POSTED ON Jul 23rd 2013 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Motherhood
I haven’t really followed the Duchess’s pregnancy, just the headlines found in my normal news circuit. But I like the Duchess of Cambridge. While I would certainly be a republican if I were British, I have a great deal of respect for the Duke and Duchess’s sense of duty.
So I watched the coverage today. (I had to do it the old way, on TV. Wonky wifi here, but that is part of tomorrow’s post.) I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the new prince, born into a life of duty, a path already laid out before him. And I certainly feel sorry for the Duchess of Cambridge. Everything she does will be a flashpoint in the Mommy Wars.
Already in the birth coverage, that the Duchess was not induced got repeat mention. Induction is a common Mommy Wars battlefield. Inquiring minds wanted to know. Their no nanny decision is also receiving a lot of early attention. Both only hint at the scrutiny to come.
So why do moms care what other moms do and how will the Duchess have it worse than the rest of us?
White privileged women fight the Mommy Wars because we have neither necessity nor experience to constrain or inform our choices. Relatively wealthy and educated, we spend our 20’s and 30’s studying and practicing a profession. If we decide to become mothers, however, we often do that cold. We seldom prepare before a positive pregnancy test, and then we reach for books–all theory, no practice. When the baby comes, the emotional and practical realities of motherhood shock us. We grasp for a unified theory of motherhood, a rule book, a formula.
We wage the Mommy Wars because we want endorsement for our chosen unified theory. We need other mothers to agree with us because that is how we “know” we are right. Motherhood by majority rule. None of the pleas about ‘why can’t we all get along?’address this crisis in confidence in our parenting. The Mommy Wars will not end until we restore that confidence.
And now, with the arrival of the Prince of Cambridge, despite the good intentions of the Let’s End the Mommy Wars moms, the battles will rage hotter than ever in the coming years. The world media will not even attempt to resist the link bait of the royal Cambridges, probably adding a Time magazine “Are You Mom Enough?” angle to augment the hit count of every story, leading millions of moms to think “Quit pointing your avocado at me!”