Posted by: thughesa | July 2, 2010

Mommy Wars

It isn’t easy being a mom sometimes.  Some days are full of laughter, cuddles, stories, and fun. Other days you get pooped on, cried at, puked on, yelled at, and torn in all directions.  You are responsible for everything, making them good people, teaching them to tie their shoes, showing them how to eat without wearing most of it, all the while trying to keep something of yourself.  I wonder sometimes what it would be like to have deal with the normal guilt and challenges of motherhood while being ripped apart by the media and the public.

In the last week or so I have come across some especially disturbing instances of moms being ripped a new one online and in the media. Most notably, Kathryn Blundell, who wrote the article I formula fed. SO WHAT? where she writes frankly about her choice not to breastfeed and the reasons why.

People have referred to her as a disgusting, damaged woman who should never have had children (and worse).  My goodness.  There have been six complaints the the Press Complaints Commission in Britain and calls for her resignation as deputy-editor of Mother & Baby Magazine.

Ms. Blundell has responded to these comments on the magazines website stating:

“As a mum, I’m pleased to share the benefit of my experience and offer support to anyone who needs it. It was in this spirit that I wrote the viewpoint article in the July issue of Mother & Baby magazine, ‘I formula fed, so what!’.”

“My motivation behind writing this feature was to give a voice to those many women who simply do not want to breastfeed, and as a result of this choice have felt guilty, alienated and distressed.”

“I also wrote with humour as I wanted to take a more relaxed approach to the topic, in a climate where unfortunately the type of milk a woman feeds her baby seems so open to serious judgment and criticism.”

People need to lighten up.  Are we really going to attack this woman because she chose not to breastfeed and wrote a funny article attempting to give a voice to all the women who either cannot or choose not to breast feed?  Shame on all the haters.  Last time I checked giving your child formula was not against the law and our bodies are not the property of the state or the public.

Another mom in the public eye who recently received a thrashing is Amy Wilson, author of When Did I Get Like This? and creator of Mother LoadYahoo! Shine’s parenting page recently published an excerpt from her book taken from the chapter, “Pretty”.  Not only was it published without permission, but was presented completely out of context under the title, Is “Pretty” a Dangerous Word?  My goodness.

The excerpt itself is fairly innocuous, she writes about dressing up her little girl and how she, her husband, and passer-by’s react to her cute, pretty, little girl. Does this sound horrible to you? Not especially, but tell that to the 272 people who commented on the article, the majority of whom think the author is a sham of a parent who needs to get a life, and stop creating a nightmare pageant princess. My goodness.

The article is still receiving comments like:

-“I see another JonBenet Ramsey story in the making with this one…”

-“your daughter sounds horrible”

Amy addressed the comments on her blog, stating:

“Mostly, I just want to say: ladies, you are making us all look bad. In the last couple of months, when I’ve had a small soapbox to stand on, I have tried to make one thing clear in every interview I’ve done: the mommy wars are bullshit. We don’t stand around judging each other. We’re far too wrapped up in our own neuroses to judge anyone else. Our worst enemies are ourselves.”

“Now I’m not so sure I was right about that. Certainly the anonymity of the internet seems to bring out the worst in many… but are there really this many mean mommies out there?”

I applaud Amy for not stooping to their level and trying to handle the whole affair gracefully.  Some people are just going to be haters. Being a Momma is a hard job and I admire those of you who can take these kinds of attacks with stride and grace and move on.  Good on ya!

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Responses

  1. “the mommy wars are bullshit…..we’re far too wrapped up …. to judge.”
    This used to be my philosophy on the whole thing too. So far, I haven’t felt judged as so many others claim.
    However, now I’m with Amy. Maybe anonymity brings out the truth.
    There clearly is some hard core judging going on somewhere.
    I’m tempted to put my own judgement out there:
    I’m scared for the children being brought up by one whose view of the world is so narrow.


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