If there is one thing mainstream media has realized, it’s that including mom bloggers in the conversation – or, of course, tackling issues that will get the attention of mom bloggers – is a GREAT way to drive traffic.
So I wasn’t entirely surprised to see well known blogger Annie of PhD in Parenting included in one of the New York Times “Room for Debate” pieces. In typical fashion, the “Room for Debate” title is: Motherhood vs. Feminism.
Because, of course, those two are completely mutually exclusive.
Sorry about that; my feminist slip is showing there.
Contributors include attachment parenting advocate and actress Mayim Bailik, actress and comedian Heather McDonald, blogger and writer Lashaun Williams, author Erica Jong, author Pamela Druckerman, author Dr. Maria Blois, and Annie of Phd in Parenting. All writers were responding to the book The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women, a book that puts forth the claim that modern “natural motherhood” is forcing women back into the home and out of the career track, and therefore setting back all women, as well as causing guilt because we can’t all be the new definition of the “perfect” mother.
Considering that this is a clear attempt to flame the so-called “mommy wars”, the seven responses are actually beautifully done, keeping the tone amazingly civil and non-judgmental of other styles of mothering. Particularly compelling was Dr. Blois’s piece; as a staunch attachment parenting advocate, she talked about how she was unable to parent her youngest the way she preferred due to medical issues, and encouraged us all to refrain from judgment.
But most interesting to me is the fact that none of them – other than Annie – mentioned FATHERS and their changing role. This is incredible to me; after all, more and more fathers are choosing raising their children instead of chasing their career. Annie says:
Attachment parenting can make it easier for a working mother to bond with her children when they are together, but it isn’t something she can do alone. It requires a partnership (at a minimum) and a village (ideally) that rejects traditional patriarchal models of motherhood and instead adopts a nuanced flexible approach to balancing work, family and community.
She goes on to say that she hopes that the changes feminism brings make it possible for men to parent the way they’d like to, as well as giving mothers choice in how they parent. My husband stayed home with my daughter for her first year after I went back to work, and for us this was a best-case-scenario and worked beautifully. I’d love to see other men be able to make that choice as well.
It’s definitely good reading and food for thought. Check out the articles, and let me know what you think.