Tag Archive for blogging

I’m Still Here!

My blogging has not been too regular the past few weeks, but I hope to change that soon. Between my trip to Michigan, getting terribly sick, and being home with the kids all day, I haven’t had much time to blog. Also, this week is VBS at our church (you should come if you live close!), and we are getting ready for our trip. I just haven’t been at my computer longer than a few seconds. But I do have many things to write; I’ve just been writing them in my head.

Here are a few things I’ve been working on:

  • how I made marinara sauce from all the fresh tomatoes in our garden.
  • my observations about parents who get too angry over t-ball.
  • what it’s like to be a preacher’s wife.
  • my thoughts on being a stay-at-home-mom in the summer.
  • several reviews of books I’ve read lately.

Don’t give up on me! More to come later.


Bad Moms and Being Mom Enough: A Reflection

By now, you have most likely read or heard about the recent article in Time magazine titled, “Are you Mom enough?”. The blogosphere (and the media) has been abuzz over this article.

I'm not a bad girl; You're a bad mommy!

Image courtesy of http://themotherlode.wordpress.com

Some authors have addressed the title of the article and all that it implies (competition, self-hatred, guilt, mommy wars, sexism, identity issues, etc.). Others have commented on the cover image in which a three-year-old boy is sucking on his mother’s bare breast while looking at the camera (how it is going to scar him forever, how public breastfeeding is fine, how this goes on in all areas of the world, how this mother is a helicopter parent, etc., etc.). Most discussions have addressed the topic of the article, attachment parenting.

I’ve read many commentaries on and responses to this article. (I particularly liked what my college roommate had to say about it, as well as another blogger’s provocative post, “Where Is the Mommy War for the Motherless Child?“.

I have my own opinions on all of these matters. I obviously do not choose to do attachment parenting. I stopped nursing my children when they were between 8-10 months old. I do not carry my baby around on me like a papoose; he weighs too much and I would break my back. I do not, under any circumstance, allow my children to sleep with me and my husband in our bed. I also work outside the home, which Dr. Sears, the founder of the movement, discourages women who want to incorporate attachment parenting philosophies from doing.

I don’t love my children any less. I love them a lot, actually. I believe it’s important help my children feel loved, safe, confident, self-assured, and independent. I let my children play for long periods of time without getting involved or interjecting my own agenda. I let them work out problems. I tell them, “No.” I ask them to be creative. I challenge them.

Most mothers do.

What I have learned from being a mother for almost seven years is that there are many different ways to mother. There are different ways to be a mother. And there are different definitions of mothers and motherhood and mothering.

As moms, we have images in our head about the kind of mother we want to be. If you’re like me, you often feel guilty about ways you do not live up to your own expectations. Our culture and the media (and sometimes religious organizations and people) send the message that we are not good enough, that we are not “Mom enough.” My recent post about Pinterest images attests to the pervasiveness of societal expectations and norms.

But who are we to judge other mothers? Aren’t we all just trying our best to do good our their children?

We are all “Mom enough” to the children in our lives.

They love us. They know we love them.

We must know that who we are is enough.

 


My Popular Posts: Two Weeks in Review

My website has been active for two weeks now, so I decided to take a moment to list and examine my top three posts. Here, they are, my most popular posts.

1. “Running Around Like a Crazy Woman: Why Less Is More.”

This post is my most popular, most likely because a few people tweeted or posted the link to Facebook or their blog, which led to many more people clicking on it and viewing it. I am amazed at the interconnected nature of the web, and I have enjoyed connecting with people I would not otherwise know (thanks for reading, you people!).

This post is also my first book review on the blog. I actually plan to do many reviews in the future. Perhaps my readers like book reviews. We shall see. I was actually surprised how many people clicked on the book’s link from my site to read about the book for themselves (over 35 of you!). I wonder how many of you will read it. I’d love to hear what you think about it and how you have tried to implement the mantra, “Less is more,” into your life.

2. “Up in the Clouds or Down on the Ground: When Marriage Is Difficult.”

I only posted this piece yesterday, but it’s already close to becoming my most popular post. I guess when you speak about marriage, people are interested.

I have been so humbled and encouraged by the many messages, texts, and emails I have received from you about this post. Many of you wrote to me about difficulties you are (or were) having in your marriage, and how this post came “at just the right time.” I’m humbled that my words were able to touch and encourage you in this way. Thanks so much for letting me know!

3. “I Am a Mother; I Am an Academic.”

This post was one of my firsts, and it still remains a popular one. Almost every day a few people still read it.

I like this post because it hints at the daily struggle I have to be both mother and academic. And to do each well. It’s not as easy as it seems. I will continue to examine and write about motherhood and academia and explore the tension I constantly feel negotiating the demands of both.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. Remember, you can subscribe to my blog by clicking on the RSS feed button at the top (the orange button at the top).

Which blog post has been your favorite?


Why I Created a Web Site

It is official. I have a Web site. This site has been many years in the making (at least in my mind planning it). Over the years, I have spent a great deal of time working with a variety of software programs (Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Netscape Composer–remember that one?). I have learned these programs. I have even taught students how to use them. I have drawn by hand what I wanted my site to look like, including where to place the images, texts, and links. But I have never officially created my own site. Now, I finally have. I bought my own domain name (karapoealexander was taken!??). I paid for a host, and I now have site (I use WordPress). Yea!

This site is intended for a variety of purposes and audiences.

One purpose of this site is to develop an online professional identity. An academic, a scholar, a teacher. Audiences who are interested in me as a professional perhaps want to see me blog about issues pertaining to my teaching or my scholarship. They may want to look at my CV and see my background. They may want to download a syllabus or sample assignments, which is perfectly fine. They might want to see a picture of me since they’ve never met me in person. This academic audience is professional, anti-religious (I assume), intellectual, and smart. I find them a bit intimidating.

A second purpose of this site is to connect with my students. model for students what it is like to have a professional online presence. I teach students majoring in Professional Writing, and in our courses we often discuss what it means to have a professional online presence. It was all well and good, except I didn’t have a Web site. Yet I was requiring them to have one. That didn’t go together. This site, then, is intended to not only show students that I have an online presence but also to model to them the numerous ways writers can use technology to write, blog, get jobs, find followers, and connect to various communities and audiences. I also created a Web site so that my students could come here for course materials. I have used Blackboard in the past, but I find this open access a bit more in line with my own pedagogy. I am glad to know that students will be utilizing this site.

The last–and perhaps main–purpose of this site is to write. I have blogged on and off since 2006, a year after my first child was born when I wanted to document her life. But I have not been a faithful blogger for a few years. In recent months, however, I have been reading more and more blogs, and what first motivated me to finally create a Web site was because I wanted to enter the conversations.

The conversations I am most interested in pertain to various aspects of my identity as a working mother, a female academic, a Christian, and a preacher’s wife. Most of what I blog about will be about these issues of motherhood, womanhood, academia, and faith. I recognize that my audiences are diverse and that some areas I write about will not always interest my readers. I do hope, however, that I can find my niche in the conversation.

I’m always interested in your comments and feedback, so feel free to leave comments or to subscribe to my social media using the icon buttons on the site.

And if you’re interested, you can find my previous blogs at:

http://karapoealexander.blogspot.com/

http://readinganew.blogspot.com/