I'm not going to pretend to understand parenthood, but here's what I do know: It's hard. Whether you have one child or 10, you've got your hands full, at least if you want to raise productive, valuable, and happy members of society. But according to Hunger Games actress Elizabeth Banks, you can't actually be a mother until you have at least two little ones running around your home.
Banks, who had her second boy last fall via gestational surrogate, told People in a new interview that managing two kids is vastly different than just one. That I can get behind, but not her statement as a whole: "Two is very different from one. When you have one kid, you feel like you can jet set around and you can throw him on the hip and you get your life done. You don’t realize how easy one is until you have two. Now I’m really a mom. Oh, I am a mom now! This is for serious — I am responsible for two people now."
I'm pretty sure it was "for serious" when the first infant showed up, unless of course he was just a practice prop like the egg babies we had to carry around in school — a "starter child," if you will.
Lindsay Cross, a mother of one who writes for Mommyish and several other sites within the B5Media network, told PolicyMic that she thinks the comment was "so thoughtless," continuing:
"I actually think Jessica Alba made a similar one last year that got lambasted as well. The fact is, having two kids can be difficult. Having a single child with special needs can be difficult. Raising a child as a single mom with a minimum wage job can be difficult. None of that makes someone 'more of a mother' than anyone else. Suggesting that just shows a lack of thought or compassion for other people and what they're going through. I don't think that Banks meant to be offensive. I just think that it was a pretty dumb and near-sighted comment to make."
Alba, who has two little girls, did in fact, argue two years ago that "it feels like you’re really officially, really truly a mom when you have two kids. [With] one kid you’re a mom for sure, but two takes it to another level."
I think we can all agree that remarks of this nature are incredibly disrespectful toward parents with just one child, especially since some of them would give anything to have bigger families but simply can't conceive or afford the cost of an additional person in the household. Believe it or not, some people only want to have one child, and they're not second class citizens, selfish, of half-hearted parents for choosing such a path. That doesn't mean women like Alba and Banks are wrong that having multiple children is stressful, but they are incorrect when they imply that moms of one know less about motherhood than someone with at least two kids.
The "mommy wars" are bad enough without this dimension of ridiculousness.