This is a blog post unrelated to cloth diapering but a great discussion piece.
My husband and I decided shortly after my daughter was born (probably before then) that I would make the sacrifice of giving up my career and stay at home with my baby girl. It really wasn't that much of a sacrifice. Truth be told, I worked for about 2 months after my maternity leave and it was dreadful leaving her every day. And I had it good--I was given 1 day off a week so I only worked 4 days. It still was tough leaving my daughter every day. I know moms do it all the time but it wasn't for me.
So outside of owning a cloth diaper shop that keeps me very busy, I decided that staying at home with my daughter would be my job. I would weave her into my daily "chores" that my obsessive compulsive self couldn't let go. I wouldn't allow for her to spend hours upon hours in front of the t.v. and I would not spend time on Facebook or on the phone when I could focus on her. In other words, my focus is her if I'm not putting away clothes, washing dishes or preparing meals. And even then, I incorporate her into those tasks.
Guess what? It's hard. Really hard. And as she gets older, it's become even harder. Why? I'm really not all that creative with a toddler. I'm not the type of mom who can find a string, a piece of paper and some play-doh and magically have a craft idea for my daughter. My short attention span doesn't allow for me to sit for more than 15 minutes at a time on the floor in front of playmobil. I get dizzy if I blow bubbles for more than 5 minutes. When I read Scott Noelle's "Daily Groove", I get frustrated because I so try to be the ever-patient mother to a toddler but sometimes (okay at least once a day) the patience thins to nothing.
So several weeks ago my dad handed me an article from the New York Times that reviewed a book called "Bringing up Bebe." I have not read this book, only the review of the book. You can read the same article here. It intrigued me. Not because I want to be a Parisian mom (although subsidized nanny care and extended maternity leave IS awesome!) but because it made me realize that I actually don't have it in me to not focus on my child. Am I happier for it? I'm not sure. I think that choosing to be this type of mom can make some of us a bit more frazzled, tired and unshowered some days. But I really feel like I would be overridden with guilt if I raised her any differently. I already feel a bit of guilt when I have a babysitter come over for 2 hours so that I can work free of disruptions. I also think it's interesting because my thought has always been that Europe is full of attachment parenting-type moms and dads who co-sleep, breastfeed for years and focus completely on their children.
If you agree with the premise of the book, I don't think that makes you at all a bad parent. If what the author writes is true and most Parisian parents raise their kiddos this way, do they have a happier culture? Are all Parisian moms more relaxed? Are the children better adjusted at some point? Discuss.