To Mom or Not to Mom

To Mom or Not to Mom

Welcome to an open salon hosted by yours truly and Keiko of The Infertility Voice. We created this dialogue to discuss both sides of the motherhood debate from our unique perspectives in a responsorial fashion. Over the next five days and culminating in an open Twitter discussion #ALIMomSalon this Friday, 10/26 at 12:30pm EDT, we seek to parse out the concerns and vulnerabilities of transition within the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community without tripping over political correctness and delicate sensibilities. We hope you’ll join us every day this week and will be inspired to…

Mom-in-Chief?

Mom-in-Chief?

M E M O R A N D U M TO: Michelle Obama RE: Mom-in-Chief? Was it Really Necessary to Try to Out-Mom Ann Romney? Full disclosure: I have been and remain a supporter of your husband, President Barack Obama, as well as a supporter of your tireless efforts to curb childhood obesity, your unwavering support of military families and your roll-with-it response when your hair styles and outfits get endlessly critiqued by anyone with a Twitter or blog account … However, in the interest of equal time (see Ann Romney MEMORANDUM), I must…

Narrative Bias and Why Context Matters

Narrative Bias and Why Context Matters

It’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement of the Olympics. Beyond the awe-inspiring athleticism, stories abound. They resonate in large part because we understand the context. The narratives fulfill a hunger of sorts — whether for inspiration, a sense of accomplishment or a common bond that goes beyond country or sport. Not all succeed though. Some narratives simply annoy. Salon‘s Mary Elizabeth Williams piece, “So she’s a mom. So what?,” underscores the weird and prevalent mom worship in today’s society noting: “Moms have been a running theme…

Don’t Ignore…There’s More Than One Infertility Ending

Don’t Ignore…There’s More Than One Infertility Ending

Now that the shock, stigma and the ensuing hairball of emotions that infertility exploded on me has dissipated, I’m happy to report that with each year (nearly nine) post-treatment, life has become better than good. And, furthermore, my reproductive organs are thrilled, positively delighted, to be out of the limelight. It’s also a relief not to be wracked with shame, guilt or feelings of failure. It didn’t come easy, casting aside the infertility baggage, but these days I much prefer to focus on the non-reproductive aspects of my life and the freedom that comes with reinvention….

Free To Be You and Me

Free To Be You and Me

I’m not sure what possessed me to write it. Was it my cumulative annoyance at People magazine for devoting so much editorial real estate (for instance every week!) to celebrating all aspects of parenthood (hey – how about some equal time, People editors)? Was it the veiled tone of pity, the whiff of judgment, or the implication that there is only one happy ending to the infertility story? But write I did, and I’m glad for what came next… Dispatch from “hell:” It’s not all bad became an Open Salon Editor’s…

Two Movies, One Gets it Right

Two Movies, One Gets it Right

Much has been written about The Help — the book and the movie. The book contents remain locked in my iPad; I downloaded it several months ago but lacked the urgency to tap it open. The movie prompted a different response. I made a point of carving out 146 minutes to lose myself in the film after the August 10 opening sparked new debates about character authenticity and raised questions about who is best equipped to tell the complex stories of women living in a turbulent and racially charged time…

Who Shapes History? We Do

Who Shapes History? We Do

    Is it already the second Sunday in May? It may be that I’ve simply been too busy to notice, or that I’ve reached a new state of zen. Either way, I thought it was important to take a moment from my packing to highlight a story that my better half had waiting next to my cup of coffee this morning. The San Jose Mercury News print edition contained a story titled,”Taking Mother’s Day Back.” In it, the reporter shares the genesis of this day — an antiwar protest…

And The Reader Survey Says: Hello! We’re Here…

And The Reader Survey Says: Hello! We’re Here…

As if to make my point, within days of posting a survey asking whether it might be time for a new general interest-like website not laced with constant references to parenting, The New York Times Magazine offered up a story about, yes, the Queen of the Mommy Bloggers. (Hasn’t the 15 minutes of fame for Mommy Bloggers come and gone, yet?) Meanwhile, over in celebrity land, People magazine covers since the beginning of the year have either included a picture of parents, parents and a baby or used the word…

Playing Against Type

Playing Against Type

Have you noticed the way infertile women are routinely portrayed as one-dimensional, downright pitiful creatures in TV and film? It doesn’t matter what era the story takes place in. Swap out the costumes and look beyond the hair and makeup and the character is always the same distraught, hapless woman. Take a recent episode of Boardwalk Empire — a series set in the 1920s. It included a cameo appearance of Agent Nelson’s wife begging for a operation that might help her get pregnant (can you imagine the quality of fertility…

The Globe and Mail Reports on Failed Fertility Treatments, Disenfranchised Grief

The Globe and Mail Reports on Failed Fertility Treatments, Disenfranchised Grief

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” — Aldous Huxley When I started blogging from my kitchen several years ago about coming to terms with infertility, I never fathomed my experience would end up in a major national daily like Canada’s The Globe and Mail: When Couples Come To Terms with Infertility. It was in finding the courage to openly discuss such a private and painful experience that I’ve discovered new connections, and an understanding that was once…