What happens when the way you parent becomes a point of contention in a friendship? Is it possible to be friends with someone who parents totally differently from you? I wrote a few weeks back about how we all judge (it’s natural!) but how that judginess has reached epic proportions where it seems everyone we meet on the playground or the school drop off line (or perhaps in our own family) is trying to out-mom us. You’d think we’d all have to be cookie cutter, Stepford-like replicas of one another just to get along. But I just don’t think that’s true, do you?
I have mom friends who co-sleep, I have mom friends who have their kids cry it out, I have mom friends have one kid and don’t want more, I have mom friends who have three and do want more (I openly joke with them that I think they're nuts—we're close enough friends that we can talk like that!), I have mom friends who don’t allow their kids to watch any TV, I have mom friends whose kids have six ipads, I have mom friends who feed their kids mac and cheese nightly, I have mom friends whose kids are vegan, I have friends who stay at home with their kids, and friends who work long hours at big fancy jobs. And I get along great with all of them. I wrote a few months ago about what I look for in a mom friend and all of these women have it.
I am friends with these women because of who they are, not how they parent. I am not saying that I don’t silently judge other parents sometimes. Even my own friends, occasionally. Hey, it happens and I think we all do it. But I would never comment out loud on how these people are raising their kids and I would never say or even think anything in a way that came off as holier than thou. (And if I ever have, I’m sorry.) I think/I hope I make it pretty clear on this blog and in real life that I am by no means perfect, nor are my children. Nora sang a song made up entirely of the word shit in the car yesterday (she’s heard the word quite a bit lately thanks to Sandy—go ahead, judge, I got nothin left).
Bottom line, I think it’s totally possible to be friends with women who parent in all different ways so long as you/she are kind and respectful and not judgy of the way the other parents. Right? But I want to hear about the times when it doesn’t quite work that way. When another mom’s judgment of you (or vice versa) caused you to back away from the friendship. Or break up entirely. Have you ever lost a friend or had words with a friend over their judgment of the way you parent? (or vice versa) Have you ever felt really judged by a friend? Did you say anything? Parenting is actually doing some research on the topic and I’d love for you to take this quick poll, too. Then let’s discuss!