Change is in the air, and it is mighty refreshing. Since my last post, energy has been gathering on several fronts: Women and men are increasingly frustrated with rigid workplace expectations that make it impossible to be both effective parents and employees. The fight for gay marriage has stirred up much feeling; in the process of hearing from gay parents we have questioned stereotyped gender assignments in families. The economy is crashing all around us, forcing introspection and conversation about what we value. Throw in climate change, new and old wars, some memorable deaths, and we have some serious turbulence to twitter about. Who knows what it will bring, but it’s going to be interesting times for a while.
On my personal weather front, our family is being buffeted by adolescence. This is no easy process in our culture, and there is no map—we can only strive for a steady mind (but not too steady), a firm hand (but not too firm), the ability to let go (but not too much), and a clear vision of what is possible (without being too fixed). Oh, and receptivity and determination and perseverance and a ready sense of humor. It’s going great, thanks. Look me up when it’s over. Maybe you’ll find me in a deep zen retreat atoning for all my karma.
Meantime, here’s a recommendation for a fantastically comprehensive and readable rescue from what ails Moms: “Mojo Mom: Nurturing Yourself while Raising a Family.” In this new edition, Tiemann integrates the latest research without weighing down the text, charms us with honest anecdotes that remind us we are not alone, and has plenty of good advice about what to actually do about our situations. Culturally and psychologically savvy, she does not dismiss reality and yet never gives up hope for change. I particularly enjoyed the arc of her chapters: from self-care to creativity, and finally to leadership. And interwoven throughout the book is the importance of support—from our partners in parenting, our government, our sisters, even our children. Read it, buy it for your friends, especially new moms, and let’s change the world together.