Peaches Geldof

1 May

I’m very sorry Peaches Geldof is dead. I know it’s not the done thing to criticise those who’ve died in tragic circumstances and nothing can allay the devastation brought on her family and friends of losing a close person at such a young age with such a young family but…
and it’s a big B.U.T… I’m fuming…. Why is she being given a free pass? As the news comes out this evening that her death is related to heroin I hear a ‘friend’ on Channel 4 News extolling her virtues as an advocate of attachment parenting and her promotion of gay marriage rights etc and asking us to “look beyond the manner in which she may have died”. What? Well excuse me if I don’t.
IF… (and please let’s hope it’s not the case) but IF, she was doing heroin in the house with a toddler present, why are we praising her parenting skills at all? How is this not being discussed or at least being flagged up as hypocritical? How is it, in fact, being totally ignored? It makes a complete mockery of real mums (and dads) working away at being good parents day after day after day after year after year. I gave up smoking when I was pregnant seven years ago and now ensure I don’t have my single-half- a-bottle-of-wine-a-night lifestyle, having swapped it for that dull recommended at least two days off a week regime and the rest. I drive more carefully, I cross roads at the right places and I try not to risk my life over stupid or superficial things, whilst still having a fulfilling life. I do this because I have the responsibility of being a parent. My children are young and I want to be around and know that they need me to be around for as long as possible, or at least while they are still growing up. Surely, no one could know this more than Peaches – the girl who lost her mother so young and is such a ‘wonderful example’ of an attachment parent.
I don’t get it. Her death is tragic yes, and clearly no one chooses to be addicted to anything, but let’s not eulogise this and make it something it’s not. Of course the poor woman would have been utterly devastated and traumatised by her own mother’s untimely death and she clearly did try to change into the life of domestic bliss (as if there is such a thing). But reporting like tonight– or the recent, totally uncritical, article in The Times of her attachment parenting – whilst right at the end noting, unchallenged by the journalist, that she has every weekend off as the kids went to her in laws – is just disingenuous to those of us who live in the real world.
It’s not easy and none of us get it 100% right 100% of the time but come on.

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3 Responses to “Peaches Geldof”

  1. Jay Ghosh May 2, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    Great article Emily. I think it is high time we stop being pretentious and lead a more happy and fullfilling life. Being a parent comes with a lot of responsibility and just being a celebrity does not take anything away from what parenting is supposed to be and the media should stop being kind.

  2. Jack May 2, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Could it be that the references to positive aspects of her parenting are there to try to show that not every parent who suffers from an addiction is bad in every way?

    Could it also be that she wished to be around for her children every bit as much as you do, but that her addiction was so powerful it persisted *in spite of* that? Imagine how powerful it would need to be. And it’s not like she hadn’t sought help over it.
    If she’d had some genetic condition that shortened her life, would that make her a bad parent, in spite of any positives?

    There’s a hideous, hideous phrase, that I can’t believe I’m about to use, but could ‘check your privilege’ be at all relevant here?

    • emilymanson May 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      You certainly have a valid point and it’s dangerous to cast stones, but that was what I was trying to say – there she is with all her privileges (and pressures) but she was making a career of talking about better parenting, whilst taking drugs at home and getting every weekend off. I’m not trying to slag her off because she took drugs, clearly that’s wrong and I can only imagine how much you must need to take drugs when you know you shouldn’t and have young children, but I do think it’s disingenuous to not give the full picture, especially given the way she was being lauded as an ‘expert’ on parenting. I don’t think any of us are perfect, I don’t think parenting is easy and we all have our struggles with inner demons or external forces, but that is sort of not my point. It’s about how these myths of perfection make normal mums who don’t live in the spotlight feel inadequate about our own daily, mundane struggles with parenthood. She was peddling domestic bliss, when the reality was clearly very far from it.

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