Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In Defense of Similac - Can't We All Just Get Along

You've probably seen the latest Similac commercial floating around. If you haven't seen it, the commercial portrays several parenting stereotypes and then brings them all together.  Check out the link if you haven't seen it.  It's worth watching.  When I saw it, I cried.  Maybe it's the raging baby hormones or the fact that since I became a mom, I can't look at a baby commercial without tearing up.

I thought, "Good for them. Way to deal with a bigger issue than which type of formula is gentler."   For me, it highlighted how ridiculous we all look, standing in our corners touting our own beliefs.  It always makes me smile when authors choose to highlight the fact that we're all moms, we're all in this together.  I think that's a message we need to hear and see over and over until it actually sinks in. We don't need to agree on everything.  We don't even need to like each other's decisions.  We can all come together on the single premise that we're moms and we love our kids.
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Cue the critics and the naysayers.  This morning, a friend of mine shared this article.  My friends, people will grumble about anything.  They will be in Heaven complaining that the streets of gold are too bright and the angels are singing too loudly.  Who could possibly have an issue with such a heartwarming commercial?  Who could complain about mothers getting along?  THIS, my friends, is the exact reason we have Mommy Wars.  I appreciated that the commercial didn't make any group seem better than the other.  But this article, THIS ARTICLE, jumps right back to their fighting corner shouting "Breast is Best".  Well, no kidding!  Of course, medically, breast is best.  As a mother who bottle fed one baby and nursed four, I know that breast is best.  I've written about my breastfeeding journey extensively.  I also know that it doesn't work for everyone and shaming mothers for not making certain choices should be beneath us.  You want to help mothers?  Offer support.  Offer resources when they want them.  Offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, if needed.  Don't stand and condemn when their choices aren't what you want them to be.

She claims that the ad attacks breastfeeding and cloth-diapering moms...umm, I didn't see one single group singled out as being right or wrong.  Then, she claims that breastfeeding is the important issue and shouldn't be lumped with cloth diapering because doing so "undermines medical and scientific fact".  Well, what about the scientific studies done on the benefits of child-wearing or the effects of staying home with your children vs. working full-time?  I daresay there are studies to prove our decisions on everything from vaccinations to positive parenting.

As for Similac, their commercial didn't make me want to rush out and buy some formula, but it did give me some hope that maybe. just maybe, we could look past the business suits and nursing covers and realize that we have so much more in common than we could ever realize.

We have all spent sleepless nights worrying about a sick child.

We've all doctored skinned knees and marveled over the healing magic of kisses and ice packs.

We've all put aside our own wants at some time to provide for our children.

We've all struggled to balance our time and responsibilities.

We've all worried that they're getting the right nutrition, whether it's in a bottle or from a breast.

We've all worried about what's INSIDE their diapers at some point or another, whether they're cloth or disposable.

We have all agonized over the decisions we're making for our children, hoping they're the best ones.

We've all felt the joy of bedtime kisses and the overwhelming love when those little arms hold you tight.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what decisions you make for your family.  I trust you to decide what's best for your family, just like I want to be trusted to decide for my own.  I don't have to agree with your decisions or even like them.  I just want to find some common ground and we can all do that...

No matter what our beliefs, we are parents first.


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