Published on May 4th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books0
Lily Allen is right – babies can be boring
Parenting Tips for newborns with…
Anne Perkins | The Guardian
Most mothers can’t admit the tedious truth about small children. Which is why parents need so much more support.
Lily Allen, mother of two daughters aged 2 and 1, has admitted she abandoned her having-it-all wife and mother lifestyle in the Cotswolds because she found her babies boring. Many, many women, very few of whom will have a career as a pop idol to return to, will recognise the sentiment with that slight constriction of the gut that comes with the memory of sheer tedium, perhaps most of all if they have rashly combined parenthood with a move to the country. You are so right, Ms Allen. Small babies can be really boring.
What makes it hard to admit this eternal truth – as every piece of research on child development emphasises – is that those early months are also extremely important. The listened-to baby whose needs are lovingly met and whose limitless appetite for exploration and experimentation is nurtured is the future happy citizen. Being a good mother is not a scam perpetrated by the patriarchy on women at a vulnerable moment in their lives. It really matters.
But the value of the first months and the importance of the role of the parent-with-care – yes, that is still mostly the mother – is only one of a whole load of messages that bombard them. It is not even the loudest nor bossiest in the post-partum environment. When women have to launch protests in order to assert the right to breastfeed in public, it is crashingly obvious that ours is a society that values neither babies nor parenthood. Boarding school-educated politicians talk about the importance of parenting and make policy that treats every adult as a taxpaying economic unit. Or a scrounger. They threaten a law criminalising emotional neglect, but fail to provide the education and support to stop it happening.