Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Mommy vs. Non-Mommy Divide (Part 5: Healing the Divide)

Struggling with own my feelings over the Mommy and Non-Mommy Divide, I asked over a dozen of my girlfriends to weigh in...  with some interesting revelations!  Here's Part 5 in this blog mini-series.

Part 5: Healing the Divide

So far we've discussed the possible existence of a Mommy vs. Non-Mommy Divide, friendships between the two sides, identity, and parenting in public...  so now what?

One of the best things about this blog series, for me as the blogger, was reading the candid, honest answers the ladies sent me.  Knowing it would be anonymous, they were able to speak their minds in a way they may never have done with their Mommy/Non-Mommy friends across the divide, some letting out emotion and frustration that they've been holding in.

For me, this series was about opening up a dialogue for women who have different experiences and backgrounds, and perhaps promoting some understanding between the two.  Let's be perfectly real: motherhood is a choice.  It may not be planned, but we all make the decision to (and I am trying not to be crude!) put ourselves in a position where it becomes a possibility.  Others do not have to like our choices, but they should respect them, and that is where healing the divide comes into play.

One of the ladies didn't feel we can fix the separation: "I don't think this is a fixable problem. Its a part of life. You pick your team (Mommy or Non-Mommy) and you move on."  But both sides had messages for each other on how to coexist peacefully.

-"Remember we’re all human. Try to be considerate of each other and the choices we each make for our own lives.  Respect the other person’s side of things even if you don’t agree with it. Try to put yourself in their shoes and respect their life decisions."
-"Mommies should be more responsible and recognize they they may not be able to take their child everywhere - Non-Mommies should get over a little fussiness or slight disruption. It's a balance. 
I think some Mommies feel it's their "right" to take their child anywhere they can; however, that is not very considerate!  And to a degree - I don't know if they divide can be repaired."
-"I think communication and setting up conversation boundaries if personally needed is important.  If something bothers you, talk about it, and move on. Advice to Mommies, don't think that just because someone isn't a mother that they are incapable of taking care of children or understanding you. Try them, you might be surprised. Advice to Non-Mommies... don't think that just because your friend has children, that she is incapable of having adult time. Realize that every person needs social time, and support from their friends."
-"Plan activities that are kid friendly and let the non-mommies get a little hands on experience. But also, GET A SITTER once in a while and let your hair down, woman! Think there needs to be a little more dialogue on the subject between these two classes of women! I think that passions towards different parts of your life are good/healthy, but being a good friend, mom, worker, etc. are all important in life and should be balanced a bit more."

-"Honestly, non-mommies need to become mommies to "get it.". Or at least watch a toddler 24/7 for a month straight.  Mommies need to remember how we felt before we became mommies and cut the non-mommies a little slack.  We teach our babies everything. We chase them around all day... we try to cook, clean, and maintain sanity in between all the chaos.  We know you've heard all this before. Any free time we get, we usually just want to use it to collapse onto the couch and breathe before it begins all over again.  If we don't call, email, or write as often (or just once every six months), please understand.  You definitely will when you have babies of your own."
-"Don’t be quick to judge as you might not have all the facts that you need for your judgment. Be patient and kind to one another.  If you are jealous keep it in check.  Remember that out there that someone is jealous of what you have too.  Just be good to each other.  It’s not always what you say but how you say it and treat others the way you want to be treated.  It’s that simple."
-"My advice to other moms is to not let having a child destroy their identity or keep them from doing social activities.  For non-parents, I would say to just be tolerant that kids will often act like kids and life is just messy that way."
-"We all must realize that we have different interests and priorities, but we can still be friends, and focus on what we do have in common (fashion, sports, current events, etc).  As a mom, I would love if my non-mommy friends would invite me and initiate meetings, it would make it easier for me.  And try to remember that even though I'm preoccupied and busy, I still love my non-mom friends and would do anything for them!"
-"Never judge someone's actions by what you see of them one time.  Unless you are their BFF you are only seeing 1/2 of the story."
-"Just be kind.  When you see a stroller, try not to dart in front of it like I did for so many years!!  Stop and offer to open a door.  Pushing a stroller through a closed door is very challenging.  Being a mom is so hard, the last thing anyone needs on top of that hard job is to be judged harshly.  And look forward to the best ride of your life."
-"I think if everyone had a little more patience and didn’t take things so personally there would be less problems. Everyone should try to understand what others are going though."

I think the women's advice speaks for itself.  We Non-Mommies could learn to be more patient, but Mommies should take a break and remember what it was like before baby and not forget those friendships.  Take it all with a grain of salt, but our differences could actually help each other find balance!

Stay tuned for Conclusion: Aubrey's Lessons Learned

P.S.  Have you entered my free jewelry giveaway???

1 comment:

  1. I think the two-way street is always important to consider! It's very easy to forget the other side, but if one works to avoid discounting the changes that are inevitable in *any* friendship as people grow/move/have babies/don't have babies ;) and you *both* work to maintain the relationship, a mommy-non-mommy friendship is totally doable IMO.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...