In Reflection, In Anticipation

Yes, I know. I’ve been horrible about keeping up with the blog.

No excuses, really.

Just the usual… life.

photo-6 3.51.15 PM

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing! In fact, I’ve been writing a ton. I’ve just somehow managed to find people willing to pay me for my rambling thoughts, so they end up elsewhere instead of this blog (that only pays in love and comments, which don’t really pay the bills). I have a regular feminist parenting column over at The Frisky now – so please pop on over and check me out there. I’m also contributing regularly to Kveller, a Jewish parenting website, and The Femisphere is still going strong over at Ms. magazine. You can see all the places I’m writing up above in the “published work” tab.

The biggest writing-related project I’ve got going on now is… my book! I’ve mentioned it here and there before, but now that it’s crunch time, I can provide a few more details. I’ve been hard at work on a book since last spring – one that looks to take apart the “Good Mother” myth that pervades our society. I’ve amassed an incredible collection of women that will share their stories – each one providing a glimpse into motherhood in a way that shows you don’t need to live up to the damaging myth to actually be a good mother. The book itself will be out next Fall from Seal Press, and I am beyond excited for it. There is a huge need and desire to change up the narrative of what motherhood looks like since the dominant one in our society is far too narrow and stereotypical for the majority of mothers out there. Many women don’t see or hear their voices in the dominant narrative, yet it’s the one that continues to be perpetuated in mainstream headlines and cover stories. Perhaps if we had a more varied definition of what it actually means to be a good mother, we’d have less in-fighting and judgment and more energy to tackle the actual issues that affect mothers and families.

In the next few months I’ll be able to let you know about the amazing, inspiring and talented contributors who are sharing their stories, and more general information about when and where the book will be available. Until then, I’ll be knee deep in editing a manuscript that’s been many months in the making!

While it’s not exactly a resolution, I do have a hope for 2013. My hope is that the more we talk about motherhood, its challenges (both personal and political) and the reality of it all, we’ll expand our definition of who or what is a mother. I’m sure there will be the same sensationalizing and click-bait headlines as always (oh, hai Kimye’s baby to be. Thanks for filling up the next year with headlines we definitely don’t need to read), but perhaps in the mix we will have more needed discussion about policy and issues that actually impact families and women. My small hope is that my anthology will be a jumping off point for one of those discussions.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and you can find me spilling my thoughts out all over the place, and hopefully – occasionally – here as well. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.

Instead of asking what your new year’s resolution is, I want to know: What good mother myths do *YOU* want to see torn down in 2013?

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10 thoughts on “In Reflection, In Anticipation

  1. I’d love to see an end to the myth that our lives end when we have kids. The hubs and I have been thinking about kids more and more, but then we always come up with something else we want to do before we take the plunge. I’d like to feel like we can still do things after we have kids, too!

    • Yeah, this is definitely that could use some unraveling. I definitely think lives change when you have kids, but our lives change with any big milestone. To say they end is a complete misnomer and just feeds into the judgement (if you don’t “change” as much as the next mom, etc…). So, yes – let’s break this one down!

  2. I’ll be reading and awaiting more of your work. I’m working on some short stories, pitches and scripts that I hope to filter through some friends and agents. However, I find it difficult to be heard. Even more so, once I’m heard the original message becomes distorted into its opposite. Feminism lives on, but seems to always have a heavy, violent backlash.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I agree about finding it difficult to be heard as well. We just need to keep shouting our truths from the rooftop and eventually folks will begin to listen. Here’s to success in 2013 – good luck with all of your writing!

      On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 1:20 PM, The Mamafesto

  3. I’m not sure that this is a myth… but for me, for 2013, the word I’m really embracing as one that defines is multi-faceted (until I find a more apt one). I am a mother–but I am so much more. And all that I am makes me who I am–each of my facets informs and affects the others. Motherhood is not the only thing that defines me… Not very articulate. But speaking of this multifacetedness of me–of women, of mothers–in a way that doesn’t diminish our role/understanding of ourselves as mothers, but enhances it–that’s something I’d love to see more of, in the blogosphere, in mainstream media, in life.

    • I totally understand what you’re getting at. There’s definitely this ideal that once you have a child you’re a mother first and foremost and any other identifying aspects are pushed to the back and it’s very frustrating (especially b/c men rarely – if ever – have to deal with it).

      On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 8:07 PM, The Mamafesto

  4. Hi Avital. I am so glad to stumble in to your site. Googling ‘mamafesto’ led me to you. I run a blog series on mothering and creativity at http://www.outofthemouthsofbabes.org. I’d love you to participate, if you have an appetite. From what I glean here, your desire to connect with other women/mothers/artists completely aligns with my mission. I am a mom of teenagers, so in a different zone issue-wise, but spend a good bit of time thinking, talking and writing about mothering and creating space for others to do the same. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you for your great writing.
    Sincerely, Suzi

    • Hi Suzi – Thanks so much for reaching out. I checked out your blog series and it looks really great. I’m certainly interested in learning more and perhaps participating. Feel free to contact me directly at TheMamafesto (at) gmail (dot) com.

      On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:54 PM, The Mamafesto

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