We all know that making friends as a mom is like climbing Mt. Everest. You push yourself to uncomfortable limits to make connections, get to a point where you can take a break from ‘the hunt’ and enjoy the few friends you’ve made, just to have to do it all over again when those mom friendships fail. You climb, you rest, you climb some more.
But why? Why is it so hard to build relationships that are solid when we are moms?
My hypothesis is this: The world we live in is, “me vs you”.
Black and white. No gray area allowed for compromise. You either believe what I believe, or we can’t get along.
When it comes to mom friends, it can be a deal-breaker. I admit some of these topics have ended relationships for me. And some of these topics are very controversial and personal.
And that’s okay. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. But let’s not judge each other upfront for any of these topics. Ask questions, get curious about someone else’s beliefs, and then decide if that friendship is right for you.
5 topics that can end mom friendships
1. Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding
Many moms have trouble with breastfeeding. Many moms decide they don’t want to breastfeed. And many moms live and breathe breastfeeding. But we’ve all been in the position when someone asks us, “breast or bottle?”
There is no right or wrong. I think that moms these days have come to a point of understanding that this decision in motherhood is so personal and no one can be judged for what they decide to do. What matters is that you’re feeding and nourishing your baby. Breast or bottle, your baby will still grow up to be a smart, healthy child.
2. Medical beliefs
Vaccines. Vitamin supplements. Chiropractic care. Masks. These are all topics of discussion that can end friendships.
Being the most controversial, I understand when two moms disagree about the medical care of their child. That being said, we can’t judge another mom for choosing to give her child her version of the best medical care.
3. Spiritual Beliefs
Do you go to church? Or synagogue? Or maybe you attend Sunday morning chill time at home?
I love the complex world we live in, and all of the spiritual beliefs we have. Let us use these differences to teach our children that they don’t have to believe what their friends do. They can be independent thinkers, and so can we.
4. Working vs Stay-at-home Mom
It’s complicated. And maybe this friendship is just more of a virtual one – texting and Facebook posting here and there. It’s still a friendship.
Homeschooling. Mom’s morning out. Full-time daycare. CD programs at public schools. So many choices, right?
Either way, we all educate our children. We want what’s best for them and the best learning environment for them. Our children don’t ask each other about their school, so why should we care about what our friends choose?
All of these belief systems that mothers choose for their families are just that. A choice they make for their own family. Way to go, mama, for sticking to what you believe in and doing what is best for you.
And while some people believe very strongly one way or another (which is your choice, yay!), other friendships can accept each other’s differences and find common ground on other personal beliefs.
One thing I want to not only remind myself of but also teach my boys is that just because someone isn’t just like me, doesn’t mean I can’t be their friend.
In the world we live in, beliefs can be so black and white. Dichotomous. No room in the middle. But I want to challenge that.
I want us as mothers to come together and unite. We are all mothers trying to raise respectful, kind, and smart children. And just because we don’t agree on every aspect of each other’s lives doesn’t mean we can’t just get along.