Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Using Babies for Activism

I think it's great to parent with intention. Whatever your philosophy is, it's great to have a basis for your actions. I've talked about being a lazy parent---breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, etc. Those are principals of "Attachment Parenting" as well. I love to let other parents know that there is a name for this parenting, and all the ways that being a 'lazy' parent is actually good for your children. I know I've sort of brainwashed Meg about babywearing as she often mentions about seeing sad children in strollers and wants me to make a sling every time she sees a pregnant woman! LOL.

But I don't use my children to further the "AP" movement. Nor do I go around pushing it on others, I just try to let moms know there are other options out there. I have been reading a blog lately called "Peaceful Parenting" (I don't want to link directly to it, because I'm not interested in starting any sort of 'war'). I agree with most of her ideology....it's all good for our babies. Recently (Fri. Nov 12 2010), she posted pictures of clothes for babies and adults that they sell, with parenting activism slogans. Now, some of them I did think were funny! "Eat Local" with a graphic of a baby breastfeeding (graphic, as in drawing, not graphic as in real and up close).
But some of the shirts I just don't think are appropriate for children to wear.This one says : Breastfeeding, Sling-riding, sleep-sharing, intact Lucky Boy
Really. Why do you need to advertise all that on your child's shirt? Why isn't he IN a sling? If he were, you wouldn't be able to read all that. And what happens when he gets to be oh, 12 or 14 and his girlfriend is looking at his baby book....
Oh, wait. Here's one for older boys!

I don't need to know this about your child! As a teacher, what would I say if he came to school in this shirt? I know, nothing here is offensive, or perverted, or sexual....but still. It's one thing to share your beliefs when someone asks for them, but it's another thing to use your children to spread the word. How is another little boy who was formula fed, stroller stuffed, solitary slept, and circumcised going to feel? Unlucky? How will his mother feel? That might depend on if she cared about those things, but even if she hadn't cared one way or the other about co-sleeping or formula, etc, she still did what she felt was the right thing for her and this shirt implies that all other types of parenting are wrong and perhaps even damaging.

What I would love to see is a shirt that says "Ask my Momma why I'm so lucky" or "Ask my Momma how you can have a great babe like me!"