RSS Feed

Tag Archives: mommy wars

My Mother’s Day Manifesto

Posted on

I’ve noticed that people on the interwebs are becoming increasingly prickly.  Maybe it is because everyone has a soapbox platform now.  We blog, tweet, facebook, comment, vlog.

Hey, I get it.  I’m doing it now.

But this phenomenon has turned every news article, research study, opinion piece, heck–even the obituaries into an opportunity to express one’s anecdotal experience.

Laboratory of one.

Want an example?

I read an article about a kindergarten kid who was forced to sit in her own feces during testing.  Terrible story about a specific incident.  I knew what I would read in the comments.  “That is why we homeschool.”  And, “If you have a kid about to enter the odd social experiment American public schools have become I fear for you.”  Over 1000 comments.  Ad nauseam.

A study that shows breastfeeding boosts immunity?  You guessed it:  “Well, my kid wasn’t breastfed and he never got sick.  Not once.”

A soccer team gets sick from germs on a reusable bag.  “Please hippies, stop using your reusable bags.  You’re going to kill the rest of us.”  Real comment.

Can we please stop taking everything so personally?  Everything isn’t about you.

Cloth diapers vs. disposables.  Breastmilk vs. Formula.  Bed-sharing vs. Crib-sleeping.  Free-Range vs. Helicopter.  Public school vs. Homeschool.  Hospital vs. Homebirth.  SAHM vs WOHM.  Vaccinations, Cry-it-out, Attachment Parenting, Child-Led Weaning.

Guess what?

At the end of the day, these are not moral decisions.  They are choices.

I know they are important choices to the parents making them.  But in the scheme of things?  These are distractions to bigger issues.  And bottom line:  who cares what choices other parents make?

The so-called Mommy Wars keep us busy fighting petty battles.

I admit that when I was a new mom, high on oxytocin and prolactin, I proudly stamped the labels after my name.  Have you seen such?

NorahsMom: non-CIO, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, no-circ, waterbirther.  Go ahead.  Google me.  You’ll probably find pages of forum activity.  You’ll find me all fluffed up with icons and smileys.  Full of advice.

Embarrassing.  Ridiculous.  Thank goodness I realize now we’re all pretty much clueless, hanging on by a thread, and doing the best we can for these children we love.

Listen mamas.  There are real issues that involve moral decisions.  Issues like maternity leave, access to healthcare, toxic food and products, children without mothers, maternal mortality and morbidity.  There are children who are trafficked and children who work on coffee plantations.  Why aren’t we taking our fierce mama bear selves and fighting about that?

I write a blog about my life, my work, and my choices.  My life.  My work.  My choices.  I parent in the way that feels normal.  To me.  And yes, I advocate for natural birth and cloth diapers and the like.  I’m passionate about these things.  But I do not assume these translate into roadmaps for other families.

Yesterday when I overheard some women talking about attachment parenting in a dismissive and demeaning way, it made me angry.  But then it made me wonder, when have I done the same?

The so-called Mommy Wars keep us busy fighting petty battles.

Polarizing us.

Paralyzing us.

A mom is a powerful force.  With our multi-tasking skills, our sacrificial love, and our relentless desire to protect, we are unstoppable.  Sounds a bit like a superhero.

Alright, I admit I am caught up in the Avengers.  Maybe I am dreaming of a Mothers Initiative.

So I’ll start small.

I’ll start with not taking everything personally.  And taking a step away when I get too close to the choices I’ve made.  My fight is not with other mamas.

We are on the same team.

(And while we’re talking teams, can we please pick out some uniforms à la avengers?  Something high-tech with snazzy gadgets?)

To the unknown woman in the parking lot: a public apology

Granted, um, she probably doesn’t read my blog.  Still. 

Today at the mega-store-which-shall-remain-unnamed (it was the closest place to buy printer ink), I saw a mom in the parking lot.  She was parked next to me.  I had Norah wrapped on my back.  She was juggling two small children and leaning into her car to pull out an infant in a carseat carrier. 

I commented on her adorable son who was wearing a superhero costume complete with cape.  Very snazzy.   

She commented on my wrap.  Very clever. 

I said something stupid like, “Looks like you could use one.  Those things are so heavy to lug around.”  Why?  Why did I feel the need to say that?  Why didn’t I go get a shopping cart for her instead?  I had been working on babywearing pros all day in preparation for my Babywearing 101 class tonight and it warped my brain or something.  I am sorry.  I am an idiot. 

If you see her, please tell her, ok?