This round in the Mommy Wars began pitting women against women. Specifically, stay at home moms against working outside the home moms.
It received a fair amount of visibility and discussion but didn’t strike the intensity perhaps anticipated. Why? Because all moms know exactly what it takes to raise a child and work in or outside the home–they all do it. So the bottom line was it was a moot point with those who actually do it. The needs and abilities of the mother and the child and the family dictate what’s best, and moms are wise enough to know it. Our families and their needs are not one-size-fits all.
So the debate fizzled and the wall-to-wall coverage moved on–to the next battle in the Mommy Wars. Instead of stay-at-home versus working-outside-the-home moms, this battle was in the form a magazine cover of a three-year-old standing on a chair breastfeeding.
The debate slivered and took several shapes. Should a child three still be breastfeeding? Should a mother bare her breast on a national magazine cover? Should a mother exploit her child by baring his face on a national magazine cover in an act that is (and many say, should be) an intimate bonding time between mother and child? Is baring the face of a young child breastfeeding in a national magazine on its cover exploitation of the child?
The battle splintered into aspects and was extremely controversial. Yet moms, being moms, have formed their own opinions and settled their own minds. In other words, they’re not as subject to outside influences telling them what to think as others might believe. Moms walk in this world; they know what to think on their own. Some debate-shapers and battle-planners tend to forget that.
As women and mothers and Christians, we read all kinds of things. We comprehend. We form opinions and we decide. We won’t always agree on specific issues, but we do agree that we and our children deserve respect. We want our children cared for, nurtured, loved and taught all they need to become healthy, happy and well-balanced, productive human beings (as we define those things).
So I’m reading information on these battles in magazines, news articles, online–those with opinions with whom I agree and disagree (there’s a lot of information on both)–and all the while there is a question in my mind that isn’t being addressed. It niggles then nags and I realize that it’s the one thing I think should be a Mommy War. It rises to that level of importance. So I’m sharing it:
Banning together to assure kids have parents. Now that’s a Mommy War worth fighting.