In this episode, we talked with Dr. Talia Welsh, a professor of Philosophy and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Welsh writes on mothering, maternal ambivalence, and child development. In this interview, “Meta-Helicopter Parenting” describes anti-helicopter parenting critics. Their parenting style is distinguished for its “nostalgia” for a childhood that is free and a form of parenting that is effortless. But in actuality, these Meta Helicoptering parents are “strictly regulating behavior” to provide artificial situations in which children can learn the skill of independence because the parent has assessed the situation sufficiently to ensure that the child’s experience provides them with a teachable moment.
In our discussion, there are questions about different kinds of ambivalence that mothers can experience: existential ambivalence – the personal experience of mixed feelings – and situational ambivalence – social constructs that pressure one to act in particular ways that may be contrary to one’s needs or desires. So, for example, situational ambivalence can affect a new mother’s decision to breastfeed. Both types of ambivalence can leave a person feeling as if there is no “right choice.”
We also discuss the idea of emerging adult ambivalence: the conflicting feelings that young adults have which may result in anxiety and depression due to social issues in the world and the everyday worries of a young college student. We also spoke about ART(Artificial Reproductive Technology), which undertones capitalism/ neoliberalism.
And, of course, we end with a time when Dr. Welsh ruined dinner.