Elizabeth Broadbent

The Top Reasons You Will Fight With Other Moms

Posted on November 26, 2017

You’ll be having a perfectly normal conversation with another mama. You lay your baby down to change him. Then suddenly - “You use cloth?!” she says, staring at your cute little diaper disdainfully. “I could never do that. My husband would never let me put poop in our washer.”

You can hear the italics in her voice. And all of a sudden, you’re in the crossfire of the mommy wars.

If you pushed a baby from your vagina/had one cut out of your stomach/procured it by other means, you will find yourself in this position. Oh, it might not be the diapers. It’ll be some other kind of obsessive. Remember always: you’re being questioned because the other mommy doesn’t want to question herself. She’s so terrified she’s fucking up this whole parent thing that she has to take it out on you. And if she’s that insecure, you probably want to run as far away as possible. But first you have to deal with her crazy ass. Keep smiling, even if you want to throttle her. Keep an even tone, even if she insinuates that you’re going to kill your baby. And exit as soon as possible, probably by fake diaper blow-out.

Co-sleeping v. Crib Sleeping

Fanatical crib sleepers will tell co-sleepers they’re going to kill their baby in any number of creative ways (rolling over them, smothering them, tangling their hair around them) -- and how the hell are you supposed to have sex anyway? With the baby in the bed? Ewwwwwww. Fanatical co-sleepers will insinuate that cribs are a kind of baby jail where infants are allowed to wail themselves to sleep, yearning for the human contact.

Photo by Bastien Jaillot

Photo by Bastien Jaillot

Strategy: In either case, you can say, “We all get better sleep this way,” and smile angelically. If pushed, co-sleepers can point to Dr. McKenna at the Notre Dame Sleep Laboratory. Crib sleepers can cite baby’s happiness and lack of crying. Ultimately: nunya, as in nunya business.

Breast v. Bottle

Formula will kill your baby because it lacks important antibodies. Breastmilk is inconvenient and means that no one else can take over feeding, and don’t you want your partner to bond with the baby? Why don’t you just pump? Because that’s a pain in the ass, Miss My-Boobies-Work-Fine.
This is the ugliest mom debate out there, probably because it’s the most nuanced.

Strategy: If you have to engage, smile and say, “It works for us.” If pushed, claim that you’re lucky to use the feeding method you do. If they keep pushing, start crying and say you have huge oversupply/undersupply and had to/couldn’t breastfeed. Then grab your baby and run.

Stroller v. Babywearing

Stroller moms are legion. They are the norm. But now the babywearing moms are gaining ground from Graco and Maclaren. They think strollers are bulky and obstructive. Plus they distance you from your baby, who is left in a seat alone, staring at the ceiling, desperate for human contact or stimulation beyond a few plastic toys. Stroller moms are like, I need a place to put my Starbucks cup and purse. Plus I have a bad back, bitch.

Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic

Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic

Strategy: You’re unlikely to encounter fanatical stroller devotees, but obsessive babywearers tend to be attachment parents very convinced of their own rightness. If your baby isn’t in a carrier, you are ripe for education. Don’t want to be educated? Run.

Vaxxing v. No Vaxxing

You’re either poisoning your baby with monkey serum and human fetal tissue, plus mercury and aluminum - setting them up for cancer or autism or leaky gut syndrome or gluten intolerance - or you’re a menace to public health, blithely spreading measles and pertussis to unprotected infants and cancer patients.

Strategy: A big, red, flashing DO NOT ENGAGE. Don’t talk about it. Don’t argue about it. Don’t yell, “You’re killing your child/destroying public health!” You will think the other person is the worst kind of stupid and misguided. Change the subject. Then run, because the other baby is either shedding live viruses or a possible pertussis case.

Circumcising v. Not Circumcising

You’re cutting off part of your baby’s sex organs, affecting him for the rest of his life and intruding upon his bodily autonomy! No, you’re setting him up for penile cancer and AIDS and urinary tract infections! Then someone says they’re Jewish, a debate about baby penis becomes a debate about anti-Semitism, then someone’s invoking Hitler and you are in way, way over your head.

Strategy: Do not ask people about the status of their child’s penis. It’s nunya business. If you happen to notice the status of said penis, do not comment upon it or compare it to your child’s. Do not discuss circ’ing or what happens during the operation, because ain’t nobody wanna hear that. Basically, child penis is not a fit subject for discussion unless someone explicitly and earnestly asks your advice. Then try to give it out of everyone else’s hearing.

This isn’t a limit to the crazy you’ll encounter. There’ll be car seat nuts (get them to help you install yours properly, then run), and essential oil freaks, and people who think homebirths will kill you or hospital births will kill you. Deal with it all with a smile, a nod, an “isn’t that interesting!” and a convenient diaper blowout. Unless they’re trying to sell you something. Then go right to the diaper blowout.

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