The Granola Extreme - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
bczmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
An interesting discussion was started elsewhere about AP/Natural family living and its compatability/incompatability with feminism. I thought it would be good to have a place to continue the discussion.

Some people may remember an extremely mediocre miniseries on TV a while back called "The Sixties." It did have one moment that rang true to me: the daughter runs away from her traditional, cookie-baking SAHM family. She ends up at a commune, where her first job is to bake muffins (without refined sugar, of course). She discovers her scope at the commune is just as restricted as it was at home.

Sometimes AP/NFL does, to me, reek of: difficulty for the difficulty's sake, self-sacrifice by moms (regardless of the relative value of the sacrifice to the gain) = nobility, the more obscure, the more "cool", the more challenging, the more "cool". I have seen it drive my DH's ex literally to her wits' end. With her next pregnancy I expect to run across her lying under some bushes in the park, in midwinter, holding a stick between her teeth and giving birth alone. Because a homebirth isn't enough, an unattended birth isn't enough, it's gotta be something even *more* natural. Rather than keeping up with the Jones, she's keeping up with the Raynbow Arwen Starrs.
bczmama is offline  
#2 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 03:54 AM
Banned
 
~member~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: on a lily pad
Posts: 13,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't get it.
~member~ is offline  
#3 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 03:59 AM
 
BelgianSheepDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: unemployed in Greenland
Posts: 7,824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Of course. Because sexism and the patriarchal structures that uphold it is the water we swim in. We may congregate into different schools, but the water stays the same.

I agree with what you said, especially "difficulty for difficulty's sake." There's this female version of macho, too, whose birth was more unattended, who is more willing to be vicious to formula feeders, who is willing to psychically bleed to death for the sake of "constant contact," etc. I make an effort to reject it. Sometimes that puts me in the "bad" column for AP, sometimes not. I'm trying not to care.
BelgianSheepDog is offline  
#4 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 04:08 AM
 
stirringleaf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: following the butterflies
Posts: 4,712
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
aside from that, i agree with you to a degree. but i also, to use a cliche, dont think we should throw out the baby with the bathwater. deciding that the ap/NFL lifestlye is altogether not feminist is incredibly generalizing. there are plenty of women that choose healthy lifestyles for themselves and their children simply becasue they feel it is healthy, and they dont go all dogmatic about it and become martyrs. i know plenty of people who do this lifestyle within reason. i eat like 85 percent organic but somethimes i eat salsa con queso fake nacho cheese sauce. sometimes i dont drive my car for a week. but sometimes i drive it every day and even use it to drive my son to sleep on a mommy meltdown kind of night. i dont hide either experince nor do i feel shame about them. i do get a stomachache from the fake cheese, however.
stirringleaf is offline  
#5 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 AM
 
SquishyKitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,816
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've noticed that a lot, that unless it's so hard, so sacrificial that you can martyr yourself over it, you're just not crunchy enough. I don't understand that thinking. I thought NFL was supposed to be about living simplier and easier, not doing the hardest possible thing because it's more natural than your neighbor.
SquishyKitty is offline  
#6 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 06:34 AM
 
Needle in the Hay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow I don't get that impression of AP or NFL. Sure, there are some people who will just be extreme at anything they decide to embrace, and yes, I have seen posts on these boards where someone does seem to be making it much harder than it needs to be. People do that in lots of ways for lots of things, though, not just attachment parenting.

I never felt like I was sacrificing because I breastfed my ds. I never feel like I'm sacrificing when I lie down with him until he falls alseep (or, if I fall asleep first then we co-sleep). I don't feel like I'm sacrificing because I stay home and DH goes to work, or because my DS is with me instead of spending his days at school. No one is forcing any aspect of AP on me. I choose it and I like it and I use what works for me and don't get hung up on "rules".

Really, I think some people just misinterpret what it all means. I see people do that with homeschooling too. They think it's supposed to work a certain way and if it doesn't then they think homeschooling doesn't work or that they don't know how to do it right (or that other people are doing it wrong).

BCZmama, it's obvious from this and other posts that you do not have much esteem for your DH's ex. It seems that her version of AP frustrates you and even though you want to do certain things for your child that are AP, you really don't want to be associated in this way with your DH's ex. I totally understand that, especially since I got the impression that she tries to tell you how you should parent-- but granola (what you originally called it)? Come on. If women are striving to be matyrs for social acceptance I don't think that is the fault of AP or NFL. Some of the mamas who practice certain aspects of AP would do well to be less judgemental but it's not because they are judgemental that anyone needs to live up to their standards.
Needle in the Hay is offline  
#7 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 06:59 AM
 
asherah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Swimming in the cauldron of rebirth
Posts: 2,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That said..
I do think some women turn ap/nfl into a "more martyred than thou" competition. And who use that as a weapon against other women.

You see the "string up the bad mama" mentality. You see these cyber-gangs that gather in the "I saw a bad mama doing xyz threads."

And it reminds me of the scene in the "Handmaid's Tale" when they all pull on the rope to hang the Handmaid who had sex with the doctor.

You see these gatherings of the ap/nfl police, ready to figuratively stone some stranger or acquaintance to death, for not measuring up. For not being martyred enough. And that really gives me the chills.

OTOH, I have RARELY seen mainstream mamas do that. Is that inherently part of ap/nfl? Absolutely not. But somehow, ap/nfl circles do seem to attract some women who really really need to compare themselves to others, and who are really really invested in setting up straw-women bad mommies to make themselves feel superior and righteous. I am not sure what is behind that, but I hear it and see it much more among women who describe themselves as ap/nfl.

I personally have no need to lambaste other mommas, especially when I haven't walked in their shoes. Nor am I as invested in labels as others. I came to ap because it seemed the best way to parent my infant. But I define ap the way Sears does.. with the 5 B's. And I did all five, while wohm-ing.

NFL is different than AP. And this site has made me more into NFL than I was. But again, I wohm, so I will never measure up in the eyes of many many women who have very narrow definitions of what NFL is.

Luckily, I no longer care.
asherah is offline  
#8 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 07:26 AM
 
3girlmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Q
3girlmom is offline  
#9 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 07:40 AM
 
Brigianna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: who knows?
Posts: 9,522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sure, there are some holier-than-thou crunchy people who seem to support difficulty for difficulty's sake. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again--the subculture of difficulty for difficulty's sake can only rightly be considered in light of the mainstream culture's wholehearted support of convenience for convenience's sake, no matter the consequences. People who question that mainstream lifestyle may be rightly suspicious of things that make our life easier, because there may be hidden costs. Some people take it too far. Some people always do. But if some woman wants to give birth in the bushes, so what?
Brigianna is offline  
#10 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 07:43 AM
 
Needle in the Hay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3girlmom View Post

Particularly where I live, I've seen lots of women who harness their considerable energies, intelligences and financial resources to provide the most organic, most crunchy, most esoteric-all-natural-baby-item-special-ordered-from-Sweden-don't-drink-milk-if-it's-homogenized-even-if-it's-organic-soy?-no-soy?-dried-fruit-and-nuts-instead-of-a-birthday-cupcake life for their children, and it's rooted more in a search for control rather than a search for happiness. Imagine if they gave all that energy and money to larger societal problems rather than to attaining some sort of granola perfection.
WOW I do not know people like that. People here seem to be more concerned with appearing "normal" and mainstream. There is a fear of being marginalized.
Needle in the Hay is offline  
#11 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 07:51 AM
 
Needle in the Hay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post

OTOH, I have RARELY seen mainstream mamas do that.
There are people who do this in every group and subcategory! You know, people who think kids need to be spanked or advise everyone to let their child CIO ("buy earplugs, go outside if you have to" --I have even seen this in parenting books), people who make comments about breastfeeding being gross or indecent (Tracy Hogg in her parenting book telling the story of one woman she knew who BF'd whose breasts became "flat as pancakes") people who will shun those who don't vaccinate their kids, remarks about non-circumsized penises as being gross or weird, people of all kinds have their own reasons for making negative comments to homeschoolers (even though there are people of all kinds who homeschool)... so I think mamas are subject to harrassment from any "side".
Needle in the Hay is offline  
#12 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 07:55 AM
 
Needle in the Hay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
sure, there are some holier-than-thou crunchy people who seem to support difficulty for difficulty's sake. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again--the subculture of difficulty for difficulty's sake can only rightly be considered in light of the mainstream culture's wholehearted support of convenience for convenience's sake, no matter the consequences. People who question that mainstream lifestyle may be rightly suspicious of things that make our life easier, because there may be hidden costs. Some people take it too far. Some people always do. But if some woman wants to give birth in the bushes, so what? .
OK I know I'm quoting everyone's posts here but I had to reply to this. Brigianna you said it very well and it makes perfect sense that the inconvenience and sacrifice (sometimes taken too far) is a reaction to the convenience and selfishness that is part of mainstream culture (though certainly not embraced by all who would be considered more or less mainstream). Anyway, really loved your post.
Needle in the Hay is offline  
#13 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 08:08 AM
 
asherah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Swimming in the cauldron of rebirth
Posts: 2,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
There are people who do this in every group and subcategory! You know, people who think kids need to be spanked or advise everyone to let their child CIO ("buy earplugs, go outside if you have to" --I have even seen this in parenting books), people who make comments about breastfeeding being gross or indecent (Tracy Hogg in her parenting book telling the story of one woman she knew who BF'd whose breasts became "flat as pancakes") people who will shun those who don't vaccinate their kids, remarks about non-circumsized penises as being gross or weird, people of all kinds have their own reasons for making negative comments to homeschoolers (even though there are people of all kinds who homeschool)... so I think mamas are subject to harrassment from any "side". There will always be extremists(so to speak) in just about any group but they are usually the minority
No, its different. Yeah, there are mainstream parents who make nasty remarks and who cut off people they disagree with. And yeah, UC, homeschooling and breastfeeding are often targeted by the ignorant. No doubt about that.

But I don't see the whole "we define ourselves by judging and lambasting straw women" culture I see in ap/nfl circles. I just don't. Mainstreamers don't DEFINE themselves that way. They don't have a culture of "more mainstream than thou." Ap/nfl people are more likely to define themselves solely by their parenting choices, and that is where some of that behavior comes from, I think.
asherah is offline  
#14 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 08:28 AM
 
Needle in the Hay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
No, its different. Yeah, there are mainstream parents who make nasty remarks and who cut off people they disagree with. And yeah, UC, homeschooling and breastfeeding are often targeted by the ignorant. No doubt about that.

But I don't see the whole "we define ourselves by judging and lambasting straw women" culture I see in ap/nfl circles. I just don't. Mainstreamers don't DEFINE themselves that way. They don't have a culture of "more mainstream than thou." Ap/nfl people are more likely to define themselves solely by their parenting choices, and that is where some of that behavior comes from, I think.
It's possible, I'll give you that, but plenty of people do define themselves by being "normal" and do not like what seems to be abnormal. Sometimes the pressure to conform to the majority is what is oppressive! Where I live people will critcize anything they think isn't normal. ("C'est pas normal" is a favorite expression!) Maybe mainstreamers mind their own business more where you live.

When I used to post and read on sites that were more conservative (frugality and homeschooling sites are often conservative) I did find a lot of judgement and a sort of contest between women of who could be the most devout, godly, motherly, wifely, etc. but of course that is also a group with ideals outside the mainstream (I've also know people like this IRL but these are people I avoided so I learned more from people with similar ideals online).

But I would say that group can judge and lambast just as well as any ap/nfl-ers can. I definitely hold that this behavior/mindset is not unique to AP. It really has a lot to do with the personalities/need for acceptance/insecurity of certain women (and no I'm not lambasting them for this, I think mainstream society, while possibly less judgemental of parenting choices, can make people this way).
Needle in the Hay is offline  
#15 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 11:31 AM
 
maya44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What I have seen is that places where AP/NFL is the most "mainstream" (e.g., Hyde Park, Illinois and espec Berkely, California) people do get very competive about it. You know like "Crunchier than thou"

They get just as competitive as those in more Mainstream "mainstream" communities do about having the latest car or the biggest house.

When we lived in one of those communities you would have thought that exclusively bottle feeding was akin to feeding your baby rat poison.
maya44 is offline  
#16 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:03 PM
 
saraann's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
Sometimes AP/NFL does, to me, reek of: difficulty for the difficulty's sake, self-sacrifice by moms (regardless of the relative value of the sacrifice to the gain) = nobility, the more obscure, the more "cool", the more challenging, the more "cool". .
For me AP has so many benefits and one of them is that it seems like an easier way to parent. I can feel confident about my parenting choices because they go with my instincts. I don't have to force myself to do things that go against my instincts such as CIO.
Wearing the baby makes getting things done around the house possible, while still meeting my baby's needs and it is much easier to manuever then a stroller.
Co-sleeping is easier then not because when she wakes up all I have to do is roll over and feed her in bed, while still half asleep, getting up at night would be much harder.
Breastfeeding is so much easier then bottle feeding.
So I guess I don't see it as being difficult or self-sacrificing, the opposite is true in my opinion.
saraann is offline  
#17 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:10 PM
 
jazzharmony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
What an unfortunate thread title.

bczmama, you seem very angry at your husband's ex wife. Perhaps dealing with that first would be helpful as it may be coloring your perspective.

ETA - thank you moderator, for changing the thread title
jazzharmony is offline  
#18 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:13 PM
 
dawningmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: North Carolina!
Posts: 4,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
Of course. Because sexism and the patriarchal structures that uphold it is the water we swim in. We may congregate into different schools, but the water stays the same.
Well said. Simply because a certain lifestyle is outside the mainstream, doesn't make it immune to the very strong forces of -isms that the mainstream runs on. In fact, sometimes it seems the more "other" a particular subculture seems to get in a specific aspect, the more "normal" it appears in all other respects.

I'm a morning person.  We actually do exist.
dawningmama is offline  
#19 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:18 PM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 9,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mod edit for quote of UA violation

TT- Thank you, Bug.
TigerTail is offline  
#20 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:22 PM
 
asherah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Swimming in the cauldron of rebirth
Posts: 2,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ditto to the above, especially given the recent losses of some MDC mamas. It'd be kind to edit that.
asherah is offline  
#21 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:44 PM
 
CherryBomb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
OTOH, I have RARELY seen mainstream mamas do that.
Really? And you're on livejournal?! I see mainstream mamas do it all the time, IRL and online, it's just about different things. "She's disgusting for breastfeeding, I can't believe she doesn't spank her kids, they're such brats, she's such a freak for picking her baby up when he cries, did you know that weirdo didn't circumsize her son, etc etc"
CherryBomb is offline  
#22 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 12:58 PM
 
asherah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Swimming in the cauldron of rebirth
Posts: 2,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
Really? And you're on livejournal?! I see mainstream mamas do it all the time, IRL and online, it's just about different things. "She's disgusting for breastfeeding, I can't believe she doesn't spank her kids, they're such brats, she's such a freak for picking her baby up when he cries, did you know that weirdo didn't circumsize her son, etc etc"



I write poetry and essays on livejournal. I read about poetry and spirituality and tattoos there. I don't look at parenting stuff there.

But again, I never said that there aren't mean and nasty mainstreamers who make mean and nasty comments.

I am talking about a certain "culture" of judgment and mommy-martyrdom, that no, I don't see among mainstreamers. Telling me about rude comments from individuals doesn't negate that opinion.
asherah is offline  
#23 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 01:10 PM
 
maybebaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ohio
Posts: 515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think there's a big difference in how women lived in the 50's and how "granola" moms do things now though. Back then, it was assumed that these jobs were "women's work", women were expected to be housewives and stay at home moms. Now, we're *choosing* to do those things. Choice is a huge factor. I don't see being granola as being less feminist; we just have *choice* about how we spend our time now. A feminist can choose to be a wohm or a sahm now, with gratitude to those women who blazed the trails for us in the past decades. As long as we all support other women making their own choice then it's all going to work out just fine. But judgement takes place on both sides, whether we want to admit it or not. There will always be career women who say we sahm's aren't feminist enough and there will always be sahm's who say wohm's arent as committed to their families.

And I totally don't believe we embrace difficulty for the sake of difficulty. That's nutty! There are reasons why we do things we do, and it's not just because it's harder. That would be crazy. We research and soul search and do what's right for our families. Sure, there are times we get upset when we feel women make decisions based on no more than just "following the herd", but you know maybe that stems from some feminist beliefs; we care so much that women avail themselves of information and the choices out there because in the past some of those choices weren't ours to make.

C ~ mama to (16), (13), (9) (5)

maybebaby is offline  
#24 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 02:11 PM
 
nancy926's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: where we always need more bookcases
Posts: 2,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not in a frame of mind to wax philosophical...

But it's not just women who need to be feminists if we're going to change the way people think. Men need to be feminists too.

AND...part of being a feminist (IMHO) is seeing men as capable parents who can make their own decisions. Feminism is not just about women getting jobs and being paid equally.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
nancy926 is offline  
#25 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 02:26 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
But I don't see the whole "we define ourselves by judging and lambasting straw women" culture I see in ap/nfl circles. I just don't. Mainstreamers don't DEFINE themselves that way. They don't have a culture of "more mainstream than thou."
I don't see a culture of "more mainstream than thou", because none of the mainstream parents I know define themselves as mainstream. But, I certainly see a culture of "my kids are the best behaved", "my kids follow order" or even "my kids have more toys", and I think that's all part of the same phenomenon. It's easier to peg with the AP/NFL crowd, because we have a convenient label, and at least a rough set of criteria in order to "qualify".

I don't think AP/NFL parents are any different in this respect than mainstream parents. We just have handier labels on our actions.

OTOH, maybe I'm just clueless. I'm not particularly crunchy, and have never used the terms "AP" or "NFL" to describe my approach to life and parenting. I don't think I've adopted any label for myself or my beliefs or tasts since I shucked "metalhead" in the late 80s. I do what I think is best for me and my family, and it mostly falls more into AP than otherwise, but I'm not hung up on the label at all. And, aside from the local MDC tribe, I don't think I know a single parent who qualifies as anything but "mainstream" (most of them are a fairly vicious backbiting lot, too).

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#26 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 02:36 PM
 
MomInFlux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: the beautiful mountains of sunny Southern California
Posts: 1,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy926 View Post
But it's not just women who need to be feminists if we're going to change the way people think. Men need to be feminists too.

AND...part of being a feminist (IMHO) is seeing men as capable parents who can make their own decisions. Feminism is not just about women getting jobs and being paid equally.
Yep, yep, yep. I'm interested in this conversation, but I'm not sure I'm in for the long haul. I just can't relate to it.

I have a wonderful DH, who joyfully practices AP, and is a SAHD, and whom I would consider a feminist. He's also very crunchy . At home, we're all about AP/NFL: homebirth, EFB, baby wearing, no vaxing, no circ, real food, sleep sharing, GD, homeschool, yadda-yadda-yadda. We don't do those things because we're striving to be "more granola" than our neighbors. We do these things because we think they're the right thing to do, and we LIKE doing them.

Yet, we're also outwardly mainstream. We've made the decision together that it makes more sense for our family that I work FT, and he supports that decision 100%. I work as an environmental consultant, and I look corporate. You would really have to talk with us for a nice long time to discern our lifestyle choices.

If people are the type to be competitive about their lifestyle choices, I think they're going to be competitive regardless of which direction they've gone in: granola or mainstream. And when people put dogma (of whichever stripe) ahead of making rational decisions, there will be issues. Are people really so weak-willed that they'll make decisions for their family based on some granola code of honor rather than what's right for their family?
MomInFlux is offline  
#27 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 02:43 PM
 
Snowdrift's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can we cut out the criticisms to UC-ers? They could be very hurtful. Birth is as safe as life gets, but not completely safe. No matter where it happens or who is there.
Snowdrift is offline  
#28 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 02:56 PM
 
witchbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: denvah
Posts: 2,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i see entirely what you're saying, but i think it's more of a mother thing than purely and ap/nfl thing. it is very much the mommy wars in progress, it just depends on which side you're warring with. there are "i saw a mom at the mall doing xyz" threads here, posts about mothers breastfeeding "kids who can walk and talk!" on other boards. it seems to me, once we get bored with attacking the other side, we turn on each other.
witchbaby is offline  
#29 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 02:57 PM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 5,194
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyKitty View Post
I've noticed that a lot, that unless it's so hard, so sacrificial that you can martyr yourself over it, you're just not crunchy enough. I don't understand that thinking. I thought NFL was supposed to be about living simplier and easier, not doing the hardest possible thing because it's more natural than your neighbor.
I do see this at times. I find it particularly true in terms of bfing. I have seen this attitude that, no matter what bfing problems you have, if you're not willing to suffer years and years of physical pain, exhaustion, PPD, whatever to breastfeed, you're just not doing a good enough job. I had extreme bfing problems--severe ppd, 8+ weeks of severe pain. I was not a good mother to my dd. She still has some residual problems b/c of it (refusal to latch onto the breast herself, even at nearly 9 months, b/c latching on was so traumatic at the beginning). I was too ashamed to post on MDC that I was thinking of quitting bfing. I was afraid that people would jump all over me--as I had seen them jump all over others who weren't willing to "sacrifice" themselves. Instead, I emailed some mamas from my DDC privately, and they got me through (well, therapy for PPD helped too). I am still EBF. But if I had not been able to correct it when I did, the toll it would have taken on me and my daughter would have been too great. And still I think a lot of women in the NFL community would have condemned me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
That said..

OTOH, I have RARELY seen mainstream mamas do that. Is that inherently part of ap/nfl? Absolutely not. But somehow, ap/nfl circles do seem to attract some women who really really need to compare themselves to others, and who are really really invested in setting up straw-women bad mommies to make themselves feel superior and righteous. I am not sure what is behind that, but I hear it and see it much more among women who describe themselves as ap/nfl.
I do think mainstream mamas do this, but I also think that NFL mamas might sometimes seem defensive b/c, well, many of us spend so much time defending our decision to the mainstream.
NYCVeg is offline  
#30 of 327 Old 02-15-2007, 03:05 PM
 
chinaKat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm glad this topic got picked up from the other thread, I thought it was interesting.

I fully agree that there is a lot of "AP-er than thou" attitude in so-called AP communities -- be they online or in real life.

The problem I see is that an unreachable standard is being set here -- much like that of the woman who feels she "must" WOH or SAHM and clean the house and make fabulous meals and provide amazingly enriching activities for her kids etc. etc. etc. in order to be the "right" kind of mom. NOBODY can meet this super-standard and the woman inevitably feels like a failure.

This pattern is also established with the mega AP lifestyle. I know this, because of the kind of posts I see here all the time. Mamas worry that if their baby cries for three minutes, EVER, that the child will suffer horrible psychological damage. They ask pleadingly if it's "okay" that their kid accidentally saw half an episode of Mr. Rogers once, or if the baby sits in a bouncy seat while the mom takes a five minute shower. They write of the angst they suffer for leaving their child in the care of their husbands for an hour, for the first time, when the child is over three years old.

Again and again I see mamas posting with guilt -- crushing guilt -- about not meeting some sort of AP super standard at ALL TIMES. And attempting to meet most of these standards entails this huge, astonishing self-sacrifice on the mother's part.

When did AP go from "hold your child, be there for him" to "the mother is no longer a person with needs and desires", anyway? When a mom feels like crap b/c she needs to take a shower, much less get out of the house for half an hour?

It comes from competitive AP. When people imply that letting your baby sleep in the carseat carrier for half an hour is some kind of Clockwork Orange torture treatment, something is not good.

Instead of helping women be the best mamas they can be, I sometimes feel like the AP movement can be a way to make women even more tortured about their choices -- because, sometimes, you really just can't be good enough.
chinaKat is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off