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It's official, we're in love with Anna Quindlen. iVillage had the honor of hosting an exclusive Twitter party with the mother of all mommy bloggers last night, and not surprisingly, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist was full of thoughtful (and hilarious!) bon mots during our hour-long chat. Fielding questions from real moms and dads, Quindlen tweeted about everything from body image and bed times to societal pressures and the resurrection of the "mommy wars."
We learned so much in such a little time that we had to pass along the evening's best tidbits for those of you who couldn't join us. To view the entire chat, go here.
Anna Quindlen on Hilary Rosen's "Ann Romney hasn't worked a day in her life" quote:
"Media sound bites are tough. Hillary rosen should have chosen [her] words more carefully, but we know what she meant."
On the recent ressurection of the "mommy wars" in the news:
"[It's] largely a media construct. Most moms I know are way too busy to fight. On a good day you go to the bathroom alone. "
On achieving balance at home:
"With three [kids, it was] important to individuate. They don't want to be "the kids." Tried to do time alone with each."
On raising boys vs. girls:
"You have to teach girls that they are entitled. You have to teach boys that they are not. Challenging, but worth it."
On teaching your daughter that she belongs in any room:
"Listen to her as though she's the smartest thing ever. Encourage her when she's afraid to try. Model fearlessness."
"Being a mother is a hard job. But not getting to be a mother is harder."
On the best and worst parts of parenting:
"You're only as happy as your least happy child. Kid heartbreak makes me nauseous. Love watching them do/try/succeed at new things. Hate seeing them hurt."
On having to choose between motherhood and career:
"Not sure I'm great mom or great writer. Never really had to choose, but when it was job vs. kid, kid came first. "
On dealing with body image pressure:
"[The] best part of getting older is putting that aside. When friends get sick, you stop worrying about that."
On what to do when the kids won't go the f#$%! to sleep:
"Omg, the worst. Once lied to them about the time and made them go to bed at 6:30 because I'd had it!"
On bed times:
"[My] eldest came to me at age 10 and said he'd had the same bedtime his whole life. I'd forgotten to change it."
On preparing for your first baby:
"In some sense you can't prepare for your first. As soon as that baby arrives, just be kind and easy to yourself."
On kids and sugar:
"One of my kids once said sugar was his fave food. Had to disapprove, but secretly agreed."
On not changing her surname:
"Ha! As if! [My husband] actually knew me. No point [in giving me grief]. I'm Anna Quindlen forever."
On advice for her 40-year-old self:
"I'd tell 40-year-old Anna the kids will be fine, with or without team sports and enrichment programs."
On the state of journalism:
"Easier to be well-informed now than at any time in history. You just have to work harder to get good info."
On how best to feel confident about who you are:
"Measure yourself against your best intentions, not societal standards, which tend to be punishing and false."
On communicating with teens:
"Talking to your teenagers is so important. You just can't expect them to appear to listen. Or to talk back."
On writing about family and kids:
"All good parenting is putting yourself in their shoes. Think of how it will read to them five or ten years on. When in doubt, leave it out. Family [is] so much more important than prose, that's for sure."
On the TV series The Good Wife:
"Alicia Florrick is so not about the guys. She is about herself. And Kalinda. The show should be [called] 'The Good Woman.' "
On the importance of having girlfriends:
"[I] talk to my [best friend] every morning. It's just that idea that someone has my back, and if the day goes south she's there."
On how motherhood influenced her writing:
"Just reexperiencing the world through their eyes made all my perceptions richer and sharper."
Quindlen was tweeting for the day from her publisher Random House's @atrandom handle -- we don't know about you, but we want Anna to become a permant voice on Twitter! What woman out there couldn't use a daily dose of Quindlen's wisdom?
You can purchase Quindlen's latest memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake here.