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Bookmarks: For Future Mothering Reference

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This post is inspired by an homeschooling article a neighbor sent me. The father who wrote the article describes the various reactions of family, friends, and STRANGERS to their family's decision to home school. He says, "other parents often seem to feel attacked by our eccentric choices." I found it to be a very interesting read, not only because we are considering homeschooling Marlie, but also because you can insert just about any parenting debate into this article...homebirth vs. hospital birth, cloth diapering vs. disposables, pro-vaccination vs. anti-immunization, breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding. People (especially mommies) are very sensitive about their parenting choices. I learned this the hard way when we announced our plans to have a natural childbirth at our first baby shower. Several mommies chimed in at once..."why would you want to do that?!" and "wait until the pain hits, you'll be screaming for an epidural." One person wrote in my guest book, "drugs are good." I got the feeling that most of the mothers at the table felt I was issuing an indictment against how they delivered just by expressing my desire to have a different experience. I could hear them thinking, "so, you think you're better than me?!" and "so, the hospital ain't good enough for you?!" The home-schooling father captures the paradoxes faced by the 21st century mother perfectly: Whether they're working-class or middle-class, most working mothers feel fundamentally torn between home and the workplace. They get shunted into mommy-track careers if they seem insufficiently devoted to their corporate overlords while getting grief from mothers-in-law for not spending enough time with the kids. They're doing the best they can and it's not that much fun, and the last thing they want to hear is somebody telling them, in effect, that they must have missed the latest memo on hip 21st-century motherhood.
I so get it. As mothers, we constantly question whether we are doing right by our children, and it can sting when you think you are being cast in the 'bad mommy' category for not practicing the 'best' methods. I hope people who read my blog understand that I am just writing about my experiences and not claiming that what I do is superior. I trust my faithful readers know that I'm a new mommy trying to figure it all out and far from being perfect. It bugs me though when I express pride over achieving a parental milestone like successfully breastfeeding and someone who doesn't know me makes a snarky comment like, "I don't have that luxury." Why can't we just support each other even if we don't parent the same way? One of my blogging buddies Tooj, posted this meaningful comment on my cloth diapering article: It's always nice to hear that what you DO works great for YOU.
I wish more mothers would follow her example. To paraphrase a line from the Different Strokes theme song...what might be right for me, may not be right for you. That's okay! It's not a competition, you know. Anyway, I bookmarked the homeschooling article to read again when the day came to make a decision on Marlie's schooling.

That got me thinking about what other informative articles I should bookmark for future mothering reference. I had two really good ones delivered to my inbox yesterday: A Father’s Painful Reality: It Takes a Village to Protect Our Daughters by Nick Chiles. A self-described womanist, Mr. Chiles tells the painful experience of parents' whose 24-year-old daughter went missing after being released from police custody. He shares their story as a way to underscore the importance of not sheltering our daughters and to instill in them a healthy dose of street sense. His article dovetails nicely with the second one I bookmarked, Alert: Safety Tips for Women by The Redhead Riter. She provides an exhaustive list of safety tips every woman should practice.

Do you have a really good resource article bookmarked that you'd like to share?

5 comments:

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

i only bookmark myself and i suggest you do too! HA! thanks for your awesome comment on my post!

Lorie said...

Thank you for all of the great links!

Shannon, PHAT Mommy said...

Loved this post. I homeschool and absolutely know that parents are often (irrationally) offended when I say that we homeschool. It's as if I'm implying they are doing something wrong. I think homeschooling is the best choice for us, but understand that not everyone can do it.

Here's an article I bookmarked called "The Case Against Time-Out." You have awhile before you have to deal with discipline, but it's another tough parenting decision.

Shannon, PHAT Mommy said...

Forgot the link. D'uh.
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/peter_haiman.html

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

@ Shannon: Thanks so much for sharing! I bookmarked it!

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