Not That Kind of Mom

2/18/2016

Lock the doors! Cover the windows!  We are in the middle of an epic War!  THE MOMMY WARS!!!
Breastfeeders square off with Formula Feeders! Cry it Outers v. Attachment Parents! Puree  v. Baby Led Weaning….and on..and on..and BLAH!

I find the mere name “Mommy Wars,” highly offensive, and I want it removed from the vernacular. The term “war” evokes images of armed conflict because THAT’S WHAT IT MEANS. I find it pretty gross that we allow various opinions on how best to parent our children, primarily expressed by women (let’s be real) to be characterized as a brutal battle, rather than merely varying approaches.

As far as I can tell, the “war” rages on, made up less of two teams, and more of a series of choices one can make that when viewed in the aggregate kind of align you with one side or another.  And I’ll say again that I think this is all super dumb.

If you need help finding an example of the aforementioned choices, there are about 10 million Buzzfeedy, click-baity quizes you can take to help you identify what kind of mom you are.  Are you the kind of mom whose home is a wreck because you’re too busy helping your kids make memories to care about the little things, like strewn about pillows?  Or are you the kind of mom whose house is orderly and neat because you believe that tidiness encourages good habits, and lowers stress levels?  PICK ONE!  You are one or the the other!

Since having my children, I have noticed that order in the house has become more, and more important to me.  Self analysis, and years of therapy allow me to understand that I am particularly inclined to spaz out over an unkempt space when I am feeling unbalanced in my life. I still allow my kids to play with their 6,000 piece puzzles, and god-forsaken Legos, I just like to clean them up afterward. So here’s the thing Click-bait quiz, I am both options AT THE SAME TIME!!  Collecting data on the way we eat, sleep, play, etc., isn’t going to accurately convey the kind of  people we are. Obviously, it’s ludicrous.

And yet, we use this kind of data to try and figure out on which side our allegiances lie, because you are a kind of mom whether or not you know it, or like it!  What’s worse, we use these small snippets to help us define other moms, shaping potential friendships for ourselves and our children, around these cornerstone questions. Do you eat organic?  Helicopter?  Free-Range?

No, this kind of thing isn’t unique to parenting…it’s why we like to know what political party one is associated with, or religion, or whatever.  It seems to be human nature to feel comforted when we can categorize others, which on its own, doesn’t seem super problematic.  But, sweet sassy molassey, when we start spinning webs and believing we understand the underlying values of someone based on knowing such limited data, things get cray.

And yet I wonder: What kind of mom am I?  If I was on a 90s sitcom, which mom could I be?  Am I the mean mom on the playground?  Am I trying-to-hard mom?  Am I can’t-seem-to-get-it-together mom?  Am I thinks-her-shit-don’t-stink mom?

Just kidding.  I don’t wonder about those things at all, because I’m too busy helping my children make memories.

Just kidding, again.  I’m usually just busy trying to figure out where in the world I’d have to be to make a glass of wine appropriate at like, noon.  The answer is always, Europe.

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