It's a 2-story 1917 Craftsman bungalow, in mostly good shape but in need of a new kitchen sooner than later. The duck will finally get his own room, stairs to climb up and down, a play area in the basement, plus a really cool treehouse in the backyard. My husband and I will get our own room--hooray--with his and hers closets.
I followed a link from Jen Weiner's blog to a thread at mothering.com. In it, moms come up with slogans that would never be found there, things endorsing Babywise, formula, crying it out, etc. I've written before about my annoyance with Mothering and its knee jerk liberalism that's heavy on judgment and light on fact. This thread of comments felt the same way. Then I followed another link to a mom who was bothered by it, and her entry had twenty comments, 18 of which slammed the mothering moms.
Two, though, did not. One pointed out that the Mothering moms are proponents of attachment parenting, a style that endorses co-sleeping, sling wearing and extended breastfeeding among other things. These parenting choices are not widely accepted, so attachment parent (or AP) moms tend to get a lot of shit, and a forum like that on Mothering would be a good, safe place to blow off steam.
A second mom said that she co-slept and wore her baby in a sling and could she still play with the other moms.
The other eighteen (and more now, I'm sure) seemed oblivious to the two.
I've tried the AP route, and it hasn't worked well for the duck, his dad, or me. I feel I'm more a mom in the middle, one who chose and was able to breastfeed but didn't co-sleep and rarely slinged. I think a lot of the 18 moms are like me: tried it and it didn't work. So to assuage guilt we could attack the AP moms, who kept it up. While the AP moms are attacking moms like us who do let the babes cry it out sometimes, or whatever else.
My one lesson, which I'm itching to shout at the next person who directly questions my mothering (unlike the old lady on the elevator today who asked the duck if he had a good walk, and felt his hands and noted that they were cold--I hadn't put a jacket on him. Hard to respond to her, since she was ostensibly talking to him. Grr.) is this: moms need help and empathy, not judgment. You have no idea what a mom has gone through: what her birth was like, what her recovery was like, how long her child screamed on a given day, how much sleep she did (or more likely, didn't) get last night. My husband makes fun of me because I used to be one of those snotty, judgmental smug marrieds without kids. Now it's payback. The duck is cute, and clever, and exhausting.
Don't get me wrong. I still judge people. But now I check myself, because I know it's way more complicated. And to have moms ganging up on moms, even on message boards and comment chains, is depressing to me. We need each other, ladies. We may not be all the same, but we're not all different either. (I thank Cecile Goyette, an editor who spoke at a writing conference I attended last year, for that fabulous phrase.)