Friday, May 11, 2012

forget the Mommy Wars. this is the only war I am willing to fight for...

The Mommy Wars are driving me crazy. You know what I am talking about. Every few months or so there is a new twist on the same old story. Working Moms battle Stay at Home Moms. Homeschooling Moms rage against Private School Moms. Breastfeeding Moms look down on Bottle Feeding Moms. Breastfeeding Moms fight with each other over where, and how long, to feed their children. Moms who let their babies cry it out are scoffed at by co-sleeping Moms. This Mom inoculates her kids, that one believes that vaccines lead to autism. Crunchy organic Moms simply don't understand busy swing through the McDonald's drive through Moms. The current Mommy War debate is laid out in a recent article in Time magazine about attachment parenting. We all saw the cover photo of the mother breastfeeding her three year old son. Didn't see it yet? Check it out here.  Outrageous? Maybe. Do I care? Not at all.

I believe in breastfeeding whenever possible. For however long Mommy and Baby need/want. I believe in vaccinating my children and hope that the other children mine come in contact with every day are similarly protected. I believe in most of the covenants of attachment parenting. I believe in baby wearing, as much as possible. I believe newborns and newly adopted babies should sleep next their parents- maybe not in the same bed, but within touching distance.  I believe in using a wrist tether to keep my child close in a crowded public setting, especially newly adopted children who may not understand the language or little ones with hearing difficulties. I believe in a good public school or private school education and would not home school my boys.  I let my boys watch TV. I let them play computer games. I let them play with my iPhone. I monitor their activity and time spent on these devices, but I don't ban them in my home. My boys eat candy and cookies. But they also eat fruit and as much organic/locally grown food as possible. I strive to be a good mother. And I am confident that 90% of the mothers out there in the world are also striving to be good at parenting. So let's be honest. I have my beliefs, and you have your beliefs, and I don't look down on your choices and you don't look down on mine. I really don't care about the Mommy Wars. Every mother out there is just doing the best she can, making decisions based on her individual belief system. And I don't care. Work. Stay home. Feed your child chicken nuggets. Sign them up for every class you can find or don't sign them up for a thing. Teach them to swim. Wear them until they are five. (I wore my almost three old just last Sunday, and we both LOVED it.) Let your kid listen to rock music. Keep them in the crib until they are three. (I do that too. My youngest turns three today and we have no plans to move him out of his crib anytime soon.) Breastfeed. Bottle feed. Breastfeed in public. Breastfeed your three year old. Force the potty training at two years old or wait until well after three. (me again...) Let me be clear: I don't care.

Here is what I do care about. The kids without mothers. All of the mothers mentioned above, all of the mothers involved in the Mommy Wars, their kids are fine. Those kids have strong mothers willing to fight for their beliefs. They'll be fine. But what about the 132 million orphans in the world? Who is fighting a war for them?

That is the war I will fight. I don't care about the Mommy Wars, but I will support organizations that support the orphans. I will talk to as many people as I can about adoption. I will fund raise. I will continue to worry about a society that puts more time on discussing breastfeeding versus bottle feeding than on helping orphaned children. The number of children living in orphanages seems to be a moving target and difficult to nail down, but most experts would place the number at around 132 million. 132 million, people. That is 132 million  babies and kids who wouldn't care if their mother chose to vaccinate or not. 132  million babies and kids who wouldn't mind if they went to a a large public school or learned at the hands of their mother around the kitchen table. 132 million babies and kids who don't care about the Mommy Wars. They are fighting their own war, and they need our care, concern, and loud voices more than anyone involved in the Mommy Wars. So I don't care about the Mommy Wars. When it comes to babies and mothers, helping those 132 million is the only war I am willing to fight.

how to help:
show hope
half the sky
friend of russian orphans

these are just a few of the organizations out there dedicated to adoption and orphan aid. these organizations are not endorsed by they are for informational purposes only. please do your due diligence and support the causes you believe in!

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