Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Mama Proliferation

I've stumbled onto a parenting subculture—the Mamas. At every turn in my search for mothering Web sites, I see them: Hip Mama, Philly Mama, Literary Mama, Philosophical Mama.

Which mama am I?

Despite my occasional desire to be otherwise, I would have to characterize myself as personally rather shy and conventional. That leaves out Hip Mama. I live in suburban South Jersey and thus don't feel I can assume the cool, urban persona of a Philly Mama. Literary Mama? Well, I appreciate good literature, so that's a possibility. But not a perfect fit right now, for I haven't had a lot of time to read these days. And lately, philosophical musings, even those on mothering, seem to take a back seat to more quotidian concerns, like how to eradicate diarrhea stains from Sean's rug and how to encourage Sean to eat more than five types of food.

Nonetheless it's been a fun discovery expedition. I appreciate the diversity of opinion, the variety of insights, the sometimes finely tuned writing. Exposure to different viewpoints is really essential for me; I need to be regularly shaken from my complacency and forced to rethink entrenched opinions. Left to my own devices I think I would just tread the same old water. Even if I don't agree with what I read or find that Jeff's and my experiences and mindset have led us to make different choices, I love knowing that there are so many smart, politically astute, funny "mama writers" (as Andrea Buchanan calls them) out there to challenge me. I've also discovered that there is no way in hell I'd participate in an AP parenting board! Even though I agree with a lot of AP tenets, I'd be roasted alive for having made some fairly traditional parenting decisions (like using a crib, oh no!).