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Moms On Issues

with Sara and Veronica

We're two moms with different backgrounds, jobs and points of view, writing about our opinions on the political and social issues affecting working moms. We'll also keep our eye on the media and the celebrity mom world to highlight issues that are relevant to your life.

Check out our personal blogs: Veronica's Blog and Sara's Blog

Open letter to Michelle Obama: Mama to Mama

Categories: celebrities, feminism, moms in the news

3 Comments

First I have to say I agree that you should be upset that Ty is trying to use your daughters for a fast buck. The fact that they are trying to convince us that the dolls aren’t your daughters is laughable. The quotes in their press release pretty much says they are the girls. But know that I’m right there with you over the exploitation and the aging of the girls into teens for the dolls. And that changing the name of those dolls doesn’t diminish what they did.

BUT…I will selfishly ask you to not shelter the girls away too much during your stay in the White House. Our kids need your girls.

In the Fall 2008 issue of the Girl Scouts LEADER magazine, I was asked how we as loving parents deal with celebrity worship. One of my suggestions that did not get in print (the interview was done in the spring) was to focus on the positive celebrity starlets out there. I was thinking of any girl celeb who hadn’t been caught drinking, clubbing, or without panties on. If asked that question today, I would say that we should point to Malia and Sasha.

You and the President have done a remarkable job raising the girls. You can tell how happy they are just by looking at them and that tells me they come from a happy & loving home. I never felt that the girls were accessories to the campaign, but rather girls trying to spend time with their busy parents. And as a busy mama myself, I found great solace in that.

My 5-year-old daughter swoons over your daughters, as I suspect many other kids are doing. My husband, daughter & I have watched the “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert at Lincoln Memorial” half a dozen times. Each time chills go up my husband & my spines as
we listen to U2 sing. I cry each time “This Land is Your Land” is sung. My daughter squeals “The girls!” each time one of your daughters is on screen. Yes, I’ve done a fairly good job shielding her from entertainment that I think is geared towards older children, but she knows the Hannah Montanas of the world. But none have elicited a squeal or the beam of pride & awe that my daughter gives your two.

I also agree that the release of dolls resembling the First Daughters is yet another progressive step in our country’s discussion about race. While my family is of Mexican descent, I am overjoyed to think that thousands of non-African American girls would be playing with dolls that aren’t blond and blue-eyed. I get teary-eyed when I think of all the African-American girls in this country who have what could be said the ultimate role models in your daughters. Then to have them in doll form? Oh my, what a moment! But of course, the dolls should be produced under the guidance of the family, especially the girls themselves. I do admit to hoping for a full First Family doll set for my squealing daughter.

Yet, as a mom of a young girl and the watcher of too many documentaries on the Drew Barrymores of the world, I know the pitfalls of early celebrity and can only imagine the weight of being role models to a nation. You have said that the girls will still make their own beds - a clear sign that you want to keep them grounded. But as I said earlier, I am being selfish.

I see the world around our daughters getting more and more toxic, pushing them to grow up far too fast, sexualizing them with music, movies, clothing and spa treatments and the demands of school. Then there are us parents having almost no control over what they are exposed to. I know where our girls are headed, they will soon have their school books and walls covered in Teen Beat posters of the latest Hollywood star just as Michael J. Fox covered my walls. The fact that my daughter took your family picture from Parade magazine and put it up on her wall, well, that moves me beyond words.

I know we are asking a lot of your family. We hope your husband cleans up eight years of mess domestically and internationally. We look to you as not just a fashion plate, but also a strong woman who is proud to be call herself a mom first. And yes, I have pointed to your daughters and told mine, “The girls have to keep their room clean too!”

I hope that you are able to find that crazy balance one needs to raise a child in today’s media spotlight. I know that you need to keep the girls from prying eyes. But I hope you also know that the world needs your girls too. Our sons & daughters who need to see two intelligent girls doing amazing things. Don’t think less of us when we cling to the glimpses you allow us to take into your family’s life. For me it’s not about celebrity, but rather about wanting to share in the beautiful love that I see when I see your family. Thanks.

She wore what? Campaign style

Categories: career, celebrities, media, moms in the news, politics

5 Comments

nullFact: My high school fashion sense made Ugly Betty look good.

Yes, that’s me circa 9th-10th grade. I was mugging with my BFF, thus the open mouth. I feel that it took me until my 30s to really find a comfortable style for myself. It’s a bit preppy, a bit vintage, and a bit whatever suits my fancy. Despite being such a fashion dork I’m enthralled by the fashion throw down that is occurring on the campaign trail. First we had Michelle Obama cause an uproar when she appeared on “The View” in a White/Black dress. I along with the rest of America went to their website and despite the fact that I had been in one of their stores just months earlier, I fell in love with their style. Recently she was spotted on the campaign trail in an H&M dress. For a woman who was tagged as the next Jackie Kennedy, she certainly is thrifty!

Next fashion uproar was about Cindy McCain’s dress at the convention. For a party that kept claiming to be fighting for the middle class, that price tag for one night’s outfit was quickly picked up by the liberal end of the political spectrum.

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A conversation with Hannah Storm

Categories: celebrities, media, moms in the news

2 Comments

On her second day in the office and still unfamiliar with the layout that makes up ESPN’s compound in Connecticut, Hannah Storm took time to chat with me on the phone about being the anchor for ESPN’s new morning version of SportsCenter, being a mom in a competitive sports world, and of course, blogging.

Being a Sportscenter junkie myself, I was ecstatic to hear that ESPN was finally giving us new sports coverage in the morning instead of rerunning last night’s edition. I was amazed though to find out that ESPN had been running no new programming until around 3 pm in the afternoon each day. In the time of instant news, I found it shocking and that is precisely the reasoning behind launching morning and early afternoon editions. BUT…when I found out that Hannah Storm was going to anchor one of the new SportsCenters I couldn’t contain myself!

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Athlete moms: the ultimate on-rampers

Categories: Uncategorized, career, celebrities

2 Comments

I love sports. I love the thrill of last-minute interception, a diving catch in the outfield, an overtime goal to win the game. And I especially love the Olympic Games, which are starting up in Beijing next month. This year, I’m really looking forward to watching the Games, and I’ve got my eye on two elite female athletes who are competing to qualify - Dara Torres and Lindsey Davenport - mom athletes opting back into their careers after having children.

Ms. Torres, a 41-year-old mom and swimmer is racing this week to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games - a record for any athlete. At her age it’s almost unheard of to be swimming for an Olympic berth, not to mention handily beating her competition who’s some 15 years younger. I had heard a bit anecdotally about how unique her efforts to make the Games are. However, after reading this article about her, I was floored. Her method for preparing for racing is nothing short of intense:

… her two stretchers work in tandem to contort and flex her body, in a 20-minute preswim version of the two-hour sequence they do three times a week at her home.

In addition to that, she gets stretched five times a day and receives professional massages. This is all at a high cost:

Torres’s routine includes a head coach, a sprint coach, a strength coach, two stretchers, two masseuses, a chiropractor and a nanny, at the cost of at least $100,000 per year.

At first, when I read through these facts, I thought, is opting back in worth all that pain and money? I can’t imagine spending the time and effort to go back to a career in which I already achieved the ultimate success. But in thinking about it further, I think Torres is a role model for any of us who want to get back into our game - swimming or otherwise.

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I want to see Sex and the City on the big screen, not in real life

Categories: career, celebrities

5 Comments

stc.jpgI’m excited to see the Sex and the City movie, which opens this weekend. The show, and now the movie, showcases all of what’s great and fun about being single in New York City. I remember when I lived in New York, unattached and carefree. I’d galavant around town going from bar to bar with my girlfriends all dressed up (albeit in cheaper versions of what the Sex girls wear), scanning the men, having one too many drinks and after such drinks, casually approaching such men who would look my way. Unfortunately, unlike the show, after a few cosmos, I wouldn’t end up with Mr. Hottie, but rather would head home, one of my girlfriends by my side.

I can’t remember the last time I had a night remotely like that, but now that I’m living the mom life instead of the single life I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What is great about Sex and the City is that I, like every other woman in the free world, could live vicariously through the show’s characters. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha epitomize everything that I’m not. From Samantha’s adventurous bedroom romps to Charlotte’s urge to marry not her true love, but someone who looked good on paper, the characters of Sex and the City made daring choices about family and career.

I have not made one such daring choice, and at times, I wonder what things would have looked like if I put aside thoughts of marriage and settling down for fancier clothes and a fast-paced job.

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Stage Moms: Working mothers in the extreme

Categories: celebrities, media, moms in the news

4 Comments

gypsy.jpgOn Monday night, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James got in his mother’s grill after she got caught up in a skirmish that resulted from James’ involvement in a breakaway dunk attempt by Boston’s Paul Pierce. In some not so nice words, he told his mom to sit down. The video, which is up on You Tube, clearly shows the fallout from James’ mother’s intimate involvement in his career. Clearly they are close, but when LeBron is on the court, he’s got no time for his mom to coach from the sidelines.

The concept of stage moms isn’t anything new. Even back in 1933 the term was prevalent - it was the title of a popular film - Stage Mother. But currently, our nation’s most famous stage mom has to be Dina Lohan. Lohan has been all over the press in the last year for her support of some of her daughter Lindsay’s most ill-thought out choices. The elder Lohan has been supremely influential in her daughter’s success as has LeBron James’ mother. But how beneficial can these symbotic mom-child relationships be? What happens when your job is to promote your kids’ job?


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I don’t care whether J-Lo breastfeeds, do you?

Categories: Uncategorized, celebrities

5 Comments

jlo.jpgWhat is the media’s obsession these days on whether or not celebrity moms (or any mom for that reason), breastfeeds? Every time a new celebrity has a baby, we are inundated with too much information about their personal decision on how they decided to feed their babies.

Heck, the website BreastFeeding.com even has a page dedicated to “famous breastfeeding moms.” My question is, who cares?

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Welcome to Moms on Issues

Categories: Uncategorized, caregiving, celebrities, feminism, media, mommy wars, moms in the news, politics, raising baby

7 Comments

Vintage WomanI’ve Veronica and I’m a mom with a lot of issues. Every other week I’ll share some of them with you and I hope we have a great discussion. While I will focus my issues around the media’s portrayal of working moms, I won’t limit myself to that either.

My stance is that as a society we are all still adjusting to the idea of working mothers aka women who have small children and work outside the home, either part-time or full-time. Because our society moves at a snail’s pace in reacting to the rapid change that has happened, it confounds a lot of people, especially those in the media, about whether we are selfish or Superwomen. That said, the fact that every mother is a working mother also confounds people. What do you mean that cleaning and nurturing your child is work? That’s what you are built for right? Well, yes…and no.

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