Queer parenting and the tyranny of choice


I remember sitting on the couch next to a napping Rowan. He was maybe a month or so old, blissfully unaware of the voices in my head duking it out:

“You’re such a good mother, staying right next to him while he sleeps.”

“What kind of mother are you, letting your baby sleep on the couch? Do you know that he could roll off and die? And he’s sleeping ON HIS STOMACH! Don’t you know that he’s way more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome if he sleeps on his stomach?”

“You’re staying right by him while he sleeps, so he’ll be safe. Too bad that you have to pee.”

“If you really loved him and wanted to promote his healthy attachment, you would let him sleep RIGHT ON YOUR CHEST so your heartbeats could sync. What kind of unfeeling monster are you, putting your baby down to sleep?”

“If you really want him to develop good sleeping habits, he should be sleeping in his crib by himself so that he could learn independence.”

And so on. Fun times.

I won’t sugarcoat it: I had a rough time after my first son was born.

You can read the rest over at Today'sParent.com, where I ponder the irony of my choices to become a (queer) parent in the context of Jennifer Senior's new book All Joy and No Fun.