Last night, deep down a dark Google rabbit hole during an endless night-feed, I tripped over an article about gentle parenting that basically said mums who do it are lame AF.
As if we need any more discouragement from doing what we think is best for our babies, when it is already the punkest form of parenting, against the grain of society.
As if mums, at risk of post natal depression and anxiety as it is, need any more shade thrown at them for the ways they do things.
And, most annoyingly, AS IF women need to be pitted against each other any more. SMH.
It’s not just that article. Every day, in the depths of dehydrated breastfeeding-in-bed-Googling, I see Facebook comments, Reddit threads and ranty blog posts (like this) going on about what’s wrong with different styles of mumming. What about what’s right?
Fair enough, some people need to justify their own choices by knocking others’ down. Like the “bubble” everyone apparently lives in so they didn’t realise the Trump-Brexit-pocalypse was nigh; people tend to see and share stuff they already agree with.
But hold yer hashtags: it doesn’t need to happen.
Some mums may translate the “breast is best” mantra to be an attack on formula feeding, but that doesn’t mean they need to take to Twitter and have a go at breastfeeding mums.
Some mums may be horrified at the potential developmental damage caused by the more hardcore types of sleep training, but that doesn’t mean they should upload a vlog bitching about mums who do it.
And some mums may think gentle parenting makes them feel like bad parents for not doing it, but that doesn’t mean they should write snarky articles about gentle mums for the Guardian.
After all, we’re all in this shit together, doing the best we can.
Meanwhile, it’s mums having a go at mums. AKA women being pitted against each other. In situations that are — as usual — pretty much exclusively engineered by men.
Take the breast is best example above. In a parenting Facebook group I’m in, a blogger shared an email they had received from a formula milk company, asking them to write about how she was offended by the breast is best campaign. Because it gives the old white men running the $50 billion baby feed industry extra fuel to kick breastfeeding a little closer to the edges of the mainstream.
What about sleep training? Well, it was invented by a man, obviously.
And then there’s the articles dissing the women who make these choices. Whether taking down Scummy Mummies or yummy mummies, they’re all essentially click-bait. Hating women comes a close second to bloody war as the biggest earners in the Rupert Murdoch empire we’re all reduced to page views in.
So everyone, STFU. There is enough negativity in the world. What will get us and our babies to a better place is being good to each other. And SHOUTING about that. Supporting each other’s choices as mothers and women. Realising that we are all different — and celebrating that. Sharing facts to help each other, but not merking people who don’t agree.
Because we can’t take the patriarchy down if we’re busy stabbing each other in the back.
Stand strong and stand together, mamas. We got bigger motherfuckers to fry.
We don’t mean YOU should STFU btw. We would totally love to hear from you. Contact us, comment below, or tag #WokeMamas on the gram.
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