It almost seems that this new decade has brought with it a new wave of feminism, and simultaneously a new wave of mothers. As a culture, American women are beginning to embrace more natural ways of living and raising a child. I’ve never heard so much pro-breastfeeding propaganda in all my life than I’ve heard in the past two years. At first I thought I was just sensitive to the propaganda because I was pregnant and thus the target audience. But that’s not the case. Even news reports are commenting on this remarkable surge of returning to the boob. Mothers today are looking for green alternatives to cleaning, decorating, shopping, living, and eating. The DIY mom is infiltrating the mommy-sphere, headed seemingly by the influx of mommy bloggers and Pinterest.
With all this change in the world of motherhood, it also seems that moms are taking a hard look at gender roles as well. I don’t know how many times I’ve read about the girl who wanted a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven for her brother. Or the parents who stood up against critics who said their son shouldn’t have a play kitchen. And much emphasis now is placed on the way we dress our children. Some mothers are proponents of letting the child choose his or her dress, which can lead to some very funny clothing choices. The debate over whether we should put our children in clothing that might sexualize them, clothes with adult topics, or onesies with inappropriate language is stirring in the media sphere. And then you get the age-old question: should I dress my child in blue/pink.
Well, the title should have told you by now that I dress my son in colors that are typically associated with boys. Why? Not because a bunch of bandwagon mothers think it’s okay. Not because it’s talked about in the media. Not because I want to feel like I fit in to some sort of mommy-social-norm. I do it simply because I hate when I’m at the store and someone says to my son, dressed in gender neutral yellow, “Isn’t SHE adorable.” That’s it. Plain and simple. I don’t care about the impact this decision has on the feminist community. Choosing blue isn’t subjecting him to a life of macho-manhood where he’ll one day sit on his butt drinking a beer while his wife cooks. It’s not segregating him from playing with girls. And it doesn’t represent his stance of female equality.
It’s simply a color.
I wish more of these bandwagon mommies would understand that about the choices they make for their children. I wish these mommies would stop judging one another for their choices in raising their children. I wish these mommies would stop buying in to the media crazes, the waves of parenting styles that grip different generations from time to time.
Breast or bottle. Legos or Barbie Dolls. Cloth diapers or Pampers. Day care or stay-at-home mommy. Dreft or DIY soap. Attachment parenting or crying it out.
These are the choices each mom has to make. And each mom makes the choice for her own personal reasons. We don’t need to jump on bandwagons or bash each other for our different choices. After all, our children are not only living but thriving. And isn’t that what is most important?