Tag Archives: mothers

FOR WOMEN: Are You a MILF or a MILM (Mother I’d like to Marry)

Child giving a kiss to his mother on the cheekWith the rate of American babies born out of wedlock continuing to climb, (it’s currently 44%) it has increased the number of single mothers on the mating market. In fact,  I’ve had a number of conversations lately with single mothers about the idea of getting married again. While plenty are happy to raise their kids alone, and prefer to keep a lover in a romantic compartment in their lives, others dream about being a real couple.

I happen to fall into the later camp, although I’ve long ago dumped the notion of a blended family. After I saw the chilling statistics about children and “steps,” I put my love life on hold. Sadly, one of the most dangerous places for a child to be is in a home with non-biologically related males. That includes mommy’s boyfriend, husband, or teen step brothers. These kids have eight times the rate of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. As I’m raising girls, I’ve decided that my nest will have to be nearly empty before I introduce some foreign testosterone into my household.

But I know that other single mothers are dating and hope to find love while raising kids. So, I have applied my intellectual mind to the study of what makes women marriageable. I have some real-world role models, too. Sherryl Walsh (no relation) had been a single mother of FOUR for ten years in 1975. That’s when she married her coworker, Neil Walsh, a single, child-free man of only 30. Sherryl was 36. Recently, Neil passed away, after 34 years of marriage — and when I called to offer some words of condolence, I also asked Sherryl for her advice. If a mother of four could find a great husband in 1975, she had to know something I don’t. Her advice was simple: Marry a good friend. Neil was a good friend from Sherryl’s office. Their friendship lasted almost 40 years. Sherryl, now I’m looking a little closer at my plumber, my agent (too young), and the guy who fluffs my latte at Starbucks. Because those are the guys I “work with.”

I also spoke with another MILM role model — astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s wife, Lois. I have met her a few times over the years at charity events, and one time I cornered her at a cocktail party and asked her how an unknown, middle-aged mother of three could snare one of the most eligible men on the planet (I didn’t use those exact words, though). Lois gave me some interesting advice. She talked about helping a man feel like a king in his own household. Some people say that Buzz, despite being the second man to walk on the moon, was all but forgotten until Lois got hold of his public image and put him back on the map. Her technique seems to be to make herself indispensable, and to remind him how valuable he is. I’ve always said, “Water what you’d like to grow. Not the weeds.” Lois seems to have watered his self-esteem, and man, did it bloom!

The research is clear. Men fall in love, not through sex, but through trust and loyalty. If you are a single mother and hope to become a MILM (Mother, I’d Like to Marry) then establishing a trusting friendship is the best strategy. It will also give you time to weed out the deceptive men whom you’ll learn are not so good for your children.

Which brings me to another topic. When I wrote a book called The Girlfriend Test: A Quiz for Women Who Want To Be a Better Date and a Better Mate, I interviewed 100 married or committed men and asked them why they chose the gal they were with, and why they didn’t marry the rest of us. Their answers were sometimes hard to hear. Despite the rumor that women are too needy, I more often heard from my interview subjects that women were “too independent.” When pressed for more details about what that meant, men couldn’t describe it well (they are the gender that excels in brawn. We are the gender that excels in words), except to say that they found themselves thinking, “What does she need me for?” Ya see, men like to be needed. Actually, all people like to be helpful and needed. But men feel really good when they can fix something.

And someday, my own nest will be closer to empty. So, for now you can wall me a MILM-in-waiting. LOL. I do believe that women can have it all, but not necessarily all at the same time.

For more watch: What a MILF Wants

FOR WOMEN: Let’s Talk About Men, Mothers and Monogamy

000c0065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_bfb9a6b8-b325-4a29-9532-ce499f73c0f6_20121112170419_111212_mothers_600x300Some people wonder why I am obsessed with human relationships, why I ravenously consume all the latest research on love, sex, and marriage. Some wonder if my motivation is to change men or help people have better sex lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, while I think adults are lovely people who certainly deserve to exchange care and commitment with each other, my motivation runs much deeper. I care about children. Period.

I believe the innocent lives that are spawned by our mating patterns deserve to be invested in by the two people responsible for their birth. But when a baby makes a debut in a co-habitation relationship, a dating relationship or, god forbid, a hook up, the statistics aren’t good.

We live in an era where sex is cheap, commitment is scarce and the number of single mothers grows every day. Fueled by celebrities with uber budgets who nanny-up and trick young women into thinking single motherhood is a glamorous cake-walk and a baby the latest accessory, too many young women face a different reality. Single mothers have worst mental and physical health than married mothers and their kids have worse outcomes in terms of grades, at risk behavior and earlier onset of sexual behavior. Even children that pop up in commitment-lite marriage (co-habitation) face the reality that most will be left with only one parent before they reach the age of twelve. Children who are produced by unhappily married couples have better chances than those raised by single parents.

And I laugh at how adults justify their taste for sex over gene supervision with the idea that somehow this is natural, that our hunter/gatherer ancestors were orgy loving, seed spreading, hook-up artists and single parents were the norm. In fact, if that were the case, our species would never have survived! In our ancestral past, there was plenty of monogamy. It may not have always been til-death-do-us-part monogamy, but it was certainly long enough to get children safely up and out of the nest. We are the species that requires the longest period of in arms care and longest term of brain development. Most other species are up and running with the pack within hours. But humans don’t join the village until the age of five and not permanently for another decade and a half.

Many women today instinctively know this and are desperately trying to find a guy to commit in the shrinking fertility window between education, a career jump-start and the demise of their eggs. Our current American birthrate is now below replacement. This means big economic consequences for the country. Too many dependant adults at the top and too few tax paying wage earners are a prescription for social ills. One in five women are losing the freedom to mother because they can’t get a guy to commit on time or because they believe the marketing myths of fertility clinics that tell women they can have a baby until age fifty. The height of female fertility hasn’t changed since our hunter/gatherer ancestor women so carefully selected a mate — it is the age of twenty.

The answer of course is two-fold: More cultural support for single parents and the practice of slow-love (delaying the onset of the sexual relationship) in order to create emotional intimacy that evolved as the glue for relationships. Love can conquer all. But only if love is allowed to grow.

FOR WOMEN: The Gisele Breastfeeding Law

Recently a supermodel said something exceptionally smart. Well, she’s also a mother, so of course she’s smart. I’m talking about that gorgeous Brazilian creature named Gisele, who famously gave birth to her son eight months ago, without medical intervention, in a hot tub. Now she’s rattled the likes of the ladies on The View with a statement to Harper’s Bizarre UK, that breastfeeding should be made law.

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The Insanity of “Traditional” Families

Families are changing. And that’s not all bad news. I have a theory that rising divorce rates, declining marriage rates, and the growing acceptance of variations of the family model (single parents, grand-parent guardians, gay parents, etc) are really quite normal. At least normal in the sense that this shift away from a traditional nuclear family, with rigid gender roles that place undue burden on women, is the beginning of a march back to better outcomes for more children.

If you are still captivated by the belief that a “traditional” nuclear family, that is, one with one father who is male, one mother who is female, and children who are biologically related to those two, is the very best thing for humans to be raised in, you are not alone. I was convinced of that myself. And I still believe if a single parent does not have an elaborate support system of family and friends and a good economic base, children would be much better off living with two parents who hold a biological interest in their welfare.

But there’s something even better for kids and it has little to do with a family model that looks like an episode of Leave-It-To-Beaver. The idea that a lone woman should be left alone in a tract house in the suburb for fifty hours a week with a screaming bunch of small, hungry children is insanity. No wonder the news is chock full of stories of mothers abusing or murdering their children, or why postpartum depression is the darling diagnosis of our generation.

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