I am not sure of the origination of the “Mommy Wars.” Maybe it was when women went into the workforce and it was SAHM vs. WOHM. Now it seems to have grown into mom vs. mom for every parenting choice. Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. CIO vs. AP sleep methods. And the mommy wars rear their ugly head any time someone shares a choice they have made. If your choice is different than another mother’s choice, it is like firing the first shot and the back and forth defending your choice begins.
We have so many more connections to other mothers because of the internet. Women are able to get support from each other so that we are less isolated as we journey through motherhood. This is a wonderful thing for mothers! It also makes it easier for the mommy wars to take hold. Everyone feels compelled to chime in. Many times this can be done respectfully, and sometimes the respect degrades and feelings get hurt.
I read an article yesterday by feminist Erica Jong. In “Mother Madness”, she presents a disconcerting view on a parenting style called “attachment parenting” (also known as ‘AP’). She completely misses the mark when she speaks out against how others choose to parent. The WHOLE point of the feminist movement was to bring choices to women, even if that choice is being a SAHM mom who enjoys attachment parenting. Interestingly, on the same page as Jong’s article, there is a link to an article written by her daughter, Molly. Further reading connects the dots and it seems Jong’s article is simply a mother trying to justify her parenting choices while bashing another’s, including her daughter’s.
Attachment parenting is a choice, and certainly not the only way to parent. Many mothers embrace it, but just like mothers who choose something other than AP, if you don’t take the time to take of yourself then you run the risk of being overwhelmed, overworked, overtired, and frustrated. Moms, no matter your parenting method, you must take care of yourself for it to work.
And as for the so-called Mommy wars…
So let’s all say it together: Stop the Mommy wars. You, too, Erica Jong.