November 23, 2010

This is what the Internet will do to you if left unattended.

On the radio this morning I heard an interview with Erica Jong, an author & feminist currently in the press for her article in the WSJ. In her article she claims that attachment parenting can be detrimental to society and parents both. I can't disagree with everything in her article even though I like the idea of attachment parenting. I think it's a societal problem more than a problem with a certain philosophy of parenting.

As parents (most especially as mothers) we fall into the trap of thinking there is only one right way to parent our children. We must breast feed. We must be SAHMs. We must wear our babies in a sling and co-sleep until they start third grade. And if anyone argues with us or chooses to raise their child in a vastly different way, we get very upset. We take it as a personal affront to our method of parenting.

One thing I have learned having four children in 6 years is that each child is different. Each parent is different. No one way is the right way to raise a child. Husband and I each have very different styles of parenting. Each of our children must be parented in a vastly different way. I think most rational people would agree with this idea and yet we tear into each other like vultures at the first sign of dissension.

Why is this? Is it guilt? Are we so insecure in our own choices that if someone disagrees with how we parent that we immediately tear them down?

While reading Ms. Jong's article I stumbled upon the phrase Baby Farming. I had an idea of what was meant by it, but I wasn't sure. Wikipedia filled me in on the details. Baby Farming was a late Victorian Era practice where upper class women or unmarried mothers would send their babies out to be raised by someone else for a fee. Unfortunately the amount of money given the foster mothers was often too little to actually raise a child on. The babies of unwed mothers were often sold or given away. In some cases, the babies were left to die with no one the wiser while the foster mothers collected more babies and more money.

As I was looking up information on Baby Farming, I came across something called an Uncyclopedia and this article (you click, I'll wait here.........done? OK, on with the blog). Yeah, that's right. An entire Wikipedia-esque article about the farming of infants as a food source. Forget veal, this is baby eating. Oy. Someone out there has entirely too much time on their hands....

And you thought all my Jane Austen Zombie posts were bad. Admit it, you had no clue where this one was going.


Queen Mother said...

I must have been really hungery the night I tried to cook Princess

Kork said...

giggle...I love this as a riles people faster than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs!

Seriously - I'm with you on this one - why do we get so up in each others' grills when we disagree with parenting? Oy...

On another note altogether - has anyone thought about babies as an alternative to fossil fuels?

Anonymous said...

I did think it was funny that a self-proclaimed feminist actually said she needed to hear that it's okay to parent her own way. You'd think a tough-as-nails woman wouldn't give a crap about how people view her parenting style, and you'd think she certainly wouldn't get all defensive against those of us who choose to do a different style. Guess she's not as tough as she would like to appear.

In my short time as a mama, I've begun learning to cease apologizing for following my instinct, to let people mother the way they want (unless their child is in actual danger from abuse or neglect), and to take every single book or expert with a grain of salt. It has made mothering a heck of a lot more fun, and people who are totally different than me have no clue that their parenting style is something I would abhor for myself. So I have fun and people like me. That's a win-win situation.

It sounds like the feminist authoress (I know she'd hate that term) needs to let go of a few resentments and just enjoy her own parenting style. And who in the heck would ever fault a single mother for some of the things she mentions being judged about?! Poor lady.

~your cousin who is too lazy to sign in