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MAMA LIKES

Why I (Still) Love Becca:
posted by Amy

After a hectic couple of weeks of roller-skating parties and class picnics and special year-end music performances, all of which require permission forms to be signed and insurance information to be turned in and fingerprinting (yes! really! at the Department of Justice! because what if all the parent volunteers are criminals?) to be done so that parents can chaperone (read: drive the kids, since school buses for class trips are hard to come by around here), not to mention the buying and sending to school of various treats/cards/gifts/money for assorted year-end activities, I was ready for this post by Becca, in which she asks, "I just don't see why an extremely intelligent and accomplished woman like Judith Warner can't just say "the hell with this shit." If she thinks it's wrong (it being the compulsive parenting behavior she sees around her), why worry about it?"

Like Becca, I just don't usually see the alpha moms Warner seems to be surrounded by. I know they exist, but I'm thinking their kids must all go to expensive private schools or one of the magnet schools we briefly considered sending Henry to before realizing that there was no way in hell we were going to spent over an hour a day in the car driving him to a magnet school when a perfectly decent school was located three houses away from us.

I'll tell you a secret, though; part of why we crossed those magnet schools off our list was because we are Slacker Parents. It wasn't just the time in the car that scared us off, although that would have seriously interfered with our paid work. No, it was things like the schools' no-media policies and no refined sugar and no store-bought toys traditions. These are all wonderful ideas and great for kids--as long as the parents don't drive themselves completely and totally insane trying to live lives they don't really feel comfortable in.

I have many, many flaws (impatience! laziness! a fondness for peanut butter M&Ms!), but I do know this about myself: I eat sugar. I watch TV. And I suck at scrapbooking and making wool felt animals, mostly because I start to fall asleep when I do such things. This doesn't mean such activities are worthless. It just means I probably shouldn't create a life for my family that requires me to do them. Saying "to hell with this shit" is hard for me. Just ask Chip about the reading of books about homeschooling and the years of the organic produce box from a local CSA that I drove myself nuts trying to cook each week. Hanging out with other moms who can say "to hell with this shit" helps a lot.

ANYWAY, I hope you'll read what Judith Warner wrote, and Becca's response, and then, if you haven't used up your oh-so-abundant supply of free time by then, I'm wondering how you all "resist the dominant paradigm," whatever that is where you live. >>link to source