Any AP Moms Who Are Doctors or Professionals? - Mothering Forums

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Any AP moms who are doctors or professionals?


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Author Topic: Any AP moms who are doctors or professionals?
beckyelem
Member posted 07-17-2001 11:49 AM
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Hi!
I was just curious b/c I haven't been able to find a pediatrician for dd who follows the AP philosophy. The closest I've found is a male pediatrician who at least finds this style of parenting to be "natural". The rest of the pediatricians and other Drs I've encountered are anti-AP - and the Drs who are moms are especially defensive about it. (Maybe because they feel insecure about the way they've chosen to parent?).

Also, I've noticed a tendency among "professional" and "well-off" women to depend heavily on baby-nurses, nannies and formula to raise their kids. (Anyone read "Mothering Heights"?).

It's a weird clash of over zealous "feminism" (I'm not letting being a woman stand in the way of my career!) and "traditionalism" and "class bias" (taking care of children is a menial task better suited for less-educated people).

I really hate these attitudes and am disheartened to find so many fellow professionals (I'm soon to be a lawyer) who degrade what, to me, is the most important thing I'll ever do - raising my children. While I do think that moms can balance career and children, I don't think that parenting can be delegated. I'd love to find some other women who feel the same.



robin-ma
Member posted 07-17-2001 12:43 PM
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Hi Rebecca--I agree with you--I'm a lawyer and working part time. My dh has flexible hours and can work from home sometimes so he takes care of ds when I have to go to court or to meet with clients. I feel so lucky to have worked it out this way.
I edited this message because I had said that parent is best caretaker and nothing is so black and white. I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings.

I'm really hoping to hear from some MD AP parents!!!!!

[This message has been edited by robin-ma (edited 07-17-2001).]



Lena
Member posted 07-17-2001 01:07 PM
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Beckyelem, I am not a doctor-- just a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. Finding a pediatrician who share AP philosophy is tough. The closest I had to the ideal was a pediatrician my DS had back in Madison, WI (he worked for GHC HMO-- "the best HMO in AMerica" ) He was very supportive of breastfeeding, circ. was a total non-issue, and in general he always made sure to answer any questions unhurriedly and wihtout that "doctor-God" attitude. I got copies of all medical records at some point and was very impressed with his comments about each visit. (of course, comments like "very active and interactive baby, thriving nursing relationship, well-informed parents", etc. were bound to make me happy ) Unfortunately we had to move when DS was 4 mo old, and I am yet to find another doctor like that. The comments I've glimpsed in out current medical history sound more like "patient underweight (DS is 40% by weight and 60% by height, for God's sake!), mother uncooperative -- refused Prevnar"
_________________________

Also, I've noticed a tendency among "professional" and "well-off" women to depend heavily on baby-nurses, nannies and formula to raise their kids.
__________________________

Well, this varies a lot. My son never had formula, and in fact in the research Lab where I work there had been 9 babies in the past two years, only two of them formula-fed. (though nobody nursed al long as I did--most women stopped around 10 months )

I do have to rely on a baby-sitter (my visa situation only allows me to work full-time, long story) But DH and I have rearranged our work schedules so we only need child care for 3 days.

NObody would argue that the current workplace makes it very difficult for a “professional” woman to combine wrking and raising kids. Despite all the options that are becoming available, such as working from home/telecommuting or taking your child with you to work, it is simply not possible in some professions. My work requires sofisticated Lab equipement, as well as working with radioactivity and other hazardous materials that eliminate the possibility of me working from home or taking my son to work on a regular basis. As I already said, I cannot stay home because of my visa. SO the only option I have, and I am already using it, is to work in an academic setting, as opposed to a large biomedical/pharmaceutical company. I get paid about ¼ of what I could be earning in a compmany, but I get some flexibility in return. I can take time off when I need it, I can come in early or late, etc. Of course, even this flexibility is limited by the nature of my work, because tumors and cells don’t grow 9 t o5 on weekdays only. Sure, some days I only have two hours worth of stuff to do, but some days I have to go back to work after I put my son to bed and work through the wee hours. In this regards, I believe it would be easier for you as a lawyer to have flexible working hours of some kind of work-from-home compromise.

I really wish I could stay home with my son, but it is simply not possible. SO what should I have done—refrained from having any children because of my inability to stay home and raise them? (believe it or not, I’ve heard that comment couple times—and it hurt like hell) Would I be a better person if I had had an abortion after getting pregnant? Or maybe I should have ocnsidered giving up my son for adoption? The truth is, I am really good at what I do, and I am also good at being a mother. I don’t think anybody who will have their life saved by early diagnosis of colon cancer would pause and say:’Geez, a woman developed this test? I really think she should have stayed home with her children instead of doing this research”.




beanmama
Member posted 07-17-2001 01:18 PM
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hey rebecca,
i posted a reply to your plea for durham/triangle area networking advice under 'finding your tribe". i'm in chapel hill. not a lawyer or doctor, though.

i wouldn't say our pediatrician is AP, but he's pretty easy going and fully supports breastfeeding, doesn't mind the family bed (though he advised against it when she was a newbie -- he was afraid she'd get squooshed, but said he didn't mind it when she was a little older -- we kept her in the bed and ignored that). i like him, but i'm not super AP -- we're doing vax's (no thimerosal), etc. he actually discouraged the prevnar vax cause we were breastfeeding and not doing daycare. i didn't want it anyway.

i know the type of women you're talking about, but i don't think i actually know any of those women -- certainly none in my circle of friends. i'm making new mommy friends now, though, so i'm sure i'll run across some sooner or later.

are you involved in La Leche League? there's a great group here in Chapel Hill full of sling toting mamas.



Sierra M-
Moderator posted 07-17-2001 03:29 PM
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I'm a Public Health Professional. There is also a good chance I'll be starting med school shortly. I feel the same as you, Beckyelem, in that raising kids is such an important job, and a parent really is irreplaceable. On the other hand, I am not a good full-time caregiver. I am a much better caregiver when I am doing other stuff in my life as well. Of course, we don't want our kids raised by anyone else, so I am lucky in that my sweetie is a natural, wonderful full-time caregiver, who, when we can afford it (I know- it just takes a lot of sacrafice- but right now, we are seriously hanging on by a shoestring, definetly not living in any excess whatsoever), can stay home.
I guess I'm sorta in a position like robin-ma, or at least, working toward it. I feel bad for couples that don't have such a nice balance. I also feel bad for single parents who want a flexible schedule or want to work at home, etc. and can't seem to get that out of the system. But this is all so complex, and has as much to do with society as with individual behavior, that I really can see a lot of sides to this issue.

In an ideal world, stay-at-home parents could be paid for what they do, and jobs could be more of hobbies . Well, even that solution brings up more issues than it solves...but you know what I mean .

S



pinky
Member posted 07-17-2001 04:03 PM
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Hi there...
I live in Durham and have a family practice doc who I love whom I am taking my dd (8 weeks) to. She is a mother of three who works part-time, and I'm pretty sure her mother keeps her kids. I have found her to be very supportive of breastfeeding (she made a house call to help me, helped me find an LC), family bed (she suggested it to help with breastfeeding), etc. We are doing most vax's but I found her to be both helpful and reasonable--and she talked about working with a family who was wanting to do the MMR with three separate vaccines but having some trouble. The only problem can be that it's a little difficult to get an appointment with her. Feel free to email me @ barbara27@eudoramail.com if you'd like her name or any other information about her.



beckyelem
Member posted 07-17-2001 07:19 PM
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Hi Lena.
I think you totally ,misunderstood me. I myself am working full-time (actually over full time) outside the home right now out of necessity. I'd love to go part time but it isn't possible. Also, I think that women can have full time careers and be great AP moms with alot of help from family and very, very good childcare.

My point was that alot of professional women don't even make the effort to try AP. When I say they "don't raise their kids", I mean that they rely on nannies to make the parenting decisions and create the parenting environment. My mom and sister watch my daughter 50 or more hours a week sometimes, but I make sure that dd's being cared for AP style (except the breastfeeding, although my mom dry-nursed her once out of desperation, LOL ). When I am home, I bf on demand and cosleep, and I make a special effort to do lots of interesting and interactive things with dd.

I know other lawyer moms who leave their kids with a nanny all day, and then have a sitter 3 nights a week so they can go to social events! Why have kids then?

Anyway, just wanted to clarify my position.



beckyelem
Member posted 07-17-2001 07:21 PM
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Beanmama -
Could I get your email address? I didn't see your post in my Durham post b/c I put it in so long ago that I haven't checked it recently.

I occassionally go to Durham LLL, but I would love to go to a Chapel Hill meeting when I get back in town next month.

Peace,

Rebecca



beckyelem
Member posted 07-17-2001 07:24 PM
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Wow, Pinky, can I get the name of your doctor? Where are you in Durham? I live in the Woodcroft area, near Rt. 40 and Fayetteville Rd.
Congratulations on your baby!

- Rebecca



SmileMomma
Moderator posted 07-17-2001 08:36 PM
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Becky, as you might remember from your other post, I am a dentist and have AP'd my 3 (5 yo dd and 8 month old twin boy and girl) exclusively. I have a nanny, but she is only in the office with me (where my children are as well) to play while I'm with a patient. I also work the hours I choose, which right now is 9-5, 4 days a week, with frequent closures .
As for the real question behind your post (I think....), did y'all know that you can call Mothering and they will give you a list of providers in your area? There was a thread around here somewhere from Cynthia, but I'm sure an e-mail would work.



Robinmama
Member posted 07-18-2001 08:37 AM
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I am a lawyer -- a federal prosecutor -- and I consider myself an AP mommy. I stayed home with my dd for one year, slept with her until my husband demanded he be let back into the bed, fed on demand, carried her until I was physically unable (at one she weighed 25 lbs). I am now working part time, and going back to work has made me a better mother. I was getting bored and feeling very stifled at home. Working part time means that usually by Monday I am looking forward to going to work, and by Wednesday I am overjoyed that my work week is over.
My dd is presently being cared for by her dad who is taking holidays over the summer to do so, but in Sept we are starting to nanny share, and I am very very upset about doing that. I am not sure how I can afford to work part- time and pay the nanny. It is insane to think that I probably have to work more just so I can work at all, but in a classic denial move I am not thinking about that until the time comes.

Each day when I leave work (at 5:01 p.m.!), I am filled with excitement and anticipation at seeing my daughter. I also see that her good self esteem and security, brought about by AP methods, I believe, has meant she has had a very easy adjustment to my going to work, compared to my other children I know who have been parented differently.




beanmama
Member posted 07-18-2001 09:10 AM
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you can email me at panchodog@mac.com. i've only been to 2 LLL meetings, but enjoyed both. one was yesterday morning. i know one of the leaders of that group from elsewhere and she's great. it seems to be a cool group. not everybody is AP, but a lot are. i think there's also an evening group if that works better for you. drop me a line and i'll be happy to chat with you.

[This message has been edited by beanmama (edited 07-18-2001).]



Chiromom
Member posted 07-18-2001 09:29 AM
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I'm sure you can tell from my "handle" I am a Chiropractor. In many cases, the chiropractic philosophy of health and life in general makes AP parenting a fairly natural choice, so I don't feel different as an AP parent in the chiropractic world. However, that doesn't mean the public and my patients doen't perceive me as a little "out there". I do struggle with issues of how much to work and how to juggle DS ( 11 mos)at work.
I work about 30 hours a week. Over the summer my MIL has been taking him on the two longer days I work (10 to 6) but I still go over there at lunch time and nurse him down for his nap. He loves gramma and seems very happy there, but she will be back to work once school starts and I don't know what I will do.

On my two short days in the office I have a 14 yo "mothers helper" come into the office with me and watch him while I work, which has also been fabulous, but once again, this will end when school starts up and I don't know what I will do.

When DS was younger I just passed him around to staff and loving patients and we "made do", but he is getting much more "mommy clingy" when I am within his sight or hearing and I am getting busier and busier with my practice and I don't know if this will still work in the fall. We can't really afford the in office nanny, but I hate to bring him to a sitters (even a great one) for more than about 10 hours a week. Even that makes me uncomfortable.

So, I don't have any great answers. I am lucky in that my husband (also a chiro) and I serve as his primary doctor and I don't have to deal with the pediatrician nightmare. But I can relate to the professional mother dilema.

Dr. Mary



Lena
Member posted 07-18-2001 10:37 AM
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Beckyelem-- I don't think I misunderstood you the first time, though maybe it came out that way in my post. I've followed enough of your posts (and liked them ) to know that you are a motivated and professional person who is also an AP parent. I feel very strongly about the subject of combining work and parenting, and I may go overboard sometimes...
Originally posted by Beckyelem:
****My point was that alot of professional women don't even make the effort to try AP. ****

I think I already tried in my previous post to say that we cannot make generalization in this. In my experience, a lot of professional women that I know have made at least some effort towards AP, if only in their decisions to breastfeed and not to spank. Maybe your personal observations are different in this.

Just as not all SAHMs are automatically AP (in fact, the majority of them are not), not all professional mothers are non-AP. Truly AP parents are still a minority in US, whether you look among working mothers or SAHMs, IMO.

****When I say they "don't raise their kids", I mean that they rely on nannies to make the parenting decisions and create the parenting environment. ****

Well, you are lucky to have your mother close to watch your child. Not all of us have this luxury, so what is left for us to do, if not rely on a nanny/babysitter?

I would also like to point out that an outsider, or many SAHMs on these boards, might say that since you are away from your daughter for 50 hours a week, you are not an AP parent, and it's your mother who is the parent figure in your DD life-- a statement that you would obviously disagree with. So I would not be so quick ot condemn those women that you speak of, that work full-time and then have additional baby-sitters in the evenings. (No, I don't do it, my DS is in an "otsider" care for only 25-27 hours a week, and I think DS and I only had one evening out in the last 2.5 years). But realistically, to someone who stays home all day with their children, you, me, and someone who is away from their child for 60 hours a week are all the same, and all non-AP.

As to allowing the child caregivers to make parenting decisions, I am not quite sure what you mean here. Our baby-sitter supports our values in areas such as diet, discipline, etc., though she is certainly the person who desides what my son is going to have for lunch when he is with her, now that he is 2.5 and no longer breastfed. And she also desides what t-shirt to put on him, if he needs to be changed. She is also a very experienced person who occasionally has suggestions for us (e.g. she suggested not pureeing vegetables very finely but leaving them slightly lumpy for DS when he was starting solids, and I took her advice) Does that mean that she is making parenting decisions?

O.K., I am not really serious here-- just taking things to logical and absurd end. Hopefully, I have not offended anyone.





babylover
Member posted 07-18-2001 12:32 PM
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So good to see this thread. I'm a professional social worker, right now working as a clinical research coordinator in a children's hospital. I cannot find an AP or wholistic pediatrician to save my life and I've been working with hundreds of them for 6 years. We've given up and just go when our dd needs it. My pediatrician friends just say that's not how they've been trained. I even get flack for being a LLL leader, so forget about long discussions about EBF, co-sleeping, herbal rememdies. The vaccination discussion just doesn't even happen. I've had folks threaten to hotline me to child protective services for co-sleeping (I think they were kidding). At any rate the AP pediatricians are hard to find. I think you have more luck with general DO's or Family Practice docs. Pediatricians know kids, though. It's a trade off.
I definitely think you can combine work and AP. We have no choice but for me to work at the moment. Bad financial choices made long before dd. We wanted to have kids and not be on public assistance, so we make it work. Dh stays home and goes to school. When he finishes his degree then we hope to be able work out a part time situation or it will be my turn to stay home. I agree with folks that you can't judge anyone's circumstance. We realy heavily on family to watch our dd. We hate living in the city we live in, but do it so we have family to help. Otherwise, we'd be living somewhere else. I've changed jobs twice until I found one that could be flexible enough to accomodate my parenting style and where I still feel I'm using my professional skills. My dh said that we couldn't do ap if I was working. I said phooey. Now he is so glad we did it. It fits for both of us and is best for our dd. Kudos to all you women making it work. No choice is easy.


beckyelem
Member posted 07-18-2001 12:56 PM
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Hi Lena.
Points well taken. BTW, I'm only away from dd so much for the summer - I had to take this job for 3 months to make up for the debt we got into from me staying at home for dd's first 10 months.

I'm very lucky to have my mom to help, and I think a very carefully chosen daycare/nanny can be close to as good. But I know alot of professional women who look for cheap care or who don't look hard enough for AP style care for their kids. And while there may be other AP professional women out there, of the many, many that I know there are 3 of us APers (me, another law student, and a lawyer who has never heard of AP but practices it anyway). Look at these boards - so far, not a single medical doctor has responded to this post. There are only a few professional women here.

I would think that education and resources that professional women enjoy would help them choose AP, and I'm constantly surprised by how many professional moms go the Babywise path.




beckyelem
Member posted 07-18-2001 01:02 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by beckyelem:
Hi Lena.
Points well taken. BTW, I'm only away from dd so much for the summer - I had to take this job for 3 months to make up for the debt we got into from me staying at home for dd's first 10 months.

I'm very lucky to have my mom to help, and I think a very carefully chosen daycare/nanny can be close to as good. But I know alot of professional women who look for cheap care or who don't look hard enough for AP style care for their kids. And while there may be other AP professional women out there, of the many, many lawyers, doctors, and other professional moms that I know there are 3 of us APers (me, another law student, and a lawyer who has never heard of AP but practices it anyway). Look at these boards - so far, not a single medical doctor has responded to this post. There are only a few professional women here.

I would think that education and resources that professional women enjoy would help them choose AP, and I'm constantly surprised by how many professional moms go the Babywise path.


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mama-mooa
Member posted 07-18-2001 08:32 PM
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Beckyelem - I am a professional and practice AP. Have been killing myself to try to find an AP doctor - no luck at all so far. I have several peds in my family who are anti-"that parenting style" - wonderful!
I have two friends, one very good, one just someone in my bookgroup - anyway, they both fit the description of the professional woman you refer to.

I was truly flabbergasted to hear from my very good friend that she requested to go back to work early (lawyer) because it was so much easier than staying home. The shocking part to me was that she hired a nanny who she said took her baby out all day (she lives in NYC) and my friend had no idea where they would go all day. When I asked her if this concerned her she said she supposed so sort of, but that she didn't want to make a big deal about it because she was worried the nanny would get offended and leave! She knows that she is pretty detached from her baby but she says she just isn't a baby person and that she'll get more into him when he is older and not so needy. Now this is one of my favorite people in the world - I try not to judge, but I just feel so bad for both her and her baby. I had my child before she got pregnant and told her in great detail all about AP (maybe I scared her!) and gave her lots of books to read etc. Oh well.

My second friend works for a government agency as an analyst - she's very respected in her field. She also went back to work fulltime before her maternity leave was up and has a nanny who really seems to be the one to set the rules etcetera for the baby. My friend is constantly referring to her nanny and what her nanny wants them to do with the baby - her nanny is the boss when it comes to the baby. My friend lives in fear that she might somehow irritate her nanny and her nanny will leave. My friend is disappointed with the fact that her nanny only wants to work 40 hours per week. She wishes her nanny would work weekends and evenings as well, but she's scared to ask her.

It seems like these people both were used to be excellent at their work and feeling very competent. Then they were blindsided by the truly consuming job that being a mom is and that they ran the other way as fast as they could because they felt they couldn't handle it.



scribblerkate
Member posted 07-18-2001 08:56 PM
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beckyelem,
I think there are more professional AP or partial AP mothers out there than it might seem on the surface; perhaps it simply depends on the part of the country you live in. At my law school, I have talked to many moms who practice or plan to practice at least some AP. I agree that this phenomenon is not universal, but certainly they're out there.

More importantly, your message implies that a thinking mother would, upon conducting research into parenting styles and philosophies, automatically choose AP. Obviously, those of us on these boards think AP is the right choice in terms of parenting practices and beliefs. We probably also agree that by and large it is *objectively* the right approach. I find myself thinking this all the time when I see a parent behaving in a manner I find incomprehensible. But it is very wrong to assume that every professional mother who does not AP does so without thought and research, soul searching, and a lot of love for her child. I have talked to many mothers who parent differently than I do, and they all are trying to find the best parenting style for their families, just as my husband and I are for our family. I may not want to try any of their approaches for myself, but I respect that they are working towards being the best parents they can be.

I agree that as a society we could benefit from a whole lot more parents practicing AP. However, you're coming pretty close to saying that these professional women aren't thinking, motivated parents because they don't AP. The simple fact that they choose not to AP is not enough evidence to prove a lack of thought regarding parenting style, nor is it on its own evidence of a lack of caring.

One point on which I wholeheartedly agree: Parents *should* be actively involved in directing the type of care their children receive (regardless of who provides it), and ideally they should develop a parenting style and philosphy, hopefully guided by personal study into the subject.

Never even heard of "Mothering Heights" . . . care to elaborate???

K.



succotash
Member posted 07-18-2001 09:49 PM
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I am curious as to what differentiates a "professional mom" from an amateur mom???






beckyelem
Member posted 07-19-2001 06:33 AM
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I mean a mom who is also employed/trained in a job traditionally deemed "professional" - lawyers, doctors, professors, engineers, etc. etc. We are all "professional moms" in the other sense of the word


beckyelem
Member posted 07-19-2001 06:43 AM
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Hmmm....I can't remember who wrote Mothering Heights. It's probably on Amazon.com. It is a really intriguing book that gives some perspective on the mothering culture of a certain class of well-off/well-educated mothers (particularly in Manhattan). I don't agree with alot of it, but it made me think. My all time favorite parenting-type books are Our Babies, Ourselves (anthropology); Baby Wars (evolutionary biology); and The Baby Book (Sears, of course).
And I am not saying that AP is the *right* choice that educated women have decided against, I am saying that most of the professional moms I know DON'T EVEN KNOW AP EXISTS. They are time-crunched, so they pick up a single popular mainstream book, like Babywise, and that's it. If they handled their jobs in such a cavalier and arbitrary way they would be fired, but yet they have the most important job in their life (raising another human), and they can't be bothered to educate themselves sufficiently.

I didn't just read about AP when I was pregnant or since. I have read many, many parenting books, and cross-cultural studies, and neuro-bio, etc. AP is just what I found to be the most compelling "style" - it's what I would naturally do anyway.

I will honestly be able to say to my daughter someday that I did my very, very best for her and that I really thought hard about my parenting decisions. My mom did too, and hopefully my daughter will raise her own babies with such careful consideration



Lena
Member posted 07-19-2001 08:26 AM
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Scribblerkate, good points! I agree that many parents are somewhat aware of AP, but make a consious choice to go "conventional" way because they believe that it is better/more appropriate. Sadly...
Beckyelem, I was one of those mothers that did not even know that AP exists until a year ago. I somehow managed to do all the AP things, but kept thinking that it was because of my different cultural background that I was doing everything different from "conventional" american parenting. ANd then I found old issues of Mothering magazine in the library, and it was a true eye-opener! AP is really not widely publisized in this country, so unless you already have some inclination in that direction, and start looking for something like that, you might never find it. After all, if you go to the library in search of parenting books, there would be shelves and shelves of them, and Sears book would be just one of many, nothing jumping out and making you pick it, unless you've heard about it already.
And since "the establishement" is not very eager to publisize AP, it will remain in the minority, I fear.




scribblerkate
Member posted 07-19-2001 10:12 AM
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beckyelem,
Well, I will agree that I have met some professional moms who haven't really looked into parenting approaches very much. On the other hand, I've lots who have and chosen something different. Same with non-professional moms. I guess I was just saying that, other than those moms you know well enough to know their choices and how they came to them, it isn't really fair to assume a lack of commitment simply based on parenting style.

I will say that most of the professional moms I've met do seem to really try and really care. Maybe it's a generational thing? Those moms somewhat older than us might still be of the mind that they need to prove themselves in the business world, and severing ties to traditional women's roles might be part of that. I know so many women who are simply incapable of cooking, and are proud of it, that I can only surmise that they see cooking as a somehow inferior task, rather than the meditative, creative process that it is for me. Also, I see hope in that lots of professional and otherwise moms in their 20s and early 30s *are* gravitating to "alternative" parenting styles. The stress of being professional and being a mom is easier when you're attached at least a little, and I think that other women are discovering that on their own, slowly but surely. Or maybe I just have a weird circle of acquaintances ;-). (On the other hand, don't get me started on the health law professor I ran into at the peds office earlier this summer, and my thoughts on *her* parenting choices as observed during that brief encounter!)

Also, I guess I wouldn't condemn mothers who don't research too much, although I don't really understand it myself. After all, in the past, mothers learned from their own mothers, grandmothers, sisters, other mothers in the community. Lots of the moms I see who don't AP tend to be close to their families and friends, and get lots of their parenting insights from them. If they're surrounded by a particular parenting style, and they learn from it, it will feel natural and right to them. Again, I myself don't understand how someone could undertake the job of mothering without doing some learning on her own, but then, that's how I approach everything in life.

K.

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