I hear frequently on blogs, in person, and in various articles on how there is a war on Moms. Again this morning HuffPost had an article again about ending the war. And supposedly how this war is created between Moms making each other feel inadequate for various reasons whether it be because they work, feed formula or buy their baby food off the shelf yatta yatta.
I had a marketing consultant tell me how sad she felt when I wanted to have onsies made for my BIB campaign that said “Friends don’t let friends drink formula.” It was a take on shirts my husband I have that say “Friends don’t let friends drink white Zinfandel.” She went on to discuss how for medical reasons she wasn’t able to Breastfeed and how my t-shirt would target those women and make them feel bad. Women who can’t Breastfeed for physical/medical reasons are not the target of that at all and they should know that all the talking about breastfeeding is not aimed at them. I mean seriously, there is not a Mom out there who is going to fault someone who cannot physically produce milk, feed or are on meds that are not compatible with breastfeeding.
BUT there is a war on Moms. I understand that…a little. What I don’t understand is why Mommies let it happen. What do I mean? Lets look at the battle grounds: working or not working moms, baby food making, cloth diapers, home schooling, and of course the breastfeeding battle. Lets talk about the battles and where there are any “winners” or “losers.”
Battle #5.)Working Mama vs. Stay-At-Home Mom: I am a working Mom and I don’t feel bad about that. My kids get what they need and we chose the nanny route so that when my husband and I are home working or off during the week we could enjoy our children during the day. I’m confident in that choice though a stay-at-home Mommy might think my choice is bad, well I like what I do for work and since I can have the best of both worlds I do. I’ve had people shocked that I would go back to work, but it works for US and I don’t feel like my kids miss anything and I get some adult interaction every day. Healthy for both parties. Those of you able to stay home, I am envious but I also know it comes with its own challenges so I see both sides very clearly. Sure I’d love to stay home, but I don’t take offense when another Mom talks about how good it is that she is home. The working Mom struggles to find enough quality time and they question daycare choices they make etc. The Stay-At-Home Mom struggles with finding adult interaction and when is it necessary to make sure their kids have enough “social interaction.” All in all I think this one is a tie. Score: 50/50
Battle #4.) Baby Food Making vs. Buying Packaged Baby Food: Well I don’t look down on another Mom for choices here and I don’t know why there is a war. I try to always feed organic and healthy cereal with low sugar etc. But some things aren’t available in organic all the time and there is organic baby food on the shelves (but I don’t use it). I personally wanted to save money and it is one way I can try to avoid cancer and disease causing pesticides etc. I can make and freeze all of my newborn’s food she will need for the first three months of eating when she does begin trying foods, in a matter of a couple hours. This way baby food is on hand and by reusing containers I’m helping the earth too. So it’s not your thing? I’m not going to wage a mommy food war on you but if you’re shoving sugary cereals, fruit juice and McDonalds down your kids throat I’m gonna tell you, ummm yeah that’s not great parenting and you’re setting your kids up for health issues. And before anyone gets huffy that doesn’t mean the parents who treat their kids McDonalds I’m talking about the parents that consistently feed it to their kids because they’re too lazy to make a PB&J and slice the apple themselves. Truly save your pocketbook and the calories and everyone’s health and learn a few crock pot recipes for busy days. This is where I’m not going to make some hard working Mom feel better about bad choices just because they say their “doing their best.” Buy better foods and learn a few recipes, you owe your kids that. In general though when it comes down to the score on baby food because we don’t know enough about whether packaged is “bad” per se (because it is baby food which has a higher standard) I’m going to Score: 50/50. If I had to lean one direction or another I’d make it 60/40 in favor of Moms doing it organic.
Battle #3.) Homeschooling vs. public schooling vs. private schooling. This one is a dumb topic to debate. Education is about what you do with it. If you are a parent not willing to be involved with your kids and teach them that school is the most important thing they will do in their lives, well then I cannot help you. But if you want to homeschool them, man, if you’ve got the time God Bless ya, I don’t. Public schools you can take what you want and be proactive. And private schools, if you have the dough, more power to you it certainly isn’t going to affect your kids health, my insurance costs, or the environment so have at it whatever your choice. The important thing is that you get them to that high school diploma and set the standard for college. If you do that then it doesn’t matter what route you go its 50/50/50: wait that equals 150%…well, education IS important!
Battle #2.) Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers: If you’ve chosen the laborous method of cloth diapers I’m glad you’ve decided to be the martyr if you chose this option to wage a war on. Disposable Diapers don’t cause cancer or illness (as of right now) though they do not break down in the environment well. BUT Mrs. Altruistic pointing this out forgot how to mention how much water it takes to clean her cloth diapers therefore also damaging the environment. (Actually was in an article by Whole Living last year and cloth came out “slightly” ahead). So I have no idea why there is a war on this topic neither get an A+ if we are looking at the environmental role. BUT if you are using cloth diapers on that tiny toosh I’ll give you some street cred and Score 60/40 in favor of cloth. I don’t use cloth diapers FYI because I have no where near the patience. I stopped feeling guilty about that after reading the Whole Living article…
Battle #1.) Breastfeeding vs. Formula (otherwise known as the big elephant in the room or in other words the Big Boob in the room) I am passionate about breastfeeding AND it seems to be the biggest war. Those of you who know me know I have an opinion on this. If you’re not going to Breastfeed (and you can) that is your deal, but you should know the facts about breastfeeding. It is NOT the same. And that is where I get upset. Some Moms want me to say formula is an equal substitute. For those who need to use formula it is great we have that alternative but no one can look at you with a straight face and say its the same. Research demonstrates this, statistics on infants health even prove this. So if breastfeeding in public or talking about it makes you feel insecure about your choice then maybe you should evaluate your choice because that is your choice and another woman shouldn’t have to “cover up” to make you feel better. I don’t like this battle but its ongoing and it won’t stop until Moms can admit to each other that there is a choice that is better. If you’re a formula feeding Mom then be confident in that choice and we breastfeeding Moms have no problem with that. What we do have a problem with is when formula is said to be the “same” as breast feeding and its not. And then there are the breastfeeding Moms that are extreme, nursing toddlers while pregnant, or up to 5 years of age. Nursing to an extreme and shoving that in someone’s face is wrong too. But just breastfeeding vs. formula in general, I have to give it a Score of 80/20 in favor of breastfeeding because they are not equal. Sorry formula Mommies, I know this upsets you and I’m not targeting Moms without choices, but I’d say 80% of us also have choices and 20% don’t…those who don’t is why formula is here, to help them and I’d bet over half of those Moms wish they could nurse.
So all in all, we do wage a war on ourselves but why I don’t know. What I do see though are Moms that make bad choices that want to justify it with the cliché “I’m doing the best I can…” Or to tell someone that feeding their kids fast food 4x a week is as good as the Mom who finds time to make even a turkey and cheese sandwich. No one is asking anyone to be a gourmet chef, have a garden or be a cow. But for some of us making good decisions and striving to do better, if we make you feel insecure then you should consider why. We shouldn’t have to apologize for the facts. But we also pick stupid topics like a couple I mentioned above like how to school them. If they graduate that’s what counts. Now, if we were comparing Moms who encourage and discourage school that might be different, but come on who’s going to admit they’re that Mom-right?
Try to be kind, listen to each person’s story, but we also have to admit to ourselves that there are differences too. Mrs. Cloth Diaper, I envy your patience, Mrs. homeschooling-wow, you are SMART, and Mrs. Stay-At-Home Mom, lucky bum, your kids will remember you always being there. BUT, I am Mrs. Breastfeeding, Mrs. Baby Food Maker, Mrs. Private Schooling, Mrs. Disposable Diaper, and Mrs. Working but at Home mostly Mommy. I’m proud of all of it and even those that might be shortcomings to some of you. Maybe I settled the score, maybe I didn’t but maybe we can all find it in our hearts to just not make it a war.