Wherever you fall on the parenting style chart from Annie at PhD in Parenting to Lydia at Rants from Mommyland to Jill at Scary Mommy to Amanda at Parenting By Dummies to Ilana at Mommy Shorts to the Mommy Psychologist, I have a message for you: YOU ARE MOM ENOUGH!!! These are some of my favorite ladies around the Mommy blogosphere world that is currently exploding with the discussion of the Mommy Wars and the TIME magazine cover that has supposedly fanned the flames (or some other marketing ploy for drawing attention to a “trend” that is really just about selling magazines).
This is my two cents to add to the discussion:
Do not take the bait! Do not buy into the hype! Do not engage in judging other mothers!
If we are too busy arguing with each other, we will ignore the larger more important issues. I am not here trying to suggest that Time Magazine is in on some large conspiracy to oppress mothers or even women in general. They are just trying to sell magazines, and being controversial and employing dastardly images definitely accomplishes that. Judging each other and touting the latest and greatest parenting style while tearing down all others as horrifically inferior is certainly BIG business. Don’t buy it! There is no one best way to parent every child in every situation in every culture in the world, and anyone claiming otherwise is trying to sell you something. We are all muddling through, using our resources, and doing the best we can.
These are a few of the bigger controversial parenting issues that I think might be better addressed in a national publication and conversation:
-Maternity/Paternity Leave (maybe even where we don’t have to use vacation days!!)
-Affordable Quality Childcare for EVERYONE
-Quality education for EVERY zip code
-Built environments that encourage rather than discourage exercise
-Healthy school lunches
-Affordable quality health care
-ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC
These are just a smattering of the other GIGANTIC and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT issues that affect parents (and all of us really) every single day.
Living in Germany and seeing the way that things run here a little bit, I have been able to see the product of what happens when the conversation changes from tired and vaguely controversial issues to action. Somewhere along the line in the broader scheme of things they made a philosophical and political turn from just talking about “family values” and started putting an actual value on families here. This is not to suggest that the conversations here aren’t also sometimes punctuated by controversially ridiculous prescriptions for parenting OR that Germany has all these larger issues figured out by any means. What they have done right here is to at least begin to find solutions for these larger issues. Those solutions started both with collective action and from a basic cultural belief that it is important to take care of EVERYONE. All for one and one for all instead of every man for himself!
My humble suggestion for parents in the United States: Instead of going out and buying a Time Magazine this week and letting the media tell you what is important and trending this week, educate yourself and get involved in making the USA a more family friendly place to live!!!
LET’S CHANGE THE CONVERSATION!!!!!!
GO HERE to start: MomsRising.org There are more than 1 million people already focusing on these big issues, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
This is what they focus on:
M: Maternity/Paternity Leave
O: Open/Flexible work
H: Healthcare for all
E: Early Care & Education
R: Realistic & Fair Wages
S: Sick Days, Paid
Vote with your dollar and reject the divisively distracting discussion!
Instead of spending your money on the magazine, you could send it to the outstanding Mother Pucker Project that Rants from Mommyland is doing!
Have a great Mother's Day!!!