I know from time to time I have talked about the Mommy Wars and how they can affect mothers. Here is another post about how we as mothers need to support each other more. We really don’t know the other side of it. As much as we want to think we have been through it, we really don’t know. We only know what people want us to know.
Influences for motherhood are all around, from the store, to our home and even with people we have never met. With technology being so readily available it leaves mothers open to get a lot of opinions about the “correct” way to parent. Instead of supporting each other’s opinions, ways and ideas, we have created more ways for mothers to bully other mothers.
Between community websites like TheBump, Facebook, Blogs and many other social media avenues, women are bombarded with a vast amount of information on the “right” way to parent. Before the technology craze, mothers would gather face to face for play dates, where respect and courtesy would be more appropriate. With technology mothers sit behind a computer and state their opinion without any regards to who is on the other side of the conversation. Mothers fighting with each other on the “best” way to parent, are called the mommy wars. The fights range anywhere from vaginal birth vs. C-section, to homeschool vs. institutional school. “According to a Parents poll of more than 500 mothers nationwide by Quester, a research company in Des Moines, 63 percent of mothers believe that a mommy war exists.” (O’Connor) This is something that new mothers, or mothers dealing with postpartum depression, PPD, have a hard time with. Mother’s that may be insecure with their parenting styles can be very influenced by these mothers.
A new mother maybe having a hard time learning to breast feed her child, she has been told by many people, including nurses and doctors that breast is best, so she continues to try to breast feed her child. All the while she knows that it is causing her baby blues to get worse and turn into full blown PPD. During a very hard time, about ready to quit, she turns to her internet friends for support in her decision. What she gets instead are comments like “It’s a fact that formula is poisoning babies, researching it instead of being so ignorant” (Personal Communication, August 24, 2014), or “I do have a problem with mums who choose straight off the bat, 2 formula feed without trying breastfeeding first or giving it up 2 easily because they want 2 b able 2 drink or have their partners feed baby 2 give them a break ect. That annoys me.” (Personal Communication, August 24, 2014). These are just a few comments out of the hundreds that were written. Yes there were some supportive comments, but the majority of the comments were either demeaning to the original mother, or demeaning to the mothers of the mean comments.
These arguments and judgments are centered on the “right” way to raise children and do nothing to support or encourage one another. “Waging full on attacks against each other, mothers verbally assault other mothers for their parenting going for each other’s throats in this made up crusade nobody can ever win. “ (Martin Weber, 2014) These types of accusations and judgments given by other mothers can send one desperate mother’s over the edge without even trying. Instead of chastising other mothers or fathers for how they parent, it would be better to give a supportive opinion even if you disagree. All parents understand how hard it is and the struggles that parents face. It truly goes back to what adults are taught as a child, if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.
Martin Weber, J. (2014, May 5). Huffington Post. Retrieved August 24, 2014, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-martinweber/the-real-mommy-wars-excha_b_5318536.html
O’Connor, G. (n.d.). Parents. Retrieved August 27, 2014, from Parents Magazine: http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/do-mommy-wars-exist/
Unknown. (2014, August 24). Working Parent- Wikipedia. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_parent