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Moms Don't Give Other Moms Compliments

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One mom wants to know why moms are so chintzy when it comes to giving each other kudos.

one mother giving another a compliment

Guest blogger Maria wonders, where are all the mom compliments?

One of the most surprising things I've found about being a mother is I'm finding it's much more common to find mom competition than it is to find mom compliments. What's with this?

I'm just as guilty. Before I was a mother I threw around "you're a great mom" and "I can learn a lot from your parenting" like they were going out of style. Now I find that I'm more likely to talk to my husband about my friend's bad parenting choices than I am their amazing skill. I never thought I'd be this person.

Why is it that there is so much mom competition? We all love our friends' kids and our nieces and nephews. So, where have all the compliments gone? Why is it so hard to build each other up as parents? When our friends' husband acts like an ass, we tell her she doesn't deserve it. But if her kid is a tattle-tale - all bets are off. We call our other friend to discuss all the incorrect choices she's making to perpetuate his behavior.

No one is banging down my door complimenting me for how great of a mom I am either. Maybe this is the reason I'm not giving out the props so easily - it's some sort of defensive reaction. But it seems so counterproductive. We second guess our parental choices so much as it is, it only makes sense we help each other to feel more confident. When I take a moment to think of this logically, I realize that my friends are doing what's best for their kids and I'm doing the same for mine. All of our kids are great. So why is it so hard not to judge one another? Who started this unspoken stand off? Is there a way to stop it?

I am going to begin an experiment - I will give out at least one mom compliment a day. It shouldn't be hard. I see moms coming up with amazing solutions, creative ideas and useful tricks every day - and just plain being loving toward their children. Maybe it will be a pay-it-forward situation and what I think are my well-deserved compliments will finally arrive. I know that kudos aren't the reason to be a mother, but it would be nice if women focused on how to build each other up - especially when it comes to our hardest and most overwhelming job.

next: Morning Sex: Wake Up Your Relationship!
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 18, 2008, 9:47 AM

This is very true. My friends and I are the same way.

Jenn November 18, 2008, 3:33 PM

I have to disagree at least in my little part of the world. I find the moms I hang out with to be very complimentary with each other. We always try to help one another, and I don’t hear much in the way of competitiveness. Not to say there is NONE, but I would say the compliments and helpfulness far outweigh the competition.
I’m sure its not like this everywhere, and I have the feeling it will get worse as my kids get older - right now they are only 2 1/2 and 1 year old, so all us moms are pretty new. I think as we get more experienced, the competition will get more extreme!

ame i. November 18, 2008, 6:40 PM

Insecurity, perhaps?
I live in the South and one would think we would be more apt to build each other up, but in some circles it just isn’t like that. My older daughter moved to a private school this year for 5th grade and some of those women are real snakes. Some aren’t. Even at at public school my 3rd grader attends, many moms are more prone to spreading gossip and rumors about each other than compliments.
I seem to have fewer “mom friends” as my kids get older.
My own mother tells me often: “You’re such a good mama” and that means more to me than any compliment from any other woman. If my daughters grow up to feel about me as I feel about my mother, I’ll have Heaven right here on Earth.

Amy November 19, 2008, 7:30 AM

I agree with you, we are petty as mothers. Mainly because of being female and being insecure. We want to look good and by putting others down, makes us feel good. Or at least pertend to.

Yes, we need to compliment more,even those that make us feel inferior. We need to have the confidence, we are doing a good job, mistakes and all!!!!

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