There's so much to learn when you're a new mom -- how to work the car seat, use the breast pump, function on no sleep. You'll also soon realize that motherhood has its own vocabulary. There are all kinds of new words and phrases that you'll learn and start to use on a daily basis, such as swaddle, rear-facing, and "I'm so tired." And some that you won't -- like "I'd love to change another diaper" and "I really feel like having sex."
Don't worry, you'll know them all soon enough.
Yet while the language of motherhood can certainly be lovely, there are some words and phrases that really gotta go. Mind you, I'm not referring to the practices themselves (many are near and dear to my own heart) but merely to the words used to describe them.
Here are but 10 we should all agree to get rid of right now.
- Extended Breastfeeding. The word breastfeeding -- and breastfeeding itself -- totally cool. It's the "extended" part that's absurd. Saying that something is "extended" means it's done for longer than the norm or is necessary. If nursing a 3-year-old is all good, why not just call it breastfeeding.
- Attachment Parenting. I used a sling, breastfed until my daughter was 2 1/2, co-slept with my baby, etc., before I even knew there was even an official name for it. I just thought I was being a mom the way that felt right for me. But does that mean if you don't breastfeed, babywear, and have your baby's belly button nub turned into earrings, that you're not attached to your baby? I think we all know the answer to that.
- Potty Training. The word training is pretty twisted when it comes to kids. Training is something you do with pets. You "train" your dog to poop, how to roll over, and not to gnaw on your shoes. Training is also a word that comes in handy when referring to something thought to be physically arduous, as in "I'm training for a marathon," or "She's doing her military training." Unless you want to treat your child like an animal ... or a soldier ... you shouldn't really be "training" her to do anything.
- Latch On. Is it me or does this have the same ring to it as oh, I dunno, "nipple clamp"? If you're trying to encourage new moms to breastfeed, maybe breastfeeding advocates could have thought of something that sounds slightly less painful.
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- Babywearing. This is the opposite of "Strollerpushing." You've heard of that right? No? Exactly. Moms around the world have been carrying their babies for thousands of years and in all kinds of slings. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that no other culture refers to it as babywearing (the culture, not the anthropologists studying the culture). Is there a reason some American moms feel the need to self-identify as "babywearers"? You carry your baby in a sling? So do kangaroos and you don't see them getting all braggy about it.
- Free-Range Parenting. Are you raising chickens or children?
- Stay-at-Home Mom, Working Mom, Work-From-Home Mom. Stay-at-Home Dad, Working Dad (ha ha hahahahahaah ha), Work-From-Home Dad. Get the idea? Since when was being a mom (no matter what else you do) so trivial that we felt the need to make it something more? Conversely, when did the other things we do (at home, at work) become so insignificant that we had to add "mom" to them?
- Elimination Communication. Sounds like something a Scientologist would say -- maybe Tom Cruise during his divorce from Katie. (If you'd like to know what it is, here is more info on elimination communication, which is an interesting practice that could use a better name.)
- Baby Bump. This phrase was brought to you by the same people who came up with Brangelina, Bennifer, and RPatz.
- Sleep Training. (See "Potty Training," above.) Also, why in the name of everything that is wonderful and good (like sleep, glorious sleep), would anyone have to be "trained" to sleep? Trust me, babies know how to sleep. If they're not sleeping when you think they should be, there's probably a really good reason. The solution isn't to make 'em drop and give you 20 or stick their nose in their own poop.
What parenting terms drive you crazy?
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