Good for her! Not for me.

When my son was a newborn, I spent my days sitting around with friends and their babies, swapping stories and pieces of advice on everything from feeding and sleep to choosing childcare and the right fuzzy booties. Truth be told, I found the barrage of opinions to be one of the most exhausting parts of new parenthood (and I was still waking up two or three times per night!). As my son turned 18 months old this summer, I was so excited to hear the chatter get quieter and quieter until I would go entire days without learning about someone else’s child’s sleeping, eating, or pooping. We were all just living and playing and enjoying our kiddos. Hooray — being a toddler mom ROCKS.

But then, something happened. It all changed, and I’ve found myself embroiled again in conversations about toddler sleep (when to switch to a bed and how to keep the kid in it) and discipline (time outs versus spankings versus resets with parents), and I’ve found myself overwhelmed again. It doesn’t help that we just moved here a few months ago, so I’m still trying to navigate these new relationships with extreme politeness. How do you handle your friends who have very different parenting strategies from you?

I won’t claim to be an expert (after all, I’m only two years into this parenting gig), but here is my go-to response: “I’m glad that works for you.” Yes, you do run the risk of sounding passive aggressive, but not if you are genuinely happy that someone else has found something that works for her. As Amy Poehler taught us in her book, “Yes, Please,” the mantra we should all use when navigating the complex world of female friendships is, “Good for her! Not for me.”

It’s simple but transformative. You get to rise above all the noise, and your friend feels heard and validated. You don’t have to worry about whether you are scarring your children forever by making a different choice (spoiler: you’re not), and you don’t have to carry around a Greek chorus of voices in your head. Everyone wins.