The Prompt 2: Saddened

Jess McGlynnJanuary 24, 2014

I was saddened this week when I saw a tweet go out linking to a particularly mindless blog post.  You might know the one.  To paraphrase it was something along the lines of ‘I look down on women with children and I’m not sorry blah blah blah.’

There are many reasons why this blog post saddened me.  I could pick holes in the way it was terribly written, so vastly incorrect or simply just an attention seeking load of drivel.  But I won’t.

Because what saddened me the most was the inevitable deluge of mummy bloggers who were, at that moment, rushing to their computers to carve out a rebuttal to this piece of nonsense.  It’s not that we shouldn’t feel like we CAN respond to things such as this but that there shouldn’t be such a desperate need to do so.

Social media has done so much for society but it has also highlighted and enabled so many things which are wrong.  It is an open field where people can air their grievances, their ill-thought through opinions (don’t even ask me about Katie-will say anything to get myself a slot on Daybreak-Hopkins) and where people get sucked into feeding the ego’s of complete idiots.

One of these areas, maybe because it’s the one I move in, is parenting.  Someone makes a comment and suddenly the whole Twittersphere and beyond explodes with indignant replies and tweets and retweets abound.  What started as a stupid remark gets blown way way out of proportion.  Take Dr Christian, for example.  Earlier in the week, something he had said on the subject of breastfeeding was put into print, something which in hindsight could probably have been handled better but still, it was there and it was said.  All the pro-breastfeeders were up in arms and all the bottle-feeders were rubbing their hands with glee.  It’s sad.  

It’s sad because it highlights that for all the advances society has made when it comes to women, all the things we have fought for, and won…in an instant, you will see women turn against each other.  Mother’s are possibly the worst for doing this.  Issues which are really neither here nor there (in my opinion) become huge dividing points and when someone dares to raise their head above the parapet to pass comment, people leap upon it in an instant.  We are still so insecure that one comment can offend, can cause utter outrage.  

You’d think we’d have moved past this point by now.  That we would have reached a place where everyone just tries to be the best parent that they can possibly be and kudos to anyone who puts their head down and gets on with such a complex role.

More than that, I know when I first became a mother I found parenting a really rough deal.  As I mentioned in my last Prompt post, it wasn’t anything like the books had suggested and I was so desperate to be a good mum, to fight the stereotype that I was too young to be a mum that I was incredibly impressionable.  I drank in whatever people told me and convinced myself that they must be right to tell me so.  Even to the point of writing down I didn’t want an epidural during labour as a pain relief-free labour was all that people talked about in the circles I moved in.  How ridiculous is that?  And yet, I can’t help but wonder, how many other first time mother’s come across these opinionated, stake in the ground statements, and just feel utterly overwhelmed?

Who feel like they have to fall on one side or the other because at some point you will be called upon to state your position and heaven forbid if you don’t know whether you are for or against co-sleeping, vaccinations or how to wean your child.  What if they have a medical issue?  Are you a pushy lioness or a take it lying down parent?  Do you allow your child to watch television or spend no less than 5 hours a week doing messy play with your child in order to stimulate their creativity and ensure they are the very best that they can be?

I don’t know how we will ever get to a place of supporting one another as parents.  I hope one day we can see more of it.  So that when some numpty with a sad and empty life, gets the idea into their head that they will write a blog post pointing out how being a mother, bringing future doctors and engineers into the world, loving them, nurturing them, caring for them and enabling them to become such valuable members of society, when THAT person decides to say that mother’s are simply women who have failed to achieve their true potential; as a collective we can turn our heads and ignore them…and get back to discussing the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy over tea and cake.  Natch.

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