Friday, January 25, 2008

Sometimes I wonder

I'm a full-time working mom. Instead of spending days cuddled with my son or holding my daughter, I'm at a desk typing on a laptop, or in a classroom in front of a group of kids or in a meeting with people who think I am bringing the worst news ever.

I wonder how much of the mothering that "natural" parenting proposes is really geared towards the SAHM, especially a SAHM who is being supported by someone else. For example, exclusive breastfeeding requires real drive and dedication if you are away from junior for 8 hours + a commute 5 days a week. That's a lot of time being intimate with the breast pump (and yes I know a lot of people do it, I just wonder for how long... and I wonder how many of those who stop before 12 months, like me, did so precisely because they went back to work out of the home?)

Or attachment parenting, at least the extreme fundamentalist version where kids are held mostly and never placed in a stroller or their own crib. In that vision of the world, I never leave my baby. Which makes that pesky working out of the home more difficult.

I just read an article in Brain, Child about Elimination Communication where you rely on the bond you form with your infant to tell you when they need to pee or poop and you raise a diaper free child. Much of this is done by spending a good deal of time holding the undiapered baby above a sink or toilet. If you work full time, that is just not going to happen. I can see it now, "Excuse me, day care provider, we aren't doing diapers with him. We're learning how he communicates when he needs to go."

Even lots of mom events are geared toward the Stay-at-Home mom. No I can't meet for a playgroup at 10:30 on Wednesday. As much as I'd love to go to a museum for a meet-up, I work full time and Thursdays at 2 don't work so well for me.

Anyhow these models of good mommyhood? They seem really reliant on mom not having or not wanting to work out of the home.

So maybe I'm not the mother I thought I'd be because I actually have rent to pay and food to buy and other bills piling up.


rboston said...

> Even lots of mom events are geared toward the Stay-at-Home mom.

and that is not just for infants and toddlers either. There are a ton of activites for E's age kids that are at 3 or 4. Yes, he is out of school by then, but I'm not home to transport him. So either I hire someone to transport him or his activities are limited to weekends.

Stephanie said...

We tried EC some with Ellie. I think it's totally, 100%, a SAHM thing. Personally, a large part of the reason I was interested in it was because it gave me a "project" to work on during the day, beyond the normal stuff. We didn't have a lot of activities where we lived in NC and I was bored a lot those first several months. I know everyone does EC in China, for example, and I assume mothers work there, so maybe if your culture is geared to it, you don't have to stay home to do it but I can't imagine a daycare provider here investing that much. I mean, they can't with the child/teacher ratio being what it is.

Tomika said...

Oh man, I've had all of these thoughts at one point or another. I did however manage to breastfeed my daughter until forever, it seemed. And yes, it required me to be very intimate with a breastpump during the day. But, really - it was a great excuse to get out of meetings AND I worked in an environment where they let me do that...