Most moms have been there. A mom is at the park, at school or on a play date with her kids when she states an opinion about parenting. Another mom disagrees with her. And, boom! “Mom War III” breaks out. This kind of behavior is obviously not healthy or beneficial for any of the moms involved.
We are all doing our best to raise happy and healthy children, but instead of supporting each other, we find ourselves in a “Mom vs. Mom” situation.
What is a “mommy war?”
A “mommy war” happens when a mom or a few moms think that their way of parenting is better than another mom’s way of nurturing her child. Instead of quietly disagreeing, moms debate with one another on why their parenting way is “best.” Mothers are then often left hurt and upset: this is what could be the beginning of a “mommy war”.
Motherhood should be a place where women come together and help one another instead of criticizing each other and the choices each one makes.
Opposing opinions & Different lifestyles
It seems that no topic is safe from opposing opinions between moms.
From whether a mother is breastfeeding or bottle feeding, using disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers, prefers hospital birth over home birth, working outside of the home vs. staying-at-home with the kids, home schooling vs. public school vs. private school, and the list goes on!
Don’t hate, celebrate!
Despite different opinions, we are all trying to make the best decisions for our family. As an example, some people prefer vanilla ice cream and some prefer chocolate ice cream, but they are both great choices! The same goes for responsible parenting decisions that we make as a woman and, more importantly, as a mom.
How to avoid a “mommy war”
Having different opinions or disagreeing with another mom’s choices does not mean that one choice is better than the other. There is always a way to find common ground. It can all start with the realization that both of you are women and both of you are moms just doing what is best for your families’ circumstances. The most important thing to remember is that moms should support each other rather than beat each other down.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
No matter what the situation is, it is often possible to see the other person’s point of view, which can help avoid conflicts. A mom might have a personal reason or belief that has influenced her specific choice. It should be the norm to have a conversation and to try to understand the other person’s choice even if yours is different.
2. Let’s agree to disagree!
If you’ve had heated discussions on certain topics in your circle of mom friends, it may be good to put them away and label them as “non-discussion topics.” This way, you decide to not discuss certain subjects with them, agree to disagree and keep the peace instead.
3. Stay away from hurtful comments
Saying: ” I could never leave my children with someone else,” can be hurtful to a working mom. As a mother, you can state your opinion, but make sure you do it in a thoughtful, non-attacking way. Think before you speak and try to understand how that would sound from the other mom’s point of view.
4. Be on the same team
Instead of putting each other down over different parenting styles, try to find ways to strengthen and support each other. We are all doing a great job in the best way we can even if we are all different. Remember that compliments can go a lot further than put-downs.
There is no mommy manual. The decisions that we make are ultimately the ones that feel right for us and our family. Some things that work great in one family may not work as well in another and that is OK.
Let’s rise above the so called “Mommy Wars” and come together as a united group of strong women embracing womanhood and motherhood.
Put all of that great energy into lifting each other up and being the best moms possible. Raising a healthy, happy family can be accomplished in many different ways.
Today let’s celebrate International Women’s Day together by leaving the judgments aside and supporting one another.
Happy International Women’s Day!