Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A question for the moms among us

Many of the folks who write in to my blog are female, and most are moms. Having said that, allow me to add two more tidbits for the curious: Less than 1% of the readers of my blog leave comments (OK, now the rest of you - speak up!) and most blog comments come from females, whereas most email responses come from males. Go figure. Anyway, today’s essay is really a question for all of you . . . When I follow the links from your comments, and read your own blogs, in many cases I read almost exclusively about kid raising. And it leads me to wonder. . .

You must have several lives going on all at once . . not just kid-raising. Where are they?

First, you all have lives as individuals. As my mate says, “I’m my own person!” Some of you have jobs outside the home, and for those who work outside, a big part of your life is spent there. There are all your dreams, and hobbies, and interests that you alone enjoy.

There are your own manias, phobias, conditions and disorders. Surely all those things provide some food for thought? Mine certainly do.

Some of you fly airplanes, or jump out of them. Some work in offices, and some drive bulldozers to build offices. What ideas or inspirations do you get from work? And if there isn’t any inspiration, why work, or why work there?

Then there’s life as part of a larger family unit. There are the visits to Grandma, and feeding the family, and going hiking in the state park together, and maybe even going on a cruise.

If there’s a mate in the picture, there are the interactions with him. Or, in some cases, her. If there’s not a mate, but there’s a kid, where did he go? Did he just split? Or is he in prison? Or perhaps buried under those heavy flagstones on the patio? Perhaps in that spot where the ground is soft and the grass is especially green?

Those too are things to write about.

Finally, there is life as a mother. Direct engagement in kid management, kid training, kid development and even play. Are the kids living bundles of joy? The kind of kids that win the competitions at the County Fair every year? Blue Ribbon children? The kind your parents wish they could stuff and hang over the mantle, and say, “Look at them! If only you’d been like that, when you were a kid!” Or are they nasty little buggers, like me and my brother, loud, rude, disruptive? Farting, fighting, and biting.

Now, I know some of the moms reading my blog have kids on the autism spectrum, and I know that can become all-consuming. The search for a cure. . . should there be a cure . . what to do? You could certainly devote your whole life to it. And the blogs reflect it.

So the question is . . . . What do you do that’s not kid-centered? And what about writing about it? One day, the kids will be grown up and gone. What then? What are your plans for a post-child life? That’s a big question, one all of us must address.

Even dads, like me. And I did do something. . . Got myself a motorcycle, wrote a book, and went hog wild. And here I am, writing to all of you today from my perch atop a flagpole in a secret location 32 miles from Keene, New Hampshire.

Something different to write about. What will you do?

42 comments:

Trish Ryan said...

Provocative post! And really great questions. I think you've hit on one of the great temptations of our time...to get so consumed in one area of life that we don't even THINK about the others, even when we're in the midst of them. And you're right--we're all bigger and more interesting than whatever takes the largest chunk of our day, time wise.

Thanks for the reminder.

kristen said...

Hmmm. Interesting. I don't know whether to comment or write my own post. I may be back. Or I may just send a link. Or I may find the whole thing too overwhelming and simply call it a day.

Yes, I've lost myself to motherhood...but now that my son is headed off to a full-day of school in two weeks, I'm trying to reclaim the bits of my old life that I miss and find my way to clear a new path for the future.

susie s. said...

i had my kids young so that i will still be relatively young when they are (hopefully) independent. this leaves years and years for me to cultivate my career. i have finished most of my education (have a BA and am working on another degree at the moment) so, i plan for this to allow me to slowly move into the workplace in a way that allows me to be a attentive parent and also work; sort of like driving a stick shift. the kids are the clutch right now and slowly i am taking my foot off and pressing on the gas as they grow bigger and stronger and older. there will be times in my life that i will have to completely re-engage the clutch i can comfortably be in drive (other things) for most of the time. i hope my metaphor gives you a laugh, it just came to me and i am completely aware how absurd it is. have a nice day.

Polly Kahl said...

Sometimes life hits you with surprises, despite planning. We planned to have children after our careers were established and we could afford to move out of the city. He became a successful engineer and I had a successful private practice. We found our country home and bought it in 1991. We had our first child in 1994. Everything was going as planned. Nine months later, our first baby and I were in a bad car accident. He had several injuries but fortunately recovered. I have been in chronic pain most years since, and it's now time for me to schedule surgery for yet another artificial hip. It caused me to eventually have to close my office, and has been a challenge to say the least. Now I am embarking on a writing career. I have always been driven to write, but now am making it public. I love where I am going, it's just not where I expected to be. So you just never know. Wherever we are, I think we have to maintain some purpose that is ours alone. It doesn't mean that we don't love our families, work, etc. Just that our lives have to have something meaningful to us, beyond what is expected of us or fits neatly in our prescribed roles.

Mary Witzl said...

I once had a coworker who had three children and never talked about them -- not even once -- during the course of several years. I could sooner drain the ocean with a teaspoon than I could NOT talk about my children, and I often think of her and wonder how she managed this.

Having said that, although I do find my children endlessly absorbing, I like writing about a variety of subjects. One of the reasons I started writing was because I needed some way to make sense of my experiences and explain them to others -- and myself. Sometimes that involves my children, but most of the time it doesn't.

Because I am an unrepentant jack of all trades, I write about my life in Japan, teaching, people and their weird ways, my own gaffes, idiosyncrasies and prejudices, cats, gardening, cooking, language learning, marriage, and my kids. And one of these days, I too will get a motorcycle -- and maybe a laptop.

Ello said...

I am a new reader and I have to tell you that I just ordered your book because you have hands down one of my favorite book covers ever published! So I found your blog and find it fascinating and have decided to comment on a very intriguing topic.

My mother, who has worked everyday of her adult life, always said to me, don't give up your career for your kids because one day they'll all be gone and what will you have left that is all yours. I guess my comment now would be, don't worry mom, my life is all about carving out the moments and hours of the day that can be all about me, although it gets harder and harder to do some times.

For me, writing is all about me, my selfish time to myself away from kids, husband, house and job. I love it and get completely lost in it. But it can be hard to find this time.

Cheers!

Gina Pintar said...

Good post. I am not working outside the home at this time. I did before the kids but planned on staying home with him/them before the diagnosis.

I scrapbook. It is sort of about the kids since most of the photos are of them but then it is not. It is more about a creative outlet for me. Both kids do enjoy looking at the pretty pages and the photos.

Chumplet said...

I try to cover all the aspects of my life in my blog. I want readers to know me as much as is appropriate in the cyber-world.

Sometimes we're tempted to provide either too much information, or to focus on the mundane. I try to balance my blog with subjects that a wide spectrum of readers find interesting.

Plus, I don't want to bore anybody!

I don't know if you visited lately, John, but I took the advice you gave me in a post when a whole week had gone by. You said, "It's been a week! Post something!"

So I did.

Wendy Roberts said...

Hmmm. Interesting that more males email. I think it's about even on my blog.

Although I'm mom to four (yup, that's 4) kidlets, I try not to blog about them too often. Yes, they take up the better part of my day, particularly during the summer months when they're all around me (help). However, I realize most of my readers don't tune in to hear about the kids so I try and blog about what interests me at the moment. Like you do :)

kristen said...

Hi again, John. I did post about this this morning. Had me thinking all day yesterday...

Thanks.

Also, do more men email because they somehow have the secret power to actually find your email address? I'm not very web savvy, but I don't see an email link on your blog. Ah, perhaps as it's meant to be? :)

Tena said...

John, my sentiments echo yours. I have reached the "Somewhat Older" stage of life when other interests prevail.

I was never especially a "kid" person, although I loved my own with all my heart. And still do.

My dogs might be kid-substitutes, though heaven knows they present different problems as well as some significant benefits.

Ironically, because I have a therapy dog, I volunteer at a school for kids with autism and as a reading tutor for grade school kids.

As you know, most of what I post on my blog is non-kid related.

John Elder Robison said...

Kristen, many of the people who visit my blog for the first time find it via the Random House website, a bookseller like Amazon, or a magazine review.

All those lead people to my website which has the link to the blog and a "contact john" link.

I think the guys must just be more shy about their feelings, because it's true - they write and females blog.

Anyway, there's no secret to the email address. john@johnrobison.com

Tena - I agree that your blog is not kid centered. You've got dogs, cars, writing. One might say, you have a balance.

Chumplet, I was thrilled to read how my story helped you with autistic relatives. I always like it when my blog is genuinely useful.

Ello - I am glad to read how you liked my cover. I am going to pass your note on to the artist who designed it. I'm sure he'll be pleased.

Kim said...

I got nothing, John. Everything I eat, sleep, breathe and write has a connection to my kids. Except for my beer. My beer is my own. Bass Ale. Moretti. Even a Miller light is a little ray of sunshine.... Autism takes over - especially when you have a house full of it. I steer the ship. I'm in control. But as you know, by my inability to get out when I need to without alerting the National Guard, it's like a forcefield around my house.

John Elder Robison said...

Well, Kim, that's my concern in this post. What happens when those kids get bigger? And move out?

Do the females become Lost Moms, wandering in search of new kids? Or do they magically transform?

March Day said...

Hello John, I am one of your occassional readers that hasn't spoken up yet, so it is probably about time I chimed in.

Don't assume that because we choose to only blog about raising our kids that there are not other things in our lives that we devote time and energy to. I personally just choose not to write about those things. I do have a spiritual blog that I post to as well, but that one is private and solely between God and me.

I have a very satisfying and rewarding career, for example, but honestly, I don't feel inspired to write about it much on my blog.

The most challenging and rewarding role I play is mom to my kids. It is not quite what I expected it to be, but the experience has totally changed who I am and how I see the world. THAT is what I am inspired to write about. THAT is what I need to write about.

I started blogging because I felt very disconnected with other moms, being the parent of a child with autism. Blogging about this aspect of my life has allowed me to connect with other moms in similar situations in a way that I have not been able to before. I feel much less alone in this incredibly challenging and wonderful endeavor that has been given to me.

I suspect that I'm not alone in my take on this. I see that shining through in other blogs I read - yes, it's about raising the kids, but if you look close, there is so much more to the person than being a mom. Those things come out in snippets, just as one might casually mention kids at work, but it is not the main focus of conversation.

That is what blogging is about for me. Making sense of and sorting out the meaning of the gift of being a mom. Sometimes my work has something to do with this aspect of my life, but usually not, and therefore it doesn't come out much in my blog.

I have some thoughts about your comment, "What happens when those kids get bigger? And move out? Do the females become Lost Moms, wandering in search of new kids? Or do they magically transform?"

Delving into a response on that will have to wait until later, as parental duties to pick up my child are calling at the moment. I'll try to post about it sometime very soon.

Thank you for a very thought provoking post!

kyra said...

gee, i write about all my other concerns like my marital strife and my yoga booty ballet obsession and my weakness for informercials and the preoccupation with facial hair. SEE THE BALANCE? why it's positively swimming off the page!

oh but wait! there are getaway trips to NYC and the novel writing and the attempts to publish anthologies and the very occassional guest post on other sites.

hmmm, but my most pressing concerns are how to provide for what my son needs while tending to my own and that is a balancing act that takes up almost all my energies. and it's one that is distinctly female. like it or not, fathers don't struggle with this the way mothers do. it's not a judgment. it's just a difference, one of the ways we are different. if you are a thinking/feeling/creative woman and mother, then the balancing act requires all you've got in the early years.not so for fathers, for most of them, anyway.

Kim Stagliano said...

John, when we moved out my Mom got a nifty job and went to work out every day and just did fine. I'm not sure my nest will ever be empty, so I can't speak for myself. But in spite of our unusual household Mark and I do manage to be husband and wife, we do go out, we don't get to take vacations alone though. I think I'd really like that. A week of just being with him. But that's not in the cards for us so I try not to mourn it. I'm sure I'd do just fine if my kids were to grow up and move out. I'm educated and sociable and would have options. Others have life far tougher in different ways than my trials. I can't really complain and I hope that when I talk about the hardships my kids and I bear, it doesn't sound like kvetching. I work out so as to remain "enviable skinny" ;) and of course, my writing is really my "outside activity." I'd be lost without it. My fiction is a special treat as it is ALL MINE.

John Elder Robison said...

Hi Kyra,

Your blog does have some diversity, I agree. Being Aspergian and Numerical, I took the liberty of conducting a small analysis. Looking at your pages for July and August, you wrote 6,500 words in 14 essays. Of that number,

5,000 words, or 77%, are about kids, autism and kids, being a mom, books for moms, books for kids, or other directly mom-related matters.

The remaining 23% cover what I’d call peripherally-mom-related topics: sex drive, saying yes, and finding a life coach.

If you had paid me two hundred dollars for an analysis of that content, I would respectfully submit that greater diversity would be healthy.

But what do I know? I’m a freak and a misfit, myself.

I have to go analyze my own blog content now. I need more diversity too. What should it be?

John Elder Robison said...

Kim, the writing is good. It is all yours. Working out is good too. You comment that it keeps you enviably skinny, is true and good, but what it really does is allow you to eat.

There is no intrinsic joy in skinniness but there is joy in eating, at least eating fine foods.

John Elder Robison said...

And here’s another thought. I used the content of Kyra’s blog as an example . . . are our blogs really like magazines? Do the people who read Kyra’s blog – for example – expect essays on kids and autism and nothing else, just as people who buy Popular Photography expect photo articles and nothing else?

Or would her readers want or expect diversity? Recognizing, of course, that she has some diversity now but she’s more focused overall than diverse.

And a quick survey suggests most blogs – my own included – are more focused than diverse.

That’s an interesting point. There are many successful diverse print magazines, and also many specialized, focused magazines. Should blogs be focused, or diverse? Are they like print publications?

Kyra, what do you say?

John Elder Robison said...

March Day, thank you for the thoughtful response. Maybe these focused blogs fill a void in our lives, by connecting those of us with special interests or needs to others like us around the world.

I know I’d never have been able to befriend a group like all of you in the immediate vicinity of my home because folks like us are just a tiny fraction of the population and it takes an Internet to bring us together, from points distant.

Niksmom said...

Wow, John, I found this through Kristen's blog and her subsequent post on this optic. Very thought provoking, indeed. The irony for me is that, in the years before my son was born I struggled to find my identity apart from my profession -- my means to a paycheck. I didn't come up with any concrete answers, just a bunch of "Ooh, I could try..." scenarios. It wasn't until Nikolas was born that I truly felt I had found a sense of purpose and self; I had found a reason bigger than my own ego to get out of bed each morning. Yet, I still wrestle with those same questions. You query what happens when our children are grown...I hope I do not become a "Lost Mom." There is much I want to do in this lifetime, God willing. The connections I have made with other like-minded moms has, I think, prompted me to begin to search for those answers *before* the day comes when I am alone in my nest.

Tena said...

Tena - I agree that your blog is not kid centered. You've got dogs, cars, writing. One might say, you have a balance.

Not only that, John, but I have a certain wry humor/sarcasism quotient working in my favor. After all, I have Stephen Parrish to make snide comments. But then, he's sort of a sarcasm slut who spreads it around on other people's blogs.

mcewen said...

Balance is important, but baby sitters [competent ones that you can trust and afford] are few and far between.
Best wishes

John Elder Robison said...

mcewen, I would have been a baby sitter's worst nightmare. If you have a kid like I was, baby sitters are indeed going to be a problem.

Kanani said...

Your high quotient of mommy bloggers is NOTHING compared to my friend Neil.

I have been a writer for 28 years. You name the job, I've probably done it. The creative writing jump was a big one for me --I ended up in a writers' program and was delighted to find that the average age (male & female) was well over forty.

Anyway, I'm still busy. I have my day job, I have the household, I have loads of interests, I have the kids. And I've always thought it was essential to keep my own interests. I am, after all, me. And that's important, too. What I cherish most is what I cherished as a child: time alone. And I do get it, even if it means staying up late or waking up early!

Irene said...

Hi John!

This was a great post. I don't know what to say. I guess my kids are my passion. After they move out, maybe my grandkids will be my passtion? My mom DID go through a bout of depression and she and my dad hit some rough patches b/c they didn't know how to live w/o kids to provide for and take care of. I try not to make those mistakes. I accept your challenge to occasionally blog about subjects/issues in my life not related to KIDS!

Robin said...

John,

I love your Blog but I've never posted. In fact I don't have a blog myself, but if I did I would have two separate blogs with different names, one for my personal life and one for my professional life. I just don't see the same crowd that would love the recipe for my GFCF Brownies (they are delicious and nutritious)overlap much with the crowd that would like to discuss equations for designing distillation columns. Maybe I'm wrong.

Enjoying this discussion,

Robin
Mom of Three Boys, two on spectrum
Chemical Engineer

Kim Stagliano said...

ROBIN! Please come talk to me. I need to know you.....

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I don't write about my kids very often, actually. My blog is a vehicle to keep in touch with myself. That others enjoy it is an endless source of fascination.

Sometimes they call me Kelley, sometimes Twizzle. Sometimes a lot worse. said...

John, you keep saying the kids are going to leave one day.

Do you promise?

I think I write as a woman. And what's important to me. Not JUST my kids, but you know, chocolate. granny panties. my cats. scary neighbors. Important stuff.

:)

If I write about being a mom a lot, it's because that's what my life is about right now. As my life changes, so does my writing. Or I hope so. But point taken. Will be considering a little more diversity.

Robin said...

Hey Kim,

I'll meet you over at your blog which I also love.

Which is it, brownies or engineering?

Robin

MOM-NOS said...

Interesting. In my case, it's the magazine thing. I've got gobs of stuff in my life that I don't blog about, and while my blog is mostly about my son and autism and parenting, I do venture out to write about other things - music, writing, books, tv, politics. But I tend to keep those "other" posts to a minimum, because I'm trying to keep the audience in mind. People seem to visit my blog to read about autism. When I go off on a political or pop culture tangent, tumbleweeds start drifting through the comment section - which tells me that's not what most of my readers are looking for.

I get it. If I tuned into Car Talk on NPR and Click and Clack were exchanging recipes, I'd probably change the channel.

Niksmom said...

Oh, I don't know about that Mom-NOS. I think the T-brothers could do that pretty entertainingly, too! Of course, I'm a sucker for them anyway...

The Muse said...

Thought provoking post, John. (My apologies for being so long-winded.)

I thought that my life was complete before I had children. I was very career oriented and somewhat selfish with my time. When I was young I never wanted to be tied down, to get married, or thought that I would ever choose to have children…Now in retrospect I can’t imagine my life without my kids. Being a mother has forever changed me and enriched my life immensely.

There is an “Aha!” moment that hits you once you become a parent. This enlightenment has given me a profound respect for my mother and grandmother for their patience and unconditional love that they have given to me. Although I do have the mother’s curse, “I hope someday that you have a child just like you!” And I did; my son Chazz is so much like me in so many ways. Consequently, I have forgiven my mother for her frustrations and anxieties in raising me. I now appreciate all of her demonstrations of caring and concern.

It is true, John, that in some ways we lose ourselves in our children. But in so many other ways we actually FIND ourselves. Being a mother gives us the opportunity to recapture our youth and relive our childhoods again. My son has reminded me about how to be young and adventurous. He has brought so much joy and laughter into my life. He has a fun loving free spirit. I am much less serious about life. I had forgotten about things like finger painting and the smell of Crayola crayons. Sand castles and Lincoln logs. Shadow puppets on the ceiling. Building forts and buried treasures. Tents made from blankets in the family room. Running through sprinklers. Sleepovers. Hide and seek. Tag. The magic of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. The wonder of nature. And the fearlessness of youth…(My son has gotten me to go fishing, whitewater rafting, ATV-ing, zip-trekking, parasailing, bungee jumping, snow boarding, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, etc.)

I am such a better person for having been a mother. Being a parent builds character and teaches humility. Although I do dread the day when my son leaves home, I will be a much better artist, daughter, wife, sister, friend, and colleague because of him. I see the world differently now. Everything is seen in context of a family. Everyone is someone’s son or daughter/ mother or father. When I watch the news about a young man dying in Iraq, I think about if that were my son and the anguish his mother must feel. Being a mother changes our perspective on life and gives us great compassion for all children and all cultures. The struggles from being a parent have given me a sense of connect-ness with all humanity.

I don’t regret for one moment the sacrifices that I have made for my son and my stepdaughter. I have not lost myself in my children… My purpose is much larger than that. I look at it as a very good investment in posterity. I am still an artist at heart. I do hope that he will carry on my love for the arts and culture. I believe that it is a universal dream that all good parents share is that our children will surpass us in achievements. We try to protect them from making the same mistakes that we have made; we want them to have more out of life and a better life than we have had. That is why we devote so much of ourselves to them.

Being a mother is by far the most difficult and yet most rewarding thing that I have ever done. It teaches us wisdom. I do hope that my kids have lots of children. I am looking forward to being a wise old grandmother…

Drama Mama said...

I struggle daily with carving out an identity for myself, keeping my edge, while raising two kidlets. Sometimes it goes the other way and I feel like a narcissist. Sometimes it's all about them.

It's a 50/50 right now, as it should be. I plan on ten percent increments every 4 years or so, so that by the time the kids turn 18, it'll be all about ME.

As for the blog, I write about what I'm doing or what I know. I COULD write about how my feet hurt, or how I hate my stomach, or how my husband drives me nuts, but that might not be very interesting.

The husband driving me nuts might be interesting. Huh. Not to self: Exploit marriage in blog for greater diversity.

Thanks for the provocation.

March Day said...

John - I'm still thinking about this post several days later. Thanks again posting this. I think you have caused many of us to pause and ponder this.

As promised, I did post some more personal thoughts on this at http://onemarchday.blogspot.com/2007/08/when-they-fly-coop.html

(Sorry, I don't know how to create a hyper link when posting a comment! I'm a little technically challenged in this department.)

Amonly said...

Hey John,
Well - finally taking a moment to catch up with you via your blog.

I am happy we got to touch base in person at least for a short while before your leap further into the media spotlights.

Time- is an issue and focus. (Ah the mom excuse ...)

Have been caught up in being a mom this past week, mostly trying to negotiate college funding with men who see things almost exclusively from their perspective and desires and are NOT concerned with other family/children issues nor MY being able to turn my assets and time towards developing myself.

Trying to engage towards a 'cooperative' agreement with a bright, determined, uni-focused son who has been ill, preferred to sleep most of the days, does and did not plan well ahead, does not wish to look at facts or take time to analyse and understandably has difficulty being in the middle of two parents who differ, along with trying to enagage a provocative and uncommunicative ex-who is always the victim, witholds documentation and details to support decision making- and who seems to think one day and 2 weeks out of the year with his son, and a few weekends with his daughter, is enough time for his commitment to his children... (Other than HE works- as if I don't) .... has left little time (or energy ) for ME.

On top of this I did manage to carve out some time for working, teaching, swimming, dancing tango, a bit of writing, love-making, paying bills, tending a sick cat, and ah yes- sleep. (and a phone call or two to you)

But the main focus was the children and concerns around them; financing, feeding, driving, attention to THEIR interests and concerns, etc.

I think it is a matter of biology , society, values, and the reality of survival- in the interest of the success of the next generation.

As to writing and talking about it. That too is partly biology, socialization and values.

I hear an implicit judgment that 'Moms are lost', or will be, if they focus so much on children - that they become boring, and lack diversity.

I think that is what MEN mainly see, think, feel and judge. Women sharing these concerns and topics with each other can be endlessly engaged and find meaning and direction from each other, besides support.

Our society does not VALUE this.

Damned if we do and damned if we don't.

A career focused female like Hillary Clinton is seen as a cold calculating bitch...not feminine...

We all talk (and write) about what concerns us most at the time and what we have partly been raised and encouraged to do.

What about men that talk about cars, motorcylces, sports, and audio equipment as their obssesions? What is so damn diverse and interesting about that? What is so meaningful?

One might say it is selfish,childish, about power and mastery, competition, and 'typical', vs. nurturing, caring, and community building.

Where does it leave the men if they don't have women to love, have sex with, and keep the family web working? The women who queston them and provide a key to their understanding and accepting themselves and the world?


What happens when kids leave, is similar to what happened before women had them. Women can return to some of the interests and activities that they were excited about as young girls, or develop new passions, careers, hobbies, and friends.

They can maybe sleep again more peacefully.

We all may start talking and writing more about aging as that takes more attention and becomes a strong personal (and societal) concern.

You write about your life-

I am your friend and so find it fascinating from that perspective alone. It is an opportunity for me to know you better - and connect. It provides context and allows for compassion.

These are typical female interests, concerns, perspectives.

As I have also have a niece with Autism/Aspergers it is interesting though frankly not as informative as some research articles and experts who work with this would be, or talking with my sister directly about her child.

(Ah mothers with children again)

And then - on top- you have some strange and funny stories to tell and do it with style.

an aside

Just wondering how much of this post has been provoked by my discussions, complaints, and questions about male/female relationships, and the different struggles we have shared with each other about our lives and seeking balance - with a little time to express our souls.

Recall:
YOur focus on Asperger's became an obssession
One - because you are blessed with that kind of mind

Two - because you found out about it and were encouraged to write about it.

Three- your writing and experience is marketable.


Your ability to write and do the book thing is partly possible because you do have a mate to help on the home front. Jack is older- and needs less attention and both allows for time, and your brother paved the way.

Besides you also get lots of encouragement from female friends (and readers) :) .

There is SOOOO much more to this topic.

And yes males may be both more shy, more private, and also less eager to reveal their ideas to a group.... perhaps more direct and detailed?

As to blogging about diverse thing etc.

What IS appropriate to blog about? Is mine diverse? Will it be if I get the time to write about ALL that concerns me?

It could be more so- Would anyone read it except if they were pointed to it or interested in the particular topic?

And what is NOT appropriate to blog about? I've gotten feedback that I'm too revealing... both personally and about ideas I may wish to market.

Safer if I just talked about the kids?

Alison

Are you Zippy today?

The Muse said...

Hi Alison,

Thanks for your insightful post. I think that perhaps it is true that men tend to define themselves by their work or careers; whereas women are more inclined to define themselves by their home and their relationships. It is also interesting to me that this subject has triggered so many responses.

piglet said...

"One day, the kids will be grown up and gone. What then? What are your plans for a post-child life? That’s a big question, one all of us must address."

my mom hammered this point into my head throughout my life. it's a good point. altho, she has accused me of treating my son like he's jesus christ. i try and keep it balanced and to not become too engaged with my son so that i lose who i am. that's the tricky part for most women.

Robin said...

This book has helped me to understand why my son (who has Aspergers) does and says some of the things he does. I have always accepted that he was different and I was the one pushing the doctors to test him. It is funny though, no matter how much I try, I cannot get others to understand why Colin is the way he is. Reading Look Me In The Eye is something I wish every educator had to read before teaching a child with Aspergers. Thank you to John for telling the world that he and others with Aspergers may be different but they are no less important, than those who are around us.

John Elder Robison said...

Robin, perhaps you could bring my book to the attention of your teachers. I agree that some of the passages may be eye opening for them

Best wishes
John