In honor of International Women’s Day, I am reposting this essay. It originally appeared on BlogHer on March 8, 2010.
It’s March and that means it’s Women’s History Month. In schools across the country, children will be learning about Sacagawea and Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth and the myriad other
My Unsung Hero
famous women who are lauded for their role in changing the course of history. They won’t, however, be reading about the everyday woman. The woman who cares for her children, works to support her family, volunteers in her community. The woman who is the backbone of this country and most others around the world. They will not be reading about my grandmother, Jeanette Stromberg. Continue reading
Aimee Whetstine might call it an act of God. I think of it more as serendipity. Whatever it was, something brought us together that morning at BlogHer ’12 in New York City, facing off across from each other at the conference’s annual “speed date” meet and greet.
Welcome to BlogHer ’12
I had already met a host of food bloggers, a pack of DIY bloggers, and a few marketers trying to convince me why their products would be a great fit for my blog. But, since I am not much of a cook, can’t sew for the life of me, and don’t take ads on my personal blog, there wasn’t much of a love connection.
And then I met Aimee.
Anneke Van Woudenberg and Me
Anneke Van Woudenberg is the Senior Researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Africa division. She is considered an international expert on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As you may know, the Congo has erupted into strife, again. Rebel leader, General Bosco Ntaganda, has renewed his past horrors and is kidnapping young boys and men into conscription, burning down villages, and supporting rape as a weapon of war.
Anneke and I sat down recently to discuss why the current crisis in the Congo has resumed and why we should care. You can listen to our conversation here.
This column originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.
Like most around town, we’re headed off on vacation soon. I have a long to-do list including:
- Stop delivery of the mail and newspaper
- Take the dog to the vet
- Get my hair cut
- Hire someone to feed the cat
- Buy sun block
- Worry about the Congo
Yep, you read that right, the Congo. You remember, that’s the place where five million men, women, and children have died over the past fifteen years as a result of the country’s ongoing civil conflict. The place once called the “rape capital of the world.” The place where, in 2009, a United Nations brokered peace treaty was supposed to have ended the infighting. The very same place where said peace treaty gave accused war criminal, Bosco Ntaganda, his very own seat at the negotiations.
Now, General Bosco Ntaganda has decided to mutiny and is busy kidnapping young boys to build his army. Soon we’ll be hearing again about the vicious rapes of young women and girls, the beheadings, the senseless murders, the list goes on. Continue reading
This article was modified for a feature in Diablo Magazine. Given the current (and yet ongoing) discussion regarding women’s choices and the future of feminism, I thought I’d post the full article here.
It had been a busy week for Katrina Alcorn of Oakland. She’d worked late to meet a client’s deadline, she’d missed putting her three children to bed one night too many, and now she was racing off to Target to buy diapers. Afterwards, she’d go home to her husband and together they would clean the house, do the laundry, get dinner ready, put the kids to sleep, and then they would each spend the rest of the evening responding to work emails before falling into bed, exhausted. Suddenly, Katrina realized it was all too much. She pulled the car over to the side of the road, called her husband and said, “I just can’t do it anymore. I have to quit.” Continue reading
This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Diablo Magazine.
Kriste Michelini and Children (Photo courtesy of Diablo Magazine)
It’s 7:30 on a Thursday evening, and 10 moms are gathered at Kriste Michelini’s interior design studio in Danville, drinking wine and eating off a veggie platter artfully arranged by Michelini. This isn’t a book group or PTA fundraiser. These mothers are busy trying to help Bridget Scott finalize the details of her business plan. She’s preparing to open her own chiropractic office, a lifelong dream, but is still determining the best way to incorporate the hours while placing family first. Scott wants to work while her children are in school and is confident she can find clients who will fit her schedule. But issues around finalizing a name and staff management are what she needs advice on. The other women, all business owners themselves, readily offer it.
Scott started Business Owner Moms (BOMS) in 2008 because she wanted to gather like-minded working mothers to offer each other support and guidance as they struggled to balance their professional ambitions with their personal lives. BOMS includes women such as Alamo’s Kristin Kiltz, a mother of three who quit her high-powered job at a public relations firm to set up her own PR consulting business; and Danville’s Julie Ligon, also a mother of three, who left her exciting marketing position at Gap to open one of the first franchise studios of the Dailey Method. The BOMS could have given up work completely to stay home with their children, but haven’t. Continue reading
Posted in April 2012
Tagged Failure, Family, Feminism, Making Change, Marriage, Men, Mid-Life, Mothering, Parenting, Politics, Relationships
This essay originally appeared on BlogHer.
Our Babies, Ourselves
Eighteen years ago this month, my first child arrived six weeks ahead of schedule. While he was hooked up to tubes and toasting away in the ICU’s isolette, I spent those first days as a mother praying for him and reading Annie Lamott’s memoir, Operating Instructions. Between the laughter and the tears, I was hoping to find that elusive “how-to” manual for mothering.