Failing Together: The “Mommy Wars”

I used to not believe in the so called “mommy wars.” I assumed they were inflated. I thought they were titled in a divisive way to pit women against each other. I considered “mommy wars” to be exaggerated, misunderstood, and sometimes altogether made up.

Then I wrote a blog about using technology with my children.

I’m a believer.

Except it isn’t just “mommies” at war. It is people who have never had children (but are certain they know how to raise them). It is parents who have children that are grown, but they did everything perfect so now they are offering the rest of us sorry suckers some advice. It is people who plan to someday have children, have read every book about it, and are now experts on the subject matter.

Parenting topics have always been debated but I cannot imagine that parents have ever been under this much scrutiny. Mostly in part to the fact we’ve never had this much access to information and information sharing.

I had to think really hard for awhile about whether I wanted to continue on this blogging adventure. It is all fun and games until 5,000 people tell you what they think about the way your kid draws cats.

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I know that people on all side of this technology debate (and replace this with any current “mommy war” topic) are passionate about it because they love children. That is why I came back to this blog.

As a follow up to a particularly harsh comment that called me both lazy and not suited to adequately parent, a local mother replied with this.

 “You and me Meg, we’re all failing in this together.”

Failing is something I’ve learned a lot about recently. One year ago when my library started creating a Makerspace I knew nothing about the tools and technology that would go into it. The greatest lesson, for me, through the entire process was learning by failing.

It took me 20 tries to get this breadboard to light up.

 

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Failing.

The first time I used our 3D printer I “cooked” wood filament inside it and broke the thing.

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Failed a lot.

First time I used our 3Doodler? 

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What is it, you may ask? A failure.

Through all the failure, I’ve learned a lot.

I came back to this blog because I am also passionate about children. So much so, that I think it is amazing that we are such failures according to the “mommy wars.” How else would we be learning anything?

 

Failing together might be the only thing we (everyone working with children) all have in common. There is much that can divide us, but I am certain we are all doing our share of failing. I am proud to be failing with all of you.

Here is my latest failure. I, the children’s librarian, just forged my children’s reading logs so they could take them to school and redeem a prize. Did they read the 600 minutes? Of course they did! Did they read the books I wrote down on the dates and times I noted? Indeed they did not. Let’s hope my clever pen changing at the halfway mark threw them off. It makes my daughter using youtube to learn how to draw a cat not sound so bad, right?

Will I learn from the failure? Maybe. I really hate those reading logs.

I think the real lesson comes from admitting that we don’t know it all. That is what failing does. It allows us to ask questions. To share successes. To work together to make progress on this unsolvable puzzle.

So I not asking what you think about the princess debate, your thoughts on makeup free selfies, and I’m certainly not touching the vaccination debate.

What I really want to know is how are you failing?

28 comments

  • Great article and while I read your technology write up, I did not read the comments as I like you understand that NO ONE ON THIS GREEN PLANET KNOWS IT ALL!!! There I said it.
    God gave us free will which is what makes us all different. If we all did everything the same imagine how that would be. If someone did not think/step outside the box we may be sitting here in caveman like set ups still.
    What works for one may not work for another and I for one will dance to my own tune just as you should!! My children are learning all the life skills they need to survive on their own and they will be successful with the technology they use now as it will be needed in their future along with growing their own food, canning, compassion for animals, responsibility and so on!!
    Your blog is for enjoyment for you and your followers. If they don’t like your post, then they can get out of your kitchen!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I love what you share and your honesty in doing so. I have always hated the mommy wars and they have been going on forever. I am sorry some called expert has the nerve to judge what they don’t know or understand. I to have failed at many things some of the things you have posted before on the flip side of that I have learned from each failure and tried again. Keep up the good work, you are amazing.

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    • Thank you Cindy, you are amazing as well! Thanks for allowing me to fail with you. It has all been quite the learning experience.

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  • Moxie in the Making

    You sound like a great mom! Your kids are going to be spectacular, and the haters will just have to deal with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I am so thankful I read your blog post! I am the mother of Jack (ios7 meltdown) on youtube…yes, my dear husband filmed my 4 year old having a fit about the iPad operating system changing. Then it went viral. 3 million views later and a WEALTH of hate in the comments, I almost lost my mind over it all. I learned something though…not that we are horrid parents, but that I can’t take what other people think they know to heart. I will also do my best to teach my kiddos that what they put out there in this world does matter, and to make it good and helpful. Thank you for your post!!

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    • Oh my. I had never seen it. Can I just say how much I LOVE HIM! That is exactly how I feel over updates. Thank you so much for your words. It helps to hear from others who have come out on top after the scrutiny. Keep doing what works for you!

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  • Lydia Devadason

    I love your down-to-earth and quite frankly, extremely sensible posts. This (plus a love of writing) was actually what motivated me to start my blog. I do not share exciting stories about the wonderful experience of parenting. I describe, humorously, the stupid things that my kids do and the mistakes that I make on a daily basis. I did this because I was sick of people on FB bragging about their children and their parenting skills and I found that other parents appreciated a more ‘real’ account and found reading about my terrible day therapeutic, lol. We are all failing at parenting, in our own way, you are absolutely right – but only some have the insight to know this and to try to do something about it. Rant over 😉

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  • I was never a smug or judgmental parent (I’m a live and let live kind of person), BUT my first two kids make parenting look easy. I did take a certain amount of pride in who they were, how they behaved, and thought maybe it was my awesome parenting skills. Then I had my third child, perfectly described by the book “Raising Your Spirited Child”.
    Man, what an eye-opener the last 12 years have been. I am so much more accepting now of the variety of human behavior. The smug parents are still out there, but I try not to let them get to me. If anything, I feel sorry for them because their experience is so limited, and they’re closing themselves off to real relationships and empathy with people because they think they know better.
    If you want to avoid parenting wars, you have to stick to safe topics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, and my 12 yr old son and my husband did a 3-D printing workshop at a local library and they loved it! Technology is here to stay, being a Luddite isn’t going to stop it from happening. It’s all about balance, not an either/or choice.

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  • Don’t worry hon. I fail the reading log too – AND I JUST HAVE TO WRITE DOWN A NUMBER for each calendar day. I think I lost all of February somewhere. Like the entire calendar just *poof* disappeared out of the kitchen. I’ll also claim failure in WHAT we read. I jumped him into chapter books at age 4 because he has the attention span for it, and loves a good story. I probably should have stuck with the little-kid books to help him gain better reading skills. Although he just read the “A long time ago..” bit at the opening of the Star Wars movie to me, so I’m not too worried. Failing is always more fun with company.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Your honesty is refreshing and nothing short of brilliant! Seriously! Was it not Thomas Edison who said “I have not failed. I have just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.” Well, in my book, that’s called TRYING!! And if we, as parents, are not trying, THEN we are failing our children. So keep on failing. Cuz that means you’re trying. And sooner or late (God, I hope!) we will get it right. 🙂

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  • I too was ignorant of these “mommy wars” and failed to believe it’s impact on our everyday. I feel awful that you were bombarded by negativity after your wonderful article. I think you are a genius & it got me thinking about how I parent with/out technology. I’m writing about my journey with it. Thank you for your article & this one too. I’m constantly learning, which means I’m constantly failing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • I like this. Wise and gentle. You set a good example for humility and strength and grace in parenting.

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  • I thought your technology write up was spot on. It really infuriates me that everyone feels they are in a position to know better when clearly you are a thoughtful professional and a mom who took a very balanced approach to something that is a reality in our modern lives. As I recently wrote on my own blog it’s time to put an end to these mommy wars.

    Liked by 1 person

  • happy to be failing at motherhood along with you! You’re love of children and education are beyond commendable. I, for one, wish the Mommy Wars were an exaggerated fable.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Last week I banged my palms on the wall when one of the littles would not come when called . . . it sent hanging frames sailing to the floor and shattering. When asked why I did what I did, I labeled the entire incident an accident. My littles saw right through that. FAIL.

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    • Oooh yes. I’ve so been there before! (I’m sure we all have! ) Good for you for failing 😉

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      • Meg – I am am so thankful I stumbled into your blog . . . I am learning to be REAL this year, it’s new to me and I am digging it! Thank you!

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  • Being my sons (if left to their own devices) would never put down their devices I love your piece. I am with you an failing and it is amazing what can be part of the mommy wars. I run into the most battle over two things; encouraging my kids to do things I did or wish I did and the video games.

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  • I just came across your blog and so have not read the post you’re referring to in this one. Actually, I have noticed a lot of posts pop up lately on the debate of whether technology is good or bad for children. In the end, it’s all a matter of moderation! YouTube is an excellent resource (with supervision for the young ones of course), and if it helped your child to learn how to draw a cat… I don’t see what’s wrong with that! In fact, now I’m inspired to go and check out what other kind of drawing lessons YouTube has to offer. 🙂

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  • Love reading your blog! It gives us all “failing” mommies hope and a few minutes to see the humor in ourselves 😉 We are all “failing” aka LEARNING everyday. Heard a great speaker yesterday who referred to losses as lessons instead… I think that is spot on.

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  • I found your technology piece to be thought-provoking. My comments weren’t in any way associated with “mommy” wars. I seek to bridge the “scholar-practioner” divide in my writings about these issues. Your point of view is certainly valid and you are entitled to make your own choices. And yes, we are all hopelessly flawed as parents, but have the best intentions in mind. Glad I found your blog!

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  • too read the post but not all the comments even though I usually enjoy comments I had a feeling I would not enjoy the ones there and I see I was right. I have heard it plenty of times as I am sure you have, don’t you wish you knew everything about everyone like so many haters?

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