Blog Posts by Mommy Tracked

  • Friday Night Lights: Teen Pregnancy and Abortion in Prime Time.

    by Meredith O'Brien (Moms in Pop Culture & Politics)

    It's been a compelling, controversial storyline nominally about abortion but more, I think, about mothers: Mothers of teens, a woman who was a teen mom and a teen who was almost a mother.

    Friday Night Lights has garnered a lot of publicity in the last few weeks over its storyline involving Becky Sproles, a 15-year-old girl who got pregnant during a one-night-stand. Becky wavered on what to do about her situation and wound up consulting the principal of a nearby high school and, ultimately agreed with her mother's strong recommendation that she have an abortion.

    As the fall-out from Becky's abortion continues in a new episode this coming Friday, I've been more interested in how the various maternal characters have made their way through this emotionally difficult thicket.

    Take Cheryl, Becky's mother. She had Becky when she was a teen and regretted it, blamed her constant struggle for money and her dead-end job, where

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  • The True Meaning of Cosleeping

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  • Can Minivans Ever be Chic?

    by Kerry Rivera (Around the Watercooler)

    It's funny how much your life can change in a decade. In my young 20s I envisioned the next 10 years to bring me a fast-paced career as a journalist, travel and maybe a child or two. I would be fashionable and cool and tuned into the latest trends. Fast forward to reality and I now work for a large corporation, travel typically consists of small road trips within the confines of California, I have a third baby on the way … and my husband and I are about to become minivan owners. Cue up the horror music and high-pitched scream!

    It's funny how a minivan can stir up such strong emotions. I often hear moms (and dads) talk about their vehicle preferences and how they refuse to drive the dreaded "people-mover." They associate it with the polar opposite of "cool" and view it as one more thing stripping them of their former, youthful identity. Let's face it … you never hear teenagers and young twenty-something's aspiring to get a minivan.

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  • Of Course Your Kids Make You Miserable!

    by Leslie Morgan Steiner (Two Cents on Working Motherhood)

    As Mommy Tracked called out in the uber-time-saving Newsdesk roundup, New York Magazine recently published the smart, juicy "All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting" that dissects research indicating that kids make Americans unhappy. I started laughing before I read past the title. I am on intimate terms with why parents hate parenting. Although we love our kids deeply and desperately, most adults I know raise our kids according to the Chinese water torture method of parenting. We agonize over how long to breastfeed. We watch every television episode the kids watch, from Barney to Friday Night Lights. By the time they are five, we've ironed out our alcohol policy. At six, we've gotten them into a preschool track to the Ivy League. We read all their emails and text messages. We worry more about their homework than they do.

    The most humiliating part: We did this to ourselves. We - not our government, our society,

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  • High Hopes for Mad Men Season 4

    by Meredith O'Brien (Moms in Pop Culture & Politics)

    I've been waiting impatiently for July 25 to hurry up and get here. That's the day when the best show on TV starts airing new episodes. I'm talking, of course, about AMC's Mad Men.

    For a show set in the 1960s -- when women were admonished to strive for marriage, motherhood and domesticity; when female employees were openly harassed, undermined and assumed to be mentally and emotionally unfit as compared to men; and when the advertising men working on New York City's Madison Avenue could and did act as though they were the kings of the world - it makes a lot of sociological insights that still ring true 50 years later.

    In preparation for the fourth season's premiere, I watched the first three Mad Men DVD sets again and read a collection of fascinating yet academically-oriented essays, Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing is as It Seems, which examined the show which was described as a drama which "is as much a mirror on

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  • Would You Bring Your Kids to Your High School Reunion?

    by Risa Green (Tales from the Mommy Track)

    Twenty years ago, I was president of my class at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. At the time, nobody told me that twenty years later - when I would have two children, a husband, an eight month old puppy, a book about to be released and, oh yeah, living in California - I would be responsible for planning our twenty year reunion. Or maybe someone did, but I just don't remember. But here I am, juggling one more ball in the air, picking out menus and sending Facebook messages, trying to convince as many members of the class of 1990 as I can to shell out seventy bucks and come join me for a night with old friends.

    It's hard to believe that it's been twenty years. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that I was applying to college, planning for the prom, hanging out in the parking lot of McDonald's with my friends, throwing parties in my house when my parents were away for the weekend. But more and more, it feels

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  • To Spank or Not to Spank.

    by Leslie Morgan Steiner (Two Cents on Working Motherhood)

    One month into summer (aka, kids tearing through the house seven day a week, enjoying unstructured time, driving us caregivers crazy) seems a natural moment to tackle one of the modern dilemmas of parenthood no one likes to discuss honestly: to spank or not to spank.

    Now of course most parents - especially mature, well-educated adults like us -- KNOW spanking is barbaric, ineffective, old-fashioned or at least unnecessary. But you can stop holding your breath: I have met few parents who have never spanked a child. And 100% of those have only one child.

    First, let's define terms: spanking means a light swat on a child's clothed bottom, an area of the body without much feeling that is in fact designed to cushion blows. The goal of a spank is twofold: to get a young child's attention, and to communicate that they have done something dangerous, destructive or disrespectful that should never be repeated. As a victim of

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  • The Allure of Fame: Is There A Camera Crew In Your Kid’s Future?

    by Kristy Campbell (Saving One Teen at a Time)

    While at the gym yesterday, one of the p----cat Dolls' songs came on my iPod. My teenage daughter keeps me hip by adding songs I normally wouldn't choose, and as I listened to "When I Grow Up", I realized how becoming famous is replacing so many other goals for kids.

    When I grow up

    I wanna be famous

    I wanna be a star

    I wanna be in movies

    When I grow up

    I wanna see the world

    Drive nice cars

    I wanna have groupies

    I recently attended an empowerment think tank meeting led by Jess Weiner. I am a part of her Actionist Network™ and Jess' mission is clear… "to create a nation of confident women and girls". Our purpose was to brainstorm and to construct strategies for companies and media to help support messages of self-esteem to young girls. As we discussed issues that are prevalent in our culture as well as the body image messages that are being reinforced to our young girls, a statistic popped up from

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  • Emmy's Parents: Breakdown of the Nominees.

    by Meredith O'Brien (Moms in Pop Culture & Politics)

    When the Emmy nominations were announced last week, I was taking a good look at which actors and actresses were nominated for what roles when something jumped out at me: The list included a whole lot of characters who play parents on TV. There were good parents, bad parents, parents who try but don't necessarily succeed and parents who do things they really shouldn't in the name of "helping" their family.

    Then I wondered: If I tallied them up would there be more bad parents on the list - because behaving badly seems so theatrical and much more comedic and/or dramatic than acting like a goody-two-shoes - or would the role model parents rule the day? Here's what I found:

    The Parentally Challenged

    The drama Mad Men, which netted 17 Emmy nominations overall, featured several parents who won't be winning any Parent of the Year contests. Take the main couple, Don and Betty Draper, played by Jon Hamm and January Jones,

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  • Join the Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball.

    by Risa Green (Tales from the Mommy Track)

    I saw the wretchedly awful Sex and the City 2 a few weeks after it came out, and while there wasn't much I could find in it to relate to (Personal Maybachs? Private butlers? Harem pants??) there was one scene that resonated with me; it was when Carrie gets the advance copy of her book in the mail, and says that there's nothing better as an author than seeing the fruits of your labor in print for the first time. For a passing moment I smiled, then went back to grimacing over how unkind the lighting was to Kim Cattrall's wrinkles.

    I had my own such moment about two weeks ago, when I received a box on my doorstep, and opened it to find ten advance copies of my new book, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball. Like Carrie, I sat down and paged through it excitedly, admiring the cover and reading the blurb on the back. Unlike Carrie, however, my best friend is not a high-powered publicist getting me reviews - unflattering or otherwise -

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