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 Post subject: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate here
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:17 am 
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A friend told me about this interview (cross post from feminism thread) and I was so mad after reading it.

http://www.marieclaire.com/world-report ... ck=main_sr

I know that I naturally lean towards the attachment parenting crowd and I know that isn't what is best for everyone, but damn! Just because I choose to stay home doesn't make me a horrible woman. I am more happy now than I ever was working. For me, having a child has been a gift and I am so happy I get to spend this time with him. I know I am privileged that my husband makes enough to support us and that we have insurance and all that, but I feel like this author can't see anything beyond her views.


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:28 am 
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that's really rude. i went back to work when my kids were 8 months old because IT WAS RIGHT FOR ME, who am i to say that other people are illusional, "reduced to nursing animal status" etc etc? Making rude comments about other peoples' choices is just douchey, whether you agree with them or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:00 am 
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It was in Marie Claire. I kind of expect to be annoyed by that article already.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:35 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:51 am 
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That interview is so bad! She comes across as super douchey when in fact she makes some good points in her book. And I wish they had given some background on how certain things are different in the US and in some European countries. For example here on the PPK I often read that breastfeeding is not very encouraged in the US and how difficult it is to get some support if you want to breastfeed. In Germany it is the other way round. Everybody expects you to breastfeed and if you tell people you don't it's clear that you are a bad mother. Nobody ever talks to you about formula and people you hardly know ask you if you do breastfeed. In her book Badinter mentions that there was a similar shift in France. That probably explains her harsh answers. (Although I agree with you guys. She should have made it clearer that everybody should do what they want.)

If you go to work soonish after you gave birth, it's the same (in Germany again). It's very normal for moms to stay at home until their kid is three (I know this is completely different in France). After that they work part time and aren't able to save much money for their pension. Many of these women will suffer from poverty once they retire. Of course, you cannot expect Marie Claire to bother their readers with this kind of background but it would have been nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:57 am 
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Oh, I read an interview (or profile piece?) with Badinter in the New Yorker a year or two ago which was actually very interesting. I disagree with her on almost every point (and with anyone who tries to tell me my choices aren't valid choices for a feminist to make; to me, feminism is all about choice) but she's an articulate and thoughtful writer. The Marie Claire article reads as designed to elicit outrage.

(I really don't follow how cloth diapers are oppressive to women, though.)

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:42 pm 
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tl:dr summary.

Men can't cook! Women are short-sighted and infantile! If a mother is too close to her child, it discourages the father from participating! Vague, undefinable Bad Things happen to children if they spend too much time with their mothers ("long term fusion!") past those first few months! Breast feeding women are animals! Except they don't fork! If you don't fork you will destroy your marriage! And your husband will be sad and then he will leave :( Never give up your independence because your husband could leave you or be mean and then you are stuck. This means feed your kid formula, fork your husband, go back to work and don't make your own babyfood.

This article has no scientific underpinings for its conclusions, just lots of fearmongering about what you lose if you prioritize your baby's interests.

I love being home with Leela, and I'm not infantile or short-sighted - I know there is a cost to my career, but I am willing to pay it. I think there are clear benefits to breastfeeding, and I think my husband is smart enough to be able to cook for our kid and even to stick around if he isn't getting forked on a regular basis, because our marriage and co-parenting is based on more than just access to regular bonings.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:51 pm 
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i am going to add another article-- i've been following the Etan Patz recently and this was an interesting take on the watershed between "free range children" and protective parenting. Not sure if there is any conclusion, just observation. We are pretty stalwart free range parents but it can be terrifying to think about the risks and sometimes i am a real worrywort.
http://ideas.time.com/2012/04/24/was-et ... gonewsedit

the part to think about, for me at least:
Quote:
The stereotypical kidnapping of parental nightmares and blaring headlines (with a child held overnight by a stranger, involving ransom, harm or intent to keep the child) occurs approximately 115 times per year, with a nearly 60% survival rate (and just 4% unsolved).

This small number has not increased since the 1980s, and although comparative data is unavailable, there is evidence that it may have even decreased along with national declines in crime including juvenile assaults and murders. That’s still 115 abducted children too many, of course, but the disproportionate fear generated by these cases has altered the landscape of childhood in complex ways that obscure the fact that this is probably the safest time in history to be an American child.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Wow that Elisabeth Badinter article is awful! I can't believe she has the nerve to call women who decide to stay home infantile! It is so sad to me that she would have to turn against other women instead of turning against the real problem - that corporations don't allow room for satisfying family lives. The problem is that an educated woman can't take even 1 - 3 years off for a child and get a decent job back. Society should be much more understanding about it and have mechanisms so that women can still have long-term careers. I mean seriously, all of the education and skills I've built up aren't going to get that outdated in 1 - 3 years. (yet, I went back to work for precisely that reason - because I was afraid I'd never be able to get another job as good as the one I have) I think that's just a really egotistical and unrealistic excuse business make for their unjust cost-cutting decisionmaking. They just don't want to do what they know is right, which is to make reasonable accomodations & pay women what they deserve.

That said, I can kind of understand what she means about cloth diapers. It definitely takes more time to wash & dry them. I feel really guilty about it, but I had to give up on it because my partner promised he would do the laundry but didn't hold up his end of the bargain. I feel a bit of resentment towards him over it too, but, since he's great in lots of other ways I decided it was more important to my own mental health to just let it go. One thing I know though, *I* am NOT being the sole person responsible for everything baby & housework related. I made that clear when I agreed to have one. I just don't have it in me to be the underwear washer of the household, the idea makes me feel instant rage. So if it meant disposables so be it.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:54 pm 
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We had a diaper service. Easiest thing ever. No washing. Not even any rinsing.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:03 pm 
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I love washing diapers. It gives me some time to myself (and isn't that what she's advocating? Is it wrong that "me time" still focuses on family-oriented activities? Heck, two of my favorites times of the week are doing the laundry and going to the grocery store by myself...)

Her issues with breastfeeding make me cringe so hard. I'm using my breasts how they are supposed to be used, and I'm bonding with my child. I can't see that as a bad thing no matter how she twists it.


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Aubade wrote:
It is so sad to me that she would have to turn against other women instead of turning against the real problem - that corporations don't allow room for satisfying family lives. The problem is that an educated woman can't take even 1 - 3 years off for a child and get a decent job back. Society should be much more understanding about it and have mechanisms so that women can still have long-term careers.


This! I hate it when people have this conversation and only talk about individual women's choices. Its so much bigger than that. Our society does not support families taking time to raise their children. Why aren't fathers expected to play more of a role? Why aren't careers and the workplace more flexible for families?


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Aubade -- that's what I mean re: diapers. They're not somehow solely the woman's responsibility, or shouldn't be. So unlike breastfeeding (which you could argue is trapping a woman into something), I don't see any issue with cloth diapering itself. It's not any more inherently the woman's duty than disposable diapering is. (As for me, my spouse and I split diaper washing pretty evenly... Whoever's home and has a free minute pops them in.)

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:28 pm 
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And torque, I really liked that Time article.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:31 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Oh, I read an interview (or profile piece?) with Badinter in the New Yorker a year or two ago which was actually very interesting. I disagree with her on almost every point (and with anyone who tries to tell me my choices aren't valid choices for a feminist to make; to me, feminism is all about choice) but she's an articulate and thoughtful writer. The Marie Claire article reads as designed to elicit outrage.
h.)


I'm not quoting you because I think you're wrong, but have to argue one point and its easier if I have an example. Also, I didn't read the article, so I am not in any way defending it.

I think it's kind of facile and misleading to say feminism is all about choice. Feminism I think is more about recognizing the patricarchal systems which constrain our choices and recognizing the political implications of our personal choices. I think it's fair to recognize when some women's choices harm other women. Making a choice as a woman doesn't make it a feminist choice and there are plenty of choices which are clearly anti-feminist. I think women have done all we could to expand our own legitimate choices, but it is still true that many employers see women quitting work after childbirth as the default choice and punish women for it (EVEN THOUGH most women don't m.ake that choice). Honestly it's really on men now to challenge that paradigm by staying home, demanding alternative work situations, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:21 pm 
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I'm reading "The Mommy Myth" right now by Douglas and Michaels and I think it does a much better job at talking about the rise of mothering as a larger burden during the 1980s. Granted, I haven't really gotten to the Dr. Sears part of it yet - it's mainly talked about the history of motherhood from the '60s through the early '80s so far, putting me at the celebrity mom profile and daycare molestation scare era right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:36 am 
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http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/20 ... s-feminism

I am also reading
Beyond the Sling right now. Attachment parenting has seemed really natural and has worked really well for us, so I am really enjoying the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:00 pm 
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I just found out that Elisabeth Badinter who wrote The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women (from the OP) is also owner of Publicis, public relations company for Nestle’, the world’s largest formula manufacturer. According to Katy Allison Granju, Badinter’s company also represents the manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac. Her job is to increase formula sales!

http://mothering.com/peggyomara/in-the- ... n-our-side

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:22 pm 
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I don't know that there's any clear way to determine whether she is anti breastfeeding because she has financial ties to formula companies, or if she chose to have financial ties to formula companies because she's anti breastfeeding. (Does that make any sense?). She has been extremely hardcore anti-anything inconvenient for mothers since she started writing books, which I think pre-dates her becoming the chair of publicis though I'm not sure.

I still disagree with her opinions on pretty much everything, but I really don't think she's insincere/JUST out to make money.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:29 pm 
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I would say that formula companies seek out the experts that support their theories and help them gain a larger platform. I'm not saying that she is cynically writing the books just because she is a tool of the formula companies - just that she benefits from them, and isn't a completely impartial source of information.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:56 pm 
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What I guess I'm not following is why anyone would even expect her to be an unbiased source or anything of a health expert. She's not a doctor or a scientist-- she's a feminist philosopher. Philosophy writing is always based in opinion, not fact... And opinion ALWAYS carries biases.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:30 pm 
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I would guess that she was picked to write the article because she wrote that book. I haven't read that book but I suspect that I will be sympathetic to some of her analysis of the "natural" motherhood movement.

For Mothering to suggest that someone else is biased is pretty damn hilarious. Elisabeth Badinter has been involved with that PR firm since the late 80's and it was never a secret.

This review from the Nation seems to give a sense of her argument and what the book is like. It's a philosophical book; it's not meant to be a parenting book or medical tome.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:43 pm 
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I actually have no problem with the Badinter article. It's certainly not what I expected after reading the comments here. Here's my take:

- I don't think she's saying that other people's choices aren't valid. She just seems concerned that not everyone is thinking through their choices first. For example, the "infantile" comment seems to me to be addressed to women who think they can take several years off with no impact on their careers. I don't see this as a criticism of those who weigh that impact and decide to stay home.

- I think the point about discouraging fathers' involvement is well taken for some people. I know that if I were a stay-at-home mom for any length of time, I would have a hard time letting my husband do things for the baby because I would (in my opinion) do them better. Being very focused on one thing leads some people to be a little controlling.

-No idea what she means about the "fusion" business. I agree kids need some independence at a certain point. Not sure if that's what she's getting at.

- I don't think she's anti breast feeding. She clearly says that some women enjoy breast feeding and they should do so because it's good for those women and their children. I think the breast feeding stuff is more of a response to the "You're a horrible mother if you can't breast feed crowd." This is something I'm already having anxiety about because that type of talk has apparently already convinced my husband that breast feeding will be fun and easy for me and that I will be some kind of failure if I don't succeed at it.

- I agree that women should not limit their identity to "mother." Taking time for yourself is important.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 9:15 pm 
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I thought this was a good article addressing the issue of how everyone expects you to always say that you enjoy every single moment of parenting and never complain.

Don't Carpe Diem

Quote:
Every time I'm out with my kids -- this seems to happen:

An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, "Oh, Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast."

Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc.

I know that this message is right and good. But, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn't work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life - while I'm raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I'm not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I'm doing something wrong.

I think parenting young children (and old ones, I've heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they've heard there's magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it's hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.

And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers -- "ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU'LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN'T!" TRUST US!! IT'LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!" -- those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.

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 Post subject: Re: Articles about parenting/children, etc. post and debate
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Oh, I love that article Tofulish-- I read it a while back (maybe while I was still pregnant?) and thought, aha, someone *gets* it.

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