Every once in awhile, I get an itch to write about something “real” – a controversial topic that people actually care about, something that incites real feelings and debate.
But then, as I sit down in my chair and stare at the blank screen in front of me, my legs growing warmer and warmer as the laptop heats up, I realize that this actually requires brain cells. And sometimes research. And probably even logic, and clearly-formed sentences. So, I just go about my business and post a picture of my horse instead of firing up the old brain and putting my speedy typing skills to good use.
And then, there’s the fact that I’m as non-controversial as they come. Live and let live.
And maybe it’s from this – live and let live – that this post was born.
I am so freaking tired of hearing about the “Mommy Wars.”
I am tired of hearing about how women are pitted against each other, how women feel they have to justify their parenting choices, how women feel “judged” by other mothers.
Ladies! GET. OVER. IT. Put an end to this madness. It starts with YOU (and me, and our friends..you get the idea).
When the media uses fighting words like, “Are you mom enough?” – IGNORE. If you don’t like it, if it doesn’t sit well with you…don’t buy it (figuratively or literally). Sure, tell them you’re unhappy…but don’t let it cause you any physical distress. They are words, strung together to invoke strong feelings and fuel one thing – profit. TIME magazine doesn’t care about you, they don’t care about me…they care about all this buzz they’ve generated by firing up moms everywhere, moms who have jumped to the front lines to defend their decisions to breastfeed a toddler, or to formula feed from birth. All of these moms somehow feel like this cover is pointing a finger at them, calling them out as failures because they either fed their child with a bottle or nursed their child for too long (I know this firsthand because I saw the cover and thought, “Oh great, they are going to make us breastfeeding moms look like a bunch of weirdos” and a friend saw the same cover and thought, “I don’t appreciate being made to feel like less of a mother because I formula fed my children” – two different moms, relating the cover to two different experiences, and both taking something negative from it – yeah, I would say that cover stirred the pot).
You can’t win. So don’t try.
The media is not in charge of motherhood, and they cannot tell us what is right and what is wrong. We, the mothers, are in charge of motherhood.
Motherhood is not a battle – it’s not Good Moms vs Bad Moms. And even if it was a battle, with two clearly divided teams, it’s still not worth it to fight because you will never be on the winning team all the time. I imagine that if there would two teams, I’d shuffle back and forth between each one depending on how the day has gone.
No one else should have the power to make you feel like a bad mom. Yeah, I know…it sucks to be on the receiving end of another mom’s stink eye or worse, the subject of her whispers to another mother…but let it end there. You don’t have to justify yourself to her. You only answer to YOU (we are our own worst critics, but that’s another post).
I’m not saying we all have to get along. I’m not saying we should all like each other or agree with each other. I’m not saying we’re all good moms, and I’m not saying we’re all bad moms. We’re just moms. There doesn’t need to be a war.
If we could stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus some of that energy on our own family, I think we’d find that it really doesn’t matter what so-and-so is doing, after all. If we could look at a picture of someone else feeding her own child and think, “Oh look, that lady’s feeding her kid the way she chooses to feed her kid and it has nothing to do with me and the way I feed my own kid,” I think we’d be a step closer to ending these so-called Mommy Wars.
And here is where I offer the only parenting advice I ever offer anyone – parent from the heart. Do what feels right, and you’ll never go wrong.