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Saturday, 01 October 2011 22:25

The Mommy Mafia Dilemma

While reading a blog entry recently, I came across the term 'Mommy Mafia', which was a term I had yet to encounter considering the fact that my daughter is only 8 months old and I have only begun to try building bridges with other families for the purpose of play-dating.

So I searched this new term - 'Mommy Mafia' - and came across a comical but honest article on the CNN website.  The article mentions that we have all (as Moms) judged other Moms on the way they parent and therefore have a little bit of the 'Mafia' in us, but that there is no way of truly knowing for sure if we are doing things 'right'.

I found that this article summarized how I have been feeling lately about parenting in general.  I have made the comparison that parenting is kind of like driving.  The number of accidents there are on the roads these days (and honestly - at least 90% of accidents were caused because SOMEONE wasn't paying enough attention) would indicate that there are not as many 'good' drivers out there as there are people who claim to be 'good' drivers... but almost no one admits to being a bad driver.  Parenting is similar, but the stakes are much higher.  We are vehemently defensive of our parenting choices, because the result of choosing the 'wrong' style might indicate that we are in some way failing our children.  As desperately as I try to convince myself that all parenting styles are good in their own way, and that different children and different families require different types of parenting methods, of COURSE I believe that any methods I have currently chosen are the 'best', otherwise I would not have chosen them.  However, like driving, when I look at the number of people out there who are rude, unmotivated, difficult, socially awkward, or worse, I realize the stakes are against me there too.  The odds of me raising a child who does not fit the 'ideal' in my mind's eye is all too likely.

Does that mean the 'Mommy Mafia' problem is unchangeable? Not entirely.  Although we all may feel defensive about our own parenting ideals, we do have to consider the fact that we all have different priorities when it comes to our children.  We all want to encourage different things.  Where my first priority might be to raise kind and respectful children, another parent's priority might be to raise intelligent and motivated children.  The differing layout of our priorities will ultimately change the way we parent them.  This is obviously one area where there are many 'right' answers.

Don't even get me started on the cliched statement that all children are different, but this is also a huge factor that will affect the outcome.

So with all of these things in mind (and the best way to combat this is probably to assume that we are all part of the problem), even though we will probably internally criticize another Mom's methods, we must choose to not let this affect how we treat them, or their children.  On the other side of this, we should probably make an extra effort to really understand our own methods so that we can get behind them 100% and feel confident in them even in the face of differing opinions.

Step 1 in getting along with other parents?

Read 2514 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 22:23

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