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I Dont Want to Miss the Point

January 30, 2015

Recently there is a video circulating and causing (surprise) controversy.  But the controversy isn’t about the surface message.  The controversy lies in who made the video, their parody on the Mommy Wars, and the rollout from both of those concepts—not the message itself.  I find that interesting. Yes, the video is made by a formula company.  So, essentially it is a clever commercial posing as a feel good video.  Most people are surprised that a formula company made the video.  Then they break down into different groups.  One group sees it as a marketing ploy and then discard what was said in the video.  Another group of people get angry at the supposed Mommy Wars.  They don’t believe that there is such thing and that it is popular media making up this idea.  Then there are people who watch it and see what the moms (and dads) are doing and enjoy what happens at the end. I am in the last group. So, the formula company. The company is made up of people.  While not everyone has integrity or are ethical, I sure hope that some of who work there have these traits.  If they work hard and with integrity then their work has value.  Formula does save lives.  It is what sustained two of my children.  It may not be best, but it is better than nothing.  That alternative is a scary one. I will not try to defend all their marketing practices, but I know that formula does have its place. The video shows several parenting styles: exclusively breastfeeding (“from the source”), bottle feeding, working moms, stay at home dads, and on and on.  There are so many theories about what is best, and just as many studies to prove (and disprove) each one.  Most parents take time before baby comes and read many books.  Then they decide on what they feel is best for their child and their family.  My Love says, “No plan survives first contact”.  You are lucky if your plan does.  During this initial reading-up phase, people will identify with a particular group (attachment parenting, no-cry sleep method, cry it out parenting).  This creates clusters and can create judgments.  I have heard the conversations.  I have heard specific lifestyle parents complain about other styles and the harm they are doing.  I have judged.  Not always purposely.  But I, too, have been critical.  Each of us has experiences in life that differ from one another.  Our experiences change how we view the world.  These experiences are the lens through which we view the world.  My experiences have made me realize that what I see in other people’s parenting is often just a blip in their daily reality. That that experience has made it so that I no longer assume I have the whole picture.  I have been judged for how I parent, for being a military spouse, for breastfeeding, for NOT breastfeeding.  I have been judged for how I chose to honour my Gift in death.  No area of my life is safe from judgment.  I judge myself on how I parent.  I have been known to beat myself up because of choices I made and how I wish I could take them back.  What I need in my life is to not have others judge me too.  I am good enough at that, thank you very much.  There are people who will continue to judge me.  There are also people whom I am deeply thankful for.  These people may not always agree with my choices, but they support me.  They offer me information so that I can make an informed decision, then support me in whichever direction that information takes me… even if that direction is different from their own.  Because, in the end, all we are trying to just do our best. So, what is the video saying then?  Is it trying to sell formula?  Maybe.  Most formula companies what to sell their formula.  It didn’t make me want to go out and buy their product.  Was it trying to humanize their corporation, or make their product more socially acceptable?  Probably.  They probably had focus groups and cognitive scientists and psychologists doing their best to mask a commercial.  And they succeeded.  They did it by researching us and using what they found:  that we are troubled by being judged.  Whether that judgment is real or perceived is irrelevant, mainly because we have all felt that sting of judgment.  And it hurts. Deeply.  The message that we all need to take is this: we need to all take a step back and remember that we all love our children; the message to be gentle with each other shouldn’t be disregarded just because of who said it.  I am not going to make this video something negative just because they may have some questionable ethics, or motives or whatever else.  The message that we all have something to learn from each other is something to be reminded of: even the formula company.  Because, my goodness, even at the end of the video they stopped their judging.  They started to open the lines of communication and share love with each other.  I know that they are just actors, BUT LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE!  We don’t have to segregate ourselves.  We need to open dialogue.  We need to see that we have more commonalities than differences.  Having conversations can help bridge the gap, and can help the mom who is struggling with life as a new mom.  Love comes when we share our lives with each other and support each one out there. This video has been viewed millions of times.  Each parent who watches it has either been on the receiving end of judgement or been critical. Maybe you have never experienced Mommy Wars for yourself.  But we are maybe missing the point of this cute video:  Meet up with some friends and take your kids to the park.  You never know who will be there.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. DragonMama permalink
    February 9, 2015 10:09 pm

    I loved this video when I saw it, and I love how your blog made me see even more dimensions in the video.

  2. spooncyster permalink
    February 24, 2015 10:05 am

    missing you over on our other site, but it has been so great to still read your encouraging views on the world. you give me hope that sincere/broken/redeemed/beautiful people exist, and why grace exists. Thank you.

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