Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the mothering frontline

Yesterday was a landmark day here at the Dwyer household. Prince Samuel (he was so dubbed by his father) has, in the last several days, begun crawling. It's amazing how one day he rolled everywhere then the next I noticed him pulling himself along with his arms and now he's actually getting his knees in on the action. Although I'm thrilled to see this development, I'm also frightened by the prospect of a mobile toddler rocketing himself around this place. Despite my efforts, I know microscopic bacteria, tiny spiders, and more typical dangers I haven't yet thought of abound.

In other related news, last week I joined a Yahoo! discussion board for Arizona mommies thinking that might be a good way to meet other like-minded women and potential playdate companions. Boy was I wrong. What I found was a bunch of outspoken and judgmental women anxious to validate one another's hard core parenting philosophies. Although the group was founded as a place to discuss "Attachment Parenting," it supposedly caters today to parents with all views. If that's true, I'd hate to see what it was like when it was more exclusive.

While I like the term "Attachment Parenting" (what mother wouldn't want her child to be attached?) I don't agree with some of the philosophy's tenets. For example, I believe co-sleeping would be divisive for our family and I think vaccinations, although they pose some risks, are ultimately more a benefit than a detriment. It only took me a week but I think it best for all involved if I start looking elsewhere for a discussion group. Although I love a good debate, the mommy in me thinks it best to keep all things in which I immerse myself upbeat and positive. There are plenty of parenting dilemmas to bring me down without subjecting myself to the critique and insensitive comments of the APers. To that end, I offer an uplifting quote for the day, "Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women's opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering." --Elaine Heffner (thankfully, she is no relation to Hugh)
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