I'm linking this post up with Mummy Barrow's Ranty Friday because as you will see, I, erm, may have gone on a bit of a tangent!?!
It took me completely by surprise the first time I was exposed to it; I was at a friend's house, and there were a few of us there who were pregnant. One woman said something along the lines of "I would never use pain relief during labour, you aren't a real woman if you have to have drugs." I couldn't believe it. Up until that point I'd never really thought about pain relief when giving birth but for the remainder of my pregnancy, I could never shake that thought from my mind. Without even really consciously making the decision, I entered into a 'I want to be a real woman and therefore I won't have pain relief' competition with myself and I was actually disappointed when I needed an epidural during labour with Meg.
Later, I came to see how necessary it actually was given her presentation and I would say now that it is the best decision I made but it's the kind of thing that is everywhere; people always want to know 'how' you gave labour as though it is some kind of marking system where your ability to cope with the pain makes or breaks you in their eyes.
Since then, I've seen it pretty much everywhere:
Breast-feeding v Bottle-feeding
Cloth nappies v Disposable nappies
Controlled crying v Baby-wearing
The list is literally endless, those are just three categories I've pulled out of my head.
The thing that really gets me though, is how we allow ourselves to be pulled into these different 'wars' by the media. One of the latest offerings I have seen is from Katie Hopkins.
I don't even know where to begin.
Katie Hopkins is a royal idiot.
She is touting utter nonsense purely for the purposes of getting on television. Thanks to shows like This Morning allowing her the time of day, she no doubt feels vindicated in her ludicrous opinions. I think she should sit down and be quiet.
Her description on twitter reads:
'Telling it like it is'. The only candidate to say 'no' to Sir Alan. Business operator, social commentator, speaker and TV personality.
Actually Katie, love, I think you have it wrong. I think you are telling it like it 'isn't' in order to keep on the Z list of TV personalities. But perhaps that's a conversation for another time.
I overheard two mums I was walking behind on the way to work last week talking about how they think she 'has a point' over her baby names comments - *insert loud scream of anger here* she doesn't doesn't doesn't have a point. She just doesn't!! She has a hunger to be in the public eye and we are allowing her to sate that by tuning in to her absurd diatribes.
Because there isn't enough conflicting advice when you are about to become a mummy.
Because there aren't enough people out there who will offload their opinions on to you as soon as they find out you are pregnant.
Because becoming a mummy and being completely overloaded with the media's idea of what motherhood means isn't actually confusing enough.
I mean, that must be the reason why my ears have to be filled with her snobbish, unfounded, ridiculous ideas about what it means to be a mum.
Now I see she has tweeted out about mother's who post photos of their babies 4 hours after giving birth.
Can someone please tell the woman to close her mouth? I cannot stand that first time mummies particularly, have to enter this world of parenthood and read comments like that.
I was 21 when I gave birth to Meg, it was a total surprise (the pregnancy, not the birth part, I kind of knew that bit was coming!) and I had to do a lot of learning in a small amount of time. It is nothing short of overwhelming when you become a mummy and the absolute last thing you need is the media allowing women like this to stand up and dictate what motherhood should look like.
We give ourselves enough of a tough time without 'celebrities' being allowed to come in and have their say. The media is so influential and opinions are everywhere, it can be really difficult sometimes to switch off from the outside.
I'm not saying for one minute that the world needs to be all peace and love, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I just wish it didn't have to be Camp A or Camp B. I have honestly lost count of the number of times I have been asked a question like "are you for or against co-sleeping?" - Well, actually I'm neither. I think each parent should do the best job they are able for their children, whatever that may look like.
Parenting can be a really bewildering experience and it is a constantly changing environment where you have to try and be one step ahead of the game. Why why why do we make that worse for ourselves??
I honestly think that television shows like This Morning should place careful consideration onto the subjects they bring into the discussion forum. Katie Hopkin's role on that particular show was designed to inflame and bring about controversy. I think it's a shame that they allowed themselves to be brought so low in the ratings game and I, for one, will think twice before tuning in again to a program which shows such utter crap.
As mothers we need to learn to stand side by side and help each other. It's not an easy job after all and putting others down because they are parenting differently or are making certain choices just shouldn't happen.
Oh, and Katie? I'd like to give her a superb punch to the head. Maybe that would knock her brain cells into order and she would learn to support parents not divide them.