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Mothering › Child Articles

Sexy Little Girls

The sexualization of young girls seems to be a disturbing trend in this country, and it leaves me deeply concerned about the types of things that will be marketed to my daughter as she gets older. Sadly, I didn't even have to wait that long to discover inappropriate girls clothing, while searching for my daughter's first bathing suit. I was shocked that a leopard print string bikini was being sold for girls ages ONE through five. When I was a kid, my one piece suits had rainbows and hearts on them. Not that those suits don't still exist, but I found my brow... read more

The Scars Mommy Hides

           There are so many different mothers and children and so many different situations and lifestyles and choices and preferenes that it is quite difficult to make any generalities about mothering.   What might be right for one wealthy mother with a host of nannies in Beverly Hills is oftentimes different than what is right for the stay at home mom in rural America or the working mom in one of our nation’s cities or the multitudes of mothers across the world in Finland or France or Afghanistan or Zimbabwe.     But the more moms that I talk to, the more two... read more

A Grieving Sibling Gets a Message from Her Sister

  By Suzanne Leigh   My daughters never looked alike: one resembled mom, the second takes after dad. One was pensive, creative and forever clutching a sketchpad; the other is bolder, more impetuous, a practical Ms. Fix-it commandeering electronics of all kinds and swiftly repairing a vacuum cleaner while her mom flounders on the sidelines.   Marissa is in fourth grade; she’s the same age as Natasha was when she had recovered from her brain tumor treatment and was happy and apparently healthy, before the beast came back and gradually sucked out her joyfulness and... read more

8 Months After Losing My Child to Cancer: 5 things that help; 4 that don't

By Suzanne Leigh   What helps:   1. When I hear her name. My daughter’s name is Natasha; I love hearing people say her name; I wish they’d say it more often. I love seeing her name on her possessions, including (inexplicably) her medications that we continue to hoard. I even like seeing new spam sneak into her inbox, or junk mail addressed to her in our mailbox. Recently a former classmate recognized me at the pool where my younger daughter was taking classes. “Are you Natasha’s mother?” Those words made my soul sing. Her name: Thank you! Reference to me as... read more

Why Cultural Gender Role Messages Matter

                I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest.  We were decorating her room and hanging curtains.  We ended up returning a set of curtains because I thought they looked too “princessy.”  I didn’t want her room to be a castle.  I didn’t want her to be a princess.  I wanted her to be a kind, sweet, generous, compassionate, intelligent, determined, spunky child.  I didn’t want her to think the world has been handed to her.  I didn’t want her throwing temper tantrums for the latest frilly toys.  I wanted a daughter.  Not a princess.   Well, it’s... read more

8 Misconceptions About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

I planned on going back to work when my first child was six weeks old, but ended up delaying that plan by, oh let's see... almost twelve years now. In that time I've come across many misconceptions about being a stay-at-home mom, some of them my own. Here are just a few:   1. It’s Boring   This kind of depends on your definition of boring. For example: My five year old thinks changing her underwear every morning is boring. My mother thinks doing less than five tasks at once or sitting for longer than thirty seconds is boring. I tend to fall somewhere in between... read more

6 Realizations that Surprise me a Year after the Death of my Daughter

  By Suzanne Leigh   ·        1. That I think the Victorians might have had the right idea. Dressing in black mourning clothes, shunning celebrations and receiving visitors who came to pay homage to the deceased child was what was expected of bereaved mothers in the 19th century. At one time I’d have viewed these antiquated mores as rigid, inappropriate and punitive. After losing my daughter, they sound like a healthy way of being true to one’s grief and sharing it with the community in a somber manner congruent with our sadness. Author Jana Riess describes mourning... read more

This Too Shall Pass

  Dear Tired, Stressed Out, In-Much-Need-Of-A-Shower Mom,   You were up every hour last night nursing a teething baby.  Cringing from the bites, cringing from the time on the clock, cringing from the remnants of the baby weight on your tummy.   This too shall pass.   You walked into Target with three smiling little tots.  You were just running in for some laundry detergent and some milk.  You walked out without laundry detergent, without milk, and with a screaming two year old and a sobbing infant.     This too shall pass.   You are sitting with ice on your... read more

Parents of Night Wakers Anonymous

  My name is Amy, and my three year old daughter does not sleep through the night. Not only that, but I [gasp!] still nurse her to sleep. Sometimes I feel like people with children who wake up at night should be meeting in a church basement somewhere, drinking coffee out of styrofoam cups with bags under our eyes, secretly confessing our frustrations about sleep deprivation. Instead, I’ve always been extremely open about my daughter’s night waking, because I want new parents to know that they're not alone, they're not doing anything "wrong," and I firmly... read more

Books For and About Strong Girls

I have three little girls five years old and younger, and they love princesses.  I don’t think there has been a single day over the last two years that at least one person in our house hasn’t been wearing a tiara and pearls.  We have it all -- the dresses, the boas, and the books.  Oh the books!   I know little tot princess culture is a hot topic of sorts, with some people hating everything about it and other people thinking it is a harmless phase that many little girls go through.   I guess you could say I’m kind of in the middle.  I don’t see any problem... read more

Mothering › Child Articles