lundi 8 août 2011
"My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us"
"My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us" (if you clikc the link, amaz*n will allow you to skim through the book) was originally the title of the columns that Jessica Mills wrote for the zine Maximum Rock'n' Roll
I have bought it because I liked the title and also because I liked the illustration on the cover (art by Cristy Road). but since the first page I have been abducted like I hadn't been in months.
While I read I couldn't stop saying in my head: "shit she's writing about my life!".
The book narrates the first 5 years of life of her first child (I discovered that her name is Emma-Joy, a name that we love a lot here from mum brains because of the little Tilda-Joy!) and is a fusion among a "diary" and a manual for parent. It contains an avalanche of useful and competent information about being a mother (a parent); from the pregnancy to the school cooperative and "alternative" passing trough birth, nursing (with also the social economic implications that this last involves), cosleeping, non violent education and positive discipline, gender -coding, punk rock kids spring break and other matters we (the mum brains) care so much.
the everything dusted of references to my preferred bands (as Fugazi, Hot Water Music or Bikini Kill) because Jessica Mills, further to be a teacher and writer, is also a pro musician.
My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us has definitely conquered my heart when I have realized that at the end of the book there were all the practical information to launch a coop-childcare and also when I have read the contribution by Kaila "Milk-Jugs" Adney speaking about nursig moms, I quote few lines:
"To all those punk mama-to-be and brand new rad mama: Breast-feed you babies. (...) Breast-feed in front of all your guy friends, who are surely enlightened feminist anyway. if they're not, the school them. (...) Get lazy, you're lactating after all. Take it easy. Read a book with one hand while your kids is still little and grublike enough not to notice. Listen to records when they're old enoughto grab a book out of your hand. Once they're old enough for you to be chasing them around all day, take naps while nursing. (...) If you are having problems take a honeymoon, when you and your baby hang out in bed for a few days sleeping, nursing and cuddling. (...) Take your baby everywhere you can. Take your baby to shows if you want. You might hand out in the paring lot when you realize how loud the music is but you still have more fun than staing at home. (...) Breast-feed with groups of nursing mothers. Think of it as a performance art (...) better yet, think of it as subversive, as anti-establishment. (...) Start a zine about breast-feeding, paint a nursing madonna and child, preface that porno terms "jugs" with the "milk-" that it deserves. (...) make me proud mamas.
Kaila "Milk-Jugs" Adney "
is not that I don't like the books and the blogs from classical mothers... they are funny and sometimes I have a good time peering at them, giggling and smiling .
however I admit that when I see certain blogs with children dressed like a fashion catalog , with moms who have highlights in theyr hairs -and a fashion, winner career- who can't stop complaining about how it wasn't in their carreer planning being pregnant or being a lacting-cow (a breastfeeding mom) or a three times mom or dunno; well, when I read that I can't help of feeling some kind of extraterrestrial.
I feel like I should start complaning too, they make me feel like I should want to go to a sexy-weekend with my husband leaving my kid with the nanny or grandparents.
But I've never been like that, even before having Mina. I've always hated cocktails situations and let's party at the discoteque, the very last purse that you have just seen on the fashion newspaper, the passion for mainstream music or mainstream holidays. I have been too much the one with too dirty shoes, too small tshirt, too lowered pants, too colored hairs, too tattooed arms and too loud music in my walkmann; why should I ever want to be what I am not just because the image of the winner-mom imposes it?
then this book happens and it reminds me that I needs to accept the others, obvious, but also that I must learn to accept myslef without ever forgetting to contest all the children advice that this society serves us.
few days ago I was chatting with Kiki about being a parent and she told me that this is the punkest thing she ever did. and it's true, being a parent certainly is because if you ever lived a life in the name of the counterculture, of the information not already digested, of the respect of the minorities or simply thinking that "a better world can be buildt with every single action that we complete", then being mother is all of this reunited together.
because if we don't respect, if we don't listen or we don't nurture our child by going against what media and, let's say it, the multinationals want always us to believe (exemple: a baby costs so much $, the formula milk is practical and is as good as the human milk, babie they cry for manipulating their parents, you will need every type of gadget to be a good parent, the industrial mixed canned baby food - even already chewed like - it's the most complete nourishment for your child weaning, women must take back their life and activates sooner the better and not to forget to be a femme by wearing the high heels while pushing their expensive stroller) then we don't have a clue about what parenting is.
by the way, I wanted to speak about books. as I said the book it's full of information and exciting moments. I now quote two part that have made me smile (they are at the beginning so I'm not spoiling anything):
speaking about her 3rd month of pregnancy:
"(...) let's hear it for hormones -more addictive than speed and more fun than weeds (...)"
peaking about her 8 month of pregnancy:
"after filling the drawers (with baby clothes ndr), we headed down a few blocks to the FUGAZI show. Now that i knew the baby's ears were formed enough to hear more than just vibrations, it was my motherly duty to make sure it got to hear good music..."
have a good reading: -)