Mommy Wars? We're so over that!

Last week, the “Ann-Romney-never-worked” discussion blazed through the internet and we were silent. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published “Women’s War on Women” and “Friends for Life? Wait until Kids Enter the Picture” headed up the New York Times Sunday Styles section, but here at Manners for Modern Mothers, we haven’t managed to get incensed enough to write even the tiniest of blog posts. Why? Are too busy catching up on Sunday night television? Are we just putting our heads in the sand? Or are we just growing up as mothers and as women?

I'd like to think the latter. Both of these recent articles paint a picture of modern mothers desperate to parent the “right” way and deeply judgmental of alternatives; mothers who sacrifice both themselves and their friendships to this cause of perfect parenting. The unlimited breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping parenting police make a good story, but are these extreme and judgemental parents real?

Not in my world. I met a few when my children were young, but not anymore. Where did the extreme parents go? Did they join a commune in Oregon? Are they hunkered down home-schooling? I doubt it. Instead, they’re doing the same things we all do, helping with homework, figuring out how to explain sex to their pre-adolescent children, trying to balance school work, sports, family life. They might still insist on organic produce only, or forbid all television to their 10, 11 or 12 year olds, but they’re not judging other choices, or even necessarily advertising their own choices. They’ve made peace with how to organize the lives of their offspring. They’ve made peace with motherhood. They’ve outgrown extreme, judegmental parenting.

And so, we can’t get ourselves incensed about these stories, because, we’re just so over it. All this hyper-parenting and the damage that goes with it (complete loss of personal life, alienation of friends), is a just a stage – a stage typically limited to the first 2 to 6 years of parenthood. Thankfully, most of us emerge largely unscathed and usually with reasonably well-adjusted, school age children, and a high level of tolerance for the many ways one can be a parent. 

4 comments:

Megan said...

I only have a 3 year old, but I'm kind of over it too. Except that we'll be going through it again with each subsequent child (also have a 5 month old) and with friends as they become parents for the first time. Not really looking forward to the drama. We make some different choices, but like everyone else, it's because it's what we feel is in the best interest of our family and our children and not to judge or hurt others. Ever.

Kate said...

Amen! I am so in agreement with you. I am happily parenting an 8 and 12 year old and don't have time for that kind of nonsense. I don't participate in it or entertain it in any degree. I saw an article on Slate today about mommy wars in the Mormom faith and it made me do a quick click away.

EHP said...

Megan, I am sure you are totally over it! I think some people suffer less from "super correct parenting" than others. And you are so right about making choices for ourselves/ our families... not to impress/judge/align ourselves with anyone else!

EHP said...

Thanks, Kate! Sometimes when I run across those types of articles, I want to click away, but for some reason feel like I am supposed to read them, just so I'll know what's in them. I think now maybe I'll just click away too! After all it probably is just more of the same old t"oday's mothers are crazy perfectionists" yadda, yadda, yadda...

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