I find myself in an interesting child-raising season. When my boys were toddlers and pre-schoolers, the families we spent time with seemed to be on the same page. We all emphasized sharing, manners, healthy snacks, and reading before bedtime. But now that our kids are early-elementary-school aged, it seems our differing "theories" about how to best raise children are causing some chinks in the armor. We no longer collectively agree on the best route to take. Unwittingly, instead of being content to find my own direction and wish others well on their child-rearing quest, I have ended up in arguments and confrontations trying to convince women I respect that they are doing "it" wrong.
I am on the front lines of the "mommy wars," weapon drawn, ready to strike the opposition. And I'm not even sure why.
Mention mommy wars to any parent on the planet and they'll likely map out the opposing sides they most closely resonate with: breastfeeding versus bottle, co-sleeping versus crib, working versus stay–at-home, public school versus homeschool, helicopter versus free range. Players in the "us versus them" war change, and as long as we continue to take the bait the battle will range on. But exactly who is baiting the otherwise rational, articulate, adult women?
The Enemy, that's who. And he's been laughing his way to the bank of broken souls ever since he drew these arbitrary lines in the sand.
Like all wars, there is profit. For the Enemy, pinning us against each other means we have (much) less time to fight pornography, sexting, designer drugs, alcohol abuse, bullying, and a host of other unsavory distractions stripping our children of their morality. How can we keep up with what our kids are doing when we're busy keeping up with the latest gossip on whose parenting strategies fell short of the mark? And we're certainly not loving our neighbor as ourselves when we feel superior in light of someone's struggle.1