Monday, June 28, 2010

Raising Her Happy

makes me happy.

Yesterday when our friend Erika came over to celebrate Evan's 1st birthday, she brought with her this most interesting of articles, Motherhood:the new oppression, to share with Kelly and I.

I liked it.

The author of the article, Margaret Wente, ponders modern day mortherhood, questioning,

"...that if you had deliberately devised a plot to oppress women, it couldn’t get more diabolical than this. Highly educated, progressive and enlightened mothers don’t need men to oppress them. They’re perfectly capable of oppressing themselves!"

Suggesting that,

"Once upon a time, the conveniences of modern life (processed foods, Lysol spray, disposable diapers, clothes dryers, polyester sheets) liberated women like my mother from their chains. But now, their granddaughters are clamouring to clap the shackles on again. Someone’s got to mash the organic applesauce, hang the diapers out to dry, and breastfeed the kid. No matter how enlightened the parental units, that someone will generally be Mom."

This isn't a new story.

I've heard many a modern day woman and man question the lengths it is suggested today's parent go to to raise a safe and healthy child.

But in all honesty, both and neither camp truly influence the way I parent.

I do like knowing more.

But I also believe, knowing more isn't the same as knowing better.

Knowing better is strictly an individual interpretation of the facts.

And I also believe when anyone knows better (for themselves),

they do better.

So while I appreciate Margaret's point of view, she did lose me with this line,

"The new ethic of mothering promises that you will find wisdom, happiness, and connectedness, not only with your children but with the earth itself. Instead, what you mostly get is guilt."

I feel no guilt about the way I parent.

I also feel no judgement from anyone else about the way I parent.

I can guarantee you that's because I have no feelings of judgement about the way ANYONE. ELSE. PARENTS.

Like I always say, I believe everyone is always doing the very best they can at any given moment in time.

And in my world, that seems to working out just fine.


beans said...

"You can’t throw an organic terry cloth teething ring today without hitting a parent obsessing over pesticides on apples and phthalates in soothers.” - lol CLASSIC.

i really liked that aritcle - really helped to put things in perspective. as someone getting closer to being ready to have my first baby, there definitely seems to be a lot of opinions about the way it SHOULD be done. it is nice to be reassured that that isn't always the BEST way, as the BEST way is the way you figure out that it works for you and your baby.

also, that looks like the best birthday party EVER. such beautiful and super lucky babies!! :)

Laura said...

thanks for sharing, stacy. food for thought indeed...

Lemon Gloria said...

I believe that most people do their best, I really do. Parenting is a new challenge every single day, and every kid is different, and we're all trying to work it out the best we can.

And I love love love the happy happy happy photos!

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate your attitude on the 'motherhood as oppressive' front; I think you are missing Margaret's point--she is referring to a STRUCTURAL and IDEOLOGIAL (and not individual) process(es) that is/are manifested in ideologies of intensive mothering and structures of inequality like 'mommy tracks'--these are but two examples that reflect deeply held ideological and structural dynamics that hold WOMEN (not men) accountable for primary caregiving--there are no 'daddy tracks', for instance. This is not to say that these ideologies and structures don't have consequences for fathers--the assumption that only women can appropriately care for children alienates fathers from feeling like they can parent equally--the point Margaret is making is that 'motherhood' is bound up in many ambivalent ideologies about what it means to be a 'good' woman, and many of those things make women feel like they will never measure up. Of course, that doesn't mean that motherhood is also a source of tremendous joy for women as well.