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ISSUE 4 MARCH
Introduction: Women on the edge of war
Article: Mothering - the world's oldest profession
Check it out: Skateboarding Mum
Review: Children's books that mums will love to read
Hello again -
It is hard to imagine what it must be like to be a mother in Iraq, putting the kids to bed while guns and tanks assemble over the border. Or a mother in Israel, waving the kids to school in a bus that may or may not return. Or a mother in Palestine, peeling potatoes and wondering what your teenage sons are up to.
What do women awaiting terror do? They get on with things, writes an Egyptian author in a recent article. Put simply, they survive. You can read the article through this link:
Everyday, we who live in stable communities have a reasonable expectation that at the end of the day we can be with our families. Our daily challenges - unwieldy carpools, obstinate children and husbands, deadlines, housework, burnt food - pale in significance. With that in mind, let these women on the brink show us the way. Let us not linger on the clutter of the daily grind and focus on what we value. Let us get on with life.
Mum at Work is a website hoping to inspire mothers to indulge their creativity despite the demands of mothering, domesticity and work. This is our creed: LET'S DO IT ALL - WE'RE ALREADY TIRED ANYWAY!
Till next time,
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MOTHERING - THE WORLD'S OLDEST PROFESSION
Yes ladies, we are purveyors of the world's oldest profession. Except, of course, that a lot of us don't think of mothering as a job.
And that's why, in a world already riven by gazillion conflicts, there exists a divide between the "working mother" and the "stay-at-home mother".
"Keep on working, mum" columnist India Knight counselled recently in the Sunday Times.
She writes: "(Women) who have spent a life devoted solely to their children at the expense of any personal interests often make for the most disappointed, difficult and demanding people in late middle age and old age, when the children are grown up and have families of their own.
"Think about it next time you sit in judgment on some poor woman who finds her work as stimulating and challenging as she does her children."
But why must one sit in judgement of the other? The fact is, we are all on the same side. And both sides yearn for the good stuff on the other side. The mother-with-job would love more time with her kids. The mother-at-home would love the stimulating rough and tumble of a career.
Though mothering is seen as a state of being, a blessing, a state of grace even (!) - a lot of it is in reality about bloody hard work.
I therefore submit that mothers should regard mothering as a job (a bit like being a doctor who is always on call). A job can be stimulating, boring, fascinating, grinding, wonderful and terrible - all things that we should allow ourselves to think about mothering. A job is an important part of your life but it is not the be-all and end-all of your existence.
If you let yourself regard your mothering as a profession, you will make time for other, self-affirming things. Children will not suffer from having happy, fulfilled mothers. Indeed, they will thrive.
And when your kids move away, your sense of self does not disappear with them.
UK readers can access
India Knight's piece on
I'd love to hear what you think. Click here to reply.
CHECK IT OUT: SKATEBOARDING MUM
How cool a mum are you? Nobody can be as cool as skateboarding mum Barb Odanaka, children's author and founder of the International Society of Skateboarding Moms! Check out her website http://skateboardmom.homestead.com/home.html and join the club if you dare!
REVIEW: Kids' Books for Mums
If like me, you are a mum who pretends to buy books for her children but is really buying them for herself, you might find this list useful. I have read these books and loved them - who knows, I might even let the kids have a look at them someday. Here is my current list of favourite children's books - do you have your own list of favourites? Send me your list or reviews by clicking here.
Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Great Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross
Eyes by David Almond
Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Wish List by Eoin Colfer
Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean