Parenting and Controversy – Why the Mommy Wars Rage On

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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.

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.

Why the mommy wars rage on

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.

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22 Comments

  1. Very well written, and, I must add, should be a must-read for anyone getting into the thick of a controversial debate.
    One of the reasons I don’t get into such debates, or try not to, is because it saddens me how people argue and, like you mentioned, try to “convert” people to be like-minded. We have all made decisions that can be second guessed, even by ourselves. Remember to respect each other, even for the sole reason that we are all parents, all trying our best in a crazy world, and we need each other.

    • I just went through the entire thread, including seeing who liked what comments and you probably know exactly what I’m talking about…. it’s still going on but it became much more civilized by now.

  2. I don’t like to argue and I don’t like to listen to people in heated debates. I tend to steer clear of confrontational situations.

  3. Very well written piece. I don’t like drama and arguing. My stance on advice is: if you like it, take it and use it, if you don’t, keep your mouth shut and move along (unless it’s a safety issue).

    • I think part of the issue is that many of these items are considered safety issues. And there’s so much conflicting research on what truly is the safest way. I feel like, unless advice is solicited, don’t give it. If you’re a parenting source, of course, anyone visiting your resources is soliciting advice simply by visiting. But of course, as you say, if someone does give advice that you don’t like, there’s no point in arguing it out – it will just cause distrust, and anger and it will go in circles…

  4. I think stepping away when getting dirty is something that needs to be done.. Things can go very bad if things get dirty.

    • menucha@outlook.com

      I agree with you 100%. Sometimes it takes a lot more to step away than it does to prove you’re right.

  5. Those are great tips. There is no right or wrong answer to parenting. We all want one thing: the child’s well being.

  6. I tend to avoid controversy, and I’m not into arguing so if anything gets heated, I’ll have a tendency to walk away.

  7. I actually love to hear how others parent but if they are wanting a fight they will not get one from me. I will state how I feel and let them state how they feel and leave it at that. The only time it becomes a problem is if it is me and someone else in the family who may be watching the kids and I want to make sure they know how I feel about something. Great Article though we do need to step back and realize it is about our kids and the next generation.

    • menucha@outlook.com

      I totally agree with you. I feel as though too often, it’s more of a matter of pride, once the argument reaches past the first stages. I’ve debated others on the subject, and a few times we “agreed to disagree”. It’s a problem once it gets past that point, and everyone is trying to convince everyone else… as you said, it’s all about the kids, not our personal pride.

  8. Love this post… very thought provoking! I so need help when it comes to parenting and when it comes to controversy LOL 🙂

  9. Great tips. Thankfully, I ‘ve never had the experience of getting into a heated debate, discussion or argument about parenting. When it comes to children, it’s a very touchy subject because everyone has a different view. I don’t like seeing people being overly judgmental when they come in contact with a parenting style they don’t agree with or understand.

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person (parent, or not) with a middle view point. People tend to be heated in their beliefs and arguments.

  11. I love these tips, all of us with kids appreciate them I’m sure!

  12. Definitely agree about stepping away when things get dirty. It’s important to respect others’ decisions and style when it comes to parenting.

  13. I try not to argue with others. Everyone has a different style of parenting and that is ok.

  14. I’m one to step away from the controversy. I think everyone spends to much time fighting and criticizing how others parent and its not right.

  15. I hate the way people view parenting as a thing that can be right or wrong. I mean, sure, we all make mistakes, but I truly believe that there are countless ways to parent your child and neither one is inherently superior or inferior to others. Everyone has their own style and it is not my place to judge them.

    • menucha@outlook.com

      Well said! I think that each child was allotted the set of parents that is best for him/her – not only in personality, but also in parenting style and theory.

  16. I don’t usually criticize others parenting styles. It’s really none of my business unless I see abuse taking place.

    • menucha@outlook.com

      I agree about abuse. One of the issues I was facing, though was parents who were so closed in their parenting styles, that they accused other parents (with different opinions) of being abusive. Sad, isn’t it?

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