Sunday, December 01, 2013

Quick Steps to Avoid a Mommy War


Have you ever had a conversation with a fellow momma, that starts off as a quick catch-up and next thing you know you're deep in the trenches of a mommy war? You start talking about your birth story and in an instant-- you're debating about whether or not home births should be legal. Recently, I began a long introspective conversation with myself about how to navigate these crucial conversations. Although I like a good discussion, I've found that some of these exchanges can seem rather innocuous. But since I allow them to get stuck in my craw longer than they should, I know they are not. 

So I've compiled a quick step process of what to do when these convo's happen:

Take a deep breath- yes breathe... Sure I am inwardly eye-rolling when this lady tells me that I shouldn't co-sleep with my little guy- even though I've researched the safe way to do it and understand the times when he should sleep alone. It may seem like a simple step but it provides a quick physical reaction that allows for fresh air to smack my brain and help me calm down. And calming down will help me to not accidentally spill coffee on her stroller.

Take responsibility for your own reaction- This is probably one of the hardest steps I've had to learn through the years. For example, when someone says something hurtful such as, "Well with formula I could actually taste the milk I gave to my baby-to make sure it tasted good." For starters- you can refer to the above step... and then take a moment to realize that you have the power to let this affect you or let it go. No this doesn't mean you are excusing their behavior but instead you are allowing yourself to take responsibility for your own reaction and refuse to let it dampen your day! Because let's face it this momma is probably on her merry way sipping on her latte, feeding her baby formula and getting a pedi!

Know your facts- this means when someone says, " You know if you speak to your baby in Spanish they will have speech delays?!" Even though you want to ::insert buzzer noise here:: And yell FALSE. You can calmly tell them the facts that this is simply untrue. Because when statements like these are made it's generally because people are misinformed. And misinformation should be clarified!

Understand plurality- We live in a world with differing cultures, ideas and familial environments. All of which do not jive or do not have to jive with your own parenting "style." This means that even if you are pro-vaccination-- you can respect the viewpoint of a non-vaccinator and co-exist with them. Instead of picketing outside of their home and accusing them of  everyone's whooping cough. 

Accept that not everyone will agree with you- Unbelievable- I know. After all you can write a book about all of your parenting wisdom! But the hard truth is that even though you have research to back you up, nine times out of ten your opinion will not change theirs. Yes that means that your countless Facebook links and posts about eating clean will not change the fact that fast food is happening... for dinner. 

Finally... Unwanted advice happens. I cannot tell you how many times I've had people in grocery stores give me advice on parenting- most of the time I'm nodding but wishing I was on a beach somewhere. But there are other times when a few nuggets of truth are in the mix and that's what I choose to hold on to. So instead of starting a mommy war let's support each other and accept that we will disagree.

I hope next time you come across a heated mommy conversation - these steps help out or at least make you think twice the next time you start World War 3 on your twitter feed! 
 
Abrazos,
Keila


 *picture courtesy of Time magazine


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