Parenting vs. Mothering

The fourth article I read in The New York Times was by Anne Urban, a blogger who write about parenting, feminism and social justice.  The name of her article is “It’s About Parenting, Not ‘Mothering’.  In the article Anne directly speaks to the book by Elisabeth Bodinter concerning attachment parenting.  The author of the book references attachment parenting to “voluntary servitude” and an obsession with perfect mothering and the reversal the progress her generation made.  Anne’s main point in her article noted that too often the discussion about women’s choices whether to stay home or go to work, ignores the role of fathers.  She noted she breastfed her children for two years and her husband washed diapers.  He also took six years off from his career to stay home until their youngest son was three years old.  She stated for her husband and herself, parenting was not about perfection but an investment in their relationship with their children which was the easiest way to parent.

Attachment parenting can make it easier for working mothers to bond with their children when they are together, but not something she can do alone.  It requires a partnership – at minimum and a village – ideally that does away with traditional patriarchal models of motherhood.  In the end she says she hopes our struggles, and victories will pave the way for political and societal changes that allow our daughters to have both the career and the family that they want and for our sons to do so too.  Do you think fathers have been taken off the hook for parenting their children?  Do you think it today’s economic world where millions of mothers have to work it is fair to take the fathers out of this discussion?

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