France’s Elisabeth Badinter: ‘Why bother with breast feeding when you can bottle feed and have a glass of wine at the same time?’
Bon chic….motherhood according to a bon vivant.
Here’s a book that ought to work up mothers everywhere, it’s called ‘The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood undermines the status of women,’ as written by professional provocateur and billionaire (yes that part helps doesn’t it?) Elisabeth Badinter who reckons that in the past 30 years most moms (except for the French ones of course) have regressed from being the independent freedom fighters they once promised to be to only end up becoming stay at home semi dependent wenches resigned to breast feeding lovable brats on tap.
Posits Badinter, that the once independent go getter woman who wanted to rule the world (or at least let it know she had finally arrived) has now morphed into a mere shadow of herself as her life becomes a regression of self and a bastion for whatever the child needs or aspires to. To behave otherwise opens her up to the perception that she may in fact may be a selfish monster…
Offers Badinter: “I want everything becomes ‘I must do everything for my child.’ “
And what does Badinter think might make a better version of motherhood?
“A better ideal is the French mama who gives herself time for wine, laughter, fashion, culture and — of course — sex.”
Ahh yes, who could live without wine, laughter and other ahem other niceties….?
The author, herself at the age of 68 a mother of three and a mainstay of the society set has despite the condemnation her new book courtesy of angry US mothers has stuck by her guns, insisting that so many women conveniently use the modus operandi of motherhood to not have to become who they once aspired to become.
Needless to say, irked mothers here in the US hardly feel the author is attuned to the realities of what actual motherhood entails.
What Badinter also fails to disclose is that unlike the US, France offers women up to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, government paid nurses who make home visits (and you begin to wonder why the typical US mother is resigned that she has so much to do on her own), subsidized child care and a tax deduction for in home help.
Offers one attorney and mother of two from NY, Fiona Schaeffer:
‘I don’t know how easygoing French parents are. I mean, the fact that they get their kids to behave in restaurants; I’ve never seen that achieved through easygoing-ness.’
Kelcey Kintner, a mother from Westchester, New York, believes that raising a child well has nothing to do with being French.
Argues Kintner: ‘A young kid who can sit through a long adult dinner is not necessarily a happy child. Just because kids are well-behaved doesn’t mean they’re happy.’
Elizabeth Hines, a mother of one from Manhattan, said Ms Badinter’s opinions provide a single school of thought that is certainly not the definitive one.
When offered this grave reality of what mothering in the US actually requires, Badinter offered the following:
“It doesn’t explain the choices of women who are free, economically, to decide whether to stay at home or not. These mothers who practice ‘intensive parenting’ are making an ideological choice.”
Indeed. Badinter even approves of children having to find out for themselves that life can be difficult and that they ought to learn from a young age that one doesn’t always get what they want. Of course that’s a tad presumptious ironic considering that Ms Badinter herself has inherited her position and wealth, as well as position in society courtesy of her family, Publicis Groupe, one of the largest communications outlets in France.
Nevermind, my grand idea should I ever become a daddy, is to casually ruffle my child’s hair, smile kindly at them before quietly tip toeing past the child’s mother to the garden with my preferred bottle of red wine of choice and wonder out aloud how good daddy’s actually have it….