5 Ways To Stop Those Mom Debates

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This is a sponsored post partnership discussion with Similac on the power of moms to help build us all up and make strong families. I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

in this together

Have you seen the video below?

It’s all sorts of awesome and pretty much wraps up my thoughts on the “mommy debates.” For years I’ve struggled to understand why moms constantly try to beat each other down. It makes no sense to me because all this does is hurt us moms and our families. The reality is that we are all in this world together and the sooner we start acting like a team (TEAM MOM) the better all of our lives will be!

I’ve had my own share of mom debate moments.

After we left the hospital with our little one our first stop was to the store for (you guessed it) diapers, wipes and formula. We were in the baby aisle and Pete and I split up to get the shopping done as quickly as possible. We wanted to get home to our older girls, so they could meet their new baby sister. I was already an emotional mess filled with so much joy and excitement that I was practically flying as I grabbed formula and bottles.

Just as I finished putting formula into my shopping cart, Pete came around the corner.

He was there just in time to hear another mom tell me that breast is best and start to really lay into me how bad my choice was for my new baby girl. She wasn’t actually trying to help me or my baby… she was trying to make me feel bad. Pete had heard me talk about this happening before, but had never experienced it himself or seen it happen.

He looked shocked.

I immediately responded that my new baby was adopted and that formula was recommended by her doctor (DUH). But she didn’t stop there. She started telling me I could induce lactation. So I told her we had 1 month notice that we were going to be parents again and that no, it wasn’t an option for us… it takes more than one month to induce lactation and that I am not a good producer anyway. I also added that it was not recommended for me to do, or for my new baby to be fed that way… by both my doctor and hers. She still didn’t stop and I just wanted to get away. She actually started to take away some of the joy from me on one of the best days of my life.

I quickly realized that I couldn’t let someone who didn’t know or care about me hurt me.

She didn’t know the years we waited to have our baby or how cherished she was. She didn’t share our joy all she wanted to do was hurt another mom because she decided (based on no other information) that I was doing it wrong and that she was doing it right.

Mom debates are only holding us all back. We need to end mom debates once and for all and focus on supporting each other!

Here are five things we can all do to end the mom debates once and for all.

  1. Don’t do it ourselves. We all have strong opinions on parenting but we need to remember that what works for us might not work for someone else. As long as a child isn’t in danger by the actions of their parents, we need to keep our opinions to ourselves.
  2. Stop it when we see it. If you see another mom being sucked into a mom debate, we need to step in and stop it from happening. A simple “we all have the right to our own opinions” will help. Better yet, try turning the discussion into how we are all in this together and how we can strengthen our mom community. 
  3. Teach our daughters it’s not okay to do it. They are the moms of the future. We need to show them with our actions and words that it’s not okay to hurt other moms with mom debates. We need to have helpful conversations instead and support each other. We need to show them that if we see a mom hurting or in need to reach out and offer to be there for them, not cause them more distress.
  4. Enlist our partners to be a part of the solution. We need our partners to see and hear about this so they can become a part of our support systems and help us be better moms. After Pete saw this happen he was even more aware of it and became an even bigger supporter of me and all moms. 
  5. Support each other. We need to be aware of the situation of others when we start to pass judgment and stop ourselves. We need to be there for each other. We need to build our mom communities full of inspiration and judgment-free zones while still talking about the important subjects. There is a way to convey important information without shaming.

Have you ever been part of a mom debate?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • This resonates with me so much! It is one of them most deflating moments in the world to be judged by another mom. I was told I didn’t have a “Real Birth Experience” because I had a c-section! It made me feel as if I didn’t experience real passage into motherhood. Truth is, I had a baby in my arms and the way he got there didn’t matter a bit. I was his mommy!

  • I don’t understand why we can’t all just get along. You’re right – we’re all just trying our best.

  • Gosh, raising three kids keeps me so busy I don’t know how people have time to try to raise other people’s. I’m so grateful we can have this conversation and start to support each other. It takes all types of mothers!

  • I am so on board to stop the mom debates and start supporting moms everywhere. All of us moms do everything we can and deserve support and respect.

  • I have never understood the “I am a better mom” crap. Unless I see abuse, or some type of neglect. I really don’t care how someone raises their kids. We all are different. If we banded together we could learn from each other. Instead hurting each other.

  • I can not imagine having a stranger try to challenge me like that. I would never try to preach to a stranger about breastfeeding. You have no idea what their situation is. We should be there to support each other.

  • These mom debates are driving me crazy… instead of supporting each other, moms who think they know best are constantly going on the offensive. :/ It’s upsetting and I’m sorry that someone felt the necessity to ‘educate’ you on something that you had already discussed and decided with a medical professional. She can mom her way and you can mom your own way. I have lost patience with other moms trying to educate me on what’s best based on their opinion.

  • hear hear!! I wrote a paper on this very topic when I was in grad school! And I didn’t even have kids yet – but my opinion is still the same – BUILD EACH OTHER UP! BE some salt people!!

  • I love that video because in the end all of us moms just want everyones kids to be safe and healthy. Those 5 are all great examples of what we should do.

  • This probably one of the reasons why I am a loner! There are far too many judgy moms out there. With all that’s going on in the world today (hunger, poverty, wars, homelessness, etc), more and more people should learn how to get along.

  • I have no children so no I have never been part of a Mom debate. I sometimes think people have tunnel vision and can only see what they think–never thinking about or seeing other options. This debating among women is not only about Mom’s by the way–some women deem it their prerogative to force their opinions about everything on anyone !

  • These are totally amazing things we can do to stop the mom debates right now for sure. It is so important that all moms support each other and truly become Team Mom. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mom wars drive me nuts. It’s usually started because a mom feels attacked, or ganged up on. I think as moms we need to just be quiet, mind our own business and family and go about our own business! These are really great tips, and will really help!

  • Amen and amen, thanks so much for sharing and letting your voice be heard. It would be awesome if we could stop all of the unhelpful debates.

  • Luckily, I’ve never felt like I’ve been targeted by “one of those Moms”. lol…but, I have heard it spout out of women’s mouths in group conversations. I don’t engage and tend to mentally take not of the Moms that do and then I steer clear of sharing much with them. I think it’s great that y our husband got to “see” it happening…sometimes I think men don’t realize that this kind of thing really happens.

  • My hands are already full juggling house work, blogging, cooking and taking care of kids. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. I can’t understand why others still have time for that. We should be helping each other.

  • I’m not the kind of person who ever starts or enjoys drama. I steer clear, best I can. However, in this situation…the lady would have known full well that I did not care about her opinion. After she kept going on and on about it, in all seriousness, I probably would have ran over her with my shopping cart. Ooops. 🙂

  • It really is horrible. A friend of mine calls it “Mommy Shaming” and it truly is a problem. I would think we as moms would want to empower and lift each other up instead of shaming and tearing us down with their opinions and judgements. Thanks for the conversation.

  • It makes me sick that someone did that to you! What a horrible person! I hate the mom debates, and honestly I don’t read mom blogs for the most part because I don’t want to be told that my way is wrong or bad. Thanks for sticking up for moms everywhere!

  • I agree we need to start teaching our kids this and helping each other see when we need to be supportive of each other. I never understood why only one way was the right way. We all may do it different but we have the same goals to keep our kids safe and help them grow to be good people.

  • My daughter has 4 boys and she really wanted a girl, but it was not to be. She’s more than fine with that now, but she has had the most insensitive comments made about her not having a girl. One mom of 2 girls said to her, “God only gives girls to moms that he knows can look after them.” What a stupid statement! Why don’t women stick together instead of putting each other down? Just because I parent one way doesn’t give me the right to question another mom who does it differently.

  • Ah, the mommy wars. I love that you are calling for peace and support of one another. I’ve never really understood these debates when they aren’t being waged for the good of children, they’re being waged for someone else to feel smarter, better, more prepared, better fit than someone else. No one needs that in their lives. We could all use a little more understanding, more smiles, more pats on the back, and more keeping our strongly-held opinions to ourselves! My motto is to only really give advice when it is asked for. If someone isn’t asking, it isn’t my place to tell, and that fits for so many of life’s sticky situations.

  • Hi Heather – great points – and when women start talking about this, I join in and state what I did and support what they do – as we have more fun that way – it’s fun being girls sharing – not stuffy moms, right?

  • The world would be a better place if everyone did just get along. Enjoyed your post-thanks for sharing.

  • I think it’s totally normal for moms to try to share advice and tips with other moms, but this whole judging thing is just insane! I never dealt with that kind of thing when I had my daughter in 97…I think the internet makes a lot of people a lot meaner than they would be face to face…

  • With my kids I was not able to breast feed. I just didn’t produce well and the babies wouldn’t latch properly. But I hate when people (usually women) try to shame you for using formula. All of my kids turned out smart and beautiful and not a problem was had with formula. We need to support each other; it’s hard enough being a mom!!

  • My mother always said – “why can’t you all just get along?” and I always think of those words now. Everyone seems to be so negative, competitive and judgmental in this day and age 🙁

  • I’ve never been in a Mom debate, but wow – I can’t believe how persistent that mother was. I would have not been so patient with her as you were. It’s none of her business how you feed your baby…that’s a pretty bold thing to do.

  • There are just so many busybodies and judgmental people around who think that they know it all. It’s good to learn the lessons by yourself as you experience and feel what’s it to be a mom.

  • I’ve never been part of a mom debate. And you’re right, we moms should support each other. Unfortunately, some people are just rude sometimes and think they know everything.

  • I’ve seen this video and the ending made my heart melt. Every mom has a different story to tell, we all strive to be the best mother to our children and that’s where competition comes in. I agree that instead of competing with each other, the world would be a much better place if moms work hand in hand.

  • There was a girl in my office who had a baby just a few months before me. She was so judgemental and acted like she knew everything and made me feel like such a loser.

  • I think every mom wants to be the best mom she can possibly be, and sometimes that momentum takes on an ugly side. Like you mentioned … there comes a point when they’re not trying to be helpful, they’re just being mean.

  • Thank you for your post Heather. I really appreciate it. We need to support each other rather than tear each other down. I try not to judge because whenever you see a situation you only see a small portion of the real story. I believe that any Mom wants to be the best that they can be in their circumstance. Support and not criticism is the best way to help 🙂

  • I am not a mom yet but I totally agree with this. Moms should be helping out each other and not debating. After all, it’s not an easy role. 🙂

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