The Sensory Mommy Wars

Someone’s gotta do it, and it may as well be me. I’m going to talk about the Mommy Wars.

That’s right. I said it! Let’s be honest about the Mommy Wars that are brewing in our sensory community — organic, dye-free, gluten-free, vegan.

Call it what you want but it’s creating a scandal — and a divisive line if we let it.

The Sensory Mommy Wars | Mommy Evolution

The other day I was waiting to pick up my 5yo from his group occupational therapy session when one of the moms started chatting up the group.

She mentioned she’s traveling two hours a week to attend a group that focuses on how the things we eat may affect the body… specifically, how what we’re giving our kids is causing them to have Sensory Processing Disorder. Or at least triggering their SPD.

Let’s just pause a moment and think about both sides of the coin…

What people who DON’T subscribe to the food issue think:  

Please stop telling us how much better eating gluten-free is for our bodies.

Stop preaching to us how you have found the answer when you’re still having sensory problems with your kid.

Even when I change her diet, nothing changes.

I’m working my butt off to manage day-to-day living and throwing one more “should” into my life is about to make things spiral out of control.

Do you think you know better than me?

Do you think you’re better than me?

What people who DO subscribe to the food issue think:

I need an answer to this sensory challenge for my kid, and I think I’ve found it.

I’m personally noticing a difference when I choose dye-free foods for my kiddos.

Why wouldn’t you do everything possible for your kids?

Don’t give me those side-way glances or awkward silent responses that says you think I’m crazy.

What.

Do you think you know better than me?

Do you think you’re better than me?

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Now I know that I am traveling on a dangerous road here.

I’ve probably already stepped on a number of toes just bringing it up. And I’m not here to debate which side is wrong and which side is right.

What I am noticing is the propensity for people to preach what they believe, one way or the other, and to not respect each other’s feelings.

What does matter is that at the end of the day, we’re all focused on helping our kids manage their sensory issues.

I would like to see ourselves stop passing judgements on each other and start focusing on what matters… the kids.

And if a parent doesn’t want to hear what you think, kindly acknowledge their right to have their own perspective and leave it at that.

Only as a community can we move forward. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves on opposite ends of the solution.

Bet you wish you could know where I stand, huh? Not gonna tell! At least not today. I’m too busy respecting my fellow parents.

To read more of my posts touching on Sensory Processing Disorder, please click here. To learn more about sensory challenges or to join our inclusive community, visit The Sensory Spectrum.

 

10 Comments

  1. this article should be given to ALL mothers! I’m so over the competitve, sneering, negative towards others type of mothers. we need to be respectful that famolies can be different and children individual personalities. some mothers should remember noone gives a merit award (for competitiveness).

  2. I kind of feel it is like other things. Something that works for me and my body might not work for the next person. Don’t we go to the doctor at times and the “supposed” cure does not work for us, but it has worked for others. I feel it is the same way with sensory issues with our children. What might work for one, will not work for another. Let’s just learn to accept that and be happy that you might have found something that works and know that I might have tried it also and it did nothing. Sometimes things that used to work no longer work to calm my SPD kids. Sometimes it is just hit and miss. Whether or not you believe the food thing, let’s just let everyone go with what works for them and leave each other alone. We are all JUST trying to do what is best for our kids.

  3. This needed to be said. I’m with Sally, this needed to be said to all moms. Parenting has become a competitive sport (sensory needs or not) and I am thankful that you had the courage to put the competition to rest. Mommies just need to be mommies…not winners or losers.

  4. The way I see it is that it is only right for me to assume that every other parent is doing the best they can just like I am. Making these changes to diet and lifestyle is overwhelming and exhausting. It took me a long time until after I had learned of my son’s SPD to adjust to all of the other changes to our lives that it entails. It would have been harmful to our family to try to take the dietary stuff on sooner. If another family isn’t there yet, maybe they will be later, or maybe they never will be. They know their own child and family and will choose what seems best for them within their own unique set of circumstances. It really isn’t any of my business. It is my business to me as supportive as I can possibly be to the others in my community of fellow parents… Judgementalism is the polar opposite of support.

    That being said, I don’t wish everyone to stop talking. I learn so much from other parents and what they try. We can share information and still exercise respect for one another.

  5. You had me at Rumi. Love your point of view. Yes, sharing information is so important. And with our electronica these days, it’s faster and easier than ever. And yes, at the same time, it’s important to respect that what works for one may not work for another. Or someone may not be ready to tackle something at that time (not ready to deal with the huge dietary change just yet because they are chronically exhausted and can’t handle one more thing on their plate). I definitely go on the assumption that we all do the best we can for our children. And dumping judgement of any and every kind only helps everyone- especially our judgement of ourselves.

  6. It’s not just a sensesory mommy war it’s an all out “all mommy war” or a food war. It seems everyone is dividing over food issues these days from gmos, to organic, to gluten… And then they throw vaccines in…. You are so right when you say everyone needs to respect eachother and just do what’s best for you and your kids, not project it onto others ! Thanks for speaking up!!

    1. Thanks! Some days it feels exhausting trying to dance around what everyone wants. Just respect each other and understand that works for your family doesn’t necessarily work for others.

  7. I absolutely understand the need to understand why our children are a certain way, but I think a certain level of acceptance and love for who they are right now matters. I’m not trying to change who my son is, I’m trying to help him adapt to a world that won’t adapt to him. I’ve never understood the blame game or the need to find the answers and cure. To each her own but please don’t attack other families for not believing what you do.

    1. For me, finding the answers means making it easier for my son to manage the world around him. I think the difference is when their sensory issues really impede on their own personal happiness and ability to navigate the world. I don’t expect my kiddo to fit a mold, but I do want him to lead a happy, well-balanced life. The key is that what one family thinks is the answer (GF-CF or not) is really up to the family. Judgement shouldn’t be passed on to others.

  8. Lol good article, I’m gluten free and not by choice. My 2 girls eat gluten free and my youngest has SPD sooo….. as always to each their own. Stop comparing and just do what you think is right for you and your kids. There is no one size fits all answer.

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