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Babies, Parenting, Preschool, School Years, Teens

Mean Moms

©UnnecessaryWisdom.wordpress.com 2013

©UnnecessaryWisdom.wordpress.com 2013

When I became a mom, it was a mixture of joy and terror. I was so happy to finally hold my baby in my arms but I was worried about so many things. I immediately set out to find new mommy support. I found support groups, went online, went to parks, went anywhere that I could find other mothers to hang out with and help me feel just a little bit normal and not so alone.

I was a stay-at-home mom so the isolation was very hard to fight. Particularly in the New York metro area, we are a rare breed. I managed to join a play group, otherwise known as a bunch of lonely moms who get together to talk all day long while their kids do whatever. We would meet once a week and spend the entire day talking, laughing and eating delicious snacks. That day was my saving grace. It wasn’t enough though. I still needed sanity the rest of the week. So I started poking around in online forums.

While I did find support and I desperately needed it, I started to notice something I really didn’t like. Moms were mean.

Anytime you didn’t agree with them, anytime you didn’t do what they said, anytime you were different in any way, they went on the attack.

This didn’t make any sense to me. I saw it especially online. I vividly remember a particular battle between the SAHMS vs WAHMS. If you don’t know what that is, that’s a good thing. It is mothers arguing over who is better: the stay-at-home mom or the work-at-home mom. And don’t think that they both didn’t attack the regular working mom, who had her own acronym: WOHM. I would go online looking for support as a SAHM and find all these women engaged in full-out war with each other, defending their choices and verbally assaulting the opposition. There are entire forums for women to argue and fight with each other. For every parenting choice, there were hundreds of mothers arguing over whether or not they should sleep train, bottle or breast feed, use a baby carrier, and the list goes on. And it wasn’t just a pleasant exchange of ideas. It was vicious, cruel name-calling. Personal attacks. It was downright mean.

Why do we care so much what the other mothers are doing? I just wanted mommy friends. I didn’t really care how the other mommies fed their babies or whether or not they worked. Sure, if we did the same things we would have more in common, but that didn’t make her a better or worse mom. On top of that, it was really none of my business. It was her life, her family, her baby.

I longed for a community of moms. I watched all my mommy friends go back to work or move away. What I would have given to have ANY mommy friends to keep me company.

I did find another play group to join. But they disbanded, too. Same reasons: back to work, moving, etc. I eventually went back to school and found non-mommy friends.

But as I come back to the online parenting world, I still see the same longing from mothers.

Why can’t we all just get along?

I hope someday that all mothers will have the same love and compassion for each other that they do for their children. We are all the same. We passionately love our children and families. We want only the best. We are doing our best. While we come here to share our experiences, opinions and ideas, that is for the purposes of sharing information. In the end, our goal should be to support one another.

I don’t ever want to be a mean mom. Sure, I have my own ideas and opinions. But I want to be a mom who shares my experiences from a place of love and support, not judgment. If it takes a village to raise a child, then my hope is that the village would be a community of kind and connected moms. Wouldn’t that be NICE?

©UnnecessaryWisdom.wordpress.com 2013

Your thoughts, comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Mean Moms

  1. Couldn’t agree more! Every time a mom confides in me that she does something wonky I always smile, throw up my hands and tell her something that I did worse so she feels comfortable. Look, I’m a worse choice maker than you but we’re happy and that’s all that matters. Never feel bad about a mistake or a different choice.

    I had to make a mistake up once for my sister in law (who was about to cry) but I just couldn’t let her feel alone.

    Love is all you need. Not in marriage, that takes way more than love, but in parenting…just love and do your best, right?

    And when I run across that mom that never shares a weird story or falls down then I just keep it moving. She is lying to me or herself. There are NO perfect parents.🙂

    Posted by Amber Perea | May 4, 2013, 2:36 pm
  2. After the trouble I had with breastfeeding and the temptation to switch to formula, I knew I would never judge another mom for the choices she makes for her baby. It can be hard sometimes, especially if we feel strongly about a decision we have lovingly made, but I guess the main thing is remembering that other moms have lovingly made their decisions, too.

    Posted by laughingpromises | May 4, 2013, 10:18 pm
  3. I personally think these “mean moms” have forgotten the social etiquette of sharing vulnerabilities. In these forums the point is to get those worse off help/support. These forums are not supposed to be for *you* to feel better about yourself or validate your method of getting through it. If you cannot provide an alternate technique; if you cannot provide an even an inkling of support; if all you have to offer is venting of your stresses and anxieties then remain silent. The poster is beyond your experience and/or expertise.

    Posted by amirrorfrenzied | May 5, 2013, 4:31 am

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