I was trying to write a comment on Angie's post "Sayonara Bitches!" and realized that I was basically writing a blog post. So. . . .
I left teaching after 10 years to stay at home with a then 18 month old Ironflower and a then 3 month old Lovebug. I tutored part time for about 6 months, until we moved to New Jersey. Since then I've had various writing gigs thanks to this blog and my addiction to the internet. Point being, I have been a working mom, a part time working mom, a work at home mom, a stay at home mom and you know what?
I've felt guilty no matter what.
Like most people who are not completely evil, I want to be a good parent. This leads to guilt. No matter what parenting philosophy you follow, some days you are going to screw it up. And then you're going to read some article or hear some news story about how moms who doing whatever you just did (leave your kid at daycare! Not leave your kid at daycare! Use formula! Bribe your kid with TV! Yell!) are more likely to have kids with learning problems/social problems/criminal records.
And that guilt, well, it makes us want to feel better about ourselves.
So we judge. You may have just let your kid watch 6 Baby Einstein videos because it's the only thing that makes her stop crying, but dammit you're better than that mother who feeds her kid McDonalds, RIGHT?
And goddess forbid that someone should seem to denigrate one of our parenting choices. If you just dealt with 2 years of sore nipples, mastitis, sleeping in 3 hour stretches and wearing ugly nursing bras all the time, you don't want to hear how formula is a valid choice. You want to smack that bitch with the comfy boobs and pretty bra. You want to know that your baby is going to Harvard and hers is going to juvenile detention. You want to know that you made the right choice, dammit.
This whole "Mommy Wars" thing is about the guilt and insecurity we all have. And how much the media loves to exploit it. They might as well have said, "Hey Ann Romney and women watching at home, does Hilary Rosen's comment make you feel bad about your choices? Are you feeling insecure? Call in so we can hear you make yourselves feel better by attacking her!"
The thing is, the vast majority of us have nothing to feel guilty about. Just because some study says x, y or z, it doesn't mean that it's true for our kids. As long as we're trying to be good parents, trying to maintain our own identities and letting them know we love them, we're doing okay. So can we please stop the guilt? And the subsequent judgment and fake media wars?
Because I'm pretty sure that the "Mommy Wars" aren't teaching any of us to be better parents.