Today, let’s talk about “Mommy Wars” – a most-likely media-invented term that conjures up images of roving gangs of women mentally and verbally attacking other women for making different choices than them. While “Mommy Wars” refers specifically to the “battle” (again, probably media-induced) between Stay-at-Home and Working Moms, it creeps into other areas as well: Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-Feeding, Natural Birth vs. C-Section, Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers, Homeschooling vs. Public School, Circumcising vs. Not Circumcising, TV vs. No TV, Sugar/Fast Food vs. Meat-Eaters vs. Vegetarians vs. Vegans, Multiple Kids vs. Onlies vs. No Kids….and I’m sure the list goes on and on.
None of this would have ever entered my plane of consciousness if I wasn’t about to become a mom myself. And now that I (unfortunately) have heard about the many different arguments for all of the above issues, either through over saturation in the news, online in snarky and anonymous comments sections, via barrages of self-righteous posts on facebook or from “well-meaning” comments said to me directly, I have decided to release an official statement:
“Get over yourselves.”
Seriously, why should another person give two shits what YOU think they should do? And why do you care so much about what other people think that you feel inspired to overly defend your beliefs and choices? You follow your path and I’ll follow mine. End of story.
Understandably, this might be easier for someone like me to say than for others who lack my self-confidence. I hope others can learn to be strong in their own convictions, and not be swayed by the judgments of others. The old adage really rings true here:
If everyone would just realize this, and stick to their own business, then the media wouldn’t have a field day when it comes to light that Kate Winslet LIED about her c-section. The real story should have been on why she felt like she had to cover up the truth in the first place (and what that says about all of us). I also vaguely remember when Brooke Shields was one of the first celebs to talk about postpartum depressi0n and everyone lost their shit – what a HORRIBLE mother she must be! As if no other person in the history of the world had ever felt this way because a celebrity hadn’t talked openly about it! Now, postpartum depression is a household term….But I’m sure the stigma is still there.
And if you find yourself to be the one leaving the inflammatory comments, or posting your “correct” views to facebook for the umpteenth time – Just take a deep breath first and examine the motives behind your actions. Are you truly wanting to educate others and selflessly and objectively bring awareness to a cause? Or are you just forcing your unsolicited views or insecurities on others? I can assure you, you certainly don’t have to explain yourself to me….or anyone else for that matter.
Just like I don’t have to explain myself to others. I’ve written my birth plan. I’ve discussed parenting techniques with my husband. I’ve done research and educated myself on choices that are important to me. I’m sure not everything will go to plan – I will have to be flexible and accept whatever comes my way. And if I have issue with something, I hope that I’m able to work through it in a way that’s constructive, and private. But as of now, I’ve made decisions. Decisions that have nothing to do with anyone else. MY decisions. And just as that’s how I’ve lived my life so far, so too shall I continue to live my life that way.
And everyone would be MUCH happier if they could view their own journeys, and the journeys of others, in that same, non-judgmental light. Mommies (and women in general) need to band together in support, no matter what their different opinions, practices, beliefs, decisions, experiences are – and turn a blind eye to that which is none of their business. I’m sure the kids will be all right in the end…
Photos from CT Working Moms via The Huffington Post