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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My problem with the mommy wars

So, I have a problem with the mommy wars.




They're BORING.

That's it.

I'm just, I mean, can we just not?

Now, I know I'm speaking from a place of privilege here because my girls are now six, and I remember, (oh, boy, do I remember) how super-duper important shit like whether I was classified as a stay at home mom or a work at home mom, or who loved their kids more or the most, or whether or not me calling my kids little jerks when they were meant I didn't love them, or breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, or cloth diapering vs. disposables, or eating your placenta vs. painting with it or whatever the case, was.

I promise that I remember that this was important. At one time. For some weird reason.

I mean, look back in the archives of this blog to 2010/2011 and, like, half of it at least is made up of posts where I tell everyone that no matter what they do, they're probably still rad parents, and they don't need to worry about how long that dude's (aka the mom who just wrote whatever other blog) dick was. We were all dicks together, kwim?

So, yes, I get it. I get when some ahole publishes this piece on xojane that people are going to be hurt and upset and shout about it. Because she wrote it to be hurtful and upsetting so people would shout about something.

(Cue the whole, not uh! I was just stating my point of view to add to the discussion! I can't control people's reactions to my rightness! I'm just a writer doing what I do!)

Anyway, I'm not annoyed at that piece (well, I mean, I am, because it's hugely exclusionary to those mothers for whom staying at home is not a privilege, and trust me, lady, there are many!).

I'm annoyed that it got picked up by Time and various other outlets. I'm annoyed that then Salon and The Daily Beast and a bunch of others wrote a response.

Back in 2011, it would have annoyed me because people were getting their points of view across in major media outlets and I could not. That's no longer an issue for me (OH, MAN, CATCH THAT HUMBLEBRAG).

These days, I'm annoyed because it's taking up space in my news feeds, and forcing my attention to it when it's literally nothing. It's so incredibly boring, for real.

This is stuff my first-time mothers and I hashed over for hours on our own personal journals and forums and groups. We could spend days on this stuff. There is no drama like mama drama after all. And, there, at least it was in real time, and people could say to me, "oh, you work so hard and are such a good mom, so why are you still on here fighting with me?" and I could go, "NO U" and etc. It was glorious. It was relevant. It was where I knew where to find it.

It was not in Time or Salon or other national outlets. At most, a regular columnist would be empty that week and write a thing. But a freelancer? Hardly ever.

So, yeah. I'm annoyed. If you're going to complain about how being a stay at home mom isn't a job but a privilege in your opinion, for Christ's sake, have the decency to do it in your groups and forums where it belongs.

There's nothing new in that piece. There is no research, no new trend, no numbers. Hell, there aren't even any anecdotes. Just a personal essay. Which is fine. It's great. I love personal essays. But it says absolutely nothing that hasn't been said 1,000 times before and argued over a million times before that.

This isn't a post bemoaning the existence of the mommy wars (there are plenty of those, too. But for all their flappery, really, they're also just contributing to the mommy wars. It's all just an excuse to talk about how other people shouldn't parent. Meta or not.).

This is a post asking that the mommy wars please return to their designated areas. Some of us have more important shit to do in our lives right now. NOT because those mommy wars are not important (believe it or not, they probably saved my sanity when I had two year olds). But because they do more for their audience when in the right space, and, also, they annoy the general population less.

Just saying.

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