You know what my favorite part of the 30 Rock finale was? Liz Lemon getting cyber-yelled at about bike helmets, because a mom forum could put even the most rabid Twi-Hards to shame with the ranting and raging; to know this Tina must have seen for herself how intense they get.
Moms can get a touch defensive (as in rip your head off) about parenting styles. Yet I know moms who bottlefeed and use a sling, and some who practice attachment parenting and have a nanny. I’m also a mixer-and-matcher because if anything worked 100% of the time wouldn’t we all be doing it? But advocate moms have a theory and goddammit they are sticking to it. We’ve seen it in Jenny McCarthy and in a much gentler way, Alicia Silverstone, who posted a video as she fed her son Bear Blu food from her mouth. People had very strong opinions about Alicia’s approach but beyond “That’s gross!!” it seems all the stories picked up the same quote from one nutritionist who said the practice might pass harmful bacteria. The reaction wasn’t really about whether or not it was good for Bear, it was about Alicia Silverstone as a mom. The Minivan Majority does not like kooky. Kooky freaks them out.
And Mayim Bialik (street name: Blossom), who champions attachment parenting and is a breastfeeding advocate, is “out there.” Mayim just announced that she’s weaned her 4-year-old, which is news because her breastfeeding has been a talking point of blogs and magazine articles and TV segments. She completely fits the mom advocate bill: she has a book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, a blog and she’s appeared as an expert on talk shows breaking down what she thinks are misconceptions about the tenets of attachment parenting.
The media (and other parents) want to make her weird. Is she weird? Or just really smart? She’s not the mom being featured twice weekly on PEOPLE, wearing a cute leather jacket (damn you Jessica Alba!) at the playground or talking about her weight (for $4 million), but Mayim is often criticized and made fun of for sharing the details of her family’s choices.
What I can appreciate about advocate moms is that, agree with their opinion or not, they believe it in their bones and they see their celebrity as a conduit to spreading the word. And they back their sh-t up. Blossom is putting it out there (literally) and feels she is educating/helping other moms -- and because she's actually very smart, I don't roll my eyes at her advice (even if I wouldn't necessarily take it). I don’t feel like there’s a big sell here.
But in an age when celebrity moms are encouraged to talk about their post-baby sex life, how they told their significant other they were expecting, how dilated they were on the way to the hospital, where and how they gave birth etc., why is it so weird that a PhD is sharing her story about an increasingly practiced parenting method?
It’s ok to sell us cloth diapers, just make sure you and your kids look pretty and don’t get too cerebral about it -- is that what we’re saying here, moms?
Click here to read Mayim’s blog post about weaning her kid.
Attached -- Mayim Bialik at the SAG Awards.