Oh, you know it's a good day when you get to talk about Blossom (aka Mayim Bialik) in a post. As quite possibly one of the foremost fashion influences in my life when I was 13, Bialik (now with a PhD in neuroscience, 2 kids, a revived acting career and voice of 'attachement parenting') has a new role as 'mommy blogger' (gag!) for Today (US), the breakfast 'news' (who are they kidding) show.
In her first post, Bialik has managed to press a few buttons with her writing about a typical day in her life as a parent. Now, whilst Bialik has been something of a postergirl for attachment parenting and natural childbirth, in this post she claims that she isn't in to labels and just does what feels right to her (even though she has referred to herself as living in an attachment parenting household before). Fair enough.
According to the actress, "This is not some fandangled new Hollywood trend. We parent the way people have parented for hundreds of thousands of years. So hang on to your hats and prepare for a view into my household."
What annoys me, however, is that following her abhorrence for being labelled, she then provides a laundry list of several things that she and her husband do regularly as part of their parenting (for example, co-sleeping, extending breastfeeding, baby wearing, 'gentle disipline'). Now, if she doesn't want to refer to these actions as 'attachment parenting', I'm not sure what else you would categorise them as. Instead of discussing why she thinks what she does works best for her family, there is a tone of self-righteousness in her descriptions.
For example, "Natural birth is not something to “try for” and feel bad you couldn’t do. Our country needs to step up to the plate in educating women about the benefits of natural birth, and we need to help women actually do it – not just hear about it." Okay, well if she is trying to say that women shouldn't feel badly about themselves if they are not able to have a natural birth, it doesn't make sense then to append that with a statement implying that women should be having natural births because they are better.
If Bialik is aware of all of the stereotypes of attachement parents (" I know what you’re thinking: AP parents are self-righteous, privileged, over-psychoanalyzed martyrs who (especially if they are celebrities) pretend to have the time, energy, patience and abundant love to be with their kids all the time without giving them any limits, boundaries or sense of independence.") then perhaps she should change people's minds about AP, live up to the label and be proud of it, rather than playing in to those very same stereotypes in her mightier-than-thou attitude to parenthood and, out of fear, refusing to identify with a community of parents who practice what you preach.