Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Size Has Nothing To Do With It

So the Duggars are back on TV which means I have something to watch and all my friends have some ammunition for making fun of me.

I have been open and honest about my love for the Duggars for years. I think it could make a great headline: "Feminist Liberal Loves Conservative, Republican Clan-Family." It's also nice to give my friends and family a reason to think I'm crazy because then they can feel better about themselves and, as everyone knows, I'm all about helping people feel good.

Quick re-cap for the Duggar-trivia impaired. They are a family with 19 children born from the same woman. They have fans (for their TLC show and two books), and they have detractors. When I first learned about them my husband said to me, "Google 'my vagina is a clown car.'" The kind of outrage they inspire is not hard to imagine.

One of the criticisms against the family comes from those who say that no child in a family of that size can receive the love and care he or she needs. Often those who oppose the "Duggar lifestyle" go on to describe their own experience coming from a large family and how terrible it was.

I have a friend who came from a family of eight--neglect, alcoholism, abuse. She hates large families. I have another friend who came from a similar family of eight (similar in culture, religion, age), and she loves large families. She felt cherished and enjoyed having so many siblings. I constantly ask the people I meet who come from larger families: what was it like? My conclusion based on this very casual research: size has nothing to do with family happiness.

Do you know anyone from a small family who had a bad childhood? Who felt unloved? Neglected? Overlooked? Ignored? That their parents didn't have time for them? It is very clear to me that what matters is not, in any way, the number of children, but the parents and family culture (as well as the personality of the child).

Recently I read the fascinating memoir, Call The Midwife, about a midwife working in the London dock community in the 1950s. Family size, in that area at that time, averaged six or seven. She even writes of a mother of 25 children. Yes, 25! And she says that this was a happy family full of happy children who she never heard argue!

The revelation to me (and confirmation) in the book came around family-size. Most of the families she served endured such unthinkable, impoverished living conditions that you shudder just to read it. Families with the exact same circumstances had wildly different attitudes to life, happiness, children, the world.

Frankly, I don't think a child feels loved or unloved based on the number of siblings. And if you don't believe me, go talk to your only children friends. By that theory, all only children ought to grow up feeling the most loved, secure, confident and cared-for of any children. We all know how untrue that is! Only children grow up to experience sorrow, depression, frustration and anger at their parents (um, just like people from every other family size). The Duggars are an exceptional family, but not simply in their number. The kind of industry, ambition, collaboration and ethic they live (whether you agree with it or not) justifies their popularity. They really are unique.

What do you think about family size? What was your experience in your family? I'm collecting date, so please tell me! I truly want to know.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wake Up, Celebrity! You Are Trending.

During my photo shoot I looked like this:

Mostly, I look like this:

Actually, this is a staged photo. I gathered up every source of chocolate in the house. But even if it wasn't a real moment in time, it captures a real feeling.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself mentioned on Celebrity Balla next to the words, "celebrity" and "trending." Looking at this, made my day.

10 Updates

I’ll Take What She Has

Source: 5 Minutes for Books, Mar 7 2013, 1:24pm CST
The grass is always greener on the other side, so the saying goes. For the boarding school staff characters in Samantha Wilde’s new novel, , this is sometimes more than just a passing thought, especially as they see others getting just what the ...
Continue reading on: 5 Minutes for Books

My book is celebrity trending news! I heart this idea.

The link comes from a wonderful review of the novel by Dawn Mooney of 5 Minutes for Books who writes: "Wilde clearly has given a lot of thought to the whole stay-at-home vs. work-outside-the-home roles moms can take, and I like how she even has her characters show conflicting thoughts on what works best for individuals. I’ll Take What She Has entertains and perhaps even helps provide some perspective– that grass might not always be as green as we imagine!"
And thanks also to the wonderful women of Novel Escapes. They reviewed I'll Take What She Has and gave it 4.5 stars: "I loved Samantha Wilde’s first novel This Little Mommy Stayed Home so I was eager to get stuck into her new novel and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll Take What She Has felt original, fresh and honest in both the characters and the plot so I was completely hooked."

So am I a celebrity making trending news or WHAT?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Six Chanes to Win the Book, I'm on the Radio, and I'm Admitting All Kinds of Things

What am I so excited about in this picture? Is it how I'm strengthening my belly muscles in that pose? No, it's my Media Madness Saturday. I am EVERYWHERE today. Oprah called and I said, "Lady, I can't do another thing." Six chances to win my novel! I'm on the radio! And I'm making all sorts of confessions. Check it out:

Find out who I envy when I wish I could kill one of my characters (but I can't) at Jungle Red Writers. Today I give away a book to the best envy story.

 I'm having my coming out at the Debutante Ball. I will publicly announce what animal I want to be.

Over at Free Book Friday they are giving away FIVE autographed copies of my book. And I say outrageous things like: "Show me a woman who hasn't envied and I'll show you a mannequin!"

And do not miss my interview with the wonderful Julie Joyce of Book Talk Radio. I love that woman! I could have talked to her all day. Find out why she wanted to talk to me about poop, my mother, Michelle Duggar and my own awakening. Listen in live at noon today at WMRN where it will also air again later in the day. If you miss it, you can listen anytime to the archived version at Book Talk Radio.