Thursday, April 13, 2006

Less Rant, More Human

I've been on a bit of a rant-roll of late. And been reminded in at least one prominent blog about useage of bad words, as I tend to head to the gutter cursing when in full rant mode.

But as a writer and frequent blogger, I do get caught up in absurd mommy-war issues when I least expect, and I always feel bad afterwards as the discussion never fails to deteriorate to some shouted playout of our cheapest emotional responses. (See below entry and you'll understand what I'm talking about.) Why this happens is beyond me. Is it a Mean Girl thing? An Alpha Mom thing? Low-self esteem left dormant from teen years? BTFOM!

Instead, it really is best to look at the many issues of modern day motherhood not as who's issues are better, or have more validity, credibility, etc., but as an adventure with universality galore: a colicky baby in Liberia is moreorless the same as a colicky baby in Lithonia, and any mom prays and strives for the same outcome -- for her baby to feel better.

Still, I would urge any woman pondering the murky waters of mommyhood to read not just all the usual pregnancy books, particularly Marg Stark's What No One Tells The Mom, but also An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths.

Now I'm a hard-core fiction kinda gal. I can get quite elitist when it comes to reading materials; I read literature, the more epic-y, tedious, lengthy and drawing room-ridden the better. Some of my favorites are Ian McEwan, Anita Brookner, Austen, Thackery, Tolstoy and now Dickens after seeing the astonishing Bleak House on Masterpiece Theater recently. That Gillian Anderson was absolutely transcendental and luminescent, in a character that was not particularly transcendental or luminescent at all. I hope she gets a really big fat award of the highest kind for her portrayal of the tormented Lady Dedlock.

Anyways, back to the point... I've never read a self-help or motivational book in my life. I just don't waste precious book reading time on non-fiction, unless you count the gripping, beautiful story by Mariane Pearl about the life of her murdered husband Danny Pearl, or that Neil Young biography given to me by a music writer. So when I refer you to a piece of non-fiction and say it changed my life, you'd better believe it had a significant impact.

If you don't have kids already, you don't really know what you don't know. It's hard to "feel" how the biology of the whole business will overcome your entire being, presumably, until you're in deep.

So to best prepare to accomodate that primal urge to "stay home" to care for your wee one (they ARE so tiny and helpless at birth, and boy will that mother tiger instinct just rock your world when you hold your baby for the first time), think about preparing to flex your schedule and your considerable skills by working from home and around your baby's schedule. Trust me, a flexible schedule makes for a happy mom. And when mom's happy, good things happen.

A great way to give yourself the confidence to begin to wean yourself from the corporate, brink-n-mortar tit/schedule is to read a mind-blowing book by the father of the blogosphere, the Instapundit dude (and dad) himself, Glenn Reynold's An Army of Davids. I'd say again that this book changed my life, but rather... this book IS my life.

Whatever you do, go forth and prosper all you amazing moms and moms-to-be!

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