Monday, April 13, 2015

Mother vs Mother

Being online, and connecting with other parents - either of gifted children, or who homeschool, or sometimes both - means I get a decent amount of contact with other mothers. Sometimes fathers, yes, but mostly mothers. Generally, talking about this garners only one response: "ugh, the Mommy Wars..." I have to wonder why that is.

See, I've been chatting around with other parents for as long as I can remember. Either my own, or those of friends, or as I grew up, my peers who had their own kids, and finally, others who I was able to seek advice from. And everyone knows exactly what The Mommy Wars are. It's the feeding debates. The spanking, rule-making, schooling, sleeping-area, discipline discussions. It's everything to do with being a mother - it's everywhere, all the people, all the time...

Except, by and large? It's not. You know where it is? In communities that allow anonymous posting. Where people don't use their own names. It's on television. Movies. But living real life?  I've never once run into anyone who didn't either just assume each of us was doing what was best for our children, or kept their mouth shut about their judginess. I've only gotten actual audible snark once in my life, and that was of the "if I ever have kids..." variety - you know the one. The perfect parent we all were before our blessed little bundles came into our lives and upset that apple cart quite handily. So why all the insistence that Mommy Wars are a thing? If women, in daily life in real society, are perfectly capable of behaving civilly to each other, even if they rabidly disagree with each other, why are we all so sure the Mommy Wars even exist?

Are we being sold a bill of goods trying to make us feel inferior for no good reason?
Who stands to make a profit off of women being divided like this?
If none of us like the Mommy Wars, and we all strive to NOT behave that way... is it real, or is it something marketed to us as real - like cigarettes being marketed by doctors as being good for your health?
What's really going on here?

What do you think? I know what I think - it doesn't matter. We need to each do the best we can for our kids and ourselves, and we need to give others the benefit of the doubt. And those folks who keep insisting Mommy Wars are a giant, pervasive problem? Yeah, they can exit stage left.