July 20, 2012

Each to Her Own - Say NO to 'Sixty Minutes'

So this morning I am trying to get ready, as well as get my three kids fed, dressed, kissed and to school on time, when an ad for Sixty Minutes blasts on my TV.

"These mothers think you have it all wrong," it says, "and they have the scientific evidence to prove it."

I'm not going to provide a link to the Sixty Minutes site. I'm not going to watch Sixty Minutes. I'm really hoping you don't watch it either. Suffice it to say that the segment is about attachment parenting, and mothers who choose to breastfeed indefinitely. It's supposed to make us angry. It's supposed to pit us mothers against each other.

And I have had a gutful of it.

The media is forever trying to create Mummy Wars, with Good Mothers on one side and Bad Mothers on the other side. And you know what? It's BULLSHIT. Yes, there are bad mothers - mothers who physically or psychologically or sexually abuse their kids. Mothers who neglect their kids, who inject them with drugs, who leave them festering in their own waste for days at a time.

But most mothers, the vast, vast majority of us, are good mothers, who are just doing our best.

We all have our different ways of doing things and that is just FINE. Personally, I don't care how any other mother parents. I don't care if you breastfeed your child till they're ten, if you're both happy and comfortable about it. I don't care if you work outside the home or if your child goes to creche or if you leave the house at six every morning. I don't care if you co-sleep, or feed on demand, or put your baby on a schedule. I don't care if you carry your baby all day in a sling, or do controlled crying, or put your child on a vegan diet or give them Maccas chips for lunch. I DON'T CARE. If you love your child and are making thoughtful decisions and educating them and keeping them safe and enjoying their company then that's pretty bloody good in my books.

And I don't care what the celebrities do. I couldn't care less if Alicia Silverstone feeds her baby from her own mouth or if Suri Cruise wears high heels or if the kid is named Apple or Pax or Prince Blanket the Fifth. I DON'T CARE. If the child seems adored and nurtured then what the hell is the problem?

You know what I do care about? I care about children living in poverty. I care about child sexual abuse. I care about indigenous inequality. I care about immunisation. I care about the parents of special needs kids pushed to the limits. I care about education and the medical system and the rights of kids to have their same-sex parents marry. I DO NOT CARE HOW THOUGHTFUL, LOVING PARENTS RAISE THEIR KIDS, even if they do it differently to me.

So please please please, Sixty Minutes and every other inflammatory media outlet.... STOP. Stop trying to pit us mums against each other. We will not fall for it. We are all just doing our best.

Each to her own, people. Make it your mantra. Each to her own.

And stop the bullshit. It's enough.

91 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you, awesome post

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are so right. I never watch 60 minutes (of crap) anyway but will retweet to spread the word.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, care factor - Zero

    Let's just keep our heads down and run our own race.

    Have a great Friday.

    Lou

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well said. Hope you forward to 60 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. *claps loudly* everytime some compromised media attempts to push a barrow I feel like saying, Show me the 18yo, the 36yo, the one you prepared earlier! I'm pretty sure that love and respect are what counts, not what plate it is served on ... xt

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post. We make ourselves feel guilty enough without the media trying to make it worse.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautifully said. I was moved to write a scathing rant too... It's the goddamn hardest job in the world and we're all trying to get it 'right'. They should pick on some other jobs, namely, parking ticket dudes and tax collectors.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to disagree. I think it's good and healthy to discus different parenting styles. It's about criticizing ourselves, understanding why people parent the way they do, to better our own parenting styles. It's not to judge. It's by opening ourselves to critique that we can be the best parents we can, rather than turn a blind eye and not put any thought to our actions and the impact it has on our children.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Totally agree - each to their own has been my mantra since my first child was born almost 2 years ago and I'm so sick of the media peddling mummy wars and all associated tripe. Thanks for a great post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes they are up to round 3 or 4 of using AP as their pitch. The last one I watched was in2006, it was the very last time I watched 60 Minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ExcellEnt post, and timely. It's a shame there's not more blokes taking a stand too. So I'll just have to add my voice to the chorus of protest.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sing it sister. I poposted along similar lines last night after seeing the ad. I have no intention of watching it but will look forward to some people telling me how it proves that I am doing it wrong.

    By some people I mean in-laws. By looking forward to I mean run screaming for the hills.

    Enough.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I did watch 60 minutes and my "Libra brain" immediately started looking at pros and cons of A.p. until I realised "who am I to question their choice" and that every parent has the right to choose how they raise their children as long as it is in a loving and supportive environment. Unfortunately we are programmed by society to judge others choices and are made to feel guilty about our own when most of us are simply trying to do the best we can. Love your thinking and WILL boycott these types of shows in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hear you. And I'm with you. Spare a thought too, for those of us whom the media (and society) considers unworthy of ANY comment - the unmothers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your post is such a breath of fresh air Kerri in the funk of media shit stirring. I'm sorry I first saw it on Mamamia. I love the difference between the comments there (mostly disrespectful and judgmental) and here (resoundingly supportive).

    ReplyDelete
  16. How refreshing to read such an insightful piece about parenting. Thank you. I'll definitely be sharing this on my facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you! I had a horrible reaction from my husband as I explained a "lotus" birth to him the other day... why he was so critical when it had absolutely nothing to do with us, I can't understand ... Subsequently we had a loud argument in front of our own children then. *smiles and shrugs* It is what it is.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You're right. It's been going on for years, with each new wave of different parenting styles. The unfortunate thing is, a huge amount of people must love it, because they continue to do every week!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hell yeah! We are all different, so of course our parenting styles will differ too. If your child's eyes are smiling, you're doing ok. I dont care which exit route your child took from your body, where they slept or how you fed them once they were here. Just that you loved them, fed them, and let them sleep. No 60 mins for me - the other options are "extreme fishing" on channel One, or "misbehaving mums to be" on ABC 2. Time for foxtel I think!

    ReplyDelete
  20. A-feakin'-men! (insert standing ovation here). Excellent post, Kerri. Tell it like it freaking is! x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post Kerri, and like a few others here have said, there are some other media outlets you can throw in with 60 Minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ugh...I am so tired of the media using 'mommy wars' and every other 'mommy' whatever they can think of to advertise. Like you said we all do the best we can. Great post! Found you on the blog hop :)
    -Dani
    suburbiainterrupted.com
    @sunshinemommy

    ReplyDelete
  23. After nearly 10 years I have learned a lot about balance. I'm just glad I found this site! I saw you talking about your book on daytime TV (I'm a chronic anxiety sufferer and panic disorder as well - add my sons Angelman syndrome and I am often a walking time bomb!) can't wait to read the book and read your blog posts!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow. I did see this story advertised and was curious. I was fascinated with the comment that one of the mums said that her child has never cried! I didn't really see this as a negative story however after having read your blog I will not be watching 60 mins (and actually haven't for a long time anyway). Now I'm off to take my kids for our gourmet red rooster dinner!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh my goodness. A friend has just shared your blog post via Facebook. I had a recent rant about a Mamamia article that ultimately was trying to entice mothers into a debate about drug free childbirth against those who opted for pain relief. I have many opinions on styles of mothering - but only for my own children. I too cannot stand the "for/against" discussions which inevitably turn into "us/them" arguments in the media. We mothers question ourselves day in and day out. Whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, had a cesarean birth, vaginal birth, IVF, surrogacy, etc, should never ever be held up to others as the right way for everyone else.Majority of mothers do the best they can with what they have. Enough, is enough so enough already. GREAT BLOGPOST - loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. They lost me when they did the smacking segment a few months ago. Inflammatory bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  27. couldnt agree more Kerrie, after all isnt people dying in wars, kids being beaten, kids in poverty more important then mothers parenting differently? every child is different, every parent is different. if the child is happy and healthy and safe then does the rest of it really matter?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kerri - I LOVE this post and am going to share it RIGHT NOW on my business page which is followed by mamas, and pretty much only mamas! The whole breast vs bottle, 'natural' vs c-section, blah blah blah discussions are soooooo yesterday! Move on people, move on!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I agree wholeheartedly Kerri. This was excellently written and I wish more people would take a page out of your book.

    ReplyDelete
  30. THANK YOU Kerri! I'm an "extended breastfeeder", and the way this program was done made me really angry. I don't do this because I think everyone who doesn't is wrong. I do it because it works for me and my family. It certainly wouldn't work for other people and other situations, just as their practice wouldn't be right for me. These programs are so damaging to all women, the way they present parenting choices as "one size fits all". Different families have different needs, and the last thing parents need is more grief for the way they meet those needs.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I fretted about all the choices I made with my first child and then my second child was born with a rare condition that has left him severely disabled. What happened put it all into perspective. When you are worrying about keeping your child well and alive whether you are using organic broccoli becomes a non issue. We had to decide about feeding tubes rather than how long to breast feed! We need to all give ourselves a huge break and just stop worrying!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wonderfully said Kerri, couldn't agree more. x

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes. *applauds loudly*
    As an aside I was reading the twitter stream the other night of a very hip, young journalist/blogger who was loudly asserting that it was because of the Mummy Wars that SHE was never having children. I rolled my eyes so far back in my head they nearly became stuck.
    There is NO SUCH THING as mummy wars, we are too busy to even think about mummy-warring as it is hard enough planning a trip to the loo by yourself let alone planning a full scale war. (or it was when I was an exhausted young mother)
    I am sick of the MSM treating mothers like idiots. hmmph. good post.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I followed Mrs Woog's link to you today. Glad I did because you are so bloody right! I agree, do what is right for you, don't judge, be happy with your choices.
    Can see myself popping over more often Kerri :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wow, I think I'm a little bit in love with you after reading that! Very well said, you tell 'em. It's wrong that as mothers we're made to feel that we must continually defend our choices, at the end of the day we all want the same thing: what's best for our children. Each to her own! X

    ReplyDelete
  36. Too right, what complete nonsense. It's just being shown to get people perving and breastfeeding and to try to raise controversy. How dimwitted!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Each to their own, live and let live. That's it, just let us get on with it all you media big wigs that have squeezed the guts out of the 'bad mother' story. I'm so over it too. BTW don't you think Sixty Minutes has turned into an ACA type show rather than the quality program it was when Jana was on there? Thanks for putting it out there Kerri!

    ReplyDelete
  38. And funnily enough mums actually do have these conversations amongst ourselves where we learn stuff about ourselves and each other without it turning into a war, it's just the media that fires it up into a hype.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Benita (MissBenben)January 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Gawd, even when you're cranky you're articulate! Kerri this is so, so true. Every parent does the best they can every day with the set of circumstances they've been dealt. And if that means today I'm exhausted and the kids are eating hot chips from the servo for dinner because that's the best I can do, then who on earth has the right to judge me? I really have had an absolute gutful of this insatiable desire to create disharmony among mums. And I truly believe the people who drive these stories are doing so for their own gain, whether it be hits on a blog or viewers watching a show, because nothing fires up a mum more than the insinuation that she is a "bad" mum.
    I am so glad you wrote this. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Television journalists can spout this crap and yet it's bloggers who are apparently unethical across the board :P

    ReplyDelete
  41. Haven't watched it forever. Can't hack it. Well said.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I could have written this, although not as good x

    ReplyDelete
  43. We should all boycott 60 minutes. Sick of all this bullshit!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Had a premature reply click....I wanted to say thank you for caring from a Mother of a Special Needs child.

    ReplyDelete
  45. OMG. I just burst into tears. I think I also fell in love with you. You are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Excellent, excellent post. I couldn't agree more. Rachel

    ReplyDelete
  47. Above comment by Leigh @Sixbythesea xx

    ReplyDelete
  48. All hail you! Thank you for your ballsy approach! Mothers are the backbone to future and present society....... Lets love one another, its a hell more nurturing than the opposite xx

    ReplyDelete
  49. Well said sista!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Mothering itself does enough to dent your self-esteem - we don't need any help from the media!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Not only do I not care if you breastfeed your child till it's 10, quite frankly, it's none of my business. I'm so tired of the parenting 'judges'. But I'm even more tired of the media which loves to stir them up. Great post Kerri. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  52. agreed!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Unfortunately people do buy into it so they'll get lots of calls for and against. Grrrr....

    ReplyDelete
  54. BRILLIANT! Just what I needed to read as I was feeling guilty feeding my 3 year old hot chips for lunch...

    ReplyDelete
  55. OMGiosh how ever did we survive before ???

    I told my girls not to worry what anyone says to toss the book because there
    are no rules you are a mum and you will work it out. It’s ok to listen to advice if you want it but
    to be told you have to do it this way or you are a bad mother … F#@& off. It can be hard enough for a new mom without
    stressing that you are doing things to please everyone else. I saw it as a new
    dad and husband with my kids and as a dad with grandkids I hate it. Being a
    parent is a wonderful experience there is no need for the stress even with a
    sick or difficult child my daughter lost her baby at seven weeks to meningitis she
    did everything right but suffered a lot of guilt about allowing people to touch
    her new born because that is what she was told not to let them be touched and
    held . I mean really!!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh I want to add my voice to this too. Yes yes yes, a thousand times yes!! And another thing......imagine if we could have genuine *conversations* about different approaches to parenting. Imagine if we could share experiences, exchange ideas.....my goodness *learn* from each other, discover new ways to escape from the traps that always seem to be lurking. But we can't have these conversations BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS TURN INTO MUMMY WARS!!! Bah.

    ReplyDelete
  57. EVERYONE needs to read this post - you are so very right! x

    ReplyDelete
  58. Gaaah 60 Minutes!!! No I will not be watching. You know, I've always said there's GOOD journalism and BAD journalism... not to be JUDGMENTAL or SUPER-BORING or anything...

    ReplyDelete
  59. www.arthousehomelife.comJanuary 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Yes. They (bullshit media purveyors of angst and divisiveness) do it on this and many other important issues, for monetary gain. I'm just wondering how many real stories aren't being covered while this unproductive garbage is.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Amen! (and thank you,)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Well said, Kerri.

    ReplyDelete
  62. What_Sarah_Did_NextJanuary 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Sing it, sister! I've had enough of the Guilt Police and the Pick A Fight Brigade too. xx

    ReplyDelete
  63. Kerri - you are bloody amazing. YES YES YES to ALL OF THIS. A-FREAKING-MEN.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Love This Post. From a co-sleeping breast feeding maccas eating bundle of contradictions. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hear hear #turnoffSixtyMinutes

    ReplyDelete
  66. Love this post.Agree completely.There are far more important things to care about than parents who care for their kids.xx

    ReplyDelete
  67. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! You are SO right.

    ReplyDelete
  68. As a mum or a 2 week old baby this post is very close to home at the moment and I couldn't agree more! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Well said, as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I have had a gutful of it too.
    Enough with the bullshit. Couldn't agree more.
    Now I'm off to work all day and then collect my child who will be looked after by paid professionals. Not that any of this is anyone's business.


    Please can this blog post get re-posted everywhere. Well, more everywhere.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am completely hearing you. After last week's terrible interview with Jens Breivik I can't tune in anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I haven't watched 60 MInutes for years, for precisely this reason. It's gutter press....trash! Not for intelligent viewers at all!! Great post Kerri.

    ReplyDelete
  73. There aren't good mothers or bad mothers; just mothers who are surviving and doing their best.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Children need hugs, and need to know they're loved the way they are.

    ReplyDelete
  75. A-freaking-men!! Preach it, sister!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  76. YES. And the funniest thing about the 'mummy wars' is that what everyone decides is 'good' and 'bad' changes every day.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks! Love hearing from you.

Like it? Share it!