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Literary Mama Blog Tour: This Woman’s Work

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Today's stop on the Literary Mama Blog Tour is at LM OpEd Editor Dawn Friedman's blog, This Woman's Work.

On her blog, Dawn writes about mothering, writing, and writing about mothering. In addition to writing about her two lovely children and the attempt to juggle work and family, Dawn writes about infertility, miscarriage and open adoption (her daughter Madison was brought to their family through domestic, open adoption).

In her post from August 1, she writes about her occasional jealousy towards her daughter's birth mother, Jessica:

. . . the first time I became aware of being jealous of Jessica was after we brought Madison home and one day I was examining her little body in the besotted way a new mother has and I noticed her beautiful, beautiful thumbs. Madison has very elegant thumbs; I do not. Madison gets her thumbs from Jessica, who also has very capable graceful hands with long fingers and thumbs. I have hands that look like they belong on the toddler walking doll I had as a kid. My hands have big palms and stubby little fingers. I didn’t feel like I could measure up to those thumbs. I didn’t feel capable of parenting a child with such elegant thumbs.

(I’ve tried to write essays about this but I write, “My daughter has elegant thumbs” and then stare glumly at the computer screen.)

Her thumbs represented every way that I felt I fell short of all that Madison needs and deserves. People with thumbs like that — what did I have to teach them? She would grow up beautiful and full of grace and I would remain the leaden lumpy person that I am, someone who doesn’t understand how to pick out the right shade of lipstick, how to rhumba, or how to speak fluent French. In short, someone who didn’t deserve such a daughter. And I felt jealous of Jessica, with her undeniably lovely hands that had shown up there at the ends of the arms of the person who was supposed to be my child.

Dawn has recently started up a second blog focusing on secondary infertility. At Another Child, Dawn and a number of other bloggers share their experiences, outline recent fertility developments in the news, and run a forum for parents wanting support.


Jen Lawrence is an MBA and former banker who left the world of finance for the world of sippy cups and goldfish crackers. She writes about her experiences on her blog MUBAR (Mothered Up Beyond All Recognition). She is an Editorial Assistant for Literary Mama’s Reviews section and also contributes to the Literary Mama blog. Her work has appeared in The Philosophical Mother. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two children.


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