We are all struggling with the same issues, the same battles, the same struggles, and the same successes. So I often wonder why the mommy wars rage on.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that I was up late last night. It would be more fair to say that I napped a couple of hours, at most, this morning. While I am notorious for my long bouts of insomnia, there is usually something that triggers it. Last night, it was a battle among peers. It was a battle on one of the most controversial issues of parenting today. It is this battle that has driven me to write this post, which I’ve had brewing inside for a while now.
Here’s where you expect me to bring in the subject of the controversy. Here is also where I will avoid tackling the direct subject for today as I want to address a far more urgent subject for now. I want to address the issue of the mommy wars itself.
Why the Mommy Wars Rage on:
When it comes to parenting and the issues it presents, we are all passionate. This passion is the building block of the emotional health and development of our children. It’s this passion that shows how much we care. It’s also, however, what causes a fire that blinds us. It causes us to in no way be able to see any other views.
In the controversial parenting beliefs, you will rarely see someone who takes a middle view. You will more often see battles and heated debates. These debates almost always go in circles. No one can convince the “other side”. People hurl insults and call names. It usually gets really dirty and someone is always hurt. I hate this truth. We are all parents. We are all fighting the same battles and dealing with the same issues. We need to support each other. We need to be there for each other, offering encouragement and a listening ear when things get rough.
But what about the controversy? It still is a major factor in our parenting journey. How can we simply ignore its presence?
Each parent reacts to the news of their impending parenthood differently. For me, it brought on extensive research. I spent hours a day online, researching facts, looking for reliable sources, asking questions and soliciting answers. I haven’t finished. I don’t think I ever will. I am passionate about my parenting, about my beliefs, and about my stance on every aspect of the controversy.
And when it comes to my baby, I need proof. I need proof I can rely on. I don’t need stories. I don’t need scares. I need studies. I need results. I need to be able to make an educated decision. I need to decide for myself. You need to decide for yourself too.
Every parent has a different parenting style. This is made up of their take on various issues of controversy. Everyone has his own unique mix. Every parent should have his own mix. We must accept what other parents have decided as is. Because if a parent has researched the issue, has made an educated decision, and is passionate about it, he sounds to me like a great parent. He is a great parent even if he has made the “wrong” decision. He is a great parent because he cares. He cares enough to research the facts, to devote treasured time, and to want only the best for his child.
I have a few requests to make.
1. Where people are truly asking for answers, lets debate the subject. Let us, however, avoid trying to “convert the other side”. Let’s avoid arguing with those who have already made up their minds. Let’s avoid bringing up the subjects unless we are seeking honest advice. In that case, let’s not do it on public forums. Let’s be peaceful, respectful, and supportive. Let’s remember that even though in our head it’s black and white, as it should be, it’s each parent’s (or set of parent’s) personal decision to make.
2. Where the issue is truly a crucial one, let’s each do proper research. Let’s make sure our sources are current. Let’s make sure our sources are reliable. One tip to aid in the reliability of your search is to use Google Scholar. You will find proper articles with bibliography and background from people who are experts in the field. Keep doing this research as it’s constantly changing.
3. Let’s avoid the hype. Let’s steer away from personal stories and un-sourced blog posts that add to the panic. Let’s avoid biased news and media outlets. Let us not be gullible and accept what we hear on TV as facts.
4. Let’s learn to step away when things get dirty. Remember: the one who has the last word is not always the greatest. The one who can gracefully step away is.
5. Lastly, let’s remember who it’s really about. It’s about our children. It’s about the next generation. It’s about what I decide my child needs, deserves, or is best for him.
If we all kept this in mind when debating the controversy, we will find it more effective to seek help and guidance. We will be able to support each other more. We will have a clearer head when doing our own research and avoid being put on the defensive. We will also avoid putting others on the defensive. We will be able to made better decisions that will determine the well-being of our own children, our treasures, the gifts that are so cherished and loved that they turn us into the creatures we become when trying to resolve the controversy.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. I am not a psychological expert. I am a passionate woman writing from the bottom of my heart. Do not take anything written here as concrete parenting advice. Parenting advice should be taken from experts.