Exploring the Politics of Parenting
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because being a decent parent is about much more than just not being a bad one. Though that’s a good place to start.
Yes, parents complain — but sometimes, just like their kids, they do it a little too much. American parents are in the middle of a long-overdue collective venting session. But dear moms and dads, among all the wails and travails, let’s remember: Having a kid is awesome. This parent/writer wouldn’t trade a major blowout for a three-hour brunch in a million years. A little complaining is totally OK. We just have to remember — just as with Dora and Calliou and Berenstain Bears — to turn it off.
Some parents will tell you that having kids makes them less selfish, that they no longer think first and foremost of themselves, but of their children. But we had to wonder: Is navel-gazing any better if it’s Junior’s navel you’re gazing at instead of your own? To find out why people have kids and what happens to their outlook when they do, OZY hit the streets.
The setup looks like this: You and a few of your nearest and dearest take shares in a baby. Jointly, you experience the joys and pains of child-rearing, the blessings and the sacrifices, the costs and the dividends. And each of you does this only one or two days a week. Sound nuts? To some, perhaps, but to us it sounds ideal. And while we haven’t exactly figured out the production side yet, and we have a firmer grasp on why BabyShare™ should exist than how it could possibly work, the whys are undeniably compelling.
Says OZY writer Rachel Levin, oh so fearlessly: Breast-feeding sucks. She doesn’t mean this in some politically charged, rah-rah feminist, “F*** you, Bloomberg, and your formula prohibition” kind of way. And she says she doesn’t much care if moms post breast-feeding photos on Facebook, Beyoncé whips ’em out in public or 5-year-olds still suckle. (Although, really, what’s that all about?) But after having to nurse her newborn for, like, the 12th time in 24 hours, Levin was ready to call bullshit on the whole bonding thing.