Yesterday I came across an article discussing the mean mommie phenomena which was really interesting. The article was driven by a recent reaction to poor Hillary Duff having posted a picture of her kissing her 4 year old son on his lips at Disney world. Apparently it’s child abuse in the eyes of many, like 8000 comments within a day. I have sleep issues, so I always wonder who the efff has time and energy to care about these things let alone comment? Its none of your business and I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong in kissing your child on the lips.
The article is called Bully Moms and it makes a few interesting points:
- our own anxieties are driving our criticism, basically if you put someone down you in comparison look better. all these decision to be made that DEFINE us and also DIVIDE us
- living away from extended family, less help, smaller support system and fewer people to ask advice from
- social media and internet in general: these perfect Pinterest moms and Instagrammable moments; so much information that instead of helping it confuses more and all these trolls with access to the keyboard and plenty of criticism
Motherhood can be incredibly isolating and you pretty much never get to feel like you got this. Kids are always growing and changing, there’s always a stage and no one kid is the same. The stress of suburban life and motherhood seems to bring out the worst insecurities and bring about emotional regress like no other. Mom-shaming and female rivalry is nothing new of course but it does seem to reach new lows. I spoke at a party with a male therapist who practices in Fairfield County and he said that majority of his clients are actually women who are having problems with mom-bullies. Quick search on internet paints a really horrifying picture: moms who have been completely ostracized and excluded from street cook outs, kid birthday parties, book clubs. Some have moved to a different street or town or state because it got that bad. It’s crazy.
It’s hard not to be influenced by that in our quest to the best mom you can be: to make sure our children our well rounded, athletic, artistic, well dressed and behaved, eating the healthiest organic food we can get, etc. While many bloggers advocate essentially not talking to other moms at schools and extracurricular events, I wouldn’t. Yes, there are some mean moms out there. But there are also incredibly terrific moms out there who might be very reserved and seem stand offish even but it might be because they have been burned once or twice. I think in life you have to put yourself out there, keep your wits about you and go with your gut. I have met plenty of mean moms but I’ve also met some of my dearest friends through my kids and they mean the world to me. My recommendation is this and feel free to apply this to pretty much any situation: basically, don’t be an ass and always say hello.