You remember Mayim Bialik, right? That girl who played Blossom back in the day? With Joey? (Whoa!) She’s all grown up now and like so many child stars, she went off and became a mommy blogger. (So cliché.) Yep. Just your garden variety attachment parenting / homeschooling / vegan cooking / Jewish-text studying / mommy-blogging type.
And yesterday, she became something else. The divorced type. Well, yesterday was just the day that the courts released her divorce documents. So I suppose she technically became the divorced type on November 21, the day she filed the paperwork, which was also the day she announced her divorce in a blog post.
On the one hand, it’s sad and personal news. But on the other, it comes from an outspoken advocate of attachment parenting who has taken to various pulpits through the years to speak candidly on on the matter. Condescendingly, even. At least according to some. She’s also written a book called Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.
All of which is why this private matter is being dissected publicly. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much the mission statement of The View. So it should come as no surprise that Whoopi and the gang decided to butt in and give their take. And these intellectual heavyweights seem to attribute the split to Bialik’s parenting style. Their leaping-off point was Bialik’s recent appearance on the show in which she floored the hostesses (hostesses!) by announcing the she and her husband never slept together. Instead, she slept with one child and her husband slept with the other.
Joy did a little math and concluded that attachment parenting doesn’t work. That all it does is leads to attachment marriages. (No word yet on whether or not she had that little gem jotted down or if she just made it up on the fly — she’s clever like that, you know.) Whoopi seemed a bit anti on the whole AP vibe, too, cracking a couple reasonably shitty “ain’t no one hoppin’ on the bang-bang train” jokes.
Oddly, Elisabeth, who I’ve always considered the most conservative of the panel (though I admittedly don’t watch), seemed the most empathetic, saying, “we can’t speak to her marriage — it was probably something completely unrelated.” It’s worth pointing out, however, that just seconds before she managed to sneak in a comment about how she could see problems in a marriage if a kid is “doing algebra and still breast feeding.”
Here’s the clip if you’re interested.
Me personally? I don’t know whether or not her parenting style led to her divorce. I do know this, though. Attachment parenting would not work for my wife and me. First, we have five children, including a baby and three-year-old triplets. And, sorry, y’all, but I’m not ever NOT going to sleep in the same bed as my wife. And unless we can figure out a way to fit the fucking trampoline through the bedroom door, we’re at an impasse on the whole co-sleeping thing.
But you know what else? I don’t give a rip how anyone chooses to parent. I’m thankful for all the styles out there. I liken them to a buffet. I take what I want from each and get on with it.
So, to that end, I think it’s a shame that Bialik’s belief system is coming under attack. In fact, the only reason I’m even interested in the story is because I’ve written for public consumption in the parenting realm in the past few years. And in so doing, I’ve always kept two things in mind: (a) my family’s boundaries and (b) other people’s feelings. And, to be candid, I don’t believe that Bialik keeps such things in mind with regard to her writing in the parenting sphere. Or if she does, it’s only to “go the other way on them” in order to gain more notoriety — more eyeballs — for whatever her message she’s trying to convey.
Which is why, at the end of the day, I’m fine with all the scrutiny. Something about living and dying by the sword.
All that said, I made a lifelong commitment to a single mom, and when I did, I made the exact same one to her little girl. And I know firsthand how difficult divorce can be on a child. Which is exactly why I wish Bialik and her family well as they go through this difficult transition.