Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
So I wrote a post the other day, continuing my ruminations on Kate Gosselin and why she is so judged and why that’s a problem for me and for everyone, et cetera, but it was – as a few readers pointed out – incomplete and unclear. In raising the question of whether or not a recent incident – denying her daughter water, while enjoying a drink herself – warranted judgment, and admitting that I myself had raised my eyebrows and had one of those moments of oh, dear – which, as I’ve admitted, are moments that I do have, privately, and I think we all have, privately – but not pursuing those questions to a conclusion, or even taking the time to situate those questions within the context of the larger problems about bad mother narratives that I’ve been pursuing so ardently, I did the subject and my readers a disservice. The post as it stood could have been read as ambiguously judgmental; worse, it could have been read as a simple statement of judgment. And although I emphatically did not intend it to be that – there were larger questions, deeper issues, fueling my scattershot reflections – I understand that it could have been read that way, and so I have taken it down until I can pursue those questions to something approximating a conclusion.
Because although I believe that judgment is unavoidable, that to judge is to be human, and that there are some things that we should judge (another topic for another time), I don’t believe in contributing to – I don’t want to contribute to – public narratives of judgment, and if even one reader took my reflections as simple statements of public judgment, then that’s a problem.
I’ll repost the original, unedited, when I take up the topic again. But for now, if there’s any room for misunderstanding, I’m taking it down.
In the meantime: BABIES IN BATHING SUITS, for everyone’s amusement and edification…