Time Magazine

Time Magazine's Mommy War: Can't we all just get along? by Liz

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, I'm sure you've seen this recent Time magazine cover asking if you're Mom Enough. I'll admit, when I first laid eyes on it, I was pissed. I posted it to my Facebook page with a snide comment.  I made assumptions about that ridiculously hot mom and wondered how the hell her boobs looked that great after breastfeeding for five thousand years. And I wasn't alone-a social networking and media firestorm over the "right" way to parent raged on the internet. Angry status wars on Facebook.  Twitter debates heard around the world.

But, then I realized something. The executives at Time magazine who orchestrated this whole thing were most likely laughing their asses off and high-fiving each other for inciting another mommy riot-selling a shitload of magazines in the process. And why not?  We make it so easy for them!

You see, the reason this cover pisses us off is not because there's a three-year-old nibbling on his mom's boob, but the way that picture and headline below it make us feel.  If you don't wear your baby in a sling-you suckIf your boobs aren't providing milk until your kid hits kindergarten, you've failed as a motherOnly evil mothers let their babies cry it out. And we buy into it, getting defensive and attacking attachment parenting until we're blue in the face. When, in reality, there's nothing wrong with attachment parenting-it just may not be right for you.

And it seems we've forgotten one really important thing: There's more than one way to be a great parent.

The media loves to kick up a good shitstorm between women.  Perfect example?  The classic stay-at-home mom vs working mom debate.  Our instinct is to put one another down in order to feel better about our own choices-that insecurity we all harbor deep down inside that we may not be supermom rearing it's ugly head anytime someone suggests one lifestyle is better than the other.

Personally, I'm tired of seeing mothers fight over what the "right" choices are.  Dr. Phil can solve paternity issues, find long-lost siblings and fix bad marriages in one hour flat, but when he had SAHMs and working moms on his show, the debate was so heated that they had to extend into two hours.  The venom that was spewed and the judgement that was handed down on both sides was disturbing and hard to watch.

Here's a thought: What if we took that energy and supported each other instead?  Or better yet, work on getting right within ourselves so we don't attack each other? And when did the F did mothering turn into a competitive sport?

I choose to work because I enjoy it-and I'm not ashamed to be a working mother.  And I've always felt that if moms make choices that make them happy(as long as it doesn't include cocaine and a bottle of tequila!) that their family will probably be happy too. It was the right decision for me-but that doesn't mean it's the right choice for others. I have great love and respect for the stay-at-home Moms out there and have good friends on both sides of this coin.  And if there's snarky comments or judgment directed my way from others because of how I live my life, I've finally figured out that it has more to do with them than me.

I'm not a perfect mom by any means(and probably the worst girl scout leader EVEH, but that's a whole other blog!), and I know I've made more than my share of mistakes.  I'm just like y'all-I worry that the choices I make today will effect my kids later on. But I hope that I'm teaching them that no one moment, good or bad, defines them as long as they live in the present. And that whether I breastfed until they graduated college or not at all, I love them more than anything in this world. And it's that love for our children that makes us ALL Mom enough.


I want to know what YOU think!  I've got a GREAT prize package for someone! A BUNDLE O' BOOKS! Leave a comment and I'll choose the winner on Monday May 21st after 6pm PST.

xoxo, Liz





betsys_usual_dirty_martiniI guess you could say my "signature cocktail" is a slightly dirty Grey Goose martini with extra olives. Made right, it can make you swoon with delight as you savor the taste of the perfect blend of vodka and olive juice in your mouth. So, at a party over the weekend I thought to myself, "What better to pair with my favorite drink than my favorite conversation topic--Facebook?" I've obviously made no secret that I'm a total Facebook whore who's now made a hobby out of collecting friends. My latest offense was just yesterday when I was sent a friend request by someone I'd never met and with whom I had no mutual friends. An automatic "ignore" for most, but not for me. Instead of rejecting this prospective friend, I made an inquiry. Had this man from South Africa meant to friend me? It turns out, he hadn't. He was looking for another person with the same name.

You might be thinking, "Yeah, right, like there's another Lisa Steinke out there that he meant to friend?  Please. This guy probably just wanted to get in your pants!" (Well at least that's what my boyfriend would say!) Well, it turns out that there is in fact another Lisa Steinke out there. She lives in the Midwest and I happen to already be friends with her. A few weeks ago, I thought it would be funny to friend someone of the same name. Since it's always about the status report, I could see it in my mind...Lisa Steinke is now friends with Lisa Steinke.

Well apparently the other Lisa Steinke liked the idea because she swiftly accepted me and even beat me to the punch with her own status report. I was curious now that I knew we shared a name and a sense of humor. Did we have more in common? I went to her page to find out. I discovered that she belonged to a group called, "You Know You're In The Steinke Family When..."

Oh, how exciting, I thought. I wonder if other Steinke families are like mine.

But after reading the first point, "You can't leave a family reunion without hugging and kissing everyone twice", I laughed. It wasn't an LOL situation like many of you are so fond of. It was more of an outward chuckle--more of a COL, if you will. In MY Steinke family, we're lucky if we even smile at each other when we accidentally pass on the street! And we certainly would never have a,*cough*, family reunion.

But I really digress.... So, back to the man in South Africa. Even after discovering he wasn't intending to friend me, I friended him anyway. Afterall, I didn't have any friends on that continent yet.

And these are the stories I was thinking of as the conversation at the party inevitably turned to Facebook. There was an article in last week's Time Magazine about how the boomers are all over Facebook. Damn right! Although not a boomer myself, I'm certainly no spring chicken. I'm rounding the corner to 36 so of course I'm going to defend the "older" folk who want to be part of a social network. There's plenty of room for everyone- even you Mom- I'm waiting!

So, when a 49-year-old woman began to tell me a story about Facebook, my ears perked up. I took a sip of my glorious martini and gave her my undivided attention.  She explained that recently some of her high school classmates had found her. She didn't understand why, after thirty years, they now wanted to see what she was "up to"... In fact, she wrote each of them a note that said if they were REALLY interested in forming a connection with her, they could call her on the phone. What a novel concept.

I was surprised to hear that 3 out of the 4 classmates did in fact call. I stood there in shock and took a bite out of my olive. I certainly wouldn't have called had I been one of those classmates and I told this woman as much. I said, "I have to be honest, that although I respect your position, I feel the complete opposite. I enjoy getting notes from former classmates and people I haven't seen in two decades... but would NEVER want to hear their voices!"  That would just be taking it entirely too far.

I knew I sounded like an a-hole, but it was the truth. The best part of Facebook is the fact that you can keep up with people without having to write more than a sentence or two on their wall. It doesn't mean I don't give a sh** about them, it just means I give more of a sh** about my own time.

Throughout the night, I heard myself saying to the other partygoers, "I'll be sure to tag you in that photo" and "I'm going to friend you tomorrow!" Sentences I would never have put together before I lost my Facebook virginity three months ago. Sentences that are completely part of my vernacular now.

The day after the party as I was uploading the photos to Facebook, I thought about the woman who told me the stories about her high school classmates. Suddenly, I desperately wanted to be her Facebook friend. Not only because she clearly played hard to get, but because I liked her style. She wasn't going to accept just anyone. If I could get into her exclusive club of friends, I would be cool. So, I sent her a message and told her how nice it was talking with her and getting to know her and I left it at that. (Honestly, I promise you that, a-hole or not, I really did like her and meant what I wrote). A few hours later, that little red notification symbol popped up and, wah lah, a friend request!

The perfect martini coupled with a new Facebook friend.

That, my Facebook and non-Facebook friends, is what I call a successful night.