Archive for April, 2008

Patti tagged me for one that’s making the rounds right now. The rules:

  1. Pick up the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 123
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The book: one I am reading right now for the purposes of reviewing – Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too (Susan Callahan, Anne Nolen, Katrin Schumann, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008). Let this be a teaser:

Humans are better, happier beasts when their personal, emotional needs are being met. “Cerebral virtues–curiosity, love of learning–are less strongly tied to happiness than interpersonal virtues like kindness, gratitude, and capacity for love,” says Dr. Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness. It’s the gentleness and appreciation that couples share in their best moments that nourishes them in a way nothing else can.

I’m tagging Bethany, Brittany, ML, Joanna, and Sheri. Have fun!


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I never know how seriously to take these things, especially since I don’t actively market my blog. Maybe some of you savvier bloggers out there can let me know whether I’m being spammed, or whether I really am garnering attention?

First, Blogged.com has apparently given me an 8.5 rating. (Even though they rated my old blog rather than the sparkly new WordPress one.) I’m listed in their Books section, along with Maud Newton, Murder She Writes, Paperback Writer, and… Chris. Well, I’m mostly in good company, anyway. 😉

Then came an email telling me that my parenting blog has been found “Buzzworthy” by BuzzLogic.com. As a result, their client is “very interested” in advertising with me. Hmm.

Have I been spammed? I don’t know. I have to sign up at Blogged to “claim” my blog description, even though I don’t have to sign up to post a widget here. BuzzLogic.com wants me to call to find out more about the advertising opportunity. Which, okay, I know that’s how Dooce pays her mortgage. But I don’t know much about it other than that I will never be Dooce. Anyone have any advice here?

Oh, and I also periodically get emails from people who want me to post links to articles on entrepreneur-type issues like avoiding business debt, etc. I would think that if my readers want this kind of information, they could Google it. Am I right on this, or… not?

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At first I was wondering how these writing moms got into my head. Then I realized: we’re all essentially the same. We have similar temperaments, which means we suffer from the same mental disorder that told us we could be successful as writers taking care of small children. So our experiences, anxieties, and thoughts are very, very similar, even if our pre-kid life histories are very different.

Sheri wrote:

i have taken care of a toddler and worked at home and brought in an income every day for over 17 months without, until recently, any childcare. when did this happen? how the hell do i do that?…. oh god, i might be a supermom.

if i were truly a supermom, though, wouldn’t my house be cleaner? wouldn’t i cook something every now and again? wouldn’t i do a lot more active parenting (crafts! story time! field trips!)? wouldn’t i have a whole lot less guilt about the fact that i do only what is absolutely necessary and required to get by when it comes to day-to-day living, parenting hours, volunteering at the school, and so on? wouldn’t i spend a lot more time (or any time) fine tuning and perfecting my actual “momhood”? proving my “momhood” to the world!

or am i a supermom because i even consider these things in the first place?

Then Bethany wrote:

Groceries. Dishes. Laundry. Pick up Dry Cleaning. If the baby took a nap, I wanted to finish the work project. Get to that book I needed to read. Write the review… it went on and on and on. By minute four, the tears stared. What the hell am I doing? To-Do lists on a Saturday? Pre-child these were days of sleeping in til the afternoon, cold pizza, TNT movies, and hell, nothing. Here, I was cramming more than a normal days work of work into a few hours. And that included the day job. The one I am salaried to work in 40 hours.

But I also read this gem at Freelance Parent:

Being a procrastinator doesn’t mean that your work or your mental well-being has to suffer. In fact, when done correctly, procrastination can actually work for you. (N.B.: Read the list. That’s my life, too.)

It may be true that you feel you cannot procrastinate, because you simply have too much to do. But I really think that as writing mothers, we put too much pressure on ourselves. Our mothers’ generation was told they could have it all, except that they still felt torn between the old values and the new ones, so some thought they should have been working while they stayed home, while others maybe sacrificed a little too much as they went into the workforce.

They made sure we knew we could have it all, too, and I think that’s why many more of us work from home… and tell each other, “You can have it all. Just maybe not all at the same time.” Which, of course, doesn’t stop some of us from trying to have it all at the same time.

I wish I had better answers. I wish it weren’t so pat to say, “This too shall pass” or “Try to see the constant neediness as opportunity.” Because when you need a break NOW, none of that provides the perspective that the advice-offerers think it does.

The best I can say is, give yourselves a break. We’re all doing the best we can. Sometimes (okay, often) our best goes toward our children. Sometimes toward husband or work or home. And sometimes we can’t give our best at all. Writes Spyscribbler:

Sometimes, the only thing we have to hold on to is that there is worth in each of us, just by being. Not by what we do, or who we are, or how we act. There is still worth in us, even when we are confined to bed, “useless” to society.

So be nice to yourselves. Whatever we do is good. Maybe not great, maybe not what we think or know we can do. But enough.

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