Tangent: Just to make sure we're all clear, I've officially heard "You Had A Bad Day" song too many times now. Only good days, you hear? I mean it.
I had intended to write about how most American young people can't find Iraq on a map, even though U.S. troops have been there for more than three years, but I came across this op ed piece today and decided to focus on a different war: The Mommy Wars. My favorite topic! LOL
I love columnist Ellen Goodman. IMO she has a great balance of satire, humility, and grounded common sense. In honor of Mother's Day, Goodman thinks we need to put down our Kitchen Aids and Blackberries and call a truce. (Something I have been saying for years!) We need to focus our ire on the media, the real bad guys who are profiting off of keeping this battle going when most of know we are on the same side. The essay is here.
"In real life, the mothers I have known commuted back and forth across those battle lines without even passing a checkpoint. Some had husbands who lost their jobs. Others just lost their husbands. Kids entered the nest and left the nest. One family needed healthcare benefits. Another had a sick child at home. One woman couldn't take the stress of juggling, and another couldn't take the stress of bills. They performed the Improv that's called life.
Were many of us ambivalent? Of course. But on the war front, the commanders and recruitment officers divide ambivalence into opposing armies of true believers. They regularly rev up the mommy wars like some ancient religious conflict."
This part really, made me stand up and cheer:
"As an embed, I have thought that no author should be allowed to promote her life as full-time mom without a disclaimer that said: ''I'm really a writer." For that matter, every warrior should be required to reveal her IRS return. And none should be allowed to deal with dads as if they were noncombatants.
The mommy-war profiteers profit because we do, in fact, take this decision personally. In these battles, the personal remains personal. The conflict keeps mothers facing inward, circling and shooting each other, or searching for signs that the enemy's children are not as smart or as secure as ours."
The climax of this, is a new website/organization dedicated to "get grass roots growing over the scorched earth." Joan Blades, co-author of ''The Motherhood Manifesto" and co-founder of MoveOn.org and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner have formed MomsRising.org,(I freaking love the logo with "Rosie the Riveter" holding a baby! I want the tee shirt---hint hint.) dedicated to a family-friendly society that includes things like paid maternity leave, affordable health care, and quality television programming. On their site you can send an e-card, and sign a petition to the media for a mommy war ''ceasefire."
Birds do it. Bees do it. Corporate traders overseas do it. Then they have babies. Whether you stay home, work part-time or full time, everyone does what is right for themselves and their family. It's life. We got ourselves to this point, we make it work. It's hard. It can be easier though. If we all work together.
Happy Mother's Day:
MK, Lisa, Nancy, Georgia, Ellen, pgh, and any other regulars who have little ones I may have missed or don't know about.
Oh, and you too sissy poo-poo. Soon you will have that bundle of unconditional love staring up at you. :)