I really liked a recent article from Megan Francis at The Happiest Mom, where she said:
"There will always be loud voices telling us what we should or shouldn’t do. Those loud voices start to seem even louder, and more important, when amplified by a thousand magazine articles or blog posts....It’s not about wars or battles, or her versus she. It’s about figuring out who you really want to be in this world and not wasting time worrying about what anyone else wants you to be."
Because that's really what it comes down to - our own insecurities. In a comment on that article, I wrote:
"I tend to think of the “mommy wars” not so much as an internal strife between women and their choices, but rather an inappropriate response to a society that doesn’t value families. The “voice” from outside says raising children isn’t a real job, it’s just your place so stop whining about it. It says working moms are a burden to their co-workers and are neglecting their families. Working dads who actually care to spend time with their families are somehow “lesser” and stay-at-home dads are just a cultural anomaly.
And of course, the media eats it up. Controversy is page views, insecurity is a rapt audience.
The “mommy wars” is not the disease, it’s a symptom of something much larger and more insidious. When we can all feel value as mothers, without having to (insanely!) justify our choice to have children to the outside world and have it diminish our inherent humanity, then the loud voices will just be voices and not condemnations if we’ve chosen a different path."
There are too many people on the outside, looking in at families (and mothers in particular) and deciding we are not valuable, we're entitled and self-centered and our little brats are taking over public spaces in inappropriate ways. I even had a friend (who I know wants children someday) go off on a young mother pushing a stroller down the sidewalk in Manhattan. Not because this woman did anything to her, just simply because she was there, taking up more than her "fair share" of space.
When did we become a nation of baby-haters? I have a feeling it might be wrapped up in resentment towards the women's movement and feminism in general (see this Slate write-up on the new-fangled "Retro Wife"). After all, "mommy wars" just targets another group of women for doing it wrong (AKA not doing what we're told). There's also the childless Career Gal, she's doing it wrong for not staying at home and having babies, the Single Lady (can't she just get a husband already? And also stop using up all the birth control?), the ever popular whipping girl The Welfare Queen (I'm not even going to get started on that) and the teeny bopper sluts.So I'm opting out. I will not judge another mother's parenting methods. I will seek advice from other women who have been there and then happily throw out whatever doesn't fit my family, and I won't feel a moment's guilt about it. I also will not feed in to the media's desperate need to stir up controversy. I will not click over to read deliberately inflammatory articles, and for heaven's sake I will NOT continue to accept being called "mommy" by anyone I didn't grow myself.