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/