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Subject:Rant!
Time:02:29 pm
Hey guys, I'm new to this community.

I was just reading an old article in the Daily Mail, regarding Ed Milliband and his confession on Mumsnet that he uses disposable nappies. Looking through the comments, I found one that really riled me up:

'Why any politician would share anything about their family life on Mumsnet is beyond me. Regardless of what they say, the bored, stay at home "I've got a masters degree but gave it all up to change cloth nappies" brigade will find something to pounce on and discuss for days. P.S. I am a proud user of disposables. I do have a life (and a job) after all.'

Reasons why this comment pissed me off:

1. The implication that stay-at-home-mums/cloth nappy users (notice how she lumps the two together) are bored and wasting their education. The bit about education annoys me in particular. As being a mother is such an important job, surely having a good education is something to be VALUED? Besides, there's more to higher education than just a means to employment. What about the personal enrichment to be gained, what about learning for the sake of learning? What about the essential life skills you gain at university which will be invaluable when it comes to bringing up another human being? Anyway, there's no reason why a stay-at-home-mum can't return to employment when their children are older. Like I said, being a mother is so important (and, I daresay, very difficult!) and I think women do themselves a disservice by thinking that devoting themselves to motherhood is a waste of their education.

2. The fact that she says that she, as a working mum, 'has a life' - the implication being that stay-at-home-mums don't.

3. The fact that she accuses Mumsnet users of criticising other people's parenting choices, but in the same breath sneers and makes untrue assumptions (see no.1) about cloth nappy users! While I think disposable nappies are gross, I do think it's counter-productive to attack people for using them. HOWEVER, surely if sposie users want cloth users to respect their decision to use disposables, sposie users should extend the same respect in return?

Ultimately, it's not the fact she uses disposables per se that bothers me, it's the fact that she clearly has a chip on her shoulder about stay-at-home mums and uses this comment as an opportunity to have a pop at them!

By the way, I am not a parent and probably won't be for a good few years yet but I am already thinking about how to raise my children and definitely intend to use cloth nappies! I guess this comment in particular really hit a nerve with me because I have a degree and would like to do postgraduate studies in the future, yet I still want to be a stay-at-home-mum and I really resent the suggestion that that would be a waste of my education!

Sorry if this post is not really right for this community but I don't know of any other UK-based, alt-parenting communities.
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goaskyourmother
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Time:2011-10-05 04:17 pm (UTC)
Parenting forums are very bitchy and people will say anything just to rile people up.
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laymon
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Time:2011-10-05 04:52 pm (UTC)
This.

You'll come across a lot of comments like this on parenting forums. It's taken me nearly 5 years to learn to ignore such people. As long as you're happy with your decisions nothing else matters :)

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azure_dragon
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Time:2011-10-05 08:10 pm (UTC)
Yup! I appreciate the friendliness and *relatively* non-judgemental attitude of cloth nappy and breastfeeding and AP communities, and take anything said on parenting101 with a pinch of salt, but stay the HECK away from mumsnet, babycentre et al.

It is very hard to be proud of your parenting choices without offending someone!
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wisemanharris
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Time:2011-10-05 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting that. I've got 3 degrees, two babies, and a paid job, and I use cloth :-)

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thekumquat
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Time:2011-10-06 09:41 am (UTC)
Heh. This came out when David Miliband was still in charge of the dept of the Environment, so the guy was inundated with emails from employees asking him to tell his brother how easy cloth nappies were.

Feedback was that Ed was impressed but Mrs Ed hadn't wanted to, and she was the one on maternity leave doing most of said nappies.

There's a lot of good stuff on Mumsnet but people do get *so* worked up about anything to do with babies that might reflect on their own choices. I tend to hide on the thread for people with babies born in my child's month, where we're lovely and supportive.
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