Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: Kids

This is the first of what may prove to be many side posts regarding this book. 

The kid aspect.

It's so "now".

The book that I have in my hands was published in 1943- the same year "Beatle" George Harrison was born. I jump at all opportunity to bring The Beatles into anything, as you know, and I will still probably try to mold this in a Beatle way even though this book says "America's" in the title and they weren't. There may be SOME similarities on how British mothers and American mothers mothered in 1943, but I don't know. Not as I type this, anyway, but possibly by the end of this post I may know a bit more. BUUUTTTT since this experiment is based solely on this book and this book is for American housewives then "American Housewife" is the way I shall lean. 

I am an American mother. And let me tell you that I kind of hate a lot of American mothers. The ones online anyway. And okay, a lot of the ones I know offline too. I hang out with a lot of cool moms but let's face it, as a mom of today, you've always got your side-eye on and stories of your kid's latest accomplishments on the ready just in case. 

That's not just a problem of today, I suppose though because The Ricardo's had a similar situation if I recall correctly and I do. 

Remember that brat, little Stevie Appleby?? Me too. Mother wars haven't evolved much since then, only moms have Facebook now and well, I'm sure you know. 

Listen, I don't want to hate moms but I think that's what quells our insecurities; hating each other and telling each other how much better it would be for them if they knew how to parent just like us even though we secretly question everything we do ourselves.  

None of us know what we're doing and that opens the door for all the parenting "experts" like Dr. Spock and Dr. Sears and Miyam Bilak and Jenny McCarthy. It's a sickness we have. 

I'm getting off topic a bit. 

So the new trend is attached parenting. It's all hippie and crap but it's actually how I tend to parent (don't tell anyone) and this book is basically in line with ME rather than my romanticized ideas of the past trying to conform with the past. It feels that way, anyway. 

When I became a new mom I was handed all sorts of books and one I remember in particular was a book on raising a genius baby written in the 80s or 90s. It had all these ideas of black and white color schemes that made the "I love everything black and white!!!" part of me want to paint Wally's nursery black and white like the Clockwork Orange milk bar minus all the naked lady mannequins.

The one part the stood out to me was the suggestion of moving the crib around the room often so the baby would have different points of view throughout the day. 

I started questioning my need to carry my kid everywhere I went and this genius baby book is telling me to leave my kid in a crib all day to familiarize himself with his new views. That never seemed okay for me. Or for Wally. 

These many times that I've been trying to accomplish being a "perfect homemaker", I've failed. I've failed because I have kids and I could never figure out how moms back then did it. And it turns out, they didn't either. It's not a fault of me as a mother, it's how it goes if you don't have a nanny or a maid. It's about accepting that reality. Facebook probably doesn't help. 

This edition that I have was published in 1943. That puts the kids of the women reading this a decade before when my mom was born (1954). I know that my grandma didn't breast feed, nor did my mom.  I'm sure that because of all the rations and everything, in 1943, breast feeding was still the norm, which is back to where most of us are at now. 

I love that the book encourages you to allow your children to help out around the house, even when that slows your work down (it SOOOOO does). 

I'm very interested to learn more about what it was like to parent in the 40s, the 50s and how that differed in the 70s and 80s when we grew up. Mostly, I'm interested in how these groups of babies grew up differently.

Do you see how I can't stop sneaking in information about what I'm doing wrong? I want to learn more and go further with this, but I also want to go to bed. 

We'll pick this up later. I welcome any insight. 

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