By Kathy V. from Don’t Forget to Feed the Baby
I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives. ~ Billy Connolly
Those of you who’ve been around for a while know that I have zero patience for the Mommy Wars. ZEE. RO. I’ve written about it twice (here and here), and I’m sure I’ve alluded to it many other times. Women bullying other women — grown women — over making different parenting choices is one of the stupidest things I can think of. I keep thinking, “Why can’t we all just agree that being a parent is hard, and that we’re all doing the best we can? Why do some people have to hurl abuse at people who breastfeed too long/don’t breastfeed/stay at home/go back to work/use cloth diapers/use disposable diapers/co-sleep/crib sleep/WHATEVER? Bitch, please.” It doesn’t even make sense to me.
I mean, yeah, I can be a judgmental a**hole sometimes. I’ve put a lot of thought into my parenting decisions, and I take them seriously. Sometimes, when I see another parent feeding their kid Cheetos and purple ‘juice’, I think nasty head-thoughts. But I try really hard to catch myself before all my a**holery comes out of my mouth, and I remind myself that I am not a judge, or a jury, or in any way threatened by parents who make other choices than mine. I bitch slap my judgmental a**hole self and put her back into the dark corner of my mind where she usually lurks, muttering to herself about being ignored.
So I found this page called The Mom Pledge, by means of this open letter to moms, where bloggers and other internet-savvy women are banding together against the bullies of the Mommy Wars. In order to participate, I have to pledge:
- I am a proud to be a mom. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my online activities. I can lead by example.
- I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, “right” way to be a good mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.
- I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.
- I stand up against cyber bullying. My online space reflects who I am and what I believe in. I will not tolerate comments that are defamatory, hateful or threatening.
- I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks with no mention or response. I can take control.
- I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.
- I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference.
I do so pledge. In doing so, I have officially become a citizen of Mommy-Switzerland. My house is being renamed Geneva, and to get inside you must speak at least three languages.
I encourage you to also join this League of Mommies (see what I did there?) by taking the pledge, joining the community, and (if applicable) adding their button to your blog. Let’s make a stand against bullying. We, the parents, are the grown-ups, and it’s up to us to stop acting like children.
Kathy V.’s regular writings and awesomesauce (ask her husband…) can be found on her blog, Don’t Forget to Feed the Baby. You can also keep up with her by liking the Don’t Forget to Feed the Baby Facebook fan page! Mommy Switzerland was originally posted on Don’t Forget to Feed the Baby and is reprinted here with permission.