revolutionary parenting at the allied media conference

June 25, 2008 § 4 Comments

so i did the revolutionary parenting caucus with vikki.  it went great.  the beginning was stressful because i felt like i was being blamed for the caucus starting late.  even though the time and place had been changed a bunch of times in the 24 hours and i had to figure out where to go.  and no one was offering to help me with aza, or all my bags, or the boxes of zines and photocopies i had made.  so this older lady finally went up to these ‘nice young men’ and asked them to help me.  and so it was a not best way to start a session about how to support mothers in an activist community.  aza was on high energy post-morning nap, throwing paper everywhere.  i had headache partially from drinking a few beers celebrating our anniversary the night before, but mostly from sleeping weirdly in the van.  cal had disappeared to get lunch and took longer than he thought he would.

and then i started to get these weird vibes.  do you know them?  they are the bad mother vibes.  in the midst of a revolutionary parenting session.  crazy? huh?
i think it is because i told my daughter: no.  a bunch of times.  like i normally do.  to everyone.  hell, my daughter doesnt even know that ‘no’ is a single syllable word.  she really thinks it is:nonononono.  see previous post…to learn more about my bad mama philosophy.

it goes a little something like this: baby, no, that paper is not your paper.  i am not sure whose paper that is.  you can play with this paper.  here.  sit here. and ill go get…oh no…dont poor water on your head…give that to me..silly girl…fucking a…ok are you thirsty…here i dont have any juice left…so…well, drink my sprite, yeah cause what you need is more high fructose corn syrup in your life…you like it?  where is your toy? and your paper?  and no, dont play with her bag thats not your bag…ok how about i hold you while i explain this to the caucus…and…silly girl…..

everyone stares at me.  pretending not to judge.  very revolutionary.

cal finally comes back.  my head is throbbing.  we are 15 minutes into the caucus.  i have already been yelled at. judged.  and i am convincing myself to be calm and keep it real and am really grateful that cal can take aza, cause i am weaning and frustrated and i really want to cry.

and plus, i am having that: i am not a single mother guilt.  which is a strange product of having been raised by a single mother and brought up around  single working mothers and heard enough resentment against partnered moms, because they had it so easy, and now i am a partnered mom (with a wonderful partner/co-parent) but i dont have much in common with the vast majority of married moms or stay at home moms (because my conception of motherhood was shaped differently)

(by the way i had a great experience being raised by a single working mother.  my life would not have been better with two parents significantly.  plus who can tell the past results of things that never happened)

the rest of the caucus went good.  we had some interesting insights.  discussions.   it was a great time.  strange that the majority of people in the room did not have kids and were white…but you know in another way that is awesome.  i mean i thought i would be preaching to the choir.  and instead i got to see how many different walks of life converge at revolutionary parenting.


§ 4 Responses to revolutionary parenting at the allied media conference

  • vikki says:

    sorry if I made you feel as if you were being blamed for the caucus starting late. But I don’t think anyone was judging Aza being a baby–later, Alice (who does the childcare collective in Nyc) said that she really missed having little kids in workshops and was glad that Aza was being a cute baby/toddler and making all sorts of happy baby who-likes-paper noise. I think people were staring because you were talking and because Aza was being a cute baby/toddler (even if you knew that this was really her being a cranky toddler, none of us could tell…at least till I tried to put her on my lap)

    but i’m glad that you also thought it went well, all chaos considering. (this is why I wanted us to hammer this stuff out before either of us left our respective houses…having had a very similar experience with a previous workshop (we hadn’t prepared beforehand and left it to the last minute and then all sorts of craziness came up and i actually ended up in tears and didn’t feel very supported at all), i’m glad that we did spend that hour or two on the phone getting it all down.

    and yeah…maybe the new converts to the choir will go forth and convert even more of the kidless people and we’ll have made our work around this issue obsolete, say, by the next AMC?


  • Dear Guerilla Mama,

    I stumbled across this post and had to let you know that I can relate, well.. minus the toddler, some days you’re all frazzled, starving, exhausted and you get up in front of all those eyes and you think, “oh god these people think I’m an idiot.” Well, at least that’s what happens to me. Of all the things I’ve spoken about, talking about parenting is by far the hardest, people are so emotional and defensive and offensive and uptight and on edge about it. Good for you for braving it, we definitely need more people talking about these issues and encouraging others to have an open mind and relax a little about parenting and kids. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Stark Raving Madeleine

  • noemi says:

    I really wanted to attend and take part in the parenting caucus. How many folks would you say were parents of color in relation to white folks or nonparents? I’d be interested to know why they were there. I hope to make it next year.

  • […] supposed to go to the Allied Media Conference and take part in the revolutionary parenting caucusI can so relate to the looks and the support another experience of mine in a conference where I was around people I knew, not one made mention […]

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