Being a mom sounds like it can be one of the most fulfilling, wonderful, stressful, and difficult things in the world. As I age, I understand more and more why they say "it takes a village" in regards to raising a baby. What I've always understood, though, is that those villages can also just consist of another person who understands and sees what you're going through and makes it a point to help.
1."I compliment parents who go out in public with stickers on their faces or toddler marker 'tattoos.'"
2."Unless I have a very good reason to say no, our response to the RSVP for birthday party invites will be yes."
3."I give honest feedback when another parent asks how things are going in relation to the kids: 'My 4-year-old is a picky eater but is doing well otherwise, and the baby is still waking at night, but we’ll turn a corner soon.' I think parents find solace when they hear real stories from other parents."
4."Solidarity, not shame, when someone else's child is having a tantrum in public."
5."I always offer to take photos of moms with their kids if I see them taking pictures of just the kids."
6."My teen pointed this out to me — I didn’t even realize I did it. If I see a child without an adult in arms reach, I just stop and stare until I figure out who their adult is or talk with them until their adult comes if no one is around. I think it’s just engrained in me!"
7."I will entertain strangers' kids in confined public spaces (like buses or lineups) when I am not with my kids because it's such a godsend when people entertain mine."
8."Never use the phrase 'just you wait until...' especially about something negative."
9."This is not exactly ‘unspoken’, but I ask moms (and dads) how they are doing. I genuinely try to see and hear their response. We all do so much, but all our focus and energy is on the kids. It’s really special when someone acknowledges me and sees me. All I do is try to do the same."
10."If your kid has an accident, the extra clothes in my bag are yours."
11."I send a little 'I'm thinking of you' present (usually a coffee gift card) to new mom friends at 6 weeks postpartum. I feel like that's the loneliest point in the journey because most other people don't check on you as much, and many people have to start preparing to return to work, etc."
12."If I'm grocery shopping and you have your kids but I don’t, I let you cut in front of me."
13."If I'm at a playground with friends, we will help each other’s kids and do zone parenting; it’s an unspoken rule."
14."When I see a mom in a public bathroom with a baby that needs a diaper changed, I always ask if they would like some help. There have been times when I needed it and there was no one around."
15."If you see a kid in danger and it doesn't look like any other adult is going to do something, do something."
16."Give parents who have a child with a disability as much grace as possible. That’s an unimaginably hard job."
17."I always try to talk to a crying baby or toddler if the parent is occupied. I encounter fussy older babies at work all the time, and sometimes just saying, 'Oh, goodness, you're having a rough time, huh?' in a kind voice shocks them into momentary silence so mom can think for two seconds."
And finally, this parent shared their unspoken mom code rule, and honestly, this is something any type of person could implement into their lives more:
18."I will warn you if my kid is even slightly suspected of being sick or if we were recently exposed to an illness but aren’t currently sick, so you can make a judgment call if you want to be near us. To a weirdly specific degree, 'they sneezed three times today; it could be nothing; it could be a new global pandemic — no fever, and they're acting normal.' I expect you to do the same. Even if it’s 'they have chronic asthma and that barky cough is lingering from an asthma attack this morning.'"
Do you have any "Mom Code" rules you live by and want to share? Let me know in the comments!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.