Here’s the thing – we all parent in the way that makes the most sense to us, the way that best fits our personality, our family size, and our maternal nature. And we want to feel that our way is the best way. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t choose it to be our way, right? And it’s tough to be a parent, regardless of our parenting style, which makes it almost infuriating to see another mom who seems to be flying by the seat of her pants raising fantastic kids! Or maybe that’s just me. Ok, it’s not really infuriating. But I do think this is one of the facets of the rivalry between moms with varying parenting styles.
If you have a different view on parenting than me, does that mean that you think I’m wrong in my way? Does this make me a little insecure? Does the fact that your kids are awesome while you appear to be mindlessly skipping through tulips while I’m stressed almost every minute of the day annoy me to no end? (This may again be just me, am I over-sharing yet?)
What I learned from knowing Christie, and then the many other moms I have met along the way, is that this rivalry makes us weaker as a parenting community. Learning to appreciate our differences and realize that we all share the same goal would go so far in strengthening us instead, and in turn show our kids that differences are okay!
The level of order and structure that I require would make it impossible for me to be a really laid back mom, it just doesn’t fit. And a more whimsical mom would hate the way I conduct my day. But we can get along knowing that the means will justify the end, and maybe even learn a little something from one another. I worked with Christie on a few other school projects, and while it stressed me out to see a text from her, I usually just smiled knowing that whatever the crazy theme of her day was, she would somehow show up just in time with just the right things with her terrific kids in tow.
Debi Smith-Racanelli is a psychologist and parenting educator. Her new book, Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends, is a great resource for parenting tween girls. Connect with her at betweenbabydollsandboyfriends.com or on Twitter @DebiJSR