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American mothers around the world

Joanna Goddard has been interviewing American women raising their children in other countries, to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. She's talked to parents in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, India, England, China, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Chile. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Oct 10, 2014 - 50 comments

The clipboard lets me know it’s science.

Relax on your pristine white couch and enjoy these realistic depictions of motherhood.
posted by EndsOfInvention on Sep 16, 2014 - 73 comments

I don’t think that I could handle being that vulnerable to someone else.

25 Famous Women on Childlessness
posted by stoneweaver on Sep 16, 2014 - 160 comments

Birth Culture

Since 2006, Alice Proujansky has photographed childbirths around the world for a project entitled 'Birth Culture.' Her intent is to highlight 'the universal aspects of childbirth, elements that are culturally-specific and the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful maternity care.' Images: Photographer's site. NYTimes Gallery. Agnostica. Slate. Some photos may be NSFW.
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2014 - 21 comments

support, salvation, transformation, life

Recently I overheard a man say at a yoga class, "Yeah, well, you get two women together and it's like bitch central." I could have told him he only needed one, in fact, and that would be me, but it also made me realize how much people diminish and poo-poo the real power and strength of female friendship, especially between women, which is either supposed to descend into some kind of male lesbian love scene porn fantasy or be dismissed as meaningless or be re-written as a story of competition.

Here's the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, "bonus" relationships to the truly important ones. Women's friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children.
Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship, an essay by Emily Rapp (previously).
posted by divined by radio on Aug 5, 2014 - 53 comments

Female octopuses have the saddest life spans

"For many a female octopus, laying eggs marks the beginning of the end (pdf, 1.11MB). She needs to cover them and defend them against would-be predators. She needs to gently waft currents over them so they get a constant supply of fresh, oxygenated water. And she does this continuously, never leaving and never eating. (via)."
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 30, 2014 - 28 comments

On balancing career and family as a woman of color

Michel Martin, in her last week as host of NPR's "Tell Me More," responds to conversations about work/life balance such as Anne-Marie Slaughter's much-commented 2012 "Why Women Still Can't Have It All", (previously) where "the discussion too often ends where it began: with privileged, mostly white women at the forefront." [more inside]
posted by drlith on Jul 28, 2014 - 11 comments

I waited for the gush of joy, and I felt blank.

P is for postpartum depression.
posted by spamandkimchi on Jan 28, 2014 - 29 comments

[hidden mother photos]

[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Dec 15, 2013 - 19 comments

The Opt-Out Revolution, Revisited

In 2003, the New York Times published a lengthy article by Lisa Belkin about women who were choosing to leave the workforce to be stay-at-home moms: The Opt-Out Generation. In the the last ten years, the article's conclusions regarding upper-middle-class women's choices about work and motherhood have been debated, studied, rediscovered, denied, lamented, and defended. It's been noted by many that "most mothers have to work to make ends meet but the press writes mostly about the elite few who don’t." Ms. Belkin's piece also never mentioned what what a disaster divorce or the death of a spouse can create for dependent women in such situations. After a decade, the Times is revisiting the topic: The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2013 - 64 comments

Thank you mom for enduring having me

"There's nothing ergonomic about being a parent." Writer Shawnee Barton talks about the non-Hallmark, less discussed aspects of being a mother: the physical changes that come from pregnancy and giving birth. "Turns out, we are all mama soldiers returning from the battlefields of life-creation. And like most stories from the frontlines, the physical scars inevitably stir genuine emotions and sentimentality that those greeting cards fall far short of replicating."
posted by ichomp on May 12, 2013 - 84 comments

The Feminist Housewife

Kelly calls herself “a flaming liberal” and a feminist, too. “I want my daughter to be able to do anything she wants,” she says. “But I also want to say, ‘Have a career that you can walk away from at the drop of a hat.’ ” And she is not alone. Via.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Mar 18, 2013 - 258 comments

Models and their Mothers

Models and their Mothers by Howard Schatz. Interview. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 27, 2013 - 35 comments

Make Babies

"Older parenthood will upend American society." "Is waiting to have kids a big mistake?" "Why do women believe they can delay children for so long?" "Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age."
posted by vidur on Dec 12, 2012 - 162 comments

I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

"I don't want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too. They will get older and their breasts will lose their shape and they will hate their bodies, because that's what women do. That's what mommy did." Some lovely Friday-morning encouragement for all the moms.
posted by jbickers on Nov 16, 2012 - 65 comments

'A childhood that began with a sort of cautious optimism quickly devolved into absolute horse shit.'

My mother became my daughter when I was nine years old. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 20, 2012 - 62 comments

"And by the way, your kid's stroller sucks."

The Mommy-Fight Site. What does it mean to raise a child in "America’s highest-income, best-educated Census area? D.C. Urban Moms and Dads might be as close as it gets to a field guide to parentis Washingtonianis" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 14, 2012 - 80 comments

Is Sex Passe?

"Just as the watchword of my generation was freedom, that of my daughter’s generation seems to be control." Erica Jong finds a lack of passion in the longings of 20- and 30-somethings. Her claim is that internet porn and motherhood have replaced the quest for free love initiated by Boomer feminists. Sex educator Violet Blue (both links potentially NSFW) disagrees. Rosie Grey concurs in the Village Voice.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jul 11, 2011 - 136 comments

Tina Fey's A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child

"First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches." Tina Fey's The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter from her new book Bossypants. You can hear her read this piece at the beginning of her interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 16, 2011 - 94 comments

Progesterone Gel Helps Prevent Preemies

One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2011 - 18 comments

Blurbodoocery Inc.

The NYTimes profiles the "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers" Who is it? Why, Dooce, of course! The article also gives shoutouts to Nie Nie, Mama Pundit, Pioneer Woman, Selfish Mom, and Because I Said So, among others. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Feb 23, 2011 - 72 comments

How Long is Babby Formed?

"Normal" human pregnancies last 40 weeks, right? Well, no; they can vary quite a bit by the mother's race, age, number of previous children, family history of delivering early or late, home state, work habits, and even the fetus' HLA type. So where does that "40 week" thing come from? Oh, dear. So check out this super-nerdy pregnancy statistics website, from an engineer mom who is collecting data from the public (see the raw data and auto-generated graphs, and read the FAQ about the survey, with more cool graphs). Looking for day-by-day probabilities on when that baby's due? This would be your stats table with daily prediction (adjust dates at top of page as needed). Of course, you could always shut up your constantly inquiring relatives and friends another way.
posted by Asparagirl on Dec 16, 2010 - 45 comments

Moms in Babeland

Perhaps it's not surprising, given their intrinsic connection: sex and parenthood come together in Moms in Babeland, a blog run by the eponymous sex toy boutique (NSFW, obvs). [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on May 6, 2010 - 17 comments

...ink by the barrel...

Negative reviews prompt author meltdowns: Alice Hoffman. Lee Oi-soo. Alain de Botton. Ayelet Waldman. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2009 - 30 comments

Defining passion, as a mother

"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 27, 2009 - 182 comments

When women hide behind their children on Facebook

Get Your Kid Off Your Facebook Page by Katie Roiphe You click on a friend's name and what comes into focus is not a photograph of her face, but a sleeping blond four-year-old, or a sun-hatted baby running on the beach. Here, harmlessly embedded in one of our favorite methods of procrastination, is a potent symbol for the new century. Where have all of these women gone? What, some future historian may very well ask, do all of these babies on our Facebook pages say about the construction of women’s identity at this particular moment in time?
posted by Locative on May 16, 2009 - 205 comments

The Case Against Breast-Feeding

Hanna Rosin has written a piece for the Atlantic claiming that the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. This is pretty controversial following "decades of indoctrination delivered with evangelical fervor," causing American women "to take it as an article of faith that if they don’t breast-feed their children, they'll grow up to be underachievers plagued with health problems and lacking a bond with their mother". [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Mar 16, 2009 - 109 comments

Mr. Good Enough

"Everyone laughs a little too hard for a little too long, not because we find these sentiments funny, but because we’re awkwardly acknowledging how unfunny they are. At their core, they pose one of the most complicated, painful, and pervasive dilemmas many single women are forced to grapple with nowadays: Is it better to be alone, or to settle? My advice is this: Settle!" [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 10, 2008 - 146 comments

(a belated happy women’s day)

The Women Of India
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 16, 2007 - 14 comments

"Of course, many of you will be eaten before you become adults."

In nature, mothers aren't so motherly.
posted by Citizen Premier on May 9, 2006 - 21 comments

A Lifetime In Under Two Days

Grief, Gratitude and Baby Lee. She wanted to honor her son, to celebrate his life, however short. That's why she had refused an abortion, even after doctors told her that her little boy would be born without a brain.
posted by matteo on Jan 29, 2006 - 73 comments

makes me hate teenagers

Girl murders mother, posts about it on her blog. Oh yes, it's real. Many of the 1300+ comments on her last entry are defending her actions, or saying it's unfair to judge her. (via Waxy via Glassdog)
posted by zelphi on Nov 27, 2004 - 111 comments

Girls, Girls, XXs...

Girl Power or: Partnership status and the human sex ratio at birth: a paper by Karen Norberg

Could the sex of a child be influenced by the status of the parents' relationship at the time of conception? In a sample of 86,436 births in the United States, we find a small excess of sons among births to parents who were married or living with an opposite sex partner before the child's conception, compared to births to parents who were not. This is the first evidence that household arrangements can affect the human sex ratio at birth, and could explain the fall in the proportion of male births in some developed countries over the past thirty years.


(Data published on FirstCite registration required) via The Economist

(special note for mathowie: No word yet as to whether or not those single moms can also reliably produce offspring with an astigmatism.)
posted by lilboo on Oct 27, 2004 - 12 comments

Maternal Influence

"In the long run, motherhood is the greatest influence a childbearing woman will ever have in the human race." So says Rev. Ralph Drollinger, president of Capitol Ministries, in a recent lesson (PDF) for his legislative bible study class. [more inside]
posted by nickmark on May 25, 2004 - 58 comments

worst mother

Worst place to be a mother: Niger according to State of the Worlds Mothers. Sweden (PDF) the best.
posted by stbalbach on May 10, 2003 - 20 comments

Mothers who wait to have a baby are at risk of evolutionary extinction. "If you want to see your line persist, then it's probably optimum to start reproducing in your early to mid-20s". According to this 220 year statistical model late-reproducing women [genetic lineage] declined as a proportion of the population from 11 percent to about 5 percent
posted by stbalbach on May 27, 2002 - 8 comments

Breast-feeding increases babies' IQ

Breast-feeding increases babies' IQ by 3-5 points, compared to the babies fed with formula. This is probably for two reasons: better nutrition and maternal bonding. Premature babies receive the greatest benefits.
posted by antimarx on Sep 26, 2001 - 18 comments

Flowers in the attic, anyone?

Flowers in the attic, anyone? "A 62-year-old woman who last month became France's oldest mother has revealed that her brother was the biological father of the baby."
posted by lia on Jun 21, 2001 - 16 comments

Madonna has another child.

Madonna has another child. Does anyone else think she's still pretty not-bad looking? A MILF in my book, at least.
posted by muffin on Aug 12, 2000 - 6 comments

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