or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › War between the Mom's
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

War between the Mom's

post #1 of 289
Thread Starter 

Breastfeeding vs bottle feeding

 

Homemade baby food vs in a jar

 

Milk vs non-dairy babies

 

Stay-at-home vs working mama's 

 

We all do things differently, but something I have noticed lately is we are all going after each other! I am a mama who thought that when I had a kid, she would be bottle fed and I would go straight back to work. Much to my amazement, I breastfed until my little one was a year old and quit my job as a political consultant. I get flack from working moms, but on the flip side, I hear stay-at-home mama's go after the working ones. What is happening here?

 

This time four years ago, I was working on the biggest campaign of my life... Hillary for President. She always said to us, "it takes a village" and it was not some cheesy quote from her book. She really meant that. I admired her so much for being a strong working mama. But that just did not pan out for me. 

 

When I tried to go back to work, I sat at my desk sobbing about my child being in a day care all day. I would call them all day to see how she was doing! I finally  marched into the owner of the firm's office and said, "i can't do this, I am sorry" and quit. But that is just my story. 

 

I believe that we are all different and do things differently. Now of course, I do not have tolerance for smoking in front of babies, or getting drunk and then trying to take care of little ones. There are limits and decorum. But for the rest of us, why the war? What are we saying about women here by starting this war? 

 

Thoughts? 

post #2 of 289

Because when you have reservations about the choices youve made (NOT YOU, general you) it makes you feel better to put someone else down who made a different choice from you.  OR, you feel you need to defend your choices because you dont have 100% confidence in them. 

 

I find it basic human nature to be somewhat defensive on a regular basis. And what bigger journey is there then parenthood, right? So thats gonna be the biggest thing to defend. 

post #3 of 289

I think a large part of it is in how you (general you) communicate your choices to others.  For example:

 

"I do this because it is good for my family." 

 

As opposed to:

 

"I do this because it is good for children." 

 

The first allows the listener/reader to frame the choice in terms of what works/is good for a particular family.  The second perhaps would put the listener/reader in a defensive position because it indicates that any other choice would be bad for children in general. 

 

I have strong opinions/feelings about stuff like corporal punishment, and I tend to be a little less sensitive when communicating those opinions.  Stuff like working/bottles/diapers...I know what works for me and family in our parenting journey and I think we do ourselves a disservice by engaging too much energy in criticism of choices that our different from ours.  There are positive ways to communicate your choices without criticizing the choices of others. 

post #4 of 289
I honestly dont see how it is any different than any other "war" that goes on. People have differences because they value different priorities. I totally agree with Charlie'sAnglel that people are defending their choices because they arent 100% confident with them.

There have been "mommy wars" since the end of world war two (many women worked outside the home before then, but they were mostly childless) when the men returned to work and women were expected to return to the home. Many women stayed in the workplace because they liked working outside the home and they got a lot of flack for it. Im not saying its right. Im a WAHM, but I think if you want to work outside the home that is your business. Personally, I cant imagine being away from my kid for that many hours a week, but a lot of women make a lot of money and can afford to send their kids to good schools and provide a stable financial situation (which we also dont have). Im just saying that its not like we created this war, its been going on for a long , long time.

Different people make different parenting choices, and have hopes of raising different types of children. I hope to raise a bright, inquisitive child who is sensitive but strong. Loving and kind. Always questioning authority and the state of the world in some hope of making it better. I want her to have the basic skills of how to live in this world, and how to survive in the woods for a few days. I hope she knows how to do trigonometry, bake, and build a decent fire.htb

My neighboor wants to raise a kid who can get a good job, afford a nice apartment in the city, marry a well off man (which is why she should not eat sweet rolls:eyesroll ) and have lots of little babies (as long as they arent with a black man) for her to tell they are getting too fat too. We have totally different priorities. She works outside the home, sees her kids 2-3 hours a day, and sends them to grandma's on the weekend. She spends just enough time with them to tell them everything they are doing wrong.

Its more than just bottle fed vs. breastfed that make people battle each other. I think the sad thing is that most of us have more similar views on parenting than a lot of people in this world and we are so busy bickering about whether or not to cloth diaper and if that is "cruncy" or not that we completely forget about the real parenting differences that exist.
post #5 of 289

People are judgmental by nature. Its how it is presented that starts the wars. IMO 

 

 

People do tend to question what they do because I think its human nature to do so. I mean we all want to do what is best for our kid and our families. So when its presented that I am doing less then perfection in raising my children yeah it hurts because your attacking something that is so personal ones love and motivations for their children. 

 

I really do try to be 100% in my choices that it is the right thing for us. But I also am open to seeing the otherside if it is different then mine. However it is presented in a well your way is just wrong then it comes off as judgey and I'm better then you because I would never think of doing something like that. 

 

 

post #6 of 289

I think sometimes we get caught up in seeing things as this OR that; one thing vs. another; when really, life is so much more complicated than that.  In my parenting lifetime, I have exclusively breastfed some of my kids, and some of them got a bottle on occasion.  Some of them were exclusively disposable diapered, and some of them had cloth diapers.  For part of my parenting life, I was a SAHM, and for part of it I have been a WOHM.  That said, for me personally, I see the so-called 'crunchy' lifestyle as ideal, and that is what I generally strive toward.

 

The phrase "walk a mile in someone else's shos" goes a long way in alleviating the so-called mommy wars.  We all do the best we can.  Seeing others as inferior, or our own choices as superior, is short-sighted and when we get older, we realize that we all have to make compromises sometimes.

post #7 of 289

i think the endless competition may have a good result in the long-term ... the mamas of today and tomorrow will (hopefully) be a lot more informed and a lot more involved with their children, which is a great thing. joy.gif

post #8 of 289

Sometimes I think that "crunchy" parents are so used to being judged by their families/public that when they finally get to a community like MDC, they end up switching roles and being the bully without realizing it.

post #9 of 289

I think a lot of it has to do with having limited exposure to/experience with other types of people. 

 

The US is interesting in that there are many different kinds of people: different classes, different cultures, different races, etc, but that we all mostly tend to stay in a little enclave of similar people.  So, for example, if you are white, middle class, Christian, homeschooling, etc, you mostly associate with other white, middle class, Christian, homeschooling, etc people.  But because there are all these other types of people around, you do see little bits of their lives from time to time.  And then all the judgment comes out when they do things differently than you do.  And, we tend to say that "all" of one type of person acts like the one example we've actually met from that subgroup. 

 

For example, I don't know if the poster actually meant it like this, but a few posts above someone mentioned the neighbor who works outside the home, only sees her kids 2-3 hours a day, and uses that time to tell her kids how everything they do is wrong.  Again, don't know if the OP meant it like this, but it sounded like she was saying that most if not all WOHMs are at least somewhat like that.  Which is, of course, not true.  But we can only make our judgments based on what we have experienced, and if a person has limited experience with another subgroup, and that experience has been negative, the person is more than likely going to extend that judgment to everyone in that subgroup. 

 

In my experience, when you say something is ALWAYS or NEVER...you're setting yourself up for an argument. 

post #10 of 289


Said so much better then I ever could.  I am all "debated" out.  But thank you. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by petey44 View Post

For example, I don't know if the poster actually meant it like this, but a few posts above someone mentioned the neighbor who works outside the home, only sees her kids 2-3 hours a day, and uses that time to tell her kids how everything they do is wrong.  Again, don't know if the OP meant it like this, but it sounded like she was saying that most if not all WOHMs are at least somewhat like that.  Which is, of course, not true.  But we can only make our judgments based on what we have experienced, and if a person has limited experience with another subgroup, and that experience has been negative, the person is more than likely going to extend that judgment to everyone in that subgroup. 

 

In my experience, when you say something is ALWAYS or NEVER...you're setting yourself up for an argument. 



 

post #11 of 289

I think that humans a judgemental by nature. I think that the push to be a "perfect" mom makes a lot of us competitive and narrow minded. It's all about perception. If your perception is that the way to raise a happy, healthy child is to practice AP values and to shun anything "mainstream" than you're going to see the moms who feed their kids candy, use CIO, or formula feed by choice as bad parents. I think that what we need to be looking at, is the cases where there is REAL abuse. Feeding a baby formula may seem like abuse to you, because you breastfed and can't see why anyone wouldn't, but to actually compare it to abuse is a slippery slope. What kind of lasting damage is a child going to have from eating formula, really? Or from eating a lollipop? The real cases that should be judged are when the children are in danger or being neglected. We focus so much on the minute details because of our own insecurities, that we often overlook the cases where there is a real problem. We program our brains to see everything AP as "good" and everything mainstream as "bad" so we miss the real abuse happening in the guise of AP. Clearly, just my .02.

post #12 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixMommaToTwo View Post

What kind of lasting damage is a child going to have from eating formula, really?


According to the US Department of Women's Health (right here on their website), formula-fed babies are more likely to have diabetes (type 1 and 2), asthma, SIDS, childhood leukemia. I'd count those as "lasting damage."

 

Now, I'm in complete agreement with you guys on thinking it's silly to criticize someone for using a stroller, especially when both the baby and the parents seem happy with the stroller. But I don't think we should minimize the importance of life-and-potential-death things like human milk and car seats just so moms who don't feel like using those things won't feel bad.

 

 

 

Quote:
For example, I don't know if the poster actually meant it like this, but a few posts above someone mentioned the neighbor who works outside the home, only sees her kids 2-3 hours a day, and uses that time to tell her kids how everything they do is wrong.  Again, don't know if the OP meant it like this, but it sounded like she was saying that most if not all WOHMs are at least somewhat like that.  Which is, of course, not true.  But we can only make our judgments based on what we have experienced, and if a person has limited experience with another subgroup, and that experience has been negative, the person is more than likely going to extend that judgment to everyone in that subgroup. 

 

I totally did not get that vibe from what she wrote. I think some people are so used to being judged that they start seeing judgment where it doesn't exist (hence the drama in the "You might be crunchy" topic).

post #13 of 289
Thread Starter 

The first friend that had a baby, I gave her as a shower gift a 12-pack of jarred baby food, pack of disposable diapers and a manicure kit. I look back on that gift all the time. I was only 26 and was in the middle of a huge congressional campaign. The fact that I got time to get a gift at all was special. But today I would never give such a gift. I did not know that I was going to be the kind of mom that I turned out to be. It was literally just a natural process for me. Having said that, other moms do things the way they see fit. What has been so upsetting for me is watching all the attacks on one another. 

 

I have to admit that there are times when I just cringe and then judge other moms doing something that I would not do. I have to pause and then think to myself, does this really matter in my life? Sometimes it does. Like once at a baseball game this mother sitting next to us just handed my daughter one of those little icky turkey sticks in water! I have never given my child meat and she would just hand her something without my permission?! Ahhh that was upsetting. What struck me is interesting though, was her husband really went off on her. Something about how she would of read me the riot act if I had given her twins food without permission. I concluded on that day, when you are a mom, YOU think YOU know best. It takes forever self-improvement and self-awareness to over come judgement. It is not easy. 

 

Thank you for all the feed back! 

post #14 of 289

I don't really discuss parenting choices much with people.  With people who do things very differently, I keep it really vague if the things I do "oddly" are commented on.  It's easy to be polite and friendly.

 

Sometimes people feel the need to explain something they do differently, and I don't really think too much about it.  On some things I say, honestly, that I see both sides of the choices or something like that.  This is easy with something like homeschooling or WOH or TV watching.  Other things like elective FF I figure my disagreeing opinion is completely valueless in talking to someone happy to make that choice, so why say a word?  And I do NOT mean that I silently judge and pity or fume about it, either.  I really and truly stopped caring how other people did things like this a long time ago.  Sure I would like it if more people agreed with me, but they don't and that's just the way it is--I am too busy to care and simply have better things to focus my thoughts on. 

post #15 of 289

I actually encounter very very little IRL confrontation about parenting choices. I mostly read about this phenomenon online. And I don't live in some utopia where we all parent identically. I was all ready to experience the negative comments I always read about when I NIPed and babywore, but everyone was either openly supportive or didn't say anything at all. shrug.gif

post #16 of 289
I get the impression that a lot of the mommy wars are fueled by childless people. I know I had a lot of opinions about parenting before I actually had a child! I was with a childless friend the other day who was going on about how horrible her pregnant friend was because she wasn't talking prenatal vitamins. I had another friend who "has a really hard time respecting women who don't breastfeed." Um, yeah, breastfeeding is great, but not everyone gets the support they need to establish a breastfeeding relationship. Seriously, if I hadn't had my mom and MIL with me, encouraging me along, I wouldn't have kept breastfeeding DD. Anyway the list goes on. I think once you have a kid you are humbled, and realize that there are a lot of hard choices out there.
post #17 of 289

I just want to say that I was formula-fed and well-loved by a wonderful mother. I resent having her called an abusive parent. I have no illnesses, no deficiencies and I always tested well at school (not that that means anything at all), thankyouverymuch. What WHO says is probably true about correlation, but formula fed babies are, in general, also from a completely different background than many babies who are breastfed, which I strongly believe has a lot to do with the "lasting effects" statistics, more than the formula itself.

 

Do I believe that breastfeeding is best? Yes, absolutely, 100%. Would I ever recommend formula over the breast? Absolutely not.

 

But I do believe that when we start calling formula abusive *shudder*, then we're calling a lot of mothers from different class/cultural/life experiences abusive mothers. And that is a scary and dangerous line and says a lot about classism and racism and privilege, honestly. And I can't swallow that.

 

 


Edited by habitat - 6/25/11 at 8:19am
post #18 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

I just want to say that I was formula-fed and well-loved by a wonderful mother. I resent having her called an abusive parent. I have no illnesses, no deficiencies and I always tested well at school (not that that means anything at all), thankyouverymuch. What WHO says is probably true about correlation, but formula fed babies are, in general, also from a completely different background than many babies who are breastfed, which I strongly believe has a lot to do with the "lasting effects" statistics, more than the formula itself.

 

Do I believe that breastfeeding is best? Yes, absolutely, 100%. Would I ever recommend formula over the breast? Absolutely not.

 

But I do believe that when we start calling formula abusive *shudder*, then we're calling a lot of mothers from different class/cultural/life experiences abusive mothers. And that is a scary and dangerous line and says a lot about classism and racism and privilege, honestly. And I can't swallow that.

 

 



Has anyone actually called your formula-feeding mother abusive?  I didn't see that in this thread.

post #19 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

I just want to say that I was formula-fed and well-loved by a wonderful mother. I resent having her called an abusive parent. I have no illnesses, no deficiencies and I always tested well at school (not that that means anything at all), thankyouverymuch. What WHO says is probably true about correlation, but formula fed babies are, in general, also from a completely different background than many babies who are breastfed, which I strongly believe has a lot to do with the "lasting effects" statistics, more than the formula itself.

 

Do I believe that breastfeeding is best? Yes, absolutely, 100%. Would I ever recommend formula over the breast? Absolutely not.

 

But I do believe that when we start calling formula abusive *shudder*, then we're calling a lot of mothers from different class/cultural/life experiences abusive mothers. And that is a scary and dangerous line and says a lot about classism and racism and privilege, honestly. And I can't swallow that.

 

 


 


Unless your child is the "one in x" that the statistics talk about, it really doesn't matter in the long run, barring outright abuse/abject poverty, what parenting decisions parents decide on for their children.  And that is a very humbling thought.  (General) we want to believe that the decisions and sacrifices we make for our children will result in superior adults.  And it isn't necessarily so.  There have been successful adults who come from horrendous abuse/abject poverty, raised by nannies,etc. and the reverse is also true.  The 'mommy wars" will end when we all realize that we all are collectively doing the best we can with the resources and children we have.  And remember that expert advices changes as well as laws over the years as more information is discovered and old information is modified.

post #20 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by petey44 View Post

Again, don't know if the OP meant it like this, but it sounded like she was saying that most if not all WOHMs are at least somewhat like that.  Which is, of course, not true.  But we can only make our judgments based on what we have experienced, and if a person has limited experience with another subgroup, and that experience has been negative, the person is more than likely going to extend that judgment to everyone in that subgroup. 

 

 for an argument. 

Thats not what I meant, I was only explaining that there are people in this world whose parenting view differ GREATLY from most of ours, but we tend to focus on our differences. Its like playing against people who are on your same team.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post




 


Unless your child is the "one in x" that the statistics talk about, it really doesn't matter in the long run, barring outright abuse/abject poverty, what parenting decisions parents decide on for their children.  And that is a very humbling thought.  (General) we want to believe that the decisions and sacrifices we make for our children will result in superior adults.  And it isn't necessarily so.  There have been successful adults who come from horrendous abuse/abject poverty, raised by nannies,etc. and the reverse is also true.  The 'mommy wars" will end when we all realize that we all are collectively doing the best we can with the resources and children we have.  And remember that expert advices changes as well as laws over the years as more information is discovered and old information is modified.


Im sorry, but I just dont believe that. There are A LOT of parents who are not doing the best they can. My mother was one of them. I remember several times when people at the grocery store or in other public places would tell my mom things like "dont pull her up by the arm like that" or "hey, dont smack her, she is just a baby" or "you know if you let your kids drink coke out of a bottle their teeth will rot out" or "gosh, you all are at McDonald's everytime Im here, do you ever eat at home?" along with many other remarks that embarrassed me and my four siblings. She always bitched the whole way home "Why do they think they have the right to tell me how to parent my kids? What the f---, mind your own business" and other nice things...

My brother and sister both have rotten teeth and have since they were little, and its because she fed them sugar and didnt force them to brush, not because they have "bad teeth".
My mother hit all of us all the time, including when we were as young as 6 months old.
My brother did have his shoulder pulled out of socket as a result of her yanking him up by the arm
We DID eat fast food every night and all of us struggle with weight

But god forbid you try to tell her anything, especially that breastmilk is better for a baby than formula. Because she will let you know that she's "got better things to do than sit around with a baby stuck to her tit all day long."

and she wasnt on drugs, she wasnt an alcoholic, she was married with 5 kids and came from an upper middle class background. She thought she knew it all, and she was a horrible parent. To this day, she cant take advice or criticism about her parenting styles.


I just dont believe everyone is doing the "best they can." There are a lot of people who put their own wants and needs above that of their children.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › War between the Mom's