Motherhood: A ‘Prison’ for Women?
Erica Jong certainly thinks so. In her controversial ”Mother Madness” essay that appeared in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, the novelist and poet argues strenuously against “attachment parenting”—a method that calls for an almost constant mental and physical connection between mother and child.
Jong makes the case that in today’s hectic world of busy working mothers such a style is completely impractical when the daily demands of these women are taken into account. “You wear your baby, sleep with her and attune yourself totally to her needs. How you do this and also earn the money to keep her is rarely discussed. You are just assumed to be rich enough,” she writes.
Jong says that while attachment parenting calls for the mother and father to be available to their baby almost constantly, creating a support group of multiple caregivers is not only helpful to stressed out parents but is also essential to raising a well-socialized, independent child. “Kinship is not exclusively biological, after all, and you need a brood to raise a brood,” she writes.
Similarly, she continues, simply because a woman chooses not to breastfeed, make her own baby food, or use cloth diapers does not by any means make her a less-loving or less capable mother. “We need to be released from guilt about our children, not further bound by it,” she explains. ”We need someone to say: Do the best you can. There are no rules.”
Needless to say, many commentors and bloggers have pounced on Jong and come to the defense of attachment parenting. Share your take with us!