Thursday, January 15, 2004

Mommy Lit

My friends and family don't read my blog. Oh sure, they have their so-called "good excuses" -- a firewall at work, slow internet access, double pneumonia. I think that the real reason is that I tend to repeat myself a lot in real life, and the last thing my friends want to do is read about my views on this and that for the third time.

Since I know that my sister does not read this blog, I can talk about the book she gave me for Christmas, Mitten Strings from God, without hurting her feelings.

OK, Mitten Strings from God. Need I say more? This book is written by a woman who seems to have no doubts about her commitment to stay home with the kids, little outside interests, an unnatural perkiness, and a frontal lobotomy. I can't really bring myself to read the whole thing, so I've just been skimming it here and there.

The premise of the book is that we as mothers are too busy running from playdate to playdate and activity to activity and that we should just take the time to savor little quiet times with the kiddies. This will make all things well. Here are some quotes that made me gag:

"As mothers, we are the emotional centers of our homes. Our partners may make their own invaluable contributions, but women are still largely responsible for setting the tone and pace of family life. One of my greatest challenges each day is to sustain an atmosphere in our home that nourishes not only our bodies and intellects, but our inner lives as well."

"When we minister to our children with love and care, we teach them to care for others in return. Through our own loving example, we show the healing way, opening their hearts to the needs of those around them."

"Motherhood offers us the chance to re-create the world anew each day, to meet it freshly, even as we discover reserves of strength and wisdom we didn't know we had."

This book belongs to a whole subgenre of books -- mommy-lit. And it gives me hives. It is closely related to all that corny e-mail that people forward me about mothers.

I am sure there are some very good messages in this little book from my sister, lessons about taking the time to enjoy life, but the tone is so sanctimonious, virginal, and humorless, that I can't read it without snorting.

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