Still think having plenty of mom friends who totally have your back isn’t important? Then consider mom shaming. Ever noticed how moms are just darned if they do and darned if they don’t? Breastfeed or feed formula in bottles, wear your baby or push him in a pram, co-sleep or do anything but room in – no matter how you mother, someone out there will find a way to criticize you.
Possibly even another mom, which is sad but true.
Mom friends, however, are like insulation against mom shaming. You don’t have to agree with your mom friends on every point. Seeing eye to eye isn’t everything. The important thing is that you support each other and sympathize, listen and offer the kind of advice only other mamas can give, and then never, ever get offended when your advice is tossed out the window.
How does that counteract the insidious forces of mom shaming that seem to be omnipresent in the momsphere? Your mom friends are the ones who:
Celebrate your choices… so you don’t have to worry when other people don’t. It’s hard to let an angry forum post shake you up when you know you have amazing friends who think you’re doing a great job as a mom.
Offer different perspectives without judgment… yes, there are hot button topics among moms that cause a lot of fights, but when you’re with your mom friends you manage to discuss them without yelling, name calling, or irreparable damage to your relationships.
Help you when your choices don’t pan out… we all make mistakes as moms but it’s a lot easier to get up, brush yourself off, and keep on going when you have a solid network of support. You know, the kind of people who aren’t going to look at you funny when you burst into tears at a dance recital.
Open your eyes to different ideas… there are so many ways to be a mom and most of them result in happy, healthy kids. Just because you think of yourself as a devotee of attachment parenting doesn’t mean you can’t borrow a move from another mom’s playbook in a pinch!
Show you that differences are okay… having lots of different kinds of mom friends is the quickest way to figure out that parenting styles can be less important than a loving heart. You may not parent the same way but you all love your kids to pieces.
Help you see when you’re shaming yourself… they know you’re awesome so when you forget because it’s a bad day or your kids are being terrible, your mom friends are the ones who remind you how great you really are.
Because the people who practice mom shaming can’t hold a candle to the moms who could never imagine shaming you!