Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nobody puts Baby in a corner...

I know that I'm just feeling nostalgic because I watched Dirty Dancing this week.  I get that.  Really, I do.

That line of dialogue has always had special meaning for me, though.  It's about refusing to allow other people to define you, to tell you how to live.

I also know that I'm just generally frustrated with almost everything in my life right about now, so it really doesn't take much to set me off these days.

I've been reading and reading and reading so much in the last week or so about the Mommy Wars.  Damn you, Time magazine.

Seriously, damn you.

I'm not kidding.

I hate the effect that it's had, which is exactly what they anticipated that it would.  Sure there has been a decent contingent of women, of the so-called "mommy bloggers" like me, who've rebelled against the notion that we are supposed to be fighting with one another in the first place.  Who've refused to get defensive about the way we live our lives. That assert that we should be supporting each other's individuality and respecting the very different life situations we are all presented with and the decisions that accompany our circumstances.

And then, there's been everyone else.

Doing precisely what the powers that be at Time thought they would.  Hoped they would.

Defending their choices.  Getting offended.  Some alluding to the idea that however they've chosen to parent their kids is right.

The anti-attachment parenting people seem to come out of the woodwork.  I've seen arguments about everything from breastfeeding to homeschooling to co-sleeping to organic food in the last week.

If the point everyone is trying to make is that the way they parent is okay, then the way that other women parent should be too, right?  At least within the boundaries of reason, that is.

How has it served to further society-wide support of mothers to force the hands of so many, making them believe that they now have to justify the way they live their lives to everyone?

Anyone else get the sense that there are bunches of people enjoying the drama, popping popcorn and watching the arguments unfold?

You don't have anyone you are beholden to.  You don't need to justify your parenting to anyone.  You don't  need to explain your choices to society.  You shouldn't need to feel like you are defending your decisions.

Incidentally, I dislike the fact that I've been grouped into the general catch-all of mommy bloggers in the first place.  I write about my kids sometimes, sure, but I write about many other things too.  My role as mother doesn't (and shouldn't) define me any more than I say it should, and no one else should believe that they get to make that determination for me.

The whole point I was trying to make in response to the Time articles in the first place is that as women, we have to refuse to allow others to define us.  We have to refuse to allow society to tell us what our worth is, particularly when it's solely based on whether or not our uteri have created progeny.

Yes, my uterus works.  My mind does too.  One does not diminish the other.

At the end of the day, the only person I should feel like I have to explain myself to is me.  The person in the mirror.  It's no one else's business how I operate my marriage, how I choose to occupy my time, how I choose to raise my children.

It certainly isn't Time's business, and I'm not about to let it be.

None of us should let them.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are spot on - not enough people self reflecting, but too many spending too much time judging others.


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