Somehow I've become the lucky recipient of Parenting magazine. Each month I get a copy that Mister says is like Cosmo for Kids. "When the playdate is over!" "Boy outfit of the month!" I'm not sure why it's called Parenting when it is really just for heterosexual mothers. Fathers need not apply. Multiple fathers really should find somewhere else to get their info. Second mother? Maybe you could read this magazine but you won't find anything (as far as I have seen) that suggests any family other than married mommy and daddy exists.
Recently I picked up Bay Area Parent magazine (bayareaparent.com but don't bother with its weirdly constructed and largely useless website) to read this morning, I don't know why I'm surprised, but holy cheese, could these magazines get out of the 50s?
The April features were all about sleep and included a sidebar (the little box that's related to but not the main story) by author Penny Warner. She excerpted ideas from her book, Rock-Bye Baby: 200 Was to Help Baby (and You) Sleep Better) in the article, "10 Creative Ways to Get Baby to Sleep."
Her ideas? Call your mother … listening to your (mother) voice soothes the baby; baby ball … sit on the ball and gently bounce "you'll get a good workout as your baby falls asleep." The last suggestion?
I was so put out by the list I penned this note:
I read Penny Warner's tips on how to get your baby to sleep this morning while my husband and I shared a quiet breakfast. I am surprised that your publication would run an article that is offensive in its gender stereotyping. Nine of the ten tips are geared to the mother, though either parent (or two mothers or two fathers) could handle the "bed bounce" or "book 'em" strategies. What really killed me, though, were tips eight and 10. First, the bike stand, in which Warner suggests mothers pedal their pregnancy weight away — couldn't papa do with pedaling to stay healthy or lose some of his pregnancy weight, too? But most egregious was the last, "Daddy's Turn," which reinforces the idea that the father only gives mom a break instead of sharing in the rituals. (My husband and I alternate nights putting our daughter to bed.) Moreover, the suggestion that he read from the sport section or sing all the choruses to "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" is absurd in its stereotyping. Are men simply sports-reading beer guzzlers? Should I read from the Lifestyle section or People magazine?
While some might find the list helpful and amusing, I found Warner's oversimplified profiles to be obnoxious. I would hope that, in the future, Bay Area Parent would consider a more rounded approach to bedtime duties and styles.
BAP's May issue, by the way, cover feature: "Moms face off: who's better?
You or Your Mom? Really? Is this going to be a Road Rules kind of face
off where the moms will eat worms while making meringue in stilletos?