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The Mommy Wars: 10 Ways to Be the Solution Instead of the Problem

Mommy Wars.

The phrase itself is so completely tired out – a cliché – and yet, it still rings true in our day-to-day existence.

When our babies are first born, there are the inevitable “hot topics” that can easily lead to arguments and one-upmanship. Will you breastfeed or bottle-feed? Will you circumcise? Vaccinate? How will you handle sleep with your babies? Ferberize? Attachment parent? And on and on and on.

Of course, these are all important decisions that each parent has to make, and we all work to figure out what’s best for our families. We form strong opinions based on research and experience, and sometimes, we inadvertently contribute to the problem of mommy wars.

So how can we stop ourselves? How can we be supportive of other mamas instead of piling on the judgment? Here are some suggestions for those who wish to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

1 | Scroll on by 

You know that social media post? The one where someone shares their strong parent opinion, and then other people disagree, and the next thing you know it’s just a free-for-all of statistics and personal anecdotes, maybe even an “I can’t believe you think X” comment? Ignore it. Do not engage. Don’t publicly call out other moms. No good can come of it.

2 | Make eye contact 

The mom in Target, you know the one, with the cart full of essentials, including her melting-down toddler? Look her in the eye. Maybe even give her the nod of empathy. She could use the affirmation that it happens to everyone, because it does.

3 | Shut it down

Inevitably, moms will be having a social gathering, maybe a book club, and the conversation will turn toward “concern” for another mother’s child, or marriage, or career. And it more than likely starts with actual concern, but then devolves into gossip. Don’t join in. Think of how you wouldn’t want to be the person discussed. Be the brave person to steer the conversation elsewhere.

4 | Practice random acts of coffee

Do you know a mama who could use a small treat? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. It could even be something from your own kitchen. Drop by with a cup of coffee, or a fresh-baked muffin. Sometimes all we need is for someone to acknowledge that we exist. That can turn around the worst of days.

5 | Get together

No mom is an island. Call a friend or two, meet up at the park, or the zoo, or even the local mall. Let the kids run around while you take a moment to discuss at least one grown-up topic. It doesn’t need to be deep or intellectual, just enjoyable. We are social creatures. (The added benefit of tired children who may even nap on the way home and let you listen to your music cannot be ignored.)

6 | Offer to babysit

One of my fondest memories of my neighbor was the day she showed up and took my young children, commanding me to take a nap. I was hanging by a thread, and the three-hour stretch of sleep I got as a result of my neighbor’s thoughtfulness was the longest I’d slept in months. A few hours of your time can mean the world to a fellow parent.

7 | Just listen

When a mama friend is going through a rough time, give her space to vent. Don’t offer any advice unless specifically asked. Most of the time, she knows what she needs to do; she just needs someone to nod along and commiserate.

8 | Make it a double

Are you making lasagna for dinner? Make two of them. Your girlfriend, who just started back to work after maternity leave, or your neighbor whose husband is deployed, or your mama friend who is overwhelmed with life at the moment could use a night off from making dinner. If you’re having a good day, make the most of it. Doubling the recipe won’t require a lot of extra effort on your part, but may feel like a lifeline to a friend in need.  

9 | Get on the list

Working moms worry about how quickly they can reach their child in case of an emergency at school or daycare. Chances are that you would only be called upon once or twice a year, but if you’re available, why not ease the fears of a friend by volunteering to be an emergency contact for when she’s in a bind? This will make her afternoon commute exponentially easier, knowing that if she hits a traffic jam, you can pick up her kids along with yours.

10 | You deserve a break today.

Practice self-care. You’re a mom, too! You need to make sure you are able to do your job well. If you’re exhausted, emotionally drained, and pushed past your physical limit, imagine how miserable you’ll be and how likely you are to fall prey to engaging in the mommy wars yourself. Get out of the house, even for just five minutes. Walk around the block. Weed the garden. Hide in the bathroom for a bit with a book. You need to recharge, too.

Being a parent is as difficult as it is wonderful. Instead of letting our fellow mothers wallow through the freakish misery all alone, let’s all make an effort to make it just the tiniest bit easier for one another. It doesn’t take a lot of money, or even a lot of time, to be a positive change in the world of motherhood. If we join forces instead of take sides, imagine what we could accomplish.

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Jessica Simpson celebrated her baby shower this weekend (after getting a cupping treatment for her very swollen pregnancy feet) and her theme and IG captions have fans thinking this was not just a shower, but a baby name announcement as well.

Simpson (who is expecting her third child with former NFL player Eric Johnson) captioned two photos of her shower as "💚 Birdie's Nest 💚". The photographs show Simpson and her family standing under a neon sign spelling out the same thing.

While Simpson didn't explicitly state that she was naming her child Birdie, the numerous references to the name in her shower photos and IG stories have the internet convinced that she's picking the same name Busy Philips chose for her now 10-year-old daughter.

The name Birdie isn't in the top 1000 baby names according to the Social Security Administration, but It has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to name nerds and trend watchers.

"Birdie feels like a sassy but sweet, down-to-earth yet unusual name," Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry told Town and Country back in 2017. "It's also just old enough to be right on time."

Simpson's older kids are called Maxwell and Ace, which both have a vintage feel, so if Birdie really is her choice, the three old-school names make a nice sibling set.

Whether Birdie is the official name or just a cute nickname Simpson is playing around with, we get the appeal and bet she can't wait for her little one to arrive (and her feet to go back to normal!)

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Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

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As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

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