Sunday Reads: when mom's values are embarrassing, babies in bars, some mother's story, "brat bans"

My Sunday Reads are a bit on the scanty side today. I spent the morning with two writer/blogger friends, Stephanie Precourt and Jennifer Margulis, and several kids (between the three of us we have 13 children, but “only” five were in attendance this morning, ha!) Jennifer was in Chicago researching her forthcoming book “The Business of Baby”, which she’s describing as the Fast-Food Nation of the baby industry (I cannot wait to read it, but it won’t come out until 2013!) The three of us threw together a last-minute park date, so I didn’t have nearly as much time for curling up with Anne Shirley today (I’m on to Anne of the Island now, and can I say how thrilled I was to find out so many of you are Anne fans, too?)

And…I just realized, I didn’t get a single picture. Ah, well. It was a lovely morning with two of my favorite people, and if you’re looking for good reading today, their blogs are great places to start.

A few other posts that caught my eye this week:

  • When does frugal become embarrassing? at Frugal Mama. If your parenting values lead you away from the mainstream path at times, you may find yourself worrying whether those “weird” lunches you pack your kids or your stance against commercial TV is hurting more than helping. I believe an issue that needs to be dealt with thoughtfully, and while it’s important to live our values, we also need to keep in mind more than just our own adult agendas. While this post deals specifically with the issue of frugal living, it’s applicable to so many things in life! Definitely worth checking out the post and jumping into the discussion afterward.
  • I’m digging the honest, anonymous questionnaires by moms at somemother. It’s kind of like a meme meets mom Q&A. Cool to see the differences and the common threads that bind us all.
  • So a baby walked into a bar by Mom-101. Liz describes a recent visit to Spain and how very family- and child-friendly the culture there is – in stark contrast to the United States, which gives so much lip service to being “family-friendly” but then gleefully embraces terms like “brat ban.” Speaking of that whole debate, I was a guest on SimpleMom’s latest podcast, “No Kids Allowed,” and we spent a good portion of the show talking about so-called brat bans and what they really say about the society we live in. It’s not exactly a “read,” but if you’ve got some dishes to do or a pile of laundry to fold, it’s a great way to keep your mind occupied! I’ve also written an essay for Babble about this topic which should go live soon – I’ll link over when it’s up.

Speaking of Babble, here’s my very last Strollerderby post: Is Cooking Still “Women’s Work”? I’ll still be writing a lot for Babble – I have two essays coming out soon and my brand-new Voices blog.

But as much as I loved working with the Strollerderby folk, I found the pace too challenging to keep up with, particularly with the other projects I’ve got going on this fall. I’m always trying to be focused and decisive about what I bring into my life to make sure there’s room for the stuff that matters most to me, but it sure takes a lot of trial and error.

Speaking of other projects, I have been thrilled by the response to my writing classes, beginning September 12. Check them out, and if you’re interested, don’t wait too long! The “Writing Intensive” (track A, class 2) seems to be filling particularly fast.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you for Mindful Monday tomorrow.

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