Know It Alls & the Mommy Wars (2)

Do you see it mamas?

We can disagree!  

We don't have to be robotrons that all do the same thing.

We can have different opinions, different ideas, and raise our children differently 


we don't have to hate each other!

Since writing my first post on the Mommy Wars I have talked about it with many of my mama friends.  I have read lots of new blog posts online.  Here are a couple:
Why I am over the Attachment Parenting Community 
Why I'm Sticking with the AP Community  
My Journey Away from Attachment Parenting

I have quit many of my online mama groups (just the toxic ones).  
Most of them.  
I cleared the decks.

I have created and joined some new ones. 

In my discussions there has been some sentiment that *some* of the mommy war topics have correct answers.

Some things actually are better than others.


It's true!  

There are some BETTER, RIGHT, choices for babies, kids, families, the world.

Now.  If you think you know the RIGHT, BETTER answer... for just one minute I want you to put yourself back into high school.

Close your eyes.

Are you there?

Ok, don't close your eyes, then you can't read.

Anyway, in high school, when someone ALWAYS knows the RIGHT answer... what do they look like. 

I don't mean what do they look like, I mean how do they act.

"pick me pick me"
"I know"

<you haven't even had a chance to think about what the answer is, in fact you didn't even know anyone asked a question>

"me me me"
"hello! do you see me raising my hand?!"

<you flip through your notebook, looking for what the question might be about, worried you missed something important>

"I know!!!!"
"Back here Mrs. X!!"

<now you're terrified, how could you POSSIBLY not know, you're going to fail, in fact you probably already have.>

"Finally, I've had my hand up for ages." 
"HOW could you guys not know this?!!"

Now.  Was that a nice way to learn the answer to a question, you didn't know was a question?  Are you likely to want to remember it?


My point about all this parenting drama, the mommy wars, the mom enough crowd, is that if you have the BETTER, RIGHT answer, you may need a new delivery.


There are people who didn't even know there was a question.


People who thought they already had the right answer written down in their notebook.

People who thought they already passed the test.

If you care about reaching those people, about "saving" their children from their parents' horrible parenting, perhaps you should...


Perhaps you should try approaching them knowing that they already think what they are doing is right.

Perhaps you should approach them with love, understanding, and kindness.

Perhaps you should just ASSUME that EVERYONE is doing the best that they can with the information they have.

Instead of ostrasizing them from your group, making them feel stupid, telling them they are abusing/neglecting/ruining their child, welcome them.  Share with them.  Love them.

Some nice things to do for people you may want to have an impact on include:
Speaking nicely.
Answering their questions instead of questioning their answers.
Checking in with them.
Cooking for them.
Offering to help in whatever way is helpful to them.
Offering to watch their children so they can rest.
Lending them things they may need, books you found helpful, baby stuff you think is good.
Lifting them up.
Speaking nicely to them.

Don't be this guy:

Because no one likes a know it all.



Unknown said...

Again, an excellent post!!! Can I add, remember back in high school when you thought you knew the answers to things that you look back and say, "wow, I really didn't know as much as I thought." life experience changed you, or "I just didn't get it, I thought I knew what it was like for everyone else around me, but really I had limited knowledge about other people's lives and experiences." I agree that there are some things that are just plain better parenting, and some things that are really bad parenting, but I also think that sometimes folks don't really know what is really going on with other moms, their families, their kids. I was an early childhood teacher. I went to wheelock which is very much a progressive school for education. I taught young children since I was a kid. I think I was a pretty compassionate and understanding teacher. I tried to work with parents of my students as a Team, tried to hear them out, but deep down I thought I had a lot more answers than they did. Becoming a mom changed a lot of that. Just being a mom flipped a lot of stuff on its head and humbled me. Then my child became a preschooler. I felt like her next few years would be great, because my expertise is ages 3-8. Ha!!! She had so many behaviors that didn't make sense. Nothing I knew how to do seemed to work. All the playful parenting, positive discipline, gentle parenting did not seem effective enough. I felt like a failure all the time, I questioned everything about my own parenting, and felt judged all the time. When my daughter was 4 years 9 months she ws diagnosed with PDD NOS, basically high functioning autism. She also Sensory Integration Dysfunction. As hard as that was for me to hear it was a little bit of a relief. It explained so much. It is tough though, she seems completely typically, until she isn't at all, and the world looks at me like "why can't you control that kid?" I have learned a lot, and even in the world of autism support groups there are strong opinions and "know it alls." I have done things to Help my child that I never thought I would do, but what she needs and what works for her is different than typical kids. I am learning to focus my eyes firmly on doing what I know is best for her, and ignore the noise from all around me. :) thanks for your thoughtful post, and for reading my rambling post. :)

Jacquelyn Karlic said...

Great post! So true!

Hi! I was nominated for a Leibster award which is for new/newish bloggers with under 200 followers. In turn I get to nominate 11 bloggers. You are one of the bloggers I am nominating. It's just something fun to do to connect with other bloggers and get to know them better. Details: http://www.thenonmarthamomma.com/2013/02/and-oscar-goes-tome.html

Jackie (The Non-Martha Momma)

P.S. - as far as I could tell all of the nominee's I selected have less then 200 followers, but I apologize if I am incorrect

momstheword said...

I remember a long time ago, two of my friends were having a huge clash over one of them using a playpen for her son. The other friend thought it was "child abuse." I didn't have kids yet but I didn't see any problem with a playpen.

Later, I DID have kids and my friend believed in what she called "The Family Bed" where they all slept together in the same bed. I did not think that was a good idea.

As the kids got older, she had four children in bed with her and her husband, ranging from a 12 year old to a newborn. She was complaining of being tired, and complaining that her four year old kept wetting the bed and she couldn't get the kids into their own rooms, which by now she desperately wanted. (The 12 year old slept on the floor next to their bed. Their bed was a CA king size but just not big enough)

But you know. she is the one that had to live with that, not me. So sometimes I think we just have to keep things to ourselves, unless asked, and just allow people to raise THEIR children as they see fit and we'll do the same.

Although we do have one family that comes visit and they don't believe in reigning their children in. It's very difficult for us when they come over as we are forced to "take charge" because they won't and we really can't let their kids destroy our stuff.

It's hard to talk to the parents with the kids interrupting all the time and saying rude things. Once I finally opened my mouth because the kid was being really rude and I just couldn't keep still and I figured it's my home and I am NOT going to allow this kid to say mean and disrespectful things to me. But I think that that is acceptable in a situation like that. The parents actually didn't seem to mind when I called their kid out on saying rude things to me. I wonder how they let their kids talk to them though.

Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

Mary Beth said...

What a wonderful post full of valuable insights ~ thank you so much for sharing at Project Inspire{d} ~ have a lovely week.

Mary Beth

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Oh my, I am flattered you took time to read and thoughtfully comment on my post. As a high school teacher - I see the know it alls a lot :) - as parents we don't need the involvement of others to question our choices - it is something we do everyday... just hope we aren't screwing them up beyond repair. It is made exponentially harder when there are know it alls who are pushing their view in a way that isn't helpful. Thoughtful help - yes please. Annoying scolding - no thanks.
<3 hugs. Keep up the good work mama.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks Jacquelyn xoxo

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Ohhhh I CA king, in my dreams (I would love the whole thing to myself haha).

I agree - usually the people dealing with parenting choices made for children are the parents. As our children grow, I am sure our friendships will. Friends with similar parenting styles will be closer than those with vastly different styles.

This doesn't mean I don't respect those with different styles, just that I have less in common with them.

What works for others doesn't necessarily work for me, my family, or my children :)

Oh... and I too have demanded respect from children who choose not to be respectful... perhaps the teacher in me?

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thank you so much xoxo.

Beeb said...

I figure that if anyone is struggling and wants to know my secrets (Not on childrearing, since I don't have kids yet, but on other life topics), they'll ask me. If someone asks for advice I'm happy to help, but I make an effort to bite my tongue the rest of the time. Sometime I have the urge to give people advice because I want to help them out, but there's a fine line between a helpful suggestion and being overbearing, so I try to be very careful about that, lol. :)

Beeb said...

OH! And I forgot to say that I love this: "Answering their questions instead of questioning their answers." It drives me crazy when people pepper me with questions about my personal life, but don't accept what I have to say. If they don't really want to know, why ask? I'd rather they just be honest and say, "I believe I know better than you do about this topic regardless of what you have to say." LOL!!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

Great post! I hear a lot of different thoughts on parenting and I also get tired of the moms who are certain they have the right way. I have five kids and if I've learned one thing it's that there isn't always one right way. Thanks for linking up to Project Inspire{d}!

Lynsey @MoscatoMom said...

This is a great post, and it spans WAY past just the AP community. I am a big believer in the "Girlfriend Code" and think the world would be a better place if women learned how to SUPPORT one another instead of tearing each other down.



KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Oh it wasn't a warning - just a call to be kind to one another! We need each other, support from a community, a village - but sometimes words that are used are hurtful and accusatory, rather than helpful and supportive! <3

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

haha... it was my favorite line too <3

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks! There isn't ONE right way to do anything, there are lots of ways that work in lots of situations :)

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks :)

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...


ruthie said...

Great post! I've been pretty lucky that I've not ran into many people being overcritical...or if I have they've not said anything directly to me. However, I know I've gotten lots of unsolicited advice from strangers when the kids were babies. That use to drove me nuts because 1) they didn't know me and 2) they didn't know my baby. So much of parenting is what's right for the individual family and child. As moms we should be finding ways to be helpful to others. I raise my children very different then anyone in my family. I always say as long as the kid's not in danger, its really none of my business, unless they ask me. And then, I always keep the advice respectful.

Angie Generose said...

Thanks for writing this - we all need to support each other! I chose this as one of my featured posts this week. Thanks for linking up!


KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Sounds like a good way to live :) Happy you liked the post :)

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

I love your blog!

Alice Emma Thompson said...

Fab post! Have pinned it - Alice @ Mums Make Lists

(Hopping over from Creative Geekery's party.)

Cyndi said...

Lol imagine my surprise when I saw this. I am actually the creator of this meme. However I didn't create it for the reason I thin many think. I created it because after trying so hard to spread awareness and education to other moms, I was tired of having women get offended and act as if I was claiming to be better than them or that I was calling them a bad mother, since neither were the case.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Cyndi!!! I love it :) I wish that education wasn't viewed as mother judgement - I hope we can trust that we are all doing the best with the knowledge we have :)

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