Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mommy Wars

A blog I follow called "Cloth Diapers... by Cotton Babies" posted a blog yesterday that I found to be very interesting.

http://clothdiapers.blogspot.com/2010/11/real-mom-talk-is-motherhood-prison.html

I found it interesting because it was a response to an article I read in the Wall Street Journal last week called "Mommy Madness":

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590603553674296.html.

Let me break down the gist of both articles. The WSJ article was written by Erica Jong, who is an outspoken feminist. She grew up in the 50's and raised her daughter in the 70's. She speaks about her mother's style of parenting and then her own style- then she goes after attachment parenting. For those of you who are unaware, attachment parenting is a parental style that involves 5 primary principles. Breastfeeding, baby-wearing (slings and carriers vs. strollers), co-sleeping, more paternal involvement especially with infants, and immediate response to infant cries (rather then the Ferber "cry it out" method). Ms Jong talks about the growing number of mothers practicing attachment parenting and the "prison" it creates for mothers. She speaks about the high expectations this culture is creating for women and the negative feelings about not making your own baby food, wearing disposable diapers rather then cloth, and having outside child care. She talks about how working mothers are being villianized for having to work, and how "helicopter hovering" over your children will produce insecure adults.

The Cotton Babies (aka Jenn Labit) response was interesting. Rather then listing why she practices attachment parenting (actually, she doesn't even state if she DOES) she addresses the problem with the WSJ running an article that produces the same feelings in mothers that Ms Jong was arguing shouldn't happen. Whatever "style" of mothering you use, women should realize that being a parent is hard. And it is hard enough without feeling like there is some standard you need to meet in order to be a "good" mom. Ms Labit simply brings up the point that the problem isn't the method, or lack of method. The problem is the judgment passed by both sides. She says that "could she (Jong) just be saying, "Shut up world! I am ME and YOU don't get to decide if I was a good mom"?

My thoughts on the whole bruhaha. After reading almost every book on raising an infant that the library and B&N had, Grant made me take them all back because I was going crazy. Purslane was her own person and didn't care whether I was trying to "baby whisper" her or "Dr Sears" her. So Grant and I came up with our own method that worked for our life, her personality and our overall feelings about parenting. We cloth diaper her because I am passionate about it and Grant loves me. I make her baby food because I have the time and Grant likes saving the money. She sleeps in her own crib at night because Grant and I like having our own bed and like having sex whenever we want to. I carry her in sundry slings and carriers because I like the freedom and I like being able to kiss her little face whenever I want. Grant stays home with her two evenings a week because his schedule is flexible and we need my income. We also like that he can take care of her just as well as I can because he was comfortable being alone with her early on. I breastfeed her because I think it is the best food for a baby and my body cooperated with it. My labor was drug-free and all natural because she came in 3 hours and I didn't have time to renig on my plans for a Bradley birth. In short- we have been very blessed that the things we wanted to do as parents we have the resources, physical ability and information available to be able to do.

And when Baby #2 comes along the well laid plans of mice and men might have to be remade because every baby is different.

1 comment:

  1. I actually read the Jong article. It was posted on another blog I read. Anyways, I couldn't agree with you more. I wish women and moms were more supportive of each other in general. Amazing adults have grown up in all sorts of homes. Love that you and Grant share the responsibility of parenting. Pursy is a lucky girl!

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