The first time many women hold their tiny babies, they are apt to feel as clumsy and incompetent as any man. The difference is that our culture tells them they're not supposed to feel that way. Our culture assumes that they will quickly learn how to be a mother, and that assumption rubs off on most womenso they learn.
(Pamela Patrick Novotny (20th century), U.S. journalist and author. The Joy of Twins, ch. 6 (1988 rev. 1994).)
But it is a myth to assume that the larger amount of early stimulation you provide, the more beneficial it will be. The truth is that babies can be overstimulatedwhich is what many parents, intent on beginning to groom their progeny for college in the cradle, end up doing.
(Julius Segal (20th century), U.S. psychologist, author. "10 Myths About Child Development," Parents (July 1989).)
Cultural expectations shade and color the images that parents- to-be form. The baby product ads, showing a woman serenely holding her child, looking blissfully and mysteriously contented, or the television parents, wisely and humorously solving problems, influence parents-to-be.
(Ellen Galinsky (20th century), U.S. author and researcher. Between Generations, ch. 1 (1981).)
I don't want her to have a cat because she'll end up talking baby talk to the cat. That's the way it is, and how can a P.I. do that?
(Sue Grafton (b. 1940), U.S. mystery novelist. As quoted in the New York Times, p. C10 (August 4, 1994).
On why Kinsey Millhone, the private-investigator heroine of her popular series of mystery novels, will never have a cat.)
Well, Pa, a woman can change better than a man. A man lives, sort of, well, in jerks. A baby's born or somebody dies and that's a jerk. He gets a farm or loses it and that's a jerk. With a woman, it's all in one flow, like a stream. Little eddies and waterfalls, but the river, it goes right on. A woman looks at it that way.
(Nunnally Johnson (1897-1977), U.S. screenwriter, and John Ford. Ma Joad (Jane Darwell), The Grapes of Wrath, reply when Pa says she's the one who keeps the family going (1940).
Based on the novel by John Steinbeck.)