Mama's Blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Update from Tracy

Hey Ladies,

Sorry if you all haven't heard from me. Got buried in work (having a hard time
with that) and didn't stay in touch. What was great about the initial invite
were the responses that I got from each of you-- some of which I have had your
permission to share with others, so I will paste them below to get the
conversation going. So, who is still up for gathering this weekend? Did someone
express a preference for Saturday or Sunday? I am going to call it for Sunday
at 2pm at my pad and see who nibbles. Has anyone had a chance to read the book?
I don't want this particular discussion to be a book assignment, especially
since I haven't been on top of the communication. Just let me know who has or
is reading it. We can use the book, or even some of the quotes from it, to be a
stepping off point because I think that all of us would benefit from whatever
discussion springs forth. More importantly, we can discuss what we would want
from a book or discussion club and see where to take it from here. So, what say
you to:



Some thoughts to share:



from Krystyna Hughes in Minneapolis:

I am inspired and filled with a renewed hope that I am not just becoming a
suburban soccer mom arrested in the simple (yet not so simple) as we both know,
tucked away life of motherhood. I have recently been feeling (after 8 months of
being exclusively an at home mom) that I needed to exercise, explore,
develop the other facets of my being. On the one hand I feel guilty needing to
do so, because after all, am I not in a privileged position to take care of my
child without having to go to work, yet it has become very evident that being a
mother is just one part (a huge part) but never the less, one part of my
identity. This might seem obvious, even to myself, but as you know, motherhood
seems to be an ALL consuming vocation, leaving little time for much else.
I love Marneffe's eloquent point of view and it really hit home for me
when she writes: "Embedded in the emphasis on the caregiving mother's
nonentity status is tendentious refusal to recognize the pleasures, the self
expression and the moral fulfillment mothering can afford.... Though feminist
activism has helped secure for women the public power previously denied them,
it has done little to challenge the assumption that women who spend their
time caring for children are powerless, un-self-actualized and at the margins
of cultural life.....We live in a culture that enshrines acquisitions but
profanes care. There is so much I have to say about this topic, but I know that
your time and mine is limited, but I thank you for reminding me that I am not
alone and that I can continue to be a connected, culturally aware thinking
person as I celebrate the godly position of being a mother. Mothers are sexy
too!!!!



I would very much like to participate in this group, I am not sure yet how,
perhaps by phone. I have a VOIP ( voice over internet processor) so it would be
no charge to you or me. If you have your phone set to speaker phone or perhaps
I could write short articles on the topics we are discussing. I will ask
Nigel about how to do something technologically practical and useful for an
event of this nature.



All my love and thank you again,



Krystyna.



___________________________

from Kim Starzyk:

Sounds like a great idea...count me in!

Just for an opposing view, however, I will be bringing along "Mommy

Madness" by Judith Warner. I'm not sure it's the best thing for you brand

new mommies to be reading, as a lot of what she refers to you have not yet

experienced (and may not, hopefully not...), but here's a couple of

excerpts:



"As young women we had choices - endless choices. But motherhood made

it often impossible to act on our choices. Or gave us choices on the order

of: You can continue to pursue your dreams at the cost of abandoning your

children to long hours of inadequate childcare. These were choices that

didn't feel like choices a t all. And they came at the cost of our " full

human potential". That is to say. at the cost of keeping alive the various

parts of ourselves - the ambitious part, the nurturing part, the sexual

part, the active part, the intellectual part, the domestic part- that

combine to make us human."



"The mess of the Mommy Mystique - the belief that we can and should

control every aspect of our children's lives, that our lives are the sum

total of our personal choices, that our limitations stem from choosing

poorly and that our problems are chiefly private, rather than public, in

nature - is not an individual problem that individual women should have to

scramble with. It is a social malady - a perverse form of individualism,

based on a self-defeating allegiance to a punitive notion of choice; a way

of privatizing problems that are social in scope and rendering them, in the

absence of real solutions, amenable to one's private powers of control. It

demands a collective coming into awareness at the very least. And, I

believe, once that awareness is reached, it cannot be cured without some

collective, structural solutions.

But first we have to dig our way out of the mess. And replace the

motherhood religon that reigns in our time with some real life
rationality."



Love, and carpool,

Kim



____________________________________

from Stephanie Nawyn:



Hi Tracy,



I would be interested in a reading group, although I would like to read some
books about topics other than mothering. Unlike the author, all I ever think
about, hear about, and read about is mothering, the desire to mother, the
desire to not mother for at least an hour or two, or how other people think I
should mother or desire to mother. I am interested in reading this particular
book, as I can't understand how this woman thinks the "vocabulary for this
desire seemed so limited" when there are literally hundreds of books on
the library shelf offering such vocabularies (as I found out when I searched
for this book).



So, while I am not tired of mothering, I am a little tired of talking about it
with people. But I would like to have some lively discussions with people other
than sociologists, and I am curious about this book. I'm free either day you
suggested, and I would prefer an afternoon-ish time (like around 2pm). I may
not bring Henry, though, as weekends are usually Daddy-Henry time.



- Stephanie



__________________________________

an idea from Krystyna

Hey Tracy,



Talked briefly to Nigel today regarding your Book Club for Mommas. He suggested
doing a Blog (A diary with a discussion thread). Don't know if you want
to create a club that is small and intimate or post it for the
whole world. I could help with the blog. I'm pretty sure Nigel could set it up,
but I'd have to check. Perhaps this is not want you had in mind for us non
Angelinos, but it's a thought.



Anyhooty, a bien tot!



Love,



K.



P.S. Below is an example of a Blog for Mothers.





http://www.literarymama.com/interact/blog/