Recently I saw a picture on Facebook (of course) that I decided to share and it received many likes, comments and more sharing. What was this amazing photo? No, it wasn't about Mitt Romney or President Obama. It wasn't about the First Lady or Ann Romney. It was five women sitting on a couch each making a statement. But the most important statement they were making was that we all love our children. We are all great moms. We all do things differently. Is this just a picture taken to promote a feel good moment or is it possible that five different women who are or are not breastfeeding, working outside the home, co-sleeping, circumcising or staying at home can get along or (shock) actually celebrate their differences? Is it possible to forget about fighting the mommy wars?
Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen fired one shot across the bow of the mommy boat when she said "Ann Romney never worked a day in her life." But what many women (and men) may not have heard her say was "I don't know of a woman, myself included, who doesn't feel some pang of guilt or regret at the choices they make-even if they have no choice." She goes on to say, "Most of us are torn, wishing we could have more time at one or the other. My personal theory is that this is not discussed enough. And so people grabbed at the opportunity to 'debate' it. When there is really no debate. We all do what we have to do to get by."
Maybe the first step in ending the mommy wars is to recognize and respect. Instead of making comparisons that this stay-at-home mom must be selfish, lazy or insert your other adjective here and this working mom must not care about her home or children how about we recognize that both types of women have a place in our world and both types of women can teach our children and society something.
Could the mommy wars be in part, a result of mommies needing their own security blanket? One in which they can wrap themselves up and assure their own conscience that they are doing everything perfectly? Maybe much like their children they feel the need to say, "Oh I have a blanket just like that" and with that recognition feel that they now have a supporter of their parenting decisions instead of an adversary? Maybe mothers could look beyond the blanket and think not about finding a supporter or an adversary, but maybe find what we really need, a friend. One who is open-minded, that admits to questioning her own judgment sometimes and one that can give us the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about the trials and triumphs of motherhood.
Ann Romney wrote in a USA Today column, "Women wear many hats in their lives. But no matter where we are or what we're doing, one hat that moms never take off is the crown of motherhood."
I admit, I've done it all. I've been a WAHM and a work outside the home mom. I've been a divorced, single mom, working and going to school. I've been an older mom and a young mom. All of these roles can be hard and just like our children, our roles as women, mothers and wives can change in the blink of an eye. How about we wave a white bra to declare a truce and cease fire and then raise a glass of organically grown wine (or grape juice for you nursing moms) in toast to forgetting about fighting the mommy wars. Let's wear our crown with pride and take off the combat boots in this bogus battle for one true method of motherhood.
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