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Month: August 2007

Did you know that you are at war, Moms? Apparently we were drafted.

Did you know that you are at war, Moms? Apparently we were drafted.

And, no, I am not talking about that pesky little war in Iraq where we actually have hundreds of troops being killed in a foreign country. That only makes news when something “newsworthy” occurs because we all know a real war is such a downer to talk about. I am talking about the “newsworthy” war that we all should apparently be up in arms about. The Mommy Wars. Are you battle ready? Did you buy your fatigues and kiss your family goodbye? No? Shame on you! You are at war!

I sat down to try to write a fair and balanced report on this topic. However, there is not one thing that is fair or balanced about this media fueled war. In fact, my keyboard is whimpering in pain as I slam out these words.

Once again the media has grabbed hold of one woman’s opinion about another and simply had to exploit it into the Mommy Wars. I am so sick of this being blown out of proportion and doing nothing but stirring controversy and anger. Why don’t you report it as you really appear to consider it? “Good morning! Today we will be talking about another Rowrrrr Cat Fight between a few women. Stay tuned. We’ll take a hard hitting look at this issue after we report on this pesky Iraq situation.

Yes, morning “news” shows, I am talking to you. Today Show? Good Morning America? CBS This Morning? I have a question for you. Who are you helping? What greater good are you serving when anytime there is a difference of opinions between at least two mothers you immediately jump on the “Ohhhhh, the Mommy Wars are in full battle mode!” and then talk about it as if all mothers are attacking each other? Is your purpose to get us fighting? Is it to make us judge each other? Or is it just so that you can get us mad enough we talk and you get the ratings? I will give you the fact that you get us talking. About you. About how sick and tired we are of being thrown into your “war” and causing strife among a massive portion of the population who quite honestly would rather find support and acceptance from each other.

Can you show me a list of the people you are helping when you are exploiting your Mommy Wars? I can certainly give you a massively extensive list of people you are hurting. Surely, that is not your intent. Is it?

I know I am not alone in my feelings of wanting to end your Mommy Wars once and for all.

A comment from techmama hits it the point many of us feel.

I also commented on another post that people seem to be missing an important point: Why does the media so quickly jump on controversial issues (by blowing it up and throwing in the word “mommy wars”) without showing other opinions? Sharing opinions is just that. Has the media covered moms in support of families staying together on the road? Or is that not news worthy? Can moms have a good debate on issues without the media or public viewing it as mommy wars?

In the comments about this issueBeth — also of Silicon Valley Moms Blog– brings up a very important point about this entire Mommy Wars topic that gets the media whipped into a frenzy.

One point that is being lost is the media frenzy about creating “mommy wars” from opinions mom have on specific issues. They don’t jump on it when moms talk about their positive thoughts – but if a mom dares share a controversial view – then they jump on it. I want to see the media share our positive messages also. I am tired of this!

Exactly! Why can’t there be more stories on support, helping one another, or the tons of support groups that Moms are involved in? Where is your story on BlogHers Act? Where is your story on Moms supporting another Mom who has cancer? Those who rally around her and are doing things to support her in her life? Where are those stories?

Is there going to be a day where every woman–every mom–agrees with each other? Of course not. If I hear another mom say that all women should work outside the home full time or they are poor examples to their children, will I agree with her? No. Does that put me at war with her? Absolutely NOT. On the other side of the coin, if I hear a mother say that every mom should stay at home with her children or they are bad mothers, will I agree with her? Of course not. Am I at war with her? Absolutely NOT.

We don’t want your “war.” We do not want to be exploited for your Mommy War ratings. Do you want to know what we want?

We want to find an even playing field where we can both agree and disagree without having the media jump into the fray and tell us we are at “war” with each other. We want to find support and learn from our different experiences. We want you to know that we don’t always have to agree with each other to still respect each other. We CAN agree to disagree without your contrived controversies and made-up wars.

Now even Katie Couric is being thrown into this and having her mothering attacked by covering the REAL war in Iraq.

In two separate segments yesterday, Fox News attacked CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric for reporting from the ground in Iraq, calling it “a desperate move” and asking if it was a “ratings ploy or legitimate journalism.”

She is doing her job. HER JOB, people. But no. It is not her job that is in question. It is her mothering.

On Your World With Neil Cavuto, guest host Dagen McDowell featured Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, who characterized Couric’s trip as “a clear act of desperation” by a single mother whose “priorities [are] so determined by her ambition rather than her children’s welfare.” Crouse pointedly accused Couric of being a bad mother for going to cover Iraq:

I would say the same thing if this were a man journalist going out there, a male anchor, because when you look at the choice she’s making, she’s saying my ratings are more important than my children. That’s the bottom line.“

First, there are many men journalists going out there and I have yet to read an attack on his parenting skills. Secondly, I have searched all over to find Katie Couric saying that her ratings are more important than her children and have yet to find it. Why? Because that is NOT what she is doing. Just as Elizabeth Edwards is not a terrible mother for taking her children on the campaign trail. Two different high profile mothers. Two different situations. Both being attacked for their personal choices.

I have been taken to task before for talking about the Mommy Wars here as it gives them a forum. I respectfully disagree. You won’t silence me when you throw trash at me. You are going to from hear me. And you are going to hear me tell you that you are wrong to pit mothers against mothers. Because that appears to be the goal here.

It has been noted that the reason the Mommy Wars exist in first place is because women can be judgmental and vicious to each other. Really? There’s a newsflash for you. You can title it DUH! But to add fuel to that fire and use your weapons of mass destruction against us only hurts mothers everywhere–regardless of who they are. (And trust me on this one. There are weapons of mass destruction used in this “war” and I can find them easily and show you how you are making this war worse for motherhood as a whole.)

End it. Now. It is time for mothers to just stand up and say ENOUGH. We don’t have to agree with each other. We don’t have to live the same lifestyles, make the same choices or have the same political views to work together to stop this overly blown out of proportion “war” that we did not sign up for or agree to be a part of.

Are you sick of this, too, Moms? Then let’s end it. Stand with me and tell the media to cut the crap, end their fueling of this idiocy and let us be who we are without pitting us against each other.

Because frakly, I have children to raise and a life to live and don’t have time to fight the Mommy War that the media so badly wants me to fight. I am over it. OVER. IT.

Are you, too. Share it. Speak out against it. Write about it. Tell them to cut the crap and move along to real stories. It’s what I am doing and will continue to do. Because Moms? I am not at war with you. I never have been and have no plans on enlisting.


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The big attitude talk of 2007

The big attitude talk of 2007

It is the beginning of a new school year. Which means what? Time to talk about attitude with the teen. I have to say the conversation twisted in ways you might not expect. Talking with a teen is never a dull experience, that is for sure. So, being the dutiful parent that I am, we sat down and our conversation went something like this:

It is the start of a new school year. That means there is a clean slate. Everything from the past two years is over, done with, in the past.

Duh.

What I am trying to say is that there are new people. I know some of your friends moved and some went on to new schools. But, you will be fine. It is a chance to make new friends. New starts.

You act like I have never been through this before.

I just think it is important to talk about this.

Whatever.

So, what if you are with a group of people and they are all worked up about something, does that mean you have to get involved with their drama?

Depends on the drama.

No. It depends on whether or not it effects you. And the mean girls? What about if they start giving you grief?

I make them cry. It’s not like they won’t deserve it.

No. Just no. You walk away and ignore them. They feed off of stuff like that. You will just make it worse.

*eyeroll*

Now listen, and this really is important. Teachers. You have to show them the respect they deserve. I mean it.

What? I am totally cool with the teachers. Teachers love me.

Do I need to remind you of the incident with the Hair Dean of last year?

No. But in my defense it was completely stupid and SHE started it.

Irrelevant. You didn’t have to take the bait and you certainly didn’t have to goad her into conversations just for your amusement to fluster her.

Yeah. But it was seriously hilarious.

Not. The. Point. I just want it to be a good year for you. Last year was tough. I know it was tough for all of us, but you seemed to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. I just want it to be good this year. For everyone.

Okay. Okay. I get it. Can I go now?

Hang on. One final thing. I know you want to get involved and enjoy this year, but you need to remember not to overcommit yourself. You have to have time to relax and not be so stressed about school stuff.

I know.

And if you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed out? Then what?

I ask for help.

There is no shame in asking for help.

Jeez! I know all this. Come on! I want to go play WoW. Can I go now? *eyeroll*

Yes. I think it was good for us to have this talk. But remember, Mom, it is all about your attitude. Keep it in check, okay?

Fine. Now go do your homework. I have a raid tonight.

Teens these days! They can be such a pain in the ass sometimes with their “you should have a better attitude” speeches. *eyeroll*

Whatever!

Moms (even “alpha-moms”) can be “real” gamers. Get over it!

Moms (even “alpha-moms”) can be “real” gamers. Get over it!

There seems to be a recent outcry about the fact that gaming companies (such as Nintendo) have been reaching out to the so-called “Alpha Mom” when it comes to gaming. Especially with the Wii. Oh? And your point would be what?

I have to be honest when I say I am so over the “we are hard core gamers and they should focus on making games for us” attitude. Over. It. I have heard and read accounts of gamers who get seriously pissed off about the fact there are games created that are not “hardcore” but are being marketed to the maternal set. Cry me a river, boys. Your whining pisses me off!

Do I have a Wii? Yes. Do I have a DS? Yes. Do I have every game console (except PS3)? Yes. More importantly, do I play them? YES. Do I play MMORPGs? Yes. And I am *gasp* a Mom. Can you handle that truth?

But let’s get back to the real reason I am fired up. If I hear one more complaint or whine about companies that are looking to lure in/market to/reach out to the “alpha moms”, I just may have to open up a huge can of whoop ass on someone.

It is a simple concept. They show us the fun games. The games that will appeal to an entire family. They know (because they are smart and not caught up in whining about “hardcore” vs “casual” gaming) that if they can get Mom in on the gaming, they have won a huge battle. So what if you, Mr. Hardcore Serious Gamer Dude, is not a fan of games such as Wii Boogie. Easy solution. Don’t play it. I happen to have it, love it and play it with my entire family.

So why should game developers and companies look to demographics such as the alpha-mom set? (Besides the fact that we are the ones who make the majority of the household purchases?) Well, since I enjoy it, I share that fun with friends. They in turn buy the console and the game and the cycle continues.

Honey, that’s not ignoring the gamers that came before us. That is creating an entire new generation of gamers. Plus, if they sell these games to us “casual gamers” don’t you think that will equal profit, which leads to the ability to create more games which will get you, Mr. Hardcore Serious Gamer Dude, more of the types of games you want. And yes, I know that the first person shooter games are popular. You think I can’t whip someone on those, too? I may be able to kick up my heals with games like Wii Sports and Wii Boogie, but I can kick ass with the best of them on Halo.

What so many pissed off “gamers” seem to forget is that when they sell games to get the “Alpha Mom” and she gets her family involved (even if these are the “more casual” games), they are selling them to the generation that is probably going to kick your ass in your “hardcore game” within a few years. You have to learn to walk before you run. Soon, there will be an entire set of gamers that will be running…right over you in your game.

So let’s talk MMORPGs.

A while back on my gaming blog I had someone link to me and say that “I was ruining the integrity of true gaming by calling myself a gamer and playing World of Warcraft.

(Yes, I laughed, too.)

I am very thankful to Blizzard for taking a chance on me and hooking me up with WoW. I was at a point that not only did I not get the appeal, but I was ready to get it out of the house. They got it. They realized that if you get the mom, you get the family. I really do enjoy WoW. I have fun playing. And, yes, I can probably whip the crap out of a lot of the whiners on the game because I don’t worry about whether or not I am a “real” gamer or not. I just play.

Guess what, Mr. Serious Gamer Dude? Remember when you were crying a river over the delayed release of Blizzard’s Burning Crusade? Remember that? I was alpha testing it. Then beta testing it. Now, I am raiding with the best of them on it. Why? Because gaming is not limited to a certain minuscule demographic. Women play games. Including the “hardcore” games that you seem to feel you have cornered the market on. Even Moms play them. Yes, really!

The Newsweek blog Level Up wrote a re-cap of E3 and mentioned this very issue of not meeting the needs of the core gamer.

Elephant in the room:

The unfulfilled needs of the core Nintendo gamer, who’s becoming as invisible as Snuffleupagus while the company pursues Alpha Moms and active seniors.

The “needs of the core Nintendo gamer”? Like to have your every gaming need met? To have them ensure your gaming whims are taken care of with every release? To have your hand held? To ensure that a huge company like Nintendo meets only your needs and not those of a huge audience? To that I say, put your big girl panties on and get over it. Casual gamers are here. To stay. And we are making the company that you are whining about a huge profit.

Just as every book is not a thriller and every movie is not and action/adventure movie, not every game is going to fall into the “hardcore” gaming category. That is just common sense and good business.

Feeling neglected? Feeling like game developers need to listen to what you want and what you need?

Go cry to your guild and move over. We want to play.


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I heart Nintendo

I heart Nintendo

I love Nintendo. I love the people I have met who work with and/or for Nintendo.

I am thinking of getting a tattoo on my lower back that can peek out of my low rise jeans that says, “I heart Nintendo” for all the world to see. Except that I don’t wear low rise jeans. And tattoos hurt. But I totally would endure the pain for them. Because? I heart Nintendo and my friends associated with them who love me enough to help me help them let me love Nintendo.

Maybe I can write it in Sanskrit (you know, to be different) that says “I heart Nintendo.”  Anyone know Sanskrit?

Is there a Chinese symbol like peace, and hope and love for “Nintendo” that is in existence? Because? That is the most beautifully written language ever. I could totally get that! (Anyone know Chinese tattoo art?)

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Remember: Go away. Not towards!

Remember: Go away. Not towards!

I am in Houston right now.

Once you hit the outskirts you begin to see the signs. What signs? These signs:

hurricane-dean.JPG

Seriously? I mean seriously? Do we not remember the mass exodus of 2005? I have to remember the basic rule:

Go away from hurricanes. Not towards them.

Apparently, I tend to get that one wrong. A lot.

 

 

But I graduated!

But I graduated!

Tonight I had one of my World Famous Anxiety Attacks. (Stop by the gift shop and pick up your souvenir mugs and hats–sponsored by the makers of Xanax.) I am talking about one of those chest constricting, can’t breathe, coming out of my skin type of anxiety attack. What was I doing when it kicked into high gear?

Filling out back to school paper work for the kids.

Wha-huh?

I am not going back to school. I do not have to take tests, write papers or deal with peer pressure. I will still be working at home. Just with less little people around.

I have a manuscript deadline and article deadlines that don’t give me anxiety attacks. I have people who need things from me everyday who do not give me anxiety attacks. Yet one night of filling out back to school paper work had me completely freaked out.

Again…wha-huh?

Is it because I am signing back on with the Stepfords again? Is it because I am volunteering in both schools this year? Is it because I thoroughly enjoy my kids’ company and really do not want them to go back to school? (Yes, I am serious. Read back at most of my back to school entries. I hate when they go back after a long time at home.)

I want to be involved with the kids and their education.

I want to be a presence in the schools–known and knowing who’s who.

I want to help out.

I do not feel like I have signed on to do too much. To be honest, I almost feel as if I need to should do more. (And we all know that is not the right decision. I am right where I should be on what I have committed to do.)

I filled out paperwork and had an anxiety attack that registered off the charts. (If these things were registered in some way.)

What. The. Hell.

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.