Erica Jong’s “Mother Madness”–Is Green Living Imprisoning Mothers?

Erica Jong’s Mother Madness, published in The Wall Street Journal a couple days ago, enraged a big chunk of the mommy blogosphere by declaring that the last twenty years or so of “motherphilia” has served to both idealize mothers and imprison them in those unrealistic pressures to be perfect parents. And attachment parenting, the wear-your-baby-everywhere-and-breastfeed philosophy touted by Dr. William Sears, is to blame.

A symbol of our oppression: The humble pocket diaper

Now, normally I do not engage in these online mommy wars, but as Jong lambastes the green movement alongside Dr. Sears, I thought I’d step in with a response from the Green Baby Guide. First of all, I’ve got to say that Erica Jong had some good points. Both Joy and I have some upcoming posts about the downsides of breastfeeding—a point of view that often gets swept into a corner for fear of scaring new mothers off from the practice altogether. If you don’t have a story about how beautiful and transcendent nursing is, you may as well just keep it to yourself for fear that the Earth Mother police will confiscate your secret collection of glass bottles and organic formula.

Green Spotlight: Save by Going Green with Baby!

We interviewed Erika Jones of Organic Baby Resource for this Green Mom Spotlight.  (Check out our last Green Mom Spotlight posts, in which Eileen Spillman provides a planet-saving pep talk, tackles green guilt, and shares her eco-pet peeves.)

Green Baby Guide: Have you been able to save money with eco-friendly choices?  If so, how?

Erika: We saved a ton of money by breastfeeding exclusively, making our own baby food and using food-based skin care such as olive oil to moisturize our skin. We also stopped buying expensive cleaners and detergents. We went back to the basics of vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.

Green Baby Guide: Would you do anything differently if you had a larger budget?