Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mother Nature

Reviewed a new little booklet this week called Mother Nature. It is a quick introduction to some attachment parenting concepts and would make a nice gift for a pregnant person. I liked this quote from the opening section:

"This is the stuff no one wants to say: motherhood can be confusing, isolating, lonely, relentless. Motherhood can grind your illusions to dust. Motherhood can grind you to dust...Motherhood has also been an immense blessing, a joy, a healing, a sitcom. My children are gifts, arrows that point to truths I sometimes don't want to see."

When my first was a baby I used to say that I felt like I'd been chewed up and my bones spit out. Fortunately, the second baby was a more pleasant adaptation :)

I also read through the Birthing From Within Keepsake Journal this week. I'm always seeking new ideas for my classes. (I got The Pink Kit this week for the same reason, but haven't finished going through all of it yet.) I think it is quite likely that I spend more money on resources for teaching birth classes than I actually make teaching them...this will change though! My classes have really picked up this year--I'm actually busy with them and have frequent inquiries--so I think it will continue to build from here.

I have lots more to write about it, but I have other things on my list today that are more important, so I'll have to finish up with this quote from Oregon Humanities (the issue's topic was Civility): "Additionally, people wrongly assume that the majority of those around them share their viewpoints on a variety of issues. 'People are only listening to people who agree with them,'...'It's a cognitive error.' Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as the False Consensus Effect, in which we think everyone agrees with our viewpoints. By thinking we are surrounded by like-minded people, we are likely to be jarred by any conflict with those who disagree with us, and we are less willing to welcome and engage in conflict." (The rest of the article is about why conflict--and civil conversations about disagreeing viewpoints--is very important. We avoid conflicting opinions because we do not want to risk disconfirmation--our sense of self is tied up with closely held beliefs and we can't handle the challenge to that and so choose to interact with people who share our views, or who we think share our views, rather than taking up "an important opportunity to develop a more nuanced understanding of the world.") I've observed this Effect at playgroup, church, and other settings--it is uncomfortable to be on the other side of the False Consensus Effect (i.e. the person assumes I agree with them when I really don't) and I rarely let anyone know that that is what happening. I'm sure the reverse is also true--that I assume those around me agree with my ideas, when really they may just be uncomfortably avoiding a "conflict" or challenge to my viewpoint. This publication is very thought-provoking and I recommend it--you don't have to live in Oregon to benefit from it (I don't live in Oregon!).


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