Perspectives — links to look at.

Just posting in really quick to share a few links!

Beth Berry who writes the blog “Revolution from Home” has some nice advice for young, single moms. Check it out (and more) here.

Berry also wrote this article for Mothering: “10 Great Ways to be an Unhappy Mom.” A good reality check.

Just another great article about friends who have children and friends who don’t. (I’m kind of reading a lot of these lately).

I’m also really digging this well-written single mom blog I just stumbled upon. Favorite posts: here, here and here.

Gotta run!

A to Z Book Survey!

Inspired by Chocolate and Cream Cake via one of my favorite blogs: Zero Fox Given

Author You’ve Read The Most Books From
Anne Lamott. I read her entire body of work in my early 20s. She has written a few more since then that I need to check out. My favorites are: Hard Laughter and Operating Instructions. (The latter is about her experience becoming a single mom when she had a baby in her mid-thirties).

Best Sequel Ever
I wish there was a sequel to When Heaven Calls. Courtney Stackhouse is my favorite writer in the whole world and she also blogs here: thatswu.wordpress.com

Currently Reading
Nothing at the moment. But Giving Myself Away, Montessori From the Start, Understanding White Privilegeand Growing Tasty Tropical Plants Indoors are all up next.

Drink of Choice While Reading
Water?

E-reader or physical book?
Physical book. I don’t know if it is the smell of book or the feel or just the stubborn habit.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School
I did not date in High School? I did not go to High School? I plead the fifth? I really don’t want to answer this one!!!!

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance
Having Faith by Sandra Steingraber. This book inspired me (a high-school drop-out) to go to college and become an environmental toxicologist. It’s so good! I would recommend it to anyone but especially those planning to have a baby or with small children.

Hidden Gem Book
One Straw Revolution. Everyone who I have recommended this to has loved it. It is about farming – but soooo much more than that, too.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life
When my Kindergarten teacher didn’t believe I could read and then I read and she was so amazed.

Just Finished
Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness by Toure

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
Right-wing rhetoric. Left-wing rhetoric. Most Sci-Fi.

Longest Book You’ve Read
In The Spirit of Crazy Horse. I think this should be required reading for Americans (just to scratch the surface).

Major Book Hangover Because of
The Sweet Edge. The ending! So good and so puzzling.

Number of Bookcases You Own
One. I used to have many shelves and books overflowing all over the house – including in the refrigerator and toolbox, etc, but I had to simplify at one point. It feels better for me now.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times
Girl’s Guide to Fishing and Hunting

Preferred Place to Read
Bed.

Quote That Inspires You

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(p.s. I don’t consider myself “pro-life” or “pro-birth” necessarily but I am definitely “pro- feeding, educating and housing all children.”)

Reading Regret
None really. Maybe not reading more?

(Complete) Series You Started and Need to Finish
Mmm? None?

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books
A Taste of Power, life altering at 18

Steppenwolf, life altering at 15

Having Faith, life altering at 19

Unapologetic Fan Of
Sandra Steingraber

Very Excited for This Release More Than All the Others
Desert Nights by Courtney Stackhouse.

Worst Bookish Habit
Dog-earing pages. I know.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book
Traveling right now! Will have to update this one when I get back.

Update: My Autobiography by: Charlie Chaplin

Your Latest Book Purchase
Amazing Babies

ZZZ-Snatcher Book (last one that kept you up way too late)
Lullabies for Little Criminals

Single mother shaming = slut shaming?

I’ll admit it. In my lifetime I never thought twice (or even once) about what it must be like to be a single mom before I became one. I thought a lot about what it would be like to be pregnant, give birth and make decisions about how to raise the child. Over the years that I was a nanny there was plenty of time to think about how I would do things the same or differently from the families I worked for. I can now say it was much easier to know how I would raise a child prior to actually having one. Now with one before my eyes – it’s a whole new ball game.

To be fair, I never really thought about what it would be like to become a parent alongside a partner either though. In my mind I guess it was just a given: a baby would come with a partner and vice versa. Right? Wrong. At this point anyway, I am a single parent. Not even a co-parent. A very single singular solo parent. And now, that’s all I know. I don’t know what it’s like to juggle a relationship with a partner along with everything else. I don’t know what it is like to share the emotional burden and joy – and the financial burden – with an even minimally involved co-parent. I have no idea. I can only guess that new motherhood is a lot of upheaval any way you slice it. That’s the best word I can think of: upheaval. You are the same person you were before. And at the same time you are very much not. It has been a real identity crisis for me at times. Probably especially because things were smooth sailing/hitting my stride just before someone took up camp in my uterus.

All that said, there are many articles and sound bytes swirling out there about how single mothers are basically the scourge of the earth. Some are loosely research based, and some even more loosely research based. Being a scientist, I find some of the statistics questionable. But it’s still disheartening to be working so hard to be a good mom and raise a good person and do a good job either everything else…and then come across these killjoys in the news and through the wormholes of the internet. I do my best not to wrap myself up in those thoughts at the end of another long day. One way I try to manage my way through these landmines (and also on the heels of a single mom friend being harassed out of her corporate job due to her single mom status) – I find myself searching out single-mother-pep-talks online. Here are a few good ones:

Shaming the Single Mom

Respect my Motherhood

Let’s Talk About Shaming Poor Single Black Mothers, shall we?

Six Things You Can Do Instead of Shaming Unmarried Woman for Having Children

I’m SICK of Single Mom Shaming

What Not to Say to a Single Mom

Putting Down Single Mothers Does Nothing…

The Sometimey Guilt of Single Motherhood

How Unwed Mothers Feel About Being Unwed Mothers

And what about good old fashioned any-and-all-mothers mother shaming? I never knew this was a thing until recently. Nuts.

Mother Shaming. At a Supermarket Near You

When Feminists Catch Fleas

Travel tips, part one.

Whelp. I took baby on his first flight. It went ok. The biggest challenge was really all the stuff I decided to bring. Diapers? Check. Stroller? Check. Car seat? Check. GIGANTIC CAR SEAT BAG???? Check.

See this guy from the car seat bag ad?

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When I ordered it I guessed he was about 5’7″ or so. I’m now guessing that he is about…oh 6’4″…6’5″? And it even looks gigantically ridiculous on him. Imagine it on 5’2″ me.

Let me tell you. That bag can knock over all kind of things as you make your way through the airport. Picture apples and bananas flying everywhere and annoyed shopkeepers shaking their heads. Sorry guys. Travelers were cringing at the thought that they had the lucky ticket to the seat next to us. We definitely made an entrance, that’s for sure.

In other news…does anyone need a car seat bag? I’ve got one for you!

And now for a real tip: for flights longer than an hour – if you are traveling alone with a baby either pray that the flight isn’t full so you can use an extra seat next to you for the car seat – or buy the extra ticket for the baby. Some airlines have discounted fares for babies. All I can say is holding a baby for hours on end (with no one to pass him to) should be in the Olympics.

Thoughts for single moms (or anyone) raising sons.

Some thoughts for single moms raising sons. Or for anyone raising a son. Or around a son who is being raised or anyone dating a man or who has a brother or a father or…yeah pretty much anyone.

Tony Porter’s call to men:

Joe Ehrmann’s response to the phrase “Be a man!”

Jackson Katz’s take on violence as a “women’s issue.”

 

And because it’s so funny and also so true, this post from the awesome and hilarious blog Diary of a Mad Woman.

Five Favorites

Well folks, it has been yet another wompwomp kind of day. What better time than to participate in a Five Favorites linkup? Don’t answer that. Without further ado here are 5 things that are keeping me happy and from poking both of my eyes out (and also why I can’t lose the rest of the baby weight):

1. See’s lollipops. (What’s not to love about eating the same piece of candy for a half an hour?)

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2. PopNation Bangkok Night Market popsicles. (1 million calories per pop. It’s ok because I’m breastfeeding. Right? If you are local and you can get these and you go to the store and they have everything but that flavor? Soooorrry! That means I was there just before you and I already ate them all. Next time I will leave one for you. But only one).

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3. Ethiopian food. (The baby ate some. I blame the baby).

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4. This ridiculous store called Fruits & Chocolate (I mean…come on).

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5. Pupusas. (Fried dough filled with…who cares?! It’s fried dough).

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Eating my emotions? Maybe. Feeling a lot better? Yes.

Just another awesome kid of a single mom.

Click here to read about Taijuan Walker. And stay to read about the disappearance of African Americans in Major League Baseball.

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Single mom tip: grocery delivery!

Whoa! Check out Instacart. Delivery is cheap and they will go to 3 stores in my area so far (Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s). So far it is just in the SF Bay Area but you can contact them to put your vote in to come to your area.

This is great if you just need a little help sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times I have eaten scoops of peanut butter and jelly, without bread, because I just couldn’t manage to get it all done and go grocery shopping. (I’m not going to lie, even with grocery delivery I will probably keep doing that anyway. It’s delicious!)

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p.s.

Oh yeah – I’m not sick anymore. I don’t know if the garlic actually works or if it is just placebo effect. Don’t know, don’t care. But I got better fast. Just a little bad breath. Good thing I’m single!

Baby is sick now though. His first cold. I don’t know how to make him better fast yet. Just trying to hold him extra and feed him as frequently as possible.

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Another one bites the dust….or at least goes into hibernation?

I mentioned before about how some pre-baby friendships have gone by the wayside. At least for now. Well, it happened again today. So I cried for 3 hours and then whined to a friend who helped explain it all in a helpful way. And then ate 2 pints of ice-cream. And 2 popsicles. I am feeling better now. I know there are bigger things going on in the world but I just needed a sad little time-out for a bit today.

Not to sound like an a-hole, but I used to have a lot of friends. Since baby got here – the circle is much smaller. A-hole or not – it’s another part of the Major Motherhood Adjustment. For the friends who have stuck around, I’m sure it’s annoying to hear me bellyaching about each person who falls away. I’m so grateful for those awesome people being there and teaching me what real friends are. I would name them here but then everyone else would go out and steal them. Oh wait. You guys are the only ones who read my blog anyway!

Well, along those lines I read an interesting blog post today about post-baby friendships. You can find it here. It starts to scratch the surface of what it feels like to be on either side of the baby-having.

And now for a quote from Tupac:

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