31 March 2011

Call for Submissions: Attachment Parenting Our Way Zine (transgender inclusive)

Post date: 31 March 2011
Deadline: 1 June 2011

AP Our Way: Disabled Parents Making Attachment Parenting Work for Us and Making Peace with When We Can’t

Most books on the style of parenting popularly known as “attachment parenting” or “AP” are from the perspective of and written toward abled parents, with at most a nod toward “learn the difference between the baby blues and PPD with 10 highly patronizing stereotyped questions!” And too often those of us who need professional assistance of one form or another hear nothing but discouragement for our “silly ideas” from the people paid to help us (or our family!), and are often told even parenting “normally” is “too hard” for us or on us and we’d only be “making it worse” for ourselves by implementing tools of attachment.

AP Our Way, a self-published zine anthology, intends to blow raspberries at both camps. Attachment parenting is more than a checklist of choices: it’s about respecting the personhood of children and their inherent need for close relationships with and responsiveness from their family, which can be accomplished whether or not we lactate or babywear or cosleep. Living with disabilities means we know that we can’t care for others if we’re overtaxing ourselves, but that we aren’t incapable or less-than: that in a world not built for us, we have to find our own way — and mostly do, as hard as it sometimes is. AP Our Way will collect and present stories, poetry, graphic art, diatribes and more on how we made the ideals and tools of attachment parenting work for us — and made peace with reality when we didn’t.

AP Our Way explicitly supports the ideas of attachment parenting (see Attachment Parenting International for more), but will include stories of when practices associated with AP did NOT work out, for whatever reason — and advocates letting go of guilt around this, or better yet, never having it in the first place.

Please focus submissions on how your disability(s) affected the choices you made and how you were able to implement your ideals — or how you came to peace compromising on — the following topics:
  • sleep
  • feeding
  • birth
  • babywearing
  • diapering
  • school
  • discipline
  • siblings
  • childcare
  • and beyond…
(If sufficient entries are received, the zine might be split into multiple issues by topic.)

Examples: your sleep disorder ruled out bedsharing; you found babywearing easier than pushing a stroller due to your use of mobility devices; breastfeeding was incompatible with your chemotherapy medications; a chronic illness meant you pared down your plans for elimination communication or cloth diapering; your need for health insurance meant you returned to work sooner than you’d like; being on disability leave made homeschooling easier; your latex allergy inspired a homebirth; you learned gentle discipline because your heart doctors warned yelling was dangerous for you; or despite all warnings to the contrary, despite not recognizing yourself in all the mainstream parenting bibles, you were able to parent exactly how you’d set out to. How did you manage, and how did you manage when you didn’t? How has your disability(s) affected your parenting, and vice versa? What is your story?

Who is invited to participate?

All parents with disabilities from all over the world are welcome to send submissions.
“Parents” for the purpose of AP Our Way includes parents of all sorts, including (but not limited to) adoptive parents, birth parents, step or blended family parents, queer parents, grandparents, noncustodial parents, single parents, teen parents, parents from poly families, and so on.

“Disabilities” includes all manner of physical, sensory, mobility, mental, emotional, cognitive, and developmental disabilities, chronic illnesses and conditions that impact your daily life in ways you consider significant.

We explicitly welcome submissions from parents of color/nonwhite parents; transgender parents; men, women and nonbinary gender parents; and parents for whom English is not the primary language.

You do not have to identify with the term “attachment parenting” to contribute to AP Our Way, nor agree entirely with all the precepts commonly attributed to an “AP” style of parenting. We only ask that your work reflect respect for the underlying philosophies of attachment parenting and address one or more of the topics listed above from an attachment parenting view.

Please send questions, queries, and submissions of graphic art (reproducible in black and white), poetry, and creative nonfiction (300-2000 words, as well as 100 word drabbles) to apourway at raisingmyboychick dot com. Attachments in RTF preferred; no .docx. Submissions are due no later than June 1, 2011.

About the editor: Arwyn has written at Raising My Boychick since December 2008 about her experience of attachment-inspired parenting while living with mental illness. Her work has been referenced in newspapers and magazines internationally and has appeared on the group blog Feminists With Disabilities. She edits the Womanist/Feminist Parenting Primer and the anonymous series Naked Pictures of Faceless People, both hosted at her blog.

Proceeds from the sale of the zine will go to support the Independent Publishing Resource Center, a non-profit self-publishing center in Portland Oregon, and other non-profit organizations.

More information here.
This blog is no longer updated. Please instead visit Writers For Diversity for new opportunities for women/ LGBT writers and writers of color. Thank you.