Today, you'll also hear Mommy Wars used to describe a number of other parenting issues. Younger mothers vs. older mothers. Breastfeeding mothers vs. formula feeding mothers. Cloth diapering mothers vs. disposable diapering mothers. Homeschooling moms vs. traditional school moms. Mainstream moms vs. natural moms.
Mommy Wars now encompasses any parenting decision you make. Whatever the hot-button issue is at the moment, Mommy Wars can be conveniently adapted to pit one parent's decision over another's. Ultimately, this fuels the controversy that one type of parent is superior over another.
Regardless of the differences in parenting techniques or the decision to work outside of the home vs. staying home, most moms can and do co-exist peacefully. The number of women who actually fight in the Mommy Wars is outnumbered by the number of women who continue to build lifetime friendships with other moms, despite their parenting styles or personal family decisions.
How you can prevent Mommy Wars from affecting your life and friendships:
- Don't fall for the hype.
There will always be a story in the news that raises your mom hackles or there will be another parent who seems to enjoy tearing down another mom. These are just two examples of how Mommy Wars stay alive. The second you bite, they've pulled you into the problem.
- Think about what you say before you say it.
Even comments about how you would never be able to leave your kids to go to work or be able to stay at home with them 24/7 can easily be misconstrued. Your relationship with your mom friends can easily be soured if you carelessly throw about words that could hurt them.
- Put yourself in her shoes.
Stay-at-home moms aren't idiots. Working moms aren't heartless women who don't care about their kids. Put yourself in another mom's shoes and don't judge her decisions. She's doing what's right for her family just as you're doing what's right for yours.
- Put some topics in your vault.
Can't seem to get past a certain topic with one of your friends? Agree to put it in the vault. In other words, simply don't talk about it. If your friend spanks and you don't, chances are, neither one of you is going to convince the other to alter your parenting methods. Save the relationship with a simple rule not to talk about that one area you don't agree on.
- Remember there's no cookie cutter method of parenting.
If babies came with handbooks we had to follow, parents might get closer to being on the same page about all things parenting. But until the doctor says, "It's a boy! Here's your manual," remember that parenting styles differ from house to house. And that's okay.