The Private Mommy War

A year ago my anthology, Mommy Wars, which explores the inner battles of working and at-home moms, was published. The paperback came out yesterday (with cool James Bond silhouettes of moms on a funky orange cover) . In between the two pub dates, I was lucky enough to appear on the Today Show, the Diane Rehm Show, and a slew of other TV and radio programs. I talked to -- and heard from -- hundreds of working and at-home moms across the country about their own private mommy wars.

This is what I found. Women everywhere -- in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, in smaller places like Orinda, Calif., and Warren, N.H. -- were eager to talk about their lives juggling work and raising kids. Moms in red states and blue states all benefit from open, honest dialogue about our mommy wars, which is part of this blog's broad appeal. "Blogs are now acting like megaphones for women," explains Lisa Stone, president of BlogHer, the Web's No. 1 guide to blogs by women, which lists over 7,400 blogs, 1,600 of which are in the "mommy and family" category like this one.

I also found that mothers are divided only by the media, politicians and television shows. Almost all women slide back and forth on a spectrum of hours worked inside the home vs. in an office, store, factory or field. Today's "working mom" could be at home next year and vice versa. In fact, several of the 26 Mommy Wars at-home contributors have returned to work in the last year; a few of the working moms have quit to stay home. Both of the "premom" contributors to the book have gotten pregnant. Three moms have gotten divorced. Women don't fall into -- or stay in -- permanent boxes.

Moms in America are bombarded by contradictory pressures to nurture children, men and aging parents, while also providing economic stability for our families. The inability of our country to accept that more than 70 percent of moms with children under age 18 need to work provides the real fuel inflaming the mommy wars. Feeling good about yourself as a mother, whether you're working in or outside your house, is a pathetically difficult task in America today.

What amazes me is that even after talking and writing about these issues for years now, the worst mommy war still simmers inside my head (at least it no longer boils). Our culture's pervasive images of the patient, smiling, unconflicted mama stroking a sick child's brow means I am capable of outright paranoia when a stay-at-home mom on the playground says I look nice on a day I'm dressed for a TV interview. Is she insinuating I'm a bad mom because I am clearly going to work instead of heading home? And then my husband teases me about being a "housewife" since I work from home most days now. Neither stereotype does anyone any good.

We moms need each other -- whether we work for pay or not. This country needs us, too -- and the children we are raising. So why is ending the cultural mommy wars against women -- and the inner mommy war we wage against ourselves -- so hard?

What's your private "mommy war"? What do you think we need to do to find a permanent truce?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  February 28, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
Previous: Foamgnome Weighs in On "One" | Next: Commuting and the 'Dead Zone'


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First!

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 7:23 AM

I personally always feel like I could be doing more as a mom. I know that I could be doing more in my career but that does not bother me. As long as I do the job as required, I am thrilled to take a back seat while my child is young. But it does sort of bother me when DD is sick and it is difficult to take time off. I worry about all the teacher work days, snow days and summers. I think it is always hard to justify working with children. But you have to pay the bills, so what choice do we really have?

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 7:31 AM

When I was the guest blogger here a couple months ago, under my real name, the inner mommy war was driving me crazy. Finding myself pregnant again recently has upped that angst -- but I'm slowly working myself out of it, in part through blogs like this. It is so important to know I'm not the only one who has the feelings I have! I really believe we have to try our hardest to embrace our decisions and not be overly sensitive to what other people say -- half the time, they aren't insinuating what we think they are, and if they are, then who cares! Being a "housewife" ain't so bad, if you don't make it a bad word. And being a working mom is a real necessity for many families -- and doesn't mean you care less for your children.

Anyway, I think the key to finding a "truce" is to resolve our own feelings about what we do. I know there are many of you out there who don't have angst, and that's great. But for those of us who do (and I know there are many), making peace with who we are as parents, employees, etc., is the first step. We live in an opinionated society, so of course someone will always have something contrary to say, but if we're firm in our beliefs that what we do is right for us, then it will matter much less what others might think of our choices.

Posted by: writing mommy | February 28, 2007 7:40 AM

I don't have a "private mommy war". The "Mommy Wars" are fake, drummed up by the media to sell books, columns, and blogs. Might as well be talking about Bigfoot.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 7:51 AM

While I think this is an important discussion, it is one that has been discussed ad-nauseum on this blog. There IS more to balance in your life than fighting the tilting windmills again. Yesterdays topic was non-divisive, informative and relevant. A frequent contributer once listed a whole list of better things to discuss. Try a few.

Posted by: nc mom | February 28, 2007 7:55 AM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I wonder where this discussion is going to lead? hmmmmm..... Bring back foamgnome!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:00 AM

for the next few days, I get to manage my family all by myself, kinda like being a single father.

right now, I feel really happy. I got up early, turned on the stereo during the get to school routine and hugged 3 kids before I launched them off to get their daily dose of education.

I have one more to get to pre-school which will require a mile walk, but I'm looking forward to hanging around the PS moms and maybe another dad or 2.

What a piece of cake! It's the Bon-bon life.

I can get use to this!

But then again, ask me how good I feel after I put the kids to bed tonight!

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 28, 2007 8:02 AM

"The inability of our country to accept that more than 70 percent of moms with children under age 18 need to work provides the real fuel inflaming the mommy wars. Feeling good about yourself as a mother, whether you're working in or outside your house, is a pathetically difficult task in America today."

Blaming America because you don't "feel good about yourself?" Now it is the country's problem that millions of women don't fell good about themselves.

Yesterday I heard a study about Narcissm among College students. Apparently the past 20 years of "feel good" sports and "no one wins" has left an entire generation with a feeling of entitlement. Now we have the mommies that feel they are entitled to "feel good about themselves" despite their decisions. It is the country that is to blame!

Come on ladies, are we not strong enough to reject this? If you don't feel good about yourslef perhaps you should re-evaluate your decisions, work, family time - whatever it takes to make your life better. Posting on this blog gives a lot of women an outlet for their frustrations - including myself. However when I see blame being laid at the feet of a whole country because a Wharton Business School Graduate with an extremely charmed life doesn't feel good about herself - well, it makes me ashamed to be a female. It allows every stereotype of women to be justified - emotional, undecisive, irrational. We are better than that.

That is my rant and I am done.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 8:03 AM

"I don't have a "private mommy war". The "Mommy Wars" are fake, drummed up by the media to sell books, columns, and blogs. Might as well be talking about Bigfoot."

I agree with that. What a waste of energy to worry what others think or to internalize fake angst.

"Bring back foamgnome"

Really, yesterday's blog was not very exciting. Trying to decide whether or not to have another child? Yawn.

There are so many other issues affecting women and families that could be discussed, but some of you live in a small, small world

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:06 AM

"Now we have the mommies that feel they are entitled to "feel good about themselves" despite their decisions. It is the country that is to blame!"

Or entitled to take sick days for "mental health"

Please, stop picking on Leslie. She is sharing her innermost thoughts and she's not doing it anonymously like the rest of us. Some of you are just mean and nasty and it is YOU who "allows every stereotype of women to be justified - emotional, undecisive, irrational" to persist.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:09 AM

Foamgnome, I've added you to my list of heroes.
.

And I think you should go for another child. If not for any other reason, this world needs more responsible, respectable parents like yourself to balance out, well, um, fathers like me that have 4 kids to corrupt. :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 28, 2007 8:10 AM

8:06: Well, not to be rude but if you have a better topic, please write a guest blog about it. We are all anxiously waiting for your blog. Seriously, I don't mind that some people do not like my guest blog. There will always be critics. But I really do encourage others to write one, if they think they can do better then Leslie. Brian or the past guest bloggers.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 8:11 AM

OT: OK, totally off topic. But what do you guys do for teacher's appreciation day? I think it comes up in early April. I don't want to over gift or under gift.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 8:18 AM

"Now we have the mommies that feel they are entitled to "feel good about themselves" despite their decisions. It is the country that is to blame!"

Or entitled to take sick days for "mental health"

Please, stop picking on Leslie. She is sharing her innermost thoughts and she's not doing it anonymously like the rest of us. Some of you are just mean and nasty and it is YOU who "allows every stereotype of women to be justified - emotional, undecisive, irrational" to persist.


Posted by: | February 28, 2007 08:09 AM

Leslie can defend herself. There are many times I agree with her but today the dredging up of a worn-out topic, then adding how it is the country's fault that we - as women and mothers - feel good about ourselves is silly and inane. Get a spine!

Give yourself a name so that we can count you as an ally of the "Blame America first" crowd of feel good gobbledy gook. Leslie doesn't need your help and she gets paid plenty not to be anonymous.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 8:20 AM

As a single parent, a called a truce long ago in my personal mommy war. There is a battle between my goal of a strong, stable career that will provide for my child (and later for myself in retirement) and being a great mother who prepares her child to succeed in the world. Neither would be achieved based on my BC (before children) perception of a good worker and a good mom. I now live with the reality that sometimes I'm a star at home, and a slacker at work (and vice-versa). Until we each, individually, are comfortable with our choices AND stop judging others for theirs, the mommy wars will rage on.

Posted by: Single Life | February 28, 2007 8:21 AM

"Please, stop picking on Leslie. She is sharing her innermost thoughts and she's not doing it anonymously like the rest of us."

Right, she has a financial motive that the anonymous posters may not have.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:21 AM

OT: OK, totally off topic. But what do you guys do for teacher's appreciation day? I think it comes up in early April. I don't want to over gift or under gift.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 08:18 AM

How about a 5 or 10 dollar gift certificate to Book store or Coffe shop? Have your child make a card rather than buy one.


Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 8:22 AM

for teacher appreciation I always get a gift card to one of the chain bookstores. $10 or $15. Unfortunately, we don't like the assistant this year, but she too will get the same.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:26 AM

I do not have an internal mommy war.

Did anyone see the article about the kid who just died from tooth decay? It is deplorable that happens in this country.

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 8:28 AM

Do you give the assistants the same amount? At Christmas we gave the teacher a $30 gc from Borders and the assistants $15 gc from block buster. Maybe that was a faux paus (sp?). We also gave $20 to bus driver and $15 for his assistant. I don't think I was going to give anything to the bus staff this year for TA because they are not really teachers. We give $50 gc for a pizza lunch for the day care staff. They are essentially like teachers.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 8:30 AM

For Teacher Appreciation, send your child in with a copy of your property tax receipt, with a big smiley face on it.

Posted by: wtf | February 28, 2007 8:33 AM

I've never read this blog before...is there always such a high degree of crankiness on it?

Posted by: Kim | February 28, 2007 8:43 AM

I have an intense internal mommy war. I hate the fact I'm not working. I don't like to admit to other moms that I would prefer to work. I have been out of the work force for 5 years now. I have tried to get a job. I've never had to try before. The failure is humbling.

Posted by: anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:45 AM

I certainly have guilt sometimes about working, but want to point out that I work because I ENJOY it. So I probably don't have as much guilt as some.

I like being a successful career-woman. The money is definitely nice as well, but if hubbie and I really wanted to, we could live on his salary alone. Does that make me a bad mother? I don't think so. It just means that my life does not revolve around my children.

I only make this point b/c some people on this blog seem to imply that the only way a mom can justify working instead of being at home with their children is because of financial reasons.

Posted by: londonmom | February 28, 2007 8:46 AM

The comment made earlier by cmac is ridiculous. To suggest that women who struggle with their decisions to work or stay home with their kids are blaming the country is absolutely something straight out of the Far Right NEO CON idiot playbook. Cmac, the article wasn't suggesting that these women are blaming the country, but I do think it was inferring that people such as yourself blame these women. I happen to be a working mom who went from full time to part time for my kids, though the economic penalty is there. Your opinion is what tires me the most, as if you think you should have a say in my private life, or my life in general. Tell me not to work; tell me not to have an abortion; tell me how to run my bedroom. Those are the kind of people whose attidude you represent so well in this column and you know what? Keep in your strict little boundaries and away from me, please.

Posted by: SYWanda | February 28, 2007 8:47 AM

I do have an small inner mommy war going on - all about the well-known issues: do I work too much; am I patient enough with the kids; is it good that I work; is it bad that I work, blablabla.

I can live with that inner battle to some extent and manage it ok on most days. What really makes me sad in all this is that my husband does not seem interested/supportive. He thinks there's "nothing to discuss" and, frankly, is not the type of guy with whom you could discuss more unconventional (for us) - options, like my quitting, our moving, whatever. I have plenty of girlfriends in similar boats with whom to chat, but it just makes me so sad that my husband can't/won't be part of the whole thing.

Just needed to vent. Slightly off topic, maybe.

Posted by: Anon for this one | February 28, 2007 8:47 AM

"I only make this point b/c some people on this blog seem to imply that the only way a mom can justify working instead of being at home with their children is because of financial reasons."

It's because too many people like to judge other people's choices. Good for you that you are a successful career woman! You are a terrific example to your children. You are not a bad mother and to even think it shows how far we have fallen as a society. Good luck to you and your family.

Posted by: to Londonmom | February 28, 2007 8:52 AM

Since when does getting paid to do something mean it's ok to be attacked for expressing an opinion? So many judgemental harpies on this list.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:53 AM

"To suggest that women who struggle with their decisions to work or stay home with their kids are blaming the country is absolutely something straight out of the Far Right NEO CON idiot playbook"

THANK YOU!!!!

Posted by: To SYWanda | February 28, 2007 8:55 AM

Yesterday's blog topic was a bunch of navelgazing and all of this foamgnome adoration is tiresome.

I want to hear more from people like londonmom

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:56 AM

"To suggest that women who struggle with their decisions to work or stay home with their kids are blaming the country is absolutely something straight out of the Far Right NEO CON idiot playbook."

Actually, no, it's not. Neoconservatism has little or nothing to say about domestic policy and has everything to do with the evangelization of democracy.

I agree with cmac. This topic has come up before; it really is incredibly self-indulgent (and not in a good, eating-triple-creme-brie sort of way) to spend much time moping because you interpret "You looked good during your interview yesterday" as "You heartless harridan, how can you stand to abandon your poor babies?"

How do you stop it? Just as you stop any other bad habit: recognize that it's not a good way to think and when you find yourself starting to think that way, tell yourself that it's wrong and actively concentrate on something else.

My God, my God, the energy that people waste worrying about what other people think.

Posted by: Lizzie | February 28, 2007 9:00 AM

Londonmom, like you, I never defined my life by my children. However, I do find others do. I can't tell you how many times I've been introduced as "xy's mom" !!

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 9:00 AM

"What do you od for teacher appreciation day?"

Since I usually can't afford my own cup of tea, let alone buy one for someone else, I go an entirely different route for teacher apreciation day.

I wrote letters praising the two teachers who have had a tremendous positive impact on my daughter to the principal of her school and copied the teachers and my school board representative. I asked that the letters be considered when their employee evaluations were done.

The three teachers who work hard, yet didn't have that unique connection with my daughter got emails thanking them for all their hard work and dedication.

The one algebra teacher whose idea of teaching is to spend the entire class period yelling at a small group of students she can't seem to control didn't get anything. Thankfully, there are tutors who have helped my daughter get through the subject without the benefit of adequate in-class instruction.

Posted by: single and denied | February 28, 2007 9:01 AM

ISTM as an outside observer that the "mommy wars" are mostly internal, an expression of the doubt that many mothers have about if they are doing the "right thing" for their children and their families. It doesn't matter if they work or stay at home; if you've got this conflict going on, whatever you aren't doing will be what you'll wonder if you
--should-- be doing.

For example, Leslie's comment from the playground mom. It was probably a completely innocent statement, but she chose to apply her internal conflict to it and turned it into a subtle criticism. Had she been dressed in jeans and a woman in a business suit had said something to her, she would have probably had a similar response but this time oriented in the other direction.

Mothers, you are in a lose-lose situation if you have this internal conflict. Nothing you do will be right, because you'll always have the "maybe I should have done this" comment pop up in your brain afterwards.

Your best bet IMO (as both a non-mom and non-parent so take it for what it's worth) is to make your decision, whatever it is, and move on with life. Don't dwell on the past and "what ifs"; it doesn't help and will eat you up inside.

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 9:02 AM

dotted: Do you think you get introduced as xyz's mom because that is how the kids get to know you? I find I am K's mom at school and day care. Outside of school and day care, I do not introduce myself as K's mom. Even now at school or day care, I will say I am foamgnome, K's mom. But I was embarrassed when one of the parents at my daughter's party came and I had to introduce her as so and so's mom because it dawned on me that I did not know her first name. I should have just said this is Mrs. G.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 9:04 AM

Of course, it would help if I spell checked my post and spelled "appreciation" properly an caught my typo on "do." Sorry.

Posted by: single and denied | February 28, 2007 9:04 AM

FWIW, the only time I really feel that grawing sense of unease about my decision is when the alumni magazine from the women's college I attended comes to my house every couple of months. It always seems to feature some woman my age who developed a cure for cancer while working full-time and raising six kids (three with special needs) who spends her vacations in India volunteering with Mother Theresa's organization. OH, and she's always really rich -- and her house is bigger than mine. And cleaner!

Posted by: Armchair Mom | February 28, 2007 9:06 AM

I agree with you Londonmom. I actually like to work and use my advanced degree that I worked darn hard to achieve. Any guilt I feel about my kids stems from things like, "Am I patient enough?" After fighting with my two year old boy to get dressed this morning for 15 minutes, I sure was glad to come to work! I do not judge those who choose to stay at home, but it is not a lifestyle that I wanted for myself. It is a very private choice (and like Londonmom, I am very fortunate to have a choice whether to work), yet the media loves to make all moms, whether working or not, feel guilty about something!

Posted by: cg | February 28, 2007 9:09 AM

foamgnome-
Of course I'm xyz's mom if that is how kids know me. I'm also refering to how, when out at the pub grill, I will be introduced, by an adult to another adult, as being a parent of x and y. Interestingly, this usually happens when the two adults are both women. Though, occasionally, men do it too. But that could be because they know my sons though local competitions. The introducer doesn't say "she lives nearby" or "she works near you", but rather "she's the mother of ...". I hadn't really thought about it until londonmom mentioned defining herself through her children.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 9:13 AM

John hit the nail on the head. Insecurity drives your so-called internal wars. Do what you think is best and move on. Have faith in your decisions. I think Leslie really does have an insecurity issue if she's worried whether the SAHM's compliment was a backhanded one. C'mon.

I've known a lot of women who "analyze" other people's statements looking for an underlying message. I would hate to live my life like that. It's just too short.

Posted by: BMOM | February 28, 2007 9:15 AM

Honestly, I think you need therapy. If you are unhappy with a part of your life, then change it and stop whining. The whole issue of the "mommy wars" is caused by women who don't seem to know themselves--what makes them happy. Figure that out, and the internal battle will stop.

This whole discussion makes women look like complete nut cases and is not a good example for future generations of women. Show some confidence and be proud of your life and the choices you make! Enjoy your kids AND your own kid-free accomplishments and stop worrying about what other people think about it.

Posted by: stop it already | February 28, 2007 9:15 AM

I read Leslie's book when it came out a year ago and thought the essays captured my struggle with my inner mommy-war. It's hard to be raised with the "you can be whatever you want when you grow up" mantra which, in my family, implied a profession. I never doubted that I would have children but I did not contemplate how hard it would be to have *both* the family I wanted and the career I was groomed to expect. I've been a SAH mom, a part-time worker mom, a full time student mom, and a work full time mom. All have had their challenges and benefits too. My middle child asked me yesterday about my biggest regret in my life. After some thought, I answered him that I love where my life is now and if each step along the way brought me here, than I couldn't regret any of them (or my "mistakes" along that path). Overall, this is true. But hindsight provides a view of the forest when sometimes the trees were huge obstacles. Staying home full time was very difficult for me. Law school was wonderful - even if hard to manage with a 3 year old and an 18 month old. Being a single mom sometimes stunk and other times was great. Working full time provides me with a huge amount of independence but naturally there are times I wish I was home more. No easy answers for me and it's still a stuggle and I still feel the inner mommy war. My son's big project for the semester and associated class presentation is tomorrow. It was organized by the SAH room-mothers. We are supposed to drop off the represenative food exactly at 11:00. The lunch presentations are from 11:30 until 1:00. Not exactly a good thing from the work perspective. Stuggle.

Posted by: Stacey | February 28, 2007 9:16 AM

I have to say you guys are really being tough on Leslie. I think it is great that so many of you have such high self esteems that you don't waiver or doubt past decisions. I don't think the external mommy wars exist much outside the media. I do think most people are more supportive and frankly don't have the time or interest to care much about what others are doing. I know I could care less what another mother is doing, minus child abuse. But to have self doubt is natural. And I don't think we are all so self confident that we don't spend some time rethinking different issues that affect our families. For example, I was at a birthday party with DD last month. She was the only 3 year old attending. Everyone else was 4. The 4 year olds had more advanced social skills then 3 year olds and certainly more the DD. So I spent a lot of time, following DD around making sure she wasn't climbing on the host's furniture or getting into this or that. One mother stopped and we talked for a while. So she asked me, "how long did I plan to stay home full time with DD?" I never mentioned my work situation at all in this short exchange. But I was puzzled why she thought I was a SAHM because I did not say anything about my work status. And the truth is DD has been in day care since she was 5 months old. So I told her I was a WOHM. But it made me think, am I a heliocopter parent, do I look anxious, or what about my interaction with my DD made her think I SAH? Now Ryan and JoeD can rip into me because evidently they think I am obessed with DD. Whatever. But it was just a sit back and think moment. Not to mention, I know tons of SAHMs who are a lot more relaxed with their kids then WOHMs. It is just different styles to parenting. I found out later that everyone else invited was a friend of the birthday girl from day care. So the mother assumed since I wasn't from day care that I was a SAHM. When the reality was, we know the family from church. But it does make you stop and think and is that really such a bad thing?

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 9:25 AM

I agree, Foamgnome. The overly confident, I-made-all-the-right-choices-for-me-and-don't-regret-a-thing people on this blog don't necessarily represent reality. To me, it's not even too attractive a trait for somebody not to have any doubt ever - you need some introspection every once in a while, and that does include questioning or re-examining your past choices and your current situation.

To me, that's, again, a cultural thing (and I realize that I say that a lot...) - people in this country seem to have a strange (to me) need to stress again and again how confident they are, and how strong - - and how right. No room for doubt. I find it precludes valuable discussion sometimes.

Posted by: Ajax | February 28, 2007 9:32 AM

"...and she's always really rich -- and her house is bigger than mine. And cleaner!"

but what about her laundry?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 9:42 AM

Fred,
You agreed we wouldn't talk about laundry today, remember?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 9:44 AM

No that agreement was given on Monday concerning Tuesday's blog. But if you want to talk about sparking clean bathrooms...

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 9:48 AM

Fred,
I have no problem doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen but those darned toilets get me every time.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 9:50 AM

I am the official toilet scrubber in my house. Maybe this is why Fredia never complains about doing my clothes, including folding and hanging.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 9:55 AM

OK, since we have digressed about talking about bathroom cleaning, can we change topics. I personally really like moximom's suggestion about balancing the culture war versus instilling your own values in your kids. Any takers?

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 9:56 AM

Fred - can't agree more with that division of labor. I'll happily be the laundry queen as long as DH takes care of the bathrooms :)

Posted by: Stacey | February 28, 2007 9:57 AM

We will never find a permanent truce. At least not between moms.
As long as the issue is something as important as how we choose to raise our kids and what we think is best, there will always be tension and a little "Mommy War".

For example, if a mom thinks it imperative to raise healthy happy kids by staying at home, there will always be a little contempt for working moms with kids in daycare. For these moms, working would be devastating to kids.

Or, if a working mom believes that working full time makes her a happy productive part of society, then maybe she will never understand the "waste" of staying at home and think the SAHM is wasting her life away.

This is like the abortion issue in a lot of ways. A lot of people on both sides of the issue are fierce and passionate about their choices and truly believe that their way is the right way.

But what we DO have control over is our inner war. I am generally very happy about my choices. I wish, like a lot of working moms and dads, that there were more family friendly businesses, but I enjoy working and my daughter loves preschool, my husband is incredibly involved in every aspect of parenting. I feel very lucky.

Not to say I don't feel guilty and have those battles within myself on the days that things just don't come together. But, does it really matter? We're human and I'm in no way an absolute creature. Our feelings change, situations change, emotions come and go...

I think that inner battle is healthy and a way to keep our lives in balance and together by forcing us to question where we are in our lives and what our priorites are at that time.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | February 28, 2007 9:57 AM

ahhhh...the outside the home culture vs. the inside the home culture discussion. foamgnome, you realize this will end up being similar to sahm and wohm.

more seriously, one tactic/strategy (which one is it?) we use is to point out publicly to our kids that something is inappropriate, tacky, whatever. We, the adults, express our opinion. The second step is to take action. If it is on tv, we change the channel or turn it off. If it is elsewhere, we direct attention to something else. I try to remember and not spend my bucks in those places with offensive advertising. In the mall, it is easy. I just won't go into places with pictures of people having sex on their windows (think abercrombie).

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 10:02 AM

I think you make a good point SAHMbacktowork. It's hard for people to see or understand the other side. I have several friends who would be miserable if they stayed home because they really like their work, and I think it's great they work. But I know for my family that I prefer being home with my kids most of the time (soon to be full time) and working full time out of the house would be awful for all of us.

Posted by: New Poster | February 28, 2007 10:03 AM

Ajax said:"I agree, Foamgnome. The overly confident, I-made-all-the-right-choices-for-me-and-don't-regret-a-thing people on this blog don't necessarily represent reality."

I wasn't trying to say that everything's perfect and I have no self doubt. All I was trying to say is that my self doubt stems from something I may have done wrong or could have done better not from what I think some chick that I don't even know is thinking about me at the playground.

And after I've thought about what I could have done better I get on with it. There's no use in dwelling on it. That causes premature wrinkles and I'm trying to stave those off :-)

I think SAHMbacktowork just said it more eloquently than I did.

Posted by: BMOM | February 28, 2007 10:04 AM

Everyone has doubts relating to the big decisions they made in their lives. That's normal. What's not normal is constantly obsessing about nearly every decision that goes into raising children, worrying if it was the "right decision" or not.

No one gives out a manual on raising children when they are born that has a 100% guarantee to success. Even for later children there's a trial and error process; a friend of mine with her third child says they are all different and she had to adjust her methods with each one.

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 10:06 AM

Dotted: I don't see it as a SAHM vs WOHM debate. Most of my WOHMs have similar angst about the culture war as my SAHMs; minus the working mom part. I guess I was talking about the violence and sex sold to our kids. I noticed even my friends that have 4 year old daughters, there is a big difference. They all want to wear play make up and care a lot about their clothes. To the point that it is really not healhty. Not that a 4 year old is looking to wear clothes that scream, " I want sex" but they are concerned about what they wear and refuse to wear certain items of clothes. In some ways, I am glad DD goes to delayed preschool and day care. She seems less likely to be influenced by her peers that way.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:06 AM

It seems that one answer to at least reducing the mommy wars is to increase options for parents. I would love to work part time but I haven't been able to find part time work and I worry that it will be held against me when I'm ready to go back full time. My mom is ready to scale back and would love to job share but her employer won't allow it. Having more in between options I bet would make a lot of parents feel better about their choices and therefore probably make them better parents and workers.

I don't think the mommy wars are all in women's heads. When I had my first child I was in grad school and I took class part time and co-taught a course at the university. People I barely knew felt free to criticize my decisions, from both perspectives but I felt great about my choice which did help me to shrug most of it off but not all.

Posted by: Bookworm Mom | February 28, 2007 10:11 AM

LOL at wtf about the tax with the smiley face... do not forget the gold star sticker!

Anyway, it seemed to me that the word housewife has taken on a negative connotation. It is a perfectly respectable job, so long as that time at home is used for the benefit of the family. All sexism aside, the reason why it has worked so well in the past is that it brings some semblance of balance to the home. When both husband and wife are out of the house all of the time, something suffers. Sure, it may not be right for everyone, and if the woman wants to go out and work and can do so, good for her- or vice-versa with the man. If she wants to do the stay at home thing and keep the house nice, spend time with kids, or do something fun, great, but it seems that the ones looking down their noses at the housewives are mostly other women who choose to work at some profession other than taking care of the home. Whichever avenue produces the most stability for the household is the best one for that couple and should not be looked down upon. Seriously, it is beginning to look like woman's own worst enemy is their fellow woman. Just like some blacks are saying Obama is not black enough it seems some women feel that others are not woman enough if they choose to stay home and not work. Leave the sexism to us guys, get in the kitchen and make some pies! ;-) By the time you add up all you spend on daycare, taxes, or quality time lost with a child or children, is the extra paycheck worth it? If so, fine, but regardless, you should not feel superior to another human being based upon your occupation.

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 10:12 AM

Argh, don't get me started on clothing for 4 and 5 year old girls! My DD just turned 5 and it's impossible to shop for her. Department stores sell mini versions of clothing I wouldn't want an 18 year old daughter to wear. Tummy baring, low rise, teeny tops. And shoes that a child can't run and play in - I think heels and open toes are really not good for the playground. Let's allow the children to be children for heaven's sake - not turn them into mini-adults with questionable taste.

Posted by: Stacey | February 28, 2007 10:14 AM

"fighting the tilting windmills again."

Do you mean "tilting at windmills again"? Or are there some off-center windmills somewhere that need to be straightened?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:15 AM

I have to say you guys are really being tough on Leslie...
Is someone sucking up to try to get featured again ALREADY? :-P LMAO

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 10:17 AM

I have to say that I think being a "housewife" is a very demanding and tough job. It is hard to run a household- especially with multiple kids. This week was a nightmare for me regarding car inspections, DMV trips, laundry, grocery shopping, 2 dr appointments, babysitter interviews, thank you card writing, cleaning the house (we're organizing the closets)...all while working full time.

Housewives have a lot to do! There are a lot of negative steretypes of the bon bon eating soap watching moms, but I think if a mom approaches as A JOB and works accordingly, it's perfectly respectable. I wouldn't mind doing it as long as I had a charity or something in addition once the kids are off to school.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:19 AM

I really do believe that the Mommy Wars live more on the inside than on the outside, and it takes a strong sense of self and a solid support system - like with any insecurity.
I can think of few times in my almost one year of Motherhood where my own issues have come out in less than positive ways - Mommy Wars ways. Had lunch with an aquaintance with who had her baby a few months after I had mine. She spent a good amount of time whining about how upset she was to go back to work and leave her son with her Mom - granted going back to work 2 days a week/not full time. Here I was, back at work full time when my daughter was 4 months old, feeling jealous and ugly of her financial situation and 'problems.' This did not bode well for turning an aquaintance into a friend.
Similarly, a woman who I had been friends with for years, also a new mom, showed her true feelings when she realized I work from 10a- 6p. "6P? That's really late! How can you be away from your baby that long?!" was the only way I could interpret her reaction.
I struggle with my decisions on a daily basis, and struggle with coming to peace with the fact that I am in a good situation - a flexible job where I can work from home when I want/need to. A family-friendly company. A wonderful husband. A fabulous in-home daycare where my daughter is loved.
All this... yet... my internal Mommy War continues...

Posted by: Bad Mommy | February 28, 2007 10:20 AM

Time for a deep, cleansing breath :D

Leslie: Please - stop feeling guilty about your professional success. Because you can not help if other people are resentful or jealous of your success. It's one of the prices of success - lonely at the top and all that jazz. Worry about the people who actually matter in your life.

To those saying Leslie is insecure: Glass Houses. Stones. Why post otherwise?

To those standing up for Leslie: Admirable. But as Leslie is the one with the book and the blog, I think she has ample opportunity to stand up for herself. ;)

Insecure myself? D@mn straight. Every hour of every day. I was embarrassed as h*ll yesterday about blow-drying an ice dam in one of my front gutters when there were contractors working on a house across the street. (My neighbors already know I'm off my rocker, but I keep secrets, throw block parties and buy something from every child's fund-raising campaign, so I'm forgiven my eccentricities ;) ) But I have a blizzard bearing down on me tonight, so it didn't stop me. So the contractors were probably amused and my gutter is running instead of iced over - everyone wins.

All we can do is try and learn from our mistakes and fix them when possible. Keep our heads high and understand we can't be everything for everyone, because there's only so much of a person to go around. And try to work past our fears and not let them keep us up at night (NyQuil is *excellent* for the latter ;) ). Analysis-paralysis is good for no one surrounding you.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | February 28, 2007 10:20 AM

If you want age appropriate clothing for boys or girls try Hanna Anderson and Janie & Jack. The clothes are expensive but they are super high quality and almost never inappropriate.

My four year old wants puppies and dinosaurs on his clothes not skateboarders. Clothes for young boys are often not age appropriate either.

Posted by: Bookworm Mom | February 28, 2007 10:21 AM

Chris, I am not sucking up to Leslie and frankly I always have the option, as do you and everyone else, to write a guest blog. And believe it or not, the hight light of my life has not been being a guest blogger. Can't someone just agree with Leslie or do you guys all think she is so out there that no one on God's green earth is going to ever agree with her? If you think so, why do you read this blog at all?

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:22 AM

"How about a 5 or 10 dollar gift certificate to Book store or Coffe shop?"

Here's a radical idea: How about a BOOK?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:23 AM

I'm one of those moms without a lot of angst, but it's less about feeling I've made perfect choices, as letting go of being perfect, or even that there is one right answer for most things. I'm a SAHM at least as much for dh and me as for my kids-- I have every reason to believe they would be fine in daycare, but they are fine staying home with me too.

I think the "inner mommy war" can be a form of narcissism, if you find yourself trying to be a better mom than everyone you know (whether it's trying to prove you can juggle more responsibilities, or give more of yourself to your kids). I'm not trying to be the best mom, I'm just trying to be a decent mom for my kids.

If I start feeling guilty or otherwise angst-ridden, I take it as a sign things are out of balance, and try to find something to change.

Ick, somebody had to mention cleaning bathrooms-- I need to go do that.

Posted by: YetAnotherSAHM | February 28, 2007 10:24 AM

"At Christmas we gave the teacher a $30 gc from Borders and the assistants $15 gc from block buster. Maybe that was a faux paus (sp?). We also gave $20 to bus driver and $15 for his assistant. I don't think I was going to give anything to the bus staff this year for TA because they are not really teachers. We give $50 gc for a pizza lunch for the day care staff."

Geez! No wonder raising a kid is so expensive!

Where did you folks learn to tip everyone you come in contact with? It's insane!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:25 AM

Kim --

Usually much, much more.

These are not nice people.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:28 AM

Posted by: Chasmosaur | February 28, 2007 10:20 AM

There is nothing wrong with using a blow dryer on ice dams. I had to use one to get out my front door a couple of weeks ago as it was frozen shut (thank goodness there wasn't a fire or I would have been in trouble).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 10:29 AM

Argh, don't get me started on clothing for 4 and 5 year old girls! My DD just turned 5 and it's impossible to shop for her. Department stores sell mini versions of clothing I wouldn't want an 18 year old daughter to wear. Tummy baring, low rise, teeny tops. And shoes that a child can't run and play in - I think heels and open toes are really not good for the playground. Let's allow the children to be children for heaven's sake - not turn them into mini-adults with questionable taste.

Posted by: Stacey | February 28, 2007 10:14 AM


What stores are you people shopping at? I have a 4 yr old and I've never had a problem at Gap, Gymboree, Hanna Andersson (they all have great sales- I'm not loaded)
I stay away from Old Navy and "cheap" stores- they're the ones that carry hoochie outfits, but it's not hard to find nice clothes! Nordstrom has some nice clothes as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:29 AM

Kim --

Usually much, much more.

These are not nice people.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 10:28 AM

a surprising number of the ones who post with names are nice people. Can't say the same for the anonymous trolls.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 10:30 AM

I don't think I am being tough on Leslie. I just don't now how many twists you can add to the so called mommy wars to keep the blog going. Also, I realize that since Leslie's paperback version is out this is probably a not so subtle hint at buying it - which is fine. I am all for self-promotion.

I do think it is funny that people are getting irritated at confident posters, like there something wrong if there is NOTHING wrong. I completely disagree with the poster who wrote something to the effect that people in the country walk around with bravado. I truly believe that we have all been coddled and conditioned to question every decision and aspect of our lives to the point of exhaustion. The pressure by society is not who is the most self-assured, it is who has the most self-doubt - oh - and "how can I get more attention for my problems?" I refuse to surrender to it.

Ohmygod - that was exhausting. I need a break, or better yet therapy.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 10:31 AM

I want to know where I can find pajamas with bugs on them. I think those would look great, and they are gender neutral too!

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 10:33 AM

Not to be cynical, Leslie, but if there WERE a "permanent truce," no more "Mommy Wars," wouldn't that kind of put you out of a job? (At least this particular one.)

Posted by: Lilybeth | February 28, 2007 10:33 AM

cmac: I am the first to offer suggested new topics to Leslie. I am referring to people suggesting she needs therapy etc... That is just rude.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:33 AM

The mommy wars I see are not about SAHM or WOHM, but I have teenagers so the issues are different. The battles I deal with are over things like co-ed sleepovers. One camp says "no way, not appropriate" and the other says "boys in one room, girls in another - not a big deal".

Another is teenage drinking. One camp says, "Not happening, it's illegal" and the other says "I would rather have them here where I know they are safe than out driving around. After all, kids will be kids". Parents who allow their children's BF or GF to go on vacation with them vs those who don't.

The problem with these wars is that there is a third aspect. The child is now a teenager, not a young child who blindly follows your decisions. There is much more resistance to your decisions because "everyone else does it" and actually, I did find in a few instances that others really are allowed to do things that I think are completely unacceptable. This doesn't mean that you give up parental responsiblity, just that there is another area of contention or differences that you may feel guilty about or second-guess yourself over.

Posted by: another thought | February 28, 2007 10:34 AM

John, too funny with the bug pjs comment. We crossed blogs. That should have been on On parenting. Anyway, my mother bought them at a discount store in up state NY called all for $10. Obviously every item in the store is $10. They do have some very realistic looking bugs. Not that cartoon version.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:35 AM

"The comment made earlier by cmac is ridiculous. To suggest that women who struggle with their decisions to work or stay home with their kids are blaming the country is absolutely something straight out of the Far Right NEO CON idiot playbook."

SYWanda --

You go, girl! Totally on target.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:36 AM

John, forgot to add, they are really not gender neutral. They were really meant to be for boys.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:37 AM

I meant to say "teenage drinking in the home with parent's permission/acceptance"

Posted by: another thought | February 28, 2007 10:42 AM

DD is three but can't imagine allowing co-ed over nights. I also don't think I would bring BF or GF on a family vacation. I would only bring another child on a family vacation, if I needed a play mate for my only child. But by the time they are old enough to have a BF or GF, shouldn't they be able to entertain themselves. We look for vacations that have something for everyone. I do realize that could be harder in the future. But we look at family vacations as family bonding time.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:43 AM

"I completely disagree with the poster who wrote something to the effect that people in the country walk around with bravado. I truly believe that we have all been coddled and conditioned to question every decision and aspect of our lives to the point of exhaustion. "

**************************
I, in turn, disagree. I don't know to what extent people have been coddled and conditioned and how much they actually, truly question and analyze everything they do and encounter - I maintain, however, that most people's public façade in this country tends to be one of loudly expressed confidence. Whether that reflects their true inner state, I don't know, of course. But neither do you, I supposed

Posted by: Ajax | February 28, 2007 10:46 AM

I'm doing my darnedest to enlist in the Mommy Wars, so far no luck. Maybe someday...

Posted by: club fed | February 28, 2007 10:46 AM

My mommy angst is not so much related to my role as a mother or worker. I think I do those things to the best of my ability. But I do worry that I am not there enough for my husband. We just don't have as much alone time as we should. It is hard for both of us to put our other commitments aside and find time exclusively for each other. Evenings are family time. So are weekends for the most part. And at night after the kid is asleep we are both pretty much exhausted. The other day, we both scheduled a day off, in the middle of the week, when our son is in school, just so that we can be together by ourselves, uninterrupted, for more than an hour. This was really nice. But it had to be scheduled. It's not that we don't see each other all the time. It's that all our time seems to be consumed with activities that are related to either raising our son or maintaining our household, with the occasional extended family commitment that stretches us even further. Luckily, my husband and I are still friends, and we are able to squeeze in some moments even when things are tight. But I do miss those times before our son was born, when we could spontaneously just take a weekend trip away together and not answer to anyone or worry about anyone other than ourselves.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 10:49 AM

foamgnome, maybe I'll try to write a guest blog although writing is always easier in theory than practice - liik most things. Will you let us know what you decide and what happens both professionally and with the baby?

Frankly, if we are talking balance, I think a discussion on the social inequities would be awesome, especially how it affects kids. Kids in this country should NOT die from an infected tooth. We worry a lot about health care for the poor, but forget that dental is an issue as well. I always give tooth paste and tooth brushes when we do the baskets for the families our school sponsors throughout the year. YOu would be amazed at how many kids don't have a toothbrush! We spend a lot of time being mad at big pharma, but let's not forget the doctors and dentisits who refuse to serve Medicare/Medicaid patients. Coverage means nothing if there is no one to provide care!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 28, 2007 10:49 AM

Leslie,

"What do you think we need to do to find a permanent truce?"

As odd as it may sound, I hope that we don't find a permanent truce. At its base, the questions you are really asking are 'What is my role in this world? How do I best make a difference?'. These eternal questions should raise internal doubts -- always. It's that doubt that enables us to analyze our world, explore our feelings, and choose our pathes.

I honestly fear those who have no doubt -- those who haven't opened their decisions up to internal reflection.

That doesn't mean we should be paralyzed into inaction, nor excessively guilt-ridden on our decisions -- but it does mean we should question ourselves and our motives. That is how we as individuals and we as humanity move forward.

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 10:53 AM

moxiemom: I will certainly let you guys know when our situation changes both professionally and personally. If your worried about writing, Leslie will edit it and then ask you to approve it. She will do a basic grammar and spelling check but also loosely reorganize and tighten up the article. She will also ask a question if it does not seem obvious to her and suggest word changes. I really do suggest that other write a guest blog. I think people have good ideas and are just initimated at the idea of writing. But it does not have to be a well researched idea or even well written. Hey, that is what editors get paid to do. I like both of your ideas moxiemom. I just think if it is a full guest blog, it will be easier to talk about versus segway conversations.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 10:53 AM

I've been able to find some cute things at Target that are not hoochie. Just as age appropriate as clothing at Gymboree and Children's Place, for both a 4 year old girl and 2 year old boy. And JcPenney's has good stuff also, with lots of sales.

My favorite way to shop is at Gymboree and Children's Place at the end of the season, guestimating what size the kids will be when that season rolls around. You can get really good deals that way, as long as your kid doesn't go through an unexpected growth spurt.

Posted by: New Poster | February 28, 2007 10:54 AM

hmm, mommy wars. wonder why leslie brought this up today? cough "The paperback came out yesterday..." cough

Posted by: dc | February 28, 2007 10:54 AM

No private internal mommy war here either.

But while it would be easy to just say that and to walk away and enjoy my day without wondering *why* some mothers continue to fight the internal mommy war...why not ask

"What do you think would change the internal mommy war for you?"

"If it is a personal war, should the change come internally rather than externally?"

Posted by: momof4 | February 28, 2007 10:54 AM

My biggest personal "mommy war" is letting my marriage problems get out of control and being a contributor to my marriage failure.

Funny - I advocated and put my kids first instead of my husband and marriage. I felt my husband should have done the same. We actually should have put each other and our marriage first. A very common mistake/snafu.

Ever wonder why a lot of marriages are strained after the arrival of children? Fatigue, stress, lack of time = less effort into the marriage. Which then can equate to marriage breakdown if not resolved in a timely fashion.

Posted by: C.W. | February 28, 2007 10:56 AM

My mommy wars are internal; I always wish I could do more for my daughter.

As for the external mommy wars, I don't care what anyone else thinks; he/she is not paying my bills. Most people have never walked in my shoes, and I have no use for arm-chair quaterbacking from someone who has never been on the field, let alone faced fourth and goal (i.e., really tough unilateral decisions to make that affect more than myself).

I smile when I read postings here regarding, "Oh my spouse doesn't do an equal share of ______ (fill in the blank)." Spend a week in my world, and all of a sudden, your spouse will start to look pretty good.

I say, lighten up and count your blessings. Given some of the truly difficult personal battles so many are facing, most of these "mommy wars" are pretty myopic. I would hate to be the mother whose child died because I could not afford $80 to have a tooth removed. And today, some 30,000 children under five years of age will die, most of them from starvation or a preventable disease.

Posted by: single western mom | February 28, 2007 10:56 AM

foamgnome, I was just kidding. gawsh :-P

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 10:56 AM

Single and denied,

Your gifts are better than anything purchased in a store.

True admiration and appreciation can't be bought.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 10:57 AM

FWIW, the only time I really feel that grawing sense of unease about my decision is when the alumni magazine from the women's college I attended comes to my house every couple of months. It always seems to feature some woman my age who developed a cure for cancer while working full-time and raising six kids (three with special needs) who spends her vacations in India volunteering with Mother Theresa's organization. OH, and she's always really rich -- and her house is bigger than mine. And cleaner!

-----------

No kidding! I used to get the magazine "working mother" through my child's daycare, and it was all about rich, ridiculously successful, and, OH, did I mention fabulously gorgeous, working moms. And each such story included advice from these moms about how to get where they are. I suppose it's meant to be supportive and encouraging, but I just felt like this magazine was written by and for a bunch of rich women who were thumbing their noses in everyone else's face and totally out of touch with "normal" people. It didn't help that much of the advice was along the lines of "I'm too busy to read bedtime stories to my kid in person so I tape record them and have his babysitter play the tapes at bedtime" or "I bring my kid along on my monthly business trips to Paris because otherwise I wouldn't see her very often. It's great for her and easier for me!" or "I have an appointment with my kid every night at 7 for a workout in our state-of-the-art home gymnasium. That's how we spend quality time together. It only costs $25000 to get one of these, it fits great in our 8 bedroom house, and it's SO worth it". I just couldn't relate to this kind of advice or to the superhectic lives these women seemed so happy to lead (even though I loved my job, I didn't REALLY want to do it 7 days a week). I cancelled my subscription.

Posted by: m | February 28, 2007 10:57 AM

"people in this country seem to have a strange (to me) need to stress again and again how confident they are, and how strong - - and how right. No room for doubt. I find it precludes valuable discussion sometimes."

Yes. The name George W. Bush comes to mind...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:01 AM

Hi Leslie,

If I saw you on the playground and you were dressed for an interview and looked nice, that's what I would mean if I commented on it. :)

Posted by: VAMom | February 28, 2007 11:02 AM

Here are the notions that helped me reduce (though probably never completely eliminate) the internal Mommy Wars.

1. Turn off the TV.
2. Remember that there's no way to get an A in mothering.
3. Turn off the TV.
4. Play to your strengths. Nobody is perfect at everything.
5. Turn off the TV.
6. Appreciate other mothers' strengths, especially if they are different from yours.
7. Did I mention turn off the TV?
8. Consider the source of any criticism -- perceived or direct -- that you get. Do you really need to care about it?
9. Finally, turn off the TV.

By way of background, I live in a suburb of Boston well known for its excellent schools. Mothering in this town is a brutally competitive sport that I've decided not to play. I worked professionally for 18 years, 8 of which were after my girls were born, and I was criticized for that. I've been at home for the last 8 years, which I never anticipated when I left my last job -- I always thought I would want to work -- and I've been criticized for that, too. My inner critic pops up from time to time, and sometimes that can be a spur to do things I've been putting off. But if it's just an expression of perfectionism, I've tried to learn to let it go.

Posted by: LML | February 28, 2007 11:08 AM

I say, lighten up and count your blessings. Given some of the truly difficult personal battles so many are facing, most of these "mommy wars" are pretty myopic. I would hate to be the mother whose child died because I could not afford $80 to have a tooth removed. And today, some 30,000 children under five years of age will die, most of them from starvation or a preventable disease.

Posted by: single western mom | February 28, 2007 10:56 AM

Single Western Mom - What put Leslie's article in perpsective for me today was reading a series of articles in the Wash Times (GASP!) about women in India that are beaten and hung by their husbands and MILs because they produced a female child. Girl babies are rountinely given up for adoption - where they languish in a faciality with no education their whole lives. Females are not educated or valued, they can legally have acid thrown in their face for adultery. I won't even get into Muslim women and their plight.

So when I looked at Leslie's blog and thought about all the injustice in the world to women and mothers, I thought it was trivial and frankly meaningless in the whole scheme of things. People can complain all they want about their husbands not cleaning up, or being "made to feel bad" by other women (and strangely their country), but don't expect everyone to say AMEN.

Yes, I agree - count your blessings - there are women all over this world that would kill to be in our soft, cushy, shoes.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:09 AM

"a surprising number of the ones who post with names are nice people."

Actually not true. NC lawyer is a good example.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:14 AM

"Parents who allow their children's BF or GF to go on vacation with them vs those who don't."

What about single parents who bring THEIR BFs and GFs on vacation and overnight stays??

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:14 AM

"I refuse to surrender to it.

Ohmygod - that was exhausting. I need a break, or better yet therapy."

Yeah, well, the unexamined life seems to work just fine for you, cmac. Ignorance is balance.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:16 AM

Single western mom, I'm with you on that opinion. I've got several friends raising children on their own (or with minimal help from the other parent), and it's a tough job with little opportunity for positive feedback or praise. One friend in particular I make a point of telling I admire and respect her for her devotion to her children, but at the same time encourage her to take some time for herself as well. She's earned it IMO!

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 11:18 AM

11:14: I don't bring BF or GF on vacation because frankly I am married. If I brought a BF on vacation, I think DH would divorce me. And vice versa. But that is an interesting question about single parents. FIL is now a single parent with joint custody of his two children from his second marriage. He did bring his GF on the family beach vacation but they slept in separate beds. I actually think that is OK. Especially because 1/2 the time they live with their mother and her BF at the same house. BTW, Mother and BF are getting married this fall. But if I was single, I would not sleep in same bed with BF while DD was a child. But then again, I hope to stay married, so it is not an issue for us.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 11:18 AM

"I maintain, however, that most people's public façade in this country tends to be one of loudly expressed confidence. Whether that reflects their true inner state, I don't know, of course. But neither do you, I supposed"

Ajax, We teach our kids to be confident then they get knocked down for having bravado - what is that about? It is okay to be confident however it is very chic to be helpless and whiny.

Again, whatever floats your boat. I don't see anything wrong with people being outwardly confident, but apparently you do. Whether they cry all night because of self-esteem problems is another story. Our media and culture has been relying on Oprah and Dr. Phil for so long that most people think there is something wrong with them if there is nothing wrong with them.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:19 AM

I am finding that my "internal mommy war" is starting now that my DDs are older (5 and 8). I was quite confident with my choice to return to work after having both children. I did switch jobs from one that required me to travel frequently to a "desk job", so that I could be sure of my schedule and spend more time with my kids, but I was very comfortable with my decisions.

Fast forward to now, when both children are in elementary school, and I find myself constantly second-guessing my choice. I find is difficult to make it to school parties, presentantions and events, which are usually scheduled in the middle of the day (My commute varies from 45 -75 minutes). I find the guilt I feel when I miss something to be overwhelming. Extracurricular activities are very difficult to juggle. Homework also requires a great deal of time. All of the sudden, I find myself thinking that I need to be at home.

I don't think there is ever one easy answer. My goal is try and figure out what is best for my family as opportunities present themselves. Right now I am looking at a potential job-sharing situation, but who know if that will make everything better, or cause me to feel like I am spreading myself too thin, as some mentioned in a blog about working part-time last week.

Posted by: JL | February 28, 2007 11:21 AM

dang. My alumni newsletter just arrived along with a convenient way of donating money to the university- as if I would do that when I am still paying for their paper hanging on my wall. I know I have done some things others might deem exciting or noteworthy, especially in my few years- but they seem to really ham it up in those magazines. I would love to see them highlight their NORMAL alumni for a change so we can share in the small successes of the average joe- and not just focus on millionaire CEOs and such. Maybe having millions of dollars is noteworthy, but so is making an honest living as an employee, or being a parent. We can not all grow up to be psychopathic astronauts!

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 11:21 AM

"a surprising number of the ones who post with names are nice people."

Actually not true. NC lawyer is a good example.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 11:14 AM

as if you know her. it is early in the day for attack posts.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:22 AM

To 11:16. Just because one doesn't stress over every stupid little thing that comes up in life does not mean you live an unexamined life. You're just smart enough to pick your battles and live for yourself and your family and not for people who find it necessary to judge what you're doing.

Guess what? I have never and will never give teacher gifts.....and I'm OK WITH THAT. (I'm also ok with other people giving teacher gifts -- don't care either way.)

Posted by: BMOM | February 28, 2007 11:22 AM

cmac and others. Of course there are women and all sorts of people in other countries who live under terrible condtions that are not even remotely comparable to our lives. And comparatively, anything that we might discuss here, from the mommy wars, whether or not to have more than one child, FMLA, job flexibility, older mothers, younger mothers, working mothers, sahm mothers, equal parenting, you name it, will seem completely trivial in comparison to the life and death situations that tragically occur in other places and cultures.

But this blog is not about the treatment of Muslim women or Indian women or the starvation of people in developing countries, or any of those topics. It is about balance in our lives as we live them. And so we discuss what may be trivial in the greater scheme of things, because our entire lives are mostly comprised out these trivial matters. Yes, I am thankful for my blessings. But that does not mean that I can't think about or shouldn't discuss the little things that make my life more challenging or difficult or even better. Everything is relative, and what is important to me may be minor to many other people, but that does not make in any less important to me.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 11:22 AM

"I refuse to surrender to it.

Ohmygod - that was exhausting. I need a break, or better yet therapy."

Yeah, well, the unexamined life seems to work just fine for you, cmac. Ignorance is balance.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 11:16 AM

Why don't you write a guest blog - the unexamined life - and enlighten us all? I really need more advise from an anonymous poster that dispenses one liners. I guess your guest blog would be really short.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:24 AM

I don't have any children and probably never will, but I have to admit that if I ever did, I'd probably end up being a real Gen-X "slacker mom". I'd probably cobble together Halloween costumes at the last minute, stick with the cheapo paper valentines, and even (gasp!) let the kids walk to school by themselves once I was confident they knew the way around our generally-safe neighborhood and knew not to play in traffic or talk to strangers. My parents were like this, too. They weren't perfect parents, but who is perfect at anything? They got the big things right- loved each other, loved us and told us so, provided for us economically, didn't let the house become unsanitary, took care of our health. They went above and beyond in some ways that I think children can often take for granted, by having us eat dinner together as a family whenever our schedules allowed it, getting us involved in activities and exposing us to art, culture, sports, etc., and paying for most of our college educations. My brother and I turned out pretty different, mostly because of innate temperement, gender, birth order, and lots of other things our parents couldn't control. Neither of us is perfect either, but we both turned out OK. I worry much less for the future of the children of the parents on this blog, who are all very engaged with their children, than for the ones who are abused or neglected, or whose parents want to provide for them in the most basic ways, but can't, like the kid mentioned earlier who died for want of dental treatment.

I try not to get too caught up in what others think of me or how I compare with them. It's not always easy, but it's good for one's sanity. I suspect it could also help defuse some of the internal "Mommy Wars".

Posted by: SheGeek | February 28, 2007 11:24 AM

, boobs"a surprising number of the ones who post with names are nice people."

No, the opposite is closer to the truth.


Texas Dad of 2 is a real A-hole who is overcompensating for having a small penis. Father of 4 is a sexist jerk who hits his kid, has a little kid fetch him beers, etc.

There are a couple of smug, self righteous know-it-alls that I can do without.

The Nursing Nazis and the God Squad make unwanted appearances, from time to time.

And there are a bunch of airheads, boobs, and windbags who are always begging to get pricked and are shocked and confused when it happens.

Posted by: Irish on St. Patrick's Day | February 28, 2007 11:30 AM

"Ajax, We teach our kids to be confident then they get knocked down for having bravado - what is that about? It is okay to be confident however it is very chic to be helpless and whiny.

Again, whatever floats your boat. I don't see anything wrong with people being outwardly confident, but apparently you do. "

I did not say it was wrong to be outwardly confident. I'm trying to say that it seems silly if it doesn't match your inner state. I also think there's a difference between confidence and bravado. Less substance behind the latter.

On a side note, I find your tone a bit rude sometimes.

Posted by: Ajax | February 28, 2007 11:30 AM

"But that does not mean that I can't think about or shouldn't discuss the little things that make my life more challenging or difficult or even better. Everything is relative, and what is important to me may be minor to many other people, but that does not make in any less important to me.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 11:22 AM"

I am not playing Mother Teresa here (speaking of Inda) - I am merely giving you my perspective. I am all for posting whatever you want on whatever blog necessary but that doesn't mean I have to agree either. I complain about my husband, kids, work, life, this blog too - who doesn't? Your post is tantamount to the "put people in their place" post as much as mine. I am telling people not to sweat the small stuff and you are telling people - sweat all you want.

Honestly, I think reading a news story on women that is truly mind-boggling then picking up Leslie's fluff peice brought about the perfect storm for me.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:34 AM

Oh, and Irish, you are just such a gem, full of insight and compassion, such a pleasure to read, such a ray of sunshine on this blog otherwise filled with such unsavory characters. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 11:34 AM

And then there's "Irish on St. Patrick's Day", who is just the NICEST person I've ever met.

Posted by: no-name | February 28, 2007 11:34 AM

Newposter: I like both Chidlren's Place and Gymboree but they are pretty expensive. I will have to check out their end of season sales. I agree Hanna Anderson and Nordstroms have wonderful kid stuff. Just they are pricey.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 11:34 AM

On a side note, I find your tone a bit rude sometimes.

Posted by: Ajax | February 28, 2007 11:30 AM

We finally agree on something - you sound a little rude too.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:35 AM

Emily, how un-PC of you! ;-)

If you want to fit in you should resent any and all things you worked for that give you a better life than most of the people in the rest of the world. You should despise the fact you are an American and apologize for it to everyone who even looks like they are a foreigner. Lastly, you should take your freedoms and rights for granted, while working hard to speak ignorantly on behalf of those who would torture and kill you if they had the chance. I mean, come on! EVERYONE is doing it. ;-)

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 11:36 AM

Wow! I just read through a bunch of the posts since I posted an hour or so ago... and with all the nitpicking and snarkiness, it's easy to see how and why Mommy Wars come about. Can't we just play nice? At least until about 4p or so?

Posted by: Bad Mom | February 28, 2007 11:36 AM

Wow! I just read through a bunch of the posts since I posted an hour or so ago... and with all the nitpicking and snarkiness, it's easy to see how and why Mommy Wars come about. Can't we just play nice? At least until about 4p or so?

Posted by: Bad Mom | February 28, 2007 11:36 AM

None of the snarkiness (mine included) has anything to do with being mommies though, so the Mommy wars are not what is being fought here.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:38 AM

Okay, cmac. I get it. But I don't think anyone on this blog thinks that their little world is necessarily all there is in this vast universe. We all know there is bigger stuff out there than our ridiculously easy lives. But in the same context, if you are urging people not to sweat the small stuff, it seems to mean that you are irked by the fact that we sweat the small stuff, and by thus being irked, you are participating in sweating the small stuff. IMO, arguing about the value of sweating the small stuff is even smaller in significance than actually sweating the small stuff.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 11:39 AM

Dang Emily, beat me to it!
Ray of sunshine! LMAO!

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 11:39 AM

CMAC, you are SUCH a pain in the neck!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:41 AM

cmac,
I hear ya. But we've got a forum to talk about some really good topics here and it seems to get ugly on a regular basis. I shouldn't have said this is the reason for the Mommy Wars, but I see how it easily this stuff turns bitter and into resentment. It's too bad.

Posted by: Bad Mom | February 28, 2007 11:41 AM

Wow, did everyone crawl out of the cranky cave today? Must be to compensate for yesterday's relatively easygoing discussion.

Foamgnome, just wanted to say again thanks for your guestblog yesterday, it was a lovely day on the blog.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 11:42 AM

"I really need more advise from an anonymous poster that dispenses one liners."

Hsss (sound of windbag getting pricked)
1. You need to learn how to spell advice.
2. Look elsewhere for advice. What do these yokels know and who gives a hoot what they say, anway?
3. The one liners are the rare wit on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:42 AM

OK, let's call a truce in the rude or snarky war. How about discussing clothes? I know it isn't Friday but we seem to stay on safe ground about that. Or do we really need to relive the sage green sweater argument again? Don't worry I can take the heat from critics who think I am a totally ungrateful sage green sweater reciever.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 11:42 AM

"Wow, did everyone crawl out of the cranky cave today?"

That is because the craky cave is painted in (you know what color!)

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 11:44 AM

Emily - I will take my own advise and drop it, thus sweating nothing but the coffee I drank this morning.

BTW; Your over-analysis of the small stuff is what I am talking about, which in turn makes me adverse to my own rule gain, which I refuse to sweat over any more.

My next sweat will be at the gym tomorrow morning.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:45 AM

CMAC, you are SUCH a pain in the neck!

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 11:41 AM

Thanks!


Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:49 AM

I don't particularly fret about the day-to-day things for my kids (clothes, toys, medical issues--I'm very lucky, I know!). I DO worry about whether or not I am providing enough stability and structure to my children to counteract my husband's regular breakdowns (he's bipolar AND borderline, what a nightmare); particularly for our eldest, who has observed and borne the brunt of more of the behaviours (pre-diagnoses).

But I figure that as I haven't denied the observations and effects, I'm doing okay.

Fretting over everything is simply perfectionism. Indulge your inner goof sometimes, it's much healthier.

No, no mommy wars for me.

FG, I give the teachers gift cards to a book store. I wouldn't presume to know their personal choices in reading material, but I do hazard a guess that they enjoy reading.

Sometimes I just give the school library a donation in honor of the teacher(s).

Posted by: MdMother | February 28, 2007 11:50 AM

Bad Mom,

if Irish on St. Patrick's Day has her way, everyone with a sense of humor will have been driven away from the blog long before 4. If she doesn't, we'll get to talk about sparkling bathrooms and teacher gifts and the snarks who weren't even satisfied with yesterday's comments (a la the nasty person who deemed it "navalgazing") will get bored, go away and ruin someone else's sandbox.

John said,

"Everyone has doubts relating to the big decisions they made in their lives. That's normal."

I disagree. If you know who you are, what your values are, and what your purpose is, I don't understand having doubts about the big decisions. As an extreme example, even if I end up divorced, marrying my husband was not a mistake; it was the right big decision at the time, and hopefully forever. The small ones? Sure, because we spend less time making those decisions and the consequences of getting them wrong are so much less. The devil, I suppose, is in which decisions we each think belong in the Big bucket vs. the Small bucket.

and, gosh, I almost forgot, to anon at 11:14, it must be tiring to lurk unidentified only to call out posters you don't know by name and make pronouncements about their character. If you always make judgments about people on so little information and without having met them, it's no wonder you have so much misdirected anger.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 11:50 AM

""a surprising number of the ones who post with names are nice people."

Actually not true. NC lawyer is a good example."

NC Lawyer did not say everyone who goes by a name is nice.

I will stick up for NC Lawyer as she (1) usually has well thought out comments or responses to comments others make (2) usually is not snarky and (3) usually signs her posts--CRS excepted-- and (4) has consistency in what she says and how she leads her life.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 11:51 AM

cmac-
I just returned from a quickie at the gym. I needed the stress buster. What a workout. Something called bootcamp. Though I can actually concentrate now.

and don't read anything ummm...untoward in this.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 11:51 AM

I like the idea of a gift of book for the class room or library. I thought about that too late after filling out her scholastic book form for school. I will try to remember that next time.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 11:52 AM

big article by Ruth Rosen in the Nation:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070312/rosen

Leslie will love this...

Posted by: f00 | February 28, 2007 11:52 AM

"as if you know her. it is early in the day for attack posts."

I do. She is.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:54 AM

Foamgnome

"How about discussing s talk about clothes."

"Don't worry I can take the heat from critics who think I am a totally ungrateful sage green sweater reciever."

Ssssss (sound of crashing bore who can't spell getting pricked.) But not to worry, she can take the heat!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:54 AM

hey nclawyer:
You hit on a good thought there. People can be having an honest discussion/disagreement. And then along comes a fly-by-night one liner from someone else. Away goes the dialogue and in comes the snark. Makes me sad because, last I heard, people are allowed to disagree.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 11:54 AM

"a la the nasty person who deemed it "navalgazing""

I guess that this person was looking at ocean going ships.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 11:56 AM

Wow - I was at my husband's office yesterday, helping my daughter to deliver Girl Scout cookies to all those wise enough not to say no (snark) to my precious 6 year old, when I noticed that 90% of the walls in his new office building were painted - sage green!

The horror . . .

Posted by: Judith | February 28, 2007 11:56 AM

I actually think that if you are going to give a teacher any kind of gift, it should be for her, not for the school or the school library. I think a gift card to a bookstore or coffee shop is a great idea. I also like the idea of a card or letter of appreciation, especially if handmade by the child. At our school, we have a staff appreciation lunch, and I always send in my extra special homemade dessert. If I want to donate a book to the library, I donate it to the library. But the teacher should get something more personal.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 11:57 AM

Hmmm. I dunno - I have a daughter, have worked since she was 3 months old with no regrets and no guilt. Is that wierd? Sometimes I think we're just in an historical cycle where people really like YELLING. Turn on the tv and people will yell about anything - we're polarized and disagreeing about everything - the "Mommy Wars" are just another aspect of this. I guess personally I have some pretty strong views about working generally, but I tend to keep them to myself, just put my head down and my husband & I go about our days just like everyone else, doing the best we think we can.

Posted by: Sam | February 28, 2007 11:58 AM

"I really need more advise from an anonymous poster that dispenses one liners."

Well, cmac, your one-liner about therapy seemed like a pretty snarky put-down. You routinely ridicule the notion of therapy, which serves to accomplish two things:

1. It makes people who need therapy and/or are in therapy feel badly about themselves.

2. It makes you feel superior.

So, you're really the one bucking for Queen of the Nasty One-Liners," aren't you?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:59 AM

cmac-
I just returned from a quickie at the gym. I needed the stress buster. What a workout. Something called bootcamp. Though I can actually concentrate now.

and don't read anything ummm...untoward in this.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 11:51 AM

Dotted: Are you trying to politely say that I need bootcamp? I have not been to the gym since last Friday and tried to compensate by doing Pilates on DVD - sorry - not the same. Sweating is crucial to the workout to me, although it is really large sweat, not small:)

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 11:59 AM

Fredia asked why I came home on Saturday with 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies (thin mints and Samoans). I told her that I was walking out of Lowe's and the scouts grabbed me, threw me to the ground and made me take money out of my pocket. The cookies were $3/box but I had only a Fiver and a single so OF COURSE, I had to buy two boxes.

I (heart) thin mints!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:01 PM

"Texas Dad of 2 is a real A-hole who is overcompensating for having a small penis."

I thought that was pATRICK

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:01 PM

"I complain about my husband, kids, work, life, this blog too - who doesn't?"

Actually, I don't complain about my husband, work, or life. I don't have kids. I only complain about this blog!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:03 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned my version of the mommy war--the lack of part time childcare. So I can stay at home and miss all the satisfaction and money of working, or I can see my kids an hour a day. Neither option works for me, but without a 20 hr/week sitter, I don't have a choice...

Posted by: ptjobftmom | February 28, 2007 12:03 PM

FYI - nope, pATRICK has a big one.

Posted by: pATRICK | February 28, 2007 12:04 PM

Fred, Thanks :>)

Today reminds me of the Far Side cartoon with the deer that had a bullseye on his back and his buddy commented, "helluva birthmark", although I can't for the life of me figure out how people can get so worked up over one person on a blog, whom they've never met, don't know, and is just out there in the universe.

Bathrooms, laundry, clothes, how many kids, drinks, sandwiches and tiny, tiny sweat - bring it on people.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 12:04 PM

"I really need more advise from an anonymous poster that dispenses one liners."

Well, cmac, your one-liner about therapy seemed like a pretty snarky put-down. You routinely ridicule the notion of therapy, which serves to accomplish two things:

1. It makes people who need therapy and/or are in therapy feel badly about themselves.

2. It makes you feel superior.

So, you're really the one bucking for Queen of the Nasty One-Liners," aren't you?

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 11:59 AM


Yes, you got me, I am trying to feel superior over all people that have sought therapy and counseling. Never should there be therapy, under any circumstance, particularly for people that have mommy war-itis. It is very bad.

At least I post my name to my posts, so if somone wants to call me snarky they know who to post to.

As Always, thanks for your valuable input.

Love and heart shaped kisses, CMAC

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 12:05 PM

", pATRICK has a big one."

Yes, and I'm a witness.

Posted by: Donald Trump | February 28, 2007 12:06 PM

I will say something good about pATRICK. I know that he uses hyperbole, sarcasm and satire a lot. His comments seem over the top sometimes. But if you strip away the pontification and facetiousness of his arguments, once in a while, he has some very good points.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:06 PM

On a totally unrelated note, I saw on the news this morning that research indicates that women wanting to get pregnant should not eat non-fat dairy foods, instead they should eat the ones with fat still in them. Things like whole milk and ice cream. Something about the way the body interprets the fat in the dairy food as in "we're in a time of plenty, let's reproduce", while the body interprets
non-fat and low-fat food as "we're in a famine situation, let's conserve our energy".

I confirmed with my wife what her favorite flavor of ice cream was before I left the house...

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 12:09 PM

Okay, I will tell you about the insignificant and absolutely trivial thing that really irks the hell out of me. My husband won't pair socks when he does the laundry. Forget about the mommy wars. What about the laundry wars? And he leaves the kitchen cabinets open after he has taken something out. How hard could it possibly be to close them? And why do people have to end their emails with "thanks" even when there is nothing for them to thank you for? And don't you hate it when people leave you long voicemails and don't provide you with their name and phone number in the beginning, and you have to slog thru a bunch of meaningless nonesense before you can just pick up the phone and call them back? And don't you hate it when someone jams the copier or printer and just leaves it like that for the next person to fix?

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 12:10 PM

"If you always make judgments about people on so little information and without having met them, it's no wonder you have so much misdirected anger."

Well, NC lawyer, I think I have a lot of info on you from reading several months of your long, tedious, windy, lawyerly diatribes on this blog.

Who wouldn't be able to form a clear picture of you given all the information you provide? Doesn't it occur to you that you reveal yourself in these essays?

Furthermore, your insider-joke, cliquey, let's-put-everyone-else-in-a-cave attitude is nauseating.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:13 PM

cmac
I wasn't suggesting anything! I just liked your comment about going to the gym tomorrow as that is just what I did. I don't do pilates. I like body pump, bootcamp...sweat, cycle and lift weights. It works for me. :=)!

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 12:13 PM

Emily, I love it.

And how about those people who, after an interminable meeting at work, raise their hand in response to the chairperson's final, perfunctory, rhetorical question "Does anybody have any more questions?" and start on a long-winded speech that delays everybody's lunch for another 15 minutes??

Posted by: Ajax | February 28, 2007 12:14 PM

Emily,

1)Fredia does socks for me in exchange for me doing the toilets.

2) My SIL says that I slam the cabinets closed waking up all in the house.

3)Thanks is a just a closing most of the time, like yours truly.

4)Yes, and also when they rush thru their number. I try to say my name and give my number slowly when leaving a mst.

5)Copier/Printer jams. Those are the same people who never sign their blog entries.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:14 PM

Hey anon at 12:13, I find Nc lawyer's comments to be well thought out, interesting and educational to boot. friendly even. I just don't see being friendly as being insider-jokey. I'm curious as to how you see that. I certainly don't.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 12:16 PM

"I have not been to the gym since last Friday and tried to compensate by doing Pilates on DVD - sorry - not the same. Sweating is crucial to the workout to me, although it is really large sweat, not small:)"

TO: cmac

if you're so concerned about women in the developing world, maybe you could donate your gym membership $$ and the time you spend there sweating to helping them somehow.

Or are you just talking the talk?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:17 PM

3)Thanks is a just a closing most of the time, like yours truly.

Well then why can't they just say "yours truly?" Now I am all riled up!! Need to go to my car and sing along to John Denver, which should calm me down enough for therapy this afternoon.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 12:18 PM

My favorite wag is the one who thinks she is the cutest trick since Salome...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:19 PM

dotted,

There are some long running inside jokes that some of us (yes, I am one) keep alive. But, anyone is invited to the joke fest.

Feb 28 at 12:13, NC Lawyer has assigned herself to a cave also. Perhaps you missed that?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:19 PM

In the midst of the word he was trying to say
In the midst of his laughter and glee
He had softly and suddenly vanished away
For the snark was a boojum, you see.

Thanks,

Chris

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 12:20 PM

Man oh man, today has been the single ugliest day in recent memory on the on balance blog. I hope Brian has a good blog topic tomorrow.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 12:20 PM

nc lawyer and cmac
- an example of an overly judgemental anonymous one-liner upping the ante and snarking is anon at 12:17.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 12:20 PM

"I will say something good about pATRICK. I know that he uses hyperbole, sarcasm and satire a lot. His comments seem over the top sometimes. But if you strip away the pontification and facetiousness of his arguments, once in a while, he has some very good points."

LOL!!! Talk about damning with faint praise.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:20 PM

Emily,

As long as you do not make ME sing along with the Denver songs.

Yours truly,

Fred

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:21 PM

And how about the people who actually think that you want a rundown on all their health problems when you ask them "How are you?" in the morning? Don't they understand that it is just a standard greeting and no one really wants to know about their recent doctors' appointments and hospitalizations, not to mention the excruciatingly painful hangnail or hemmorrhoids?

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 12:21 PM

Fred,
I know about most of the long-running jokes. I love them...but they aren't cliquey...unless one never watches ACC basketball, anyone can join in the fun!

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 12:22 PM

"LOL!!! Talk about damning with faint praise."

Actually, I was serious about my comments about pATRICK's posts but take it as you will...

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:23 PM

I do not watch ACC bball and Leslie never writes a comment at me. sniff! sniff!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:26 PM

"Actually, I was serious about my comments about pATRICK's posts but take it as you will..."

Gee, Fred. If that's how you compliment someone, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of your ire!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:27 PM

Hey Leslie, Give Fred a heads-up comment! He deserves one for a variety of reasons: info on BF, raising kids, sense of humor, how to clean toilets, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 12:28 PM

"I hope Brian has a good blog topic tomorrow"

Dream on. He never has before.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:29 PM

5)Copier/Printer jams. Those are the same people who never sign their blog entries.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 12:14 PM

Double HA! Thank you fred.

Here I go responding to the anonymous again:
TO: cmac

if you're so concerned about women in the developing world, maybe you could donate your gym membership $$ and the time you spend there sweating to helping them somehow.

Or are you just talking the talk?

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 12:17 PM

My gym mebership is included in my HOA dues, it is a community gym. Perhaps I could forego my HOA dues and send it to suffering women in 3rd world countries however eventually my family would loose their home - so that seems a bit extreme.

My church dues go to several developing nation charities, since that is where they have been concentrating their service for the past 7-8 years. Last year they raised 14,000$ for a clinic in Africa specifically designed as an AIDS Clinic for prostitutes - may not seem like a lot to you but for our size congregation is was.

I am not going to list all my charitable contributions here because it is never enough, unless you are the aforementioned Mother Teresa. Did you rise from the dead? Should we call you Momma T?


Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 12:31 PM

I actually think that if you are going to give a teacher any kind of gift, it should be for her, not for the school or the school library.

Emily,

It was done per the teacher's suggestion. Having seen the state of the school library, I thought it was dandy idea. Plus it potentially benefits more people, for a longer length of time.

Posted by: MdMother | February 28, 2007 12:32 PM

Go Emily, go! Let it all come out!!

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 12:34 PM

I see the blog is in the toilet for the day. I have to add my additional nasty comment. Why does Fo4 think foamgnome in particular is a hero (a.m. post)? I don't understand.

Or is it that all mothers are heroes and your list is very long?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:36 PM

I think it is nice to give the teacher something specifically for him or her. But it is also nice to give a gift to the school or the classroom on behalf of the teacher. Because of what I have heard, teachers spend a lot of their own $$ on things to enrich their classrooms. Whether it be bulletin board supplies, extra paints or whatever. So I think both are great ideas. Also it helps kids whose parents can't afford the school supplies. With public school sending long lists of supplies to the parents, I do often wonder what do they about kids whose families can't afford to buy the back to school supplies. Also school supplies do run out toward the end of the year. And some parents just won't send in any more. So your helping every one else out. In lieu of goodie bags, we sent crayons to the preschool.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 12:38 PM

Dotted I reponded to the anon 12:17 post. I am still trying to figure out if it is someone with a multiple personality disorder or OCD? Each would require therapy of course.

BTW: If Brian has a watered down Daddy-war column again I can not hold back. It would be too much to take in one week. I would have to go to the gym in the morning and evening just to sweat (large only) it all out.

Foamgnome: Your guest blog yesterday was refreshing. Some of my angst today has to do with the repetitive nature of this blog, so in my opinion it is just asking to be questioned.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 12:39 PM

Luckily, I have never been placed in a position where I have had to defend my choice to work 'for pay'. But, where I live, there seems to be about a 50/50 mix of WOHM/SAHM. So I'm not the norm or the exception. For me, I think it is all internal.

Two things that I think about:
I wish we had more time after school for HW, etc. Except when I think about it, they are only at after school care for about 1 1/2 hours, which seems like a good amount of relaxing time before HW. And, they do some HW at AFC.

I wish my kids could invite a friend over after school. My kids are often invited to ride the bus home with a friend after school, and I can never reciprocate.

But, we are able to get HW done before dinner, eating dinner together is the norm rather than the exception, and enjoy after dinner acivities before bed. And, the kids have gobs of friends over on the weekends and are involved in activities.

On the other hand, I have a SAHM friend, best friend since HS, who is very sensitive to what people are thinking about her choices. She takes comments at the bus stop to heart - like Leslie at the park. If she shows up in sweats, comments about going to the gym just grate on her. The wierd thing is that in her neighborhood moms are mostly all SAHMs, so they are all judging themselves (according to my friend).

I can't imagine what I would do if someone said something judgemental directly to me. Probably say something 'snarky'.

Posted by: JerseyGirl | February 28, 2007 12:44 PM

"eventually my family would loose their home"

Gee, they might lose it, too.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:47 PM

The first thing (and perhaps the only thing) we should do is ban blogs such as this one, dedicated to hyping so-called mommy wars and all other such nonsense. Most of the topics are meaningless drivel; most of those who post have nothing better to do than waste their time; and most women are not as brain dead as this and other such blogs make women out to be. Women like Leslie ought to make a real living instead of hyping such drivel.

Posted by: Mimi Barron | February 28, 2007 12:47 PM

I have an idea for a topic. It's a little...unorthodox for this blog, but worth considering. This morning on the Hot 99.5 Kane Show, they discussed their plans to front $19,150 to bust Bobby Brown out of jail in exchange for him to come and hang out at the station for a week. If you don't already know, he's in jail for not paying child support. Normally I'm unconcerned with celebrity antics, but I listened to this drivel (I hate morning shows; I listen to the Kane show because they OCCASIONALLY play music, unlike all the other stations in the morning) with half-hearted interest. The first thing that popped into my head was, "millions of children going hungry because their fathers won't pay child support, and their concern is some washed-up cokehead celebrity whose children are probably doing okay?"

Maybe if Kane had done something for families like mine when I was young, we wouldn't have had to subsist on spaghetti noodles and generic Spam (oh yes, they make off-brand Spam) as children. If he cared about Brown's children, as he said he did, maybe he'd push for better enforcement of child support laws. If he can get 19 grand for a publicity stunt under the guise of "caring about the children," he could probably get some money to donate to families who are REALLY hurting. As a popular morning show host, he has the power to help many people, if he truly cared as he says he does. But the dirty truth is that it's publicity, it's entertainment, and he doesn't give one whit about real children who go hungry and live in substandard housing because their fathers (or mothers, in cases of paternal custody) have skipped town.

So I guess the topic I'm proposing is: what can we do to ensure that child support laws are enforced? What are some struggles that single parents have come up against in trying to get support from the non-custodial parent? How can we ensure that Dad's (or Mom's) money goes to their children, rather than a post-divorce BMW or new girlfriend? This may seem of little importance to those who are in two-parent homes, but most everyone here seems to adopt the "it takes a village" mentality, so I think it is worth discussing. Besides, that two-parent household could easily become a single-parent household without warning. This is a problem that affects all of us, whether directly or not.

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 12:48 PM

Great topic Mona. I am a little confused though. Bobby Brown did not pay child support and someone wants to raise good $$ to get him out of jail, rather then give the money to his ex-wife and kids? Seems very weird.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 12:51 PM

FG,

In regards to those who come without, I usually send in a whole extra kit with each of my kids to give to the teacher(s).

I mean, fortunately I DO have some wherewithal and I don't want to embarass any child. I simply figure things run out for different people at different times during the school year. Sometimes it's right off the bat...

My kids go to public schools; some of my friends whose kids go to private schools have mentioned similarly long and/or expensive lists on top of tuition fees.

There, see, now all of us parents have something we can ALL happily grumble about. Those nit-picky school supply lists that vary from within schools, within counties, across the state...sheesh!

Posted by: MdMother | February 28, 2007 12:52 PM

People, I am so disappointed in all of you. How could nobody comment on dotted's earlier admission of "I just returned from a quickie at the gym."? Where is this gym and how can I join?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 12:54 PM

FG,

In regards to those who come without, I usually send in a whole extra kit with each of my kids to give to the teacher(s).

that is an awesome idea. We did contribute to the church fund raiser of school supplies. But we have never sent one extra to the school. We do try to send extra stuff to the school but a complete kit makes total sense. Yes, the list is long and sometimes a bit odd. Like in Fairfax, the also request plastic sandwhich bags and gallon size plastic bags. I always wondered what are they doing with all those baggies. My kid never comes home with anything in a bag. We pay for lunch each day. So it isn't for a sandwich. I even noticed on my DD's school website they list what brand they would like you to buy for the supplies. I thought that was pushing it. Granted, Crayola probably makes better crayons then the $ store but I don't think you should make parents buy brand name stuff.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 12:57 PM

People, I am so disappointed in all of you. How could nobody comment on dotted's earlier admission of "I just returned from a quickie at the gym."? Where is this gym and how can I join?

I actually thought the same thing for an instant. Then scolded myself for having a dirty mind. Too much Catholic school in me.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 12:58 PM

"But the dirty truth is that it's publicity, it's entertainment, and he doesn't give one WHIT about real children who go hungry and live in substandard housing because their fathers (or mothers, in cases of paternal custody) have skipped town."

Thank You, Mona! I now know what "whit" really means!

I am very fortunately part of a 2 parent child rearing system, but I have a very good friend who is divorced with a small child and I just can't believe the "whit" they put this poor 3 year old child through! Both parents act like teenagers with wounded prides and I can't stand it! More discussion, please . . .

Posted by: To Mona | February 28, 2007 1:01 PM

"I reponded to the anon 12:17 post. I am still trying to figure out if it is someone with a multiple personality disorder or OCD? Each would require therapy of course."

Cmac--

Well, there you go again. You dis therapy, then act as though you know something about it.

MPD doesn't exist as a diagnosis anymore. OCD is completely unrelated to the posting you refer to.

Battin' a thousand today, eh?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:05 PM

Anon at 105: FYI, Actually MPD is still around but is now known as dissociative identity disorder with varying degrees of severity and splitting.

Posted by: s | February 28, 2007 1:11 PM

re: gym

we NC people know how to have...ummmm...fun.

nc lawyer: where are you?

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 1:13 PM

FG,

Yeah! I have to buy those size baggies too!

Still, sometimes the kids come home with their word rings in that bag, sometimes it was shapes they had cut out and needed to paste...

I hate to say this, but as someone who has tried to substitute RoseArt and store brands for Crayola--they just don't look as nice or last as long.

I do get the cheapest paper and binders around, and I am professional duct-taper of the edges of their school folders.

BUT if you are willing to part with some money, go to Hearthsong and get the gel crayons. When I feel flush I also indulge in beeswax crayons from them.

(Shhh! It's a secret.)

Posted by: MdMother | February 28, 2007 1:15 PM

"dotted's earlier admission of "I just returned from a quickie at the gym."? "

Well, Fredia does have her boyfriend down at the car ferry. Just a spring fling tho. When the new bridge is finished in May, the ferry goes away.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 1:17 PM

foam, my assumption is that the 19K+ will eventually end up in the pockets of the mom and kids, but I'm not sure.

More discussion? Okay, I'll start out. My parents divorced when I was little. My mom was SAH, we lived on a farm so there was no paid work for her in the area. We moved in with my grandparents. Dad didn't pay any child support to speak of. She took him to court a few times, but it was a time suck and a lost cause as this was before wage garnishment went into effect. His assertion was that because we moved so much, he never got to see us, and therefore shouldn't have to pay child support, as if child support was some kind of admission fee for visitation instead of, you know, SUPPORT for the children he'd spawned (sorry to use the hated s-word, but I'm using it in reference to myself, so I'm not trying to be inflammatory). And we did move a lot, but it was for two reasons: he was abusive to my mother, and she feared for her life even after the divorce, and because he repeatedly threatened to kidnap us. My mother remarried, and then his excuse was that her new husband should have to take care of us.

The ultimate irony was that when I was fifteen, he convinced me to move in with him (better schools, he promised me a car, dance and martial arts lessons, stuff my mom could not afford but he could BECAUSE HE WASN'T PAYING CHILD SUPPORT!), and then, as a final twist on the knife in her back, took her to court for child support. I remember being in the courtroom in tears because I didn't want to have to go through the custody hearing again, the judge reprimanding my parents for putting me through that, etc. To his credit, he did give me any money that he got from her, which was negligible, since her income was very low. My mother was itching to tell me all the crap she knew about him, but she knew it would only make me upset, so she kept her mouth shut until I learned it all myself and went to her for comfort. She listened sympathetically, never uttering a word against my father, even as I invited her to. She just had too much respect for herself and my sister and me to badmouth our father, even if what she would say was true. I wish I could say the same for my father.

To this day, my father takes credit for everything I've done. When I bought my first car, he made sure everyone thought he'd bought it for me. When I graduated college, he told everyone he'd paid for it (which led me to wonder why I'm getting student loan bills with 19k balances?!). When I decided to move to California for law school, he made a comment to the effect of "I guess I should take a trip out there to see where my money's going." WHAT?! Oh really? Then why am I applying for Graduate PLUS loans? Why did I submit a FAFSA and leave his name off of it? If/when I get married, I'm sure he'll make sure everyone knows he paid for it, even though he won't.

Eloping to Vegas sounds more and more appealing the more I think about it.

My story doesn't help find a solution to the problem of enforcing child support laws, but at least it gives us something to talk about. Anyone else have any ideas? I hate the idea of men (and women!) leaving their children to do without, while they do whatever they want. When you become a parent, your world is not about you anymore. This goes for non-custodial parents too.

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 1:19 PM

I would always buy what the school suggests. I just thought they were getting forward asking for brand names. In my day, the teacher assumed a certain percentage would buy Crayola and a certain percentage would buy Roseart. I have to ask, do the kids supplies get used for your individual child or do they go into a common pot? I am just curious. I actually think it works better going into a common pot but can imagine some parents would not like that idea. For preschool, it seems like it went into the common pot. But their supply list was really different then other grades. Things like hand wipes and tissues were huge on their list. Funny enough the ps supplied the notebook.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 1:20 PM

Thank God that Irish on St. Patrick's Day is only Irish on that day.

What the heck happened on the blog while I was working? Why all the meaness.

I like you NC lawyer. I even like Patrick somtimes and I love, love, love Texas dad of two and father of 4.

I also didn't know that you could tell who had a big penis from what they wrote on a blog. I geuss I learn something new everyday.

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 1:21 PM

"Anon at 105: FYI, Actually MPD is still around but is now known as dissociative identity disorder with varying degrees of severity and splitting."

Yes, correct.

But MPD as a diagnosis hasn't been current for years.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:21 PM

"eventually my family would loose their home"

Gee, they might lose it, too.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 12:47 PM

Thanks grammar/spelling police. I love the way you look after everyone, so caring and committed (insitutional perhaps).

More hugs and even bigger heart kisses, CMAC

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 1:22 PM

Before I disappear:

Were I to ask ye how ye fared
An answer true should be prepared;
For if thee farest not so well,
When I ask thee, ye should tell

Were the question not sincere
To resent my answer would be queer
And so as one to the question fell
I say to you: Go to-

How superficial we have become if we resent an honest answer to a question fairly asked. Were I to ask you how you are and you felt the need to talk about some trouble I will do my best to help you, as a fellow human being and not look down on you if you were in need of a shoulder. Then, and only then could the world would be a better place and we could all live happily ever after. There would be no more hunger, wars, poverty, and over-redundant superflous snarkiness. ;-)

Posted by: Chris | February 28, 2007 1:22 PM

nc lawyer: where are you?

being pompous and annoying somewhere else

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:23 PM

Foamgnome:

In my Fairfax elementary school, the school supplies go into a communal pot K-2. Starting in third grade, they are for your child and you label them.

Posted by: JL | February 28, 2007 1:26 PM

Although I'm not a mom, I can understand the mommy wars. I always think that people are judging me. However, I am not balled up the corner of my room rocking back and forth because people don't like me. You think about it, maybe you complain bitterly on a blog, you eventually shrug it off, and you move on.

I bet that men out there are secretly thrilled about this mommy war because it totally lets them off the hook. In our society, it is perfectly acceptable for women to "cat fight;" I'd even say it's encouraged. Ever watch "Desparate Housewives?" Women are taught that we are competing with other women. How many women do you know who say they don't like other women? The mommy wars will perpetuate because we are raised to recognize other women as the enemy. Mommy wars will end when we choose to partner with men who share the burden of child-rearing and earning a living. When we are no longer expected to raise the perfect children and keep the perfect house all while snagging the perfect full-time job, we won't have mommy wars. When will that happen? When we marry men who shoulder have of the responsibility for child-rearing and housekeeping.

Fred, don't feel bad about Leslie not calling you out. I sent a guest blog and not only did it not get printed, I didn't even get a response to tell me that she received it! But I'm not angry...

Posted by: Meesh | February 28, 2007 1:27 PM

Haven't read all the posts yet, but these mommy wars seem to me to be the female version of "My d*&^ is bigger than yours"?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:28 PM

OMG! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I can't even imagine . . .

I've pretty much given up on my friendship to the 2 parents of the aforementioned 3 year old, but I've not given up on her! I used to provide child care to her from the time she was 6 months until 3 years, and she still LOVES me and my 2 daughters, and I make it a point to get together with her and whichever dysfunctional parent has custody that week. Sometimes I think that we're the only stability she has.

My husband was from a divorced family and I know would relate to much of your story, but I can't and can only thank my lucky stars . . . .

Posted by: To Mona | February 28, 2007 1:28 PM

Wow. Lots of temper on the blog today. Whew!

Mona,

Your story is amazing. I was particularly impressed with this:

"My mother was itching to tell me all the crap she knew about him, but she knew it would only make me upset, so she kept her mouth shut until I learned it all myself and went to her for comfort. She listened sympathetically, never uttering a word against my father, even as I invited her to. She just had too much respect for herself and my sister and me to badmouth our father, even if what she would say was true. I wish I could say the same for my father."

Clearly, your mom acted in your best interests all the way round, and, even better, you recognize what she did and how hard it was.

You two are a special pair.

Posted by: pittypat | February 28, 2007 1:29 PM

On guest blogs: You have to put your screen name in the title or Leslie won't find it. Try resending with title :From Meesh or From On Balance Fred. It might work.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 1:30 PM

Cmac--

Well, there you go again. You dis therapy, then act as though you know something about it.

MPD doesn't exist as a diagnosis anymore. OCD is completely unrelated to the posting you refer to.

Battin' a thousand today, eh?

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 01:05 PM

I never claimed to know a lot about therapy, disorders or the like - just that some people are addicted to them. You seem to know a lot about a variety of disorders, does that make you mentally unstable?

Also, OCD afflicts people in a variety of ways, thinking and actions, like say posting anonymously on a blog and getting their jollies annoying other people.


Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:30 PM

"Fred, don't feel bad about Leslie not calling you out"

and now Scarry also, more sniff, sniff, sniff!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 1:31 PM

As I sit at home, on maternity leave with my 3rd child, I'm disappointed in these recent discussions.
Maybe there's something in the water in the DC area. But I never expected to hear such mindless rational when it comes to parenting, the decision to work in or outside the home and the decision to have more than one child.
What happened to families living their lives based on what's right for them? Life is not "one-size-fits-all".
SAHMs will never have the advantage over WOHMs, or vice versa.
The advantages of having three child will never outweigh the benefits of having one, or vice versa.
I don't lose sleep over daycare cost, sick days, extra-ciricular activities and college costs. I live my life. I face my family's challenges and joys on a day-to-day basis.
I'm only reminded of the "Mommy Wars" when I run across conversations like this.
When my marriage falls apart, my kids stop respecting authority, my house becomes a health hazard and I file for bankruptcy...I'll let you know. Until then, I'll live my life without regrets.
DC must really drive people nuts.

Posted by: NOVA Native | February 28, 2007 1:32 PM

Mona: That is a really amazing story. Unfortunately probably lots of kids of divorce can tell similar stories. I think child support enforcement in this country is really out of control. I hope someone writes a blog on this. I hate to admit it but FIL did not pay his adequate child support for DH. I can't even imagine forgiving a father who actively went to court to NOT pay for your support.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 1:32 PM

Fred, don't feel bad about Leslie not calling you out"

and now Scarry also, more sniff, sniff, sniff


So sorry Fred, I didn't give you a shout out because no one was mean to you today.

You know I love the boob man!

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 1:33 PM

Shout out to Chris for his poetry!

and I do read and enjoy pATRICK's posts. I even agree with him sometimes!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 1:34 PM

Ain't that the frickin' truth! I can't wait to move to somewhere more peaceful . . . like Lebanon . . .

Posted by: To NOVA Native | February 28, 2007 1:34 PM

And for the people wondering what to get teachers: SUPPLIES!

I have a few friends who are teachers and they spend hundreds of dollars a semester for supplies. On a teacher's salary, that's a bug deal. So I would ask the teacher what he or she needs in the classroom.

If the teacher replies that nothing is needed, then I would go for the gift card.

Posted by: Meesh | February 28, 2007 1:35 PM

How much longer are you going to write about this topic? It seems that the same arguments and discussions are repeated infinitely on this blog. If the biggest issue in someone's life is thinking about the so-called "mommy wars," that person should feel fortunate she doesn't have bigger problems to worry about.

Posted by: rockville | February 28, 2007 1:35 PM

Scarry

Men who bring up the subject of guns frequently and ask a lot of questions concerning penis size tend to have small penises.

To my great regret, I learned this through experience.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:35 PM

"National Teacher Day
Tuesday, May 8, 2007"

NEA says this is the day, are people around here celebrating a different day?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:36 PM

Meesh,

That's a bug deal? Can we find PJ's like that? ROFL

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 1:36 PM

Is there one person who posts all these snarky or mean things anonymously or are there dozens of anon posters each posting their own mean or unhelpful comment?
just wondering.

Posted by: usually lurking | February 28, 2007 1:37 PM

I think it is a few nasty people.

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 1:40 PM

No NEA is May 8 this year. I have read the date changes yearly. Some years it has been in March.

The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodbridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985, when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.

Celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week of May, the actual date varies each year. In 2007, National Teacher Day takes place May 8. For more information about the weeklong celebration, visit the PTA's Web site.

Proclamation | Sample News Release | Activities | Quotes | Artwork | Want to Teach? Celebrities' Most Memorable Teachers

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 1:41 PM

Is there one person who posts all these snarky or mean things anonymously or are there dozens of anon posters each posting their own mean or unhelpful comment?
just wondering.

Posted by: usually lurking | February 28, 2007 01:37 PM

That question has been asked in various way about 1,459 times. That is why I referenced Multiple Personality Disorders, if it is one person that may be an explanation. The other is someone that can not control their urges - say OCD.

Or - it is in fact 10 different people, and I don't know what that means. Perhaps a club of like minded people?

Posted by: CMAC | February 28, 2007 1:41 PM

At the elementary level, how about a subscription to a kids magazine, like Highlights or Discover Kids or National Geo. Or even used books for the classroom. Or, run to an office supply store and stock up on sale items like glue, tape, pencils, paper, crayons. Don't suck up to the teacher; help him/her out. It shows that you have some respect for their professionalism.

Posted by: gift for teacher? | February 28, 2007 1:41 PM

"Is there one person who posts all these snarky or mean things anonymously or are there dozens of anon posters each posting their own mean or unhelpful comment?"

I think that there are several people just as there are several anon postings depending upon the topic. My favorite anon posting being the porn queen who lurks and posts under a different name since she had given up the porn life.

You can tell that there are longtime lurkers from the knowledge of certain personality here. You can also tell that there are more than one snarky poster by the difference in diction, capitalization, spelling and sentence construction.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 1:42 PM

"You seem to know a lot about a variety of disorders, does that make you mentally unstable?

Also, OCD afflicts people in a variety of ways, thinking and actions, like say posting anonymously on a blog and getting their jollies annoying other people."

cmac--

You're being cruel.

As it happens, I have OCD -- have had since childhood. But, since back in the '60s, people didn't really know what it was or how to cope with it, I kept it a secret for 25 years.

Those years were pure hell. You're right that OCD afflicts people in a variety of ways. But not "like say posting anonymously on a blog and getting their jollies annoying other people." That is, emphatically, not OCD behavior. In fact, people with OCD often behave outwardly quite normally so as to attract as little attention as possible to themselves and their illness.

OCD is a devastating illness; it's rarely diagnosed until years and years after it begins because sufferers are too frightened to tell anyone and fear the stigma if they do. It often results in unmitigated self-loathing, and for many sufferers, even the drugs don't work. It is a nightmare.

Continue to make sport of it and other mental illnesses if you want to. But shooting your mouth off about something you know nothing about is bullying behavior calculated to make someone feel bad.

Believe me, those of us with OCD feel bad enough already.

Posted by: usuallylurks | February 28, 2007 1:45 PM

Can we do a quick change for a few minutes? How do people get back into dating after a prolonged break?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 1:46 PM

A mutual friend of my wife and I got divorced over a year ago. They have an 8 year old that the father is desperately trying to get custody of so he can stop paying child support.

This guy is such a jerk there's a line already formed to beat the crap out of him among the ex-wife's friends. When she was out of town on business, he would pile up all the garbage and unopened mail in boxes, then hide them around the house so she wouldn't see them. He managed to bankrupt the family, get them in hock with the IRS to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars, all while both of them had six figure salaries as computer specialists.

Now the son (11 yo now I think) is old enough to realize his dad is a jerk and trying to use him for his own purposes, and it is sad to hear him talk about how he no longer wants to go visit his father.

Then there's the single mom friend of mine, who has somehow managed to keep her daughter's dads involved in their lives, by making sacrifice after sacrifice. How she does it I don't know, but I am totally in awe of her determination to not raise those girls all by herself. To the dads' credit they are willingly involved with their daughters as well.

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 1:47 PM

I agree, foam. My story is all too common, and sadly, many are much more severe. As someone pointed out previously, the story of the mother who lost her child to an abscessed tooth because she didn't have health insurance was featured on the front page. I wonder what her support situation was like?

We have to do something about this. People can't just go off and make babies and then continue to party as if their world hadn't changed. I'm not saying parents should be shackled to their children, but when you have them, they have to come first, and refusing to pay child support is neglect. To complain about paying is equivalent to telling your child "I'd be doing so much cooler stuff if it weren't for you."

I'd love to read a guest blog on this topic. It would certainly distract us momentarily from the "Mommy Wars" and the breastfeed-or-not-breastfeed question. I would write one myself, but it would be horribly skewed as it was seen through the eyes of a child who couldn't understand what was going on, so it wouldn't be very succinct. I'd love to hear from a single parent who is struggling with this issue. Talk about balance!

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 1:47 PM

"My favorite anon posting being the porn queen who lurks and posts under a different name since she had given up the porn life."

Porn Queen is bogus. She sounds like the fake letters published in Playboy.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:47 PM

"You can tell that there are longtime lurkers from the knowledge of certain personality here. You can also tell that there are more than one snarky poster by the difference in diction, capitalization, spelling and sentence construction."

Actually, I'm sure that there are MANY different lurkers/anon posters here. As someone else pointed out - we get our "Jollies" annoying you regulars. It sure is difficult using different punctuation, capitalization, etc., to fool you!

Posted by: You GO Sherlock Fred! | February 28, 2007 1:47 PM

KLB SS MD -- Will you please join a dating blog. You're a bore...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:48 PM

"Men who bring up the subject of guns frequently and ask a lot of questions concerning penis size tend to have small penises."

Also goes for men who drive Corvettes, Porsches, and rigged-out, super-shiny pickup trucks.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:48 PM

"Amost all women slide back and forth on a spectrum of hours worked inside the home vs. in an office, store, factory or field. Today's "working mom" could be at home next year and vice versa."

I wouldn't use language as strong as "internal mommy war" to describe the feelings I have about staying at home for the time being. Leslie's comment about the ebb and flow does address feelings/questions about my situation though.

I know I don't want to stay home indefinitely, and I can't imagine wanting to work full time in the foreseeable future. I left a very good part-time situation when we moved, and a comparable part-time position isn't available here. Libraries just aren't structured the same way here.

A few others have mentioned the difficulties with finding both part-time work and finding part-time childcare. There were times when some of the logistics of part-time childcare seemed harder to me than if I had been using full-time care. Overall, I imagine that full-time must be much harder though.

I guess what I struggle with is figuring out the timing of re-entering the paid workforce and what will be possible in skill-building on a part-time basis. Pre-kids, I was in the corporate world. I'm just not sure what will be possible there part-time.

The bottom line is I have a lot of homework to do. I've left the workforce, re-entered it, and left it again (because of relocating). I don't want to go back in and then have more holes in the resume.

Have others had experience with moving in and out of the workforce? This must be a frequent challenge for military spouses.

Another question/topic of balance I've thought about (and I believe it was A Dad who touched on this yesterday) is what to do when one spouse's career is more challenging/financially lucrative than the other's. In the case on yesterday's blog, the wife decided to stay at home in part to allow the husband to commit longer hours/know that thing were taken care of at home. This is part of the reason I'm home now too, but I'm trying to figure out what's possible for me to do to stay plugged in/keep the skills up so that I can ramp up as my children grow older. Have others here scaled back so his/her spouse could hit the career harder? To what degree? It seems like Leslie has adjusted her career in the sense that she's not in traditional career for an MBA, and it sounds like her husband works long hours. I guess I'll have to go buy the paperback ;-).

Someone yesterday mentioned Fed agency library work. It was a great suggestion but, alas, I'm no longer in the DC area. It would have been a long commute for me where we were, but it was something I had thought about for the future. Even would have considered moving closer it to make it more do-able. Where I am now doesn't have the opportunities in the public sector, so I have a lot of research to do to find something between all or nothing.

Posted by: Another Librarianmom | February 28, 2007 1:50 PM

"I also found that mothers are divided only by the media, politicians and television shows."

Yep - and this would be you.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:50 PM

"The other is someone that can not control their urges - say OCD."

This is NOT what OCD is.

If anything, people with OCD fear losing control...but never do. It's an anxiety disorder, not an impulse control disorder.

For god's sake, read up on your mental illnesses -- or stop attributing them to people you don't like.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:51 PM

"Or - it is in fact 10 different people, and I don't know what that means. Perhaps a club of like minded people?"

Or 10 people from NYC?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:52 PM

So now what you drive can affect penis size?

Patrick do not by a corvette!

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 1:54 PM

To:
Posted by: | February 28, 2007 01:48 PM

Thanks - from an anonymous jerk I consider this a high compliment.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 1:54 PM

"So now what you drive can affect penis size?"

No, scarry. wrong way around

Penis size affects your choice of a car. Small = need to overcompensate.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:55 PM

Thanks, Scarry and dotted.

I always figured that if someone thought my posts were long-winded or just didn't like them, or had some psychotic aversion to lawyers, she or he could read the name easily enough and avoid being nauseated. For most of us, when we disagree, we just disagree. No harm. No foul. I disagree with almost everything pATRICK says, and I'm sure he feels the same about my posts, but it's just a blog already.

(Does it seem kind of creepy that some anon troll is keeping a list on a sage green notepad of every post she doesn't like for future reference?)

At the risk of being mis-labeled "cliquey", I nominate KLB's post as the funniest of the day and I also seek the gym address. I'll have all sorts of doubts about myself afterwards, I'm sure.

"People, I am so disappointed in all of you. How could nobody comment on dotted's earlier admission of "I just returned from a quickie at the gym."? Where is this gym and how can I join?"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 12:54 PM

What would we do without Emily the peacemaker?

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 1:56 PM

Believe me, those of us with OCD feel bad enough already.

Posted by: usuallylurks | February 28, 2007 01:45 PM

Whatever usually Lurking. I am not going to get into OCD, I know a lot more about it then you think. I know the affects it can have on people's lives - sorry you have to go to there with your warning.
Truly - you have no idea who you are talking to. A sense of humor is just that, and if it offends you then I am sorry.

Funny - my FIL had cancer and told more jokes about chemo, loosing his fair and his prostate then I even imagined existed but never one did someone chastise him for being insensitive. With a disorder like OCD you can't possibly know if the person you are referring/commenting to is a sufferer or has any knowledge.

Do I think Cancer is funny? No. Nor do I think OCD is funny. I joked about it in reference to someone that seems compulsive. That was all.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 1:56 PM

KLB SS MD I'll add you to my love list for that one!

"KLB SS MD -- Will you please join a dating blog. You're a bore..."

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 1:56 PM

My baby brother was married to a woman, "D" for many years. They had 2 children together. When the children were 10 or so, bro and D split, she had custody of the children. Both were poor working parents. She knew that bro worked in high paying places like McD's, Dominos and grocery stores. But every year, she would have her lawyer contact him to pay more child support. BTW, he did pay support. She would do neat things to the children like send them with only 2 sets of ragged clothes to him for his 2 weeks in the summer. One of my other brother and I were so upset about this game playing and how it affected the kids, we took them to the mall to buy several new outfits. The children eventually grew up and left the mother's house. They could not wait to get out of there. They knew the games that their mother was playing. I am happy to say that both are very productive members of society. The son is now a state policeman. He said on graduation day from the state police academy that the first ticket he would like to give would be to his mother.

I do not know the solution to the child support problem but I do know that children figure out what is really going on fast and they repay their parents in kind.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 1:58 PM

I've been meaning to take a moment to collect the following thought for some time, and now seemed as good a day as any, with our Mommy-only topic (again).

{{...soapbox on...}}

I have thought that trying to appeal to Leslie to be inclusive has gone nowhere in the past, and thought that maybe an analogy would help her see how she is undercutting her own message and effectiveness.

First, in her defense I will say that Leslie clearly espouses a more collective (and I don't mean that in a loaded way) approach to government and business policy. As many do, she seems to think there are pots of money to be raided to support her desires (more business paying of non-productive leave time, etc.), ala the European model. I personally prefer flexibility by companies, more telecommuting, etc.--not mandating they strain to pay for other's social policy items. So though I may not agree much with Leslie's world view, it is an honorable (or at least debatable) argument.

Where Leslie and I seem to part company is the way she tries to seek support for her agenda (as I see it). She seems to think in consciousness raising route to feminism/motherhood, to seek change by finding find common cause among her selected (presumably downtrodden/put upon) sisters. I will presume she thinks that by making it a women against the cruel world argument, she accomplishes more. In using this method I think she lives in the past (when perhaps such an organizing thing was necessary) but not the present or future, regardless of where one thinks the current feminist/post-feminist state in our country happens to be. Mommies of the world unite may help you some, but it also now alienates more nature allies than it advances the cause.

So here's the (loose) analogy to consider. Who do you think accomplished more for minorities in this country, Malcolm X or MLK? Malcom X tried to unite a minority and work to achieve more internally, essentially despite the larger population. You might achieve solidarity within the aggrieved group, but thereafter it's always an Us vs. the World struggle. MLK brought attention to the problem(s), but then tried to unite the good will of all people to make them see that the problem was all of ours, and should be solved by us all. This has the distinct advantage of working to reach those "evil outsiders" who actually have their hand on the levers of power to change things, and as he (and Gandhi) showed in operating this way you work to bring out the best in people and you also end up finding/making allies from all sorts of unexpected places. Only then you can move mountains.

Leslie, which example do you think ends up being the one most likely to help society achieve BALANCE for FAMILIES (not just women, after all, but all of us?) Which one tends to get people on your side, and motivates them to try and get changes done that could benefit us all? Does the Mommy/woman solidarity divisive way that you seemed locked into (perhaps without even realizing it?) going to accomplish what you clearly desire, or will calling attention to the injustice, and then inclusively enlisting EVERYONE willing to help work on it going to be the more effective way?

Perhaps you can consider this each time you frame something to exclude half the population in the name of solidarity, including those of us who want to help. It honestly really isn't all that hard to frame even single gender issues in a way that pulls everyone in.

For your sake, the sake of my rapidly disappearing (from grinding) molars, and for the sake of these issues you clearly seem to care about, please try harder to be inclusive. It isn't just me or the guys here. NC Lawyer and many other of your lady bloggers have also said this in many and various ways.

At a minimum, you catch more flys with honey than with vinegar, right?

{{...soapbox off...}}

Now on the question of today. I thought the two comments from previous posters were apropos:

===
"...If you are unhappy with a part of your life, then change it and stop whining. The whole issue of the "mommy wars" is caused by women who don't seem to know themselves--what makes them happy. Figure that out, and the internal battle will stop.

... Show some confidence and be proud of your life and the choices you make! Enjoy your kids AND your own kid-free accomplishments and stop worrying about what other people think about it.

Posted by: stop it already | February 28, 2007 09:15 AM "
===

Then from a rebuttal later:

===
"Everyone has doubts relating to the big decisions they made in their lives. That's normal. What's not normal is constantly obsessing about nearly every decision that goes into raising children, worrying if it was the "right decision" or not.
...

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 10:06 AM"
===

To me I fall in with the posters like scarry that say she doesn't find this a battle. I also don't see why one should be finding this as a battle, much less a war. Even framing it that way doesn't help one find peace with their choices. The right way to frame it is: are you as comfortable as you can be with the choices you have made? This is always a tradeoff discussion, after all. If not, can you reasonably work to change them, either directly or over time?

Then once you have done all you can, let it be. That is how you find inner Peace to this "War". Not by trying to achieve some impossible utopian perfection that you have self-imposed...

Sorry for the book length...again.

{{...sheepish grin...}}

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 1:58 PM

NC laywer,
You don't really want to talk to me - I am boring.

I still have a long ways to go to beat Mona ( or Moan as she calls herself - maybe she knows where the gym is).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 1:59 PM

The bug deal, Fred, is when the teachers have to pay money out of their salaries for supplies that the school system should be paying for. The term implies that the teachers are being treated like bugs. It's slang; it's probably over your head.

:)

Posted by: Meesh | February 28, 2007 1:59 PM

Thank you SO much for the anecdote - PLEASE keep them coming!!!! I'm right in the middle of 2 friends involved in a nasty custody arrangement and the games that they play with each other. I only care about the little girl in the middle . . .

Posted by: To Fred | February 28, 2007 2:02 PM

Fred: I hear you that some divorced dads or moms just don't make enough to pay an adequate child support. If $7/week is all you can afford, it still doesn't help the kids. So now what do you do? My question is what would the grocery store cashier do if they never got divorced to support their kid? I know a lot of game playing goes on between exs. I think it is just part of the painful journey they must have to face. And unfortunately the kids get hurt. But it does seem like either way, the kids don't win. The dad can't pay adequate support-kid goes hungry. Dad can pay support but refuses-kid goes hungry. Dad pays support but starves himself-kid feels awful to see Dad like that.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 2:02 PM

"Sorry for the book length...again"

Book length and boring, as usual.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:03 PM

Wow...what a posting explosion while I was compiling that book and trying to work.

Now I get to go back to this morning's postings and try to catch up.

Sigh..

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 2:03 PM

"With a disorder like OCD you can't possibly know if the person you are referring/commenting to is a sufferer or has any knowledge."

So maybe you shouldn't say anything about it. I wouldn't make cancer jokes in a group of people; anyone could have it, and I'd be hurting their feelings.

"Nor do I think OCD is funny. I joked about it in reference to someone that seems compulsive. That was all."

You joked about it in pure ignorance of what it is. Compulsiveness and OCD are two hugely different things. Most people with OCD have at least some "compulsions," but that's way different from being "compulsive."

You probably won't understand the difference, as you've clearly never bothered to learn about what you talk about. You're a staggeringly ignorant human being.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:04 PM

"The other is someone that can not control their urges - say OCD."

This is NOT what OCD is.

If anything, people with OCD fear losing control...but never do. It's an anxiety disorder, not an impulse control disorder.

For god's sake, read up on your mental illnesses -- or stop attributing them to people you don't like.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 01:51 PM


You mean the OCD where people have the urge to wash their hands 100 times a day, or pluck their hair out? The urge is attributed to anxiety, basically exhibited in a variety of ways. People also have repetitive thoughts, close to looping in Autism, where they will read or think the same sentence or thought thousands of times a day. Yes, it is debilitating.

The fear of loosing control has to do with the repetitive behavior/thoughts in some OCD cases - as in continuing the behavior to avoid loosing control - if that is what you meant, oh wise one.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 2:05 PM

Amazing how the meanest people who are also the most intolerant don't bother to sign their posts.

Posted by: DC lurker | February 28, 2007 2:06 PM

"Sorry for the book length...again.

{{...sheepish grin...}}"

Texas dad, it's stopped being cute

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:06 PM

Meesh,

Bug, I read it as a typo for big. A bug deal, must be venacular for your part of the country. Pretty funny as you explained it.

Whether Porn Star's post was phony or not, I still enjoyed reading it.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:08 PM

You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

Let me give my life to you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Words and music by john denver

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 2:09 PM

So: maybe we should all e-mail the Kane Show to ask him to show his "support" for other single parents who can't get child support, rather than stopping at a publicity stunt with Bobby Brown? I'm not saying don't have the crackhead on the show...just saying that maybe he can spread his power around to help the greater good?

Here:
kane@hot995.com

Check the story at:
http://www.hot995.com/pages/kane.html

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 2:11 PM

Fred
"Whether Porn Star's post was phony or not, I still enjoyed reading it."

Just like the letters in Playboy.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:11 PM

LOL, no, you were right. I was trying to play off my typo. I think you deserve a pair of bug-covered PJs for playing along. And not roach-infested but bug cartoon-covered PJs.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:12 PM

"Actually, I'm sure that there are MANY different lurkers/anon posters here. As someone else pointed out - we get our "Jollies" annoying you regulars. It sure is difficult using different punctuation, capitalization, etc., to fool you!"

Do not know if you were serious or facetious. I am a bit curious to know.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:14 PM

You probably won't understand the difference, as you've clearly never bothered to learn about what you talk about. You're a staggeringly ignorant human being.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 02:04 PM

Call me ignorant, but call me cmac. At least I sign my posts.

I won't argue the compulsive vs. compulsiveness issue as the compulsion to do or think in OCD stems from the anxiety. I concede to the other anonymous poster that OCD is Anxiety related, should have been more clear up front but I didn't know there would be a parsing of OCD today. Anxiety is not all compulsion, nor the other way around. There are so many variations and exhibits that it mind-boggling.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 2:15 PM

facetious!

Love to all of you.

Posted by: to Fred | February 28, 2007 2:16 PM

Well, I do not read Playboy so I would not know.

Fredia hates cockroaches, we have the pest control man in every month. My son would enjoy buggy PJ!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:17 PM

cmac,

The compulsions that occur in OCD are a form of response to anxiety. They are not the same thing as what you see in impulse control disorders. (If you take a look in the DSM, you'll see that these disorders aren't even in the same category.)

Consequently, you won't find someone with OCD posting annoying messages as a result of their illness (although they may do so for the usual reasons that all of us do).

Often, the compulsions are a specific response to the anxiety produced by troubling obsessions. OCD sufferers who are primarily obsessional probably experience more agony than those who primarily deal with compulsions. All OCD sufferers are at extreme risk for depression and unremitting feelings of low self worth.

You may know a little about the disorder, and I suspect someone near you suffers from it. Yes, it can affect the lives of others in the sufferer's life. But then, so can cancer.

You seem to have a great need to make sport of people's weaknesses. You do it often and usually very crudely. I hope you are not teaching your children to be such bullies. People with weaknesses deserve our empathy and support, not the cutting sarcasm you use to diminish others' personalities.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:17 PM

Do not know if you were serious or facetious. I am a bit curious to know.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 02:14 PM


Have suspected as much for a long time. Look at the times they post as well. Sometimes the anon posts are 1 minute apart with difference punctuation, etc on 2 completely different topics. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 2:18 PM

"KLB SS MD -- Will you please join a dating blog. You're a bore..."


KLB, if someone with your personality and sense of humor is deemed a bore, there's precious little hope for the rest of us.

Texas Dad of 2: Glad the spurious, and I'm sure uninformed, insults to your manhood didn't dissuade you from posting. My vote is for Malcolm X, but in order to explain why I'd have to draft some long, tedious, windy, lawyerly diatribe (not sure if that's different from a physician's or an astrologer's diatribe) including an insider-joke or two and it would pi$$ off someone who drives either a VW Beetle, a Prius, or a minivan, with photos of ANS in the back window.


Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 2:18 PM

I thought KLB's question was interesting and as relevant as cleaning bathrooms - I'm a mom, a worker, a widow, and have many of the same ??? Let me know how you make out KLB

Posted by: RJ | February 28, 2007 2:18 PM

"facetious!"

I am having a good laugh about that!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:19 PM

I would like to have a dating blog. Here's my question. How do you all balance time between your husband and your lover? And how do you keep them from finding out about each other?

Posted by: on dating | February 28, 2007 2:22 PM

Hey, I learned to drive on a VW Beetle! A 1965 model.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:22 PM

I have two friends who are recently divorced and we have been talking about how to get back into the fray. I figured there might be many more men and women (I bet it is just as hard for the men) in the same boat and we could share stories and helpful hints. It is a much about balance as many of the other discussions have been. Mama needs a life outside of the house too, right (or does the anonymous poster of above feel they don't deserve one?)?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 2:22 PM

"I would like to have a dating blog. Here's my question. How do you all balance time between your husband and your lover? And how do you keep them from finding out about each other?"

You do like dotted does and go to the gym for a quickie.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 2:23 PM

"You do like dotted does and go to the gym for a quickie."

ROTFLMAO - You are quick today.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 2:25 PM

I'll admit to selective editing, but Rj's comment is perfect: "I thought KLB's question was interesting and as relevant as cleaning bathrooms"

You've made my point better than I could.

Posted by: Anon 1:48 | February 28, 2007 2:25 PM

""I would like to have a dating blog. Here's my question. How do you all balance time between your husband and your lover? And how do you keep them from finding out about each other?"

You do like dotted does and go to the gym for a quickie."

And wasn't there something about threesomes in yesterday's blog? Seems equally applicable here...

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 2:25 PM

Fred, I learned to drive a stick shift (badly) on a VW beetle but I was very distracted by the cute boy teaching me. I'd love to have one now, or a Mini. This old saw about men overcompensating for physical deficiencies in their discussion and selection of guns and vehicles, though, reminded me that my minivan comments a couple of weeks ago are probably on someone's list of heretical opinions.

I agree with your comment about kids of divorce. The game playing and oneupsmanship are long-remembered.

Maybe I'll change my name to "Cary Mom", but I'll have to get past the image in my own head of how that person dresses. "Megan's Neighbor" is another option.

Anything to avoid discussing the Mommy Wars.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 2:28 PM

Absolutely mom needs a life outside of the house KLB - might be an interesting topic - I must say, on the mommy wars front, I am too tired taking care of business (or probably too old) to worry too much what other mommies think about me.

Posted by: RJ | February 28, 2007 2:28 PM

Hey -- How about a great new theme for "on balance" -- balancing everything else in your life with dating!!!

KLS BB MD -- why don't you do a guest blog to get the discussion going! Maybe that way the anons who think you're boring can sign off for the day...

Posted by: Goforit | February 28, 2007 2:29 PM

"How do you all balance time between your husband and your lover? And how do you keep them from finding out about each other?"

Threesomes with hubby and lover solve the problem and save time.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:29 PM

"How do you all balance time between your husband and your lover? And how do you keep them from finding out about each other?"

Threesomes with hubby and lover solve the problem and save time.


Posted by: | February 28, 2007 02:29 PM

Yes, but who'll launder the sheets afterwards? The dang woman, of course. Unless Fred's either the hubby or lover.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 2:30 PM

""Megan's Neighbor" is another option."

Hey, NC Lawyer, that'd be great! I'd love to have you as my neighbor (I'm just assuming you meant me, and not a Megan that actually lives next door to you already, which is probably more likely :) ). Maybe we could also move into co-housing with the other Neighbor! But seriously, I love your posts and bet we'd have a good time.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 2:30 PM

""I'll admit to selective editing, but Rj's comment is perfect: "I thought KLB's question was interesting and as relevant as cleaning bathrooms""

Maybe not revelant but if you do not keep your bathrooms somewhat clean, you will not have a boyfriend/girlfriend for long!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:30 PM

Anon @1:48:
"I'll admit to selective editing, but Rj's comment is perfect: "I thought KLB's question was interesting and as relevant as cleaning bathrooms"

You've made my point better than I could.

Posted by: Anon 1:48 | February 28, 2007 02:25 PM
Sorry Anon1:48 - you lose again. RJ was actually interested.
"Absolutely mom needs a life outside of the house KLB - might be an interesting topic - I must say, on the mommy wars front, I am too tired taking care of business (or probably too old) to worry too much what other mommies think about me.

Posted by: RJ | February 28, 2007 02:28 PM
"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 2:31 PM

"Threesomes with hubby and lover solve the problem and save time."

This suggestion wins for efficiency. Very nice.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 2:32 PM

From Meesh above:
"I bet that men out there are secretly thrilled about this mommy war because it
totally lets them off the hook."

What are you talking about? Men could care less about the mommy wars (except as they pertain to their family) because we (normal men) are never off the hook nor do we have any choice in the matter on a societal level. It is still mens responsiblity to priovide for the family just like it is womens responsibility to care for the children. Nobody cares what men think or want.


Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:34 PM

Hey Fred, would you like to meet my husband and me at the gym? I'll pair your socks if you clean my toilet.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 2:34 PM

OK so yes, teachers pay for supplies out of their own pockets - those of us who have kids in school have known that forever. And they shouldn't have to. But how is it a GIFT to the TEACHER to buy a book for the classroom/library or send in a bunch of crayons? That's a donation to the school that helps the teacher do their job better and takes some of the load off. No different than a volunteer takes the load off - would you ever say that you think people should go and make photocopies for the teacher as a gift to them?

Donations to the school and gifts to the teacher are two different things. Gifts are something they can use personally. If you want to give them a big wad of cash and they want to buy supplies for the classroom with it, fine - but donating those supplies is not a gift to the teacher.

Posted by: to Meesh | February 28, 2007 2:35 PM

NC L,

"This old saw about men overcompensating for physical deficiencies in their discussion and selection of guns and vehicles, though, reminded me that my minivan comments a couple of weeks ago are probably on someone's list of heretical opinions."

So what does that say about me? I have an Infiniti capable of about 150 mph and a mommy van capable of about 15 mph.

(both of these are my cars, Fredia has her own in her own name.)

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:35 PM

oh no...did someone mention dating and the single parent...err, the single mother? Now that may have been the most venomous blog I have seen yet under On Balance. Something about single mothers aren't entitled to good sex or something (scarry, megan, you must remember that one?).

A close second were the posters last week who blamed single mothers for their predicaments and refused to hold the fathers responsible for their offspring ("Well, its our bodies, we are responsible" from one woman, and "Well, women bear the most responsibility for the pregnancies" from a man.").

Fortunately, child support laws are written without this knuckle-dragging, Neanderthal mindset. And I believe bioligically two people--a man and a woman--are required to create a child.

Posted by: single western mom | February 28, 2007 2:38 PM

I really didn't want to get into the OCD thing, but you know me, I looove talking about myself. I've never been diagnosed, but I think I may have tendencies. I'm not like Monk or anything, but I'm constantly paranoid about checking the stove, hair dryer, cats are inside, car lights are off, ad nauseum. I don't cook or burn candles or incense during the week because I know the next morning it will take me an hour to get out the door since I'll have to check it all repeatedly.

This only came about a few years ago, as I was recovering from a heretofore-unmentioned mental disorder. I'm glad to say that one is long gone, but it seems to have reincarnated itself as this weird set of habits I have with checking to make sure things are turned off. It may also be that my mother has similar tendencies, though less severe, and my dad's house burned down and I am afraid of housefires. I really don't know if I have OCD; I suspect I don't, since I find ways to manage it. But knowing what minor things I go through makes me VERY sympathetic to those who actually have the disorder.

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 2:39 PM

I like how everyone assumes the lurkers are different from the regulars. Maybe, just maybe, they're all the same person. Maybe every regular has a lurker alter ego.

Posted by: am I anon or am I a regular? | February 28, 2007 2:39 PM

"Yes, but who'll launder the sheets afterwards?"

Oral sex should prevent most of the mess nicely.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:41 PM

to meesh: I was the one who donated the crayons to the preschool. It wasn't in lieu of a gift to the teacher it was in place of providing goody bags to DD's classmates. I think Meesh is saying that giving a gift to the teacher of supplies is a gift because it is one less thing he/she has to buy for the class. Because inevitably teachers feel obligated when parents and school systems fail to provide for the kids. At least that is how I understood the argument.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 2:41 PM

"I like how everyone assumes the lurkers are different from the regulars. Maybe, just maybe, they're all the same person. Maybe every regular has a lurker alter ego."

Now you are scaring me :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 2:41 PM

"OK so yes, teachers pay for supplies out of their own pockets - those of us who have kids in school have known that forever"

I don't know. My kids teachers receive so much assistance from families and PTA that I don't think they pay for necessary supplies out of their own pockets. I believe they may buy some things for projects that are "extras", but the basic supplies needed by the children are provided by the school, parents, or PTA.

Before all the rebuttals start, I'm only speaking from my experience.

Posted by: Howard County | February 28, 2007 2:42 PM

Fred, it says you're secure enough not to care what snarky strangers on a blog say about your character, LOL.

Megan - of course I mean you!

re: teacher gifts. Many teachers are uncomfortable with personal gifts, or the school has a policy of discouraging gifts to teachers because the thought is that it advantages the children of more affluent parents. In our experience, those teachers were delighted by gifts to the classroom. At a new school, we always ask parents who have had kids at the school for a couple of years what the norm is and follow suit. We've had our kids involved in 4 schools, a mix of public and private. The expectations and guidelines were very different at each, even in the same city, and we could not have anticipated how different the norm was from one school to another. When in doubt, our solution is Borders Gift Cards.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 2:44 PM

"Donations to the school and gifts to the teacher are two different things. Gifts are something they can use personally. If you want to give them a big wad of cash and they want to buy supplies for the classroom with it, fine - but donating those supplies is not a gift to the teacher."

Yes and No -- it depends on the supplies. At the beginning of every year we give each of the public school elementary teachers that have one of our three kids 3 different gifts / donations: A gift card to the local teacher supply store, a gift card to the local Staples, and a couple of grade-appropriate magazine subscriptions [it's a lot, but much less than we would be paying for private tuition].

We are good friends with the teachers, and while they view the Staples much as you described a donation to the school, they viewed the magazines and the teacher supply store card as gifts -- since it allowed them to have access to items they could use in their profession [that they had the chance to pick out]. In my office we often give 'gifts' of pen sets, portfolios, and the like that are viewed in much the same way.

Over the holidays, we give each teacher a gift card to Starbuck's and Border's -- which is more consistent with the gift description you use -- though many of the teachers have used the Border's card to buy special books for the classroom [so does ths revert back from a gift to a donation].

We give separate donations directly to the school [and get the associated receipt for the IRS] -- we do not get receipts for any of the items we provide the teachers [so in that respect they are all gifts].

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 2:44 PM

As soon I read my post RE cleaning bathrooms, I knew someone would pick up on that (anon 1:48) - However, KLB, I really am interested - it is hard, hard question. I've just started dating a little after 25 years, and it is strange, strange feeling!

Posted by: RJ | February 28, 2007 2:44 PM

So let's say that you have a job where you normally have to pay for your own paperclips. You don't like it, and you shouldn't have to do it, but you need paperclips so you continue to do it. And then your boss gives you a Christmas gift all wrapped up with a bow to show you how much she appreciates you and likes you as a person. And in that pretty box is a bunch of paperclips. Woo hoo.

Posted by: to foamgnome | February 28, 2007 2:44 PM

"You seem to have a great need to make sport of people's weaknesses. You do it often and usually very crudely. I hope you are not teaching your children to be such bullies. People with weaknesses deserve our empathy and support, not the cutting sarcasm you use to diminish others' personalities.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 02:17 PM"

Please cite your observations. I pick on the weak? I'd love to see where. I reserve the cutting sarcasm for those that will not own up to their own posts - like yourself. You aren't participating in these blogs, you are sitting on the side lines throwing bits and peices hoping someone will bite. I bit and now we are arguing about OCD - go figure. Usually the anon's are bomb throwers but you are proving to be a constant today - if you are the same person.

I also suspect you are the same anonymous poster that blamed me for beating my children during the spanking arguement, so your insults don't mean much. Your sport seems to be going after one's kids, when all else fails drag the kids into it. I have never once on this blog implied someone was a bad parent like you do. I may have made fun of Britney Spears or ANS's parenting, but not a participant on this blog. I might think they are wrong and disagree but I just don't go after kids.

Also, I will expound on the following:

"Often, the compulsions are a specific response to the anxiety produced by troubling obsessions. OCD sufferers who are primarily obsessional probably experience more agony than those who primarily deal with compulsions."

There is a distinction between phobias/obsessions vs OCD, take the person who is afraid to go outside. A phobic might be afraid to go out because they are obsessed about getting killed, or social anxiety (rejection), or even germs. The OCD won't go out because they have to do/think the same thing over and over, wash their hands, etc. Not always because of an obsession - sometimes a compulsion that stems from the anxiety. Anxiety and Obsession are different.

Posted by: CMAC | February 28, 2007 2:45 PM

Howard county: I am sure there are classes where the teacher does not need to put in extra money for supplies. But if you read any teacher article or talk to veteran teachers, they do talk about having to pay for extra supplies. Like did you know that elementary school bulletin board decorations are usually not covered by your school system. I don't know too many parents donating bulletin board decorations. Also those wonderful good job stickers are also usually provided by teachers. I do think in wealthier counties in the US, the basic crayons, scissors, paper etc is supplied by parents. But even in Fairfax county, there are some poor people and some ratty parents who don't send in supplies. The ratty are the ones who can afford it but choose not to because they like to piggy back on someone else's good nature. My DDs preschool teacher also hands out small gifts during the winter holidays and other smallish type on V-Day. I am sure that came from her own pocket. Last but not least, is the teachers have to really make the supplies last because some parents will refuse to send any more then they initially ask at the beginning of the year. I am not trying to be ugly. I am just saying from what I have read in papers and have heard from teachers, this is the case across the nation. Not saying in Beverly Hills Elementary, the kids don't come in with their crayolas the first day. But pick your average school district and school supplies are not always provided by all parents.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 2:48 PM

As long as we are totally off topic today..

We were able to see AF daughter yesterday for several hours. We had an enjoyable day meeting her team members who are going to the middle east with her. I am glad she is going with guys and girls that she knows and has worked with for the past several months. These young people are truly the cream of the crop. Individuals who are truly defending our country. (I do not want to start a political discussion here.) These are indivdiuals who sacrifice their comfort and family life for the common good. Many will get out after their 4 years to return to the good life that we enjoy in this country. I can tell you that these individuals are very clear headed, intelligent and dedicated to doing the best at their jobs. They will make great citizens when they return to civilain life. If you have never talked to a soldier, salior or airman, take a minute to do so. Their attitudes, beliefs and character will suprise you.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:48 PM

Fred,
Godspeed to your daughter. I work with the men and women who come back everyday and, you are right - they are the best!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 2:49 PM

to cmac and the person offended by the ocd remark:

Sometimes people are insensitive and sometimes people are overly sensitive.

If you are insensitive, try to be understanding. If you are overly sensitive, try to grow a thicker skin and not take everything so personally.

sometimes a joke is just a joke.

I wish you would both stop the back and forth. it is tiresome.

Posted by: another anon | February 28, 2007 2:49 PM

I like how everyone assumes the lurkers are different from the regulars. Maybe, just maybe, they're all the same person. Maybe every regular has a lurker alter ego.


Posted by: am I anon or am I a regular? | February 28, 2007 02:39 PM

What a great funny thought. I bet everyone has one...mwahhaha

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:52 PM

Oral sex should prevent most of the mess nicely.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 02:41 PM

Well, maybe- this begs the question:

SPIT OR SWALLOW????

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:53 PM

to cmac and the person offended by the ocd remark:

Sometimes people are insensitive and sometimes people are overly sensitive.

If you are insensitive, try to be understanding. If you are overly sensitive, try to grow a thicker skin and not take everything so personally.

sometimes a joke is just a joke.

I wish you would both stop the back and forth. it is tiresome.

Posted by: another anon | February 28, 2007 02:49 PM

I can let a lot go, but when I am called spectacularly (I think that was the description) ignorant and am told I prey on the weak, oh - and also a bad parent to boot - I must respond. Bear with me.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 2:53 PM

"Like did you know that elementary school bulletin board decorations are usually not covered by your school system. I don't know too many parents donating bulletin board decorations"

I don't consider bulletin board decorations to be necessary school supplies.

Posted by: Howard County | February 28, 2007 2:53 PM

"So let's say that you have a job where you normally have to pay for your own paperclips. You don't like it, and you shouldn't have to do it, but you need paperclips so you continue to do it. And then your boss gives you a Christmas gift all wrapped up with a bow to show you how much she appreciates you and likes you as a person. And in that pretty box is a bunch of paperclips. Woo hoo."

A better analogy is that the boss comes in with an office supply catalog that includes basic things like paperclips but also some nice things that would really make your work environment more pleasant -- maybe a painting or leather portfolio -- and you have $X to spend to get whatever you want.

I've done this as a manager -- and it's always been viewed positively.

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 2:53 PM

I personally gave DDs teacher a border gc. But I don't think giving a gift of a donation to the class room as wrong either. I think what some of you are discounting is the type of people that go into teaching. Generally it is people who want to provide a positive learning enviroment for children. Similar to giving the clergy a donation to their favorite charity or religious organization. But then again this on balance where someone criticized someone for giving charitable donations in lieu of holiday gifts. There is nothing wrong with giving a personal gift to the teacher in accordance to the school rules. Especially when grades become an issue, I would think teacher would prefer not to get personal gifts because it might be seen as a way to influence grades. DD is in preschool and is ungraded right now. By giving a Borders gc at the holiday, I assumed the teacher was free to pick up a gift for herself or her classroom.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 2:54 PM

So all the posters have a doppleganger lurking around who only posts anonymously?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 2:54 PM

"I like how everyone assumes the lurkers are different from the regulars. Maybe, just maybe, they're all the same person. Maybe every regular has a lurker alter ego."

OK, OK, you got me. I am actually Scarry, Texas Dad of 2, Father of 4, NC Lawyer, as well as several of the lurkers. I just do it so my various identities can tell each other how much they like each other to make myself feel good.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 2:54 PM

I like how everyone assumes the lurkers are different from the regulars. Maybe, just maybe, they're all the same person. Maybe every regular has a lurker alter ego.


Posted by: am I anon or am I a regular? | February 28, 2007 02:39 PM

Mine is Pitty Pat.

Just kidding!

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 2:55 PM

"I like how everyone assumes the lurkers are different from the regulars. Maybe, just maybe, they're all the same person. Maybe every regular has a lurker alter ego.


Posted by: am I anon or am I a regular? | February 28, 2007 02:39 PM

What a great funny thought. I bet everyone has one...mwahhaha

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 02:52 PM "


After many months posting on this blog, I will reveal to y'all my alter ego. His name is FRED!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 2:55 PM

Okay, you guys got me. I'm Mcewen CBC, and pATRICK,

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 2:57 PM

Howard county: I understand that you may not see bulletin board decorations as a necessary school supplies. And that is fine. So you may not be thinking of those type of things when you said parents in my county provide the school supplies. But any elementary school teacher will tell you that bulletin board decorations are a big hit for the kids and make their learning experience more positive.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 2:57 PM

AND SO AM I!!

Posted by: I'm schizophrenic | February 28, 2007 2:58 PM

"I would think teacher would prefer not to get personal gifts because it might be seen as a way to influence grades. DD is in preschool and is ungraded right now. By giving a Borders gc at the holiday, I assumed the teacher was free to pick up a gift for herself or her classroom."

What about the kids who aren't permitted to give gifts or can't afford to give gifts? Couldn't the Borders gc be seen as influence peddling?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:59 PM

"I really don't know if I have OCD; I suspect I don't, since I find ways to manage it."

OCDers are good at finding ways to manage the illness; that's why few people know they have it. Unless you've got one of the really severe compulsions (usually having to do with hygiene, food, etc.,), OCD can be kept unnoticeable.

The checking you mentioned is a big symptom. If you're standing in front of the stove for 5 or 10 minutes staring at the knobs b/c you don't "feel sure" they're off, then you're certainly exhibiting OCD tendencies.

The fact that you can't get out the door for an hour is also indicative.

You might want to consult a specialist.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:59 PM

I am momof5 trying to get a big laugh from writing a guest blog about having one kid. LOL.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:00 PM

"My favorite anon posting being the porn queen who lurks and posts under a different name since she had given up the porn life."

Porn Queen is bogus. She sounds like the fake letters published in Playboy.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 01:47 PM


I'm still here- and no, it was NOT at all fake. My original post was the day of the Ana Nicole Smith blog. We had a great discussion and left it at that.

The next week someone who claimed to be me posted about how many guys I'd slept with and diseases. That was NOT me.

Yes, I was promiscuous and in porn. I was making my (anonymous) point that people change and we shouldn't judge so harshly. i will never be President, but I have a very successful and happy life now- and no one needs to know what I did 10/15 years ago.

And no I will not post my regular screen name- it's embarrassing andI've moved on.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:00 PM

"Howard county: I am sure there are classes where the teacher does not need to put in extra money for supplies. But if you read any teacher article or talk to veteran teachers, they do talk about having to pay for extra supplies."

We have three kids in a Howard County elementary school -- and we are very good friends with a number of the teachers -- and I can guarentee you that they still need to buy basic supplies [typically in the Spring]. It's very school dependent.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:01 PM

AND SO AM I!!

Posted by: I'm schizophrenic | February 28, 2007 02:58 PM

Must you be so hateful?

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 3:01 PM

KLB SS MD

Yes, we have talked about your work before. I would like to ask you about the issue of "the other Walter Reed" but realize that you may not be in a position to talk about it. It saddens my heart to know of this. I have had my own run-ins with the VA--I do have a service connected disability (very minor). I have had to run interference on the part of my PTSD brother so he could have the treatment that he needed. Very sad.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 3:02 PM

yes. I really must.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:02 PM

I'm not saying that it's wrong to give a donation (gift) to the classroom or the school, and I don't think giving the teacher a personal gift means you're not giving in other ways - it's not necessarily one or the other. I buy supplies as needed for the school, buy books requested by the teacher for the classroom at the book fairs, donate monetarily when I can. If you have the means and their is a need, then you certainly should be sending in crayons or paying bulletin board supplies or donating books to the library or whatever it is you think is needed.

But those are different than showing your appreciation for a teacher by giving them a gift. I feel it's almost like you're saying you would rather give them gifts that will ultimately benefit your child. Or in "A Dad's" example above, that a boss should only give gifts to his employees that will make them better employees.


Posted by: to foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:02 PM

Has anyone read about any longitudinal studies done over where the money has "gone" in school districts, making it harder to pay for basic supplies? In Massachusetts where I live, we are paying more and more for schools, but I can't figure out where the cash is going to, as salaries, insurance, and basic benefits have kept up with inflation. I read somewhere most of the money goes to special needs programs, but don't know if that's true.

Posted by: bpm | February 28, 2007 3:03 PM

What about the kids who aren't permitted to give gifts or can't afford to give gifts? Couldn't the Borders gc be seen as influence peddling?

That is why I would not give it past a preschool. I would give a gift to the class. Preschoolers do not get grades and I don't think parents have any desire to influence a teachers assessment of preschoolers progress. Especially when your kid is in developmentally delayed preschool, like my kid. Really you just want to thank the school because the kid is finally talking.


Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:05 PM

To "am I anon or am I a regular?"

My mind is offically blown.

It swallowed, BTW.

Posted by: Meesh | February 28, 2007 3:05 PM

yes. I really must.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:02 PM

AHA!

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 3:05 PM

Fred,
If you send your email address to "the list" that father of 4 put together I would be glad to email and talk to you about what I can.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 3:06 PM

3:02 I agree but after grades are involved, it gets a little tricky to give a teacher a gift. I also think teachers probably have enough cheap number one teacher mugs. So I don't know what the answer is.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:07 PM

What list and how come I wasn't invited to be on it?

Posted by: anon....I mean....regular | February 28, 2007 3:07 PM

"I'm still here- and no, it was NOT at all fake. My original post was the day of the Ana Nicole Smith blog. We had a great discussion and left it at that.

The next week someone who claimed to be me posted about how many guys I'd slept with and diseases. That was NOT me.

Yes, I was promiscuous and in porn. I was making my (anonymous) point that people change and we shouldn't judge so harshly. i will never be President, but I have a very successful and happy life now- and no one needs to know what I did 10/15 years ago.

And no I will not post my regular screen name- it's embarrassing andI've moved on.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:00 PM"

I am glad that you spoke up today. I am also glad that you told us that was not your post from the following week. I really thought that was you. I liked your post as it demonstrated that a person can overcome some less desirable events and become a truly productive member of society. For this, I applaud you.

F.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 3:09 PM

Fred, Thanks for the update on your daughter and your thoughtful comment. Part of balance for me is maintaining perspective, and your serious posts help with that.

and then you make us laugh . . .


and I'm glad I wasn't around to read the blog to which single western mom referred. "single mothers aren't entitled to good sex or something". must have been an interesting and bitter crowd that day.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 28, 2007 3:09 PM

OK, I got it. The reason giving gifts that only benefit the teacher is awkward because your teacher grades your child (past the younger grades). It would be like giving your boss, who sets your salary or does your employee evaluation, a gift. You can see where it is awkward.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:10 PM

"I pick on the weak?"

Yes. Today it's people with mental illnesses.

"if you are the same person."

Not

"I also suspect you are the same anonymous poster that blamed me for beating my children during the spanking arguement, so your insults don't mean much."

You do that, too?

"Anxiety and Obsession are different."

Yes. That's why I said "often," not "always." Although obsession in OCD is always related to anxiety.

Look, I've been actively studying this disorder for more than 20 years. I've read most of the relevant research, done coursework and research on the topic, talked with experts, and generally know a great deal more than people who have dipped into a few magazine articles or the occasional self-help workbook.

I'm not going to debate with how how the disorder manifests, as you are one of those dangerous people who knows a little about some things and tries to pass yourself off as being knowledgeable. You're not.

And, for anyone reading this blog -- especially those who might have need of reliable information about OCD -- do not rely on anything cmac writes.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:11 PM

Are there any teachers out there on the blog who would like to comment on feeling like gifts to them are parental attempts to peddle influence? Really? If I gave you a $20 giftcard to Borders, would you really feel like I was trying to get you to treat my son preferentially?
Why can't a gift just be a gift sometimes?

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 3:11 PM

"I agree but after grades are involved, it gets a little tricky to give a teacher a gift. I also think teachers probably have enough cheap number one teacher mugs. So I don't know what the answer is."

FWIW -- we socialize with many of our teachers and have asked this question. The general response is that 'appropriate' personal gifts are typically welcome at the elementary grade level -- especially dual-use gifts that can be seen as aiding the classroom [like the Border's gift card]. It doesn't really get problemmatic until middle school and high school -- where gifts and grades can be an issue.

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 3:12 PM

You sure don't have very much faith in teachers if you think they could be bought off by a #1 teacher mug or a bouquet of flowers or a dozen homemade cookies.

But you are correct about the #1 teacher mugs. Here are some other suggestions: find out what your child's teacher likes. Does she garden? Drink coffee? Like to rent or go to the movies? Does she have a favorite restaurant? Does he golf? And then either buy them a gift certificate to whatever it is they like. Or if you're still worried about the grade inflation thing, get together with the other parents and buy a gift certificate from the entire class with no names signed.

Posted by: to foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:12 PM

But wasn't the original question about Teacher Appreciation Day? Much the same as Administrative Assistant's (formerly known as Secretary's) Day or Boss' Day, or Mother's, Father's, etc. A specific day dedicated to showing your appreciation for the teacher.

Different than providing supplies for the classroom. I see it as a more intimate expression and one that should come more from the child than parent.

Posted by: New Poster | February 28, 2007 3:14 PM

Okay, I am really Emily!

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 3:14 PM

I've been on the road since 7:45 this morning. Just got to my hotel and checked in. Great comments, even the snarky ones...

I have heard from many women that "there is no mommy war." This may be true -- for them. There are definitely moms who don't experience the angst. But read everyone else's comments here -- the innner mommy war is very real for many of us.

These are our choices as moms: if we "choose" to work, we are labelled selfish. If we "have" to work, we are pitied. If we stay home with our kids, we are (largely) ignored. If we don't have children, we are suspect. Not a pretty set of choices in my opinion!

I agree the solution is to steel yourself against everyone else's judgments. But unless you have rock solid self-esteem, it is impossible to ignore so much negativity and condescension every single day.

Husbands and friends w/o kids can be of little help b/c so many have no idea what we are going through. They don't have the same struggles. I talked to dozens of men and non-moms who could not believe I found stories to fill "an entire book" about our inner mommy wars. Other women seem to offer the best support and solutions, contrary to the urban myth that other moms have caused the mommy wars.

Kind of off topic, yesterday I was at a meeting at my & my kids school (they go to the same school I went to in DC). We were talking about the school's alumni website and class notes. Echoing one of today's posters, we were complaining about how perfect everyone's lives seem when they write in about their most recent baby, their promotion, their new house, new dog, etc. And so we proposed to all write in to our class notes about how crappy our lives are sometimes -- the bouts of depression, the troubled marriages, our financial disasters, idiotic career moves, wacky relatives...I think this would be a) more entertaining and b) make everyone feel better. Same here.

Lastly, I want to negate the impression that I make a lot of money writing this blog. I am lucky to be paid ANYTHING to do it, because most bloggers do it for free. But trust me, it is below minimum wage! I would be as well off financially working at Dunkin Donuts. Plus free coffee! But writing this blog is the most interesting thing I've ever done professionally, and I'm lucky to do it.

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 3:14 PM

"If you are overly sensitive, try to grow a thicker skin and not take everything so personally."

When you've battled a disability no one understands for many, many years and felt all the stigma attached to it, you do take "jokes" about that disability personally. They are essentially attacks on your fundamental personhood. They HURT.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:16 PM

Great comments, even the snarky ones...

NOT

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:16 PM

2:59, yikes. I was sort of hoping for a "eh, you're fine." I definitely do stand in front of the stove and stare at the knobs. I also have to touch the burners (not smart, I know) to make sure they're cool. I make up little rhymes or pinch myself so that a mile down the road, I can say to myself, "I checked the stove, and I remember because I still have this bruise from pinching myself while I did it."

Wow, I just read what I wrote. I am really bleeping insane.

I also have this weird compulsion to play with Scotch tape. I just roll it around in my fingers till it loses its stickiness. I try to discreetly dispose of it anytime I'm required to shake hands.

Okay, I have to stop talking about this, lest you all know how incredibly nuts I am! :-(

(Disclaimer: not meant as an insult to people with OCD; I'm just kind of scared.)

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 3:16 PM

and also a bad parent to boot

cmac who called you a bad parent?

I didn't see that post

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:18 PM

My internal mommy war is that I don't like my moms club. I moved to a new town a year ago and joined a moms club to meet new people. But now I realize that the only thing we all have in common is children and that's not enough. The only thing we ever talk about at playgroups and other functions is the kids. How they sleep, eat, get along with siblings, etc. Too many moms seem to have let their other interests go. And now that I have gone back to work, it's even worse. 90% of the moms in the club stay at home and I guess I'm not "one of them" anymore. I don't want to leave the group, but I'm not really enjoying it anyway. How do you meet new friends (moms or not) with the same interests when you don't have the time to meet new people?? Sigh.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:19 PM

You sure don't have very much faith in teachers if you think they could be bought off by a #1 teacher mug or a bouquet of flowers or a dozen homemade cookies.

No, I don't think a teacher would be bought off by a $20 gc. But I would never want to give the impression that I was trying to buy a teacher off. Not to mention, there are insane parents who would give a $100 gc to influence their child's grades. There are parents who will go to extreme lengths to see that their child gets whatever teenage/childhood accomplishment. Texas cheerleader murdering mom comes to mind. Again, most schools I am sure have some policies in place. Just like a lot of work forces do. I don't think any manager would be bought off with a $20 gc either but most jobs have rules about subordinates giving gifts to their bosses.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 3:20 PM

"It's very school dependent."

Exactly.

Which is why I said, "I'm only speaking from my experience".

Posted by: Howard County | February 28, 2007 3:20 PM

Geez...talk about not missing much. Would have been better off not reading all the anon cr@p.

====
"Texas Dad of 2 is a real A-hole who is overcompensating for having a small penis. Father of 4 is a sexist jerk who hits his kid, has a little kid fetch him beers, etc.
There are a couple of smug, self righteous know-it-alls that I can do without."
====

But apparently you read/return anyway. So who is the fool, if you're the one wasting your time? But you miss a much more important point. Don't you have to adequately compensate before you can over-compensate?? Many here might argue that I never have reached the first threshold in my postings. :~)

I hate to break my policy of not replying to anons, but I feel obliged to add that under a later description (not sure if it was the same poster as the original) that us Southern guys are all in trouble. We often talk about guns and sex. So I'll just have to use your towering intellectual prowess and presume that much of the Southern part of the country is chronically undersized. But others might allow some alternate possibilities, like perhaps it is I'm confident in myself size wise and yet I am curious? The engineer/scientist in me is often like that. Sorry if that ends up blowing your remarkable Freudian stretch, but then how much energy would I waste wondering what a anon troll thinks anyway?

NC Lawyer and scarry: Thanks. NCL, you had great rejoinders as always.

CMAC, you have really held your own, but have spent much more times on anons that I would ever waste. This is already the limit on what I will waste.

Man, you guys go to gyms that are a hell of alot more interesting than anything I've ever been in...or your minds are as pleasantly dirty as mine. BTW, for whatever poster was asking...spitting is heresy. If you are doing such good work, you might as well finish it...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 3:20 PM

Mona,


I leave the house and have to go back to make sure the stove is off at least once a week. I didn't know it was a disease? I thought I was just paranoid.

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 3:20 PM

Just got to the parts about the Mommy Wars being healthy in some ways -- that we shouldn't hope for a permanent truce. That in some ways, this inner dialogue can help keep us centered on what matters most to us.

I have to agree. I just think a lot of women spend too much time listening to the inner mommy wars, that it can become self-destructive and narcissistic. But some level of questioning your choices, especially when they pertain to raising kids, is a very good thing.

Thank you to those who made this point.

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 3:20 PM

"Have suspected as much for a long time. Look at the times they post as well. Sometimes the anon posts are 1 minute apart with difference punctuation, etc on 2 completely different topics. Coincidence? I think not."

Can you say GULLIBLE? I've been reading this blog for a year now, and have NEVER posted before today!

""facetious!"

I am having a good laugh about that!"

Fred PERHAPS gets it.

Posted by: To the regulars | February 28, 2007 3:22 PM

I'm not going to debate with how how the disorder manifests, as you are one of those dangerous people who knows a little about some things and tries to pass yourself off as being knowledgeable. You're not.

And, for anyone reading this blog -- especially those who might have need of reliable information about OCD -- do not rely on anything cmac writes.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:11 PM

I have never passed myself off as an expert on OCD, or anything for that matter. Given the way you have posted today I fear for future research. You are degrading and belittling and I hope you never come into contact with patients.

You may think I am dangerous but I am not passing myself off as an expert on OCD on a Parenting/Balance blog. What does it mean when someone won't own up to a post on a blog repeatedly, give us a psychological profile. Maybe a liar.

So I am a dangerous, child-beating, OCD expert impersonator, I can't remember the rest.... blogger. I have to go home and kick the dog.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 3:24 PM

Scarry, THANK YOU! There's the "eh, you're fine" I was looking for!

Really, though, I think I may be borderline. I'm learning to deal with it, but this time last year I was really bad about it. Now, I usually check only once. If my roommate's home when I leave (if he leaves after me, I'm oddly confident), I sometimes don't check at all. I think this may be a female thing? Remember that scene in "What Women Want" where Mel overhears the woman asking herself if she turned off the coffeemaker? Or the scene in "Enough" where the wife turns off the coffeepot b/c her husband always forgets (true, he does come in to check after she does it, and when he sees it's off, he knows she's there, but you know what I mean)?

Posted by: Mona | February 28, 2007 3:25 PM

CMAC, you have really held your own, but have spent much more times on anons that I would ever waste. This is already the limit on what I will waste.

TD of 2 - the sad thing is I will never get that time back in my life. I will be better tomorrow:)

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 3:25 PM

"I am glad that you spoke up today. I am also glad that you told us that was not your post from the following week. I really thought that was you. I liked your post as it demonstrated that a person can overcome some less desirable events and become a truly productive member of society. For this, I applaud you."

I second Fred's sentiment. I have sat through enough AA and NA meetings -- not to mention conventions -- to know that there is an infinite capacity in humans to rebuild their lives. I have heard some amazing people speak about their experiences with drugs, prostitution, and jail; so many find ways to become productive and give back to society, as well as to create good lives for themselves.

I applaud this woman for leaving her past behind and going forth into the rest of her life.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:28 PM

That explains a lot, especially the life being planned for the next 50 years.

Posted by: to Mona | February 28, 2007 3:30 PM

The comments about broken families today make me think of my own situation. What do you do about an ex spouse who constantly badmouths the "other family", who lies to the children -- in one case telling them "your father didn't even see you for three years when you were babies" (when we've got the pictures that prove otherwise) or having the children call to say "if you'd pay more child support, I could go to band camp" and things like that. I want to rip the woman's head off and vomit down her spinal cord.

But we always, always refuse to engage, and just silently seethe.

How do other people deal with this? Mona, your mom sounds like a good example, I guess.

Posted by: AnonToday | February 28, 2007 3:34 PM

On gift giving to teachers:

Last year a parent at my son's preschool solicited donations from all of the parents then bought a Target gift card for the teacher from all of the parents. It was great - parents who couldn't afford to participate weren't singled out and no parent got to show off to the teacher. I would do it again and recomend it to others.

Posted by: Bookworm Mom | February 28, 2007 3:35 PM

to: Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:28 PM

In view of our discussion today about regular lukers, trolls, regulars who post under different names, etc, would you mind answering this?

Are you a regular lurker?

Have you ever posted before?

Or is something in this story that touches your life?

Did you just read this blog today or just on an irregular basis?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 3:37 PM

I applaud this woman for leaving her past behind and going forth into the rest of her life.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:28 PM

To be contrarian, this poster hasn't left her past behind. It's always a part of her, as our pasts are always a part of us. Her past makes her different than she would have been if she'd never struggled, never overcome, never known need, never made a choice she'd rather not disclose to new friends. I find people with a past a bit more interesting, a bit stronger, a bit more grounded, than those for whom life's been pretty easy.

I'll bet cmac's got a past, too. :>)

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 3:39 PM

To Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:28 PM

Or do you just like the sound of the words "sage green"? :)

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 3:39 PM

MONA:

Please read this.

You are not insane. People with OCD are not insane.

Having said that, I know the fear you're feeling. Believe me, it's not the end of the world. With good treatment (and there's a lot available nowadays), you'll be fine. It won't interfere with your ability to do the things you want, as long as you don't try to push it away and ignore it. It won't affect your ability to have good relationships, develop and maintain a career, enjoy life, have fun, and raise kids. Trust me; I know.

One really good place to start for info is the OCD Foundation website: OCDfoundation.org. These people are awesome, and you'll find some real empathy there as well as excellent links for help and information.

While I really can't i.d. myself here, I'll just answer to OCDgal. If you want to ask any questions or talk further, just use that moniker.

--OCDgal

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:39 PM

Bookworm mom, one of my good friends had the very opposite experience with this arrangement. One parent (or a small group) told all the other parents how much each should give and when my friend balked at the amount she was criticized. Eventually, she gave what was requested but was very upset by the whole thing.

Posted by: New Poster | February 28, 2007 3:41 PM

Leslie's post is a good example of a phenomenon I often point to when the question: why can't more women break the glass ceiling? is raised.

Good leaders have confidence in their instincts and intelligence, but can listen to and consider other points of view without feeling rudderless, tossed about, and overcome with conflict. I am old enough to remember when want ads were divided into "Men" and "Women", and it disappoints me to see how many women are still hung up on what others think of them, to the point the don't known if they are coming or going. My favorite line: "Feeling good about yourself as a mother, whether you're working in or outside your house, is a pathetically difficult task in America today." PLEASE. I wish you could have spoken with my Italian grandmother who pumped out 5 girls and NO sons in a highly patriarchal Italian/Catholic culture and suffered post-partum depression after my mom, girl #5, was born...talk about difficulty in trying to feel good about being a mother...
You can have all the intelligence in the world, and the Ivy league degree to boot, but if you can't make a decision or choose a path, and then suck up and DEAL with any negative outcomes as a result of your choice...well, your leadership qualities are sorely lacking...and under the glass ceiling you remain. This incessant fretting about the "mommy wars" is a perfect example of how women misdirect their energies, and the emphasis on "feeeeelings" is juvenile.

Posted by: ALP | February 28, 2007 3:44 PM

New poster:

That's too bad that parents were pressured to give a particular amount - or anything at all.

It really can work nicely if there isn't any pressure and I was told that every one gave something at my son's class even the parents who had very little to give.

Posted by: Bookworm Mom | February 28, 2007 3:44 PM

"To be contrarian, this poster hasn't left her past behind. It's always a part of her, as our pasts are always a part of us. Her past makes her different than she would have been if she'd never struggled, never overcome, never known need, never made a choice she'd rather not disclose to new friends. I find people with a past a bit more interesting, a bit stronger, a bit more grounded, than those for whom life's been pretty easy."

Yes, of course. I just meant that she has moved on in her life and sees no reason to brand herself "ex-prostitute" on this blog. To be sure, her past has made her strong -- and the person she is today.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:45 PM

Fred,
If you send your email address to "the list" that father of 4 put together I would be glad to email and talk to you about what I can.

KLB SS MD,

No, I have seen enough of this on the national news and in the press. As I say, it breaks my heart.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 3:45 PM

From Leslie: But writing this blog is the most interesting thing I've ever done professionally, and I'm lucky to do it.

THis statement can't be true!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:48 PM

New Poster

I think it's all in how you ask. I organized a similar gift for my child's kindergarten teacher. I emphasized "if you would like to participate" and did not name a dollar amount at all. That's why gift cards are good - when you don't have a set amount you're trying to collect, it doesn't really matter how many participate and how much each family gives. I also tried to do it early - because when my older child was in first grade I was aksed for a donation for a group gift after I had already bought the teacher something, and had to choose between looking cheap or giving again.

Posted by: on group gifts | February 28, 2007 3:49 PM

This incessant fretting about the "mommy wars" is a perfect example of how women misdirect their energies, and the emphasis on "feeeeelings" is juvenile.

And underscores why women, as a rule, are regarded as the weaker link in society. Not because they are, but because they talk about their self-doubts.

But then again, if a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, how would we as a society know where the weaknesses are without communication?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:51 PM

"I just meant that she has moved on in her life and sees no reason to brand herself "ex-prostitute" on this blog. To be sure, her past has made her strong -- and the person she is today.

Posted by: | February 28, 2007 03:45 PM

or some snarky anon poster will trot out the ex-prostitute label as a basis for dismissing her comments whether or not her past sins have anything to do with whether she thinks pets are as important as children or that spanking is an appropriate method of discipline or that she favors swallowing over spitting.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 3:54 PM

I've missed most of this today, however, I'm just wondering if this "internal war" stems from the apparent innate American female need to obessess, hyperanalyze and deconstruct every part of her life and person from the men in her life to the size of her a$$? I just don't hear men having this kind of dialog at all yet women will bond with perfect strangers over how awful they look in a bathing suit. Do men not doubt themselves and hate themselves the way women do or do they just not share it? I don't get it, but it seems pervasive. Just tossing that out there.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 28, 2007 3:54 PM

Choose your priorities and stop whining.

Kim: This is the most vicious bunch of jackels you'll ever find. Apparently reproducing turns women into rabid animals. If your opinion differs from theirs they'll attack you en masse and rip out your entrails. It's a rather innocuous form of entertainment to see who can play one-upmanship and cut someone down with the snarkiest comments. Leslie, of course, monitors this cat fight when she feels like it. I see she'd writing more than her normal 3 paragraphs to introduce the topic of the day. She has to do something to earn her big bucks from the WaPo. After all, she has an MBA from Wharton and is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE REST OF US.

Another fun thing to do is try to figure out what the hell all those initials stand for -- DD, WAHM, DH, FIL, BF (make up your own here), FWIW, Fof4, IMHO, FU, KMA. Misinterpreting this drivel can change the whole tenor of the discussion.

Posted by: Babe in Total Control of Herself | February 28, 2007 3:56 PM

"or some snarky anon poster will trot out the ex-prostitute label"

Not me. I'm so confused I don't know who you are talking about.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:57 PM

it is true. this blog is totally fascinating, even on the high critic days. to see inside people's heads is scar(r)y but really interesting.

who calls divorced parents "broken families" these days? yikes.

i agree a guest blog about dating after divorce would be great. i will try to rustle up some good stuff.

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 3:57 PM

"I think it's all in how you ask."

It is all in how you ask, or in some cases demand.

Posted by: New Poster | February 28, 2007 3:57 PM

"Lastly, I want to negate the impression that I make a lot of money writing this blog. I am lucky to be paid ANYTHING to do it, because most bloggers do it for free. But trust me, it is below minimum wage! I would be as well off financially working at Dunkin Donuts. Plus free coffee! But writing this blog is the most interesting thing I've ever done professionally, and I'm lucky to do it."

That is the biggest bunch of bull I have read on this blog (and that is REALLY saying something) It is free advertising for your book and you know it - please just be honest about it!

Posted by: Mike Jones | February 28, 2007 3:58 PM

Emily - I am a John Denver fan too. The sappy love songs work for mom-kid emotions too.

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 3:59 PM

Babe in Total Control of Herself, Are you forgetting all the male posters or ignoring them because they do not fit in with your generalized rant against females and oh so cool babeliciousness?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 4:02 PM

ALP wrote: "This incessant fretting about the "mommy wars" is a perfect example of how women misdirect their energies, and the emphasis on "feeeeelings" is juvenile"

This is a great example of why women are often discounted in today's society. Some women frame conflict with emotions and feelings. The best way to discount their entire arguement and, therefore, their opinions is to belittle that frame.

Translation: "If you are concerned with emotions, your opinion is not as important as those that are formed by people who are concerned with facts."

Posted by: Meesh | February 28, 2007 4:02 PM

"it is true. this blog is totally fascinating, even on the high critic days. to see inside people's heads is scar(r)y but really interesting.

who calls divorced parents "broken families" these days? yikes.

i agree a guest blog about dating after divorce would be great. i will try to rustle up some good stuff."

Did the Leslie who runs this blog really write this? I suspect not. Leslie usually properly capitalizes her sentences and I do not think that she would use a word like "rustle".

Maybe the real Leslie could confirm this somehow.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 4:02 PM

AKA Childless by Choice. You can run, but you can't hide. Your vicious tone and writing style pretty much give you away.

Posted by: Babe in Total Control of Herself | February 28, 2007 4:09 PM

"This is a great example of why women are often discounted in today's society. Some women frame conflict with emotions and feelings. The best way to discount their entire arguement and, therefore, their opinions is to belittle that frame."

In a management training class we all took the Myers-Briggs test. When I received my results I said out-loud 'Shoot, I missed one'. I had scored near perfect I, and perfect STJ [as had almost all of the other male managers]. The single female manager in the room, not seeing the joke, looked at me very concerned and told me not to let it make me feel bad. Yes, she was an ENFP.

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 4:10 PM

"In view of our discussion today about regular lukers, trolls, regulars who post under different names, etc, would you mind answering this?

Are you a regular lurker?

Have you ever posted before?

Or is something in this story that touches your life?

Did you just read this blog today or just on an irregular basis?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 03:37 PM"

yOu"Ll NeVeR kNoW - hAhAhA!.!.!.!.!

Posted by: To Fred | February 28, 2007 4:11 PM

Is it because they talk about thier self doubt or because talk but don't act.

It is kind of like that commercial where the gondola stops and one guy is saying positive thoughts will solve our problems, while another guy in the backround finds the emergency start button and pushes it.

Talking is good but without action it usually solves very little.

Another thought, I notice that a lot of times in these discussions, when somebody assumes the motivation of the other person that person is a woman. Not said very well but, for example, when foamgnome was asked something about being a SAHM, she assumed the woman said it because of her actions when it turned out to be a daycare thing. Why do women seem to do this more than men? It seems to self defeating to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 4:12 PM

Here is the difference. Women think were acting by talking about it with others. Evidently, men or some men don't feel that way. If they do feel that way, we would never know because they don't on average talk about it. Or at least don't talk to women about their self doubts.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 28, 2007 4:17 PM

I'll bet cmac's got a past, too. :>)

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 03:39 PM

How do you know I am not her?

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 4:19 PM

Now we seem to be getting a lot of "all women are like X" and "all guys are like Y". These generalizations are more painful to read than the earlier nasty posts. Grow up and stop thinking that knowing a person's gender gives you some special insight into her character and mode of thinking.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 4:20 PM

For those of us who never took the test, please translate. Thanks.

'In a management training class we all took the Myers-Briggs test. When I received my results I said out-loud 'Shoot, I missed one'. I had scored near perfect I, and perfect STJ [as had almost all of the other male managers]. The single female manager in the room, not seeing the joke, looked at me very concerned and told me not to let it make me feel bad. Yes, she was an ENFP'

Posted by: to a dad | February 28, 2007 4:23 PM

I = introvert
E = extrovert

That's all I know.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 4:25 PM

"For those of us who never took the test, please translate. Thanks."

Myers-Briggs is one of those personality tests that tries to group people as either (I)ntroverts or (E)xtraverts; (S)ensing or i(N)tuitive; (T)hinking or (F)eeling; (J)udging or (P)erceiving. An ISTJ tends to be a very logical (some might say unemotional) individual while an ENFP is a very touchy-feely out-going individual.

Of course, I'm also a Scorpio and so therefore strongly opposed to the arbitrary attempted groupings of individuals...

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 4:27 PM

I think the biggest difference is some guys think talking is asking for advice or way to fix things and for some girls, talking is just trying to process things outloud or to have someone to talk to... that is my experience for what it is worth...

Mona, you don't sound nuts.

Posted by: s | February 28, 2007 4:29 PM

cmac, I don't, and it doesn't matter, does it?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 4:30 PM

"For those of us who never took the test, please translate. Thanks."

And of course, there is no 'right answer' to the test -- all of the personality types are capable of being competent leaders and managers.

Men are more likely to be ST and women are more likely to be FP on the test.

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 4:30 PM

cmac, I don't, and it doesn't matter, does it?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 04:30 PM

Nope, not at all.

Did you just pick up the Megan's Neighbor handle?

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 4:32 PM

How do you get to be a regular on here? I post but under a name but must not be interesting enough... or inflammatory enough (snort)...

Posted by: not telling | February 28, 2007 4:37 PM

Texas Dad of 2 -- Thank you for your insights and suggestions. My firmest belief is that the first step to finding solutions to problems is talking openly and honestly about them. I think there is room for many different approaches to the problems facing women and families in this country. Appreciate your input.

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 4:39 PM

Yes, cmac. It expect it will expose me to additional accusations of insider-itis, but newcomers won't experience that Fred-like, anti-lawyer rush.

moxiemom, It's not innate. It's a choice to spend one's time disclosing and second-guessing. (Suprise, I was never a big Deborah Tannen fan, either.) Men doubt themselves just as much, but you don't hear about it unless you're sitting next to them at the bar at 1:30 a.m. or whenever their wives or girlfriends leave them. IMHO, A Dad's got it right about arbitrarily grouping individuals.

In case there's anyone left who hasn't got the entire John Denver catalog stuck firmly in the front of her/his mind, I curse you with Sunshine on my Shoulders: "If I had a tale that I could tell you, I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile.
If I had a wish that I could wish for you, I'd make a wish for sunshine for all the while."

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 4:44 PM

Hey, how many people have taken the Myers Briggs? Maybe we should all post our types - I'm an ENTJ. I think there's a web site where you can take an abbreviated version of the test for $3, it's kind of fun. But I don't think they tell you where on the continuum you scored, which can be almost as informative. I was very close to the middle for all of them except the S/N.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 4:45 PM

My myer's briggs was

moderate/clear E (extrovert vs. Introvert)
moderate/clear N (intuition vs. sensing)
moderate/clear T (thinking vs. feeling)
slight J (juding vs. perceiving)

Your results are labeled slight/moderate/clear/veryclear

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 4:52 PM

I took the myers briggs in a graduate level education class when I thought I wanted to be a teacher. The professor told us that 80% of teachers were extroverts and it was the type of profession that would wear Introverts out in a matter of years.

I tend to believe him, constantly being around a lot of people exhausts me and I tested a pretty extreme Introvert. I am a "learned extrovert" - that is not my natural state.

As for the rest of it - I have to look at the website to see if I remember. Whatever it was the professor said it was highly unusual - I am sure some of you will get a kick out of that!

Posted by: CMAC | February 28, 2007 4:55 PM

Moxiemom, you wrote:

"Do men not doubt themselves and hate themselves the way women do or do they just not share it? I don't get it, but it seems pervasive."

Can't imagine trying to speak for all men, and standard disclaimers hold, but I can speak for myself.

Everyone has to make choices. Are men less thoughtful, or not cognizant of their actions? No. But do we agonize over it, or constantly second guess, or feel the need to discuss it? Again, mostly no.

Now for myself, if talking about it to someone will help make it a better choice, or help cure a situation after a bad choice, or even might help others learn something to avoid making the same mistake, then I do it. But if it can't change things or make your next choice better, why agonize yourself over it?

Men do just seem to move on to the next thing better. Gift of a different memory arrangement perhaps? They do say women tend more to bed down in their memories the emotion they felt went the memory occurred, or at least much more than men.

That's why us guys regularly get knocked for a loop when in an middle of an argument you get reminded of the time six years ago that you spilled sugar on the floor, because the emotion that went with it is triggered by other things in the middle of your current disagreement. And we guys are left going...WTF??!??

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 4:58 PM

Now we seem to be getting a lot of "all women are like X" and "all guys are like Y".

Well I didn't say all, I said most and some more than once. If you don't believe that there are valid and useful generalizations about men and women at a statistical level, you're wacked.

"Women think were acting by talking about it with others." Which in this case it is true because this issue seems to be all in your heads ;) But the result is that you can mindf*&^ yourself into a worse state when you inpute motives.

The truth is we all do our best and usually that is more than good enough.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 5:02 PM

There are numerous amusing personality tests available on the web -- one of my favorite sites is www.kingdomality.com -- it tells what type of character you would have been in a medieval village.

My brother and some of his graduate school friends took it with the respective others -- one of the others was not in graduate school and had a significant inferiority complex. All of them had results like 'Prime Minister' , 'White Knight', 'Black Night' except for her -- her's was 'Shepard'. Suffice to say the evening [and the relationship] didn't end well.

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 5:03 PM

"How do you get to be a regular on here? I post but under a name but must not be interesting enough... or inflammatory enough (snort)."

Frankly, I'm not sure anyone here is exactly regular, you know what I mean?

But seriously, on the question of handles, I personally have trouble keeping track of the ones that are initials or some variation on "working mom" or "SAHM" because for some reason it's hard for me to tell if it's being used by the same person consistently (I guess because given the content of the blog, a lot people seem to pick those types of names), and the initials I just get mixed up. But that's just me.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:04 PM

"Now for myself, if talking about it to someone will help make it a better choice, or help cure a situation after a bad choice, or even might help others learn something to avoid making the same mistake, then I do it. But if it can't change things or make your next choice better, why agonize yourself over it? "

Well said, Texas Dad of 2. I never did have much patience with the friend(s) who had broken up with the same guy(s) for the 6th time and wanted to rehash yet again his value, the relationship, why they broke up, whether it'll work. ARRRGGGGGH. Let's just watch some basketball, ok?

A DAD, ROFLOL. A shepherd, eh?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 5:07 PM

I just took the kingdomality test...are you ready?

merchant. I love to compete evidently. Can't say they're wrong!

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 5:09 PM

Fred,
I would just hope that you (and all the other readers) take what you read with a grain of salt (or, in some circumstances a whole salt shaker). Things are not always as they are presented and there are two/three/four sides to everything.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:09 PM

Leslie said:

I think there is room for many different approaches to the problems facing women and families in this country.

Again with the women and families, totally woman focused.

If the problem we are talking about is the general unhappiness of women, that is a problem that will never be 'solved'. It is the basic driving force of human development. Woman unhappy, Man fix. ;)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 5:09 PM

I'm a White Knight. Love it!!
The White Knight, might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. Don Quixote was a White Knight as was Joan of Arc, the Lone Ranger and Crusader Rabbit. As a White Knight you expect nothing in return for your good deeds. You are one of the true "Givers" of the world. You are the anonymous philanthropist who shares your wealth, your time and your life with others. To give, is its own reward and as a White Knight you seek no other. On the positive side you are merciful, sympathetic, helpful, giving and heroic. On the negative side you may be impulsively decisive, sentimental and misdirected.

Posted by: Emily | February 28, 2007 5:11 PM

What is wrong with having two (even three!?!) identities. Why give up anything? I run a consulting practice, I go to school at night, I have kids in great schools not doing drugs, I'm still married and still have sex, go to the gym every day. And I'm not special. BUT I made a choice NOT to have an inner/outer mommy war. I made a choice to live a life. I am beyond fortunate and I know that. Nine years ago I left a career in NYC and could set up a business at home. My kids were older (then 7 and 10) and doing that made all the difference in the world for them, for me, for my marriage. And there is life after they are on their way - both for them and for me.

Posted by: Gwyn | February 28, 2007 5:12 PM

I'm such a sucker for personality tests. I'm a "Dreamer-Minstrel" Yikes! I belong in a Monty Python movie!

"The Dreamer-Minstrel might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. You can always see the "Silver Lining" to every dark and dreary cloud. Look at the bright side is your motto and understanding why everything happens for the best is your goal. You are the positive optimist of the world who provides the hope for all humankind. There is nothing so terrible that you can not find some good within it. On the positive side, you are spontaneous, charismatic, idealistic and empathic. On the negative side, you may be a sentimental dreamer who is emotionally impractical. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms."

Not so sure about the "corporate kingdoms" bit...

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:16 PM

Where do you find these personality tests? On-line?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:18 PM

www.kingdomality.com

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 5:21 PM

By the way, CMAC, you've got me curious about your Myers-Briggs type, let us know if you figure it out!

KLB - I know I've taken a short version of the myers-briggs online but I can't remember where. A Dad posted about the www.kingdomality.com, which is where the white knight/minstrel/merchant come from.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:24 PM

I found the kingdomality - I am a shepherd. Not much of a surprise there being a nurse. Would love to find the other.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:25 PM

Hey, Megan --

I'm a Dreamer-Minstrel, too! (Don't know about the minstrel part, as I can't carry a tune.)

Wonder who else will give it a try???!!!

(By the way, glad I missed most of today. Really scorching.)

Posted by: pittypat | February 28, 2007 5:29 PM

egad, I'm an engineer - builder. Ha! My husband will laugh for hours over that one.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 5:30 PM

try http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
for an mini-Myers-Briggs

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 5:30 PM

I am a Doctor - this will really piss off the anonymous OCD researcher from today, however the "On the negative side" is really quite revealing:

The Doctor might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. Your emotions and feelings are reality based. You are not misled with half formed ideas nor are you given to radical or high risk experimentation. You follow the tried and true and do not waste time thinking about things that cannot be seen, touched, heard, felt or smelled. On the positive side, you can become an exceptional expert in your particular area of the helping professions. You can deliver and maintain consistent and beneficial service to others. You do not lose sight of the reality of the situation and can usually control your own emotions. On the negative side, your emotions may want to be sensually satisfied which might lead to too much food, drink or other sensual pleasures. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 5:31 PM

My Neighbor - awesome! I wonder how the engineers will score?

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:31 PM

klb - I'll take the mini-test because I'll never find the original scoring unless I was not looking for it. I wonder if it changes over time?

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 5:33 PM

Pittypat, a kindred spirit!

CMAC, that negative side doesn't sound too bad right about now...

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:33 PM

cmac, ah the irony, LOL.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 5:33 PM

Hmmm...The Discoverer. Perhaps appropriate for someone in the Space Program??

The Discoverer. Your overriding goal is to go where no one else has ever gone before. Regardless of the number of available natural problems to be solved, it is not unusual for you to continually challenge yourself with new situations or obstacles that you have created. You are an insatiable explorer of people, places, things and ideas. You thrive on constant change and anything new or different. On the positive side, you can be creatively rational as well as open minded and just. On the negative side, you might be an impractical and indecisive procrastinator.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 5:34 PM

Megan,

Yeah, I'm not surprised. You often post ideas or opinions that I have had as well.

I'm lucky to be in such good company!

Posted by: pittypat | February 28, 2007 5:35 PM

Thanks A Dad. I came out to be a supervisor-Guardian. Not sure if that is good or not.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:35 PM

Hey, cmac. I'd like to have your negative side. Geez, it that negative complaning or bragging?? :~)

BTW, how are you on overdosing on the "Sensual pleasures"??

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 5:38 PM

"You are an insatiable explorer of people"

My, my Texas Dad of 2, that does sound exciting. If you're married to a "Doctor," you guys could really have some fun...

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:38 PM

CMAC, I bet it does change as you grow. I find that I am less tolerant of some things now than I was 10-20 years ago and more tolerant of others.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:39 PM

Megan:

Yeah, we Irish Discoverers in general tend to have a problem with our "insatiable explorations". Hence the large progeny problems... :~)

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 5:43 PM

A friend just sent this to me - it could apply to us here:

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:46 PM

And playing Doctor is a pasttime I oddly tend to enjoy...though with the small equipment I was accused of having before, I can't imagine why...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 5:46 PM

So Texas dad of 2 - that means you drive a Hummer of Porsche :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:48 PM

You can tell it's late in the day.

Heading home now, to "fix" my "angry" wife...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 5:48 PM

"Heading home now, to "fix" my "angry" wife..."

LOL - that cracked me up, TX Do2.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 5:51 PM

KLB,

No a minivan. But I don't treat cars as an extentino of my personality. To me a car is like a hammer. Transportation that gets me from point A to point B, with kids and their friends, and a minimum of gas mileage wasted. As few soldier's as possbile have to die for my driving inclinations.

Secure enough in my tiny manhood to not give a big rat's a$$ about other's thougths on my vehicles.

Wife did make be sell my motorcycles, though, when the kids came along, which was sad...love those things. Will be an old rider when the kids go...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | February 28, 2007 5:54 PM

Texas Dad,
I am picturing Sam Elliot in Mask - yummy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 5:57 PM

TDO2 - I do "indulge" on spirits and food and as for the sensual side, I don't hear my husband complaining....... Of course he is upstairs cussing at the mess in the kid's rooms, but he won't be complaining later.

KLB: Here is my myers briggs, I think it has changed although looking at the explanation of this one - looks like the Doctor explanation. I do remember my Introvert was a 59 and now it is much lower - I think a 16. I didn't print it out though - damn! Truly, I think if I took the test tomorrow or another day either the N or F might flip. Maybe I am not so unusual after all.

I - moderately expressed introvert

N - slightly expressed intuitive personality

F - slightly expressed feeling personality

J - distinctively expressed judging personality

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 5:58 PM

Introvert is a 33, not 16.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 6:00 PM

This is mine: I am not sure it sounds very good.

Your Type is
ESTJ
Extroverted Sensing Thinking Judging
Strength of the preferences %
22 50 1 44

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:01 PM

So CMAC, what does this all mean really?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:02 PM

klb - Your meyers briggs looks good to me, take it tomorrow and it will change!

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 6:04 PM

"Fred,
I would just hope that you (and all the other readers) take what you read with a grain of salt (or, in some circumstances a whole salt shaker). Things are not always as they are presented and there are two/three/four sides to everything."

KLB SS MD,

Huh? where did this thought come from? Was it prompted by some specific post?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 6:05 PM

Fred, it was in response to your comment about having read all you care to read about Walter Reed.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:07 PM

Here is the merchant description:
On the positive side you can be logically practical, rational and realistic. On the negative side you may be rigidly dogmatic as well as unmerciful and precipitous. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.

Here is an ENTJ description: (I must be hard to live with)
ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments.
ENTJs are very career-focused, and fit into the corporate world quite naturally. ENTJs are usually successful in the business world, because they are so driven to leadership.
There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people's feelings, and more than likely don't believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people's feelings. ENTJs naturally have little patience with people who do not see things the same way as the ENTJ. the ENTJ will be a forceful, intimidating and overbearing individual. This may be a real problem for the ENTJ, who may be deprived of important information and collaboration from others. In their personal world, it can make some ENTJs overbearing as spouses or parents.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 6:08 PM

This is ESJT:

Search the web Search Keirsey.com
The Portrait of the Supervisor (eStJ) RATIONAL
ARTISAN
IDEALIST
GUARDIAN

Copyrighted © 1996-2007 Prometheus Nemesis Book Company

Supervisor Guardians are squarely on the side of rules and procedures, and they can be quite serious about seeing to it that others toe the mark-or else face the consequences. They do not hesitate to give their stamp of approval, nor do they withhold their directions or suggestions for improvement. Like seasoned, stalwart umpires, Supervisors will set their jaw and make the call on anyone who steps up to bat. They even feel obligated to do so, and they're sometimes surprised when others don't seem grateful for being set straight.

Comprising at least ten percent of the population, Supervisors go by experience and that is what counts, not speculation and experimentation, and certainly not fantasy. They keep their feet firmly on the ground and make sure that those under their supervision do the same, whether employee, subordinate, offspring, or spouse. If others wish to fool around and daydream, fine, as long as they do it on their own time-which means after the job is done. But if they fritter away their time while on duty, they should not be surprised when the Supervisor calls them on the carpet. The top sergeant will not put up with such nonsense.

Supervisors are gregarious and civic-minded, and are usually key players of their community. They are generous with their time and energy, and very often belong to a variety of groups, supporting them through steady attendance, but also taking a vocal leadership role. Indeed, membership groups of all kinds attract Supervisors like magnets, perhaps because membership satisfies in some degree their need to maintain the stability of social institutions. Like all the Guardians, Supervisors worry a good deal about society falling apart, morality decaying, standards being undermined, traditions being lost, and they do all they can to preserve and to extend the institutions that embody social order. Supervisors are so in tune with the established institutions and ways of behaving within those institutions, that they have a hard time understanding those who might wish to abandon or radically change them.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:10 PM

klb - It means that you took a test at 6:00pm when you were hungry and tomorrow morning after your coffee you will be an INFP - a whole new person! Just kidding - you are a good extrovert - I can tell.

Employers and Employment Agencies used to use this, no? I don't know how relevant it is in today's job market, but as a personal analysis I think it is basically correct.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 6:11 PM

klb-it does sound like you, imho. What do you think?

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 6:11 PM

I guess it is me but the rigidity aspect scares me. I wonder if that is how other people see me.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:13 PM

dotted - are you " rigidly dogmatic as well as unmerciful and precipitous." I think not.

KLB I loved this part: Supervisors worry a good deal about society falling apart, morality decaying, standards being undermined, traditions being lost, and they do all they can to preserve and to extend the institutions that embody social order.


Dogmatic! Moral Decay!

I can't take it anymore, I have to go induldge my sensual desires.

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 6:14 PM

Dotted, I'm an ENTJ too (or I tested as that a while back anyway), I'm enjoying trying to reconcile that with my dreamer-minstrel role. I guess I'm an impatient, overbearing, forceful and intimidating optimist who provides the hope for all humanity and takes credit for it too.... Talk about difficult to live with ;)

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 6:14 PM

For a 'different' description of your Myers-Briggs type, go to:

http://www.xeromag.com/fun/personality.html

Posted by: A Dad | February 28, 2007 6:15 PM

I wouldn't worry about some of the adjectives. Nothing completely fits. Particularly the rigidity, I see you being rather flexible in your thinking.

Says I, the queen (ENTJ to the max)

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 6:15 PM

I am having champagne. Maybe it will be worse in the am.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:15 PM

KLB SS MD,

Ok, I had left work, driven to the store, post office and then to home between my comment about WR and your response.

But, can you, in general, characterize WR as having some significant problems in the care of veterans?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 6:16 PM

Texas dad - this is WORSE:

ESTJs thrive in occupations which best utilize their organizational skills, such as driver's license bureau worker, junior bank teller, postal employee, COBOL programmer, or any other profession which involves long periods of mind-crushing tedium, preferably involving counting things. Quiet and courageous, they can perform difficult tasks other personality types are not well-suited for, such as denying health insurance benefits to crippled children with leukemia. They also make excellent extras in Hollywood movies

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:17 PM

A Dad: oh no, ENTJs are the evil overlord! Oh no..I shall never be able to watch Darth Vader the same way again!

Megan: do you get frustrated with people not understanding how you get to where you are in your creations? If so, that would be ENTJ.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 6:18 PM

Duh - I get the joke now what a dufus. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:18 PM

Fred,
I would admit that the administrative side of the house can leave something to be desired but what really bothers me is that the excellence of the medical care has barely been mentioned in any of the articles (a quick line here and there as a throw away).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:20 PM

KLB - dotted and I don't look so good either on that site:

ENTJ: The Evil Overlord

The ENTJ is best characterized by his charisma, his ability to grasp complex situations and to think flexibly and creatively, his keen and active intelligence, and his overwhelming desire to crush the world beneath his boot. ENTJs are naturally outgoing and love the company of other people, particulalry minions, henchmen, slaves, and the others they rule with ruthless efficiency.

We apparently also often perish at the hands of secret government agents...

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 6:22 PM

I guess it is me but the rigidity aspect scares me. I wonder if that is how other people see me.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 06:13 PM

I think the words generous, gregarious and supportive outweigh any negative conotation of rigidity - which I didn't specifically see. Rigid in rules and obligations does not mean a cold person, it merely means what it says - you like to do thing by the book. IS that you?

Posted by: cmac | February 28, 2007 6:22 PM

CMAC,
Yes, I am a by the book kind of person. I thought that was the military in me. I also am a firm believer in equality and fairness. If one patient is treated one way then all the rest deserve the same treatment. I get upset when they don't get it.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:24 PM

"Megan: do you get frustrated with people not understanding how you get to where you are in your creations? If so, that would be ENTJ."

Oh yes. Quite honestly I think the ENTJ profile still fits me quite well, all kidding aside.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 6:26 PM

Megan:
I think the ENTJ fits me all too well too. I find the notion somewhat scary, but somewhat flattering too. I wonder what my husband is?? hummmmmmm

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 6:31 PM

Dotted, that's pretty much exactly how I feel about it too... I'm pretty sure my husband has taken it, I'll have to ask him.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 6:36 PM

Couldn't bear weighing in on the Mommy Wars yet again, but I must admit I love those silly personality tests.

A Dad, as a woman, I scored very high I (78) and then STJ. I scored very analytic (or "blue") on a recent team building exercise at work (the I in me REALLY hates those things). With those kinds of scores, it seems like I'd gravitate to engineering or accounting, but I'm a writer (though not the creative type, more the research-and-report type). And yet, I'm a White Knight. I must be a very quiet, logical white knight . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | February 28, 2007 6:37 PM

Mega, Do you think he will really tell you?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:37 PM

Has anyone done the color test? It is really quick and easy and, I feel, quick accurate.

http://www.colorquiz.com/

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:39 PM

KLB, if he doesn't, I will crush him.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 6:41 PM

Duh - not "quick" accurate but quite. Really messing up with my typing today.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:42 PM

KLB, that color quiz could become a major suckage of time, I'm extremely tempted to do it over and over to try to figure out how it works - and then I will crush it.

Posted by: Megan | February 28, 2007 6:44 PM

Megan, I have found that it changes according to your mood, etc. At least it is quick if you want to do it every day.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 28, 2007 6:46 PM

Megan-I love it...

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 6:46 PM

Damn, I AM the Thought Police!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 6:58 PM

Fred-which combination is the thought police?

another reason for Leslie to give you a shout out!

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 7:06 PM

I'm an engineer, and after the kingdom test it said I was a Dreamer-Minstrel. Imagine that. My Briggs Myers test score was (I think) INTP; yeah, I'm messed up...

Posted by: John | February 28, 2007 7:12 PM

"scar(r)y"

Is this a new way to spell scarry!

I am ENFP something or other. Not surprising that I am 100% extrovert

Posted by: scarry | February 28, 2007 7:15 PM

John-intp makes sense for an engineer.

dreamer/minstrel makes sense if you disconnect your emotions in order to succeed as an engineer. You know what I mean: engineer at work, non-engineer at home.

Or else you are really hungry right now or something to screw up the test.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 7:20 PM

I think Leslie was giving you a psuedo-shout out with the scar(r)y line today...you caught it though.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 7:21 PM

Dotted,

Look at the real MB test results

http://www.xeromag.com/fun/personality.html

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 7:24 PM

I couldn't remember the website (ENTJ came out as the Evil Overlord: you may bow)

"As an ISTJ, you have a natural understanding of the value of civil harmony and order, and a deep-seated dislike of non-conformity, anarchy, and chaos."

explains the clean bathrooms, eh?

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 7:29 PM

and clean towels every day!

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 7:31 PM

Do we need to consider offering cave assignments based on Meyers-Briggs compatibility?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 8:08 PM

"Do we need to consider offering cave assignments based on Meyers-Briggs compatibility?"

I will have to consult with my lawyer about this.


NC lawyer, give me a shout.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 8:27 PM

ah, Fred, you're a little behind the times. 'tis I.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 8:59 PM

I thought I remembered reading Megan's neighbor was nc lawyer! Nobody is my neighbor....sniff sniff. I guess Chapel Hill isn't good enough for Cary...sniff sniff.

Won't you be my neighbor?...Fred Rogers.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 9:13 PM

dotted, Your property taxes are beyond us poor slobs. But I aspire to be your neighbor, oh queen, in my dreams.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | February 28, 2007 9:20 PM

I just did the color quiz. it's so accurate that it's scary. (No pun intended!)

Posted by: experienced mom | February 28, 2007 9:58 PM

"ah, Fred, you're a little behind the times. 'tis I."

So, is this who you are and will be from now on?

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2007 9:59 PM

my property taxes are henious. My schools are worth it for us. property taxes are tax deductible. Private school tuition is not. Besides, they walk to school. I like that. ymmv.

your queen..I like the sound of that..he he he.

Posted by: dotted | February 28, 2007 10:25 PM

á

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:10 PM

Scarry -- Dotted is right. I wrote scar(r)y as a shout out to you...and Fred, sorry to report, it was all me. Rustle is in my vocab. Nite!

Posted by: Leslie | February 28, 2007 11:22 PM

Hi everyone,

Sorry - I missed this column yesterday because I was on the road like Leslie. So as to not completely hijack the conversation, I'll out myself as an ENFX (extroverted, intuitive, feeling and evenly divided between judging/perceiving, hence the X.)

Now - forgive me but I have to wax on about Leslie's great column:

"What amazes me is that even after talking and writing about these issues for years now, the worst mommy war still simmers inside my head (at least it no longer boils)..."

Amen. Great blog, even greater comments -- when I got to Gwyn's comment above I found myself nodding and saying "yes!" out loud. I think change is afoot, thanks to social media and blogs like this one. In my experience co-founding BlogHer.org, there's a very short path between parents talking and parents acting. As Delta Airlines and Starbucks have learned in the past year, for example. (In case you have missed the headlines, both companies asked breastfeeding women to leave an establishments, resulting in blogstorms of negative customer feedback and, ultimately, on-site protests.)

For too long, being a good mother has meant putting a perfect face out to the world -- June Cleaver, Mrs. Brady, Mrs. Huxtable -- while struggling privately with everything that mothers must conquer, from miscarriage to potty-training to not fighting with your teenager. These blogs are a wonderful reminder that we're actually not completely alone in our struggle with the scariest, most important job most mothers I talk with say they've ever had -- and with open comments, we're all invited to join in.

What's next? Well, I can hardly wait to see what this means for childcare and healthcare, which are typically the lonely struggles of individual mothers and families no matter where they fall on the spectrum of political opinion. Watch out, Washington D.C. Women are the majority of voters.

Leslie, congrats on your paperback edition! I predict a bestseller.

Best,
Lisa Stone

Posted by: Lisa Stone | March 1, 2007 11:57 AM

I'm not a mom but I have a "mommy war-esque" gripe: as more and more of my friends become parents, I lose them as friends.

I understand that children take a lot of time, but I resent the fact that while I've been a good friend (bringing meals while pregnant and with a newborn, being there to step in and take care of the kid when one parent is sick and the other is working, and whatnot) I don't actually get "friend time" with the parenting friends.

I became friends with them because they are (were?) interesting people who maintained great conversations and were fun to hang out with. I'll support their child-bearing and raising choices (goodness knows how many baby gifts I've given), but I'd like some reciprocity -- a meal, a movie, a hike, a bike ride, a phone call -- on a somewhat regular basis.

The thing is, I have some friends who handle this balance quite well -- who know they don't have to do everything as a couple/family and, for example, one parent will stay with the kid and the other will go out for dinner or for a movie. I have other friends who invite their friends -- regardless of whether they're a couple or have a kid -- over for a weekend lunch or on a hike with them. Great. But it's the people who refuse to make time (because it is a choice) for their childless or single friends that piss me off (and don't get me started on the married couples who seemingly become allergic to their single friends after the wedding/gift). I'm done ranting now.

Posted by: friend | March 1, 2007 7:45 PM

"I have some friends who handle this balance quite well -- who know they don't have to do everything as a couple/family and, for example, one parent will stay with the kid and the other will go out for dinner or for a movie."

Friend, you sound like you are indeed a good friend and I'm sorry you are having this struggle. I don't know how old your friends' kids are, but speaking (sadly) from experience, I can only say that it takes some of us longer to figure out what you wrote above than others. I'd say I've really only gotten there in the last 6 months or so (my son is a little over 2 now). I'm extremely grateful to my child-free friends who were willing to be patient; hopefully the people you've been so supportive of will be too someday soon.

Posted by: Megan | March 2, 2007 12:12 AM

Friend: I know exactly how you feel. I've been there, too. But don't be so eager to get back with those who have kids. The entire -- ENTIRE -- conversation will be about the kids. How cute they are, what they said, how they look, what they eat. You'll be bored out of your skull in 20 minutes flat. My biggest peeve is the lack of a thank you note after I've given them baby gifts. Where is it written that producing offspring negates the necessity to write a thank you note? I've given many handknit baby blankets for their precious darlings and have gotten nary a thank you note. I only do it once. No thank you note, no gift for the next kid. It takes a lot longer to knit a blanket than it does to dash off a thank you note, believe me.

Say, friend, why don't we singles get together for margaritas and dish on those dull married people.

Posted by: In the Same Boat | March 2, 2007 9:13 AM

Hope this isn't too late to be of use, Friend.
I'm sure you've heard people say this: "Just wait till you have kids, then you'll understand."
Annoying as that may sound, it's really true. For many parents, though not all, having babies and small children is incredibly exhausting, especially if you have to somehow fit some kind of employment around that. Some people do the juggling act better than others, but for many, if not most, those first years are a whirlwind. There are issues of physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion, financial exhaustion, there's a learning curve about being organized and there's even an issue about being confident in your parenting abilities and/or your childcare arrangements -- and/or a problem finding child care.
In addition, some new parents may worry that they've become boring, rumpled and sort of unfit for social contact in that not-ready-for-prime-time way (another confidence issue, or possibly a physical exhaustion issue; I can't tell you how many times I wondered if I was fit to be seen in public in my post-partum state, and even wondered if I had remembered to brush my teeth).
So, please don't judge your newly childed friends too harshly, even those who are juggling less skillfully than others. Remember, things do ease up quite a bit when the kids get older, say, in elementary school.
And here is the absolute most important thing for you to remember: You have built up a very large account in the Bank of Good Karma. If and when you do have kids, you will have a strong network of experienced parent friends who will find great joy in helping you, and that will be a wonderful thing in too many ways to list here.
By keeping up your friendships, even if it seems like you have to take all the initiative right now, you are doing a very good thing. A mitzvah, actually.
In the meantime, keep adding to your Karma account, and do enjoy your childfree days!

Posted by: anon mom | March 5, 2007 2:44 PM

As someone who has both read your anthology and written extensively on this topic in my own blog, I think we need to keep up the conversation. I recently read some research from a new study saying 27% of children in full-time daycare are more likely to become aggressive and wanted to throw up (my child is). Then I read some criticism of the study, and some criticism of those criticizing, saying nobody wants to make working moms feel bad. What? The whole world seems to want to make working moms feel bad.

Whether or not things are "right" or "wrong" is not important, though. As long as life and expenses require people work, it's more productive to improve care for as many children as possible than to waste time heaping guilt on moms for being away from their kids during working hours or moms who don't provide their children with enough socialization because they stay at home, or whatever. The real issue here is that life requires us to do what we need to do, and it would be a lot more useful for us to support each other through the hard times than judge each other.

All hail Mommy.

Posted by: Rita Arens | March 12, 2007 10:54 AM

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