I absolutely love this idea for displaying children's art work.
My favorite feature of the Working Mother Clubhouse: "wall panel with video screen of child area (ability to TURN OFF)."
Love idea of letting the Wookiee win.
I've always been a fan of outsider art. Mainly because I have some in my own backyard.
Loving Babble's new Tuesday Twitter Tracker - always good for a laugh.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
I feel it is my personal duty that Salt & Nectar cover every controversial parenting topic before our first anniversary. Why be a mommy blogger if you can't stir the pot occasionally? Am I right?
We've already covered breastfeeding and co-sleeping, which leaves circumcision! A tiny piece of skin that causes an awful big ruckus. It's also a topic that's back in the news (and blogosphere) after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report concluding that routine hospital circumcisions of newborns have declined over the past 10 years. A survey of three large, independent data sources showed that the rate of in-hospital circumcisions dropped from 62.5% in 1999 to 56.9% in 2008.
I like to think I did my part in dropping that number because neither Griffin nor Amos are circumcised. (Guess I better delete this post right around their 13th birthday!) If I'm being honest, it was a pretty easy decision for me. I have a pretty intense hippie/earth mother streak when it comes right down to it and am generally distrustful of the medical establishment. I gave birth at home. I breastfeed. I vaccinate on an alternate schedule (another post for another time). So, circumcision never really seemed like an option for me.
When people ask me why we didn't circumcise? My reply is always the same. No one could give me a reason to circumcise. I've seen the studies that it can "slightly lower" the risk of STDS, AIDS, and urinary tract infections. However, the impact on infection rates is so small - not to mention I hope to raise sons that understand ways to substantially lower their risk of STDS and AIDS - like say a condom. Heck even the America Academy of Pediatrics (not exactly a fringe group) states there is no reason to recommend routine circumcision in newborn males.
Both my husband and I considered the fact that our boys would look different from men in their family - not to mention other boys in the locker room - but it just wasn't enough to persuade me. However you want to explain its genesis, I think we can all agree that the human body is a superior piece of design. I try not to tinker with that design unless absolutely necessary.
Beyond that, it just didn't seem like my decision to make. In my experience, men take their penises VERY seriously. (Can I get an amen?) It's difficult to think of these tiny little creatures in my care as independent human beings with bodies all their own but that's what they are. If Griffin or Amos decide one day they would like to be circumcised, that's fine with me but I wanted to leave it to them to decide.
So, that's the long and short of it. (HA! Sorry, I couldn't resist.) I decided not to circumcise my sons for my own personal reasons. I'm not an intactivist, although I do admit that is the best name ever. I don't think we should make circumcision illegal. If you chose to circumcise your son, I'm sure you did it for your own personal reasons and I have no problem with your decision. However, I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm glad to see my sons might not be all alone in the locker room after all.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
“You can have a child when you’re not 100 percent sure of things. You can just work it in,” says Veronica in the recent Glamour article discussing the growing trend among women—especially those with a college degree—that knowingly play fast and loose with birth control because secretly they have a "strong longing for motherhood" and hope that chance will make the decision for them. "Are you Playing Baby Roulette?" also points to other factors that seem to influence this indifference about birth control—the beliefs that a baby will bring about the happy ending known as marriage or that birth control doesn’t matter because it’s ineffective, it increases risks of cancer or infection, and it’s needless in the face of perceived infertility.
I’m scratching my head over this one. Please explain to me why anyone would actively pursue—or in this case sit back and wait for it to happen—an “accidentally-on-purpose” baby. Of course I’m thinking about this from the perspective of a parent whose personal belief that raising a child is the hardest job you’ll ever love has been confirmed over and over again during the past two years. I think all parents would agree that even when you plan to have a child and all your ducks are in a row, a baby is so life changing that you’re never fully prepared. So if you’re always starting parenthood with a slight disadvantage (i.e., out of the gate you realize you should have read the manual…oh yeah, there’s no damn manual!), I can’t imagine deliberately having a baby to satisfy some sorta kinda wanna urge to be a parent when the usual suspects—baby daddy, money, health, the village—aren’t informed or in place.
No, I’m not suggesting that women (and men) shouldn’t be single parents or that surprise packages are destined to have messed up lives. I know that intended pregnancies and babies born into the securest of situations don’t always end up with the best parents or happiest homes. I’m just questioning the motivation behind “deciding not to decide.” Call me crazy, but this scenario seems totally different than heat-of-the-moment, clearly-not-thinking, one-night-stand sex or those times when birth control is used but fails. What do you think? Are you wrinkling your nose at this ambivalence toward birth control and motherhood? Or am I just an old-fashioned prude?
I know the gender studies student in me would say that women should be afforded sexual agency. I agree. But to me agency involves making an informed choice not simply leaving life to chance.
~ The Other Sarah
I used to bristle when people would deride women for being overly emotional. "Girls are so much drama!" they would say. I have friends both men and women who claim to avoid female friendship because the relationships inevitably lead to conflict.
I always thought these ideas reeked of gender stereotypes and sexist assumptions. After all, I think we've all met a moody male or two and Lord knows men have conflicts all their own. If they are more likely to end in a fist fight than tears, well who's to say one is better than the other. (See two can play at this gender stereotype game!)
Well, I'm sad to say I think these people might have been right. Girls are drama.
Recently, I engaged in a little girlfriend drama of my own. One girlfriend simply decided she didn't want to be friends anymore. Another was angry at me for some hurtful things I'd said to her and carried the anger around for months. One friendship was salvageable. One was not. Both situations left me hurt, a little angry, and more than a little gun shy when it comes to my current relationships.
After all, is it worth it? I had spent a lot of time with both these woman. I had shared stories and stresses. I had made them a part of my life and I had made myself vulnerable. In return, I felt like all I got was criticism and rejection.
And if these were my only experiences with female friendship I would say no. Thankfully, they are not. To say I have great girlfriends is sort of like saying I like Oprah - doesn't quite do it justice. Annie, Elizabeth, Laura, Erin, Shannon... These women are my sisters. On the most basic level, I am not me without them. They make me laugh. They make me think. They make me feel better when all I want to feel is sad. My daily prayer is that I give back even half of what they give me.
Have I had drama with these women? Hells yeah. Elizabeth, Erin, and I lived together...in college. Need I say more? We've had our conflicts but the drama didn't consume us. If anything, it made our friendships stronger. And I am so, so happy that I never let a few negative experiences prevent me from opening myself up again.
We all know deep down that all relationships contain drama because they contain people. And people (not just women) are drama. There are so many relationships in our lives that are mandatory - relationships with our spouses, our children, even our coworkers. We HAVE to work through that drama. We don't have a choice. So, maybe it's tempting to cut out relationships that seem optional.
However, I'm here to say. For me, friendship - specifically friendship with other women - is not optional. The phonecalls and gchats and coffee dates with my girlfriends get me through and make me better. I simply could not live without them.
So, bring on the drama. I can handle it - as long as I've got my girls by my side.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland