And So It Was Blogged (2/52)

Friday, January 14, 2011

If this week was any indication, this month—and possibly the 11 that follow it—will amount to an interesting ride. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get going with the Best of the Blogs.

  • Man. I feel I need to take a deep breath before getting into this bubbling hot-pot. Remember the last time the WSJ ran a controversial op-ed about parenting styles? Here’s a quick MMM refresher, if memory fails. This week, it’s Amy Chua talking about how the “Chinese mother”-style of parenting is superior. Let’s get this important piece out first: Chua is hawking a book. The memoir, called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, came out Tuesday and is already listed at No. 7 on Amazon’s bestsellers.  So all this attention—including Chua’s backpedaling on the Today Show—isn’t hurting those book sales. (Here’s‘s review of the book.)
  • Still, folks were heated over the contentious essay. Slate’s Double X blog rightfully calls out the WSJ for excerpting the most “inflammatory” pages from the memoir. Lisa Belkin weighs in on Chua’s mean mommy tactics and shares links to other essays smartly stating that we shouldn’t paint all Asian mothers with the same broad brush.  Then children of Asian/Chinese moms spoke up, too. And with one of the most heartbreaking responses, Christine Lu shared her sad and sobering story about “Chinese mom”-style parenting.  Thankfully, Jeff Yang ( spoke to Chua about the furor. Wrapping up his lengthy piece, Yang said something not only fair, but also necessary:

Love or hate her (or both), Chua’s story is far more complicated and interesting than what you’ve heard to date—and well worth picking up.

  • My husband sent this link to another WSJ opinion piece about the danger of treating all men like potential kidnappers and child predators. Makes a pretty compelling case. It’s written by Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids fame.
  • Trying to make a baby is not a cakewalk. There are couples facing real reproductive challenges. When I saw this report about how your iPhone can bolster success with IVF, I actually said it out loud: “Wait, there’s an app for that?” Turns out, yeah, there kinda is.
  • Sometimes celebrities should stay busy being celebrities. Example: Gwyneth Paltrow‘s latest newsletter from her lifestyle blog/site delved into finding balance as working moms. She interviewed a venture capitalist mom, and boy did it kind of go off-road from there. The Stir minced no words, calling GP’s tips for working moms a load of GOOP.
  • NPR ran this interesting story about how baby talk (or parent-baby interaction) can help close the academic achievement gap between kids from lower and higher income families. The Thoughtful Parent went a little further, asking whether baby-age is too young to worry about achievement gaps.
  • NEW-TO-ME BLOG ALERT: My Brooklyn mom pal and fellow blogger Beth Lipton introduced me to this great site called The Mother Company. Be sure to check out the show “Ruby’s Studio.” Sweet and fun. On the other side of fun, though, is a depressing story on The Mother Co. about kids (aged 3 to 6!) who already have body image issues.
  • NEW-TO-ME BLOG ALERT: Can’t remember how I stumbled upon this blog, but so very glad that I did. And this fantastic post about creating a legacy for our kids just confirms that I’ll be visiting Simple Mom often .

Quite the full bloggy week, yes? Have a great weekend!

  • 1

    RE: Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP — I honestly don’t get why people hate her site to much. It’s not that I find her tips helpful (because honestly, I don’t), but I’m also willing to consider that I’m not her audience, either. She’s clearly catering to an audience that is busy, yes, but also wealthy. And while for those of us who don’t live that lifestyle, it can be hard to comprehend, it shouldn’t be that hard to believe that (1) rich people are busy too (and it is often how they managed to become/stay rich), and (2) many of these don’t know how to handle the stress of their lives.

    We’re so busy believing that money would solve all problems that we don’t realize that perhaps some of the problems/stresses in our lives aren’t related to money at all. Furthermore, people with money who have stress aren’t saying that they’re better than us (which is what I read many of the comments in that Stir article to express).

    Yes, I don’t relate to GOOP. But then again, I don’t think I’m meant to. AND THAT’S OKAY. Different sites have different audiences, and I think that’s fine too!

    • 1.1

      Thanks for the comment, Karen. When it comes to Gwyneth Paltrow, I’ve always been indifferent. But I’m not blind. I see the high “hate-on” rays beamed in her direction. (And on that note, I stopped reading The Stir’s comments after someone called the actress a cow. Really?) But I guess why folks had such a problem with this is that it’s a real issue for us mothers—trying to find that necessary balance—and the tips just missed the mark. Completely outside of (most of) our means and reality. And that’s just your point. These tips aren’t intended for the “typical” mom, who’s not living the movie star’s life. Maybe looking at GP and her site through that lens would make more sense.

  • 2
    41 going on 29 says:

    Thanks again for doing so much of the web-search for me! Hooray!

    And to echo Karen’s sentiment: So true! I remember how much ridicule Paltrow’s new-then GOOP got from sites like Gawker and its minions (back when I still surfed the internets), and when I visited her site – which I never would have done had it not been ridiculed – I didn’t see what all the furor was about. I ended up settling on her putting things out there earnestly. Mean cool kids hate that.

    I heard Chua’s interview on WNYC – and she was totally back-pedaling. Or, at least, it seemed like back-pedaling when compared to the inflammatory excerpts in the WSJ piece. Speaking as a stricter-than-most-but-not-all mom of toddlers, the “horror” of calling your kid “fatty” is overt. What does it say when parents bat away their mini-kids for an hour (just a minute, honey) while they play with email or chat on the phone? Not as easy to point a finger at, but there’s still a message there.