Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kindergarten rules

I have been out of the blogosphere realm for a while because I find myself too weary to write.  Trevor says no one wants to read about how exhausted I am from the hypothyroidism issues, so I won't bore you with that information.  :)

Lately I have been doing a lot of blog-reading and site-reading instead of writing, and I have noticed a disturbing trend.  There is so much bashing going on out there in Ye Olde Interwebs, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.  The most disturbing thing is all of the women bashing other women.  Listen, I know that we all think our way is the best whether it's in reference to child-rearing, working, dating, marriage, or even fashion.  We're all entitled to our opinions, and we should be willing to back them up if we're going to put them out there for the world to see.  The only issue I have is when the delivery is downright mean.

Women in particular tend to be extremely hard on other women for the choices they make.  Breastfeeding is the only way to feed a child; bottle feeding gives women the freedom they richly deserve. Women should stay at home if they really love their children; women should go to work to show their children that women can have it all.  Attachment parenting is the only way to raise successful children; giving children freedom is the only way to raise successful children.  Keeping kids busy with multiple activities is the only way to teach responsibility; too many extra-curriculars doesn't allow kids to just be kids.  Women need nights out with friends to save their sanity from time to time; women who do girls' nights out are selfish.  When does it end? I hate, hate, HATE the term "Mommy Wars" but that's exactly what seems to be the case.  Women are at war with each other, and that can't be good for our children or our society as a whole.

Marissa Mayer, the president and CEO of Yahoo!, has been in the news for her 2 week maternity leave and her new edict that no Yahoo! employes will be allowed to work from home.  I have read plenty of well-balanced articles about the new policy, but I have read just as many comments that attack Mayer personally. While I may or may not agree with Mayer's decisions, the key is that they are HER decisions.  What works for her family may not work for my family, and that's okay.  She would probably be horrified that I am a Midwest soccer mom with no apparent goals or dreams.  But my life, my fantastic life, works for me; that's all that really matters.

My dream is to have a world, a real life world and an electronic world, where we can offer each other just a little more kindness.  Be nice.  Play fair.  If you hurt someone, apologize and mean it.  Have your own views and opinions, but express them in a positive way.  We don't need to be wishy-washy doormats, but we also don't have to be know-it-all jerks, you know?  It's incredibly easy to go into attack mode on the Internet because we're all as anonymous as we want to be in cyberspace.  I think what everyone forgets is that we are real people behind our screen names, and the things people say can hurt.  I'm reminded of a quote from When Harry Met Sally when Meg Ryan's character is trying to teach Billy Crystal's character some manners:  "Harry, you're going to have to try and find a way of not expressing every feeling that you have, every moment that you have them."  Perhaps we should all bite our tongues a little more often and see what happens.  We're all doing the best we can with what we have an any given moment, and no one needs to be judged for that.
Sally Albright