Blog Posts by Mommy Tracked

  • Missing My Daughter at Sleepaway Camp.

    by Risa Green

    My daughter has been at sleepaway camp for exactly one week. It has been the longest week of my life. In fact, every day seems to move in slow motion, causing each twenty-four hour period to feel more like seventy-two hours, so really, she's been gone for three weeks, now. It's like how when you're in college, dating someone for a month is equivalent to almost a full year in regular-life time. I miss her so much that my heart actually physically hurts.

    I used to go to overnight camp every summer for eight weeks, and my summers at camp were some of the best of my life. So I was (and still am) excited for her to be having that experience. But I never had any concept of how difficult it is for the parents. I mean, it's not like I can talk to her. It's two weeks of radio silence, just sitting around, wondering if she's having a good time, hoping that the camp mom isn't going to call to tell me that she's homesick, but also kind of hoping that she will, just so I

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  • Would Your Husband Chair the PTA?

    by Leslie Morgan Steiner (Two Cents on Working Motherhood)

    In the run-up to Father's Day, American media gushed about fatherhood like never before:

    * USA Today screamed "Dad's Pregnancy Hormones" describing the changes (somewhat minor compared to moms') that dads experience as fatherhood approaches. The subhead carried a National Inquirer-type claim: Changes Could Be Nature's Way of Ensuring Baby Survives!

    * "Paternal Bonds, Special and Strange" was a New York Times Science front page full color exploration of how male animals and humans alike love babies: "No display carries higher status, or is more likely to impress the other guys, than to strut around the neighborhood with an infant monkey in tow." Okay, the article is referring to macaques from North Africa's Barbary coast, but I think we've all seen a dad or two in our own hood doing that strut.

    * On the same day, the New York Times also ran "In Sweden, Men Can Have It All" dissecting how government-mandated "daddy

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  • Bite Me, Twitter.

    by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor (Make Mine a Double)

    Twitter can bite me. Yeah, I know, I know, get with the social media program or get left behind. It's not like I don't have a Twitter account. I do. I got my account about a year or so ago so that I could keep up with the Joneses (if it's even called the Joneses -seeing as I know no one with the last name Jones and I'm way behind on hip terminology -I still use "phat" as an adjective) but I'm having trouble giving a s--- about what anyone tweets or twats or twitters or whatever you call it. Whatever! I'm forty-three, I still refer to my iPod as a Walkman and please don't bother correcting me, so I'm not going to burden myself with learning the correct twitter lingo.

    The thing is, every time I go on twitter, I see the same ten people "talking" and I use the term "talking" loosely about their kids' poop consistency or color and despite the warning that "this may be TMI" or the slightly self deprecating, LOL after the s--- description,

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  • Bedtime is a Video Game.

    by Risa Green (Tales from the Mommy Track)

    As I've said before, my son is slightly obsessed with Wii Lego Star Wars. Despite the fact that I have banished it to the weekends, it is still all he thinks about, and all he ever wants to talk about. And I've gotten used to it, and I've even been more or less okay with it, until I discovered lately that things had gone just a little too far. You see, they tell you that kids who watch too much tv are more likely to get AD/HD, and that kids who spend too much time in front of a screen are more likely to become obese, but nobody tells you that kids who play too many video games are incapable of following rules unless those roles are spoken in video game parlance. Or at least, this is true of my kid. I really can't say if there have been any longitudinal studies done to show that this holds true for other kids, as well.

    Anyway, here's an example. My son and I have been having some "bedtime issues" lately. Every night, he takes a bath,

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  • Sarah Palin: The Face of Feminism?

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

    Mention Sarah Palin and half the people with whom you're speaking may recoil and the other half may smile, as the working mother of five -- including a toddler -- former vice presidential nominee serves as a living, breathing Rorschach test for what it means to be a powerful woman in politics.

    If you tend to lean toward the liberal point of view on the issues, it's very likely that you despise her. If you tend to lean conservative, there are many amongst your conservative peers who adore her. If you're somewhere in the middle, you may hold mixed feelings . . . at least that's the conventional wisdom about how people perceive the former Alaska governor, the first female one in that state.

    But combine "Sarah Palin" with the word "feminism" and try not to get hurt in the crossfire when liberals say she's no feminist for a multitude or reasons (not least of which is her pro-life stance) and conservatives counter by saying

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  • Does Your Kid Require a Cell Phone for Social Status?

    by Abby Margolis Newman (Saving One Teen at a Time)

    I've been struggling for months now with the idea of whether to buy a cellphone for my 11-year-old son, Henry, so it was with great interest that I read the recent article in the New York Times entitled, "When to Buy Your Child a Cellphone." To be honest, I was hoping that the gist of the article would be, for Henry, "Not Yet!" - I've consistently felt that fifth grade is too young for cellphones - but the reality is that a cellphone wave is a-coming straight toward his peer group, and I need to decide whether to let Henry ride it or let it crash over his head.

    When Henry was in fourth grade, exactly one child got a phone that year - and it was an iPhone. Once I got over the initial shock, I thought, OK: a) if any kid was going to get a cellphone in fourth grade, this would be the kid; and b) it's an anomaly. By fifth grade, it seemed that everything had changed. In November we attended Henry's "Back to School Night," and his

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  • Kindergarten Graduation is a Big Deal.

    by Kerry Rivera (Around the Watercooler)

    My eldest son achieved another milestone this week, graduating kindergarten, and is now ready to embrace full-fledged membership into grade school. Hooray!

    He can read … kind of. He can add and subtract … to a degree. He can even march into class all by himself … minus Mom or Dad signing him in to some daycare computer system.

    Even more important, over the past nine-plus months, I have seen his self-confidence rise, his love for learning grow, and his ability to problem-solve - in the classroom and on the playground - skyrocket. To say the least, I'm really proud of him, and I just can't believe how much he has grown up in this short school year.

    I'm also kind of proud of myself. Some of you may recall that I was agonizing over where to send him to kindergarten - private, or Montessori, or public? How would this choice impact his learning, his ability to thrive and his social skills? Would this one decision screw his chances for

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  • Embrace Imperfection, Avoid Fear of Failure

    by Leslie Morgan Steiner (Two Cents on Working Motherhood)

    I was raised by a perfect mom. She was smart; graduating from Radcliffe and Columbia Teacher's College when most women were told education was for men. She believed in volunteering her talents: as president of my school's PTA, founder of our beloved afterschool sports program, and co-founder of a local daycare center for low income moms. She espoused natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and early childhood development before T. Berry Brazelton wrote his first book. She worked too, as a renowned special education teacher with a long list of families on her waitlist. She also happened to be the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Five kids later she still weighed what she did on her wedding day. She played three varsity sports in college and on the day she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she was ranked #1 in her age bracket in New England by the U.S. Tennis Association. At 75 she had better legs than I did at 17. She never

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  • Interview with Common Sense Media President & COO Anne Zehren.

    Like so many other parents Anne Zehren has plopped her two young sons in front of the TV from time to time to get some work done without worrying too much about it. But what's on the TV and how long it's on - along with computers, videogames and other media - is something all parents should be concerned about, according to Zehren, the president and chief operating officer of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that helps parents make sense of the digital world and offers ways to make informed media decisions for their families. The amount of time kids spend in that digital world is at a crisis level, she believes.

    Zehren has been delving into the minds of youths long before she became a first-time mom just days before she turned 42. She was the publisher of Teen People, which let teens dictate the content and issues, and president of sales and marketing for Al Gore's Current TV before joining Common Sense Media in 2003. Earlier this year, Common Sense Media partnered with

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  • Turn the Frown Upside Down.

    by Risa Green (Tales from the Mommy Track)
    I have a somewhat reserved personality, and I will admit that this does not always make it easy for people to get to know me. In the past, women (who are now my good friends) have told me that when they first met me, they felt that I was cold, and kind of bitchy. Which, in my defense, I'm not (or at least, not always). I'm just not initially a super warm and fuzzy kind of person, and it doesn't help that my mouth naturally turns down, causing me to perpetually frown as I go about my business, even if I'm perfectly happy. (And also causing construction workers and many annoying, uber-happy strangers to command me to "Smile!" as I walk down the street.) But it's always bothered me, this perception I give off of being a b---- , and so recently, I've decided to try to do something about it.

    In an effort to Seem Nicer, my New Year's resolution this year was to give more compliments to people, whether it's strangers, acquaintances or good

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