Edition Number Eight
Hi Everyone,

I am still glowing from Saturday’s first event in NY! Thank you to everyone who came out and shared their energy, enthusiasm and experiences. The room and all of you were radiant. What a profound reminder for me that power and strength comes from sharing, in being open minded and hearted, and through vulnerability the heart opens and creates space to step into our own power; enabling us to blossom and grow. While it’s miraculous to be able to connect in multiple, digital ways there’s just no substitute for the real IRL thing. Thank you for helping my heart stretch and open a little more. Video of the chat will be on the site soon and for now you can watch it here.

In this edition's Mama-adjacent news: The Women’s March is Saturday - who’s going? Also, Terry Gross’s interview with “mom” podcaster Hillary Frank is, well, the frankest convo I’ve heard her have. Jill Kargman has a very funny essay on why we need to talk honestly about death with our kids; Julia Roitfeld suggests we wear pink and I agree; read about Kondo-ing tips to avoid; lunches for the littles to love; and a sobering article on medications that could help a woman through her miscarriage — if only they were readily available in the U.S. #ReasonstovisitCanada.

I’m also expanding the site soon and would love your input and ideas. What do you want to read more of? What kind of person would you like to be featured, and how? I don’t know yet how I will approach the “mama profile” in a TBD Mama way. But I do know this: It will be perfectly imperfect.

With warmth from the cold,
Wow, I’ve never heard Terry Gross be so uncomfortable in conversation as she practically apologizes for this “adult conversation about childbirth.” As if talking about the specifics of childbirth is akin to dropping some triple X rated sex tape? Given Fresh Air has tackled far more provocative topics before this was bizarro but revelatory in so far that she reflects a greater cultural dis-ease, even on NPR, in talking frankly about childbirth and that body part that is undeniably involved in the process: VAGINAS. Vagina, vagina, vagina!! Still clearly a dangerous word when spoken or written lest it unleash the power and imagined fury of she who dares to speak it, let alone about it.

This candid conversation tracks Hillary Franks’s traumatic vaginal injury during her child’s delivery that led to the genesis of her popular podcast, “The Longest Shortest Time,” and an unexpected embrace of feminism (Frank admits she, at first, thought it unnecessary and "old-fashioned.") She tracks the systemic insults she endured when trying to produce an honest show about birth and shares how men and women pushed back and insisted it was inappropriate content despite plenty of articles and ads promoting Viagra and erectile dysfunction. Obsv, because, patriarchy. 

The conversation covers the “special misogyny reserved for women” who dare to talk honestly period: not only about being moms but also about their sometimes horrific birthing experiences. Is it because we, as women, are so powerful as creators, literally as magical vessels with the superpower to grow and deliver life, that Culture is in equal parts awe and resentment of us? Frank's personal journey to develop an honest and important podcast for women, as well as the many challenges she overcame to talk about it on public radio, reveal the stifling, systemic limits and blatant double standards even the “liberal media” adheres to in 2019, even on NPR.
Jill Kargman (creator and lead in Odd Mom Out) is one of the funniest writers out there who I had the pleasure of sitting next to at an otherwise super dull dinner party many years ago. Her personal essays are always funny, easy breezy to read, and spot on emotionally. Telling the truth really is the path of least resistance, and that extends to our kids too. Here’s a wholly satisfying read that makes the case for normalizing the topic of mortality and keeping the conversation, well, real.
Firstly, it’s TOMORROW, January 19. Secondly, it’s happening everywhere, well, probably in your city or a city near you. Thirdly, despite the controversies flaring among groups, please pick one and just go. Or watch Handmaid’s Tale for some inspiration-slash-motivation.
Kebobs? A DIY pizza situation? I am a lazy and limited lunch maker and can not wait for a school service that does this for me. In the meantime, this list provided much needed inspiration to help me think beyond Sun Butter & J... maybe not beyond but I could realistically upgrade to a Sun Butter, BANANA and J. Ladies, it's about progress not perfection.
Not new, but very now, especially with Marie Kondo's delightful show on Netflix that’s inspiring people everywhere to tidy up and let-it-go. But before you proceed to KonMari your life, one category at a time, Mind Body Green offers some guidance on what not to do before you begin. While the idea of thanking every object before releasing or keeping it may sound bonkers to do with inanimate objects it does work --and cultivates a newfound appreciation for what we choose to keep in our homes, as opposed to our things holding us emotional hostage.

I also like how KonMari asks a simple question: Does it spark joy? Framing the question this way provides a subtle but powerful shift in POV that invites a sense of mindful renewal and expansion rather than painful elimination and loss. Letting go of the old "thing" that no longer serves you, with love, does allow for the new.
While many people associate pink with babies and little girls wearing pink doesn’t necessarily mean you identify as either. Indeed, incorporating something pink into your life can subconsciously conjure and offer more; both compassion and an open heart. I’m a big believer in color therapy (does drinking rosé  count ? ) and frequently wear a pink quartz bracelet or pink lipstick in order to lift my mood and attract and share pink energy: LOVE.

While you and I may not be in the market for a Moschino My Little Pony sweater (maybe your daughter or son is?) there’s something really right about embracing pink during these sun-starved months. Romy and the Bunnies notoriously links to sites where the item has sold out but most items can be found elsewhere, often on sale, with a little Google sleuthing. Because maybe you do want-slash-need the Saint Laurent bomber, especially if it's 60% off on Outnet?!
This article stung. As someone who is open about having had two miscarriages, both toward the end of the first trimester, it would have been SO helpful to have had any option to lessen the discomfort, pain and agonizing uncertainty. Mifepristone (aka the “abortion pill”) is readily offered to assist certain women in their miscarriages all the Western world over except for here where the drug is not yet approved, difficult to get, and highly politicized. For example, my OB in NY can not prescribe it. Indeed, didn't even mention it. Instead, when I began bleeding for what would be my second miscarriage, I bled in a semi twilight zone for four torturous days. The baby's heart was initially still strong, but then Kamuti and I had to hope and guess as the OB told me flatly: Just wait it out and see . Can you imagine? Unfortunately, I’m sure many of you can.

Imagine you instead had been offered the choice of using medication/s during your otherwise hellish miscarriage that could have offered some agency, dignity and a sliver of “control” as you "pass," what is truly a horrific experience. Even in the blue state of NY this isn't an option for women because the majority in government still wants to govern women’s bodies. 

Let’s get this tough conversation started. No woman should have to suffer more suffering than her miscarriage already guarantees. Better yet, we can begin to de-stigmatize the drug and the experience by talking about our own miscarriages more readily and then move onto our legislators to talk about them too.