Stop Mommy Wars Before the Battle Gets Out of Hand

A picture of two moms fighting the mommy wars
To end the battle of the Mommy Wars, we all need to stop throwing punches. Photo © Adri Berger / Stone / Getty Images

Throw your combat boots back in the closet. It's time to bring the battle of mom against mom to an end. Put a ceasefire on the Mommy Wars and get back to focusing on what matters most: your family and your choices.

No mom should even care about the so-called Mommy Wars. First of all, the phrase "Mommy Wars" was originally used to describe the us vs. them attitude between working moms and stay-at-home moms.

The term became popular in 1986 after Leslie Morgan Steiner published her book, Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families (compare prices).

Both sides have had to play defense over the years. There's no doubt every mom has had to defend herself at some point and without needing to. The things people say to stay-at-home moms are just as cruel and unfair as the things people say to working moms.

Today, you'll also hear Mommy Wars used to describe a number of other parenting issues. Younger mothers vs. older mothers. Breastfeeding mothers vs. formula feeding mothers. Cloth diapering mothers vs. disposable diapering mothers. Homeschooling moms vs. traditional school moms. Helicopter parents vs. free-range parents. Mainstream moms vs. natural moms.

Mommy Wars now encompasses any parenting decision you make. Whatever the hot-button issue is at the moment, Mommy Wars can be conveniently adapted to pit one parent's decision over another parent's.

Ultimately, this fuels the controversy that one type of parent is superior over another.

Regardless of the differences in parenting techniques or the decision to work outside of the home vs. staying home, most moms can and do co-exist peacefully. The number of women who actually fight in the Mommy Wars is outnumbered by the number of women who continue to build lifetime friendships with other moms, despite their parenting styles or personal family decisions.

Put a ceasefire on Mommy Wars. Prevent Mommy Wars from affecting your life and friendships by always keeping these simple tips in mind when you're around other moms:

Don't Fall for the Hype

There will always be a story in the news that raises your mom hackles or there will be another parent who seems to enjoy tearing down another mom. These are just two examples of how Mommy Wars stay alive. The second you bite, they've pulled you into the problem.

Think about What You Say Before You Say It

Even comments about how you would never be able to leave your kids to go to work or be able to stay at home with them 24/7 can easily be misconstrued. Your relationship with your mom friends can easily be soured if you carelessly throw about words that could hurt them.

Place Yourself in Her Shoes

Stay-at-home moms aren't idiots. Working moms aren't heartless women who don't care about their kids. Put yourself in another mom's shoes and don't judge her decisions. She's doing what's right for her family just as you're doing what's right for yours.

Put Some Topics in Your Vault

Can't seem to get past a certain topic with one of your friends? Agree to put it in the vault. In other words, simply don't talk about it.

If your friend spanks and you don't, chances are, neither one of you is going to convince the other to alter your parenting methods. Save the relationship with a simple rule not to talk about that one area you don't agree on.

Remember There's No Cookie Cutter Method of Parenting

If babies came with handbooks we had to follow, parents might get closer to being on the same page about all things parenting. But until the doctor says, "It's a boy! Here's your manual," remember that parenting styles differ from house to house. And that's okay.