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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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Support each other. We need to be aware of the situation of others when we start to pass judgement and stop ourselves. We need to be there for each other. We need to build our mom communities full of inspiration and judgement free zones while still talking about the important subjects. There is a way to convey important information without shaming.