Mom-to-Mom Etiquette

Mom-to-Mom etiquette:  Based on 4.5 years now of the Mom World, in three cities on two coasts, in no particular order…

  • Offer to help clean up whatever mess your children have made. Offer to clean up messes your children didn’t make, and you get a gold star.
  • Thank you notes for meals/gifts are seriously lacking these days, in my old-fashioned opinion. I’m even old-fashioned enough to think they’re best in the form of ink-on-paper-in-an-envelope-with-a-stamp – because who among us gets nice handwritten notes in the mail anymore? Not nearly enough, I say.
  • I honestly don’t expect you to tidy up the house for me to come over. Don’t expect me to, either. Don’t we both have little people as our priority? The fellow mom who looks askance at my clutter is one I’m not likely to invite over very often. (I feel the same about wearing makeup. Gasp.)
  • Don’t ever imply that a C-section is a second-class way to have a baby, or that a natural birth at home earns a gold medal. Seems to me a healthy mom and baby are what really count. (See post from May 2012 for a longer rant on this topic.)
  • Give more than lip service to the oft-spouted lines, “Every child is different,” and “Every family has to do what works best for them.” Every child IS different, and every family IS unique. I can hear the silent judgment in a fellow mom’s head way too loudly in my own, can’t you? There’s enough second-guessing about motherhood without “friends” to add to the chorus. I don’t want to be one of those judges. (I’m not qualified. Nor are you.)
  • Is it possible we could just drop in on each other? That feels a lot like community to me. Having to schedule three weeks in advance feels more like I’m an imposition, who ought to be counting her blessings she was found worthy of being worked into the schedule. (Alas, I’ve been on the guilty end of this too!)
  • It’s nice to pray for a friend – even nicer to tell her so, and nicest of all to pray for her in person. I’d like to be more that kind of friend. I’d like more friends like that. We moms live alone far too much. (Not healthy even for us introverts.)
  • Hugs are rarely inappropriate between fellow moms. They’re nice as a greeting, as a farewell, and especially great as solidarity, comfort, and strength. They’re especially meaningful if you have to overcome a socially awkward moment to give them – it means you care more about the person you’re hugging than how awkward you feel/look.
  • Me, I like phone calls and visits more than texts, unless we’re just handling logistics. It’s hard to tell a person’s heart or emotional state on a text, emoticons or no. Here again, I know this makes me old-fashioned, that I prefer conversation to correspondence. Oh well.
  • I can’t seem to think of a tenth protocol right now – Fill in the blank with your own!
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Published in: on August 30, 2012 at 1:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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