Natural mothering and the re-domestication of women

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Can women be empowered by a philosophy designed to re-domesticate them?

Yesterday I asked whether women can be empowered by the philosophy of natural mothering, a philosophy created for the express purpose of oppressing them. Thinking further, it occurs to me that there is a better way to frame the issue. Natural mothering advocates seek to oppress women in a specific way — by re-domesticating them.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Can women be empowered by philosophies created with the express intent of re-domesticating them? Only if you think “empowered” actually means powerless.[/pullquote]

Re-domesticating best captures the goals of natural childbirth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting advocates because of the multiple meanings of the word.

According to Google, these multiple meanings include:

  1. To tame.
  2. To cultivate.
  3. To make fond of home life and housework.

It comes from the Latin word domus, meaning home.

It’s no coincidence that natural mothering advocates are obsessed with returning everything to the home from homebirth to homeschooling. Because the ugly truth is that while advocates of natural mothering market it as empowering women by taking control over birth and schooling back, the real purpose is to take control of women by forcing them back to the home.

Achieving the goal of re-domestication of women requires collective amnesia over why women outsourced these traditional practices and why they wanted to leave the home.

Women were glad to outsource childbirth to hospitals because childbirth is inherently dangerous and excruciatingly painful. Moreover, the rapid rise in popularity of hospital birth owes much to the fact that for many women, hospitalization represented the only vacation from the endless drudgery of childcare and household tasks.

The process of re-domesticating women through natural childbirth (preferably homebirth) involves convincing them that childbirth is inherently safe and that pain is “good” for women. Midwives have taken to the task with gusto, recognizing that their income depends on not merely convincing women that they don’t need doctors, but going much further by claiming that doctors “ruin” childbirth with their pesky interventions; the interventions “interfere” with maternal-infant bonding for no better purpose than to save the lives of mothers and babies.

It only remains for lactation professionals to ruin the hospital as a place of rest by mandating rooming in and the closing of well baby nurseries so women will never be able to rest from their many domestic tasks and might as well return home early.

The process of re-domesticating women through breastfeeding is designed to keep them out of the workforce and immure them back into the home. Breastfeeding professionals and researchers have fully embraced the task, creating new “benefits” of breastfeeding as fast as the old “benefits” are debunked. They’ve demonized formula, deliberately eliding the fact that infant feeding was outsourced for many valid reasons: insufficient breastmilk is common and many women want to utilize their minds in fulfilling work instead of being tied to the home by the need to breastfeed. And, of course, advocates claim that anything other than exclusive breastfeeding “interferes” with maternal-infant bonding.

Though natural mothering advocates decry medicalization of childbirth, they adore medicalization of breastfeeding — from pumps, to breastmilk banks, to the off-label use of powerful medications with the goal of boosting milk supply. While they initially sought to make breastfeeding compatible with work outside the home, the latest research is directed toward demonizing pumping by claiming that pumping — like formula — harms the infant gut microbiome. Never mind that the evidence is remarkably weak and preliminary.

But when it comes to re-domesticating women, the philosophy of attachment parenting is by far the most transparent in its goals. Mothers are encouraged to literally wear their infants so they will never enjoy a moment’s solitude, a moment that might — heaven forbid — be used by a mother to meet her own needs.

But at least she can rest when her children are asleep, right? Wrong! Attachment parenting teaches that babies need to sleep in the same bed as their mothers. Never mind that bed-sharing literally kills babies. Mothers should not have any time at all when they are not in constant physical proximity to their children. Why? You guessed it: anything else will “interfere” with mother-infant bonding.

But even those years eventually come to an end, that’s why mothers must be loaded up with additional tasks like homeschooling and home medical care: “researching” vaccines and creating customized schedules, stocking up on tinctures and essential oils to create home remedies, growing organic food with which to laboriously hand grind baby food, shopping for all natural products, etc. etc. etc.

The “good” mother won’t merely avoid temptation to leave the home, she will be so busy that she will be unable to leave the home.

Not coincidentally, all economic power will be in the hands of men, and women will be rendered vulnerable to the whims of their husbands, permanently tied by their desire to protect their children from want.

Voila, re-domestication!

Of course there are women who are domestic by desire. There is no place they would rather be than home with their children performing domestic tasks. There’s nothing oppressive about women making choices to suit themselves. But that’s very different from women making choices because they’ve been socialized to believe that their children will not bond to them unless they stay home to give birth, breastfeed for years, and never have their children farther than a 12 inches from their bodies.

Can women be empowered by philosophies created with the express intent of re-domesticating them? Only if you think “empowered” actually means powerless.

29 Responses to “Natural mothering and the re-domestication of women”

  1. Who?
    July 5, 2019 at 1:09 am #

    In relation to nothing in particular, while having lunch with my friend today we saw a very young mum, in very high heels, breastfeeding her baby as she stepped onto an escalator and then ran/walked out onto the footpath/street baby still feeding.

    No sling or other support.


  2. Montserrat Blanco
    July 4, 2019 at 2:49 am #

    Once I understood that being a good mother is not about the process but about the results I stopped worrying and just did what worked best for our family. It included me and my husband working full time, having paid help at home and sending our son to the best school we could find. So far it is working great! I have a happy kid, a happy husband and I am more than n happy too. My son seems pretty much attached to us even with very little breastfeeding, no skin-to-skin contact for the first hour of his life (preemies usually get whisked off to the NICU), not co-sleeping and not having a SAHM. I would say do what works best for Your family and that is it.

    • July 6, 2019 at 6:36 am #

      I used to joke with people and tell them I had no problem with my children going to psychiatrists and complaining about the way I raised them , when they were old enough to pay the doctors’ bills. Meanwhile I simply wasn’t going to obsess about childrearing. They have all turned out fine.

  3. Ayr
    July 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm #

    I never thought I would be a SAHM, it was honestly not one of my goals in life, I never expected to be a mother actually I was told I couldn’t have kids, but that’s another can of worms. Anyway, due to health issues I cannot work, I was house wife from the time I got married then became a SAHM with the birth of my son. I love it, but I never subscribed to attachment parenting, it always boggled my mind how many women felt the need to live that way. I do not co-sleep, I enjoy sleeping and I move around too much in my sleep to really feel comfortable with such a practice. The very thought of home schooling sends a shudder down my spine, I do not have the patience to teach. I like my alone time so much that as soon as he was old enough I put my son in private preschool at our church, I will do the same with my daughter. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids to bits and I cannot imagine my life without them, but I just don’t get the mentality of everything must revolve around them. This way of mothering seems to be rampant among the church crowd, because somehow it is more Godly, makes you a better Christian. I actually cut off a 17 year friendship because she went all crunchy granola momma and got holier than thou with me about how to raise my son. She actually had the nerve to tell me that to be a better Christian I had to do things that way. I basically to her to shove it, and that she had no right to force her convictions on me or anyone else. I have always been a firm believer that you do what works for you when it comes to your family, just don’t abuse those sweet, precious little ones.

  4. Megan
    July 3, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    For a very long time (too long) I subscribed to attachment parenting. Did everything the “right” way…only to slowly realize that I was miserable, not made out for the “domestic” life, desperately wanted to work full time again, and now cannot get my toddler to wean completely without horrible screaming and biting tantrums. Meh. I will definitely do things differently the next time around. The only thing I want to add to this discussion is that some of the people I know just take what works for them from AP and leave the rest. I will say, I love sleeping with my toddler and husband in our huge bed. I was under the impression that once you account for dangerous factors (smoking/drugs/heavy pillows/etc), that bedsharing can be just as safe when practiced on firm, flat surface on the floor. (Is this not true? If so, can someone please send me a study?) Bedsharing was literally the only thing that worked for us when my son was young, he would scream for hours unless he was on my boob from months 0-6 or so… it was the only way I could get sleep and I’m glad to have found some evidence that doing it safely would probably be fine. All of this is to say my new parenting motto is: do whatever the f*** works for you and your family, and leave everyone else alone. And please, don’t neglect or abuse your children.

    • July 3, 2019 at 7:41 pm #

      I go to my current job as a paint clerk at a DIY home improvement retailer with a huge smile on my face because it’s such a nice break from my toddler. I work along aside a former student of mine and who also has a 2 year old. She asked me one day if I missed my son when working. I replied, “Honestly, no. He’s a lot of work and this is a nice break”. She replied “Me too”.

      In terms of the safety of bedsharing, it’s all about how much the risk of infant death can be reduced compared to ABC (alone on their back in a crib). The two biggest reductions are from having no smokers in the home and having a kid who takes a paci. After that, it’s all about reducing the risk of smothering or reduced O2 to CO2 levels in case the baby has a preexisting brain condition that makes them not wake up or shift when they aren’t getting enough O2. The reduced ratio tips are things like keeping blankets, pillows, toys, bolsters, bumpers and adult mattresses away from the kid’s face. Smothering in bed-sharing is about staying away from soft bedding, adults who don’t wake up and entrapment between the mattress and bed frame or wall.

      And as you know, you can figure out ways to bed share that reduce a lot of risks by using a firm/hard mattress placed on the floor with minimal bedding and adults who don’t steamroll over their kids.

      Personally, my son was a white male preemie with a known lung disorder with two obese adult parents who sleep on an air mattress with a newborn head-sized slot between them. Also, when confronted with a lump of any kind while sleeping, I drive my shoulder or elbow into the lump and attempt to grind it flat. (I’ve left pretty impressive bruises on bedmates before.) We kept my son in his own crib because we are clearly poor candidates for bed sharing.

      • mabelcruet
        July 4, 2019 at 8:44 am #

        Do you work on those paint mixing machines? I’ve been redecorating recently, and it’s absolutely fascinating how the colours turn out. You choose something beige-neutral, and when they mix the paint you see all these wierd colours going in (one splodge of turquoise, 2 splodge of crimson, bit of black, bit of green and hey presto you get mushroom!) . My local paint shop will colour match, so if you take in a cushion or bit of wallpaper they’ll scan it and match it for you, and then you make up a name for it (Mabel’s Mushroom!) and they keep that on their database forever so if you need to get more later you can do.

        • July 4, 2019 at 10:17 pm #

          I do! My coworkers were boggled that I picked up using the color matching instrument so quickly. I’ve tried to explain that spectrometry is spectrometry is spectrometry and I’ve used far more finicky instruments before – but I finally just started telling people I’m a fast learner.

          We can – and do – save colors for people – but we also recommend that people take a picture of the label we stick on the lid. Our system saves the order UPC for 3-5 years and after that we can use the printed pigment ratios to manually enter the same paint.

          I know a lot about wood stains and more chemistry than most of my coworkers so I’m called in on questions like “This says to thin it using acetone, but I have denatured alcohol left over from another project so can I use that instead?” for an answer that’s longer than “No.” (Of course, my answer is usually “No” with a more panicked expression followed by a quick lecture on protic vs aprotic polar solvents and the inadvisability of ad-libbing organic reactions outside of a well equipped lab with safety precautions….)

          • mabelcruet
            July 5, 2019 at 4:53 am #

            My local B&Q (it’s a chain of DIY/hardware stores in the UK) seems to have two types of employees. There’s the young ones mostly doing the tills, heavy lifting and casual Saturday jobs , and then a cohort of very elderly men who offer advice-I swear, some of them seem to be about 90, but they are all ex tradesmen or enthusiastic home renovaters, and they know everything about everything. They even have a little conference area set aside where they give regular presentations on ‘How to..’ to teach people how to wallpaper, or hang doors, or change your taps.

          • mabelcruet
            July 6, 2019 at 11:24 am #

            Ooh, I have a question! My job this week is to paint the garden fences. I’ve got this woodstain/paint


            The fence was previously painted, and is currently covered in algae and green stuff, so I have to scrub it down before re-painting. I was just going to use household bleach to get rid of the green algae/moss stuff. Is it safe to paint afterwards, or will there be a horrible reaction?

          • July 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm #

            That should be safe once you rinse the fence and let it dry. Really, you can use any non-detergent cleaner of your choice as long as you rinse well and let it dry. I tell people to use Oxiclean which is essentially a product that produces H2O2 when combined with water – but a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite in water will do the trick as well.

          • mabelcruet
            July 8, 2019 at 5:36 am #

            This is the UK-it never dries out here! Gorgeous sunshine all day yesterday, so I scrubbed all the green gunk off, painted the raised bed walls, cleaned and re-stained the decking, and cleaned and oiled the wooden garden furniture. Today’s job was to paint the fence after leaving it to dry overnight, but its pouring with rain now, so at least its getting properly rinsed.

            Good job too, because I’m aching all over and not in any fit state yet to do any more garden work-totally knackered!

      • mabelcruet
        July 6, 2019 at 11:18 am #

        This is the situational awareness I was talking about-you know what you’re like in bed and can judge whether he’ll be safe or not. I’ve heard some folk say that mothers have a 6th sense when co-sleeping with their baby, that their maternal spidey senses tells them where the baby is in relation to their own body, so instinct takes over. Allegedly, maternal instinct drives a mother into the ‘cuddle curl position’ with her on her side curled around the baby’s body-this means the blanket is raised up over his body as her’s is acting like a tent pole, and she’s propped on her side so she’s not going to roll over onto him. That only works if you don’t move when you sleep, and many people wriggle all night long-it might be a position you adopt at the start of the night, but how many people lie dead still all night?

        • July 7, 2019 at 9:15 pm #

          Interesting fact: my cerebral palsy takes over body positioning when I fall asleep or pass out. I fall asleep curled up on my side with my arms relaxed and my feet in reasonably normal positioning. I wake up with my arms pressed to my chest while fully flexed at the elbows, my wrists fully flexed and my fists clenched while my hips are fully extended and rotated slightly inward, my knees extended, my ankles fully extended and both feet pointing inward and rotated 10-15 degrees inward. Freaked my colleagues out badly when I passed out a solid half hour after I donated blood in the middle of a staff meeting because a few of them had worked in medical settings and were understandably worried that I had some sudden massive form of brain damage.

          Good news is that I woke up pretty quickly and was ok after a sugary, caffeinated pop and two IVs of Ringer’s. Oh, and I met a very nice nurse who was in the “training” portion of working with the local blood bank. Her previous job had been 10 years in med/surg and ICU. She started prepping my arm for the IV when her supervisor (who lives in my memory as “Nurse Ratched’s Protege”) verbally reprimanded her because because that nurse had not been trained in how to place an IV by the blood bank. Me being who I am, I started giggling when NRP stormed off and blurted out “Placing a hydration bag IV on an adult compliant patient who has great veins for access…that’s the Holy Grail of Nursing! No one does that in med/surg or ICU! No, you must be TRAINED! There’s a video and everything.”

          • mabelcruet
            July 8, 2019 at 5:31 am #

            Don’t talk to me about daft workplace protocols! In the NHS, we have to do statutory and mandatory training in various areas, but even though the NHS is your employer, every hospital you work in makes you do the same training, so if you rotate through different hospitals (like trainee doctors do, every 6 months) , you have to repeat the training even though its identical. They don’t accept stat and man training certificates from another hospital, even though its all NHS-its such nonsense. In my most recent post, I had to prove I was up to date with vaccinations and rubella-immune etc, but the hospital wouldn’t accept the blood tests results I’d had done in my previous job, so I had to have the blood tests again, done in their lab. There’s absolutely no flexibility-even though I’m non-clinical, don’t go anywhere near patients and haven’t prescribed any IV infusions or drugs of any type for 30 years, I still have to do blood transfusion, IV fluid administration and antibiotic prescribing training.

    • Allie
      July 3, 2019 at 9:49 pm #

      “and now cannot get my toddler to wean completely without horrible screaming and biting tantrums”

      I may be able to help with that. I nursed far longer than I had planned or wanted b/c my LO woke every 2 hours like clockwork from 5.5 months to 21.5 months, and I didn’t know how else to cope. When she started to sleep for longer stretches, I weaned her virtually instantly by applying a mixture of garlic oil and lemon juice applied to the “affected area.” Worked like a charm. One taste and that was it. I continued to apply it for about 5-7 days, but just the smell was enough after the first time.

      • Megan
        July 4, 2019 at 11:59 am #

        Thanks! I think I saw you had posted this somewhere else…genius! I’ve read that in some cultures, women apply bitter herbs to their boobs when they’re ready to conceive again. Curious – did you stain any bras? Or just do the garlic oil when you were bralass/at home?

        • mabelcruet
          July 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm #

          You could do a controlled trial-garlic on one nipple, lemon juice on the other. Or try marmite and anchovy paste?

    • mabelcruet
      July 4, 2019 at 8:38 am #

      There’s a lot of new research coming out which suggests maternal smoking has a far greater impact than we previously thought. Initially maternal smoking in pregnancy was thought to give you babies that were a little underweight, and smoking around the baby after delivery was thought to interfere with oxygen levels, carbon dioxide levels, etc and in the microenvironment of co-sleeping, the theory was that it could cause hypoxia. Couple that with other risk factors like overheating and potential overlaying and it becomes inadvisable. But we now know smoking whilst pregnant causes neuroanatomical aberrations in the brain-the cells become disorganised-this is in the brain stem and basal ganglia, and the arcuate nucleus, so it’s those areas that control breathing. If you co-sleep with a baby when you also smoked during pregnancy, you have a baby with built in vulnerabilities who is then in a vulnerable position. Stopping smoking during pregnancy is beginning to look like the single best thing you could do to protect your baby.

      Co-sleeping has risks, but the risks vary according to the individual baby and individual carers. If you have a normally grown and normally healthy baby with non-smoking, non drug taking parents, with a mum who had a straightforward pregnancy, and you make sure the room isn’t too warm, the mattress isn’t too soft and the baby isn’t close to soft pillows etc, the risk can be very much minimised.

      • Megan
        July 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm #

        Good to know- I definitely fell into the low-risk category – very healthy baby, breastfeeding, healthy pregnancy. No smoking/drugs. So all went well for us. I will probably cosleep again with baby #2, but use one of those cosleeper separate surface beds that pull up to the parent’s bed. I know me, and I won’t want to deal with getting up and going to another room, or getting up and pulling baby out of a crib.

        • mabelcruet
          July 4, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

          I’ve posted about this before, but just having some situational awareness about the bedroom arrangements will help. Trigger warning about cot deaths here….

          A lot of my cases are simply horrible accidents: a baby who rolled out of bed and landed head first into a waste basket at the side of the bed that was lined with a plastic bag. A baby who was put into the middle of the bed with the parents on either side-each parent had a pillow and the baby was placed in the ‘void’ between the two pillows, but over the course of the night, the movement of the parents caused the pillows to move and overlap and suffocate him. A baby who’s parents had a bed where the mattress was smaller than the bedframe-the bedframe was a padded spongy soft thing and the bed was pushed up close to the side of the wall, but because of the padding and the size of the bedframe, there was a few cm wide gap. The baby rolled into the gap and ended up trapped between the wall and the bedframe with his face pressed into the soft padding, and the pressure on their chest with occlusion of his airways caused him to asphyxiate. Another baby who did similar, where the bed was pushed close to but not touching the wall, and the baby rolled down the gap-his body fitted but his head didn’t and the pressure of the mattress compressing his neck caused him to asphyxiate, almost like a hanging. I had another case where baby slept in a cot, but in the morning the mum brought the baby into bed for a cuddle. She lay on her back and pulled her knees up, bending them and draped the bedcover over her bent knees to create a sling like affair for baby to lie in. Mum fell asleep again, and when she woke up she’d turned over in bed and the baby had been trapped and tangled up in the twisted bed covers.

          Generally, thinking about the set-up and planning the co-sleeping goes a long way into protecting the baby. In a significant number of my cases, the co-sleeping event resulting in death was often unplanned and spontaneous, often a parent who had been drinking or whatever and swooped the baby up for a cuddle and then fell asleep, or a baby who normally slept in a cot but the parents brought him into bed because he wouldn’t settle. A planned routine of co-sleeping still has some risk, but far less than the unplanned spontaneous co-sleeping.

          One of the main issues is being aware of how and when the baby moves-with their heavy heads they do tend to roll at times, especially if you prop them up on their sides (which isn’t advised) because that makes them flop forwards usually. Generally once they can lift their heads up, side sleeping is ok. But once they start to be able to turn over and roll, they can end up rolling into pillows and bolsters and end up wallowing and unable to get out of there (which is why you aren’t supposed to have any cot bumpers or cuddly toys in with them). There’s also more awareness now about leaving them in a car seat-babies left in car seats or those fabric soft bouncy chairs are at risk of positional asphyxiation-their spine is less well supported and babies in these end up curled up in a C shape. In the very young babies, this forces their head down because they don’t have the muscle power to hold it up, and there have been asphyxial deaths as a result of this.

          It all sounds horribly frightening, but all of the risks can be ameliorated to a great extent, it just needs someone to sensibly consider the environment the baby will be sleeping in and try and pick up any risks beforehand (which parents generally do automatically anyway, no matter where they are and what they are doing!)

          • rational thinker
            July 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm #

            Thanks for posting your experience with this as a coroner, it is an important perspective. In most cot death cases it does not matter if you had a good pregnancy or anything to do with infant feeding or the heath of the infant as these cases are almost always horrible accidents and I have heard AP parents telling people that It wont happen if you baby wear,breastfeed, ect. I once was told by an AP parent that if you baby wear all day the baby wont suffocate because if you wear the baby all day you are “training them to know how to breathe in tight spaces”. That was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard one say.

            I knew someone it happened to and in that case it was midday and mom was laying in bed holding baby on her chest for skin to skin and fell asleep. When she woke up the baby was dead. Baby was 3 or 4 weeks old.

            With my children I did room share for the first year but the baby was always in the crib. After the first year they went to their own room and if they got up in middle of night and were upset then they could sleep in my bed with me but only after the one year danger period.

          • mabelcruet
            July 4, 2019 at 4:18 pm #

            Yes, the hands on the baby’s chest is sadly a regular occurrence-I used to get on average one death a year where the baby was placed onto someone’s chest and they put their hands on the baby’s back or front to stop them rolling off, but if the parent falls asleep in that position, the dead weight of adult hands and arms is enough to prevent the baby from breathing, its like a crush asphyxia almost. Again, something that can be completely prevented with a little bit of thought.

            The baby wearing thing absolutely terrifies us paediatric pathologists-usually the baby is swathed in folds and folds of fabric (there seems to be some very complex ways in which the baby is tied to the parent). Sometimes their head is flopping around and positional asphyxia is a very real danger. In a normal baby carrier/harness thing, the head is supported which protects the airways, but in baby wrapping with a soft blanket, you have to be very careful how you wrap to make sure the head is supported. And with the wraps, the baby seems to be held far more tightly into the parent’s body. There have been cases where a baby has been smothered-I’ve not had one personally of baby wearing suffocation but it happens (although I did have a case where the baby got smothered during breast feeding-she had large breasts and fed the baby whilst he was lying flat on her lap and sort of leaned over him, she nodded off and he couldn’t breathe).

            I get really annoyed at photos that celeb mums sometimes post-some babies are in precarious positions, this is so unsafe. I appreciate that there was someone in the room to take the picture, but all it needs is a couple of minutes of inattention.


  5. alongpursuit
    July 3, 2019 at 2:23 pm #

    Dr. Amy, you’re touching on a very fascinating topic that I’ve been thinking about since I had my baby almost 2 years ago. I call it “Pioneer Motherhood”. I’ve seen it mixed in with environmentalism too, where doing things the pioneer way is seen as environmentally friendly. It’s hard to argue with environmentalism, but it can become a real class issue (and, I think, a real feminist issue). There’s a performative aspect to that too – being a pioneer mom is signaling that you’re more virtuous, better for baby and better for the Earth. Nevermind that the world is overpopulated.

    I was taking a mom and baby sewing course last year in a very granola part of town. The other moms wanted to sew baby clothes (like pioneers) and were all baby-wearing, breastfeeding, au naturel types. One of them was going to New York City for a week of vacation with her baby. She asked the other moms’ advice about how to manage with cloth diapers while on vacation, considering whether to use the Laundromat, wash the diapers in the tub in the hotel or just lug all the dirty diapers home on the plane. Travelling with a baby is hard enough – why not just use disposable diapers while you’re away so that you can enjoy your vacation? I sensed her need to exclusively cloth diaper like she was exclusively breastfeeding and bringing it up with the other moms was some kind of demonstration of her commitment to pioneer motherhood.

    • yentavegan
      July 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

      OMFG! I was that mom who lugged cloth diapers on vacation for my two still in diapers. I was so proud of my earth mamma bone-fides. I spent one glorious afternoon feeling so smug as my husband and older child enjoyed the sights and sounds of our vacation destination while I got to know the locals at the laundromat while nursing my infant in a sling. What a tool I was! Such a display of martyrdom all for the benefit of my family. Ha. They neither remember this event nor could care to.

    • Sue
      July 3, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

      (Not to mention the environmental footprint of cotton-growing and laundering, and flying)

      • mabelcruet
        July 4, 2019 at 8:52 am #

        Reproducing is the single biggest adverse impact on the environment. One child is the equivalent of an extra 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. To offset the impact of a single child, 684 people need to comprehensively recycle everything possible for life, according to a paper from Sweden. So absolutely knackering yourself washing cotton nappies is basically pointless if you’re doing it from an environmental point of view-its for crunchy mama points.

      • July 6, 2019 at 6:43 am #

        Yeah, hope you told her to build a covered wagon and trek, in true pioneer fashion, to NYC and not take that environmentally destructive plane. Just think how much she could save on the side, selling the horse or oxen dung for fertilizer.

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