Read and Think: Mommy Wars

Today's post has nothing to do with my apartment and everything to do with the home I wish to someday create. Have you heard about the "mommy wars"? Everyone from Ann Romney to Time magazine has gotten pulled into the debate one way or the other. Work full-time or stay-at-home? Breast-feed or use formula? If you breast feed, for how long? Do you let your kid cry it out or let them sleep in your bed? To spank or not to spank? To ground or not to ground? So many issues that we can disagree about, and ultimately, it all feels so counter-feminist to me, so unproductive. As a working woman who (currently) plans to continue working for awhile, I wrestle with the very idea of the choices I'll face when I have children. But isn't the very goal of feminism — and of equality — that I get to make that decision? I'm not naive enough to believe that I can be at every carpool, bring every forgotten lunch or tuck them in every night if I work 5 days a week. But maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to work and be the mother I hope to one day be. We'll see.

For now, I read two amazing articles about the issue. The first is from Forbes, an astute summary of what's at stake when women like Hilary Rosen (and even Ann Romney, to an extent) fire at each other over their choices. There are very few perfect decisions, or those without some cost. It's just a question of what you're willing to sacrifice. 

The second I have tweeted, Facebooked and emailed to friends. Read it. Kristen Howerton strikes at the heart of all of this — that what's most important is not the kind of jobs we have or do as mothers, it's the kind of children we raise, and that we raise them. The statistics about foster care and the numbers of children waiting for adoption — some as old as 17 or 18! — are staggering, heart-breaking and ultimately, challenging. The girl pictured, Rasheema, just turned 20 and she still is waiting for a forever family. From her bio: "Rasheema has a joyful spirit and loves fashion, sports and working with kids. She hopes to go to college and be a physical education teacher or an occupational therapist. Rasheema loves shopping, going out to eat and listening to music. She would benefit from a strong female role model who can boost her self esteem and help her plan for her future. She is enthusiastic to find a family who can help her transition into adulthood."
"The only mommy war I support involves moms banding together to talk about the number of children in our world who are missing out on basic human needs. Security. Love. Affection. Let's wage a war about that. Not everyone can adopt, but we can all do something. Even if it's just using our voices for something more productive than personal parenting choices. 

Let's stop quibbling about what competent mothers are choosing for their kids, and step it up for the kids that don't have one." - Kristen Howerton

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