Friday, December 21, 2012

Musings on Motherhood

Have I mentioned I have a BA in Art History and Anthropology? Well I do. And it is my anthropological background that I think gives me the strength to question and analyse the expectations of both me and my child by the world at large. 

I don't want this blog to become a mummy blog (nothing wrong with them, I follow several, (hank and lucy, the artful parent, and Kate Subrosa  (who unfortunately has stopped blogging) and began to well before the arrival of my little one).  In fact I want to use it to save me from being someone who can only talk about children and parenting - to remind me there is a wider world out there, but this blog, for me, is a 'scrapbook of things I find interesting' and therefore sometimes it will be about Mum stuff.

So as I struggle with the multiple options of sleep and settling, feeding, routine and try and make the decisions that may or may not impact my child and her world views, I find myself both seeking, and  ignoring advice from various quarters. 
I want to follow my heart when i comes to my daughter, it is my duty to insure she sees me following my instincts and beliefs, rather than following the norm and second guessing myself.  But at the same time the pressure not to 'create a rod for my own back' makes me read and read and read some more in order to feel more confident about my choices.
With the wealth of information on the multiple parenting 'theories' (no matter how contradictory, most are supposedly endorsed by 'experts' or 'proven' by science) I kept thinking of what other societies did when it came to parenting so I got off the parenting websites and looked at anthropological ones.  I have found them fascinating, but like all parenting advise you need to keep in mind what the motives of the author is. 

I will not sit here and offer parenting advise.  All parents should follow there own hearts, gut feelings and logic.  All parents intend to do the best they can for their children and i don't believe there is a right answer, but that we should do what is right for us, and our own developing families. 

However, if like me you want explore the wonderful diversity of motherhood and child rearing here are some sites I found interesting.

How They Do It  a cross cultural comparrisen on baby zone

AnthropoChildren is a mothers perspective in the feild.  Not in depth but peaked my interest and I will look into reading more of her material if I can hunt it down.

Motherlands An anthropological and Literary resource on becoing a parent in the age of globalisation

Trends in American Child Rearing

Other websites I think may be worth reading by parents, and almost parents 

Purple Crying about how crying is normal - which can come as a relief to many

Kelly Mom loads of advice on feeding, sleeping and other subjects as well.

Essential Baby the forums are great for getting a opinions and ideas from mums who have been there dont that, or are going through the same sort of thing.  Can be good for getting multiple veiwpoints on a subject.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tis the season


Ah Christmas, we have a love, hate relationship.
I love getting together with the family, I love the kids excitement (my kid will be unaware this year and probably next year too but lucky I have nieces and nephews to get the atmosphere buzzing), I love the excuse to hang pretty decorations (if you need pretty decorations see here and here) and make pretty decorations too, (here and here). And the food - I love the food - Christmas is the perfect time to try new recipes and enjoy indulgent favorites the problem is trying to decide which recipes to use and which to put aside for next year.
But I hate the rampant consumerism.  I hate the over crowding at the shops. I hate the pressure of buying gifts the kids will enjoy (we don't buy for child-bearing adults) that wont add to the plastic pile-up in only a few weeks time. And this year I hate that my own child will end up with a plastic pile-up of her own. 
I don't want her thinking Christmas is all about the presents, but at the same time I don't want her to feel like shes missing out when shes old enough to compare with her peers. And I want her to have beautiful, sustainable earth friendly toys, not plastic fantastic - but I cant control what her Aunts and Grandmothers (lets face it the boys don't have to deal with crazy Christmas shopping trips) buy her.  I can make suggestions but I cant demand they don't go nuts in large department stores. And lets face it children forget who brought them what in a few minutes but give them your time and your love and they would still adore you even if all you gave them was an apple and a stick.
Hoping your silly season isn't too silly

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Almost Guilt free Chocolate

So Pepermint magizene  introduced me to Pana Chocolates, and now I may be a little addicted.
Not only are they are completely guilt free in an ethical sence (organic, fairtrade, recylable packageing, aussie made), but being raw chocolate their pretty good for you too, and they taste amazing!
They come enclosed in the cutest darn packageing, and while I'll admit their alot more expensive than your average chocolate bar I think that makes you savour them a little more.
Available online here, or check with your local health food shop.

Wishing you a sweet weekend!