When I gave birth to my daughter, I knew being a mom would be hard. But I don't know that I realized where the hardships would be, that day in and day out, some of the toughest parts of motherhood would have nothing to do with my baby girl and everything to do with other moms ... judgmental moms. The kind blogger Blair Koenig of STFU, Parents has termed the "sanctimommies." These are the kinds of moms who tell women who are using formula that they're taking the easy way out just because, well, they're MEAN!
But it's easy to get caught up in the negative. I'll admit it. I do it. I spend my days begging moms to be nice to each other ... but what better way to really do it than to be positive? Instead of telling each other what NOT to say, I wonder, is it time to tell people what TO say?
So here it is. If you know a "formula mom," here's what you SHOULD be saying to her:
1. I've got these formula samples that I can't use. Any chance you want them?
Why you should say it: Well, first off, because formula is expensive, and there's no point in letting that stuff go to waste! But more than that, this lets her know you support a mom's right to choose.
2. It's awesome that your husband can help too!
Why you should say it: Because moms need to give themselves a break. Splitting parenting duties is a good thing!
3. Hey, can I get your advice on bottle nipples?
Why you should say it: Maybe she didn't do well at breastfeeding, and she's feeling a little down about not knowing how to do a "mom thing," but this puts her back in the power seat. She's an expert at something!
4. You know, I had the worst case of thrush (or other breastfeeding horror story).
Why you should say it: There's a tendency among some breastfeeding moms (not all) to be a little condescending when a mom says she struggled with nursing. Acknowledging it's not all unicorns and glitter gives you two common ground.
5. I'm going to be using formula when I go back to work. Any tips on the best buys?
Why you should say it: It's all about finding common ground.
6. I was formula fed, and I turned out just fine.
Why you should say it: Well, look at you! Who wouldn't want to turn out like you? You're pretty awesome, and so is her baby.
7. So, have you heard about that thing in the Middle East?
Why you should say it: Because you don't have to talk about Mom things all the time. You know that, right? You can just talk about THINGS.
Why you should say it: If you don't have anything nice to say ...
Do you use formula? What do you wish your friends would say to you instead of all that negativity?
Image via misspupik/Flickr