Hausfrau muthah-zine: Riding the roller coaster of passion that is parenting
interview with Nicole
What do you do besides your zine?
I love to be at the ocean. Sometimes I read, knit, and cook.
I'm also frequently found picking up and organizing other people's stuff.
And I homeschool my two kids, George, age 7, and Isadora, age 3.
For how long have you been running your zine now? Are you the only editor or is there a team?
I will have been doing Hausfrau muthah-zine for two years this spring.
What made you decide to start this project? How did you come up with the idea and the name?
Here's the explanation, which I lifted right off the back cover of the zine:
was born because I wanted to make a zine for gals with kids and it all came together
when my friend Grace--who is, among other things, a mother of two children--told
me about the time her mother-in-law said the following about a friend who was
putting her energy into raising her children: "She was an intellectual and
a really gifted writer, but now she's just a hausfrau."
What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing your zine?
Hausfrau's tag line is "Motherhood's a lonely walk. Let's take it together." So I guess I'm hoping that it will make another mama or daddy feel less alone.
Do you feel part of a (local/national/international?) zine community or network?
The Mamaphonic (http://siprelle.com/mamaphonic) community, which is an on-line forum for artist/musician/writer mamas, has been really supportive.
I feel that there is a boom of mama zines in the USA right now. Why do you think this is?
I think we're feeling the energy of millions of mamas who are connecting and laughing and breathing huge sighs of relief. Mamas like me! Finally!
In contrast, my mother only got to go to her shrink, who gave her a valium prescription.
When I look at all the different mama zines which are currently out there - from punk to alternative to radical mama zines to feminist parenting to feminist homeschooling -- I wonder if women have enough of the stereotypical image of mothers in mainstream magazines and that the image of motherhood has changed in the last years (or decade) in the US. Do you think it has, or is it just because zines recently started talking about alternative views of motherhood? How do you regard the role of zines in relation to mainstream magazines, in particular magazines on mothering?
The mainstream image might have changed-from June Cleaver to supermom-but it's still just a big steaming pile of advertising-driven bullshit. Zines are different because they are personal-the person is important, not the behemoth corporation--and therefore, zines allow a genuine connection to happen between the reader and the zine maker. It is in that genuine connection and subsequent rejection of product-oriented meaninglessness that an important social and political movement is taking place. Wow. I sound like a college professor.
Do you define yourself as a feminist? What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/mother/feminist/ )?
I do consider myself a feminist, though for me, the struggle is often internal. I spend my time feeling and coping with opposing forces: my desire to be alone and my desire to be with my children, my need to express myself honestly and creatively and my fear of doing so, loving the world and hating it.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Hausfrau muthah-zine is available for $12 for a year's subscription (3 issues per year) or $4 per each back issue. I can be reached at:
Many thanks for the interview!