This isn't a mommy blog per se. But it is a blog about motherhood. And it is from the point of view of a mother (Me!). So it is a mommy blog, but I MAY throw some philosophers or liberation theory or literature your way. I'm trying to write about mommy-ness in a bigger way and not just about my experience. One might call it "theorizing."
Instead of focusing on maternal identity or personal experience - the pressure to be a good mom, what a mom has to juggle, a mom's daily revelations, etc. - in this blog one of the things I want to do is focus on our culture and how its definitions shape how we raise children. Or, more specifically, I want to attempt to wade through some of the conceptual cultural common knowledge. Instead of asking how to raise a good child, I want to ask things like: What are the reasons we believe we SHOULD raise good children? What are our cultural motivations for raising children? My desire in exploring those topics is to think more seriously about not just HOW to raise children well, but to examine WHY we want to raise children well. It is my hope that such an exploration will give myself (and ideally others) more tools to envision parenting, to be more free in parenting for reason they believe in, rather than simply parenting according to the demands of the culture around them.
Could we think about the purposes of parenting - rather than just automatically assuming the cultural values around us are the best choices for families (and for the world)? I'm writing from the belief that we are in a bit of a pickle. Some call our current parenting regime "intensive mothering," others call it "new momism," and I personally call it "investment parenting." We are at a turning-point; a potential crisis. I believe we need to work together, thinking and speaking carefully about parenting, if we are to address this moment.
To some extent, my ideas will be unfolding and I'll edit myself. Or I'll try. This blog may or may not run parallel to the research I'm doing in attempting to do in understanding how the identities/categories of "child" and "adult" have changed over the last century in America. In short, I want to think more seriously about how we understand our purpose in life to be. So, you know, something light and fluffy stuff, this blog.
I believe that parents need to be having good conversations about how we define adulthood, how we define childhood, and maybe most of all how we imagine "good people" (and parents) to be independent workers. It is, of course, inevitable that a definition of parenting is always linked to a definition of children. More than that, however, I am exploring the possibility that our definitions of what good parenting are rely on our idea of what a good adult should be (i.e. what our goal is). That's what I want to talk about. I'm particularly concerned with how our systems of capitalism and consumerism affect our parenting, and how the goals of capitalism inform our collective goals in parenting, often so discreetly that we don't see the links are there.
If you like this blog - and you are interested in thinking about society's imposed values (wow, I sound like a weirdo) - tell a friend. If you don't like this blog, tell an enemy. I think it's impossible to parent without a collective network: without the ideas and practices of others. I want to create a network to work together within - a network that has more distance from the empire that tends to dominate our lives.
This is not a blog that advocates a "method." There's no tiger parenting or attachment parenting being recommended here. There's no idea of what is best for you and your family. The truth is: I'm working every day on figuring out what is best for my family. But perhaps the goal of making a perfect family is part of our problem. Perhaps we should think less about how to make a perfect family or a perfect child. Maybe the business of competitive parenting isn't all it's cracked up to be.
This blog is indebted to all of the living parents that continually inspire me - parents who dare to think about family and live with their children in new and beautiful ways. It is also substantially indebted to the writers of the past whose thoughts I like to believe are still relevant and calling out to us.