Mean Girl Moms
Between the awful haircut I wore for the better part of my childhood (wherein I was mistaken for a boy 80% of the time), being dressed in fashions that no one was following and not having any inclination towards sports-related activities, I was a glutton for punishment. And an easy target for Mean Girls.
Ah, yes. Mean Girls. We’ve all encountered them: the all-too-popular girls that ruled the school and the playground, with their perfectly sculpted hair and chic clothes bought from the coolest stores at the mall.
They traveled in packs. They fed on whatever you gave them, hungering for others’ lack of self-esteem. They whispered. They stared. They giggled. They started rumors. They spoke condescendingly about the way you styled your hair or the clothes you wore. They pointed and laughed when you tripped while playing at recess.
Wouldn’t you know it? Mean Girls still exist. And somehow, they are even worse in the Mom Community. Initially, we find camaraderie with other moms. We meet them through playgroups, story time, preschool or swim classes. We all chat, laugh and grab lunch together. But it is only a matter of time until our true colors begin to show.
It’s their way, or you are a Mom Fail.
It starts with a sideways glance when someone mentions that they formula feed their child. Then it’s a `horrified face when another mom shares her experience with bed-sharing. Soon, not unlike their 8-year-old selves, Mean Girl Moms gain strength from their own superiority. Their ideas and
beliefs rule at the exclusion of what other people are doing in their own lives. It’s their way, or you are a Mom Fail.
I do not believe there is a right or wrong way to be a mother. People need to do what works for them. I have friends who intended to breastfeed their children but circumstances kept from doing so. I also have friends who never intended to breastfeed and went straight to formula feeding. I have friends who use time out and friends who spank. Some moms work out of necessity, and spend all day wishing they could be home with their kids. Other moms stay at home with their kids and yearn to have a career.
The moment we begin to judge each other for the choices we have made, our Mom Community fails. When we are ridiculed for sharing our experiences or asking questions, we learn not to speak up at all. How can we be in this Community if we refuse to accept one another?
We need each other, despite how “independent” we claim to be. We are all struggling through this adventure called “Motherhood.” So, let’s work toward banding together instead of ripping each other apart.
Stephanie Anderson is a West Chester, PA mom. Read her blog, Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom, at ModernDayDonnaReed.blogspot.com