Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?
18. Didn't I Feed You Yesterday? A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos, by Laura Bennett
On the third season of Project Runway, the first that I watched and the one that got me hooked on the show, there was a striking, tall redhead in her early forties who had arrived with vintage Louis Vuitton luggage and a bun in the oven. She went through the early months of her sixth pregnancy designing and sewing gorgeous clothes, and wearing stilettos. I was instantly a fan. (I still think she should have won the whole shebang!)
Lately, she's been emceeing on various red carpets and writing the occasional column over at The Daily Beast, about the vicissitudes of raising five boys (her oldest child, a daughter, is out of the nest) in New York City, while trying at the same time to maintain a career and one's sanity. Now she has written a book of essays (illustrated by fellow Project Runway contestant Robert Best) on the subject, with wry wit and a no-nonsense attitude.
Bennett has no patience with so-called "helicopter moms", nor with those who drown their own needs in their children's lives. As she puts it, comparing parenting with flying, you have to "provide yourself with oxygen first, or you will be of no use to your children." This sensible attitude and the sly humor with which she expresses it has, of course, driven some with no sense of humor around the bend, as evidenced by some of the comments left on her Daily Beast column. These same people huff and puff and say, "It's all very well for her. She has nannies!" But they miss the point. You don't have to have nannies or a successful architect husband to realize that your kids are human beings, you aren't perfect, and that you have to relax, enjoy your life, and enjoy your children (while they are children). If you can be fabulous along the way, more power to you.
I have no doubt that it would be great fun to share a martini and dish with her, too.