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Mommy Wars (and an “awww”)

September 24, 2008

First the “aww” – You guys are too kind! Thanks for all the support on my slump post.

Now on to the mommy wars.

This is something I despise about being a mom. The competition of it all. My crib is better/safer than your crib. My parenting style is better than your parenting style, etc.

In this amazing journey of motherhood, we’re so wrapped up in doing the “best” that we forget to appreciate each other and help lift each other up. It becomes a war of words when we should be celebrating this fantastic gift together. I’m pretty open minded and know that I will never “know it all” when it comes to mothering my kids.

I ran across the blog of an old “friend” (not really a friend anymore) and was dumbfounded – her entire blog was about how her way was the right way and everyone else was stupid. She claims that because she’s the mother of 4, she knows best. She tells people to disregard the AAP, feed your baby shellfish and peanuts, that crying it out is child abuse, and babies don’t need schedules. Now, she’s more than entitled to her opinions, but what type of person spends her free time insulting people and calling them “helicopter” moms? But then, she has blog posts stating the Obama is a baby killer, so I guess I should consider the source.

If one truly wants to educate, talking down to someone isn’t the way to do it. She believes in parenting with respect (as do I) – but shouldn’t that translate into other areas of your life as well? Shouldn’t you be who you want your children to be? Shouldn’t we all parent by example?

Now, I’ll admit, there are three things that I do make snap judgments about in regards to parenting. I can’t help it. I don’t think the parent irresponsible or bad. I don’t offer my opinion (though I want to at times!).

I’m pretty sure every mom has something they feel strongly about and I think that’s OK. It’s when you feel the need to force your beliefs on others that it becomes an issue. If you feel the need to call names or act superior, you’re crossing a line.

Here are my three things:

Crying it out: I’m not opposed to this at all. I am opposed to people that do it without researching it. Read, understand the psychology behind it and learn the methodology behind it, then have at it. Don’t just let your kid cry for hours at a very young age. Even the experts have limits – learn them.

Car Seats: Read up on them – get the best you can afford. Keep that baby rear facing as long as possible, keep that toddler in a 5 point harness as long as possible and keep that child in a booster as long as possible. Know your stuff and keep your kid safe, please. Get it installed by a car seat tech (90% of all car seats are installed incorrectly).

Vaccinations: I’m not wanting anyone to do what we do (we don’t vax) – I want people to research, read, ask questions. KNOW what a shot is made out of. Know the possible reactions, and know how to report them. Don’t you care what is in your childs food? Why wouldn’t you care what is injected into your child? If you read and are happy with it, that’s great!! Just know!!

I just wish the judgment and finger pointing weren’t a part of it. We have so much to learn from each other.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2008 10:40 pm

    We should definitely be who we want our children to be. I think the mommy wars are like religion…everyone thinks they hold THE truth, but people forget that very few things are so terribly black and white. Being judgmental helps us to make decisions about what’s best for our individual families, and I often think the kind of righteous indignation that’s on the blog you describe is sadly born from a place of real weakness and little confidence.

  2. September 25, 2008 3:24 pm

    I agree that as parents we need to be respectful of each other — really I think that is a quality that we need to learn regarding everything!

    Yes, I think there are times when we pass judgment … sometimes we need to make judgments for safety reasons on the spur of the moment (when a child asks to go somewhere with a parent that you just do not know well)… I think that the respect part comes in when we continue to judge when there are no reasons!

    There is little black and white with parenting (as Tricia said) and I hope that we mostly are doing what we think is best and educating ourselves when needed! I have five children and I wish I could go back and do things very differently with my oldest child, I have learned a lot with each child!

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