Category Archives: Site News

Raising feminist children

My new site idea is taking a lot longer to implement than I want, because of a lot of other junk going on, so I’m just gonna hop back in here and make a new post. Melaina over at Transatlantic Blonde has been nagging me to join her Feminist Friday. And I say nagging in the most loving way possible, because I know she knows that I actually do want to participate and actually do need some prodding to get around to doing it. ūüėČ

Forgive me, as I’m using an app on my iPad to blog this, and I have never used it before, so I might not figure out how to add links and pretty stuff just yet, but here we go.

This week’s topic is on raising feminist children. I want to address something I’ve read many times that really bugs me. I’m talking about comments that go something like this, “I don’t want to stay home with my children because I don’t want them to think that women NEED to stay home.”

If you don’t want to or can’t stay home with your children, then fair enough. But if this is really your only reason for not doing it, I kinda have to WTF for a minute here. If you are a doctor, will your kids think women NEED to be doctors? Or that women NEED to work outside the home? OF COURSE NOT. Surely you do not honestly believe that your career choice (or non-career choice) is the deciding factor in what your children will believe is possible for women. Whether you stay home or not, there are many other things you’ll be doing to show your kids what is possible.

At the present time, I’m a SAHM. I don’t know how long that will last, due to many reasons, but anyway, it’s true now. But my girls see their aunts who have jobs, their grandmothers who are retired from jobs, their friends’ mothers, some of whom have jobs, had jobs, are looking for jobs‚Ķ. We go out to museums, amusement parks, restaurants, doctors’ offices, supermarkets, and shops where women are visibly employed. I have to say, I do not stress at all that my girls will think they have no choice but to stay home with their children in the years to come.

Actually, I am more worried that if they WANT to stay home, it won’t be an option. But perhaps that’s a topic for another day.

(There is something I do find myself having to work at, though, and that’s keeping other bias out of my parenting. I mean little things like, when we were at a zoo, and my gut reaction was to say “ew!” at an ugly insect. But I realized I don’t want my daughter saying “ew!” just because I think it’s nasty. She might like insects, and that’s ok. So I try to remember to say “look at this!” instead. She can decide if it’s nasty for herself.)

A rare Tuesday blog post!

I didn’t get around to posting on Friday, nor on Sunday or Monday, although I did think about it. Ho hum.

I just thought I’d give a little update on some of the reasons it’s taking me so long to get back into blogging.

I’m going to skip all the pregnancy- and motherhood-related reasons, because I’m just tired of talking about that. So, one evening, it was time for bed, and I closed my laptop. I had a reasonable night’s sleep, and woke up in the morning, did my usual morning stuff, and sat down in front of my laptop again. I opened it, and it did not awaken as it usually does. I checked the power cable, I checked the battery, I pressed the “on” button, and it still did not awaken or turn on. I reached back into the dark recesses of my brain for my Mac Genius training, and tried some nerdier stuff, and none of that worked either. I went on Thomas’ laptop and went to Apple’s support page and made sure that the dark recesses of my brain were remembering correctly and hadn’t left anything out. There was just no way around this. My laptop had died.

I can’t say it’s totally out of nowhere. My laptop has not had the easiest life, and there is plenty of cosmetic damage to betray that fact. Still, there was nothing immediately preceding the incident to really prepare me for the likelihood of this happening. It’s not ideal, I thought, but it’s ok. We have a desktop computer, and T has a laptop that I can use when he’s at work. I don’t really need this laptop. The only thing is that my laptop was the one place I had all my files, all my programs, all my settings, and everything just the way I wanted it. Like any good nerd, I had backed it all up, of course, but it was going to take some effort to set up the desktop and/or an account on T’s laptop that would be to my liking.

One part of this is the program I use to update my blog. It was only installed on my laptop, and even if I install it elsewhere, it won’t have all my ¬†settings and stuff. So I wanted to transfer everything from the laptop to the new location rather than starting from scratch.

I’ll skip over the part where I just didn’t get around to doing this for a while because of laziness, distractions, illness, and so on. Time passed. That’s all you need to know. Then I was ready to do the transfer. I was excited to do the transfer. “This is gonna be awesome!” I thought.

My back-up is corrupt. For the nerds out there, the sparsebundle Time Machine made of my laptop will not open, and Disk Utility gives up on repairing it and tells me to wipe and start over. For the non-nerds out there, all you need to know is that my back-up is not useable or helpful in any way.

You may recall that the problem with my laptop is that it won’t turn on. There’s a good chance that my hard drive, and thus all my files and settings and everything, are perfectly fine. I just need to get the hard drive out of the laptop and into an enclosure. (Non-nerds: an enclosure is like an empty external hard drive. You put your own hard drive in it, and it becomes an external hard drive. Neat, huh?) So I bought an enclosure. Now I just need to get the hard drive out of the laptop. I used to do that for a living, so no big deal, right? Well, it wouldn’t be, if I could find my tools. Somewhere, I have all the screwdrivers necessary to disassemble and reassemble pretty much any Mac out there. But I can’t find them. T has some tools, and I was able to remove all the Phillips screws on the outside of the laptop, but there are two Torx screws standing in my way. We’ve gone to three hardware stores so far, and no one sells Torx screwdrivers in laptop-friendly sizes. That is, they’re all too big.

So, my perfectionism is keeping me from regular blogging, because I want to use my program with my settings, and I don’t have the right screwdriver to make that happen.

Now you know.

If anyone in the greater Copenhagen area has small Torx screwdrivers or knows where to buy them, or can come into my flat and use their psychic powers to find the ones I already have, please let me know. Thanks.

No promises

I can’t promise that I’m back for good. I can’t promise that this post will be coherent. But I’m back today and I’m making a post.

I’m sure I’ve noted before that I loathe being pregnant, and in addition to being in constant pain and not being able to think straight, my laptop also died. One thing that pisses me off even more about this is that I’m an intelligent, technical person, with all the training and knowledge required to fully recover from a dead laptop experience, but I just can’t hold a thought process long enough to accomplish that right now. So I know there is absolutely a way for me to access my typical ways of writing and posting to my blog, but I’m doing it the old-fashioned way, right from the website today, because I just can’t think about it. Grrr. I’m probably supposed to be happy that I’m “almost there,” but all I can think is that I still have three effing months left of this hell, and I don’t know if I can make it.

If any of you are my friends on Facebook, this is why I’ve been playing FarmVille. I can think about it. I know, it’s not exactly the most productive way to spend my time, but my brain can handle it right now.

Anyway, despite having issues with thinking, the thing that is getting me back on the blog today, is…

badges

Yeah, I know. I have to think for this. But here we go anyway.

To keep this simple enough for me to work with, I’m going to concentrate on one little part of the article we’re all discussing this week.

One hates to invoke Scandinavia in stories about child-rearing, but it can‚Äôt be an accident that the one superbly designed study that said, unambiguously, that having kids makes you happier was done with Danish subjects. The researcher, Hans-Peter Kohler, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says he originally studied this question because he was intrigued by the declining fertility rates in Europe. One of the things he noticed is that countries with stronger welfare systems produce more children‚ÄĒand happier parents.

There is no argument against the plain fact that Denmark has a stronger welfare system than the United States. It just does. Absolutely. I will happily admit that there are aspects of this that make me happier. I’m totally thrilled that my daughters will have the option of going to university in Denmark without me paying any tuition for them, and in fact, they will get a stipend to live off of while they’re studying. I think that’s awesome, and how it should be. I love that I’m not already stressing, before Dagmar is even two years old, about how we can possible afford to get her an education that I don’t even know if she’ll be interested in taking. We can think about these things when it’s appropriate to think about them.

There are also aspects that, on a personal level, are actually a bit inconvenient. It’s not just possible or easy to be a working mom; it’s expected to be a working mom. Danes really can’t seem to grasp the concept of actually wanting to stay home once maternity leave is up. “But what do you do all day?” Honestly, if there were nothing to do all day, you wouldn’t have to take your kid to a daycare, right? I mean, I assume you realize the people at the daycare have things to do all day. Whatever. I’ve not had a child in the United States, but at least from reading online, it would seem that there is more of a network for SAHMs. At least, the chances are decent you aren’t the only SAHM you know. Here, once the kid is a year old, all the moms go back to work, and suddenly there are no playgroups to go to anymore, and everyone is asking why you haven’t enrolled your kid in daycare yet.

But anyway, the point I really want to make is that this article focuses on the welfare system as being the key to why Danish parents are happier. And then it says this (emphasis mine):

More generous government policies, a sounder economy, a less pressured culture that values good rather than perfect kids‚ÄĒall of these would certainly make parents happier.

This is the only mention of what I think the key really is. Maybe they’re related. Maybe the culture is this way because of the welfare system. I don’t know. But I do know that the article talked about maternity leave and daycare and subsidies and not about this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Danes are way, way, way more laid back than Americans. This is something that hardly ever gets communicated in articles that talk about Denmark or Scandinavia, and I think it’s missing a huge point. I see it all the time when people talk about how Scandinavia is full of atheists. I can’t speak for Sweden or Norway, but Denmark is full of people who don’t think about religion very much at all. I don’t have a big problem calling them atheists, but if you’re picturing a bunch of Richard Dawkins-types, you’re way off the mark.¬†One thing Danes tend not to do is worry about other people. They don’t think about religion, because they aren’t religious, and that’s all that matters. Similarly, they aren’t stressing about parenting because there is no cultural competitiveness about it. Oh, your kid sleeps 15 hours a night? Cool. The end. There’s no, “oh crap, mine only sleeps 8” involved. What you do is what you do and what I do is what I do.

I don’t see an obvious connection between that attitude and the welfare system. I see it as an extension of janteloven. Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of janteloven, but it does seem to be a successful antidote to the overly competitive nature so rampant amongst Americans. When I say how long my kid sleeps to a Dane, it isn’t taken as a comment on them. It’s just a statement about my reality. And that’s the way it should be. Dagmar started walking at 10 months. When I say that, I’m not saying she’s better than another kid who didn’t walk until 2. It’s just what happened. I think being able to hear and process that the way it’s intended goes a long way to making parenting less stressful for everyone. I don’t have to stress about how you’ll take the news of my kid’s milestone, and you don’t have to stress over your kid’s age at reaching the same milestone.

I had other thoughts while reading the article, but I’m not sure I can communicate them all, so I’m just going to end there, having talked about the Denmark part, as The One Who Lives in Denmark. I’ll also add that there has never been a single moment of parenting that I have hated nearly so much as being pregnant. ūüėõ

hi again

My parents flew back to Florida yesterday morning. I took the day off, because 10 days of visit from parents means you get a day off when they leave. Now I’m back! I’m trying out a little thing called MarsEdit instead of going to the Blogger site to publish. We’ll see what I think of it. I just downloaded it about one minute ago, so no opinion yet. I’m hoping to hop right back into my regular schedule for Money Monday. Sorry, no S-train Saturday this week. I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow, and two events in one weekend, especially the weekend after the 10 days of parent visit, is just too much. I’ve got a few things to share regarding the visit and my daughter’s birthday, but that’ll wait. Until next time‚Ķ.

It’s not Monday anymore

I’m the kind of person that often needs to be reminded to eat. I love my reminders. So I made an account over at Remember the Milk for reminders up the wazoo. Problem: it’s a beta, and the “All Tasks” tab really sucks at actually showing all the tasks. New things pop up, but not ALL the new things. I didn’t really notice until just now that about half the stuff that I was supposed to be reminded of didn’t show up, including my Money Monday reminder. So that’s why you got no MM this week. Our washing machine broke and we need a new one and I’m not in the mood to backblog it, so you’re out of luck! Off to go do some stuff I should have done last week‚Ķ.

other blogs I like

You might have noticed (or maybe not, especially if you read this via RSS or facebook [btw, facebookers, yeah, almost all my “Notes” are actually blog entries but facebook doesn’t indicate that in any way or link back to my blog at all, which kinda sucks but there you go]) there were some links in my navigation menu to other blogs. ¬†There were four such links. ¬†I don’t really know why, because I added about 50, and Blogger decided to show four. ¬†I tried fixing it a couple times, it didn’t work, and I just let it go for a while. ¬†I decided today I would try to fix it again, but now Google Reader isn’t displaying the list of subscriptions at the bottom left like it’s supposed to, so it’s not easy enough for me to add all the blogs I like for me to bother right now.

I tried (again) to remove the areas where these links were. ¬†I think it worked, but maybe by the time this posts, they’ll be back again. ¬†We’ll see. ¬†If Google Reader ever starts working again, I’ll try to add the links again. ¬†Just so all y’all I’m not linking to (esp. if you’re linking to me) know it’s not personal.
I recently discovered a blog that instantly became my new favorite, though.  Zoo Borns is all about showing me baby animals.  Pictures and video of baby animals, direct to my feed reader.  DOES IT GET BETTER THAN THAT?  NO.  NO IT DOES NOT.
Actually, going to the zoo and seeing the baby animals in the flesh would be better.  Feel free to contribute to my Visit All the Zoos With Baby Animals fund.  Thanks.

comments

I’ve had a few very friendly notes recently regarding the difficulty or inability to post comments on my blog. ¬†It’s become increasingly obvious that it’s not an isolated occurrence due to using an obscure browser or not understanding the written language. ¬†It’s a serious impediment to my friends giving me their reactions to my ramblings, and we just can’t have that.

I’ve changed my settings so you’ll be taken to a boring blogger comment page instead of my pretty blog, but if you can’t see the catcha on their boring page then I can’t possibly be responsible for it. ¬†I’ve also added the ability to do anonymous comments, because even some of my friends with accounts are getting strange errors. ¬†I’ll think you’re much cooler if you identify yourself in some way when you comment though.

If anyone is still having problems commenting, IM or email me so I can try to figure out what else could possibly go wrong.  Thanks!

Twitter

I got bored and made a twitter account. I blame Thomas for getting sick and leaving me with no one to talk to.

I’m still exploring the twitter universe that I was resisting for so long. Gosh, next thing you know, I’ll be opening an etsy shop.

P.S. It kinda sucks that I can’t file posts in categories when I use this iPhone app. If any of you know of a free app that lets me do that, tell me quick before I get annoyed and pay for one.