Archive for April 26th, 2012

And more on the pressures of motherhood…

Hanna Rosin says everything better than I, so I’ll leave it to her. I want to say, though, that I really appreciate her voice and her timing, for me, is just about perfect. In addition to formula’s role in allowing women to return to the workplace, I’d like to give it a shout out for allowing Aaron to feed Baby Girl in the middle of the night. And the middle of the day. And, really, whenever Baby Girl wants to eat. I don’t want to speak for him, but I think he’s grateful for those opportunities, too. Ok, maybe not the middle of the night ones, but being able to feed her is being able to participate in a pretty major part of her life. Although I feel ashamed when I buy the formula, and ashamed when I’ve had to make a bottle in public, I’m extremely grateful for its existence. And for the folks who strive to make it better.

You know, I have to wonder if some (or all) of this parenthood pressure of late — the attachment parents v. whatever the opposite is called — has more to do with parents making a choice that works best for their family and then feeling the need to defend it. And these individual choices and subsequent defensiveness of them has then been amplified to a nationwide debate. For example, I don’t doubt that co-sleeping, or family bed, works really well for thousands of healthy, thoughtful families. But it won’t work for me because I can’t sleep like that. So, when I am in the presence of a co-sleeping mom, if I get defensive about our decision not to share a bed and say something like, “I worry that I’d roll over on Molly,” it may sound to the co-sleeping mom like I am saying, “Why are you trying to kill your baby?” And the same, of course, goes for breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, organic whatnot, swaddling and all the other myriad choices parents make every day. If we could all just accept that pretty much every parent wants to do what’s best for her child, and every parent’s decisions are not a judgment on their neighbors’ parenting decisions, then I think we could all take a deep breath and try to enjoy this nutty, exhausting, amazing adventure.


April 2012
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