Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mommy Wars

Breastfeeding vs. Formula
Babywearing vs. Stroller
Co-Sleeping vs. Crib
Intact vs. Routine Infant Circumcision

These are the mommy wars and social media is the battleground.

I don't think a day goes by, where I don't see a mommy-war on Facebook or a blog; I do follow several parenting ones so that may be why. Each side of the debate thinks they are right and will do everything they can to prove it. Links will be posted, facts will be shared, stories will be told. Name calling will also take place and make you reminisce a bit about middle school, since the same kind of pettiness and drama is taking place.

Just like anyone else, I have my own beliefs when it comes to parenting. I have my degree in Early Childhood Education and have spent a lot of time researching everything having to do with pregnancy, babies, and kids. I take what I have learned, combine it with some common sense, and raise my child by doing what I think is best. I do believe that some parenting philosophies are healthier than others and will voice my opinion in a debate. However, I do not tear another parent apart for their beliefs.

I get that people are passionate and want to get others to "see the light". What I don't get however, is why women who take part in these mommy-wars think that name calling and making threats are going to convince ANYONE that they are right. Yes, I have looked at someone's reasons to circumcise as being completely ridiculous, but I would never bash that person; if I did, I would only be making myself look like an idiot. Name calling doesn't accomplish anything, unless of course your main purpose is to make another mom cry. How did that help you prove a point on why someone shouldn't vaccinate though? Oh wait, it didn't.

If I get into a debate on something I believe strongly in, I provide reliable resources that I have found. I give real information, with the hopes that the person will start to see the facts to be as compelling as I had. I hope that maybe I can change someone's mind; If not, then oh well. It is not my place to tell someone how to raise their child and frankly, most of these mommy-wars are over things that all have positive and negative sides to them. I would rather take the high road and handle things the mature way. Many people get so turned off by being told what to do and just shut off their ears so they don't have to hear anymore. I would rather keep them listening, so I can get as much information to them as possible and help them make an informed decision.

If you get involved in one of these parenting wars, just think about how you are talking to the opposing side. Do you sound like a 13 year old mean girl? Or do you sound like someone who could be writing a college paper on the topic? Who would you rather listen to while in a heated debate?

I found myself writing this at 10:00 last night. I was compelled to do so, after reading a breastfeeding post that was written by another mommy blogger. At first, I was upset with what she wrote. I decided I didn't like her and that her reasons for not wanting to breastfeed were ridiculous. Then, I started reading the comments that others had written to her. They bashed her. They ripped her apart. They told her they felt sorry for her kids and that she shouldn't have reproduced. These women were the ultimate mean girls of the playground. The blogger however, made such a amazing impression on me and I found my dislike for her quickly turning to admiration. She responded to these other women, with so much grace and dignity. She never once fired back at them with the same negativity that they gave to her. She showed maturity and kindness, while the commenters looked like radical nut jobs.

As I read through the comments, I realized that the blogger had explained the main reason why she didn't like breastfeeding. This was not included in her original post (which btw was posted about a year ago, and became "viral" all of a sudden). What she revealed made so much sense and I respected her so much for opening up like she did, even as people continued to ridicule her. What I saw, was a a strong woman who had overcome some tough things in her life. Instead of getting the support she deserved, she was beaten up over what she wrote a year ago. That is just not acceptable in my opinion.

I wrote something recently about watching what we say to moms when they are in labor. I feel like my message with that story also ties in a bit here. Where is the positivity and support for other moms? Don't we all have it a little rough? Don't we all want to pull our hair out some days? We all have points where we feel stressed because of the kids, our significant others, family, jobs or finances. Why do we feel the need to virtually destroy someone for their thoughts on parenting, especially since we KNOW parenting isn't an easy job? Instead of bullying online, why not be supportive? I just don't see why that is so hard to do?!?

As parents, we would be upset to learn that our kids were being verbally attacked online...and yet so many parents will do the same. We are setting the example for our children. You may say that your child isn't on Facebook and can't read what you wrote. Well, guess what? They will be old enough to "Google" one day and what you posted may pop right up. How will you explain how you called another mom a bitch because she vaccinated her kids? Will you tell your daughter the mom deserved it? What if that same daughter was being bullied online? How could you justify that same behavior then?

If you enter into a parenting debate, state your opinion and support it with facts and stories. Leave the name calling behind. If you don't have anything nice, just keep it to yourself; Plain and simple.


  1. Very well said. Since this whole thing started, I have been paying more attention to the "Mommy Wars". I can't believe how mean these women are to one another. Like you said, our children will see this when they're older (or now, in my case), and most of them will be ashamed. Not ashamed that they were breastfed or circumcised, but ashamed because their mothers acted like jerks. I'm certainly not perfect by any means, but I think if we all stood back and took a look at the message we're sending to our kids with all this drama, we'd see that it's not a very good one.

    1. Thanks! Yeah I have seen this happening way too often. It is one thing to speak your mind on something but attacking someone online is just so childish! It is no wonder so many kids are subjected to online many parents are out there doing the same thing!