I read another mother’s blog today regarding her apologies to other moms she did not know but for whom she had previously judged – pre-mommyhood. I did it too. You know, the mothers you looked at with scorn as their toddler had a tantrum at the grocery store. So here I am posting a public service Mommy announcement apology. We all did it and I know there are new mothers now who think their babies will never behave badly in public. You know the ones, who love to take credit for their 8 month olds good behavior, but believe me, it happens to everyone.
If I have learned anything over the last several years, it is that children are really little people – not controlled pets. They have minds, thoughts, desires, their own interests and are infinitely curious. Of course, we do our best to recommend (or bribe) good behavior from them, but when they want candy and you say no; they don’t care if you suffered through 15 hours of labor.
Mother with Shortcomings
I am proud of this mother, who admitted her shortcomings, and after having children realized this quagmire called parenting is really difficult. You don’t know what it’s like until you live through it. Yet, everyone has an opinion about how you should do it!!! But, what really bothers me are the mothers who judge other mothers. Why do they do it? Aren’t we all in this together??? Doesn’t it take a village? Unfortunately, the quick and dirty answer appears to be. . . no.
High School Again?
I don’t know about you, but motherhood feels like high school again – only the stakes are higher. While the nonsense of high school is behind me, I feel as if I am in the “mom” version of it. When my children first started school, I noticed the cliques which quickly formed. As a working mom, I was never invited into the stay-at-home mom (SAHM) “group.” After a few months and several futile attempts to be friends, I questioned my efforts. However, I wondered if it could really be true; are the popular girls of yester-year all SAHMs?
Relate to SAHMs?
The SAHMs had a hard time relating to me. I had a hard time scheduling play dates with their daughters. When they penciled us in, it was if we had been granted a reprieve from the Queen, and it always ended up with me taking time off from work so my daughter could play with their offspring. Tried to “hang” with them, but I was bored. Briefly cried when I realized I was never getting into their group. Then I begged Mr. X (my husband) to rob a bank or to start selling drugs so I could quit my job, but he would never do it. I saw these moms get together after drop-off for coffee in their fancy yoga pants while I ran into Starbucks already showered, coiffed and suited for work. They barely recognized or acknowledged me.
I expressed my pain to Mr. X, who told me to “forget about it – they’re jealous of you!!!” I responded with exasperation and frustration, “no, they are not!!!” Who would be jealous of a
working mother? Who would be jealous of me when they get to stay home and enjoy every moment of their child’s development? Who would be jealous of me who gets to go to work and use the bathroom alone?
Questioning My Choices
I repeatedly questioned my choices – my abilities as a mother. But eventually, I got over it and I just try to do the best I can for my children and family. I just don’t understand why other mothers continue to judge others. I don’t like it when the SAHM pretend they don’t know me, and are not nice to me and the other working moms. And don’t like it when I overhear a SAHM complain that no one volunteers during the day to help the school. I don’t like it when the standard of motherhood is measured by the number of volunteer hours you clock in at the school. Why would a mother criticize another mother, who had to work, for not selling bake goods during the day?
As I observe the attitudes of my contemporaries, I am riddled with why so many of these women have not matured beyond high school politics. Am I the only one who feels this way?? Or, as I often accuse myself, am I just crazy??