Friday, August 21, 2009

Motherhood Fundamentalism

I am not a real book reader because I can't sit too long in the same position.

Therefore I prefer to read columns about various subjects.

A few days ago I wrote in a comment to Jeannie that I had read a very interesting column. It was in fact an interview with the American writer: Ayelet Waldman*.

She* reviewed here her new book entitled: Bad Mother -- A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes.

I find the subject very interesting because I recognized what she said.

This is a summary of the interview.

I quote: In these times of overflowing agendas and performance pressure, "debt feelings" and "stress" in motherhood are always present.

She* also spoke about the opposite: mothers who chose to stay at home to take care for their children.

The names for this phenomenon are known as: hyper moms, total mothering or "motherhood fundamentalism".

She* also said: to stay at home to raise your children is in fact something for rich people, but now many other mothers also feel themselves obligated to do it. Why... because they are sometimes being stigmatized as bad mothers through the hyper mamas.

In fact I find this unfair because: not everyone has the possibility to make the choice to stay at home to raise the children. Every mother must be free to make her own choice without being stigmatized.

I am an older woman now and when I became mother I could not make the choice, I had to give up my work because I had no one to take care for my child.

That's now almost 45 years ago and even at that time there was a sort of battle between the "working mothers" and the "staying home mothers". Even at that time in the eyes of the working moms you were seen as "inferior" if you remained at home to raise your child, and now ... the situation became almost the opposite.

Therefore ... to all young (and also older) mothers: give up this fight ... in fact, there may not be a fight between mothers. Just be a mother on your own way!

I hope that I have you all incited to reflect on this theme!

For more information about this subject she* refers to these two American websites:

The book : Bad mother - A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace written by Ayelet Waldman is available at:

PS: Ayelet Waldman studied Law at the Harvard University, she was a classmate of Barack Obama.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our Garden ... Pipke's Little World

The layout of our garden and the birth of Pipke: they both took place approximately around the same time. In fact: we can't imagine ourselves our garden without Pipke.
Our garden is her little world although, she has experienced the great big world !
Yes, once she lived a whole month in the woodland, she has tasted freedom and it was a real adventure for her and us! (I will tell you that story later. In fact, that's a part of her story that I have not told in Jen's blog.)

Since then our garden has changed and evolved enormously.
You can see how it started on this picture at the end of October 1994 when the parents and ancestors of Pipke came to visit us.


and this is the view from my living room window now!

If you want to see how it grew in the mean time then I invite you to watch the photo album 

This shows the result of 14,5 years labor. We constructed the fence and our garden path ourselves. We also laid out the lawn with grass mats* and we even built our little pavilion (or garden house) ourselves, I was my husbands assistant bricklayer. 
I sat on my knees in cement to lay and to flatten the screed of the gardenhouse while my husband prepared the specie with the mill. 
Believe me this was hard work but, I did it with much pleasure.
I can tell you, during those 14,5 years, every year... there went something wrong with the vegetation. In fact it has always been (and still is) a struggle against plant diseases and insects and that's not easy without the use of insecticides. Here in Belgium they use insecticides for everything, we stand even on the top on that level (we overuse insecticides). But ... we don't use them, it's not good for the environment and of course also for the most important thing: Pipke's health!
Have you seen her pen? Since the end of last January she wants to go there no longer, she wants to stay in her dogs nest beside our back door. Therefore we made a special cubby-hole (or veranda) for her with a warmth lamp on that spot so that she can stay warm and dry. Of course this is not an ideal situation, but as you can see on this picture taken on August 8, 2009, the situation of her feathers is even at this moment very poor and they are also not at all water proof.

Now her pen and her little pond are a very empty place and when we go there, we have always such mixed feelings.
Once ... she jumped in and out that pond with so much joy, she even dived in that little pool of water. Now ... she's so helpless! She only wants to go there “together” with us because she can't get out her pond without help.
Now she's a real “old little lady” and therefore we pamper her as well as we can and we try to make the best of it.

I am still working on her story, there is so much to tell about her. I had to shift and insert the text already many times because I forgot something.
I want this to become a really "good" post!

Anyhow: This was only a general overview, I will go more in detail in an other post about the works we did and the problems we had (and still have) in our garden. I will give you also more details about the plant varieties.
We tried to make our garden not “too artificial”, but I find this not so easy. In fact ... gardening is a kind of manipulation of nature and some people can make beautiful creations by doing that. Of course it depends also a little on the environment where you live if you can keep your garden natural or not. Here in my region we have a kind of moorland soil and that's not an easy soil for gardening but we try to make the best of it.

I like to finish this post with a picture (taken on August 6, 2009) of the most beautiful thing in our garden, the thing that makes our garden and our life "complete"... our living "ornament": 


I hope that you've enjoyed the walk in Pipke's little world!
Till next time.
PS: *I don't know if this is the correct translation or description, maybe “sod” is a better word in this case.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Greetings from Belgium!

Today I wrote in a comment to Jeannie that the sun was shining here.
We used this occasion to visit our favorite spot. I will tell you more about this spot in an other post.
It's an hotel/ restaurant/ bistro with a very large beautiful garden in the middle of nature.
This photograph was taken there this afternoon and whereas that happened ...I was thinking on: *Jeannie, who's gasping for sun right now... on *Jen, who went kayaking and I also thought on *Danger Panda, who's probably back home now after her Esperanto adventure.

I wave to all of you!
Herewith... I send you greetings from Belgium!

PS: at this moment this picture is exact 2 hours old.
*** They are bloggerfiends.