Monday, August 25, 2008

Speaking of child friendly, nothing is ever black and white

xposted from fabulosa mujer

Most pick up lines suck, this one especially:

1. You are very beautiful (directed towards my child), just like your mama. And repeat that line, then over step my boundaries by reaching out to grab and kiss my hand in front of my child.

Speak of boundaries

2. Yes, paying attention to children is important, but please don’t disappear with my child for 30 minutes straight, and take her away from my arms abruptly like I don’t deserve a heads up and some respect to my holding her.

My journey in practicing revolutionary mamahood without comprimising my own boundaries (and I am one who is happiest when my boundaries are set early healthily) the letting go to share the responsibility outside of what was once my nuclear family, has been a interesting journey…

There are what appears to be contradictions as the beginning of this series unfolds, but when are things black and white? When I volunteered to be part of the planning of the revolutionary parenting caucus at the AMC I was a little nervous about not being revolutionary enough. Admitting to imperfection in my desires to be revolutionary in my mamahood, reconciling with the need for boundaries, insecurities and sharing of responsibility of my first child, inexperienced, and without any concrete live examples of that has been a difficult and very humbling process.

3. When my child was under 2.5 years I was a pretty absorbant mama, careful of who held her, wary of not seeming like I imposed my child on people, and hesitated “handing off” my child to folks, even those that volunteered, because of my own inhibitions, insecurities (thinking I’m taking advantage of people’s good intentions) and first mamahood attachments/protections. My own environment fueled this, when I involved myself in projects when my little one was an infant to early toddler-hood most people didn’t held her when I went to work. My mom hasn’t been around for a while, thus extended family support was distant for the first 15 months of my child’s life, so when I did the stay at home motherhood thing, it was just the munchk and I for hours straight day in and day out. She was an attached baby, crying with other people, so placate her wails, I kept her with me. Letting go, as good as that process was for us, was not easy and it was at times painful. It began around the time I started working (full-time outside the home) and stopped breastfeeding; she was 1 year and 7 months. Now my daughter will be turning four, and through separated parenthood, she’s been around way more people, that love and caretake for her, and I’m sure that’s only going to expand; and it has been though tought at first, an embracing experience. Late last year, the munchk went from having one house to two, thus I’m with her half of the time now. Talk about letting go.

Capitalism does fuel individualism, nuclear family-ism, and one sometimes treats ones children like possessions (as in being possessive of them) without even thinking that’s what we’re doing. Boundaries and personal space are affected by all of this, I will not deny that. Yet, there is a thing called personal space and healthy boundaries in all of this. Boundaries are very important to me, though I do fervently believe in intergenerationl gatherings, movement, projects, in work and social gatherings, which means many people, there still is space in this intergenerational organizing for personal boundaries and personal space, difference of expression, and moments to want to spend alone, with family, with friends, with one’s child, and a time for everyone to be around.

Mamita Mala, does a good job at pointing at this — in this entry. On limits and boundaries…

I have a lot to say about that lately, limits, boundaries, retrieving, needing space, and folks being respectful of that, without wanting to knock your wall off because they can, and they will try. Our social justice involves difference in communication, space, boundaries, processes and if folks are needing of space for whatever reason, that’s okay.


Victoria Law said...

Hey mama,

Would you be willing to consider submitting this to the Radical Allies' Handbook that China (of The Future Generation and I are putting together?

Here's the call for submissions. (I am a blogging dummy and cannot figure out how to post onto here directly, so apologies for hijacking your post).

Call for Submissions: Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: a Radical Parents Allies Handbook -

Don't Leave Your Friends Behind is a book geared toward the non-parent radical community about how to be an ally to the parent(s) in their midst.

This book is going to be a collection of some of the best minds out there. We're looking for activists, allies, and radical parents to submit the most kicking stuff to make this the best book ever for getting down to business: let's make a better world WITHOUT Leaving out the mamas (and papas, partners, child-care providers) and children this time!

We are interested in submissions that focus on practical concrete ways you can (and have!) supported parents and children in your scene! We want stories of including children and parents in the anarchist and anti-capitalist activist movement such as: organizing Kidz Corners at radical bookfairs, providing childcare at specific events or as a political action, creating Baby blocs, and being part of collectives who include childcare so their members can participate, etc.

Word limit is from one sentence suggestions to 5.000 word essays.

Deadline: Feb. 1, 2009

About the Editors:

Vikki Law is a writer, photographer and mother who has been working on a survey of anarchist mothers for the past two years. She also put out the zine "Mama Sez No War," a compilation of mothers' experiences and activism against the U.S. war on Iraq and is the co-editor of "Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison." Her first book "Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women" ( is coming out on PM Press.

China Martens is the editor of the long-running zine "The Future Generation ", Slug & Lettuce columnist, and mother of a 20 year old. Her first book "The Future Generation: a zine-book for subculture parents, kids, friends + others" is an anthology of 16 years of her zine and is put out by Atomic Book Company – also available from AK PRESS

Jessica Mills writes a monthly column for Maximum Rock N Roll, "My Mother Wears Combat Boots" and her book came out on AK Press in November 2007 by the same title. She's a mother of two, sometimes plays sax with Citizen Fish, and is always all about organizing cooperative childcare.

Questions? Feel free to get in touch.

China Martens
P.O. Box 4803 Baltimore MD 21211


Vikki Law
PO Box 20388
Tompkins Square Station
New York, NY 10009

fiercelyfab said...

Hi Vikki,

Definitely...I should work on it a little more.

Hope you get this message, I'll e-mail you a response as well.

Glad to see you around here too.