I finished Mommy Wars yesterday, and I have to say, I liked it very much! The book was basically a compilation of essays written by various women writers who are mothers, who have chosen to either stay at home to raise their children, or to go back to work after they are born. I picked it up just a few weeks ago at a book sale. And I thought it was great! True, the representation of mothers here is extremely skewed- they're all upper-middle-class esteemed writing professionals, the majority of whom were married to equally- if not more successful- partners, were college graduates, etc. But to be fair, I felt that the editor does preface this in the introduction, so you knew that going in. And many of the writers acknowledged in their essays how lucky they were to even have the option to decide whether to be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, because for every one woman that has the privilege to decide, there are at 100 who do not even have the option (probably even more, that's a totally blind guess). Some of the writers expressed that triggered extra guilt for having the luxury to make a decision like that in the first place.
That being said, I enjoyed the essays. They were so personal and raw, tackling one of the most sensitive subjects to a woman- whether she is a good mother or not. Each writer expressed the pros and cons to both sides, no matter which "side" she was on, and how her decision to work or stay at home full-time worked for her family, what didn't work, what she regretted, what she didn't regret.
Not being a mother myself, I had no idea that there was so much animosity between stay-at-home mothers and working mothers (one of the writers compared it to the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story). Although now that I've read the book, I suppose it makes sense in a way as to why they feel the need to rally against each other. But it's unfortunate that they stand divided, because no matter what they do for a living, they are all mothers, all with (hopefully) the same common goal- to raise happy and healthy children.
I will say that I did not understand why one of the essays was written by a woman with no children. Seeing as it was a book about women writing about their experiences of working/not working and the effects that might/might not have on their children, I didn't really understand what her essay was doing in the bunch.
I thought it was a great book that gave me a lot of perspective on motherhood in today's society. Two thumbs up in my world!
So how was everyone's weekend? Mine was pretty good. Low-key and fine by me! A lot seems to have happened in such a short period of time- the Phillies winning the World Series, we elected our first African-American president, etc. In my own life, work's been chaotic and there's been a few other stressors as well, but things seem to have calmed down and we're all coming off the World Series/Halloween candy/Political sugar high and getting ready for the holidays. Um, when did the holidays suddenly become just around the corner? Thanksgiving's, like, two weeks away. Seriously, how did that happen? I swear it was the 4th of July yesterday. But every day, I'm seeing more and more holiday-themed commercials, the holiday music is starting to slowly trickle into the radio stations, and in my supermarket today, it seriously looked like Christmas threw up in there. A woman was telling her son that he couldn't have that toy because Santa was coming soon. SANTA IS COMING SOON. I'm totally not ready for Santa to come to town. I still have my summer clothes hanging up in my closet, for God's sake (although admittedly, I do keep them in there all year long and just wear layers, but that's beside the point).
Other than the gym, reading, and the traditional Sunday grocery store run (which, given the fact that the holidays are coming and there are a lot more people there than usual on Sundays now, I might have to switch my grocery trip from AM to PM- I was definitely feeling a little claustrophobic today), I didn't really do anything exciting. I did go to a friend's improv show today, and that was a lot of fun! Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I thought she was the best. ;-) And I did some yoga today. I'm really glad that I gave yoga another try. I had tried it a few times and couldn't quite get into the mentality of it. I think that's because I would take classes at my gym. I think the other people actually distracted me, you know? Ever since I've been doing yoga at home, I've really gotten into it because I find that I can concentrate and really focus easier, when it's just me. Now I love it- in fact, I wish I did it a little more often! I try to do it once a week or so, but I hadn't done it in about two weeks if not more, and I could definitely tell because I was struggling with a few of the balancing poses! But I always feel so great afterwards! So happy and relaxed. Hurray for yoga!
I made some yummy dinners this weekend that begged to be put on the blog:
This was Saturday night's dinner: 2 oz. whole wheat penne rigate, Trader Joes precooked shrimp, and broccoli, tossed with minced garlic and Smart Balance butter spray. Delicious!!! Ordinarily I just throw a tomato sauce on pasta but I felt like trying something a little different tonight- I'm glad I did! This was so easy to make and required three ingredients (five if you count the garlic and butter spray). My favorite way to cook! This goes in the "repeat dish" category- that list is getting so long, it's getting harder to repeat them. I'm just that good. ;-)
And this was tonight's dinner- a favorite:
Baked sweet potato with broccoli, grilled chicken, a few peppers and onions, and reduced fat Colby Jack cheese, plus salsa and chili pepper sauce on the side for dipping (in case you haven't noticed, I rarely put sauces/condiments on my food- I prefer dipping, it's just more fun for me that way, I guess, plus sometimes I find too much sauce or whatever can ruin a meal, or the wrong sauce, or sometimes I like to use more than one different kind of sauce- it's nice to have options, haha). I love doing a baked potato concoction for dinner.
Last but not least, here's my new book:
No Second Chance, by Harlan Coben. An old supervisor gave this to me years ago (two jobs ago!), and I'm just getting around to reading it now. Here's a synposis from goodreads summarizing the book: "Dr. Marc Seidman has been shot twice, his wife has been murdered, and his six-month-old daughter has been kidnapped. When he gets the ransom note-he knows he has only one chance to get this right. But there is nowhere he can turn and no one he can trust". I'm about 30 pages into it. It's pretty good so far. It'll probably be a quick read. These kind of mystery/thriller books usually are.
Okay kids, that'll do it for me. It's late, I'm a little sleep-deprived (I got maybe 6 hours each night, no real reason, I just got to bed naturally late and woke up naturally early- my weekend body clock's always a little kooky), and I need to gather up my work stuff (I always do it the night before so I'm not rushing around in the morning and can get in a few more minutes of shuteye), and hopefully get to bed a little early, because I need to get up a little earlier than usual tomorrow to help set up a work event, which means I need to get to work and eat breakfast a little earlier (it's the first thing I do at work- a girl can't work on an empty stomach, LOL!).
Hope everyone had a great weekend! I am so jealous of all the bloggers who were in Chicago this weekend for the Quaker Oats Convention!!!! I love Chicago, and oatmeal! ;-) I need to kick this blog up a couple several hundred notches so I can be invited to cool stuff like that. Maybe someday!
P.S.- Did anyone watch Ruby tonight on Style? If so, what did you think? I liked it a lot! Ruby seems like a really sweet woman and I can't wait to watch her progress every week!