mother & baby ducklings in puddle
Image copyright Edwin Barkdoll.

For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent essay I wrote for, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “What It Means to Be a Good Parent”:

When I was a child, the pressure on parents wasn’t anything like it is among so many people today. My mother’s generation didn’t seem angst-ridden about its parenting. Among her friends, none felt compelled to have a natural birth, nurse their babies or share a bed. There was no attachment parenting, and regularly leaving your baby or toddler with a 12-year-old babysitter was commonplace.

By the time I had a baby, things had changed. I poured over books before and during pregnancy, and relied on a veritable library once my son was born. I was determined to do everything “right.” Nonetheless, I felt plagued with self doubt and internalized, quite negatively, a shifting society’s expectations about parenthood.

I well remember clinging to a mentor’s advocacy of English pediatrician and psychoanalysist Donald Winnicott’s concept of “good enough parenting.” She’d raised four happy and healthy children, and her wise counsel got me through.

I’ve been observing other parents recently, nonhuman ones.

Read the complete essay.


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