mommy wars

What Have We Done?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

For those of you who know me, who follow along and who “get” the Forty Weeks philosophy you know our credo is pretty straight forward. We focus on women and the Forty Week journey that leads to motherhood. We work with like-minded companies who offer products and services that are both needed and necessary. We focus on keeping products and services in the market-place that support and even enliven the journey. We care for all women – by providing care, adoration, respect, non-judgement and true consideration. We like to laugh too - it feels essential to the journey. And mainly we seek to protect women from those who would hurt us. We take this all quite seriously – that is who we are!

 But what happens when women hurt women- when we hurt ourselves? When the pressure and the standards we set fail us and lead us to war with each other and ourselves. You know these wars  of course because the media loves them so and covers them tirelesly and repeatedly. And so in all possible forums and with great frequency the Mommy Wars are front and center. They show up around almost every corner and they seem to be without end. But what is this really?  In short, it is women hurting each other — and going to battle over very personal choices. Nothing new…nothing good.

But today I saw this on Momlogic and it was something new – a new level of wrong, of shame and of tragedy. I felt cold and sick reading the original article in the Mail describing how a new mother jumped to her death over her inability to breastfeed her baby. Yes – A woman killed herself because she could not breastfeed her baby well enough  and considered herself a failure. The pressure was so great and overwhelming  – her sense of personal failure so high and of course, of course her post-natal depression so extreme that it all slipped away. I am not taking away from any of these facts -  all of these very real factors were at play. Yet somewhere she got the message (that then went through the lens of her post-natal depression) that her failure to breastfeed was a big enough failure to  end her life over. She left behind a mother-less infant and a widower and a great void where she one stood. She died over breastfeeding. How did we get here and what have we done?

 There is little to say and really all we can do is take a good hard look at ourselves. Who are we helping (and who are we hurting) with our positions. Is it worth a life? Is the Mommy War worth dying for.

I think not.