry so much. Urged parents to give their kids, and themselves, more freedom. We screamed “NO!” to anyone who thought the car adapter for a crockpot sounded like a good idea. We yelled, “YES!” to a parent who told us, “I’m going to let my child walk three blocks to school and I’ll use that time to exercise or get to work on time.” No secret, we had an agenda. And now it seems like our plan for world domination, or just being more relaxed parents, may be coming to fruition.

A week or so ago Lisa Belkin wrote a piece for the New York Times Magazine titled “The End of Over Parenting” Aviva’s mother mailed it to Aviva with a note;”You girls started this!”* I don’t know if we can make the claim of being groundbreakers, but I believe we can definitely document we’ve been steadily advocating parents aren’t perfect, we don’t have to be superhuman and our kids will not suffer if they have to play outside with only their imaginations. We can also stake claim that in 2005 we were mistaken for Judith Warner. A lot.

Now in 2009? I’m the Go To expert for arm farts. Suck it, Judy! (J/K)

Aviva and I are happy the momentum for parents to enjoy parenting and listen to each other’s experiences continues to flow to other books and that spirit continues to rise up in different incarnations. The whole reason we wrote our book waybackwhen was to bring attention to what mothers ,and their families, were experiencing in real life, in their words, along with a few this and thats added by us.

If Aviva’s mom is right, and we helped by getting the party started, we should keep the party going. Dare I say it? I do. Let’s party hardy! Yes, I just used a term from the 80′s(and for my next trick I’m going to write “You’re a great kid, see you next summer!” all over my next blog post).

So we invite you to party with us.

Here is our Parentopia Party List:

Momfidence

Free Range Kids

The White Trash Mom Handbook

Mommy Confidence

The Ghost In The House

Sleep Is For the Weak

Mojo Mom

You’re A Good Mom (And Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either)

Practically Perfect In Every Way

Who else needs to be on this list? Because like any party, there is always The One name which escapes your mind and doesn’t get put on the invite list. The One where you slap your forehead with the accompanying “Oh shit. I totally forgot!” And after you think of that name? You think of at least three more!

*Aviva’s mother will always refer to Aviva and me as “The Girls” or “You Girls.” How can she not when she’s known Aviva all of her life and me all of my life minus 7 years? Aviva and I have been friends since 1st grade. And if you’ve never read our story, here it is.

Punditmom picks our collective brain about Michelle Obama, Mommy Guilt and more. TODAY!

Monday, January 5th, 2009

We are guests today at 2PM EST on Punditmom’s Blog Talk Radio Show. Hope you’ll join us!

Guilt: What’s a holiday without this special gift?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

For many people, gifting this year is different. Maybe it’s because economics have taken their toll, maybe you’ve gone green, maybe you just want to stop the retail madness and define the holiday differently. Who would think making changes would be guilt-inducing? But they can be, so let’s take a look at some possible ways to deal with guilt, such as let it go or having the guilt guide you toward creating some wonderful holiday memories.

1. Any gift is a good gift. Remember the old adage “You’ll get nothing and like it?” Well, if someone is getting a gift from you, then you’ve already gone above and beyond according to that adage.

2. Rock it old school when it comes to spending time with your loved ones. Lots of children like hearing “Way back when” stories of your childhood, their childhood, their grandparents childhoods. So why not bring some of those experiences back during the holiday season? Try making a short family movie, or dig out family photos and have a caption contest. Maybe you can encourage everyone to write (or for smaller kids dictate) a favorite holiday memory and make copies to send home with everyone.

3. If you are having a Staycation, be tourists in your own town. Look up sites to see and go see them. If you are visiting family, share some of your favorite hometown places with your kids.

4. Here’s an article Aviva and I were interviewed for in Baltimore’s Child Magazine about dealing with special circumstances that arise with combining special needs kids and special holiday celebrations. (However, the info is definitely applicable to any family, not just those with a extraordinary child.)

5. Take a look at what Di has to say about Mommy Guilt and resolutions.

Now consider what would make your holiday less stressful or guilt-inducing. Really. Consider it.

We’ll wait.

Ready?

I’ll begin the conversation by saying in our house we put a holiday recipe book in front of our kids and said “You pick em and you make em. We’ll help.”

Are we recommending Being Dad as a way to anticipate parenting angst? Do dads even have the angst?

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Yes and Yes. No Doubt. Aviva and I were sent preview copies of the film “Being Dad” a while back and while I Tweeted my recommendation, Aviva and I believe the movie worthy of being recommended on our site too. We loved the film! We actually told the folks who sent it our way we would love to be able to hop into a time machine, go back to the beginning of humanity and deliver this film to all men who would someday become fathers. We would sit down with them and watch it together. Of course, this would also necessitate we bring this dad, this dad and these guys with us so we could appropriately set up the first real Man Cave of the future.

Being Dad was was released to the public last month, and we really hope families everywhere will consider putting it on their holiday wish list or think about giving it to the fathers in their lives whenever the opportunity presents itself.

I’d even go so far as to encourage parents to watch the DVD even if you’ve already had your baby. What I liked about this film is it makes it undeniably obvious men have something to do with creating kids. Dads in this film experience parental angst and are talking about it! Aviva and I have always maintained fathers aren’t “helping” mothers with parenting, they ARE parenting.
I’m planning to watch the DVD with my teenage son. Yes, really. Why? Because I think every teenager should sit through a movie about childbirth. I actually think it is a deterrent to having unprotected sex. At least it was for me. I still remember when my husband and I were expecting our first child. We sat in our Prenatal class and watched the birth film. I turned to my husband and silently questioned how I could reverse pregnancy,“Holy shit. What exactly did we get ourselves mixed up in here?” I thought about my social work supervisor who warned me about how even a planned pregnancy shook her up.”Look, there I was 9 months pregnant. When one day I stopped in my tracks and thought ‘My God, this baby will have to eventually come out some how.’”Because until you see and hear what is going to happen, you can just deny it all you want, evidently even in the 9th month.
Trust me, it’s not just teens who freak out about being pregnant, get scared and need to know what’s going to happen. This film does an excellent job of preparing parents for what they may think or feel and offers a wonderful foundation from which to build a conversation about what kind of parents you want to be or already are.

Find Us Over On BabyCenter

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

A few weeks ago we were interviewed by Evonne Lack. The article is “The Top 7 Mommy Guilt Trips–And How To Handle Them” which is now posted on BabyCenter. We’re also happy to give a shout out to our Blogmiga Tela from Working Moms Against Guilt who is also included in the article.

If that article gets you in the mood to read blog posts about parenting and guilt, go check out the recap of Parenting Guilt Day from Silicon Valley Moms Group. You’ll find writers from DC, NJ, NY, SV and 50-Somethings all coping, ditching, ignoring and laughing as they retell their experiences.

Parentopia May-nia

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Wow. Just wow. All of a sudden we have so much to tell you. Our online and offline lives have surged and we’re both whirling dervishes. We have so much to blog about, and we will get to all of it. But since things are so insane right now, it’s going to be in bits and pieces and it also may be out of context too. But knowing most of you reading our blog are parents, it’s not like you’ve never been interrupted or had to catch up on something later. And this is why we heart you all so very much!

Let’s skip ahead to May and then we’ll work our way back to April. For the first time in our lives we can say we are cover girls! In words, not in pictures, but who cares? We are on the cover of the May issue of Parenting Magazine! Parenting Magazine’s very own Julie Tilsner also interviewed these two bloggers for “Kiss Mommy Guilt Goodbye!” and we didn’t even know it at the time. Then we read the article and thought, “That is so cool!”

Love it when our paths cross like this! The Internet is so very large, yet so very small all at the same time. True that.

Two other May events are coming up fast and furious. We hope you will join us!

The first is “The Working Mothers Summit” being held in the Metro DC area on May 10th.

The second is Mamapalooza in New York City on May 17th.

PBS Parents Q&A Launched! We say hey, what a wonderful kind of day!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

PBS programming has always been a big part of our lives; During our own childhood, in the course of our parenting, and now as professionals. We are so excited to be featured experts on PBS Parents this month! We hope you will click on over, check out the Q&A; and participate in the discussion about what spikes or decreases your guilt-o-meter.

Devra makes it no secret that if Calliou , Arthur and Clifford were of age (and in the case of Arthur and Clifford, human), she’d take them all out and buy ‘em a round for each 30 minute increment they kept her sons contently occupied giving her the opportunity to take a shower…and leave the guilt.

Aviva says, “Roger(s) that!”

Does Britney Spears bring out your inner guilt?

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Have you read this article in New York Magazine ? Here is what I wrote in the comments at New York Magazine’s site:

It’s possible that for one particular group of moms being unfulfilled is an inducer of guilt, however our research points to Yelling as the number one inducer of guilt. (With the one exception of mothers of infants who aren’t yelling yet.) There are quite a few inducers of guilt for mothers, both internal and external. As for Britney, most mothers I have come in contact with have stated they feel very sad for Britney; from the perspective of “She’s a mom, I’m a mom” as well as “I have a daughter, she’s a daughter” and lastly “I’m a daughter, she’s a daughter.” Most women recognize someone they know in Britney and can relate positively or negatively to that.

It looks to me like Britney has indeed been stoned in public, but I am of the opinion it is more likely to be the drugs, and definitely a large chunk of the press , doing it to her rather than other parents.

Am I high?