Can Moms With Different Parenting Styles Be Friends?

There are as many parenting styles as there are parents. For real. And while I think that’s mostly a good thing – because it means that we’re being true to ourselves / our beliefs + customizing our approach to be a great fit for our unique kids – I can definitely see the potential for some awkward situations when your best friends choose a very different approach to parenting.

This article – Can Moms With Different Parenting Styles Be Friends? – raises some good questions and really got me thinking about the moms I’m friends with. Sometimes, it’s more comfortable to hang out with people who share your ideas. But as a super cautious, often over-protective mom, it’s good for me to see that other people are raising awesome kids who drink non-organic milk or get their clothes dirty from time to time (hehe) – and it helps me to loosen up in some areas that need loosening.

What do you think? Are most of your mommy friends like-minded, do you agree to disagree, or have differing opinions affected some of your friendships?

– Lindsay

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2 thoughts on “Can Moms With Different Parenting Styles Be Friends?

  1. Fantastic article, Lindsay!!
    As much as I would like to claim the the title “I’m a Mommy & I don’t judge”, I can’t & I never will. I blame Adam & Eve.
    When couple friends have so much in common, I only assumed having children would add to the friendship.
    It was very disheartening the first time I noticed a friend’s parenting was far from mine and it was around the 2 year old mark. In theory, she wanted them to be the same but her big heart resorted to negotiation. Whereas, my mantra was, ” I don’t negotiate with 2 year olds”.
    Her kids go to bed with bottles of milk & buys apple juice by the flat. Mine are lucky to get a sip of water before bed & apple juice is only for Nana’s house. She tries to talk her way through her kid’s tempertantrum while flailing limbs writhe on the floor. Mine got no attention & stuck in their bed until they calmed down. Her kids enjoy dancing on top of the ledge of her couch to “Mary Poppins” and mine are only allowed to sit on them, “the playground is outside!” I say. Her kids have sleep overs with each other or end up in my friends bed for night. This has been an uncomfortable subject to avoid as she has asked to do sleepovers frequently. If I can prevent any sleep interruptions I will, and have a strict rule about kids in our bed, though there are some exceptions.

    We continued to get together, we had discussions about it, usually in the 3rd person to make it more comfortable but never addressed it personally. I agree with the point in the article about the guilty feelings. I am probably too hard on my kids. I think we learned a bit from each other but more importantly, how to adapt. I won’t deny we went home early on occasion because my anxiety got in the way or we had a phone date instead.

    In the end, our friendship was more important than the juice, sleep & time-outs. Different strokes for different folks. Different kids require different parenting techniques. We are both trying to be good mom’s the best way we know how and I still love her.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Corinna! I think that most of us have had some form of that experience – whether it’s a parent who’s more lenient or more militant or just plain DIFFERENT.

    I agree that it’s possible to stay friends. More complicated/difficult, sometimes. But definitely possible.

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