April 14, 2012

The wrong fight

As the creator of The Mom Pledge, I could not sit back and remain silent concerning the vitriol that has once again exploded over the "Mommy Wars." The thing is, I've been writing on this topic for two years now. And since it is an issue I am so passionate about I am writing an entire book, I decided to share a few words from my most recent draft of Cease Fire: A Call to End the War Between Women. I feel they very much apply to the debacle of the past week...


Much has been made of the so-called “Mommy Wars” phenomenon over the years. It can actually be traced all the way back to the 1950s. In the past decade especially, it has been hard to escape. The media and politicians have worked hard to cash in on the phenomenon of moms at war.

They fan the flames when it has the potential to benefit them. And it works. A verbal firestorm ignites. But if they weren't touching a nerve, would we respond with such fervor?

This "conflict" has existed for generations. It will continue for generations to come unless we stand up, together, and say, “Enough!” We didn’t start it, but we can end it.

If we are to succeed in truly eradicating the Mommy Wars, we have to take the power back. We need to own this issue. Work together to solve it. I believe we can find common ground on which to build a solid foundation. It’s a start. One I feel is desperately needed.

Sadly, instead of working together, what I see women doing is attacking each other at alarming rates. Nothing appears to be off limits. The animosity now extends far beyond the traditional work or stay at home debate. Today, every parenting decision a woman makes is open to attack. From other women.

And there are no winners.

It has to end. The last thing women need today is to be at war with each other. Regardless of the choices we make - when we have options - women deserve to be respected, understood and accepted. We do not need to feel we are being judged, particularly as moms, or our decisions questioned at every turn. We have a tendency to do that enough to ourselves.

The reality is women are at war. We are fighting to find balance in our lives. Fighting for the quality of life we want for our families. Fighting to stay sane. Being a mom is at once dignified and degrading; exhilarating and exhausting; fulfilling and frustrating. 

It is easy to become overwhelmed. Moms most certainly have enough to deal with; we don’t need to worry about fighting with each other.

I think the most important thing to recognize is there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to motherhood. The bottom line is, we are all simply trying to do the best we can. Who is to say what is the “right” way? 

None of us are in the position to do so. So why can't we live and let live?

Let’s put an end to this "war" once and for all. Come together and speak in a collective voice, eradicating any and all ammunition that has been used to draw lines in the sand and pit us against each other. It only works if we allow it to. 

We should work together for the advancement of ALL mothers. All women. Cease fire, ladies. There are better battles to wage.




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