A few days ago I was scanning Facebook and came across a blog/article from Baby Center titled "Do we live in an 'anti-mother' culture?" I am not a huge fan of mommy wars posts because I believe they are perpetuated by mothers and steeped in our increasingly social media-centric culture. I think the only way mommy wars will stop is if female bloggers/tweeters/Facebook users (etc) stop worrying about being 'perfect' and just work for happy (and stop sizing themselves up against other moms). Anyway, the reason this article caught my eye is because it says this:
The rise of social media and the spread of technology has made the sharing of opinions much more accessible and while nobody wants to believe they are impressionable, a good deal of what we read is considered when we develop our own opinions. There is clearly a void where mothers and fathers used to have approval, help, and compassion from other parents.
Finally, someone acknowledged the role that social media plays in the perpetuation of these 'wars'! Recently, I decided to cut back on some of the social media outlets I read and subscribe to in an effort to disentangle myself from the web of negativity that this competition breeds. I try not to fall into the trap of comparison, but I know I do because the Internet is full of mom blogs, tweets, pins, etc...that are constantly telling me I should try this and do that and be this. I want to do and try and be for myself. I don't need other people telling me, showing me, how to raise my kids.
That said, I don't think I can completely cut the ties to social media. Our society is too steeped in these forms of communication (and, increasingly, my profession is too tied to these forms of communication) to totally remove myself from the online world. As I grow as a person and a mother, I have come to realize that the best support I have on this parenting journey are the people that I have in my life-- my husband, my parents, my family, and my friends. The proverbial village isn't found across Internet wires, it's found in the real world, in my real life, with real people.
So, here's to living a life offline, stopping the wars, and living life in the real village.
(And, yes, I realize the great irony of this post is that I am writing it online...I said I was cutting back (cutting things out), not giving it all up completely!)