When Other Moms Are the Enemy

Parenting

You know how they say we can be our own worst enemy?  When it comes to parenting, I think we can have two enemies—not only ourselves but other moms.

Ever notice how men don’t compare their fathering skills to one another.  But women do?

Of course, get a group of men together and it’s highly unlikely they are going to be discussing their children anyway.  Their conversations tend to swirl around work, sports and the latest home project.

But put a group of women together and their children tend to pop up in the conversation.  And unless it’s a group of very tight-knit friends, you aren’t likely to hear about the struggles or woes of raising children.  It’s only going to be the good stuff.

Why?  I think it’s because so often our children’s choices and behavior is viewed as a reflection of our mothering skills.  When they mess up, we feel like we’ve messed up.  So it makes us feel better to only share the good stuff.

When difficult times do come, while already feeling bad about ourselves, along comes another mom to cluck her tongue, shake her head and say to herself (or others), “Wow, where did they go wrong?”

Not comparing my mothering skills to others is something I have struggled with off and on throughout the years.   As my children began to enter the teen years, I started realizing more and more that despite my influences—both good and bad—they are their own persons and will make choices that don’t necessarily reflect what I have taught them.

And this doesn’t necessarily mean the choices are wrong.  It could just be a different path.

At the same time, I am striving to be a better supporter of other moms…to not be so quick to judge, to not make assumptions about things I know nothing about.  Just as I don’t other moms to be enemies in my life, I don’t want to be anyone else’s enemy.

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