23 April 2007

First thoughts on a really objectionable blog posting

I'll actually update the diary some time soon, I have some entries to post but they are widely spaced. I just got a little wound up today and I have to post something about it (here where nobody will get upset about it lol).


I don’t agree. Now get me straight here, I agree that the Mummy Wars are a bad thing, and that women should trust their instincts. I just don’t believe that the choices we make don’t matter, that there isn’t a right or a wrong, or that there should be no such thing as current research!

I believe firmly that there IS a right way and a wrong way, not in its entirety for every family, but there nevertheless. I believe that there are also right and wrong motivations – and indeed that to outdo someone or prove that you are a Good or Better Mummy is a bad motivation. But not that it’s worth giving up on trying to be a better parent in case you somehow are being smug or letting the side down by admitting that you know damn well what bad parenting looks like.

There is, I agree, no such thing as a Bad Mother. Even the examples given in the article are not Bad Mothers. How dare you point the finger and say that an abused woman in fear of her life should bear the label GUILTY for not protecting her children – what bloody protection was given to her? And as for the hypothetical woman who breaks a child’s arm, yeah sure that is abuse but its hardly bad parenting, it is just plain bad!

There is no such thing as a Good Mother any more than there is such a thing as a Good Person. None of us are either. We are all just mothers, just people, just muddling along in the Grey Area that is life on Earth.

But there IS such a thing as bad choices, as bad parenting, as wrong actions. I know because I make them, I know because I see humanity around me, getting it wrong sometimes but still being noble and good people, REAL people. Being a good person (and I don’t see how any of us have the right to say that anyone is a bad person because we only see the choices, not the heart) does not mean being perfect. It doesn’t mean measuring up to anyone else. But it does mean making a choice – and making the best one for your children with the information you can gather.

Current research will change; it will get closer and closer to the truth. Because truth is not a subjective standard, it is real. Please, I see that we are trying not to hurt anyone by imposing our personal standards upon each other without acceptance that we have all made our own informed choices. That is all well and good. But let’s not try to kid ourselves that this article is attempting to deny those standards altogether – don’t allow clever and pleasant-sounding doubletalk to remove the facts.

We all have the right to our own personal way of doing things, but we should be spending our energies trying to find the best possible personal way of doing things. Not settling for “good enough” just because it isn’t nice to admit that we can do better. Especially where “good enough” means “I didn’t kill or rape my children, therefore I am a Good Mother.” WHAT?

Off my soapbox now. ;)

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