Being Critical Doesn’t Help Anyone
Whether it’s a disapproving look one parent is giving another in public, or a friend who is criticizing a parent they saw at the mall today, people are prone to being critical of other parenting styles.
Parenting is one of the biggest responsibilities you are likely to have in life, involving plenty of daunting tasks and obstacles. Unfortunately, instead of sticking together, moms often clash on their beliefs when it comes to parenting, no matter how trivial some matters may seem to other people.
It is almost forgotten that in most cases moms are loving their kids the best way they know how. In this competitive world there is nothing more important than women supporting women. Especially mothers!
Keep This in Mind Before You Criticize
Everyone’s upbringings were different, from the way you were disciplined to the values and beliefs your parents instilled in you and your siblings. In turn, we take what we learned from our parents and create our own parenting style for our children.
These parenting styles should be respected rather than questioned, along with choices moms might make. For example, as a mom, being able to find the “correct” work/home balance is of utmost importance in the eyes of society.
This topic is one that people have polarized opinions on. Some believe it is important to work as many hours as possible to earn money for their kids now and in the future, whilst others value time over money and place the importance on staying at home while their kids are growing up.
Think about how much more we could accomplish as individuals and as collective parents if we focused more time on doing the best for our kids and less time criticizing what everyone else is doing. Take things a step further and think about what we could accomplish if we put effort into supporting one another.
Offering support to other women can feel as good as receiving that same support, as nurturing is in the nature of most women. And if everyone takes on this mentality, all moms win.
Moms dedicating more time to supporting one another is also of benefit to kids. Kids listen and act on things their parents do and say a lot more than is often realized.
Accordingly, if Mom is acting in a way that looks out for the best interest of others and reacts to situations with positivity and respect, her children will learn to do the same.
What Can Happen If We Are Not Supportive?
Even the most confident moms need support or advice sometimes. It is best to be tactful and nonjudgmental if you are asked for advice and to reach out with friendship and understanding.
If you judge or put down another mom it can seriously affect their self-esteem which can have an unfortunate domino effect, leading to a range of other issues. The truth is, judging others doesn’t help anyone.
Even if you truly believe that what another mother is doing is incorrect, criticizing them is not going to encourage them to change their ways. Instead, you’ll cause them to become defensive which can often result in irrational or dangerous behaviors.
It can also damage your own reputation with other moms if they see you ‘mom-bashing’. They’ll feel they can’t trust you enough to confide in you in the future, and will most likely distance themselves from you.
How Can Women Support Each Other?
Whether you’re a mom or not, being in the company of your friends is a great way to de-stress. Making the time to bond with other women at anywhere from a social gathering to a trip to the mall can give you a mood lift, making you and your friends feel better.
This feel-good factor has actually been physically linked to the hormone oxytocin which, in women, creates a desire to seek and maintain relationships.
Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can be signs of support to a woman. For example, if a woman has achieved a goal, it is nice to hear from a friend how pleased they are for her (this could be face to face or even on social media).
People often keep complimentary thoughts to themselves, admiring their friend’s tan or slimness. Instead, actually voice your compliments! You will probably make your friend’s day.
It is also important for women to talk to people who actually listen, and who are a good soundboard for problems. Simply having someone listen to you vent can help you feel less stressed.
As well, having someone in your life who is a careful listener will mean they are able to provide better advice when you ask for it, as they have a full picture of the situation.
A great way women can really support each other is through a women’s support group. You may find there are some already being held locally, or you could even consider starting one up and running it yourself.
If the idea of setting up a support group sounds a little too formal, you could instead attend or host a coffee morning, where you and your girlfriends can have a nice chat in a relaxed atmosphere. If you know a woman who is new to the area, this would be a great way of welcoming her to your neighborhood.
The Self-Esteem Institute (Behavioral Symptoms & Consequences)
mindbodygreen (7 Reasons Women Need to Support Other Women)
allwomenstalk (7 Great Ways Women Can Support Each Other)