Dealing with Mean Moms
The mean mom. And no, I don’t mean your mom or your mother in law. I mean those moms in your neighbourhood, at your coffee shop or in your parenting group or even a friend you have who had a baby around the same time as you but who is so negative. Maybe she mocks women who babywear/use a stroller/breast feed/bottle feed. Maybe she comments on the state of dishevelment of another mom who’s harried and tired and just needed to go for a walk. Perhaps she’s smugly superior to everyone. Whatever she is, and whatever you call it (mommy wars et al), this is the kind of friend you don’t need. She’s not even a friend.
It’s hard not to get swept into this sort of thing, especially because when you are a new mom, your sense of belonging and self-esteem often take a nose dive. Don’t get swept up. I found that with my first baby, I was really eager to please anyone who was willing to have me and offer advice because my mother had recently passed away and I felt pretty lost. Deadly combination. Sadly, for many of us, the lure is great. These women seem like the high school popular girls and we’re lost and need to fit in. You do NOT need to fit in with this type of person (unless you are this type of person, in which case, why are you still here?).
What you need to do is focus on yourself and the fact that you aren’t like other moms. Your baby isn’t like other babies. And barring physical or emotional abuse, it’s none of your dang business what any other family is doing with their kids. Period.
And the desire is there. Trust me. It’s there. But it’s not worth it. Because it turns into an obsession. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve watched otherwise levelheaded women become obsessed with the idea of being better than others. Of dreaming or imagining a life where they have a different set of circumstances and will eagerly and openly mock women they think are less than themselves. This is toxic behaviour and the only way we can stop it is if we stop buying into it.
Yes, some women are richer than you. Some don’t like babywearing. Some electively chose a c-section. But guess what? None of that matters to you or your family. If we could just focus on ourselves and spend a little more time listening to the needs of our kids, maybe we’d be happier.
So, let’s let go of the women who make us feel bad about ourselves for whatever reason and let’s focus on what makes us feel good about ourselves. Listening to our kids and their needs and fulfilling those needs.
Leave the snark to the women who have nothing better to do than obsess over this unimportant trash. You’ve got snuggles to share with your little baby!