Since when are the decisions individual women make for their lives up for general debate? It happens every single day as far as I can tell, particularly if said woman happens to be a mother. Men are not subjected to downright mean spirited questioning of their personal decisions once their children are born. Women certainly are. In fact, there is currently a post on BlogHer in which a mother discusses the judgement she faced from other women in the face of a necessary C-section. You can read the article here. I am not a mother yet, and I still see the debates and judgements happening every single day. Breastfeeding, immunizations, working mothers, school choices, C-section versus natural birth, etc. The list is endless. Is it anyone else’s business other than the family and individuals affected? It shouldn’t be. People make different decisions for a wide variety of reasons.
That is where Adele comes in. She recently stated that she didn’t fully recognize her purpose in life until she became a mother. I am paraphrasing, but that is the gist of the idea. She simply is suggesting that she views motherhood as more important than her singing career. She isn’t saying that all women need to feel the same way. She isn’t saying that her singing career isn’t important. She is merely expressing her personal views on HER own life. That’s it. I admit that I haven’t personally seen the backlash that she has received for this interview, but I can easily imagine it. That sad part is, there is just as much backlash against anyone who suggests that women can be just as good of mothers when they decide not to stay home with their children. No, I am not joking. This isn’t the 1950s, and there are people who truly believe that people (let’s be realistic here, mainly women) need to choose between career and being a good parent during the first few years of a child’s life. In fact, I came across just such a Facebook post by a stay-at-home mom yesterday.
In this post, the author of this Facebook post commented on an article titled The Loudest Silence I Ever Heard by Travis Norwood. She goes on to state that the article, which discusses severely neglected children in a Kazakhstan orphanage, proves that CIO (cry it out) is harmful to children. The article, which is disturbing and deserves its own blogpost relating to adoption, isn’t the issue. The issue is this woman’s reaction to it. She questions the ability of children raised by working parents to form healthy relationships and basically function well in society. She truly believes that it is a necessity for one parent or another to stay at home with their child at least until age three. Excuse me? What about parents who must work? What about single parents on every level? Whether this woman realizes it or not, she just heaped a ton of guilt on parents who simply do not deserve it. Does she not see that most of these parents have the best interests of their children at heart as well? Does she not know any successful women who juggled career with raising children? If not, I feel sorry for her. I know so many. In fact, most mothers I know do just that. Successfully.
When will it stop? I am sick of women using up so much time and energy to tear down other women who happen to do things differently or make different choices. It is one thing to discuss why you made the personal choices you made. It is quite another to suggest that those choices work for everyone. Can we just stop pretending that everyone is the same and there is only one way to be successful? It is particularly bad with regards to parenting. There is more than one way to be a wonderful parent.