I’d just like you all to see what made it’s way into my inbox today. It’s the press release for the next big parenting controversy. It even name-checks one of the last big parenting controversies, just so you know that it’s serious.
Step Aside Tiger Mom…
New Book, A Childless Woman’s Guide to Raising Children,
Provides Uncalled for Advice and Sassy Humor to Help Parents
Rein In Their Kids Before They Take Over the Planet!
That’s right, parents! This sassy, childless lady is going to step in and tell you all what you’re doing wrong. She’s going to rein in your kids, because those little brats are out of control. (The book really does include a “Brat Bans” section, where author Ageleke Zapis tells parents all of the places they shouldn’t take their kids.)
This press release was trying so hard to get parents angry that this childless woman would have the audacity to give us hard-working moms advice. It points out over and over again that Zapis is a “non-parent observer” and the “outside vantage point.” It’s just begging for mommy bloggers to fire off angry posts about some childfree Supernanny upstart. They want moms complaining about horrible childless people giving advice, hoping that the anger will gain publicity for the new release.
Sorry publicists, but we at Mommyish aren’t taking the bait. This book definitely makes us angry, but only because it’s trying so hard to pit childless women against moms, to fan the flames of this growing culture war.
Childless men and women have every right to express their opinions about children and parenting. Their viewpoints are valid and we respect them. In fact, we welcome people to discuss the concerns facing mothers and fathers today, whether they have kids or not. Our very own Editor-In-Chief Koa Beck is childfree.
Having kids or not having kids doesn’t make your viewpoint suddenly more valid. It doesn’t make your opinions more thoughtful or relevant. There are really thoughtful moms and really ignorant moms, just like there are really thoughtful childless people and really ignorant childless people. Being a parent doesn’t make you a better person. Being childless does not make you the enemy of parents.
The media seems to enjoy this growing antagonism. They like exploiting the childfree vs. parenting dichotomy. Just check out all of the studies about women in the workplace, pitting the ambitious single girl against the “trying to have it all” working mom. The problem is that this fake new culture war hurts women everywhere.
If the most special thing about this book is that it’s written by a woman who doesn’t have children of her own, then I’m sorry for both the author and the publishers. If their whole hook is that a childless woman is daring to give advice to moms, I hope other parenting outlets don’t take the bait. None of us need this argument.
You don’t have to be a fashion designer to have an opinion about clothes. You don’t have to play football to care about sports. You don’t have to be a parent to give advice about dealing with children. We should all be able to agree on this. And hopefully, we’ll all be able to roll our eyes at this faux-controversy and get back to discussing the parenting issues that really matter.