another one about the mommy wars.

December 4, 2014 ginginbonbon

this post really needs a disclaimer. I’ll start with this:

we make a lot of decisions as parents, and the ease with which I’ve made mine is without question a product of my privilege. I like studies; I received a good education that allows me to parse information with confidence. I really wanted this baby and I was ready to give parenting my all. I was lucky enough to receive excellent pre- and postnatal care and support. I could go on, but you get the point.

I’ve been seeing a lot of internet posts about how formula feeding is equivalent to breastfeeding, or why not just have an elective c-section, and how everyone should just shut up and stop being so judgmental. now the mommy wars are truly a toxic thing. they loom over every online exchange of ideas. sometimes it feels like everyone is suspicious and has an agenda. but at the same time, let’s not sit here and insult each other’s intelligence.

real talk: when it comes to breast milk, science doesn’t even know the half of it yet. there are well-documented risks involved with epidurals and caesarians. a newborn can’t consent to having his foreskin cut off. real talk might make people defensive, but it doesn’t make it any less true, or less necessary. there absolutely are people out there who just want to be right, who are writing or commenting on these posts purely to make others feel guilty, and that is fucked up. but silencing every last sanctimommy in the world won’t change reality, either. I believe it’s far more damaging to gloss over or distort the precious few facts we have so that more people can be comfortable with their choices. and I think that a lot of people saying well thought out, reasonable things are being drowned out, outnumbered and derailed right now by those saying it doesn’t matter, we’re all equally good parents, everyone gets a gold star for their effort, end of discussion.

[on a more personal note, and in case anyone wants me to come down off my high horse, I did have an epidural. I did my research and I really, really really didn’t want one, for a number of reasons. but I got to a point where I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore, and it was a more effective, less risky option than the opiates. I cried bitter tears when I got it, but then I was relieved and grateful. I will try to go without pain meds the next time around if it’s at all possible, but I don’t feel any shame about needing them when I did. My hope is for other people to be able to speak more openly, freely and frankly about this kind of thing. mommy wars be damned.]

since when is “not being made to feel bad” the most important thing moms need? it’s nowhere near the top of the list! I want to tell some of these vocal reactionaries to get over themselves. if there was ever a time when it ain’t all about you, this would be it. the point I want to make is, when we know better, we do better. this is our job as parents. we do what we can with the hand we are dealt. but then we have to move on, and hopefully we have learned something from our experience. THAT is something worth sharing on the internet.

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