Mommie Dearest: Mom Issues That Deserve Media Coverage In 2015
The media loves a good “mom story.” Flip through the TV or hop on a news website and there will invariably be some sort of story with a mom at the center. Whether it’s celeb-based or breaking news, moms make good media. Why? Because everyone can connect to them — whether they are one or not — and because the shaming/belittling/exploitation of women always sells, unfortunately. While occasionally there are some gems among the sludge, many mom-centric stories are all about outrage and impact, regardless of whether it’s beneficial or not.
Just days into 2015, I thought it would be helpful to offer suggestions of what I’d love to see covered when it comes to moms this year…
1. The fact that the US still does not have a federally mandated paid maternity leave policy in place. I feel like a broken record since I bring this up all the time, but that should just emphasize how serious I am about it. At this point, it’s frankly embarrassing that we don’t offer this option as a country. We are the only industrialized nation that fails to do so, and I want to see way more noise, articles, and justified outrage on this issue in 2015 so I don’t have to keep complaining about how shitty it is.
2. More stories on our broken birthing industry. I wrote a little bit about why I champion midwifery care champion midwifery care here before. And I’ve gone even further, looking at the larger issues surrounding midwifery care in the US. I would love to see more stories in the mainstream delving into these issues and challenging the current status quo when it comes to maternal health in the US. There is something substantially wrong when we have the costliest maternal health care in the world, and yet we rank 60th out of 180 when it comes to maternal mortality (and are one of the few countries where these rates are increasing). So, yeah. More focus/air time on this, please.
3. Any and all pictures of cute babies (with their parents’ permission, obviously) or baby swag. See, I’m not that much of a boring hardass! I mean, do you remember how amazingly over-the-top Dem Babies’ nursery was back in the day? I’m always happy to see more of that type of fantasy overindulgence.
That’s my wish list. However, my guess is that we’ll get way more of this:
1. “<INSERT CELEBRITY NAME> is pregnant!” Repeat headline every three weeks despite no evidence, confirmation or declaration of actual pregnancy.
2. “<INSERT CELEBRITY NAME> flaunts pregnant/postpartum body!” Ad nauseam. Apparently women can’t go out of the house without “flaunting” something. Just stay home already, ladies, jeez.
3. Some new, completely ridiculous parenting philosophies. Move over Tiger Moms and Helicopter Dads, 2015 is the year that Raccoon and Bulldozer Parents shine!
In all honestly, 2015 will most likely be a mix of both lists. Of course there’s room for the inane and celebrity-focused among the more critical and important aspects to parenting and motherhood in particular. I’m just hoping that we see a bit more from the latter.