July 15, 2012

An open letter to moms...

Some believe the so-called “Mommy Wars” are not real. That they have simply been created by the media to make a profit. There is no denying the media does what it can to fan the flames. But the simple fact is, there would be nothing to ignite if the embers did not burn within us.

There is a war going on between women. And it has been raging for generations.

In the past decade especially, it has been hard to escape. The internet has added a great deal of fuel to the fire. And recently, I have watched it take a very different and disturbing direction.

The big issues lately aren't so much the "traditional" ones. Stay at home versus working moms. Breastfeeding versus bottle. Et cetera...

Sure, women continue to disagree, often in an uncivil manner, about these and other parenting topics. But I have noticed an entirely new dynamic in the Mommy Wars - infighting

Women who purportedly share beliefs and champion the same overall causes are turning on each other. Splitting in to different factions and attacking one another. To the point that individuals and groups of women cyberstalk and harass those with different points of view.

There is no civil debate. No respectful discussion. And no bonding over a shared conviction. Just women who supposedly are on the same "side" taking stabs at one another publicly.

The Mommy Wars have not been fabricated. They are real; I see them taking place every single day.

The media sensationalizes them, yes. Packages them in a way fully intended to stir the pot. Pushes whatever hot buttons it discovers. That is its job. And it does so because it works. 

But these battles would rage on even if the media gave them no credence. Women created the Mommy Wars. They have existed for decades and we continue to find new ways to perpetuate them.

We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Motherhood is not a competition. There is no prize to be won for tearing others mothers down. In fact, we all lose.

To truly eradicate the Mommy Wars, women 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.

We need to be willing to engage in healthy dialogue on key issues. To offer and receive different opinions in a respectful, nonjudgmental manner. Explore topics without frenzy and condemnation.

If we can't do this, we will never succeed. Nor will we see progress on issues that are important for women and children.

Please, for our children, for all of us, stop the insanity!

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