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The Deception of Mummy Wars

by CJ (follow)
The Mummy Wars.

Image Courtesy of Morguefile

There is no such thing as 'Mummy Wars'.
Yep, I said it. The exact sentence that many parents probably whole heartedly disagree with. A sentence that incites confusion, perhaps angst. How can there be no mummy wars? Read on my friend.

When you hear the term 'mummy war' what comes to mind? Perhaps arguments about the best way to feed your child, dress your child or raise your child? Maybe that list includes what you should ad shouldn't do to your child.
If you disagree with someone, are you at war with them?
The simple answer, is no, you're not. Disagreements and debates are not wars. Stating facts and participating in the sharing of opinions does not make a war. Being passionate about a topic and making that known, is not inciting a battle.

Two of the most common 'wars' I see, are over formula (breastmilk substitute) and circumcision (cosmetic surgical procedure), so I'll briefly touch on those.

Formula is a second rate food source. It certainly has a time and place were it is necessary, no doubt about it, but it is still second rate. It is not natural, it is not perfect. It has flaws and a list of risk associated with it.
Statements like this can cause offence for some women. Perhaps they felt they had no other choice but formula, perhaps they had no breastfeeding support. Some simply choose not to breastfeed. This statement I have made is not an attack on formula feeding mums, it is simply factual. Breastmilk is the biological norm, and in normal scenarios is best for a child.

Circumcision is the removal of a protective layer of penile skin. Circumcision has an extremely long list of hazards, both immediate and future. It is not the biological norm, it is an necessary surgery (except in cases of genuine medical problems), and is a cosmetic surgery.
This isn't an attack either, simply a list of facts. Circumcision is an unnecessary, cosmetic surgery.

See, I'm not trying to continue with a war, I'm sharing facts. You may be offended, that is not my issue. What upsets you, is something you need to come to terms with. You need to figure out why it offends you and if there is something you can do within yourself to not be offended. Even more so if you find yourself offended by cold, hard facts.

I spend a lot of my time educating other parents on a wide variety of topics, and yes, learning as well. I believe every person has the right to be knowledgeable and has the right and responsibility to do right by their children.
Having information is key. Once you know better, you have the responsibility to do better. This is not a war, as society would so love for you to continue believing. No, this is a global classroom, where you are both equally teacher and student, at exactly the same time.

Stop calling it a war. See it for what it truly is, rather than raising your hackles because society says you should. Use that fancy brain of yours and listen to the information presented to you.

I hope you take something away from this, namely:
1. Facts are not attacks
2. There is no mum war
3. You should use that awesome brain you were born with
4. Embrace your equal student and teacher roles.

We will be leaving our legacies to our children. Do you really want it to be a legacy of hate?
Leave the ideal of always learning and teaching. Leave a generation of open minded, free thinking individuals.
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Brilliant, you should really work for the diplomatic core. Everyone knows that breast is best and that male genital mutilation should be banned along with the female version. If someone gets angry when told the simple facts around these two subjects then they should ask themselves - why am I getting angry and feeling persecuted? It could be that you need to rethink what being a good parent means to you and your child.
Not sure if you're aware but the 50 Shades of Grey teddy bear is being advertised on this post and several others featured on the wholewoman website. I won't be reading any more posts until after Valentines day because of this ad.
Ahhh. No, I wasn't aware. We don't actually get a say in what ads appear, however I have raised it with the site owners and hopefully we can have that particular ad removed because it's most definitely not something we want to associate with. Thanks for drawing our attention to it xx
by meggf
Argh! I'm kind of shocked that there even is such a thing.
Just wanted to say thank you for taking my concern about the ad seriously. I really appreciate it. Apparently, since I railed against it on my Facebook page, it's following me. Which isn't creepy. At all.
by dusti
Just wanted to say thank you for taking my concern about the ad seriously. I really appreciate it. Apparently, since I railed against it on my Facebook page, it's following me. Which isn't creepy. At all.
by dusti
The good news it that we're currently looking into ways to block certain ads thanks you you raising your concern!
by meggf
I totally agree with this, but here's the thing, once you've presented someone with information the conversation usually leads onto personal opinions, then it gets a little harder not to feel attacked. I'm a believer in gentle parenting, long breast feeding, empowering woman through labour, baby wearing I could go on for days about all the reasons for example I've become a regular on your site. But I choose to circumcise my son, and while it's been a much harder decision this time round when my second son is born in the next month or two I will probably have him circumcised too. I have the info and I know it's cosmetic, but I still feel it has benefits that are important to our family and while I seek out communities like this one to learn and shape my parenting I will often keep that information to myself because words become personal very quickly, and often lead to me feeling very unwelcome and hurt. Words like torture and mutilation are very different from cosmetic and risks. And often there's a tone like but I've just given you factual evidence why you shouldn't (or shouldn't be allowed) to make that choice you must be a monster to continue supporting your original choice. It's a similar situation if I tell people we plan to customize our vaccine schedule delaying or forgoing some vaccines. If we decide we cannot support a families choice if it differs from our own, maybe it's not a war but it can feel a little like stones are being thrown.
Maybe if you are feeling upset about the decision you could do some more research. The only country in the world where there are benefits to circumcision is the US. Australia (where I am) Europe, the UK, and most of the world leaves baby boys whole because our health authorities don't recommend it. In fact our health authorities discourage it because it's wholly unnecessary.

Please research some more before making the decision. There are many families who have changed their minds and they have horrible regret. MGM is a purely cosmetic procedure that causes great pain and stress in newborn infants. Clearly you love your sons because you're researching things, so please please research more. Remember he can always choose to have it dome when he's an adult.
by meggf
Dear Becca
I hope you reconsider and leave your son whole.
Most of my lovers were circumcised and there was always some discomfort and friction during sex. With my last boyfriend it was so painful that we didn't have sex very often. I thought at first it was my fault that as I'm getting older I'm producing less lubrication, but I know now that uncomfortable and painful sex is a very common side-effect of circumcision.
My current lover has a foreskin and sex is very pleasant and not the least bit painful.

One of my former lovers told me that he has never been able to ejaculate during vaginal sex and he thought it must be a psychological problem since he could come with masturbation. After researching circumcision I found out that that is a common problem for circ'd men. Vaginal sex does not do it for many men who lack foreskin, therefore a lot of them prefer oral, anal or masturbation.
Please, please for your son's future sex life and for your future daughter-in-law, leave your son whole!

One more thing, make sure that nobody retracts your son's foreskin. Only he should do that when he's older.

by patty
I think you've missed the point about my comment. I am not feeling upset about my decision, I've simply done more research this time. And in the end I've gone with what feels right to me, gut instinct. Which I will always choose to do. The assumption has been, when a mother says she's informed and educated her self on a subject, and made a decision that differs from your own, you need to make sure she knows she's done the wrong thing. To simply say there's no such thing as mummy wars because I'm right and your wrong full stop. Is alittle narrow minded and goes against supporting or empowering mothers. I'm not hoping to open up a debate about my choice, I'm simply stating that I have every right to make it, by all means give information and facts, but leave judgment at the door. I am100% pro breast feeding, (along with many other things) but as an example if I see a mother in a baby change room struggling with preparing a bottle, initially my head says wow, how much easier for you and your screaming baby if you would just sit down cuddle her and put her on your breast, or even here let me just put mine in her mouth. I think of someone giving formula to my son and think no way would I let that poison into his tiny body, this lasts about 3 second. Then I will smile at the woman and say can I offer you an extra hand? It doesn't matter why she's made that choice, or what I think of her choice, maybe she can't maybe she just doesn't want to, feeling support and not judgment will impact her day. The saying it takes a village, well it helps, why can't mothers be that village for eachother? Woman could have more open true discussions, if we could seperate fact and judgment. You don't have to support my choice to support me as a parent. You could choose to say, hey thanks for commenting and being apart of the conversation, I'm here as a resource if you would like some information on the negative effects that can come from circumcision, but I wish you and your son all the best, and hope that if you choose this nothing negative happens as a result for your son. The "war" only exists because we've decided that you are either a woman or a mother and if you are the latter we have the right to step into your right to make decisions. Doctors, nurses and society begin this with a woman's birthing experience, and 2.5 years in it's still happening from many corners of my life personally. Im choosing to risk my child's life for example because I'd like to birth at home, (mostly because I'm afraid my baby or myself risk being assaulted by hospital staff) my public ob thinks it's equally as dangerous to vbac at all. The opinions about m choice not to allow my son to receive a hep b vaccine minutes after birth. I've been terribly long winded here I know, but the point is if I've listened to and seeked information is it too much to expect people to agree to disagree and still support my right to make the choices?
by Becca
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