Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Babies Without Diapers: Mothers Without Lives

I stole the title to this posting from the article below. It was written in response to a New York Times article on the advantages of toilet-training children from infanthood. I'll let the article speak for itself.


Blogger Jessica said...

I love my baby and I love my environment (I even have a compost pile!). But these extreme neo-luddites frighten me sometimes. The "diaper free movement" (see ) seems to take as a given that it's natural for women to want to be alone at home with their babies most of the day, every day. To me, the concept seems unnatural and even a little bizarre.

I find it hard to believe that prehistoric women were hanging around the campfire all day by themselves with a couple of kids, cleaning up poop and pee messes, boiling something on the fire, and waiting for dad to come home with a gazelle carcass or something. Didn't people live in groups back then? Didn't they divide their labor somehow? Weren't able-bodied young women expected to help gather food or something? In any event, I'm confident most prehistoric women would have loved to have the option of disposable diapers. Even cloth ones. And washing machines, and dishwashers. And take out.

9:41 AM  
Blogger think-knitter said...

I agree. Even today society finds numerous ways to make the women who choose to work outside the home feel like they have abandoned the children. I personally think that, as a mother, I am completely incompetent. I have called my co-bloggers many a time and said "I'm watching the baby; Scott is away; how do I go to the bathroom?" And they (one in particular - you know who you are) walk me through it. On another occasion, when I was studying for the bar, I asked another co-blogger to come and watch the baby while Scott was away. She is now working and has an infant, and she never asked me to watch her baby while she works. Maybe Piper is lucky I have an itch to get out.

My point is, as Jessica pointed out, the kind of observation powers infant toilet-training requires is for a rare person. And what do you to at night? Stay awake the whole time? Meanwhile, it's a rare guy (my husband included, thankfully) who considers the baby as much his responsibility as the mother's.

I agree with Jessica that toilet training infants is, once again, a raw deal for the mother. And, once again, she who doesn't do it is not as good a mother as she who does. Apparently, someone found another reason to make women feel guilty for wanting to leave the house - not only are you screwing your baby, but you're letting the enviroment down in the process. Boy, I'm shocked, because usually society is so kind to women.

8:34 PM  

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