I have returned to the realm of thinking people, and have been devouring books and articles much like I used to. Except these days, instead of reading about information literacy (my job) or about women in Victorian literature (my escape) I have been reading a lot about the condition of motherhood, about the policy issues surrounding parental leave, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the feminist call to mothers to return to the workforce as soon as possible. A call which I have only half-heartedly been able to respond to.
I’ve been doing this reading while side-lying nursing my 6 month old infant.
And during my breaks, I’ve been folding a lot of diapers.
My reading list includes:
Why Women Still Can’t Have it all by Anne-Marie Slaughter
An article that I originally read when it first came out. It is worth a re-read or two, and makes one think. Especially a new mom who has just returned to work and is still struggling with how to prioritize all the things in her life. The truth is I am incredibly ambitious and have fantasies of ruling the world one day, but not at the expense of my child’s well-being. I’ve returned to work half-time so that I can spend large portions of my days with him, nursing and engaging during this time of early development. I want him to have the best start possible. And I’m trying to figure out how to plan the rest of it all out.
Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America
I have only read the introduction and first chapter of this so far, but wow. It’s a whole lot to think about. I’m still kind of chewing on it. The first chapter focuses on reproductive politics during slavery, and I find that after reading it, it’s begun to slip into most of my conversations. Things like Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man of the farm.”
Struggling with Maternity Leave Policies and Practices: A Poststructuralist Feminist Analysis of Gendered Organizing by Patrice M. Buzzanell & Meina Liu
A Feminist Perspective on Parental Leave Policies by Margaret Sallee
Major Survey Findings of Listening to Mothers'”” IU: New Mothers Speak Out Report of National Surveys of Women’s Childbearing Experiences Conducted October-December 2012 and January-April 2013 by Eugene R. Declercq, PhD, Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH, Maureen P. Corry, MPH, Sandra Applebaum, MS, Ariel Herrlich, MA
On my reading list:
All Joy and No Fun
…and all of the new articles that I have recently saved to my folder in google drive…
Is this a normal reaction to motherhood? Who knows. What I do know is that I am completely captivated by what I am reading, and that I am so in love with my little bug. And this is the way that I am processing it all.
oh, also! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!