You’ve got to love a piece of writing that begins with scrubbing vomit and ends with gratitude. In between, local mom and regular Mamalode writer Jennifer Savage responds to a recent opinion on motherhood in the Wall Street Journal that has ignited a heated discussion among the nation’s moms.
The WSJ piece by Erica Jong primarily takes on the “attachment parenting” model espoused in popular parenting books and celebrity culture these days. It certainly gave me a lot to think about, so I am going to let it simmer for a while rather than immediately take it apart piece by piece – which is what I wanted to do the first time I read it, starting with the very first sentence: “Unless you’ve been living on another planet, you know that we have endured an orgy of motherphilia for at least the last two decades.”
Suuuuuure. I mean, I don’t know about you, but all this focus on motherhood has been so crushing I could hardly “endure” it.
Anyway, Savagemama tackles Jong’s piece from a generational perspective, and manages to do so in a way that’s both respectful and, dare I say, vindicating.
Because Jong’s piece, while certainly thoughtful and full of several important criticisms worth discussing, did ultimately read like a judgment of every mother who has left a job to stay at home, laundering cloth diapers instead of buying disposable ones, or made sacrifices in order to breastfeed her baby.
As someone who chose the job, the disposables and the formula, maybe I harbor a little guilt about the impact my choices have had on my daughter. But I’ve found similar guilt echoed in every other mother I’ve ever met.
On some level, we all recognize that we could do better. We all recognize that, in some ways, we will always fall short of perfection.
So I see nothing wrong in a mother striving to be the best mom she can be if that’s where she chooses to put her energy. The only wrong I see is when she is judged harshly by other moms who made other choices – and when she uses her choices to cast judgment on others.