And So It Was Blogged (XXI)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yesterday was my fourth wedding anniversary. First, that it is September is surprising enough. Then, celebrating four whole years? I’ve said it here before: time is not waiting for anything. Having a child, and watching him do new and wonderful things everyday, makes that fact even clearer. Forward, forward we go, and fast. So let’s keep that momentum and get to it. Here’s the Best of the Blogs—my rundown of what I thought were the prime bloggy cuts from this 35th week of 2010.

1. The Motherhood Games
A few weeks ago, we talked about the courtroom that has become motherhood, with all the judgment. This week, on, blogger Alice Bradley looks at motherhood as competitive sport. Bradley pulls the curtain on “the social pressure, the feelings of inadequacy, the urge to excel” that too many of us feel as we set out on mission impossible: being the perfect mom.

One of the “events” at The Motherhood Games is about sleep—when baby sleeps through the night, how baby naps, etc. There isn’t a contest around the sleep you’re getting … because, of course, you’re not getting much. So it was good to see WebMD offering new moms 10 tips on how to get more sleep.

The closing ceremonies of the Games, should be this video from Nummies (the nursing bra company). Just like the last question MMM asks mothers in our “I Used to Be Me” section (What advice would you tell yourself, if you could go back to those early days/weeks of motherhood?), this message in the video should remind moms—newbies and vets—that we’re all on the same playing field.

2. On Leave
Any discussion of new moms almost surely includes talk of maternity leave. Last month, Newsweek cover story was about the best countries in the world. The best place* to have a baby? France, thanks to the paid leave (as much as seven months!), low-cost health care, baby nurses who makes house calls, and this: if mom is sick, the French government sends someone over to do the family’s laundry. Magnifique, oui?
[*See more of Newsweek’s fun winners’ list, like best place to fly a kite, here.]

Over on’s Double X, one Swedish father writes about the joys of his 18-month, paid paternal leave.

Weird segue here, but we’re taking it … my husband sent me this case report about a man who genuinely believed he was preggers—two different times!

3. Mr. Roboto
When I say robot, what pops into your mind? Grey, square box with stiff arms and an Auto-Tune voice? Or a silver Tin Man-like dude dancing? If you voted for the latter, you’re like 30 percent of the kids from this new study that looks at children’s perceptions of robots and, moreover, that teaching them how robots are really used in the world could help “create a new generation of designers to build revolutionary machines.”

On, there was talk of learning and kids, too. No robots, though. This post is about gender expectations and how they play out in the classrooms, specifically the way boys are often stereotyped as not as hard-working or well-behaved as their female classmates.

Speaking of gender differences and kids, gets into the topic of boys and aggression and how, as some psychologists now believe, trying to shut down boys’ violent play (i.e., roughhousing and toy gun shoot-outs, not real beat-downs) might do more harm than good. Researchers say that by allowing boys to play fight, they may actually learn impulse control.

4. Baby Boom Gone Bust?
A quick spin through your nearby playground would make you think different, but the birth rate in the U.S. is alarmingly low. Like, hasn’t been this low in 100 years low. Social scientists are drawing links to the dip in baby-making to the drastic drop in the Dow in this current recession.

But no need to panic about “birth dearth” just yet, we’re told. The numbers in the U.S., though lower that usual, are still higher than many other wealthy nations. Still, birth dearth? Catchy, yes, but scary-sounding too, right?

5. In the Bag
I saw this funny bit on BabyCenter’s Momformation about mom bags—not at all like mom jeans, thank goodness. Women, for the most part, carry big bags. In fact, it’s fashionable to have an oversize tote slung over your forearm (Not shoulder. Think fab, folks.). But stop any mom on the corner and ask her what’s in her bag … be ready. Check out what this one mom is hauling around.

Moms, what’s in your bag on any given day? Leave your list in the comments below. Or, better, post a photo of it. I’m going to try it. Join me!

That’s it for this week. Let’s hope the weather cools off a bit so we can all have a lovely, swelter-free Labor Day Weekend.
Be safe and enjoy.

See next week, yes?

  • 1
    Jason says:

    Hey Nicole

    Good posts and great blog. It’s damn hard work! There is nothing that compares!

    Hope you guys are doing well.


    • 1.1
      Ms. Mack says:


      How good to hear from you. London calling. (How tired are you of hearing that one by now?)

      Thanks for checking MMM out and leaving a lovely comment. It is hard work, for real.

      Stay well.