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“Motherhood has never felt natural to me. I wasn’t very good at understanding my babies’ needs or what their cries meant, something that other parents seemed to know without giving it too much thought. ‘She’s just tired,’ they would say. Or: ‘This sound means he’s hungry.’ And I had no idea, and felt like a failure.
Even worse, I didn’t like the feeling of my baby attached to me. I felt ambivalent about nursing her; I didn’t hate it and sometimes I enjoyed it, but I felt burdened by the intensity that raising a child required.
It’s a cliché that parenting is hard but what is even harder is the judgment from other members of society – parents and nonparents alike. When I talked about my experiences in articles and blog posts, one word often came up to describe mothers like me: unnatural.
Current parenting philosophies tell us to raise our kids emulating other primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees or our hunter-gatherer ancestors, as modelled by modern tribes around the world. These philosophies, ostensibly based in evolution, psychology and neuroscience, and espoused on websites such as Evolutionary Parenting, tell us to ‘mimic biological processes’ for the wellbeing of our kids.”
JJ Editor's Picks
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