Well, it is if you're Erica Jong, according to her article Mother Madness, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal...
Well, it is if you're Erica Jong, according to her article Mother Madness, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week. Sort of. After I initially read this article a few days ago, I clicked around the web to absorb other opinions. I didn't take the article as literally saying that parents who practice attachment parenting are prisoners. Take this, for example:
Attachment parenting, especially when combined with environmental correctness, has encouraged female victimization. Women feel not only that they must be ever-present for their children but also that they must breast-feed, make their own baby food and eschew disposable diapers. It's a prison for mothers, and it represents as much of a backlash against women's freedom as the right-to-life movement.Okay, so she did say "It's a prison for mothers," but I'm not an extremist. And I feel Jong discussed attachment parenting in the extreme form -- all or nothing. You either breastfeed, co-sleep, wear your baby, meet her every need, never put her down if she's crying, etc., or you're not practicing attachment parenting. And in that respect, I agree. Putting an intense amount of pressure on oneself to do it ALL is...well, too much. That can feel like a prison. I interpreted her article as a feminist perspective on parenting, mothering, responsibility, etc. Sure, attachment parenting was the central theme, but it's also the "big thing" right now, or so it seems. You could substitute many forms of intense parenting and I think the message would be the same. Jong's voice is quite strong and I don't always love her comments on certain situations, but I agree very strongly with her take home message:
We need to be released from guilt about our children, not further bound by it. We need someone to say: Do the best you can. There are no rules.As I said in a post I wrote about Resources for Infant Educarers, I think parenting is all about doing what your child needs and what you're capable of doing. And in my opinion, even though she presented the view quite strongly, that's pretty much what Jong conveyed. What do you think? How did you interpret Jong's article in the Wall Street Journal?