EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

While I was pregnant I hoped for a child who, once born, would leave me alone. Sure, we could stand up on stools and sift flour into a mixing bowl together, or run out into the yard to blow bubbles, and I definitely wanted to spend time with my nose buried in some baby hair, but for long stretches of motherhood I hoped to recline on the couch with a magazine, lulled into quietude by the sounds of my child playing at my feet, moving little plastic sheep in and out of a toy barn.

More… “The “A” Word”

Aileen Jones-Monahan is a writer living in Western Massachusetts. Her mother cut the cord off the television when she was a kid, so she spent a lot of time reading and fashioning “helpful” inventions from junk drawer tidbits. She enjoys these activities to this day. After the birth of her sons, she added napping and eating in bed with the door closed. Her essay “Cigarette Ash in the Frying Pan” was published in the last issue of Hip Mama, and she has work forthcoming in Green Prints and Curve. Keep up with her here.

EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

“Out of sync with their time, yet deeply, longingly feminine, neither knew how to be a woman.” I have been fussing over this sentence from Susan Hertog’s biography of two remarkable writers, Dangerous Ambition: Rebecca West and Dorothy Thompson, for weeks now. Hertog is obviously not referring to how West and Thompson felt about themselves. She is instead raining down judgment from above. First came my kneejerk feminist response: Both women had unhappy marriages and serious ambivalence regarding motherhood, but when male writers disappear on their children or marry the wrong people, we don’t say they have failed as men. Then came my psychoanalytic parsing of the text, trying to glean Hertog’s particular issues with mothering and career and how they might skew her conclusions. Did Hertog’s mother miss important childhood milestones in her daughter’s life because she was working? None of my business, but it’s my typical irrational response… More…