Guilt and parenting: can you have one without the other?

Childcare and childbirth have long been topics that create debate. Any parent can relate to making a decision that others might not agree with, whether it is vaccination, natural childbirth, intervention and pain relief - or breast vs bottle. Do you leave your child to cry or have them in your bed? The list is endless.

CoverGuilt always seems to go hand in hand with raising children and in a new book Push Back : Guilt in the age of natural parenting the author Amy Tuteur has taken the natural parenting "industry" as she calls it and shakes it to bits.

She argues that most of the movements devoted to natural birth or attachment parenting were created and promulgated by elderly white men and that they put forward a pro-women agenda but are in fact quite the opposite - relegating women to the role of primary caregiver where they are required to perform round the clock childcare with little options for work or free time outside of the home. Tuteur wants to "release women from the guilt trap created by the natural parenting industry".

If you want to balance this against the opposite view then have a look at Beyond the sling : a real-life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way by Mayim Bialik.

As with most things there is probably a middle ground, but judging by the huge and varying amount parenting titles published each year this is an area where the debate on right and wrong will never diminish.

Kōrerorero mai - Join the conversation.

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