Friday, March 13, 2009

But Seriously: Who Put THIS Chick In Charge?

I thank sweet baby Jesus every day of the week that there aren't hidden cameras and microphones in the places I parent, because I swear to you, you would think my mothering skills questionable at best if you saw me and my crazy kids in action. It. Is. Not. Pretty. There are times when I'm out in the street with my Mari and Lila, and I'm literally pulling my hat down over my eyes so that nobody can tell it's Denene Millner—author and alleged mom "expert" for a national parenting magazine—yelling at/threatening/begging/ignoring/thisclose to swatting her daughters like they stole something. And that's out in public. Catch me standing over the girls in the morning, when they're sitting down for breakfast exactly 30 seconds before they're supposed to be at the bus stop, or clapping and hollering behind them when they're still in the bathtub/undressed for bed/stalling their goodnights well past bedtime, and you'd think I was a downright lunatic—that maybe a visit from a government agency might be helpful for all involved. For sure, my house is what looks like crazy on an ordinary day.

This is all to say that I'm not a perfect mom.

I'm really clear on this.

And because I know how tough it is to be a mom, the last thing I want to do is judge another mom for how she does it in her house, particularly when no one is looking. We all say ugly words we wish we could take back—do things that, later, we wish we would have done better. We question whether we're doing right by our kids practically every second of the day. It's a mom thing. And the international Mom Code is to avoid at all costs pointing fingers at other moms for how they're raising their kids. Because dammit, if I'm pointing my finger at you, three more are pointing back at me.

Which is what I was screaming at the TV earlier this week when The Today Show invited Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of "Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay," and purveyor of the popular blog Baby on Bored, onto its couch to give her opinion (read: violate The Mom Code) on Nadya Suleman's "controversial," frantic 911 call, in which the mom of 14 repeatedly says, "Oh my God, I'm going to kill myself" when she thinks she's lost her son. I swear, the Sippy Cup chick had more venom than a damn King Cobra—accused Suleman of being overly dramatic, irresponsible, and downright nuts because she panicked during her 911 call.

"I’ve lost my son in a bookstore and I didn’t lay on the floor and start going, 'I’m going to kill myself,' until the paramedics arrived," she snipped in the segment, as seen in the clip above.

The hell?

Who decided Wilder-Taylor is the friggin' arbiter of motherhood perfected? Exactly on what day were they handing out "I'm The Best Mom Ever And You Suck" badges, and who's responsible for giving her one? And why, why, WHY did we have to be assaulted by her whiny, unreasonably accusatory voice so early in the damn morning? Even the mom sitting next to her had a look on her face that read, "Damn dude, be easy—pop a Xanax or something."

I mean, I'm no Octomom fan—you won't find me pushing the PayPal button on the Nadya Suleman Family Website, adding a Millner/Chiles cash infusion to the tax dollars we already contribute to the government "help" she's getting for all those damn kids. I know doggone well, too, that Denene wouldn't have laid up there and had all those babies knowing she had no job, no money, no help, and no plan. But I wouldn't ever assume it's my right to get all up in Suleman's womb and her wallet, or presume to know what she should have said, how she should have acted, or what she should have been feeling when she thought her child had been snatched.

Because that's breaking The Code.

Sippy Cup: That thing you heard in Suleman's voice, sweetie? It's called e-m-o-t-i-o-n. You know, that feeling some of us—particularly those of us with hearts—express when we think something terrible has happened to our kids.

Maybe you ought to have another sip of Chardonnay, baby, and sit on down.

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  1. Lawd, you said, "sit on down." Thank you. The last thing Ms. Suleman needs is a dog pile. Apparently violating the mommy code of ethics is the new black when it comes to this woman's business.

  2. You know, usually I don't respond to people who take up their whole blog slamming me for my opinion but in this case I thought I'd make an exception.

    What I was asked to respond to on the Today Show was whether or not I believed that those 911 calls were further proof that Nadya is not balanced. The answer to that question in my mind is yes, yes, 100% yes. She is unbalanced. There has not been only one 911 call where she has had an "emotional" breakdown and the police have had to be dispatched to her home and I don't believe that's because she was worried about her children.

    This is a woman who REFUSED help (round the clock nursing care - free of charge) when it was first offered to her with her new babies because she felt it would "interfere" with the reality show we was planning to have. Yes, that is true. Nadya is all about Nadya. Speaking as a mother of a preschooler and only two preemie babies, one of whom has special needs, I can tell you with authority that her kids will need all the attention and help they can get and for her to refuse help (except monetary of course - in that case her attitude has been bring it on, baby!) makes me downright scared for her children. I personally felt that those 911 calls were furthur evidence of her self-centered, in a mentally unhealthy way, behavior.

    You say:

    "I know doggone well, too, that Denene wouldn't have laid up there and had all those babies knowing she had no job, no money, no help, and no plan." I'm glad you wouldn't. But she would. And she went very public about it.

    I'm not claiming to be mother of the year and I'm not saying that everyone sucks, although if you are yelling at your kids everyday so much so that you believe if someone saw you they'd want to call a government agency, maybe you outta think about taking a Xanax. They really help with that. Yeah, I should know.

    So, sorry if I broke your "mommy code" but I'm not too worried about Nadya. I am however petrified for those poor kids -which you (like me) have no interest in supporting.

    Anyway, glad you think my blog is popular.


  3. I usually like Stefanie's blog and her viewpoints (and I did like her book), but I think this Octomom situation brings out the worst in people. (I didn't look at the clip...I'm just saying.)

    People can not STAND this woman and her (audacious?) behavior. But like you said, it is not my place to judge. All I can do is pray for those babies and hope that they get the help they need.

    Do I think it's irresponsible? Sure, but I can't worry my little head about it. Too much stress over a situation I can't control....


  4. Okay, I actually watched the clip now (LOL). All I want to add is that I can't believe the Today show even ran the stupid segment. I hope those two moms were in NYC and weren't flown in because that is ridiculous. All this attention paid to this woman? Insane. If we didn't care so much and we weren't so genuinely curious, this woman and her 14 kids would simply GO AWAY and there wouldn't be talk of reality shows and porn deals and Dr. Phil specials....Geez...

  5. FIrst: I think it's adorable when people start their diatribe with, "I usually don't respond, but..." and then spend, literally, screens-full of words that prove my original point.

    Let's start there.

    Second: I don't do drugs. I prefer to be in full possession of my faculties when I'm with my kids. I just say no. But if Xanax and Chardonnay get you through the day, love? Well, you know--do you. Somebody could accuse you of parenting by prescription drugs, but it won't be me. You know why? Because I DON'T KNOW YOU. I have no idea what's going on in your house or in your mind--facts that render me unqualified to say you're an unfit parent. Just like listening to a 10-second snippet of Nadya on a panicked 911 call moments after she discovered her child was missing renders me--AND YOU--incapable of making proclamations about her mental state.

    That IS what you were asked to comment on: Her 911 call. But perhaps you could have been the bigger person and made the conversation more productive by questioning how her actions made it hot for other wanna-be moms who need in-vitro to have babies. Or maybe you could have made the very valid point as an "authority" on multiples and special needs kids that this woman is going to need ALL the help she can get to take care of those kids. Or maybe you could have acknowledged that a lot of us moms are tired of getting all up in this woman's business, and really could give a crap about every... little... exhaustive... monotonous... ridiculous... detail of her life. Because we moms have children to raise, and stuff to do.

    But nooooo: For 4:35 minutes, you came with one-liners that, while they made for "interesting" TV, added absolutely NOTHING to the conversation. Just the usual cattiness and backbiting--the characteristics that all-too-often get attached to us moms.

    What you did just felt wrong--like a violation. Like you crossed WAY over the line. And if you can't see that, then shame on ya.

  6. Oh, and yeah, "peace out."
    *thumps chest with gang sign*
    "tosses head back (for good measure)*
    "furrows eyebrows and shakes head*
    *closes the door*

  7. Denene, all I can say is "Amen, chile:)"

  8. Denene:

    You make a very good point about where we are in American society vis-à-vis morality. As you so clearly describe it here: The Code. In my deepest conscience, even though I cannot condone the choices Nadya has made, I must try to understand her predicament, and show some compassion.

    It is glaringly obvious that Nadya is neither blonde, nor blue-eyed. If she was, I firmly believe Pampers and Gerber would already have signed deals with her. What do you think?

    It is also glaringly true that Nadya is well educated. That she chose to have the babies in her current circumstances. To that I say she has every right to do with her body what she wants. Maybe she was trying to form her own soccer team - who knows?

    To those critical of Nadya and her income-generating skills, a quick look in the mirror will reveal the same self-serving interests. It’s the good old American way, everyone wants their 15 seconds (or is it minutes?) of fame.

    Did Nadya ask for the fame? No. Publicity came knocking down her doors. And she is maximizing on it, sorting out her predicament! As for folks offloading, No! lambasting Nadya, I think they are after some of those 15 seconds/minutes.

    Denene: Good approach towards constructive criticism and support!!!

  9. @ Mama Shujaa: Thanks girl--I truly meant this to be constructive criticism. Maybe we could all be better about not pointing fingers and HELPING instead of going for the punchlines.

  10. I think that the Mom Code was broken. Instead of lambasting her in this way wouldn't a better question be "who the hell is her doctor?" I in no way condone what she did. Personally I think it is irresponsible to have so many additional children when she already has special needs children to care for. But at the end of the day the children are here and they are the ones that need to be focused on.

  11. Wow. Where is the love? Why is it our first instinct to think we know in 15 seconds what other people are about. Wherever Ms. Suleman is in her life right now has been a long time in the making. What we know of her is specifically what the media wants us to know.

    Right or wrong (as we see it), she will have to raise these children. I pray that she has all she needs (spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially) to best raise ALL the children she has.

    I am sure all of us have times where we had had challenges caring for our kids. I think we set ourselves up when we try presume what we would do if we were in someone else's shoes. We need to concentrate on being the best moms we can be and encourage other moms to do the same.

  12. Anytime someone begins sentences with phrases such as "No one I know would do that..." and "I didn't do that...(thereby implying that what they would do is THE appropriate way to handle something)", I'm made aware of their thick cloak of Better-Than-Though-ism. When mothers gather, especially in an online community, to support each other through blogs, and on television shows and the sort, it's discouraging when we make it a point to speak so negatively about each other. I thought Stefanie's comments were so below the belt, especially the "calling 911 for a missing sandwich" bit. In my crazy world of Reality Parenting, which is usually free of prescription drugs, in it's less than perfect form, will offer many moments of panic and emotional strain. Besides, I would never take Xanax, and no one I know would take Xanax, ergo, doing so must be a poor decision?!?!

    I have shamelessly posted my moments of madness in regards to my two children, and though I know that doing so opens me up to judgment, scrutiny, and public opinion, I can proudly say that the negative comments were left in people's private conversations, never on my blog, or on television.

    There's a time and a place for our perspectives, just ask Kanye West. Yes, we all have the right to our opinions, and since Stefanie gave hers, I'm inspired to give mine, and it is simply: Prescription aids sure would make me scoff at sober parents trying to maintain too, and if I couldn't do it Xanax-free, then perhaps I'd keep that knowledgeable 911 operator on speed dial to enlighten me on what my other child might need.

  13. ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT THIS BLOG IS GREAT! LMAO. Man if you were outside my door and heard most of the things me and my wife yell at our kids you'd probably think we were all crazy! Leave that damn Octomom lady alone. No one really knows what they will do in there moment of weakness. God forbid some tapes it while its happening.

  14. Whew! Ok, I agree with Mama Shujaa and that's exactly the first thing I said when learning about Suleman, the girl is smart! There's no doubt in my mind that knew what she was doing. She's a master strategist. She knew that she would get criticism, ridicule... and money and big things! As irritated as I was with this chic, when I first saw those tiny, fragile, beautiful babies in incubators, I said, "she got me!" Call me a wuss and I would agree with you. It's all about those babies now! They're here and there is nothing we can do about that. And I do agree with you Stephanie, it's all about Suleman too. The girl is going to make sure she, in addition to her babies, gets hers as well. But, there is one thing that I can say as a mother of four. Suleman, too, is a mother. Her panic tells me that she thinks, acts, feels and loves as a mother should, thank God! I am glad to know that though she uses them for monetary gain, which I will never condone, she at least loves them as a mother is supposed too. I would die for my babies in a minute, without thought! So I was feeeling Suleman on the 911 call. You can even here it in her voice. To me it sounded as if she was going crazy (which she should have been) while trying to stay calm if that makes sense. When I realized my son of four years was lost at Wal-Mart, I felt a flush of heat coming down on me, my head started spinning and I thought I was going to faint. My vision even blurred. Now Stephanie, the paramedics had to show up before you started to panic??? For real??? Really?

  15. @Execumama: Tell. It. Dammit.

    @KSMP: Thank you!

    @Arlice Nichole: EXACTLY. As crazy as we all may think Octomom to be, the one thing that I haven't gotten yet is that she doesn't love those babies. She may have too many of them (for our taste; my great grandmother had 17, okay? NONE OF THEM TWINS! And neither Dr. Phil nor anybody else was hooking her up with houses, money, and help), but the one thing I HAVE seen in the, what? 45 seconds worth of clips showing her interacting with her kids, it's clear she LOVES them. And when you love someone, particularly your child, you will walk in front of a semi if it means the baby won't hurt. Criticize Nadya all you want, but really, calling her crazy because she was panicked about her son is taking it too damn far.

  16. Christy B asked me to post this on her behalf (post comment keeps playing tricks on her, doggonit!):

    Wow! Just wow! I have no idea where to start. I feel that yes what she did was wrong but she had help. We should take steps to make sure this does not happen again and just let the situation go. What’s done is done. No need for all of the finger pointing at this woman. I am a mother and know how hard it is to raise 2 kids so I cannot even imagine what it will take for 14. I do believe there is an issue with her mentally because there is no way she can truly believe that she can provide a stable environment with equal love, care, and attention for each of those children. Nothing to do now but do what we can to help. Yeah that and get her tubes cut, burned, stapled or whatever else they have to do to keep octomom from having anything else.... Just my thoughts..

  17. Woo Boy, what a conversation! My first thought is boo to the Today show for even airing the segment. It was unnecessary. Also, boo to Hannah Storm (is that her name?) for opening the segment by saying she'd speaking with "real moms." No matter what we all think of Nadya and no matter how the media lets us see her, she's a real mom too.

    The video made me uncomfortable. I hope that were I ever to be asked to give my opinion so publicly (especially under the title of expert), I'd be able to do so a bit more constructively and a lot less catty.

    PS- I 100% agree about the Pampers comment above. The McCaughey family (septuplets)STILL makes the news every few years. I can almost stake my life on the belief that, had Nadya been a woman of color, the comments about her choices would be WAY beyond what's being said now.

  18. Wow...really? Like most of the moms voicing their opinions on this blog...I.TOO.AM.NOT.A.PERFECT.MOM! However, you will never find me pointing a finger at another mom for actions or choices she has made for HER family. MRS. Sippy Cup unequivocally broke the code! Watching that Today Show segment literally made my skin crawl. Bad idea Today Show.

  19. I must say you are so full of yourself and hiding behind the "we shouldn't break the code and be bigger people". You are doing the exact thing you are accusing others of doing. You said in response to Stefanie "Somebody could accuse you of parenting by prescription drugs, but it won't be me." You just did. You know what? I could say "some might say you are a full of **it but it won't be me." Oh sure, some might say it and it might be true, but notice how I didn't say it. Because I am a better person than you. Look at me. I'm the best.

    Seriously, get over yourself. It's a Today show segment. Octomom is all over the news. She sought out the publicity and continues to do so. She has proven to be unstable. Stefanie was asked on the show to do what she did, just like the other mom was. It's called conflict and it's called humor. She was making jokes because that is what she is there to do. Some might say you need to chill out, take a breath, and get down off your high horse. Actually, I will say it.

  20. @Puttman: Oh, aren't you the special one. Talking high horses and "provens" (did you see the papers? get the diagnosis? get a glimpse at her medical papers somewhere? Do tell how it's been "proven") all with your big words. I don't turn on The Today Show for humor; I turn it on for the news. If I want humor, I'll turn to Comedy Central.

    Take that nonsense somewhere else, dear. Seriously.

  21. My dear, The Today show is a Morning show. Get your news from CNN. Thanks sweetie. And if you think I was using big words, I am concerned. Wait - too big of a word? worried, angst ridden, no likey. Perfect. If you think I used big words I no likey your vocabulary. Check that. I no likey the words you know. Bye, honey.

  22. Oh, Putty... so special. So very special. You and Sippy. Like I had said, keep... it... moving. This is a place for honest discourse, where sane, rational people can agree to disagree and state their opinions without nastiness. Now, if all you can do is insult and act the stone fool, MyBrownBaby is SO not the place for you.

    Beat. It.

  23. Amen. Take that stuff elsewhere this is not the place for you. There is a difference between your how you feel about something and just being nasty. You Puttman are just being nasty. Sit back, breathe, and get a clue.

  24. My little sparrow. You do realize you are very condescending and talk down to people. Oh, maybe you don't. Is honest discourse where we all pile on and cheer your warped opinion. I know you mentioned big words throw you, so perhaps you don't know what discourse is. It's totally cool if you don't. But your fake patronizing posts are not honest discourse.I disagreed with you and pointed out where you were acting the same way you accused others of acting, but hiding with an "I'm not saying, but others might say."

    You also mentioned that we don't know if octo is in touch with sanity and I need to show you papers, proof, etc. Do actions count or only the medical research? Because a woman who has six kids already, no job, and lives off student loans and money she gets for her children from the government and then decides to use money she was receiving to get in vitro and have more kids may be a sign she is not completely stable. Sure, I don't have the research, and I didn't examine her but I can look at actions. And those actions are glaring (shine a bright light, show in drastic terms,aw forget it, just look up glaring).

    Now I know you are going to respond by saying oh honey you run along. I don't want to look at my own posts and see if I am off base or possibly wrong on anything. I'll just condescend (talk down) to someone who said something against me. I hope your children don't pick up on your obtuse ways. Obtuse!

    Toodles, honey bunny pie.

    Toodles, honey bunny. And

  25. Wow... um, am I being punked?
    Did I NOT just say that MyBrownBaby is a place of discourse where people are welcome to disagree without being disagreeable? Wasn't that the whole point of this post?

    Sorry--not going to stoop to your level. But the next one who leaves a nasty, insulting comment that has NOTHING to do with the topic at hand? You. Will. Be. Deleted.

    With a quickness.

    Be clear.

  26. I am a mom and was unaware there is a "code" whereby we can't discuss the abusive, yes abusive, behavior of other mothers. Nadya is a troubled woman who in my mind is abusive in that rather than concentrating on the six she has, implanted more. With no job. No partner. And no money. Oh except our hard-earned tax dollars. And her doctor should be prosecuted.

  27. Ok, I don't usually say this, but she was a real bitch there. Broke the mom code, indeed - and who are you to judge? Who gave her a soap box to stand on?? Someone push her off.

  28. @Anonymous (the second one): Can't say I agree with you that we moms should pile onto other moms who aren't doing it like we'd do it. But I DO agree with you that somebody needs to be holding that doctor's feet to the fire.

    @Elisa: Wooo, the fire. (Though I'll have to say I wouldn't call her a bitch). But I get your point.

  29. Brava! I can't believe someone like Sippy Mom gets face time on TV!

  30. Wow, this has become a heated topic. Ok first off, on your original post... I'm no expert, and I'm no mom, but I think it's harsh to judge someone on a personal phone call. I'm sad that 911 call was even released. I can't imagine what I would have said in a scary situation like that. I know this woman wants fame and fortune but if everyone can agree on that why are we still giving her more time an attention? Regardless there's no need to be so hard on the octo woman... I mean she's practically defenseless. I'm not about to go donate to her fund either... Lord knows there's plenty of that going around, but I'm not going to bash her should-be-private phone call on national television acting like I know best either.

    I personally like to watch the Today show for news too... And I agree with you, the media should focus more on what we can do NOW to help and/or change things, not bash what you can't change. What's the point of that now? The babies are here, there's no point in dogging the woman anymore. If we're going to give press to the subject why not let it be HELPFUL, not hurtful.

  31. I thought the Today Show was a morning NEWS show, No?

    Okay, for real. For 4:35 seconds I sat there thinking if they can be on the Today Show, so can I damn it! Today Show, give me a call, I'm available to sit there and [not] contribute much to a topic.

  32. Mothers don't have a "an international mom code" precluding them from pointing out when another mother is emotionally unbalanced thereby impacting her children's well-being. This isn't about one call to 911. It's a series of selfish, irresponsible actions on the part of a delusional and sick woman. My "code" is to look out for children, not stay silent due to some inane imaginary sorority of motherhood.

  33. I know if one of my kids was missing for at least an hour I would go nuts. Do you hear me, NUTS!!! I probably would say something really stupid as well, because when I am really angry, upset, or emotional, I say things that I sometimes regret. So for anyone to judge the comments she made and then conclude that is unfit is unfair.

    My two cents.
    Oh, and losing your child in the bookstore for a few minutes is NOT the same as losing your child somewhere outside for an hour. Just not the same.

  34. Seriously Brown Mama, you need to see this for what it is....14 children in desperate need of a capable mother AND father to take care of them emotionally, physically and financially. You are seriously delusional if you think the issue at hand is some ridiculous "mother's code" and how dare Ms. Wilder-Taylor break that code. Grow up and get real, this woman needs serious mental health intervention. But hey, let's not judge people who beat the crap out of their girlfriends either cause that make break a code too. Besides, I am sure she threw the first punch so she must have deserved it. But let's not judge, cause who hasn't "yelled at / threated / ignored or come this close to swatting" our children.

    No, I won't judge you. I'll report you to child protective services and see how they judge you.

  35. I have to say after reading all the comments that the person who is being judge most harshly is Stephanie. I know that it does seem to be a reasonable reaction to freak out if your child is missing but I can also see how this Nadya woman is just attention seeking. She calls 911 a lot from what I hear. She is really not paying attention to her other children while she's on the phone carrying on either. I just see that call as making her sadly seem more crazy which is not good if you're going to take care of 14 children. Also, some people think they should be on the Today Show to give their opinion but the Today Show didn't ask them - they asked Stephanie like it or not. I happen to like her blog and her humor.


  36. @Anonymous (#2): Oh, please believe, this mama is GROWN. And how did this conversation morph into domestic abuse? Again, am I being punked?

    @Shannon: Thank you for sharing your opinion without being nasty/rude. I actually like Stephanie's books and blog, too. Just didn't like how she handled herself on The Today Show as a mom who supposedly represents the mainstream opinion of other moms. She certainly didn't represent mine, and, as it would appear, those of a lot of other moms, too.

    I wonder if anyone can answer this, though: Is the Mom Code a black mom thing? Because it seems that my black mom friends, for the most part, feel the way that I do: That it's really unfair to judge another mom when we weren't there to see what happened, and could reasonably see ourselves reacting in the same way under similar circumstances? Just curious... no judgment or nastiness in answering the question, please. Just honestly.

  37. Shannon here, I dont know why this brings up so much antagonism in people but I wouldn't say it's a black thing. I sort of believe in a mom code too BUT I also find it refreshing when people call things as they see them. One of the main reasons I'm a fan of Stephanie's blog is that she seems like she's always honest about how she feels good or bad and not many women are. Also, in fairness to her, the other woman on the show was defending your opinion and she (steph) was defending the opinion of a lot of other moms. I guess, I'm only writing this because Stephanie's blog has gotten me through some really hard times with my new baby (breast feeding problems etc.) with her humor and honesty and I find her the opposite of judgmental. Maybe because I like her so much I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt but it seemed like she was just trying to be funny and she's been on the Today Show before being funny about serious topics. One more thing, I believe in being outspoken no matter what your race. Stephanie took the less popular opinion that's it's okay if you can't breast feed (which made me cry with relief) even though she took a lot of negativity over it (I did too). As a white/black issue, it's people who took a stand (like MLK) even when it wasn't popular but could open people's eyes that I find brave. But again, I can see both sides.


  38. Wait, the mom code means that we can't judge other moms? I thought it meant that we could only judge them behind their backs.

    More seriously, though, I think all bets are off if someone thrusts themselves into the public light. I mean, I plan on mocking the Brangelina "we don't have nannies, our kids are not spoiled" crap, mom code or not.

  39. @Shannon: Thanks for that response. I'm all for people calling it like they see it--as you can tell from this post and many others here on MyBrownBaby, I don't tend to hold back--but there seemed to be an incredible amount of vitriol mixed in with Stephanie's jokes--two things that I wouldn't necessarily expect from another mom asked to comment on another mother's panicked phone call about a missing child. I don't think anyone is signing up to defend Nadya; quite the contrary. But the specific segment was about evaluating her 911 call to see if she is over-the-top looney, and Stephanie seemed to be piling on with jokes and saying how SHE would have reacted in a similar situation--which IS judgmental. And I simply didn't find it humorous or fair or brave.

    But the larger context here seems to be that, at least here, black moms seem to agree that judging another mom for the way she raises her kids is a no no, while others (well, I guess I can't assume they're white because no one save for Lulu and Moxie's Mom was brave enough to leave names or blog links) defending Stephanie seemed to think they have the right to call the authorities when they think another mother isn't raising her kids or legislating her womb like they would. What are your thoughts on that?

    And thanks, again, Shannon; this convo isn't about beating anyone up, it's about trying to understand.

  40. @Marinka: LOL!!!!!!!!!
    Lawd, don't get me started on that Brangelina mess.

  41. When chick said she had zanax in her purse, she lost all credibility on what's sanity. She's hopped up on drugs, enough said.

  42. "Anonymous" here.

    Um, yeah, I only posted as anonymous because I don't have a blog. P.S. I am a proud Latina/American Indian. Why does it matter to you so much?

  43. Wow, interesting dialog here. I don't think raw emotion should be a marker of effective parenting or mental stability, especially in a serious situation such as a lost child. I also don't think that Stephanie's commentary was humorous or her approach appropriate for the subject or very affective in contributing any further understanding. I also don't find anything wrong with seeking treatment for a mental illness/disorder/emotional difficulty, which includes the taking of SSRIs/mood stabilizers. And lastly, I don't think that we should continue to allow ourselves to get all riled up over Nadya and her children. It is what it is and tax dollars will go where they are gonna go. What are we gonna do? Stop paying taxes? No, so what does it really matter? What does any of it really matter?

    I'll be glad when this is out of the headlines.

  44. @Ms. Bar: Girl, you're absolutely right: What does any of it really matter? The kids are here and they're hers, and we're stuck watching others dissect every, tiny detail of what she's doing/has done. People who don't now anything about her other than what they "had heard" on TV.

    @Anonymous (Latina/American Indian): If you didn't notice, you can still say your name, even if you don't have a blog. And why do I care about race so much? Um, that's what MyBrownBaby is about, love: Motherhood and race. And while there are plenty of ways that black moms parent EXACTLY like everyone else, there are differences between the races, too. I choose to seek understanding. Most of the MyBrownBaby readers do, too, which is the point of asking questions.

  45. Ok, Brown Baby Mama.. your blog, your choice. Personally, I choose to avoid stereotyping people by the color of the skin. It feels divisive. But you have your audience and it's your choice.

    The entire point of why Stephanie Taylor was asked to be on the Today Show was to offer a differing viewpoint. As a matter of fact, I AM a television producer of a national talk show and we don't book people to discuss subjects who have the same point of view. Stephanie has appeared numerous times on the Today show, has a popular blog and best selling books because people do identify with her humor. That's why we book her.


  46. @Cher: If you are, indeed, a television producer and you book people for their differing viewpoints, then you SHOULD understand why someone would ask a question about... differing viewpoints. Asking questions isn't about stereotyping--it's about seeking understanding, so that you can AVOID stereotypes.

    Furthermore, this blog post wasn't about Stephanie's differing viewpoint or whether she should have been on the Today Show (I watch everyday, so I've seen her before and am familiar with her books); it was about how she chose to pass judgment on another mother based off of a panicked 911 phone call. That was the topic of the segment, right? Does Nadya's panicked phone call mean she's crazy? Sorry, but I just don't see the humor in making fun of a mother who, in that specific moment, was upset about her missing child.

    Obviously, that's a viewpoint different from hers.

    Oh, and my name is Denene, not "Brown Baby Mama."

  47. A controversial subject and post. I saw the original segment on the Today show and I thought at the time that the question as posed by the show was poor and pointless.

    I also read and really like Stefanie's blog. I find her humor and honesty refreshing and haven't run into this much mommy judgment on her part before. Her opinion on this specific issue was overly harsh for me.

    On the meat of the issue, I'm not exactly a Nadya fan. She has said some things and done some things that make me think that further investigation of her and her children's situation is probably warranted. If the experts think she's capable of raising her kids safely (not exactly as I would, or according to anyone else's standards, just safely) well, they are her kids.

    BUT, I think it is completely unfair to make judgments based on a panicked call to 911 with a child missing. I have certainly had moments, with only three children, where my heart sat in my feet and I looked around frantically for a child. If it came to calling 911, I could see myself repeating a stupid, panicked phrase over and over without meaning the words. Like, "I feel sick," or "I'm going to throw up," or "oh, god, he's not here, he's not here, I'm going to die, I'm going to die." I think it's beyond unfair to take her words "I'm going to kill myself," in that specific situation as a red flag sign of serious mental issues.

    Oh had to get my two dollars in!

  48. D I've got to give it to you for standing firm in your beliefs and your stance. I can't imagine having that many kids, but if the one I have went missing for longer than a few minutes, I might be racing around the house like the tazmanian devil and screaming her name so loud they could hear me in Utah (and I live in the ATL). Don't let those who misconstrue and misunderstand deter you. Keep speaking your mind. You're alright with me. And let me know if you need me to open a can. You know I've always got one at the ready. jd

  49. I just read this out loud to my mom and we are cracking up! This is why I love your blog (and by extension you)!

  50. I'm a grandmother and sick to death of hearing all these mothers analyzing other mothers... I read it on blogs, see it on TV... they write books about it. All like a flippin' bunch of old hens with nothing better to do than make all the other moms out there think they are the experts on raising children... Just so sick of it.

    Morning shows just fill air time with junk instead of going out and getting real news stories... I want Chet Huntley and David Brinkley back! REAL NEWS, instead of one mother judging another.

    I followed your link from my daugher's blog, Denene, just to see what was going on at your blog. Enjoyed the read, now excuse me while I go downstairs and shut of the TV. *click*

    The Blue Ridge Gal


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