A recent article in the British newspaper “The Guardian” claimed that the Mommy Wars don’t exist.
Author Kim Lock took a big dump on Similac’s ad campaign urging us to “End the Mommy Wars,” by claiming that there are no such wars. Women ONLY EVER share thoughtful and intelligent ideas with each other, she says, and these discussions NEVER devolve into verbal cat fights. ALL mothers form opinions about the best way to parent and we shouldn’t be cowed from sharing them, she says. Presumably even if no one asked. If you don’t agree with her version of reality than you are buying into lies spread by the patriarchy.
I’m sorry, but does anyone else smell horse shit?
While I doubt the folks at Similac are interested in anything other than selling formula, it’s delusional to suggest they’re propagating a false narrative about women behaving like flaming assholes to each other.
Because I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. The Mommy Wars are alive and well, bitches.
And it’s not just limited to the issue of breast feeding, or confined to face-to-face confrontations. Work-outside-the-home vs. stay-at-home, co-sleepers vs. cry-it-outers, it seems none of our decisions are too personal for someone else to shit all over. And with social media, it’s possible to do just that without ever meeting the person to whom you’re being a gigantic douche bag.
That Lock suggests such interactions don’t take place means that, at best, she’s disingenuous. At worst, she grew up under power lines.
I’m sorry, but you can’t tell me it’s your right to form and voice judgments about my choices as a mother and then convince me that’s not what you’re doing every time you open your mouth. Or, in the words of one of the wisest women of our time, Judge Judy, “Don’t piss on my leg and then tell me it’s raining.”
To skirt the flaw in her own logic, Lock gives an example of what could or could not be a Mommy War interaction: the ol’ “I’m just trying to help,” maneuver. Women shouldn’t be discouraged from “educating” each other for fear of seeming judgmental. (Even though she — ahem — just admitted to being judgmental.) In her words:
“No one wants to be that parent. The parent who is seen to be judging when they say, ‘Hey, did you know that formula top-ups can affect your milk supply’?”
Um, no, Kim, most of us don’t want to be the colossal jerk-off foisting information this person probably already has on a complete stranger. Not that we know it’s a stranger. She conveniently leaves out whether the speaker was asked by a friend for advice, or if she turned to a random acquaintance at her “Mommy and Me” class and “shared” her wisdom.
If it was the former, this isn’t a Mommy War skirmish. If it’s the latter, it’s a piss-poor imitation of an actual battle.
Because while many women are capable of calmly and rationally discussing parenting decisions, too many of them barrel over each other with the subtlety of a steam roller.
Visit any parenting message board and you will see mothers taking pot shots at each other over something as minor as the best baby carrier. I’ve heard women who’ve never met before get into shouting matches over sleep training, using some severely child-unfriendly language.
Personally, I’ve had people question everything from my son’s autism diagnosis to how I chose to treat my daughter’s cancer. Her effing cancer. A fellow mother thought it okey-dokey to tell me I was poisoning my 18-month-old with chemotherapy. (Kinda the point, but I digress.) This woman said if I really wanted to help my child, I would put her on all-juice diet and that would kill off the tumors in a jiffy.
While some could argue this woman was “just trying to help,” those of us who graduated from preschool would identify it as “behaving like a turd.” To suggest that the distraught mother of a toddler facing death hadn’t looked at all the treatment options is condescending. Forgivable, but condescending. To say my choice was wrong because I wasn’t doing it the way she presumably would is cruel.
Forget the patriarchy: Women are more than capable of behaving like giant penises to each other without men pulling the strings.
Apparently, it’s not enough to judge each other on clothes, looks, or jobs. Now we get to duke it out over who is making the best decisions as a mother, armed with books and web pages and hiding behind the ludicrous notion that everyone is entitled to our opinion.
If the patriarchy does indeed delight in us fighting, we couldn’t make them happier than if we tied on bikinis and jumped into a pit full of Jell-O.
Amanda Parry is the mother of two special needs children and chronicles their misadventures on the website http://unexceptionalparenting.com. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy and BonBon Break and is syndicated by a Philadelphia newspaper.