We’ve all heard the term “mommy wars.” Originating in the 1980s, it refers to the negative cultural experience of mothers being pitted against each other based on their different lifestyle choices. While there are many aspects of motherhood that could be included under the umbrella concept of mommy wars (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, etc.), the most significant dichotomy is that of working moms versus stay-at-home moms. But this framing is no longer relevant, as it doesn’t reflect the creativity and real lives of so many women who have a variety of experiences. Here are some steps to change the way we think about motherhood and end the mommy wars for good!
When an adult child gets married, it can be difficult for his/her parents to navigate their new role as an in-laws. I am learning this myself, as my oldest son got married in the not too distant past. Unfortunately, our culture has created a negative stereotype of in-laws (particularly mother-in-laws), but your own experience can be a positive one! Here are 5 ways to be an amazing mother-in-law:
1) Expect and Embrace Differences
A family unit can thought of as a sort of “organism;” it has its own traditions, belief system, and even its own quirks. When a new person enters this family (through marriage), there are bound to be differences. Recognize that there is no such thing as a completely seamless transition, and expect your new son-in-law or daughter-in-law to do some things in a new way. You can learn to celebrate these differences as well! It can also be helpful to talk about family expectations in order to navigate this change. Read more
Most of us understand that a relationship in which an individual tries to control or manipulate the other person is not a healthy one. And while no relationship is perfect, some have chronic patterns of manipulation that can be damaging to an individual’s emotional wellbeing and can likewise hurt the connection itself. But how can we spot such a relationship? We tend to think of obvious big indications of manipulation, but others are more subtle. Here are 5 signs to watch out for that may be evidence of a manipulative relationship:
Some people joke that women talk in code (and there’s probably some small truth to that!). But what if women owned up to their mixed messages and instead spoke their truth and said what they meant? That’s the topic behind this round of “What To Say Instead.” While it can be tempting to speak somewhat passive-aggressively, it’s much better to be honest and authentic about our feelings.
The following scenarios are ones in which woman mask their true emotions with trite sayings. But doing so is harmful to relationships because it’s deceptive and can limit intimacy. Read about better things to say to communicate and bridge those connections:
Scenario #1: Jane gets a call from her sister. At the time, she is trying to make dinner for her family, take care of her sick baby, and help her recently unemployed husband comb through job applications. Her sister asks how she is doing. Her response: “I’m fine.”
What To Say Instead – If this is a sister with whom she has a close relationship, it’s okay to open up! She doesn’t necessarily have to divulge all personal details, but saying something as simple as, “I’m having a really hard day, honestly” is telling the truth. There’s a pressure as women to appear as if something is going smoothly, but it’s okay to admit we don’t have it all together.
True friends often go through a lot together. They experience the joys and good times, and sometimes they seeeach other through harder seasons of life as well. But it can be difficult to know exactly how to react when a friend is weathering a particularly difficult storm or is in some way unfulfilled. Here are 5 strategies to employ when a friend is unhappy:
We’ve all known someone who is judgmental. It’s an unfortunate character trait and is often easy to spot in other people, but can be a bit more difficult to see in ourselves. But the truth is that we all could stand to be more kind and accepting of others. Here are 4 strategies to become less judgmental:
Being a good parent requires a tremendous amount of time, love, and energy, but what happens when a Do your kids define you?well-meaning mom or dad becomes too enmeshed in their children’s lives? Over-involvement can unknowingly do damage to kids, who then become responsible for their parents’ well-being and happiness. On the other hand, parents who can draw a separation between themselves and their children are emotionally healthier and are actually able to give more to their families.
“Assertiveness” is a word that can have some negative connotations. Some might equate being assertive with being pushy, bossy, or controlling. But in reality, assertiveness is a communication skill that can help us express our feelings and needs and ultimately grow closer in our relationships. The truth is that assertiveness is extremely important in having the life we want. Here are some strategies to help you be more assertive:
Have you ever gotten bad vibes from one of your children’s friends? Maybe you felt like he/she was a negative influence or was causing your son or daughter to be unhappy. It can be hard to know when you as a parent should get involved and when it’s better to just let things be.
As a licensed therapist and a mother of four children, I am certainly familiar with this scenario, and I recently sat down with LDS Living Magazine to offer my views on it. Here are a few strategies for what to do when you don’t like your kids’ friends: