Are The Mommy Wars Declaring A Cease-Fire? (Probs Not, But We Can Hope)

Illustration for article titled Are The Mommy Wars Declaring A Cease-Fire? (Probs Not, But We Can Hope)

"The Mommy Wars" was first brought to public attention as a term in a Newsweek piece in 1990 on the struggles of working moms versus at-home moms, but as you know—unless you are a Mole Person who lives underneath the subway—has since expanded to encompass (and foster intolerance for) every single one of the many "roads diverged in the wood" of baby-making, especially lately. There's Hilary Rosen's snafu about Ann Romney's "not working a day in her life," which became a GOP-used paean to the stay-at-home-mom, that attachment parenting Time cover depicting an unweaned 4-year-old boy on his mom's boob that we literally just stopped talking about, and leagues of controversial mommy bloggers (led by eponymous Bad Mother author Ayelet Waldman, a.k.a Mrs. Michael Chabon) who confess to preferring one child over the other, or preferring Michael Chabon over all of them.

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Controversial French feminist writer Elisabeth Bedinter's Le Conflit, La Femme et La Mère (The Conflict, The Woman and The Mother) just released stateside after major success in France, expresses attitude towards motherhood that seems positively Betty Draperish in comparison with the dirty diaper Salem witch trials we're sadly used to here in the states at this point. She argues that there is no such thing as "maternal instincts" and the degree to which some women devote their lives and selves to their children is damaging for both. Her response when confronted with the term "Mommy Wars"? "Ah, quelle horror!"

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Refreshingly, mommy bloggers seem to be getting sick of it as well. Jen Singer of Mommasaid.net writes: "It's time to end the Mommy Wars "How about we all stop arguing over which mom works harder and whether or not Ann Romney worked at all and who bakes a better cookie, Hillary Clinton or Barbara Bush?" Katie Allison Granju of Mamapundit.com concurs: ""So who's with me? Who will join my proposed campaign of non-violent resistance against the mommy wars?" Perhaps this foreshadows an idyllic future of playing peacefully on the playground together without going all Carnage on each others' asses. Sounds nice.

'French feminist, Time magazine fire latest shots in Mommy Wars' [National Post]

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DISCUSSION

stagbeetle
stagbeetle

I want to read Badinter's book. I have a preschooler and I'm sick of seeing so many of his peers being the apparent decision-makers in their families— AND I'm a self-employed/stay-at-home parent, so we spend plenty of time together. Every day after school, after he's been there socializing with all those kids for four hours, nearly every single one stays for an additional hour or two to play in the park some more. On my workday I just want to leave after and he threw an absolute screaming fit about it yesterday, but you know what? I didn't care. HE'S FOUR. He doesn't get to make the decisions about how we budget our time; that's fucking ridiculous! And yet there are all the other parents, hanging around, listlessly pushing their kids on the swings, looking at me in vague horror as I stonily threaten to leave him there alone because I don't want to hang out on the playground.

Kind of rambling, sorry. I think about this a lot.