Most moms are just working to make the best life they can for their children. Fellow mothers should support, not judge one another.
I have found myself listening in on a lot of different conversations lately that somehow come around to judging how other moms do this whole parenting thing. And it makes me feel uncomfortable. Frankly, the whole "being a mom" thing is challenging and all-consuming enough that most of us don't need the additional stress of judgment, guilt or questioning coming from people outside any given situation—especially from other women who probably struggle at least every once in a while in their role as a mother. Maybe this is too much to ask, but wouldn't it be amazing if all of us—working moms, stay-at-home moms, married moms, divorced moms, single moms, whatever—could find a way to build each other up and help each other out and live in community together?
Short of a situation of suspected abuse or neglect, I believe it is really none of my business who is earning what money, or how someone decides to spend their leisure time, or what someone believes about religion. If a child has the basics like love and education and healthy meals and exercise and a roof over his or her head, and they are safe and happy—isn't that all that matters? Perhaps some don't see my framework for the basics of good parenthood as universal. But at the end of the day, all I can really do is check in to see if I have done my best as a mom according to my own individual standards.
Call a Cease Fire
• Recognize that every parent has his or her own priorities, beliefs, struggles and desires.
• Give other women credit for making the best possible choices for their family—even if you don't get credit in return.
• Stop judging other parents for making choices different from yours.
• Remind yourself that you can only see part of the picture.
• Agree to disagree.
• Consider that even women within the same neighborhood, denomination, social group or school are diverse in a variety of ways.
• Find a productive way to end relationships that don't nurture you as a mom, or that don't nurture your kids, or that cause you excess stress as a parent.
• Stop comparing yourself and others with what you see on Facebook or on Pinterest.
• Don't gossip about other moms in front of your children.
Build Each Other Up
• Take care of yourself and your family first, without thinking about how other people might do it.
• Feel confident in your own ability to make the best decisions for your family, and have confidence in other moms to do the same for their families.
• Find common ground with other moms when possible.
• Commend each other for finding ways to nurture our bodies, minds, and spirits both within and outside of motherhood.
• Offer a helping hand or a hot meal or a shoulder to cry on if you have a woman in your life experiencing a time of struggle.
• Discuss parenting issues with smart, open-minded people to challenge yourself.
• Find a group of parents to ask questions to and make playdates with that builds you up rather than tears you down.
• Collaborate with other parents and the teachers at your child's school to find mutual solutions to improving your children's education.
• Read widely about parenting issues to stay informed and flexible.