This section might better be titled Frequently Offered Judgments, since most comments on this blog come in the form of judgments of me as a parent. But people do better when they know better, so a few quick answers to the most oft-cited complaints and questions I get.

Why do you talk about racism and other things that are irrelevant to motherhood?
Because they're not irrelevant to motherhood. Social justice is intersectional. Race and racism affects mothers of color every day. I want to raise a child who fights racism and other forms of injustice. So these issues are absolutely relevant to my parenting.

I don't understand why you complain so much about pregnancy. It was so easy for me! 
Some women have easy pregnancies. Most don't. And unless you have experienced the pregnancy of every woman on the planet, or been pregnant in every conceivable circumstance, you do not have a representative sample of pregnancies to compare, and therefore cannot judge another woman's experience. For more on why it's a problem to judge women for complaining about pregnancy, see here.

Why are you so negative about motherhood? 
I love being a mother. I hate the judgments other people attach to motherhood, the public scrutiny to which motherhood exposes me, and the inescapable stereotyping of mothers.

If you think disliking these experiences means I dislike motherhood, then you think motherhood must necessarily involve intrusive advice from strangers and normative, gendered behavior such as not working outside of the home. That makes you part of the problem.

Why did you have  a natural birth? Are you some kind of anti-vaxxer who opposes modern medicine? 
I had a natural birth because that made the most sense for me. I love science (and have written extensively about various science topics), and am vaccinating my child. Incidentally, I believe that robbing parents of choice causes them to become more entrenched, so I oppose mandated vaccines--but endorse strong social pressure to vaccinate.

You can learn more about why I decided to have a natural birth here.

You have too many rules for other people to follow. Feminists are so easily offended! 
My various rules for interacting with pregnant women derive from one simple principle: pregnancy and parenthood do not mean that women should have to endure intrusive comments, unwanted touching, or deviations from everyday etiquette and commonsense courtesy.

Just treat mothers and pregnant women like everyone else. If you can't manage that, you make life worse for mothers, which makes life worse for people in general.

Why do you use the term 'mother' instead of a more gender neutral term? Isn't that a way of excluding trans identities?
I use the term "mother" because it is my identity. I've noticed lately, however, that I am in the minority. Most social justice-minded blogs by mothers seem to have shifted to gender neutral terms. I think that's a shift in the wrong direction. My views on this are evolving, and I am open to hearing critiques. Here's where I am now:

Race, gender, and other social constructs affect our lives every day, whether we want them to or not. Just as I believe in race-conscious parenting, I believe in gender-conscious parenting. I will raise my daughter to see gender as a social construct and non-binary. I will also raise her to understand that the way others perceive her gender may affect the way they treat her. Two of the central insights upon which this blog is built is that anti-woman sexism is real, and that anti-mother sentiments are a form of misogyny.

Put another way: "mother" is a real social category. We treat mothers and fathers differently. Because I am a mother, people assume that I don't work, or that I wouldn't if I could get away with it. My husband is likely to be praised for simply showing up, while I am more likely to face harsh judgment. This, in conjunction with the many well-documented phenomena that disproportionately affect women--sexual assault, wage discrimination, the beauty myth--means that people who identify as mothers and people who are perceived as mothers have unique experiences.

This is a blog about those experiences. I cannot speak for all parents because I am not all parents. I try to be mindful of the ways the various social categories I occupy affect my experiences. And one of those categories is mother. This doesn't mean I think the only relevant parent categories are mother and father, or that all people interested in parenting are mothers, or that trans experiences in parenting are unimportant.

I cannot speak to life as a trans or nonbinary person. What I do know is that trans women are women, and that trans people who identify as mothers are mothers. I hope this blog will speak to them, too. Where it doesn't, and where it fails, I hope others will fill in gaps. And whenever and wherever I fail to take into account alternative views and identities, I welcome people to call me out.

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