Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Super Mom hangs up cape..." and picks up her....?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hearing Ann Pleshette Murphy speak at our local Women@Work lunch. Ann is the author of The 7 Stages of Motherhood, a resource I highly recommend for a preview into the future of the evolving challenges of motherhood as our kids grow up. At our lunch, she told a packed room of women that it's okay to be yourself, and not become a slave to unrealistic expectations. She has even come up with a formula for calculating guilt that has "the mysterious UX," unrealistic expectations, as a mulitplying factor.

Ann was also quoted in an article that came out last week in the News & Observer, that headlined "Super Mom hangs up cape...Parenting in overdrive turns out to exhaust everyone." The article also profiled members of the support and advocacy group Mothers & More--an organization I really respect. I am speaking to this group on October 6 in Apex, NC. Click here for Mojo Mom event details.

Ever since the Super Mom article came out, I have mentally extended the headline and had the phrase "Super Mom hangs up her cape...and picks up her....?" running through my head. Each one of us can fill the blank in for ourselves. The Super Mom illusion imprisons us, especially if we have perfectionistic tendencies. "If I can't do something perfectly, why even try?"--this thinking, which may control us while remaining on an unconscious level, leads to paralysis. My Mojo Mom philosophy is that it's okay to be less than perfect, to try new things, and even to do find out we aren't good at everything. If we let go of unrealistic expectations of being the perfect Super Mom, we may find room in our lives for one or two new interests, goals, or dreams.

Easier said than done, I know. Yesterday was a frustrating day for me. Everything was great until the 7 pm witching hour came and I ran out of steam. I felt like I wasn't being a great Mom, and my daughter wanted me to put her to bed even though she and I been together all afternoon and my husband had just arrived home. I wanted them to spend time togehter, and frankly, I was burned out and needed to chill out. They were fine, but I was anxious. Hours later, when Michael and I were falling asleep, I told him that I was still wrapped up in thinking about the one hour of the day that hadn't gone well. He said, "She's asleep now, so what else matters?" This was just the right thing to say. He wasn't dismissing our daughter's earlier unhappiness, but he had a wise perspective--if she was over it and sleeping peacefully, there was no reason for me to stay awake worrying about it. Thank you, Zen master Michael.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Listen to the new Mojo Mom podcast

I am excited to announce the launch of my first Mojo Mom podcast! For those of you who are new to podcasting, it's like a radio show, without the radio station. Podcast files are distributed over the internet, ususally as free subscriptions. You don't need an iPod to listen, just a computer with software that plays MP3 sound files. You can search podcast directories to find shows that meet your interests.

I am a huge radio fan, having listened to NPR for 10 hours a day for 5 years while in grad school. (My advisor kept it on in our lab--I had the choice of getting on the NPR boat or going crazy.) Doing radio interviews for Mojo Mom is a blast, and I've been itching to start my own show, creating a platform to use motherhood as a springboard to talk about life, politics, and the world. I am fortunate to be joined by my friend Sheryl Grant, who has graciously stepped in as my co-host. Sheryl is a writer, parenting magazine editor, and mother of a 4-year-old son. We met on the school playground and have developed a great frienship. The Mojo Mom podcast is a busy woman 's lifeline to the outside world. We will use motherhood as a springboard to bring you timely, intelligent discussions.

We're planning weekly half-hour shows, featuring a wide range of guest. Our first episode includes an interview with Sally Robertson, a life coach and founder of the website Stand Up Mama. Sally encourages mothers to "dare to be yourself" and provides support along the way. She is a true Mojo Mom!

You can listen to the Mojo Mom podcast by visiting www.mojomom.libsyn.com or downloading the file from iTunes. Just search the iTunes podcast directory for Mojo Mom. You can subscribe through iTunes to have new shows automatically downloaded to your computer as they become available.

I am a huge fan of the iPod. This technology can bring you news and information that you really want to hear. It's not just for teens--iPod is also a Mom's best friend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pop culture...pirates...parents

I am having a strange pop-culture kind of day. Today I have received several funny posts about Talk Like a Pirate Day, which was yesterday.

This is what passes for repartee between myself and my husband these days, but maybe we're not hopeless. I think the ergonomic keyboard for pirates is hilarious. (Bonus points for being posted on a George Lakoff-related language log.)

Last night I needed a veg-out break, so watched the new sitcom, How I Met Your Mother which was surprisingly cute (though also pretty crude--I wouldn't watch it with a kid in the room). Alyson Hanigan's character was hit by a champagne cork and had to wear an eye patch, causing a recurring pirate joke theme. Now what I want to know is whether it's possible that a CBS sitcom would have actually planned to air this gag on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Also notable about last night's TV lineup in a "pop will eat itself" kind of way was that there were two actors from the best show ever, Freaks and Geeks, on new TV shows at the same time. Jason Segel is on How I Met Your Mother and John Francis Daley is on Kitchen Confidential.

Geoge Lakoff...Freaks and Geeks...CBS Sitcoms...Pirates...all we need is a Kevin Bacon reference to prove that everything really is related.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Subscribe to my blog's XML feed

I am getting my technical mojo flowing and I've set up a site feed for my blog. You can subscribe to the feed using a free newsreader such as My Yahoo. The site feed URL for my blog is http://mojomom.blogspot.com/atom.xml

I think this tecnology is the wave of the future, and I'm putting energy into mastering the basics. News readers allow you to create a customized web-based news page. Imagine looking at a newspaper where you could subscribe to columns and articles that reflect your personalized interests. A news reader such as My Yahoo allows you to get updated blog postings and podcasts you subscribe to automatically delivered to your customized page.

Next step is to learn how to edit my blog template to display my site feed info as a link in the blog sidebar. So far it seems to involve editing raw HTML, which is just beyond the reach of what I'm comfortable messing around with on my own. But stay tuned....

Monday, September 05, 2005

How can you help Katrina victims?

As I've been brainstorming blog posts and my next newsletter this week, all I can think of is the devastation created by Hurricane Katrina.

I hope each of us will look for ways that we can use our resources and talents to help the hurricane victims. My family has made a donation to the American Red Cross in response to their request for cash as the most efficient way to respond to the catastrophe. I am exploring other ways to use MojoMom.com to be useful, and I have ideas that are under development. At the same time, I am also continuing my work as an official partner of Women for Women International. I urge each of you to reach out to Katrina victims in addition to maintaining your commitments to other worthy organizations who are counting on your support.

Living here in the southeast, we in North Carolina are waiting for refugees to show up, and we're developing plans to offer hlep. This will be a long-term recovery that sends reverberations through the whole economy and country. The displaced families of The Grapes of Wrath come to mind. It would be inhumane to neglect Katrina victims the way the Dust Bowl families were left without a safety net to rebuild their lives.

Though a Google search, I found one newspaper article that made the Katrina-Grapes of Wrath connection.