"What Matters To Moms"

Cate’s been taking a few steps on her own here and there over the past few days. I have yet to be able to capture it on video, because even if I have the camera on me, by the time I turn it on and hit “record,” she’s already stopped. I have been able to get a couple of snapshots of her walking while pushing her car in front of her, though.

walking girl
“Outta my way, coming through!”

She’s a little speed demon with the car, but when she walks by herself, she goes verrrry slow, with her arms out for balance. I think Shannon nailed it when she said that babies look kind of drunk when they first start to walk. The more Cate does it, the more I’m realizing that she looks an awful lot like me after I’ve been in the French Quarter for a couple of hours. (Hee!) Anyway, it’s really cute, and I hope to be able to get a video of it soon.

Speaking of videos, here’s a little rant about something that’s been bugging me. I get Parenting magazine every month. Somebody got a me a subscription when I was pregnant, I can’t remember who. One person gave me Parenting, and someone else gave me Parents. Both magazines are basically bathroom material that I toss in the recycle bin as soon as I’ve finished reading them.

Parenting magazine in particular drives me insane because their tagline on every cover is “What Matters to Moms.” Um, sorry? But isn’t the magazine called Parenting, and not Mothering? So dads don’t count as parents? Or maybe dads have better things to do with their time than read crap magazines that are mostly designed to make you feel like you’re doing everything wrong? (It’s a good technique, really. They strip down your self-confidence so that you think you need the “experts” in the magazine, who tell you to do the things that you already knew, if you only listened to your instincts.)

Anyway, they do these polls online every month and then post the results in the following month’s magazine. The most recent issue published the discussion on “Is it ok for parents to upload a video of their child on YouTube?” And you know, a whopping 63 percent of people said no, you shouldn’t post videos of your kids online. It seems that most people are under the impression that if you put a video of your kid online, you’re asking for them to be kidnapped and molested. WTF??

So, let’s see. There’s a blurry video of my kid on the Internet, with no indication of what city or state I live in, and that’s going to give a pedophile just the info they need to hunt her down and abduct her? How on earth do you make that mental leap? Is it just that people are ignorant as to how YouTube works, or do they really live in that much fear?

Most of the moms I know in the blogging world post both pictures and videos of their kids online all the time without thinking twice about it, so the fact that the vast majority of the moms in this poll came out against it kind of shocked me. Do any of y’all ever worry about this stuff? Because it honestly never crossed my mind. I mean, I don’t put naked pictures or videos of Cate online (although there is a few seconds of bare tush in the middle of this one), mostly because I don’t want her to be embarassed about it when she’s older. And yeah, I do realize there are perverts out there who look for that stuff, but really, the paranoia factor is waaaay down on my list of concerns.

Honestly, I find the whole polling thing in general irritating. It seems as if they’re trying to pick a fight between various groups of mothers. Like we don’t already have enough of that in the world: the stay-at-home versus the working moms, the breast-feeders versus the bottle feeders, etc. It’s just setting up additional conflict where none really needs to exist.

Oh, and hey, if you click over to check out the poll results, be sure to note next month’s topic: Should a woman be able to use fertility treatments to get pregnant if she already has kids? (Shannon, I’d really love it if you wrote in to rip them a new one on that issue.)

Ok, enough of that. Look, a cute picture of a baby with a totally inappropriate pop song title spelled out next to her head!

the youngest Justin Timberlake fan ever
“Me likey the Justin Timberlake!”

5 thoughts on “"What Matters To Moms"

  1. I run into this kind of “Stranger! Danger!” hand-wringing all the time on the job. It seems to me that the devil you know is worse than the one that you don’t, if you know what I mean. Far, far more children are injured by the very people who claim to love them the most than are randomly located, stalked and injured. The majority of kidnappers are parents who are going through messy custody battles taking their own kids.

    I mean, yes, bad things happen all the time. In fact that’s my other news coverage pet peeve, when people say, “We never thought it could happen here!” And I have to bite my tongue and not say, “Really?!? You didn’t? You didn’t think a husband was capable of killing his wife in a crime of passion just because it’s Stepford WHY, exactly?” Cosmo tells us all how to protect ourselves from rapists in parking garages, but far more (exponentially more) women are violated by abusive partners in their own homes.

    You know, I believe firmly that the decision to photograph, videotape and publish images of a child are entirely a parents’ prerogative, and that they have the right to decide who does those things- parents like you, pros like me, etc- BUT I will say this. If I truly thought that the work I do put children in mortal danger of being kidnapped, injured or exploited because I put their names, pictures, and likeness in a newspaper and online, I could NEVER do this work. Not in a million years. Couldn’t do it. Period, amen, end of career.

    The funniest paranoid parent I ever encountered was in 2002. I was working on a puff piece about birthday parties for one of our community weeklies. It had a circulation of about 1,000 readers, and it was available in three towns. The story was about a unique b-day party in a pet shop. The kids got to pet the guinea pigs, watch Finding Nemo in a special party room, and the birthday child got a hamster or a goldfish- depending on the parent’s preference.

    She didn’t want a picture of her child petting a bunny to run (again, her prerogative; I respect that a lot) BECAUSE- I kid you not- Her brother-in-law owns a chain of successful diners in NJ.
    She was afraid that terrorists would see the bunny picture in a rag of a community paper, somehow connect her son with her brother-in-law in a different state, and target the diners for a terrorist attack because her brother-in-law had “successfully achieved the American Dream.”

    Uh…? Okay, then!

    Also, take those magazine polls with a grain of salt. Most of those result are made up by an intern.

  2. Yes- apparently, dads are not parents because we don’t read their stupid magazines. Maybe we don’t read their stupid magazines because they’ve written dads out of the magazine? It’s a self-perpetuating stereotype.

    The vast majority of the “parenting” material out there made me want to rebel- quit my job and stay home to raise Elizabeth. New fathers are never asked if they will continue working, and the balance between work and family is never discussed.

    (Oh, and not only do babies first steps look interestingly like those of a drunk person in the french quarter; I’ve also seen them talk to the horses).

  3. I *knew* you were going to mention the horse thing. Seriously, you should come along when we go for a walk through my current neighborhood, I talk to the horses all the time, even when dead sober.

    Btw, both Parents and Parenting have a page or two that’s like a special “dad’s section.” So you know, you get one page out of over 100. That seems like an equal distribution, no? Grrr…

  4. I HATE the Parenting magazine tagline. I’ve hated it since I got my first issue of that magazine. You are SO EXACTLY RIGHT that those polls mainly serve to make moms yell at each other. I once asw one that asked whether mothers should be “allowed” to breastfeed in public places and a sizable proportion said no. OF PARENTS WHO READ PARENTING MAGAZINE! So really, honestly, the only people responding to these pools are prairie muffins. And this month’s poll– “Should a woman be able to use ferility treatments bla bla bla”– WHO the HELL are THEY to even ask such a question? AS IF it’s ANYONE’s right to deny a mom’s right to use fertility treatment if she wants to. Which, BTW, is the same think I yelled in my living room when they had the public breastfeeding poll… Gah!!

    OK, rant over.

    Oh, and this is the first time I’ve been online in over a week, so I missed all the walking progress until now– HOORAY! Walking! I had no doubt that she’d be on the move in no time. Cate has her own schedule.

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