Friday, June 22, 2007

Alpha Mom vs Slacker Mom

"Here we go again" I muttered to myself as I saw this was the title of an upcoming segment on the Today Show this morning. "Yet another media fueled 'Battle of the Mothers'". Here is a link to the video of this morning's segment if you didn't catch it.

I am growing weary of this constant 'let's pit one mom against the other' that the Today Show is churning out with growing regularity. Granted, this morning's session was tame compared to the worn out Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom debates like those surrounding Linda Hirschman, and her declaration that educated women were wasting their time by 'tending the home fires'. Let's not forget Leslie Bennetts and her statement that Stay at Home Moms are screwing themselves by being financially dependent on someone else, not to mention the never ending breastfeeding vs formula feeding debate (which I'm sure has been covered at some point by 'Today').

What is with this obsession among mothers, or perhaps more correctly, within the media, of categorizing moms as one type or another? What's with the rush to pigeon hole people? Is it now cool to be competitive about how anal you are, or how much of a slacker you are? Give me a break!

It never ceases to amaze me that each of these televised debates fail to convey adequately in little segments complete with cute graphics and video tape pieces, is that human beings, women, moms, have innate personality traits - things that set us apart - individual differences. This is something that Isabel Kallman, one of the participants in the segment this morning, tried to express, but whether it was the constraints of the time slot, or being quashed by Meredith in a quest for more controversial soundbites, I don't think she came across as clearly as she does here in her own blog post about the subject.

Here's a novel thought - maybe some women choose one path or another because, eh - that's what works for them? And the feminist in me (yes I stay at home, and yes I'm a feminist!) is asking, why is it always the moms that are the subject of such debates? When are we going to have the Dads examined, pitted against each other, have their parenting styles investigated? Hmm? Not that I think that will achieve much either, but it sure would make for some different viewing of a morning.

(Just as a little aside, since I'm sitting here typing this, and my daughter has nipped the inside of her cheek with a pen she was chewing on - I'm thinking there's no doubt as to which category I belong in! Well, she'll not do that again in a hurry.)

If perpetuating the 'Mommy Wars' is the best the Today Show can do in terms of coming up with program content, when there is a world full of events of importance - I'm thinking it's time I found something else to watch while I have my breakfast.


Megan (Velveteen Mind) said...

Annie! We are such the "ditto" sisters, again. Lord help us.

I wrote a very similar post this morning, which Plain Jane Mom posted on her guest blogger post today. I've been becoming more and more irritated with this labeling thing for a while now, meaning to write a post about it for months, then just had to hammer it out once I saw the TODAY segment today. I mean, enough already.

The Good Woman said...

Indeed. Thank heavens all Moms are different. Our kids are different too. Which means this great big world of ours can be peopled by lots of different people. And be that much more interesting for it!

Absolutely Bananas said...

it's so true... so tiresome. you'd think the media would have PLENTY of other stuff to cover.

Slackermommy said...

I hear ya! It's so ridiculous. I'm getting tons of hits for "slacker mom" so I took the quiz to make sure I live up to my name.

Annie said...

Ha ha Slackermommy! Good for you!

Belinda said...

Hopefully as we continue to refuse to participate, they'll get the idea. But as long as this claptrap continues to sell books, we're sunk. And the books are always just preaching to the choir of whoever they're describing. Apparently there's a fortune to be made in identifying a personality type and then validating it.

Flamenco Mom said...

Amen, Annie! I'm so tired of this Mom war business. And you're so right: considering all that's going on in the world today, it's disturbing and rather pitiful that the Today show and others like it keep harping on the same topic. Enough is enough!

jenny said...

ABOLUTELY RIGHT ON! That is exactly the reason I dont watch those types of shows anymore. I get so tired of the repetitive stories that all seem to say the same thing over and over without saying anything we dont already know! I happen to LOVE staying home and being the "housewife" and doing the so-called traditional roles of Man working, Female stay home.

Instead of me running off to work and dumping my kids off at daycare or school, I can be home to nuture them, kiss their boo-boos, play outside and have a lazy day lying on the floor watching TV. For ME, this works!

Suburban Oblivion said...

If I bring brownies can I join the ditto club? :D

Jennifer Playgroupie said...

Great post, Annie. I have quit watching the Today Show eventhough it was one of my favorite shows. The constant perpetuation of the Mommy WArs was driving me insane.

I don't care how other mothers choose to raise their kids, how they feed them, if they drink at playdates...I only care about what works for ME.

Brillig said...

Excellent post, Annie. Spot on.

Rebecca said...

great post! (just blog-hopped over here from Sugar kane's blog) Great point you made that maybe we are all just different and that what workd for one mightn't necessarily work for another. You wouldn't think it was such a difficult concept to grasp, would you?

Shauna said...


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