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Thursday
Dec092010

Married (Happily) With Issues

Elizabeth Weil shares her experience of finally deciding to 'work' at improving her marriage through therapy, after living a life where over-achieving was common-practice in every other realm but her relationship with her spouse.

I have a pretty good marriage. It could be better. There are things about my husband that drive me crazy. Last spring he cut apart a frozen pig’s head with his compound miter saw in our basement. He needed the head to fit into a pot so that he could make pork stock. I’m no saint of a spouse, either. I hate French kissing, compulsively disagree and fake sleep when Dan vomits in the middle of the night. Dan also once threatened to punch my brother at a family reunion at a lodge in Maine. But in general we do O.K.

The idea of trying to improve our union came to me one night in bed. I’ve never really believed that you just marry one day at the altar or before a justice of the peace. I believe that you become married — truly married — slowly, over time, through all the road-rage incidents and precolonoscopy enemas, all the small and large moments that you never expected to happen and certainly didn’t plan to endure. But then you do: you endure. And as I lay there, I started wondering why I wasn’t applying myself to the project of being a spouse. My marriage was good, utterly central to my existence, yet in no other important aspect of my life was I so laissez-faire. Like most of my peers, I applied myself to school, friendship, work, health and, ad nauseam, raising my children. But in this critical area, marriage, we had all turned away. READ MORE AT NYTIMES.

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Thursday
Dec092010

Time To Re-Awaken The DREAM!

Despite all the positioning, name-calling and filibustering going in Washington these days, the Dream Act may actually get passed. This bipartisan piece of legislation has mothers' overwhelming support.  What mother can resist the promise of the American Dream for their children?

Looks like the DREAM is rising again. The DREAM Act, that is, and mothers have been weighing in on a vote that may come up in Congress as soon as today.

Women overwhelmingly support the DREAM Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would provide a path to legal status for thousands of young people who have been raised in the United States, worked hard in school, and pursued a higher education, or served their country in the military. In fact, according to polling data commissioned by First Focus, 72 percent of women in the United States support the DREAM Act. Read More on The Huffington Post.

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Wednesday
Nov172010

One Momasphere Mom's Take on the Film "Who Does She Think She Is?": A Journey To Reconnect With My Lost Artistic Soul

By Melissa Lopata


A few years back I saw the movie, "Who Does She Think She Is?". It is from the same producing team, that won an Academy Award for "Born Into Brothels", which is one of my favorite documentaries and also highly worth seeing.
The film was recommended to me by a friend, Bethany Rule Vedder, who is a Park Slope mom, life/parenting coach and the creator of SaneMoms.com. "Who Does She Think She Is?" examines some of the most pressing issues of our time: parenting and work, partnering and independence, economics and art. It follows five women artists (mothers) as they navigate the economic, psychological, and spiritual challenges of making work outside the elite art world.

The film really spoke to a core restlessness I have been feeling since I left corporate America to become a stay at home mom. My dream had always been to live a life full of creativity. I imagined myself getting old in New Mexico, with one long, loose grey braid swaying down my back. I would be surrounded by the sumptuous sculptures and paintings I had birthed throughout the years.

I went to Bennington College on a half scholarship to study painting in the eighties. Painting was one of the things I could actually claim as an accidental and innate talent. Everyone pursues creative expression for different reasons. For me, it became a way to fit in. People actually liked my paintings. It was something I knew I was good at so it helped my ego blossom at a time when it desperately needed to. After I left college, I never felt like I had the energy or the courage to commit to an emerging artist's lifestyle of living on the fringe. I was too practical and obsessed with security to try my hand at it. The possibility of my craft turning into something profitable was always diminished by profound fear. That is, fear that I'd end up on a permanent diet of Top Ramen, while living in Alphabet City (which was not so hot in the early 90's). It was very black and white for me. It was a choice of either gambling on a life of passion that would probably end with me as a bag lady or choosing the promise of a growing, steady paycheck that only corporate America could provide (at least in my mind).

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Wednesday
Nov172010

"Stretch Marks": A One-Women Show About Stretching Your Identity To Become A Mom

This Saturday, Nov. 20th Angela Kariotis will perform her one night, one-women show called  “Stretch Marks". This off Broadway performance is part of the United Solo Theater Festival at the Studio Theatre in New York. Below are some of her quotes about the play and it's personal significance:

 

Stretch Marks


Where and when: The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 42nd St., New York, Nov. 20 at 3:30 p.m.

How much:$18. Call (212) 239-6200 or visit unitedsolo.org

 

Its subtitle is “+=!?” — which is texting talk that loosely translates as “a positive pregnancy test equals shock and confusion.” With a nod to her hip-hop roots, the show’s advertising promises to “remix a fetal heartbeat and bust an amniotic flow.”

She’s quick to say that it’s not a “mommy play,” and she has been pleased that audiences have seen far broader themes in it.

“Everybody says it’s about life — or making a decision that’s going to change your life,” she said.

It's far-reaching, tackling issues of birth, heredity, culture and identity.

And all of it punctuated with hip-hop’s trademarks of an eclectic sound track and a non-stop athleticism.

She imitates the journey of a sperm, likening its persistence to that of a New York City bicycle messenger. She twists her body to resemble a strand of DNA, or an ultrasound photo of a fetus.

Dressed in leather pants and a Keith Haring T-shirt, she quotes Plato. Sometimes she’s the mother. Sometimes she’s the baby. When she talks of the generational inheritance of physical traits, she says, “She/I looks just like her/my mother.”

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Thursday
Nov042010

The Role of Today's Mom as "Chief Medical Officer."

Last week, I had the good fortune of attending a panel discussion of leading healthcare experts brought together by Working Mother magazine and GE healthymagination to reflect upon what women need to know to be effective "chief medical officers" for themselves and their families.

All too often, women put their own health last, after taking care of everyone else in the family. The panel stressed a few basics for women’s health: that we need to ‘know our numbers’ including cholesterol levels, BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, and for menopausal women, bone density; that we be aware of the signs of a stroke using the FAST acronym, which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, and Time and know where the nearest stroke center is in your area; and that measuring your waste, rather than your weight, is a key indicator of cardiovascular disease. (A waste larger than 35” is a sure sign for concern.)

 In an era of digital overload, one of the biggest challenges moms face is knowing where to turn for medical answers from trusted sources. I was lucky to sit with Lisa Collier Cool, a veteran health blogger, best-selling author, and winner of numerous journalism awards, who shared a few tips about websites that can be very useful, especially when used in conjunction with regular check-ups and visits with experts when called for. For general health information, www.medlineplus.gov, www.medhelp.org, as well as the Mayo Clinic have great content, including forums, experts and tools for tracking weight, sleep, your ovulation calendar, etc. To learn about medications,  turn to www.Rxlist.com first, and to understand drug interactions www.epocrates.com. The American Heart Association also has an  iphone app that can come in handy with first aid and CPR information with topics include that include CPR, choking, bites, bruises, burns, seizures and diabetic emergencies.

To read the highlights of the event, and to learn more about what the experts recommend, click here.