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A SkepParent Mini-festo

July 2, 2009

When I was pregnant, I read a lot of blog articles & opinions about giving birth.  I wish I had discovered the Skeptical OB before I had AJ, but unfortunatly, I found her after the fact.  Maybe had I read some of her thoughts & articles I wouldn’t have wanted to throw my computer across the room.

While I don’t agree with everything she says, Dr. Amy has focused in the past week on two phenomena I’ve seen – almost exclusively online – since becoming pregnant. They are the “Santimommy” and the “Birth Junkie.”  I hear all sorts of online anecdotes about how moms act horrible to each other offline, but have really only seen it online. However, Dr. Amy describes each pretty well. One thing I’ve noticed (and I totally commented on the fact) that gets my hackles up about the way these types of women approach other women regarding giving birth and/or parenting is how they assume that the person they are speaking with has not done appropriate (ok, ANY) research and/or deep thinking about the related issue.

For example, I can’t think of one person I know who has had a kid recently that has not told me they wondered what they would do if they were in the position I found myself in on June 2nd – facing a possible c-section.  Knowing my friends, I know that they (and myself) looked into each possible birth option just in case it happens to them.  I believe in being forewarned and forarmed for whatever might happen – if my doctor had told me she thought I’d have to give birth in a bush wearing a tutu, then gosh darn it, I would have looked into it to see what I might say.

Unfortunately for all of us, we sometimes treat each other as stupid or unable to think for ourselves – and isn’t that what the past 40 years have been about ending? People like the Sanctimommyies and the Birth Junkies seem to think that they are the only people who really have researched or know about a topic.

Which brings me to my purpose for SkepParent. When I found myself pregnant (and even before), I was amazed at how much crap I heard.  I heard even more crap from friends who told me about the crap they heard that I didn’t get exposed to.  As AJ grew, I actually honed my critical thinking skills more and got more interested in the skeptical movement. After I had him, and started getting more sleep I figured that there aren’t enough of us out there to really rally around being skeptical parents, so I wanted to join in the conversation. Here’s a few things I want to do:

  • Speak with science based parenting experts, educators and doctors about issues parents face
  • Raise my son to be a critical thinker
  • Avoid parenting magazines at all cost (they’re pretty much fashion mags for moms & dads, so why bother?

Join me, won’t you?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. shellssells permalink
    July 29, 2009 1:47 pm

    Oh you know I’ll join you!

    I’ve read through a good portion of Skeptical OB this morning. Really brings home much of what I’ve already concluded in the last 5 years myself.

    What is so dangerous about a sanctimommy is that she often targets new mothers, and new mothers are so very vulnerable from the start. My recent run in with a sanctimommy (I know I mentioned it) really just made me laugh, because I am confident in how I am raising my child and I can see the results and how it is all coming together. Furthermore, the people around me see the results as well. But I know that as a mother of a young baby, I’d have really struggled with insecurity had I gotten judged the way I did the other night. Even if I knew I was doing what was best for my own child at the time.

    For a skepparent, it is ultimately very important to surround yourself with people of all walks of life. People who are mothers with differing parenting styles as well as people who are childfree by choice and by circumstance. This, for me, has really set a tone and a balance for my personal parenting style. I have friends who give me advice when I ask for it and who have truly unique ideas, when I can no longer see the forest for the trees. They can alert me to the fact that I am acting a little nutso when I am, and confirm that I am doing a good job when I need it. And stick up for me when I am getting judged by a sanctimommy.

    • July 29, 2009 2:07 pm

      I figured you would. 🙂 And I totally agree that for the most part, the Sanctimommy targets first time mothers. Had I been, say, five years younger and not exposed to the types of parents I have been – like you, Fran, etc – I think I would have found it MUCH more difficult because I was in my somewhat more insecure phase. Your issue the other day hit home that it isn’t just online, but that s-mommies (and dads) live offline too and aren’t afraid to speak up.

      I also think variety is important – types of parenting styles, childfree and age. I think the one thing I wasn’t truly convinced of prior to the birth of AJ was how much I’d learn from my mom – and we totally differ in worldview, but she knows a lot. (Don’t tell her I said that though. It would totally kill my image)

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