Thursday, September 01, 2011

Mean Girls ain't got anything on Mean Mommies.



Maybe I am really out of the loop when it comes to the social hierarchy that is motherhood and interacting with other moms, but moms are the biggest mean girls ever. If you aren't a mom, this post will seem totally outlandish to you, but really the whole thing  is just plain stupid and ridiculous. What do I mean? I mean moms bullying other moms about their choices, their lifestyles or basically anything under the sun from their strollers to their religions. You would think that kind of stuff ends when you grow up and become a mom. But I have seen the bullying happen, been the victim, and yeah I'll admit it, been the bully, no it never really changes as you grow up. In fact, I think it gets a little worse when we become mothers. Worse in the sense that, even though we know better we still do it.

I've just seen it way too many times that moms are so cruel to each other over the individual choices we make. There are so many topics that are considered hot button topics that can't even be brought up without scrutiny. We are so overly judgmental, and I'm not really sure why. We judge each other on everything, and even if we don't say it outloud, we think it. I feel terrible for admitting it, but I do it too. I wish I didn't, and sometimes I feel bad even if I don't voice my opinion on something.



I saw a really great thing today in an online community of moms that I'm a part of. This group of women is particularly infamous for being mean mommies, sometimes to extremes. What I saw was one mom standing up to the meanest moms in the group. Not for herself, but for someone else. It was really nice to see and made me really think about why someone else, or myself hadn't done it sooner. Honestly, how many of us just sit by while something like that goes on?
 It's funny the way the world works, we are able to make friends with people from all over the world and all walks of life thanks to the internet now, and what do we use it for? To judge and belittle each other. I mean of course this isn't ALL that happens, but it happens much more often than it should.

And out in the real world is no better. You get judged for what your kid wears, what they eat, the stroller you use (or don't use). I get tons of "omg sick" comments at our cloth diapers. And just all kinds of craziness from my fellow mothers. I've lost friends over differing opinions on parenting issues from breastfeeding to child care. I miss those friends and wish our differing opinions could have been something that we enjoyed about the friendship.

At the end of the day, why does any of that matter? Being a good parent is not dependent on how many organic products your child uses or if you have the most expensive car seat. It is so much more than that. Things do matter obviously, but if it's not your family, then it's not worth getting upset over, and it certainly isn't worth being rude or downright bitchy about or losing a friend over. We live in such an awesome time where we have SO many options, and we all make different choices, we should be celebrating this, not condemning each other for it.

Being a mother has taught me so many valuable lessons, and I learn something new from my child almost every day. But the most important thing I have learned since becoming a mother is that none of these little things matter in the grand scheme of things. And being mean is only going to show my daughter that it's okay for her to be mean. We are all role models to our children, and even if they can't see or hear us being mean, it's something that they tend to pick up somehow whether it's our attitudes or mannerisms, and that is just not the person I want to be, or the type of person I want my daughter to look up to.

So next time you see a Mean Mommy, or even catch yourself being one, stop and say "Hey, will this matter in 10 years?" if the answer is no, then it's not worth an argument. If you are being bullied by a Mean Mommy, ask her the same thing. And most importantly, if you see someone doing it to someone else, say something! I said it once and I'll say it again, moms shouldn't divide themselves, we have so much to learn from each other, simple every day things, and large scale important things.

Have you been the victim or a Mean Mommy? Have you been a Mean Mommy or seen someone else being bullied by one? Tell me your story in the comments!

9 comments:

  1. Tell me about it, sister! Moms are the worst. Really, the absolute worst.

    I've written about it extensively, in fact my only vlog is on the subject.
    http://becomingsupermommy.blogspot.com/2011/05/mom-pledge-vlog-tour.html

    ...and speaking of, have you heard of the Mom Pledge? Sounds right up your alley:
    http://efloraross.com/

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  2. Wow, thanks so much for sharing that with me. I definitely know a number of people to share it with who desperately need it.

    I thought it was bad in high school...that was nothing compared to mom-world.

    Thanks again :)

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  3. Hi Courtney, I found you from the Mom Pledge.

    Thanks so much for shouting out about mom bullying. New parents are especially vulnerable and are already getting such an influx of advice. It is difficult enough to sort through the advice without feeling a sense of guilt when getting into a comparison match.

    It can sometimes be a fine line..when watching a parent "lose it" at the store or handle a child roughly in public, people are sometimes too intimidated to respond.

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  4. Popping by from ftlob. Love the way you're seeing beautiful in supporting all. Especially appreciate the message that our children look up to us. We get to set the example. It's really easy to be nice.

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  5. Since it seems safe to do so based on your post, I'll share.

    I absolutely hate the phrase "Breast is Best." I hate it. Regardless of whether it is true or not, it makes those of us who did not breastfeed feel like we did NOT love our children enough to give them the best. I feel that many of the newer moms are fanatical over this issue to the point of outright hostility should you not adhere to their beliefs.

    Truth to tell, breastfeeding in general makes me squeamish. I don't want to see it, and again, regardless of the benefits. It makes me horribly uncomfortable to see a woman's boob outside her clothing in public. I honestly have no idea why this is. None. But, it is how I feel and I shouldn't be made to feel as if I'm some sort of monster because I don't agree with someone.

    I didn't cloth diaper and I'm opposed to co-sleeping. I'm as far from a "crunchy" momma as you can get and I think that should be OK. Women should support one another in all their parenting choices (provided of course that the parenting choices are not abusive!) We shouldn't be trying to force our parenting ideas on others in order to justify our own choices.

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  6. Thanks for sharing, Jayne :) I'm glad you did, I wouldn't consider myself "crunchy", mostly because I hate the term lol. I'm pretty inbetween being crunchy and being mainstream.

    And it's not like I went into parenting planning on cloth diapering or cosleeping or baby led weaning (or as I like to call it, letting my kid what she wants, when she wants)...planning to do anything, I had no clue lol

    But I agree, I hate the term breast is best. It's a lose-lose situation in the breast/bottle battle imo. I did both with my daughter, and no matter what I did I got some kind of snarky remarks from strangers and/or friends and family. Like I didn't try hard enough with breast feeding, or I was being psychotic about it when I didn't want to switch to formula. Then in public I get dirty looks from other mothers, grandmothers look at me like I'm lazy and go "tsk" when I whipped out the bottle. The worst part though? None of the people commenting ever stopped to ask me why I wanted to breast feed so badly or why I was using a bottle, or if that was actually formula or pumped breastmilk in the bottle.

    But it takes all different sorts, and none of us get anywhere by pointing out our differences all the time.

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  7. Yeah, you throw "crunchy" and "cloth diapering" in the same sentence and it just makes you shudder. :)

    I tried to BF my youngest and I just couldn't. And I felt guilty. It was a horrible horrible feeling and I don't want any mother to feel that way because we never know the reasons.

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  8. I have been judged by other moms in a moms support group. Really! A lot of it ends up being jealousy I have found and I've also discovered that I have enough friends that don't judge me. Not worth my time.

    I am a new follower from the Monday Mingle Blog Hop. If you have a moment, stop by www.messforless.net and say hi!
    Thanks!

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  9. I Soooooo hear you on this post!!! I've had this experience so many times, especially writing in a public forum. Even when I write posts about how we should just all accept and support each other, someone will inevitably tell me that even that view makes me a bad mother. Go figure. Love your illustrations too :). Dropping in from MBC!

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