It seems as if every month you can read articles splattered over the press identifying one group or another of parents that are at loggerheads
Ignoring the fact that the ONLY split in parenting is between those who got a good night’s sleep last night and those who didn’t (for whatever reason and for the record today I’m in the didn’t camp) are parents really so easily dumped into two camps fundamentally opposed to each other on every single possible choice that we have?
Take bottle feeding and breast feeding as one example. I know parents who have fed their babies in every variation along the spectrum for a variety of reasons and in every single case those choices were made by that family trying to make the optimum choice for them in their circumstances at that time
I’ve heard talk of militant parties on both ends of the spectrum but I’ve not actually encountered them – I’ve never heard another mother trying to pressure anyone to conform to their set of choices, I’ve never heard anyone judging anyone else – all I’ve heard is a bunch of support, understanding that no matter what your choice is that parenting it tough
Ditto birth choices, TV or unplugged families, BLW and purees
In every single case I know people who have made wildly different choices but nobody seems to be actually manning any barricades in defence of them
Could it be that these ‘Mummy wars’ aren’t actually happening and are just a construct of the media to try and drum up a bit of controversy and attention?
If you stand out on the street telling someone that Mrs X over there with a diametrically opposed set of choices has judged her and found her wanting then obviously their reaction is going to be emotional, visceral and not entirely complimentary about Mrs X and her choices
If you manufacture a TV show where you brief the participants before that Mrs Y over there thinks that all children must be breastfed and it should be made law and anyone who hasn’t is a lazy cow then the reaction when they start discussing the ‘right’ age to breastfeed to is going to be a little emotionally charged
But think about it – if those discussions happened in the queue in the supermarket it wouldn’t be about how there is a right or a wrong to any of these choices but more about how are you doing? Are you ok? Have you any ideas how to stop them doing this or that?
Except that doesn’t really make for great TV or newspapers or blog posts
Let’s all just ignore these silly stories about manufactured wars and focus on doing the best we can for our families and supporting each other along our journeys irrespective of what path we are going along
We’re all actually doing this already, we just need to make sure our voices drown out the silliness