I read an article in USA Today (6/05/12) by Bethany Matta called “Afghan women, children held in addiction’s grip”. This story was truly alarming to me. She interviewed a woman named Zarghoona from an impoverished Turkmen Village in Afghanistan, a 37 year old mother of five sons and three daughters. One of her daughters died. In a country where one in ten children die before age five, often because of preventable illnesses like respitory infection but her daughter died from an overdose of opium. She told the reporter she fed her daughter a lot of drugs at one time. It killed her and she did not have money to take her to a hospital.
These women work in the carpet-weaving center in Qali a Zal district and they all are carpet weavers. The women work from early morning to late in the evening, and keeping the children quiet is necessary for the women to work undisturbed. The women reach inside their clothing and pull out plastic packets containing raw opium. They unfold the plastic, roll the sticky opium into a ball and place it in the children’s mouths. A doctor, Dr. Rahmatuliah who heads the local government council said “when babies are born, on the first day, they (women) grease their navels with fluid of opium, so that the baby does not cry and sleeps well”. After a few months they begin to give opium to the babies orally.
For those who are hooked, there is little help – there are no clinics for addicts. As a mother of two children I could never imagine giving opium to my children or any addictive drug. Where is the world’s outcry for this behavior? Where is the help for these women and children? I heard references to mother’s being mentioned throughout this article, what say the father’s? What do you think about this practice and the lack of accountability of the father’s?
Women weaving rugs with their children
On May 29th I volunteered at the YWCA front desk. I was greeted by a nice lady named Maureen, who is in charge of fundraising. She showed me the things needed to be done, answering the phones, letting people in the secured facility, greeting people and directing them to the correct personnel. I watched as mother’s brought their children to the Child Development Center and the workers take the children to the onsite playground.
I decided to volunteer for this organization because their mission is near and dear to my heart. They work to meet the needs of women in their communities. The YWCA supports programs that include child care, rape crisis intervention, domestic violence assistance (shelters for victims and family), and career counseling. Their national priorities are elimination of racism, affirmative action, hate crimes, violence against women, increasing women’s income, welfare reform and early childhood education. Because the YWCA does so much to help others I decided to ask them how I may help you.
I spent three hours at the front desk and wished I could have given more of my time that day. But for me I know this will not be the last time I volunteer here. During this election year we are seeing more and more of rights gained by women erode. Healthcare and salary are still a major issue and struggle for women. What have you done lately to help further cause and issues for women?
My opinion on attachment parenting comes down to one word, “choice”. If you choose to use attachment parenting that’s okay but if you don’t you should not be judged negatively because of it. As long as your child is raised in a loving, caring and nurturing household they will be fine. I have two grown children, a son and a daughter. I breastfed my son for six weeks but did not breastfeed my daughter because I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy as well as lactose intolerant. But in both cases I did bottle feed and by doing so it gave my husband an opportunity to bond with “his” children as well. Why does the rise and fall of parenting rest on the shoulders of mothers alone?
Children are created by two parents and therefore should be parented by two parents. I was a working mother but my children always had a parent at home and they were not key-latch children once they went to school. My husband optioned to go to the third shift at his job so he could be home with the children during the day. He would also cook dinner and helped the children with their homework. We were always able to sit down and have dinner together and discuss our days. So, attachment parenting is a choice but it also requires “parents”, a mother and father. What is your opinion?
In the fifth and final article I read in The New York Times was by Maria Blois the author of the book “Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition”. The name of her article is called “Let’s Not Pass Judgment”. In her article she talks about writing her book after she had two children. People often asked her when she is going to write another book but she feels less qualified then she was then. When she was having her children she embraced the principles of attachment parenting and experienced its joys. Then her fifth child was critically ill. She parented all her children the same way, but this child was miserable. He cried constantly, lost weight, refused to be held and refused to nurse. Eventually after four months he got better but she realized she could not be the mother she wanted for him and asked herself was she way more obsessed with being a “perfect mother” instead of the mother he needed?
Was she using attachment parenting to grade herself instead of a tool to be present for her children? She came to the conclusion that attachment parenting is an ideology we can use in the context of our own lives and priorities and not a tool to be misused and welded as a weapon of judgment. Should we as mothers define our own definition of attachment parenting according to our children’s needs?