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THURSDAY’S THOUGHTS: Mass Consciousness and Mommy-Wars

by Sarah on May 17th, 2012

I’m guessing most of you will have seen the much-talked-about Times Magazine cover with a sexy-looking mother, Jamie-Lynne Grumet, breastfeeding her 3-year-old son. It’s caused a massive stir worldwide, mostly amongst mothers, and it makes me sad.

A magazine like Time obviously has massive swaying powers in terms of mass consciousness. The article is apparently about Dr. Sears and Attachment Parenting, but instead of taking the opportunity to explain to the mainstream western world why Attachment Parenting and extended breastfeeding can be so beneficial to children and families, the choice of cover images gave extended breastfeeding an even worse name. They almost made it seem sexual, as opposed to nurturing, which is what the moms who choose to breastfeed for this amount of time believe it to be.

I think what bothers me more than anything is how it’s mothers who are now fighting about the topic. There seems to be a constant online battle about who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s choices are better than others. I then also read a post the other day which was about how pointless these mommy wars are (totally agreed), how energy should rather be spent protecting motherless children (totally agreed) but which also stated how unimportant the choices we make as parents are when it comes to breastfeeding, birthing, etc, etc. This also makes me sad. To me these decisions are so important, they shape us in terms of our belief systems, and how we want our children to view the world around us. Again, it doesn’t mean that if your choices are different to mine, you’re better than me, but it’s vital that we do understand the importance of these decisions, and that we take responsibility for our choices. Like Jamie-Lynne will have to, posing for a picture such as the one she did.

I’ve written about judgement before, and I reckon that this what all this in-fighting amongst mothers is about. While I don’t believe there’s any problem in discussing different points of view, it’s how we say the things we say that counts the most. And how we react to what others say, even if we disagree. I know the feeling all too well of having my “buttons pushed”, but then it’s up to me to look at what those buttons are, and why I’m having the negative reaction that I’m having, as opposed to wanting to hurt or punish the other person in return.

If we’re the kind of moms who can handle conflict, who can discuss varying points of view without losing our tempers, or taking things personally, our children will see this. They will feel it. And I believe that they will learn to handle these situations in the same way we do. The question is, what kind of mommy do you want to be? One who is constantly at war, judging others? Or one who is learning to love herself and others, in turn, creating peace?

  • Rochelle Hagglund

    It also makes me so sad that on most of the mommy forums there are always some sort of a mommy war. In my opinion, all need to respect each others opinions and accept different each other, every mommy out there is just doing her best to survive, so lets all agree to disagree, but do it gracefully.

    I am all for less judging and more loving :)

  • Anonymous

    Hi Rochelle, Thanks for those beautiful words! I totally agree :) *Sarah

  • Marisa

    Agree with you that the choices we make as parents are NOT unimportant, they are very important, but there is no use judging others for the choices they make. Rather give them the proper information so they can make be informed and (hopefully) choose what will be best for their child. 

  • Anonymous

    That’s a good point, Marisa. Sharing knowledge, without expecting to change someone else’s mind, is a great way to change mass-consciousness for the better xxx
    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!