Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Takes a Tribe

Here's what I think the foremothers really talked about:

Rachel: Leah, what did you do when little Zebulun is teething? I gave Joseph some carob root to chew on but he still seems so miserable.

Leah: Oh, take a cloth and dip it in the cool well water and let him suck on it--that will help a lot!

Modern motherhood is wonderful for some many reasons, but it is also isolating. No tight-knit shtetl or shared settlements with extended family and community, no grandmother nearby to show you the way. Modern mamas are on our own.

The hunger for some sort of mothering community really shows itself when a group of two or more mothers actually manages to come together. The conversation immediately turns to comparing notes, soliciting advice.

Over the past year, though, I've discovered amazing communities of women over the web seeking to help each other in just this way.

Some of these are local lists--ours is DC Urban Moms but I've also found great advice on the Berkeley Parents Network.

Others are vibrant discussion boards devoted to special-interest communities. I've long been a member of The Baby Wearer--and last week took part in a really interesting conversation about mothering in Biblical times and the modesty or Shabbat observance issues involved in using different types of baby carriers.

One poster there introduced me to a Jewish Attachment Parenting forum for Jewish parents interested in natural parenting.

Do you know about some great forums that would help other Jewish mamas? Please share!

No comments: