I don’t know about you, but I feel like those pesky mommy wars just don’t seem to be going away. And maybe they are actually going away, but people keep bringing up everyone’s differences and getting everyone’s panties in a wad.
The other night I was sorting through my Spam folder in my email account. All of my Baby Center emails go to my Spam folder. These are the ones that generally have me freaked out that Hayes isn’t saying any words and make me wonder if I should have made my boys’ baby food after all. You know, just a little stab of regret.
So those emails go to Spam. But I found them that night and the one for my 3 year old “preschooler”…. first of all, who has a preschooler? Not this girl! I have a sweet little baby toddler named Hudson. No preschoolers live here. Anyway. It was the Baby Center email for Hudson. And one of the links directed me here.
“How can we stay friends with people who have different parenting styles?”
This was for a message board/forum thing. And I won’t even tell you what the question said because I thought it was kind of judgmental and just petty. But, in general, I have considered this before.
With all of the formula/breast feeding, sleep training/no sleep training, co-sleeping/crib sleeping, homeschooling/public school/private school, attachment parenting/non-attachment parenting…. gosh the list just goes on and on. We are constantly reminded how other moms do it differently than we do.
And I’ve found myself in conversations with friends and realized that because we make different parenting decisions I can’t give advice when she’s asking for it. Because I just don’t completely know her situation. And I don’t want my response to sound judgmental.
But maybe all I need to do is listen. Isn’t that all I ever want from my friends? As long as there’s not an agenda or guilt trip involved, it’s nice to learn from other people.
When Hudson was born, I’m confident that I had a “my way or the highway” attitude and could get really defensive if “my way” was questioned. But just like each baby is different, I think as moms we change a bit with each child.
So unless I see a friend who is hurting her child, I absolutely think I can and should stay friends with people who have different parenting styles? Otherwise, how else can I learn?
I may not ever make my own baby food and I may never nurse a child past the six week mark. I’ll probably always have a baby sleeping in a crib from the day they come home from the hospital and I’ll swaddle and do all those things that I do.
Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll learn some incredibly valuable information from someone else who does it differently and is perfectly happy.
One thing is for sure. When you become a parent you truly see how different you and your friends are just based on your parenting choices alone. Babies can change everything. But I don’t want them to change my friendships. Because the good Lord knows I need my friends.
I don’t expect my kids to have friends that are all exactly like they are, so I shouldn’t expect the same thing for myself.
How about you? Have you found it difficult to stay friends with people who have different parenting styles?