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How can I relate to mothers with opposing parenting views

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 4:34 AM
  • 15 Replies
Hi there,

Most of my girlfriends have children, as do I, and although we don't always agree when it comes to parenting, we get along just fine. One of my best friends had a baby about 6 months ago. Her parenting style couldn't be more different than mine, which is fine. I believe each person has the right to raise their children however they so choose. I may not agree, but I don't judge. But, whenever we get together all she wants to do is talk about her alternative form of parenting. It's not just parenting but a whole new way of life and its ALL she wants to talk about. I try to steer the conversation to neutral ground, but it always comes back to the same thing. It's starting to become a dread to talk to her but I really don't want us to drift apart. My question is: Does anyone have any advice on how I can avoid these conversations and still maintain our close relationship? Thanks in advance!
by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 4:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Emerald Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 4:38 AM

May i ask the lifestyle?   I am not sure how to keep the conversation neutral when she is still in the fanatical stage of things and being a new mom.

KPewitt
by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 4:55 AM
Frndlyfn,

I don't mind explaining, forgive me for being vague, I just didn't want to start any controversy for those who follow that style. She is into this new Zen Parenting, while I'm more traditional. If you're not sure what that is, its basically those who don't believe in circumcision, or ear peircings, formula, spanking, yelling, etc. They only cloth diaper, extended nursing, co sleeping, home births, extended rear facing, no vaccinations, all organic, etc. This is all fine with me, I'm glad she is so involved with her child, but she has become very "preachy", for lack of a better term. I wasn't able to nurse my oldest and my youngest only nursed for 3 months. I vaccinate my kids, and used disposable diapers. She never seemed to have issues with my parenting until she became one herself, now she seems to be an expert. In general, I just have a very different style and I've started to get uncomfortable around her and I don't like it. I just wish we could talk about something else and have a good time like we used to.
frndlyfn
by Emerald Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:03 AM

oh no worries.  I know that style as Attachment / Crunchy parenting  , crunchy is for the more current word for hippy I think  lol.     She is a new mom so perhaps as the baby gains more months she will mellow out.  New parents always act like they are the new experts on things.   All we can do is smile and nod.

Ultra_
by Bronze Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:05 AM
I find it very easy to do with normal people. If she's at that stage, I don't think there is much you can do, but avoid her. She'll figure it out. Or something will happen despite her perfect lifestyle and make get realize nothing is 100% foolproof or safe. Then she'll be less judgy. You seem totally reasonable.
KPewitt
by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:06 AM
Thanks for the encouragement! I've just never had a friend be such an aggressive new mom. Lol. It's a bit frightening.
hnischke
by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:10 AM
1 mom liked this
While I'm generally more like your friend parenting wise I can understand how you feel. I have a few people in my life pushing the traditional parenting book down my throat.
I have an adopted son that we got as a toddler last April. My husband and I had our youngest last September. I was a new mom twice last year. If she is anything like me she is probably really excited and is reading things left and right. Since you're good friends she might want to share with you. I say give her space and reconnect after a little time. It might do you both some good.
Mrs.Kubalabuku
by Silver Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:11 AM
1 mom liked this

I think the best thing you can do is sit her down at a calm time and politely ask her to leave the subject alone.  Let her know that you are thrilled she's so happy with her choices, but you want to talk to her, sometimes even about her and her interests and certainly topics that don't include diapers and children.  It's easy for new Moms to get "lost" in their children.  But 10 or so years down the road, all the sudden the children don't want to hang out with Mommy and Mommy is just an empty shell.  Encourage her to have interests and to keep doing things she loved doing.

I think if you approach her in a gentle, loving way and ask if you can start to get to know her as a person, not just as a Mom, she'll understand.  She might even appreciate that someone wants to still know and love her for being her, not just for being "Mom."

mcginnisc
by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:49 AM

Quoting hnischke:

While I'm generally more like your friend parenting wise I can understand how you feel. I have a few people in my life pushing the traditional parenting book down my throat.
I have an adopted son that we got as a toddler last April. My husband and I had our youngest last September. I was a new mom twice last year. If she is anything like me she is probably really excited and is reading things left and right. Since you're good friends she might want to share with you. I say give her space and reconnect after a little time. It might do you both some good.

Wow! Our stories are very similar! We adopted our daughter from China at 17 months old in April 2007 and had a huge surprise when her little sister came a long a year later in August 2008. The girls are 2 years 9 months apart in age. It was definitely an eye opener to become a mom 2x in a year after not having children for 11 years.

Claire


" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 

lucky2Beeme
by Platinum Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Talk to her. Tell her you feel she is pushing her parenting style on you. Explain that you accept hers and wish she would accept yours. Tell her you feel these conversations are damaging your relationship. That you really want to be and stay close friends but she is damaging that.

Opal614
by Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM
Most moms mellow out around the two year mark, there isn't nearly as much to disagree about once you are parenting a toddler/preschooler.
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