12/19/2006

Remote Perspective

I've talked with friends quite a bit in the past year about keeping up in the bloggie world. Some complaints are that posting takes too much time, others wonder if there is anything unique to express in this medium anymore, others still have discovered major issues related to values rising up within them. The question seems to be, Is Blogging Really Worth My Energy and Time?
What we get out of blogging is likely to be what keeps us tapping away nights, spilling the beans on ourselves, sharing our favorites lists and posting encouraging comments on our buddies' sites.
One aspect of blogging that stands the curious hairs up on my neck is how we perceive other bloggers.
When I'm really enjoying someone's writings, I think it is because I'm appreciating them, but also, it is because they are mirroring something in me that I like-and perhaps want to experience or emphasize more in myself. Maybe this is where the notion of a support community comes from. We all like to be acknowledged that we are not alone. We comment to lift one another, and this feels so good. I think which blogs we tune into say volumes about who we are, perhaps more than about the blogger herself. Hmm.
Pink Coyote is not always fun, uplifting or inspiring. I do not often have artsy events to send you to or crafty people to introduce you to. I'm not very cool. I don't know very much about new, good books and movies. I'll bet it can even be a bit of a downer to come here sometimes. I use my blog to work through my junk, get your feedback, problem solve my life, and share the joy of my son with the world. I seldom prepare my writings ahead of time, editing myself and trying to get it perfect. This blog is usually about process, not content or results.
This is so because I am who I am. I do try to be fearless here, which could be perceived as reckless or unsympathetic, I suppose. I am certain about many things, which could come off as arrogant or pushy. I am self-reflective, which could be read as narcissistic and obsessive. I've got a furry bee in my bonnet about having clean fights and relationships with loved ones. This is because I am somewhat new to the idea. The material here will resonate with you or it will not.
I'm going to list a few things below that I think you need to know about me in order to decide if you will keep coming here. I don't want to mislead anyone (else)!
*I think you will like to come here if you like to look at your own shit. If you don't, you probably won't have much fun here, because I'm always pointing my shit and your shit out. If you want to change your ingrained ways of thinking and acting, especially to avoid damaging your kids (and mates)-we're going to get along great. If one wants flowery smoke blown up one's ass about how old dogs can't learn new tricks, one might want to find another blog to visit. ( I say that with a great and floral love).
*I think you will enjoy this blog if you make an effort to put your children's needs ahead of your own. We are on the same page if you sold your expensive house to have a baby and take some time off (not three months, but like, several years) and enjoy this time you'll never get back.
*If you are a single parent and you like what I have to say, but have to work, there is lots to talk about, but that isn't always clear on this blog. Let's talk about alternatives to daycare , a bonfire topic in my heart.
*I'm no expert. But I have a lot of big opinions. I am also curious about other ways of thinking and doing stuff. I love dialogue and loathe lurking. Speak up! You are not going to hurt my feelings. Tell me if you think I'm full of it.
*I am not even close to a perfect mom, artist or person. Blogs sometimes can be illusive that way-I know I'm not bloody perfect, but you may not know or think that based on what I show and tell you. If you could see the hairy cheerios under my diswasher (oh yeah, my kid eats 'em), or know that I sometimes feel bored and antsy hanging out with a fourteen month old all the days of the week, you might think differently about me. Because I'm obsessive compulsive and it shows in my writing, you might never guess who keeps company with dustbunnies around here.
*We, as readers, do not know what state a blogger is in when she posts or comments. I think some of us write our blogs just after a meditation and a massage, when our chakras are happily spinning and all the world is in bloom. Or at least that is how some of us come off. I come here and write in order to find grace and clarity. Readers have no idea what it took for me to get to that pretty place.
*If one likes things stated in a politically correct way, this will not be one's favorite stop. I know it isn't cool to say moms should stay home and be a baby's first, best and most interested teacher. But this is what I think parenthood should look like, with very few exceptions. This may alienate many readers, as one woman pointed out in my last post. I can live with this. I truly mean no harm to anyone's ego. I don't think a reader will like to hear what I have to say anyway if she has no intention of looking at the possible repercussions of handing her job over to someone else.
*Sometimes I post while I am in a big, nasty shadow. I know others who do this, too. I think that if we can assume anything about a blogger, it is that she has good days and bad. She has graceful days and slippy banana-peel days. Assuming a blogger shares your values is a dangerous enterprise, investing yourself emotionally in that assumption is unwise, methinks. Yikes. I personally, am in a radical healing process righty right now. That is bound to come through here looking good, bad and ugly.
Some of you remind me of and validate what I stand for. Some of you give me a buzzy, inspired feeling because you are spectacular poets and crafters. Some of you blow flowery smoke my way. Some of you are working that deep pain, turning it over and over, bravely showing up each day for it, and I greatly admire the underbelly shares. Until you are emptied and complete, I will be your witness. Here is a good place to thank you for being my mirror and witness, and sharing the nougaty centers of you.
I use this blog to help me look at the unsettling ephemera I see within me and around me. I believe deep within that only goldmining produces gold. A genuinely blessed life seldom falls from the sky. Sifting through rubble takes a hell of a lot more courage than avoiding it; I think cultivating this particular brand of courage can set a person up for feeling whole. I don't really give a rats about looking pretty while I do it.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hi! Well, I'm one of those who love your honesty, your commitment to being an awesome parent, good friend, and good person. Given what I've read over this year, I feel I know you a little, and no one comment would change that postive feeling.

That's a provocative quote, which made me think all evening. I don't have children, but was raised by a stay-at-home mom for my early years--Sadly, this did not have the positive results of spending quality time with a present, conscious person such as yourself. I've been struggling with the aftereffects of the narcissim of my parents all my life. So, I can't lay the disconnect of so many Americans simply on the increase of working mothers and daycare, although I can see her point.

I also feel that this discussion has to be grounded in the implicit assumption that we're talking about middle-class two-parent families with options. I'm guessing that we all would like Walmart et al. to offer decent affordable daycare to the increasing numbers of working poor in this country. There is also a big conservative push to demonize/trivialize working women, which is showing up in disturbing editorials in major US newspapers--a trend that makes this issue touchy for feminists in a regressive climate.

So, right on for your choices! Your child will be very loved--and is very lucky. Though, perhaps not more lucky than the Nepalese boy my single friend adopted who goes to daycare while she works.
thanks for sharing all you do!

12/20/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

Jennifer-it is very true and perhaps I've understated it here, not every parent is going to be an asset to their child. Some parents can be dangerous to their children, in which case, daycare may provide a witness for the child.
Dr. Faye works from Valencia, CA, particularly notable for its suburban sprawl, checked out parents and overextended children. No doubt her work has been touched by this place, where Ritalin kids dominate the classrooms.
Taken quite out of context, her quote is provocative because it demands responsiblity from parents for children's personality troubles. If one believes that environment + quality of nurture determines a child's outcome as a person vs. genetic theories of bad seeds and what-have-yous, her work will resonate strongly, as it does for me.
Funny enough, there is a lot less ADD/ADHD in poor families-it is the middle class that is rife with this disorder. See a connection?
I don't think I have a lot of readers below the poverty level, so it is true that I'm not addressing them with this blog.
Your friend is likely a great mom-if she's friends with YOU!
I would love to hear more about her adopted son and how she overcomes challenges, as many readers do and have adopt.

Thank you for stopping in making such great points, Jennifer!

xoxoxo pink

12/20/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Your fearlessness, and willingness to be all of you out loud, are two of many things I cherish about you as a woman and a friend.

I like a lot of what you've told me about Causal Theory, but I strongly feel that there is no one right way to do anything - tie a shoe, connect with the Divine, or parent a child. I think it's simplistic to say that if you don't parent Dr. Faye's way, you're doing a bad job or damaging your child. That's the kind of rigid thinking (is there room for questioning or debate?) that is so often found in strict religions or cults. I don't know enough about this theory to know if that's Dr. Faye's stance, but it makes me wary.

Also, making generalizations about the middle-class in America is a tough thing to do, because it's so nebulous. In the 90's, "middle-class" was defined as a family of any size making $35,000 to $140,000 per year. I imagine that a larger family at the bottom of that scale has fewer options than a smaller family at the top end. In any case, "middle-class" is sort of a meaningless category in our current society. People who own homes don't necessarily own expensive ones, and their mortgage is often lower than rent would be (this is certainly the case in my area) so again, this strikes me as a possible, but simplistic thing to say.

As a therapist, I don't see ADHD as a middle-class disorder; I've worked with too many poor kids with ADHD symptoms. I see it as an attachment-based disorder largely unrelated to how much the parents make.

I come to your blog because I want to hear all of what you have to say, and I love you whether we agree or not. I don't think you would turn yourself down to please anyone's ears, nor would I want you to. Looking forward to what's next.

XOXO

P.S. Hope you don't feel blown full of flowery smoke.

12/20/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

Maggie,

I also don't believe there is one way to do anything. I hope I'm not giving that impression. I can't speak for Faye Snyder, but having taken her parenting courses and read some articles written by her, I THINK her plea to those who find their way to her work is to watch for signs of trouble in your child, correct your parenting to help them and try to stay humble enough at all times to know that you can help your child with whatever they are going through. What I see her challenged with most (and I could be wrong, but its what I get)is parents who want to hand their child to a therapist, medicate them for A.D.H.D. symptoms (perhaps because they are unmanageable in the classroom) and not admit the possibility that their parenting could be responsible for the child's suffering. I don't think this is the majority of who she sees, but I imagine it might be the most frustrating. I also don't think it makes up the majority of parents. Current studies in gene theory are a bit scary, though, we can talk about that later. The goal of it seems to seek to point to genes for behavioral and personality disorders-when the gene theories are debunked, it often doesn't not get much attention in the press. The "gay gene" is one Faye and Co. have done some study on and it is worth looking into more, I think. I think Dr. Faye's work is pretty incredible because she makes good parenting seem easy, and reparenting oneself as deeply healing.
But I don't want this blog to be all about the Causal Theory. I kind of want my blog back! There are lots of great ideas about parenting out there, and I want to know about all of them so that as Miles gets older, I can pick and choose what works best for me intuitively. What about you-what ideas about parenting resonate with you considering you want to become a parent soon? What have you seen people do that really has positive long-term effects?

12/20/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger kelly rae said...

well i just stumbled over here and i fully resonate with what you're saying, especially the part about this being about the process. yes, me too. my blog is about the process. the figuring it out as i go. the unedited version. the messy parts. the joyful parts. the process.

12/20/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

OH! Well, absolutely. I totally agree, there are far too many parents who pass off responsibility to professionals (therapists, teachers, babysitters). Nothing beats a consistent, attuned, good-enough parent. But more on that later, I'm sure. I look forward to reading more of your process about parenting, and sharing ideas back and forth.

Take back yer blog, lady! ;-) You're just beautiful.
XOXO

12/21/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger changapeluda said...

Brava!
No Rats Asses taken here!

12/21/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Hello Pixie!
So glad you are bringing up these issues in such a beautiful way. Sometimes I think it might be heard for women to talk about such things without hurting each other. I dislike the label "mommy wars" so much.
I am delurking to let you know that once upon a time I was a mama who wrote an article called "Play at Home Mama" for Napcake. I still wear and adore the pyjamas you paid me with!
By chance I stumbled across your blog a few moons ago, and have been enchanted with your thoughtful motherhood.
much peace,
anna : )

12/22/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

yes, yes, yes. a thousand times yes. thank you for showing up here to work out some of the shit so that (selfishly) i can know whenever i stop by that i am not the only one working on all that shit because it sure can feel lonely sometimes in the "land of working out the shit" (which, by the way, might be a great name for a blog).

12/22/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

although I appriciate your honesty and candor I also believe your full of it and judgmental. You make those women who have sacraficed for their children but still must work ( or want to work) seem less than. If I've even "blown flowery smoke" your way it was to give you a complement that your son is adorable or that you looked very pretty in your dress nothing more nothing less. Seems as though you have a problem w/ that as well. Tell me what don't you have a problem with.. other than how your raising you son.. because obviously you think it's perfect.. or you wouldn't be so quick to judge others on how they parent.

12/22/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger tariansdream said...

I am always excited to read your blog, and love seeing the updates on the small Mister. This isn't to say that you haven't written somethings that tear at my heart at times. But I cannot live in a world of shoulda coulda's... having placed both kids into daycares at ages far to young I see now, both pro's and con's to organized child care.
With both children in school, I am aware that taking the time to be as involved as possible is the most important thing, but the work it took me to get to this place, dropping everything at a ring of the phone... that work was a hard win and a battle well worth the fight.

ADHD has been brought up in our lives and it is not something I choose to medicate our way through! This is my child and these are my decisions and my responsibilities. The behavior is a symptom of the issue. Find and work the issue, the child is happier. I think if more parents took the time to realize that it is a COMMITMENT to be the best parent you can be, daycare and working moms..or stay at home moms its all just part of the recipe.

The time spent with your child MUST be quality time, everytime they are with you they learn something and so do you... if you're paying attention.

We have a split household. One house (mine) where rules are very clear and yet there isn't a fear of "Oh shit I broke a rule"... and the other house where there are no rules, no consequences... and no rewards or encouragement. This part of parenting, not a battle I signed on for... but it is the one I am to fight.

Teaching your children right from wrong, value in themselves and others is imperative. Parenting is something that has to be done 100% of the time... whether the kids are at home, at school or at the neighbors... or the "other" parents.

I read your blog because I aspire to be the best parent I can be and I know that you too have the same aspirations... we are all teachers, and it is quite helpful to have eyes open during the learning.

12/22/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

This is a very interesting post.

I have to say, as an AP mom, that I acknowledge the importance of being home with my son and my husband and I did all that we could in order to be able to do so. Initially I worked p/t while Satchel went to work with his dada, but it wasn't long before we realized we couldn't no longer continue. Robert, though he loved his job as a legal aid attorney, looked for work elsewhere that could support all of us and allow me to be home f/t with Satch.

We learned that there are some areas in the US where the economy makes it extremely difficult for mothers to stay home with their children. This is particularly true in CNY. The pay scale is ridiculously low and does not support the cost of living or taxes. A lot of people here NEED two salaries just to maintain a simple lifestyle. And there are people who can not pick up and move because they wish to be near their family or simply don't have the means. Sadly, it's a no win situation for some.

Robert and I quickly realized that while we really liked our house, that we could no longer live there due to the economy in CNY. We are very fortunate that Robert can work anywhere and that we do not have family in the area to tug at our heartstrings...so it was an easy decision.

Also there are some mothers that truly want to work and feel they can be a better, more patient parent by doing so.

I do recall when I worked p/t that it was the one time I didn't have to inhale my lunch. And yet, now that I am a stay at home mom, I find that Satch and I have a better rhythm and this works much better for me.

I agree that in the ideal world, we need to be home and mother our children and that in our quest for equality in the work force (which still isn't equal)we've wondered away from our most important role as mother, whether by choice or by circumstance.

My heart goes out to those who "must" work.

12/22/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

please for give any typos and the double negative in the first sentence...i'm playing with the wee boy at the same time.

12/22/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

Wow-I'm really impressed with everyone's stories here. I love knowing more about your individual journeys into motherhood and/or yourselves.
I haven't had the time to connect my ideas about the repercussions of daycare to specific resources, but I'll be doing that soon. I hope what will be enlightening is that being a traditional stay at home mom (all the time) is not where I think mothering begins and ends. It seems some of my readers think that I have no compassion for parents who both have to work and have chosen to have children. I can see how my snarky comments about selling ones house or downsizing could be received that way. There are others options, too. I could have probably assumed that if my readers are visiting me, they are likely not to be unconscious parents who prefer medical diagnoses and medication of their children to taking responsibility (but hear me now, there are some parents who do this, at least where I live). I think I've said this here, but maybe not-parenting for ME begins and ends with having the cajones to say "OOPS, I made a mistake and I can see that what I've been doing is hurting my child in some way-I'd better do something to help him now and stick to it".

I will try (without overtaking my entire blog) to give some real accounts of why I think this happens and include back up stats. It seems rather flaky of me to not link to the academic studies on genomes and epigenomes that are in question re ADHD. For this, I humbly apologize and will keep trying. To Julie, who thinks I am judgemental and full of it, thanks for the feedback-I'm glad for the opportunity to look at that again through the lens you've provided.
I must also say how that we bloggers have some mighty expectations of each other, it seems!

12/22/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger a m y said...

I'm not a mommy (yet) but I want you to know that I admire your honesty, and the discussions going on here. I am often fearful to post what's really going on...and I admire your boldness. Plus, reading things like this is so helpful because one day, I know I'll be faced with similar choices.

12/24/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ally Bean said...

I enjoy what you have to say and how you say it. It's a gift to be courageous and honest-- and have the ability to communicate with others.

I agree that a personal blog is all about the process and not about the results. That's why I come here to read about your life. And because you have hairy cheerios under your diswasher. I like non-neat freaks.

12/28/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Lucy said...

WOW What a powerful post. I am a new reader and a fairly new blogger, but i will visit you again. I already want to hear more! I totally agree with your views on raising our own kids. But views are just that, and you should be able to speak yours loudly despite judgments or insults. (You Go Coyote!)

12/28/2006 11:51:00 AM  

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