Monday, July 16, 2012

Motherlode's Questionable Content

Over the past year, I've been disillusioned with the New York Times parenting blog Motherlode.  I'm unhappy with the steady stream of guest posters and I don't like the tabloid-y headlines and teasers meant to provoke.  For example, today’s sidebar reads: “Should You Leave a Loved, But Unprofessional, Daycare?; Why We Should Watch More TV with Our Children; Parents of Picky Eaters, It’s Not Your Fault; Our Spoiled, Rotten Children.” I don’t need to feel provoked by every headline, yet I want to read about parenting news and issues. I've been feeling like Motherlode is just yanking my chain in an effort to get me riled up so they’d get more page hits.

I thought the last straw for me and Motherlode was a month ago, when lead blogger KJ Dell’Antonia tweeted about an article in the Times, “Professional Photographers in the Delivery Room (yuck.)”  I know not everyone has had the positive birth experiences that I’ve had, but I started to wonder why I was reading a parenting blog curated by someone who seemed grossed out by birth.  Yet I didn’t delete the blog from my google reader or Twitter feed.  Amidst all the chain-yanking, there were posts on car safety and the Penn State sex abuse scandal, which are things I want to read about. I didn’t want to miss important news just because the style of the lead blogger (or whoever is writing headlines and making decisions about content) rubbed me the wrong way.  

However, an essay posted on Motherlode yesterday truly is the last straw. I was shocked to see the headline “Breastfeeding and Sex: Is Latching On a Turn Off?” in my twitter feed.  Talk about tabloid-y!  The teaser for the post by James Braly said, “Extended breast-feeding impacts the whole family. And I would argue that the impact on the father - and his sex life - is not good.”  Wow!  Who is this guy?  A pediatrician? A psychologist?  An average dad?  I’d have to read to see. It sounded bad, but maybe this was just one of those teasers meant to make me read, and the post itself would not be inflammatory.  Well, it was actually WORSE than I expected.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stamford Downtown Horse Tour 2012

Stamford Horse Tour 2012 Leg Three Crew 

 My friends and I had the most fun yesterday completing leg 3 of a walking tour of all of Stamford's horse statues.  Every summer the Stamford Downtown Special Services District does an Art in Public Places show.  This year the theme is "Horsin' Around" and the horses are awesome!
I say "leg three" as if there is a planned tour... no, one of my fabulously motivated and organized friends planned a four-leg tour for us so we can see all 40 horses. To make it more interactive for the kids, she also made books so the kids can put a sticker beside every horse they see.  I missed leg 2 of the tour because I was working, so now I am way behind.  Fortunately on our last leg we are going to review a bunch of horses, because my child WILL complete his sticker book.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Photo I Like: The Obamas

Official Obama Family Portrait 2011
Sometimes I stare at photos of the Obama family and think, and let myself feel, "My God!  We have a black family in the White House!"  I think it's because I never believed I'd see it in my lifetime.  Being from the South, I was always aware of just how much progress still needed to be made in how whites and blacks live together- because in my time in Virginia, I felt people lived very separately.  (I don't think that's limited only to the South- there's also plenty of separation up here in the suburban Northeast.)

I was very proud when our country elected Obama in 2008.  I think he's done a good job in a difficult economy. And having a young family in the White House has been a real joy.  It has been a pleasure to watch two caring, attentive parents spend lots of time with their kids while at the same time doing an important job.  I have also loved watching Michelle Obama encourage the nation to be healthier, and I love that she has talked about the importance of breastfeeding.

Freedom Rides 1961
I know a person's skin color isn't the only lens through which to view him or her, but with our country's ugly history around race, skin color represents where we have been and where we are going.  In the case of a great-great-great-granddaughter of slaves being the First Lady, it shows how hard many people have worked to overcome difficulties and discrimination.  It was only fifty years ago that the Freedom Riders encountered violence while simply trying to integrate buses across the South.  It's been less than 150 years since slavery in this country ended.  We've come a long way.

That's what looking at that photo of the Obamas makes me think of.