Parenting is messy. Communicating with your little one is messy. And parenting, in a shared space with other parents, can be especially messy. In my early years of motherhood, I spent most of my days with a group of several other stay-at-home moms. We would essentially say “when & where are we meeting at 10AM?” Then we would all show up, with coffee in hand, and hang out for a few hours before naptime. It was glorious!
But in the beginning, I found it awkward to parent at the same time as they were parenting. We all agreed that we could ‘parent one another’s kids’ if we saw an interaction where we needed to intervene. However, we did not all parent with the same strategies, so sometimes I would get insecure if I was interacting with their child. I found it really helpful to have a conversation with the other moms about how they would want me to address x, y or z when communicating with their child. I extremely value being around other mamas, specifically mamas who might do things differently than me, so I wanted to enhance that diversity - not squash it. This conversation really helped!
Whether you find yourself in those first 2 years in playgroups with other mamas, at the playground with elementary kiddos or navigating teen friendships with mamas of other teens, communication between parents is so important. Though you might feel awkward at the onset, do not be afraid to ask other caregivers/parents to set boundaries or troubleshoot reoccurring issues.
It truly takes a village to raise the next generation so even as we have intentional dialogue with our partners, we can have intentional conversations with other parents out there, too!