I I I I I I I  

How we started, who we are, what we want

Click here for Site Feed.

Babyloni Yoni
kgranju
Haikumama
MOMbo
Dawn
homeschool dropout
hobbledog
ShariMac
Kim Moldofsky
Tumpover
Joanna Fried
A-Lady
Meagan Francis

Wanna be a
guest blogger?

Let us know!

Motherload
by Robin Bradford
Spike's Point  
by Spike Gillespie
Mom and Pop Culture
by Marrit Ingman
Domestic Disturbance
by Melissa Lipscomb
Letters from Midlife
by Stephen J. Lyons 
Shaken and Stirred
by Adrienne Martini
Pop Rocks
by Michael Nabert
Bad Mom
by Amy Silverman
A Little More on Your Plate
by C. Jeanette Tyson

AustinMama
Haiku of the Day
This Woman's Work
LiteraryMama
HipMama
Baldo
Ramonster
Moxie and the Compound
Sarah Bork Hamilton
Vickie Howell
Penny Van Horn
Spike Gillespie
Shannon Lowry
Websy Daisy
Big Red Sun
Mombo
Cookie

Never miss what's new at Austinmama.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter!
enter your email address


subscribe
unsubscribe


Join the AustinMama.com Mailing List and receive occasional coupons, promotions and invitations from select local businesses, announcements of special services and events—deals our readers have grown accustomed to seeing on the site, now delivered to your door!
Mama will NEVER sell, abuse or divulge your information to other entities. Materials to be mailed will be done so by AustinMama.com. This is a private, complimentary service for our readers, run and operated exclusively by AustinMama.com.

Just fill in your info below.
How can your business get involved? 
Contact kim @ austinmama.com

First Name:  
Last Name:  
Address:  
City:  
State:  
Zip:  

 

 

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Intimidating Job Descriptions

Granted I'm not quite executive material, but even the job ads for mid-level workers seem out of my league. I don't know the right software or I'm unfamiliar with a certain process or it's clear that the employer wants to own me. Everything seems out of reach.

A search of jobs on Craigslist leaves me feeling inadequate, too: I'm too old to be an egg donor; I'm not cut out to be a phone sex operator, though the pay is tempting; and at this point in my life running all over town tacking up event posters just doesn't seem like a great use of my skills.

I feel like Goldilocks searching for just the Right Fit. But maybe I'm thinking too deeply about all of this. When this arrived in my inbox I realized that maybe my description for my current as Mom sounds a bit intimidating as well. (Sorry, I don't know who wrote it. Any ideas?)

POSITION: Mother

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: For the rest of your life you must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT &PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You will not receive a paycheck. In fact, you will pay dearly for this job. You will offer frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and, at times, wish you could do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

posted by Kim Moldofsky @ 12:39 PM 1 comments

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Swimming in Late October

From Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the thermometer says it's forty one degrees Farenheit at noon:

In the mornings now I am still swimming in Lake Harriet. It is becoming a little more frightening in a certain teenage kind of way, a way that makes me feel alive and sort of insane.

I put on my long wetsuit in the basement. Later at the beach, still sitting in the car, I pull on my salamander gloves. I also have on neoprene booties. I am covered from neck to toe. I usually have my doubts right before I get out of the car. Then I just step out, being careful not to make eye contact with any of the walkers, runners or bicyclists who might be passing on the paths. I feel like if I make eye contact it will be too much. They might smile at me, sort of impressed, which would then make me feel like I was going in the water for THEM. Or they might ignore me or look away, which might make me feel like I really am insane. Better to pretend I don't see them and stay in my little world.

Then I do it. Every single day I just walk into the water and do it. Because I haven't missed a day it makes it easier. I look down to see the line on the sand underwater where the swimming area begins. As if it matters that I should stay in the swimming area on October 26! Then I lean forward into the lake and start to do the breast stroke. It is easy to begin, and because of the wetsuit I actually do not get that cold. I get sort of buzzed from neck to toe with the sensation of cold hitting warm neoprene and then manifesting itself on my skin. Of course my skin turns pink. Nowadays I don't put my head under water until the last lap. It produces such an icecream headache that I don't think it's probably that good for me. But on that last lap I do take a deep breath and plunge under and this is the true brain floss moment: I feel GREAT!! I come up, smiling and spouting like a whale. Then I start toward shore.

When I am thigh deep in the water, I do water walking for two lengths of the beach. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like I go slower now. It feels like I am walking in moloasses. This has GOT to be good for my hips. For a moment I am thinking about all kinds of random things: I am thinking about hypothermia and whether I would even know if I have it. I am thinking about my friend Ric and the way he must have felt when he was sure that his cancer was going to take his life. I am thinking about my daughter Nora's project on colonial school houses and I suddenly realize that I double booked myself tomorrow for an interview at the same moment that I have an orthodontist appointment. The essentials of my little life are right in front of me. The big picture is here too: Canada geese flying in a V formation above me, the trees on the distant shore with only a few brown leaves left on them, the big open sky.

Now it is time to scramble to shore, dry my face with my towel, do a few deep knee bends. I CRANK the classical music, the heat, and the engine in the car, all at once, and scram back home to the hot shower and to a renewed interest in my life.

--Nanci Olesen is the host and producer of http://www.mombo.org, a radio resource for moms. "MOMbo broadcasts the everyday truth about motherhood (in order to save the world)." nanci@mombo.org

posted by Nanci Olesen @ 10:25 AM 3 comments

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wasted Women

I put a temporary stop to my job-hunt because I thought I was dying of cancer, but after several mammograms, an ultrasound and, yes, a biopsy, it turns out that little dark blip on the screen that I never even knew existed until that I had my baseline mammo a few weeks ago was just an inflamed lymph node. So I'm celebrating until the bills come and the reality sets in that I'd better find a job so I can pay them.

This morning I popped in at Miriam Peskowtiz's blog and followed a link to an honest and articulate post about going back to work over at Tracy Thompson's blog. Tracy Thompson is a former Washington Post reporter who left the hermetically sealed Washington, D.C. media hothouse when her first childwas born in 1996. Now the mother of two budding divas, ages 9 and 5, she is also the author of two books on depression: The Beast (Plume, 1995) and The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children, and Struggling with Depression (HarperCollins, 2006). She lives in Maryland.

Tracy graciously allowed me to share part of her thoughts at Navigating the On-ramp; you can read the full post here. She gets to the heart of the issue that I addressed when my friend Teresa and I were demoralized by our experience at the women's career expo.

So: here I am, a 51-year-old journalist with tons of experience and awards and honors from Back in the Day (that 1987 Pulitzer finalist thing sounds quaint now, it was so long ago) who, if I were to show up at my old job now, might score a nice lunch with an editor but they know and I know I ain't getting hired back there. I am Not Needed; they are paying people my age to go away these days.... I could get a part-time retail job to bring in some cash, and give up on using the skills I worked so long and hard to acquire. I could quit complaining and settle into Middle-Aged Momhood, as so many women before me have done.

My only problem is that I have this burning desire to be Useful. I have things I want to say, skills I want to pass on. How to do this? It's one thing when you're 21 and have no responsibilities and nothing but time on your hands, and even though the path before you is steep there's something exciting about tackling it. It's another when you're 51 and there are college tuitions looming in your future--and, what's worse, the last 10 years of your working life have been largely spent doing work that our society does not value. At 21, you're a hot young find; at 51, you're just a mom. You exited the fast track and now there are no "on" ramps. And I look around me and see dozens of women my age, in a similar position to me, scrambling for piecework--women with advanced degrees, women with priceless experience, women with superior intellects.

And I think: how wasteful can this society afford to be?

posted by Kim Moldofsky @ 8:59 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Things on my floor

a shark
a small truck, sideways
a red, glittery flower-shaped bead
many, many, many crumbs
many, many, many tumbleweeds of dog hair
a blue marker, no lid
several googly eyes (also on the bottom of my foot)
three big green Legos
a fishing pole
two empty Kleenex boxes
the letter D
scary-looking batting from the cushion of my 1950s era kitchen chairs
an axe (toy)
a shoebox covered in aluminum foil
a blue-jeweled ring that came with the Cinderella Barbie my son asked for when he finally pooped in the potty last year
a cootie leg
a puffer fish
a paper towel roll
sand

posted by haikumama @ 12:54 PM 1 comments

Friday, October 20, 2006

PoCD

sorry about recent lyrical posts. the universal stirrings are in full swank right now.

just moments ago i cuddled my hoshi to sleep. there is something so allsome about a sleeping tiny person. those damned pampers adds with all sorts of babies sleeping all over the world just KILL me.
his eyes get all rolly and a couple of times he'll summon up every drop of consciousness and say "MOMMY? you doing?"

i began by wanting him to be a man, so that i could have an adult relationship with him, and any partner or friends he chooses. now i think almost everyday about tricks i can contrive to keep him from being drafted into the world war that the US will most certainly be engaged in by the time he's 16. i can feel the war encroaching, every single day. and it causes me to declare my own war. i simply will not feed my son to the machine. that's personal, and it's not. the machine doesn't need more bodies. it needs to be put out of its misery. but the last body it will get is my hosea's.

this all started after the car accident. this imagery of the western vs. eastern world invading my airspace. and i gun it down, and then it comes back, shrill, taking hostages. faith, sanity, regular bowel habits.

that's why all the poetry. nothings making much sense to me right now. i'm just trying to dig deeper for beauty before this all falls apart.

posted by hobbledog @ 12:23 PM 0 comments

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the fuse, pt. 2

you were born in terms with the lion
the suns beating fiercely and showing your sign
a fiery fierceness a purring feline
you're nestled there in his heart and mine

deep in the river I've lost my sting
but I skulk in cool darkness just pondering things
grasping half-hearted at each passing minute
never all out of it, never quite in it

the boy in the moon with his disc-like head
does not see how easily we are led
how the lion lays down with the tottering lamb
how he precludes all the things that "I" "am"

how taut is stretched our little life's cord
how completely abandoned we feel by our Lord
how the river of love is galaxy-sized
how we drink together and lay down beside

he doesn't know you've walked a mile in my shoes
but he'll feel the same blues as when we feel the blues
if you look for a thread you will find all the clues
how heaven and earth came to pass at the fuse

posted by hobbledog @ 3:13 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Invisible Mothers

In Mother Shock, Andrea Buchanan's excellent roadmap to the Land of Young Children she writes:

(Motherhood) does nothing to pad a resume, as women discover when they attempt to re-enter the working-for-pay world. Mothers, particularly mothers who stay at home with their children, have traded their economic viability to invest in the invaluable creation of human beings. You'd think that would be empowering. You'd think that would be respectable. You'd think that would be an interesting point of conversation. You'd be wrong.

Andi is so right!

I recently spent a morning at a women's career fair with my friend (and Momsters, Inc. advisor) Teresa. We put on makeup, donned our career wear and heels, and headed to Chicago to network. Teresa and I are articulate, educated, capable, skilled women. We enjoyed successful careers before trading them for slow track jobs that enable us to care for our families. We want to ramp up our careers and experience the thrill of a regular and sizeable paycheck in addition to the challenges and fulfillment of a career. However, we are looking for part-time work in order to maintain some sense of work-life balance, i.e. not become overstressed bitches.

None of the exhibitors offered part-time jobs and when I questioned recruiters about part-time opportunities they were hard pressed to think of any such positions within their large companies.

It's great that more companies are making efforts to retain pregnant employees/new moms by offering better maternity leaves, but what about the millions of moms who have already opted out? The mature, responsible, highly-qualified women who want to apply and enhance their professional skills but only for 15-30 hours per week? The moms raising children who, as Andi Buchanan points out, may one day run the companies that grant your grandchildren six or more months of paid family leave and the right for both parents to return to part-time positions with full benefits and on-site childcare.

Teresa and I spoke briefly with the conference organizer about this issue. In a nutshell she told us that while she could easily attract enough on-ramp moms to fill an exhibit hall she probably couldn't find any companies willing to pay for booths at such an event. It's a familiar riff: today's mothers are busy caring for our future, but who cares about the future of today's mothers?

posted by Kim Moldofsky @ 7:36 PM 0 comments

Monday, October 09, 2006

and the timer says "fear mortality!"

When my son was seven months old I had an optical migraine. I'd never had one before and the wild flashing lights, the blinding white peripheral vision, the pain of the headache... well, it all had me convinced I was dying. I was going to leave my son with no mother; leave my husband to forage around web sites and musty bars for a replacement wife.

A doctor visit later and an adios to the mini-pill solved everything. I was not going to die. Well, not right then, anyway.

So now my son is four, my daughter is 3 months and I have found a disturbing lump in my inner thigh. The post-partum timer has gone off, and again, I'm afraid I'm going to leave my children motherless. I'm afraid my small, painful lump (a lymph node? a cyst?) is going to spell my grisly death. It is a fear that I know all mothers have, yet I still find it almost all-consuming.

I know not to google "painful swollen lymph node" because that will just confirm that whispering, nagging, horribly grim feeling I have. And yet I do it anyway, unable to look away from the trainwreck of information spelling "cancer" "lupus" "don't self-diagnose, BUT HERE'S A BUNCH OF SHIT TO FREAK YOU OUT ANYWAY." So I've made a doctor's appointment. I will thrust the crook of my crotch at my doc and await her diagnosis.

Until then I will choke down my panic. I will go through all stages of grief, expecting to hear the worst. I will become completely self-absorbed and not even the guilty joy of watching Farscape reruns on the TiVo will pull me away from the gruesome fantasies of my young demise - and my children's feeble lives without me.

Stupid painful inner thigh, crook o' my crotch lump. I was happily ignoring my mortality until you showed up.

posted by haikumama @ 4:14 PM 2 comments

The AustinMama.com Newsletter 10.09.06

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
The AustinMama.com Newsletter
http://www.austinmama.com
10.09.06
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Such creatures of accident are we,
liable to a thousand deaths before we are born.
But once we are here,
we may create our own world, if we choose.
- Mary Antin


Here's what's new...


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
R E C E N T L Y, - O N - T H E
A U S T I N M A M A- B L O G
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Have you checked out the new blog yet? Lots of bloggidy goodness
going on over there. Check it:

"Just as birds began to chirp, a small body bolted across the hardwood
floors and hoisted itself into bed, smothering her with hugs and kisses;
awaiting snuggles and tickles. A soft, sweet voice demanded that she
turn toward it-close enough so they breathed each other's air.
Mommy, your breath stinks! the little one exclaimed. Thus began a
new day in which Mommy was once again Student learning about life,
the universe and everything."

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
D O M E S T I C - D I S T U R B A N C E
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Melissa Lipscomb drops by with a look at a new American policy:
guilty until proven innocent


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
P O P- R O C K S
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Our resident dad shares some recent family events -
some that include children wielding fists and
eyes gone black.

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
S P I K E - N - S A R A
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
The one and only Spike Gillespie is back this week to share
a candid interview with Austin's Sara Hickman: the equal scary past
and the motherlode of the now.

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
A N D - S P E A K I N G - O F - S P I K E
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Mini Memoir Writing Workshop for Adults with Spike Gillespie
Thursday, October 12th
6 - 10pm
The Griffin School
710 E. 41 Street
$40.00
For more info, contact spike@spikeg.com

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
M A M A K U - C O N T E S T !
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Do you 'ku?
Does your child LOVE Gerald McBoing Boing?
Write a Mamaku about it, and you could win TWO Gerald McBoing
Boing DVDs with original books included! Mamakus are our version
of a Haiku (a three line poem with syllables of 5, 7, 5).
Hurry! Contest ends October 14th. Winning Entry will debut on
AustinMama.com October 16th! Send your entry to
kim@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
A U S T I N M A M A -M A I L - O U T -P R O G R A M
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
AustinMama.com mail-outs go to over 1900 Austin households!
Do you have hard-copy coupons, promotions, invitations, special
announcements, etc. to mail? Do you want to tap into the most
concentrated family-centric market in Austin? One that not only
appreciates a good bargain, but supports our local economy and
APPRECIATES businesses that understand mamas, families and
often-exhausted women. Get involved in our mail-outs!
Contact us at advertise@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
M A M A K U -O F- T H E- W E E K
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
I'm so MAD - I'm scared
of myself and for my child
is sorry enough?
-anonymous

Got a mamaku for us?
Send it to kim@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
A D V E R T I S I N G- W I T H- A U S T I N M A M A . C O M
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
AustinMama.com offers several creative avenues to advertise with us:
main page ads reach over 2100 readers each week, newsletter
sponsorships reach over 1800 subscribers each week, and our mail-
outs go to over 1900 local households! We've got an option that works
for your business. For more info, contact us at advertise@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
T H E -A U S T I N M A M A . C O M- C L A S S I F I E D S
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Jane and Co. Painting, Fall Parenting Classes, Knitting Lessons,
StrollerFit and Art for Kids and Grownups!

over and out...

www.austinmama.com

============================
Please forward this newsletter or tell a friend
about us! And, as always, thank you for being an
integral part of the AustinMama.com community.

Rock on, you hard working Mamas!


The AustinMama.com Staff
© Copyright 2006 AustinMama.com. All Rights Reserved.
NOTICE: Please include the copyright notices when
forwarding this newsletter.
AustinMama.com
WINNER: BEST WEBSITE in Austin '04
The Austin Chronicle
WINNER: BEST WEBZINE in Austin '03
The Austin Chronicle
WINNER: VIVIAN CASTLEBERRY AWARD '04
The Association for Women Journalists
WINNER: ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL
CREATIVE INNOVATION '02
Texas Interactive Media

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

posted by Kim @ 12:37 PM 0 comments

Monday, October 02, 2006

The AustinMama.com Newsletter 10.02.06

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
The AustinMama.com Newsletter
http://www.austinmama.com
10.02.06
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

One mother lights a candle and reconnects with the stranger
that is her kitchen.
Days
of obedient service,
of drawers and cabinets that open and close
open and close
open and close,
of steam rising from foam-draped dishes,
of drips, splatters and mmmm's,
of gathered plates, forks and spoons that
support, lift and deliver
edible love,
have melted
into the spot on the floor that grips a sock,
into the fingertip shadows that cluster around an active cupboard,
into the thick crumbs that roll under a turning stove knob,
into the ghost-thread of coffee that trickles down the cabinet door
and frames a tile on the countertop,
So mama lights her candle,
and moves softly and deftly through the room
like a lover,
gently rubbing the length of the cabinets
the lip of each counter
the belly of each drawer,
returning every part of the room to purity
order
preparedness,
ready to greet the nomadic, chaotic appetites
lurking beyond the door.

(C)Kim Lane

Here's what's new...


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
R E C E N T L Y, O N T H E
A U S T I N M A M A B L O G
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

Have you checked out the new blog yet? Lots of bloggidy goodness
going on over there. Check it:

"mine, he is! and yours!
as are the stars in his eyes
he is i's and me's and mine's
and i would readily cut off his hand."

"In the last three and half years, I'd managed to choose kids over a
career, monogamy over bachelorhood. From the moment I met my
children, all the toughest choices in their lives became ridiculously
manageable. I would take them to my breast, take them in my bed,
take them no matter what issues or quirks or ugly bumps they arrived
with or later developed. Allergies, learning disorders, high-priced
schools, tantrums, poop on the floor, puke in my hair, tears all around – fuck it all: I was going to listen to them and listen to my instincts and
we were all going to be okay. I had the big things down."

"Anyway, do they sell the BeDraggler on HSN? Because I'd like to
buy one. Then I would go to the mall, hide my non-stop-talking four-
year-old, my no-sleep-needing three-month-old, our piles and piles of
crap we need to leave the house, the stroller, and my non-bedazzled
denim-clad ass all behind a pillar of some sort. Then I would scope out
any person that looks like she has it completely together and instead of
asking her how she does it, I would shoot her with the BeDraggler, ka-
pow. I would briefly revel in some selfish schadenfreude. Then I
would drag my cavalcade of chaos over to her side and commiserate."

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
M A M A K U C O N T E S T !
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Do you 'ku?
Does your child LOVE Gerald McBoing Boing?
Write a Mamaku about it, and you could win TWO Gerald McBoing
Boing DVDs with original books included! Mamakus are our version
of a Haiku (a three line poem with syllables of 5, 7, 5).
Contest ends October 14th. Winning Entry will debut on
AustinMama.com October 16th! Send your entry to
kim@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
A U S T I N M A M A M A I L - O U T P R O G R A M
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
AustinMama.com mail-outs go to over 1900 Austin households!
Do you have hard-copy coupons, promotions, invitations, special
announcements, etc. to mail? Do you want to tap into the most
concentrated family-centric market in Austin? One that not only
appreciates a good bargain, but supports our local economy and
APPRECIATES businesses that understand mamas, families and
often-exhausted women. Get involved in our mail-outs!
Contact us at advertise@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
M A M A K U O F T H E W E E K
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
curled up together
midnight steals away from me
my last four year old
-Kathy Genet

Got a mamaku for us?
Send it to kim@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
A D V E R T I S I N G W I T H A U S T I N M A M A . C O M
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
AustinMama.com offers several creative avenues to advertise with us:
main page ads reach over 2100 readers each week, newsletter
sponsorships reach over 1800 subscribers each week, and our mail-
outs go to over 1900 local households! We've got an option that works
for your business. For more info, contact us at advertise@austinmama.com


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
T H E A U S T I N M A M A . C O M C L A S S I F I E D S
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Fall Parenting Classes and a New Sexuality Study for Women 18+

over and out...

www.austinmama.com

============================
Please forward this newsletter or tell a friend
about us! And, as always, thank you for being an
integral part of the AustinMama.com community.

Rock on, you hard working Mamas!


The AustinMama.com Staff
© Copyright 2006 AustinMama.com. All Rights Reserved.
NOTICE: Please include the copyright notices when
forwarding this newsletter.
AustinMama.com
WINNER: BEST WEBSITE in Austin '04
The Austin Chronicle
WINNER: BEST WEBZINE in Austin '03
The Austin Chronicle
WINNER: VIVIAN CASTLEBERRY AWARD '04
The Association for Women Journalists
WINNER: ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL
CREATIVE INNOVATION '02
Texas Interactive Media

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

posted by Kim @ 11:40 AM 0 comments

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Who am I in the Land of Young Children?

Per my post last week, I set out to answer questions about Who I am, What skills I possess, and Which job opportunities to pursue. I drank coffee and made lists.

Although my Who Am I? list was quite long, it wasn't always this way. When my boys were very young it seemed all I was and would ever be was the chief cook and bottle washer. Now my ambitions are slightly higher. But given the recent (and very familiar) posts on this blog about life with wee ones, I thought I'd post a piece I wrote when my boys were two and four. It appeared on Andrea Buchanan's now-defunct Phillymama site and was my first published work.

The Land of Young Children

There once there lived a young woman known as Student. She sought to learn about life, the universe and everything. After she realized she could make her own way in the world, she packed and repacked her things as she trotted the globe in search of new adventures. At first she required a trunk and many suitcases to contain her life, but over time she learned to fit it neatly into one backpack.

I am Traveler! she announced. Traveler set out and experienced many wondrous things, enjoying the company of an ever-changing cast of companions. But eventually she found the Best One of All and settled into a new kind of life.

Years later her body thickened with child. Her belly danced of its own volition. It was her greatest adventure yet.

I am Mommy! she cried, entering a world of hugs and snuggles; tickles and giggles; small, naked bodies with shallow, sweet breath. It took time to acclimate to the unfamiliar terrain, but eventually she learned to navigate the Land of Young Children. In this land she found a mysterious place where the sun never set on a mountain of dirty clothes generated by her small family.

I am Laundress! she shouted as she tossed in yet another load. She sorted and folded and matched up tiny pairs of socks. Although she did not iron, she pre-treated stains and followed care labels to the best of her ability. Laundress worked without fail to keep her family in clean clothes. Still the mountain grew and grew.

Seeking refuge from her toil, she left the Territory of Dirty Clothes, but the next task was even more onerous. Just as the sun never set on the mountain of laundry, it never shined on this strange site. She was in the Dark Place Under the Kitchen Table. The linoleum landscape was marred by congealed oatmeal, puddles of milk and crumbs of all shapes, sizes and colors.

I am Maid! she howled in anguish as she repeatedly swept and scrubbed the floor. Maid performed her duties often and with great heed, but she recalled from her days as Student that the universe moves unavoidably toward a state of disorder. There was no way to escape the laws of physics, but if she did not tend to the mess then surely some creepy-crawly insect would. So she dropped to her knees and labored for hours on end. As she scrubbed away in the Dark Place she heard a cry that made her shudder. It was the call of a young child. She followed the foreboding sound to the Pale of the Potty.

I am Wiper of Bottoms! she wailed as she navigated yet another spot where the sun did not shine. She forced her way through unpleasant smells and indescribable sights. Wiper helped her children avoid rashes and develop a good sense of personal hygiene.

Then came the day she signed up for a karate class. She made her way to a dojo at the edge of the land. Her uniform, a soft cotton gi, was the first white item in her wardrobe in over five years. She trained and perspired without concern for the growing mountain of laundry. She eyed her clammy classmates relieved that she would not have to bathe their sweaty bodies at the end of the day.

I am Kim Possible! she proclaimed. I can do anything! She likened herself to the cute, powerful, midriff-baring cheerleader/crime-fighter her children watched on TV. Except that after two pregnancies she could not envision exposing her midriff. Kim Possible’s positive outlook displaced the gloominess of Laundress, Maid and Wiper.

After class she made her way to the border, the place of books and music, to read or write or talk with a friend. Kim Possible returned home by 10:00 because in the Land of Young Children the sons rose unpredictably-often before the sun itself. Once home she nestled next to the Best One of All and slept peacefully.

Just as birds began to chirp, a small body bolted across the hardwood floors and hoisted itself into bed, smothering her with hugs and kisses; awaiting snuggles and tickles. A soft, sweet voice demanded that she turn toward it-close enough so they breathed each other’s air.

Mommy, your breath stinks! the little one exclaimed. Thus began a new day in which Mommy was once again Student learning about life, the universe and everything.

Bonus Book Group Discussion Guide:
1 What is your most memorable experience from your days as Student or Traveler?
2 What elements of this story give you hope that Traveler will re-emerge some day?
3 What is your favorite laundry tip?
4 How does your advanced degree help you as you clean house?
5 At what age should a child be responsible for wiping his or her own behind?

posted by Kim Moldofsky @ 5:38 AM 0 comments

 







I I I I I I I  

AustinMama operates on a shoestring budget, which is often untied causing us to trip a lot.  Our noses could probably use a good wiping, too.  But we are decent people who will never be too proud to accept charitable donations to our cause.  We promise.

Reproduction of material from this site without written permission is strictly prohibited
Copyright © 2001- 2006
AustinMama.com
Don't make Dottie mad

Dottie / Sarah Higdon