Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Paradox of Natural Mothering

I'm getting ready to go out of town and prepping a couple of posts to post when I'm away (be prepared for lots more Zen quotes!). I haven't had a lot of time for this blog lately and continue to go back and forth about keeping it going. I always end up returning to the decision to keep it going, because I do enjoy it, in theory. I do not like that it becomes another thing on my to-do list and feels like an obligation, rather than fun. (This is how I work though, I turn everything into a serious "job" instead of "just for fun" and if I don't do something that I've committed to doing--even if only to myself on a hobby basis, like "update blog on Saturdays"--I feel irresponsible and it nags and nags at me mentally until I do it or QUIT for good. Though I laugh a lot in real life, I also tend to be one of those "all work, no play" kind of people who doesn't really know how to "relax and have a good time"--and, am actually kind of irritated by those who blow everything off to relax and have a good time! Note that I have to even put the possibility of "relaxing and having a good time" in quotation marks, because at heart I'm not sure it is actually possible ;-)

Part of my problem with this blog is that I have tons and tons of thoughts about everything I read and many things I'd like to draw out to write about and explore. I rarely have time to post as completely as I'd like though and, in fact, I'm actually trying hard to just post a paragraph or less per book so that I don't end up with a giant backlog in my to-blog-about pile, but I still feel like I'd like to do a lot more analysis than I do here--I always have so many quotes marked to share and then have to quit before I get a chance to share them. My to-blog-about pile is still insane--I move books out of it fairly quickly, but I have masses of magazines and articles I am meaning to write about and they lurk and make me feel guilty (totally and completely self-imposed! What is wrong with me?!)

In other news, this was a good week for publications for me. I've posted several other places about them, but why not here too?!

I had a short article called Centering for Birth published in the International Journal of Childbirth Education (page 20)

My book review of Fathers at Birth was published in The CAPPA Quarterly (page 14).

My film review of Birth as We Know It was in The CAPPA Quarterly (page 15).

And, my piece of creative nonfiction Nursing Johnny Depp was published in Literary Mama. I had more feedback from this essay than I've ever had about any of my other writing, combined! This was my 85th publication (up to 89 total now! Yes, I keep a list!). I think I got so many comments because it was so readily available online. It was also a funny piece, which is not my usual type of writing. The experiences described in it are from over a year ago and they accepted it for publication about 6 months ago, so this was a long time coming. In reading it again, I'm glad I wrote it because it has captured some moments in time that are past now. Z rarely asks me to nurse any toys for him anymore and if I hadn't written the essay, something would have been lost.

Okay, after some complaining and some bragging, I had a few books to post about today:

I re-read The Paradox of Natural Mothering. I really enjoy this book. Lots of food for thought. It is a little uncomfortable to read too because she is so spot-on in her analysis of mothers like me. It is strange to feel "under the microscope." The author herself is a "quasi-natural mother," so the analysis isn't harsh criticism, but it is a critical look at the "cult" (my word, not hers) of natural mothering and has a LOT of excellent discussion about feminism and natural mothering. I've been amassing a lot of things I'd like to share about feminism and birth and motherhood, but this is one of those takes-too-long-to-completely-delve into things that I may never get a chance to do :( She says--and I completely agree--that natural mothering represents the intersection of three ideological frameworks: voluntary simplicity, attachment parenting, and cultural feminism. Anyway, hopefully I will someday share some more of my thoughts about this book. It is definitely worth the read!

I also finished reading Homebirth in the Hospital. I am reviewing it for CfM News and I already wrote a bit about it there yesterday.

See? That's all I can manage for today and the push-pull between enjoying the idea behind this blog/wanting to share my reads and feeling like it is another drag on my time and resources continues...

I guess if I'd wasted less time complaining at the beginning, I would have had more time for book-analyzing!


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