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MamaBlogger365 – The Feminist Boudoir

MamaBlogger365 is thrilled to feature a virtual tour of The Feminist Boudoir, a M.O.M. Exhibit by Joy Rose and paintings by Jo Jayson. It was part of the M.O.M. Conference at Marymount Manhattan College, Mamapalooza Festival and MAMAExpo, May 23-25 2011.

The Feminist Boudoir features feminist mother-art pieces like The Feminist Icon’s Closet, Sarah Palin’s Sweater, Carol Evans’ Crown, Hillary’s Hotpants, and a work-in-progress featuring Phyllis Chesler.

Film by Stephanie Schleicher; narrated by Kelly Hansen.

Write for us and support MamaBlogger365, a joint effort of Mamapalooza and the Museum of Motherhood to help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

MamaBlogger365 – #HAIKU #MOTHER by @elenaskoko

When I use my fingers, the food is warm and tastes like mother.

Smells like freshly made rosetta, tastes like crème brulée. My baby.

For a moment I didn’t think of you. I felt guilty. How could I forget for a minute alone that I have you and you have me?

When we leave the place where you were happy, will you blame me?

“Home is where you’ve got your stuff.” My mom. She packed all my stuff in boxes when I left.

My body is tired. My baby is crying. She needs me every second of her open eyes. I am here, I am your ship, have no fear.

I am the guardian of your sleep. Now, sleep sleep sleep…

My baby knows food is good for her health. She takes it in homeopathic doses.

I have a tip for a goodnight sleep. Give her a tit and she’ll fall in a bit. Add a kiss for a sweet bliss.

My one-year-old pulled up her t-shirt and offered me her breast. I kissed it and we both laughed.

I went to my mother. I gave her my child and collapsed. Now I could. She gave the baby to grandpa and held me in her arms all night.

Silence after six. My baby sleeps. Only the crisp sound of a keyboard.

Toddle, my creature, toddle. The world is yours.

I am here, as I was here, and I’ll always be. If I leave, I’ll be back. With you forever. Now, would you please stop crying?

How fascinating is human nature! Within myself I make food for my baby, as much as she needs, as long as she wants.

I look at you. I’m watching you. I see you.

13 months to come, but when she sleeps sucking on her thumb, she still looks like a little fetus in my womb.

I confess: I check out if she breathes every time she naps more than one and a half hour. She breathes.

There are guilty no no days. Today.

I put her in her little bed, suffered in silence for a while, then put her back in our big bed.

Quietly, I sneak out of the bed, walk out of the room on the tip of my toes, then keep quietly digiting. Nap silence.

Bio: Elena Skoko is a singer, artist and mom. She is the author of “Memoirs of a Singing Birth” and frontwoman of Bluebird & Skoko band. Her tweet poetry project #HAIKU #MOTHER tries to capture the beauty of child’s metamorphosis in time, the subtle mother and child relationship, and many little everyday things that have the power to reach deep inside with piercing greatness. They are like sudden bites of ecstasy that she shares in form of tweets. Follow her @elenaskoko and visit her website www.sugarbabe.org for more information. She will present her memoirs at MAMA EXPO conference.

Support MamaBlogger365 and help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

Photo credit: Mother And Baby by Anna Cervova; author photo courtesy of author.

MamaBlogger365 – What does it mean to be a mother? by M.J. Kang

I remember when I was pregnant and many well-meaning friends said to me, “Get your sleep now because once the baby arrives…” I did not get enough sleep once my daughter arrived. I would stay awake watching her breathe. I loved seeing her stomach move up and down and I smiled at each breath because she was alive, she was here, I was a mom.

What does it mean to be a mother? It means to laugh when I find green Play-Doh smashed in my pocket. To not worry or care that I haven’t washed my hair in a five days because all the other moms haven’t either. To enjoy all of the children’s music that plays over and over again in the car while we drive and get excited by a different interpretation of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

My life has changed and it has grown bigger, fuller, and richer. I have someone in my life who spontaneously runs up to me, hugs me, kisses me, and tells me she loves me just because. Just because. How lucky am I!

Bio: M.J. Kang is a stay at home mother based in Santa Monica, CA. She was born in Seoul, Korea, raised in Toronto, Canada and has lived anywhere work has taken her. Prior to being a SAHM, she was an award-winning playwright with seven produced plays and a recipient of multiple awards, grants, and several playwright-in-residencies. She has been named in Canada’s Who’s Who since 1997 for her work as both a writer and actor. The photo above was taken the day before they hiked Machu Picchu. M.J. Kang blogs at Natural Traveling Mama.

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When Your Child Turns 18, Does Parenting Stop?

By: Alexis Chapman

This was a topic that was brought up on the JoinMama community by a member. www.joinmama.ning.com When does the responsibility for parenting end?  Should parents close the door to their children and not be overly active in their lives once they turn 18, the legal age of an adult in the United States?  My opinion is definitely not!  I do not have children yet, but given the experience that I have had in my life, with parents who decided not to sever the cords when their 3 children turned 18, I will follow in their footsteps.  A stronger relationship between the child and parent can be formed once the child is older.  The child will have more experiences and be able to reflect on their childhood experiences.  Also, this allows a human to human relationship to occur between parent and child.  I consider this an evolution of the relationship, in a positive way.  I cannot imagine being 33 and having the rapport with my parents that I had when I was 16, it would be awful.  I have been able to apologize for some of the choices I have made, along with having a better understanding of the choices my parents made.  One decision was getting divorced, I initially wanted to title this post “Why I thank my Mom for leaving my Dad and other things I am grateful for as an adult” but my Mother didn’t think that would be appropriate.  I explained that it was just some dark humor and that I would never maliciously slam my parents via a public forum, and she said she knew this and understood, but that it would be more appropriate and not be offensive if I steered clear of that title.  Out of respect for my Mother, and this alone, I 86’d  the title.

It’s true, I am thankful my Mother left my Father and not because it was easy for either parent to deal with divorce, and not because I was horribly spoiled because of the divorce (that was the younger sister) but because as an adult I can look at the HUGE leap of faith my mother took and the strength that she had to make a decision to leave the man she had been with for 17 years, 3 kids later and working full time in a small town where our last name was held in esteem and go out on her own, circa the 1980’s. at age 35, 2 years older then I am now.  I would never have appreciated the trials she went through or the sheer force of will that this woman possess had I not had a relationship with her as an adult.  The healing process between teenager and adult Alexis with my Mom would never had occurred, and who knows if I would have remained bitter of my interpretation of events as opposed to being an adult and experiencing an adult relationship with both mother and father.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t view my parents as parents and love them as a child loves them, because that is far from the truth.  As stated earlier, it is an evolution of the relationship and bond between my parents and myself.  This is the same for both of my siblings as well.  Not only has the relationship between my parents and each sibling evolved, but the relationship between us siblings has evolved as well.

Does this mean that everything is hunky dory and that we all get along like some Norman Rockwell dream? No.  But I do know that there have been personal adult issues that my siblings and I have gone through that would have been much more difficult without the relationship we currently have with our parents.  For me, it was a combination of mental health and substance abuse.  Without the strength of my core family and stability, understanding  and structure that they could offer, I wouldn’t be here.  Again, not a fairy tale situation, just an example of what hard work and continuing to bridge communication gaps and gain understanding can do.  And it’s awesome as a child of these 2 flawed, unique, amazing human beings to have a family dinner where they can be in the same room as each other and understand that they brought 3 children into this world, all of who are well over the age of 18, yet they are still their children and we can all laugh together.  To me, that is family.  That is an example of why parenting shouldn’t end when the children turn 18.  That’s just the beginning of the next evolution.

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