Her Bad Mother

Friday, September 22, 2006


September 22, 1996

Ten years, married. Ten months, parents. Eternities, filled with love.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Taking Action (The Posterior View)

I don't know how to write this post without sounding like a total cheesemeister, but I'm going to make my best effort. Feel free to gag a little bit if I get too sappy. But don't stop reading...

I spend lot of time just sitting around on my ass.

Sure, there's a lot (a LOT) of time spent running around after WonderBaby. There's also a fair amount of time spent pushing her around in a stroller or carting her about in a carrier or - more frequently, now - hovering a step or two behind her in the park while she toddles toward the slide that has the bad manners to beg that she climb it. And then, too, there's the couple of hours each week that I spend standing behind a lectern or pacing back and forth in front of that lectern, and the time spent walking to and from the subway to get to that lectern. And the time spend going up and down the stairs in my house with a baby or basket of laundry in my arms.

So, okay, maybe I don't actually spend all that much time on my ass. But I'd like to.

If I could have my way, I'd spend a lot more time on my ass. A lot more time with books and paper and pens and my laptop, of course. (Ideally, that time would come from the alleviation of laundry duty, and the addition of eight hours to the twenty-four clock.)

Reading and writing and reflecting. I could devote infinite amounts of time to it, and I would love every minute of that time. On my ass.

When you love anything that much, you worry that you might get lost in it. I love WonderBaby that much. I love my husband that much. I love these so much that sometimes the desire to just totally retreat, escape, into these things is visceral. I can feel that desire squeezing my heart, I can taste its sweet tang in my mouth.

(A cabin! The woods! Long days and nights curled up with Husband and baby and books and laptop!)

(In this dream, wireless access is everywhere!)

Escape, away from the real world of real activity. Away from mess and pain and politics and noise and stress and Bad Things.

But I can't do that. We can't do that. In part, because it is simply impossible: life follows you wherever you go. You can't escape mess and stress and politics and pain simply by turning your back on them. You can't escape them, period.

And, we can't escape them because in escaping them we would lose our humanity. The challenges of life shape us, obviously. Any Hallmark Card or Learning-Annex-Deepak-Chopra-wannabe will tell you that. But what makes us really human is facing challenges together, and taking on challenges for each other. What really makes us human is acting as members of a community. Building community. Protecting community. Taking responsibility for community.

These past two weeks, as the 'Call to Action' posts have rolled in, I've seen so much humanity. I see it all the time, of course, out here in our corner of the blogosphere, where we write again and again and again our love for our families. But these posts, they showed me so much more. You're all so much more than mothers, fathers, parents, friends. You are all so human, in the best possible sense.

(I know, I know... getting SAPPIER.)

(Did I mention my ass, and how I sit on it, yet?)

Here's what we do, what we can do, how we can and do exercise our humanity, even from the comfort of the perch of our butts...

Changing the World, One Blog at a Time

(Please. Do go visit these. I tried to organize them all by issue, but it was just too difficult and this post just never would have gone up if I'd kept at it. So you need to wade through the list, but please take a stab at it. Every single one of these posts is an inspiration.)

(Yes. You MUST KEEP READING. To the very bottom of this post, and then back up through the links. Yes, it will make you dizzy. But you will be a better person for it.)

Her Bad Mother - A Place Called Hell

Her Bad Mother - Things You Can't Tell Just By Looking At Her

Making Other Plans (Just Another Tool of the Patriarchy) - Action!

The Silent 'I' - A Great Man's Passing

The Silent 'I' - Community Love

Izzy - Just What Your First-Grader Needs

CrazyMumma - Live Life Love

Momish - 'Cause I Care

Lala -Livin' Large in the First World

Jozet - Lactivists Anonymous

Breadcrumbs in the Butter - Passion

SlackerMommy - Friends of Kids With Cancer

Radioactive Girl - Forever and Always... and Even Some More

Radioactive Girl - Lonely No More: Forever and Always, con't

My Silly Sausage - Getting Active

Sunshine Scribe - Breaking the Silence

Blog Antagonist - Mission Bad Mother

Metro Mama - Sleeping Children

Ruth Dynamite - Feminism: The Dynamite Perspective

Mama Tulip - 'Cause Happy Babies Mean Happy Mommies

Something Blue - Utopia

24/7 - Just Say It

Troll Baby - The Motherless (new blog)

Troll Baby - Left With a Legacy

Chicken and Cheese - Save a Life

Petra's Shadow - My Cause, My Life

The Mouse's Nest - Protecting My Family

The Ravin' Picture Maven - Passive Activists Rock!

Snickerdoodles - Baylie Belewe

Baylie's Site

Mommy Off The Record - Food For Thought

Mamalooper - Social Activism, or What Gets Me Up in the Morning

Baby in the Cty - Quiet Revolution

Mama Drama - A Can of Chicken Soup

Kittenpie - Little Causes

Dirty Laundry - Call to Action

Rose DesRochers - Giving Sick Kids a Reason to Smile

Mad Hatter Mommy - It Is What It Is

Toyfoto - Look Both Ways But Cross the Street

Non-Linear Girl - For My Grandmother

One Plus Two - Not So Very Ordinary

MotherBumper - Dooooo it... come on now

Life, The Universe and Everything - Warning: Social Justice Post Follows

Homesick Home - How I Give All My Google Ad Revenue to My Grandmother

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual - Sometimes You Need a Kick in the Ass

The Lovely Mrs. Davis - Whoever tells the story defines the culture

nomotherearth - The Play's the Thing

Writing in the Mountains - Don't be Such a Brat

What Was I Thinking - Helping Unusual Children with Schooling

Frankly Pregnant - Lucia's Angels

My Own Circle of Confusion - Banned Book Week

Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - Do A Body Good

If It Wasn't This It Would be Something Else - Call to Action

The Ravin' Picture Maven - Meet My Brother

Rose DesRochers - Safer Internet Day

RocRebelGranny - St. Judes

Write About Here - Lawn Bowling and Native Plants

Parenthacks - Spread the Word (Toys to Iraq)

The Mad Momma - The Gift of Life

Mother-Woman - Raise a Reader OR Not

Mamaritaville - Helping Others

Stupid Grin - Too Many Happy Meal Pets Laying Around? (Toys to Iraq)

MadHatterMommy - It's a Matter of Choice, No?

Team Mimi - Run For It

If I've missed anyone, please let me know, and accept my apologies. And, if you're late to the party and inspired to write a post of your own, don't hesitate to send in a link - I'll keep adding links in as I receive them.


Another issue that we should all get behind: it seems that in some of the United States (some 28 of them), it is perfectly legal to question potential employees about their family status (married? with children?) This practice facilitates discrimination against against mothers and, especially, single mothers and sets us back, like, centuries. You may have read about it over at Amalah's Daily Dose yesterday; you can read more about it HERE. MomsRising is currently organizing a petition to promote the passage of legislation that would make this illegal. Please, go sign this petition.


Phew. Tired now. Am done doing my part to make the world a better place today. Off to bed...


... or not. A Bad Mother's work is never done. Keep checking the links above, as broken links have been fixed and many new links have been added and are still being added. Keep sending, and I'll keep adding the links, and eventually the list will end up on my sidebar.

And while you're thinking about all these posts and how should you maybe write one, too, or write another one, check out my profile of another action post over at UrbanMommy.

Okay. NOW will go celebrate anniversary...

Monday, September 18, 2006

More from the Shameless Whoring Files...

EDIT (huzzah!) - a question and new picture added, below...

... because I just cannot get enough of myself, and neither can you...

1) More what-the-fuck-is-up-with-feminism? ranting at SheBytches. If you are offended by my drooling girl love for Gloria Steinem, look away. Otherwise, good times.

2) My own Call to Action post is up. But hey! Not here! I put it up at urbanmoms, where the notion of blog community and the integrity thereof has been under rigorous interrogation.

(Hey! There can't be community where there's advertising! Not possible! Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Bad Mother?)

(Ever been to Cuba? The absence of Pepsi ads has secured freedom of speech and open dialogue to an extent hitherto unseen in human history.)

The Call to Action links are being compiled as we speak and that post will go up, in all of its gushy/ranty goodness SOON. I promise.

3) That 'Loneliness of the Long-Distance Mommy' post that I wrote the other week? Devra and Aviva over at Parentopia have deconstructed it and de-guiltified it and their work is awesome, not least because they turned my appropriation of Liz's term Competi-Mommy into the term Emanci-Mommy. Genius.

4) That's it, for now. What, you're not tired of my screeching, whorish voice yet? How about a little WonderBaby/INEBG Dancers action to take the edge off?


... to get ahead in life...

... you gotta step on a little frog.


So, um... everyone is all, oh, poor Kermie (and even one cheery I'd rather Fozzie took the foot to the head!), but has no-one noticed that the baby is using Kermie's head to leverage herself up to the second shelf of our bookshelf unit, the better to pull herself up to the third shelf and turn on the television?

Or is this normal baby behaviour, and I just missed that chapter in What to Expect in the First Year?

Things she didn't learn at play group, #837: WonderBaby demonstrates how to break out of one's own house through the living room window...