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Propaganda From the Mommy Wars? I Think Not.

Posted on November 18 2010 6:00 pm
Diane Schrader, a former television news writer/producer, lives with her family in Los Angeles. She likes a nice cup of tea. Follow her on Twitter.

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I’ve never seen the stay-at-home vs. go-to-work Mommy thing as “Mommy wars” because in my experience, most of the women who go to work would prefer to stay home with their small children. Hardly a war of ideas – it’s more like those who can and those who wish they could. They’re not really in disagreement. I think the media loves the term “Mommy wars” and the Left loves it even more, as Holly Wickham has pointed out. (Ha ha. I just pretended like the media and the Left are two different things! Silly me.)

However, I don’t think it’s that all difficult to wade through what Holly calls the “propaganda” about mothering decisions. I hear young go-to-work moms spewing this stuff on a regular basis.

On the commuter bus today, the mother of a 2-year-old talking about how her son “needs” to go to daycare because he’s so bored at home. A 2-year-old is bored? Lady, you are not doing your job at all if a 2-year-old is bored – everything in the world is fascinating to a 2-year-old! I suspect far too much screen time has been allowed. In any event, she’s off to the office now, telling herself this is for her son’s own good, and the poor kid’s not even out of diapers yet. (Some sharp daycare director no doubt implied that her son’s superior intellect required the academic stimulation that their institution would provide.)

I have also heard mothers of infants (babies too young to roll over!) assuring anyone who would listen that it was certainly time for them to get back to work, because their child needs “socialization” that supposedly only a good daycare can provide.

And that’s a giant feminist (used in the negative sense, Holly) load of bull puckey. A young child’s most pressing need, as even a good daycare director will tell you, is building a strong sense of security and confidence through stable relationships with a (very) few trusted adults. Guess where the ideal place for that is? The home. Nobody loves them more than their parents, and no one will care for them like their parents. Do you think they don’t know, can’t sense that their “caregivers” don’t care all that much? Because let’s face it – they do not. Frankly, that includes your out-of-this-world expensive “au pair,” Mrs. I-went-to-medical-or-law-school. The au pair or nanny doesn’t care that much, either. But it’s even worse in most non-home based group environments.

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