Why Are So Many 'Mom Friends' Mean Girls?

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When you're pregnant, especially if you're among the first of your friends to go, you will inevitably hear about all the new mom friends you will make.

Yeah, good luck with that.

From almost the moment I walked out of delivery, I was greeted by competition: "My baby could sit up and speak Swahili at 4 months!"; envy: "You must just have a really fast metabolism. Most moms take 10 years to lose the baby weight"; sanctimony: "Oh my. It must be lovely to have the time to get pedicures but since I'm busy actually caring for my children, I let my toenails grow wild and yellowed"; snobbery: "Are you the nanny or the mommy?"; and passive aggression.

This video sums it up quite nicely. But where are our answers? Why are moms so keen to cut one another down?

Every day in the park, I see the new moms tentatively approach the veterans, trying to make conversation and I see this happen. On my moms' Listserv, women make subtle (and not-so-subtle) digs at one another almost constantly.

A few weeks ago, one mom wrote a post telling the rest of us something she had seen at the park -- a child being mistreated by a daycare center in the area of town in which many of us use childcare -- that was very upsetting to her. In the moment, she did nothing to stop it, but that did not stop her from posting about it on the list.

Perhaps she had misinterpreted the situation. Anything is possible. But it read to me like an excuse for sanctimony and the crowd split. Working moms were mostly furious and stay-at-home moms were on her side. "We would never put our children in childcare" was the message.

Did the original poster know it? Probably not. She probably had good intentions. But among mommies, good intentions almost always lead to anger and competition.

I have made a couple incredible mom friends (see photo), but they're harder to come by. Meanwhile I have met dozens and dozens of moms who find so many new ways to cut one another down. It's here as well. Post anything that others don't agree with and the insults fly.

There is no good reason for it. We all love our children and want the best for them, but we all have different interpretations of what that might be. One doesn't have to be wrong for the other to be right. We moms tend to forget that.

For women who were successful in business who quit to stay home with their children, it makes sense. That sense of competition has to go somewhere, right? When we make our children our entire world, though, it seems like we do both them (helicopter parenting, anyone?) and ourselves a great disservice.

The friends I love the most are the ones with whom I can momentarily remember who I was before kids, the ones with whom I can talk about sex and movies and politics. The one with whom I can laugh and gossip.

She is not the competi-mommy at the park.

Have you found competi-mommies hard to deal with?

 

time for mom

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kelli... kelli0585

My son is almost 14 months old, and I haven't met ANY mom "friends."


Having moved back to my smaller hometown from a culturally rich city has made it very hard.  I'm a single mom who NEVER married and was a *GASP* musician before I became a mom!  Needless to say that I won't be making great strides in the local Parent-Teacher Association.


It's very hard to meet like-minded friends here as it is.  Forget meeting like-minded mothers! 


 

ksbon... ksbondgirl

I think they are just nosey and have low self esteem.  Why else compare "notes" the way they do. 


I remember a woman coming up to me and asking me if I were a nanny because my twins did not look alike (boy/girl, one light complected, one dark complected and one bigger than the other.)  Then she asked me if I adopted.  Then proceeded to ask me how far apart they were!  NONE of the questions they ask are anyone's bizz but yours until you give them the answer!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Sigh. http://dailymomtra.com/?p=272


Once you take out the stupidity of their "mean mom" in their insulting, dividing video, you'll realize that the woman they want you to SUPPORT is a mean, condescending b@&!$.


That video is terrible, and the message is terrible.


The most competitive people are not those who are trying really, really hard and trying to be autodidactic -- they're too busy worrying and busting their buts and double and triple-checking some things.  The people who are the rudest, most competitive are the ones who take any mother's success or advancements as a personal insult.


"Oh my. It must be lovely to have the time to get pedicures but since I'm busy actually caring for my children, I let my toenails grow wild and yellowed";


I still don't get what is SO offensive about moms who have decided to throw themselves into the mom gig fully, who will regain their "pretty girl' stuff once their kids are a tiny bit bigger.

RanaA... RanaAurora

 


You're not going to find moms of 5 year olds saying that, but it is not offensive to anyone nor a "competition" for a mother of a baby or 1 year old to admit she prefers not to leave her child yet. If you're offended by that, or think she's being stupid, that's something YOU need to figure out why it bothers YOU, because her personal comfort level is no insult to you at all, and it's incredibly rude to act as if a mother who isn't comfortale leaving a baby is stupid and trying to one-up you.  Trust me -- she doesn't CARE what you think about it, and she would LOVE to go get a pedicure -- she's just not comfortable with it.


Ugh.

CafeS... CafeSasha

I have no problem with moms making their own choices. But yes, it does bother me when the moms who make these choices cut me down for making my own. Any mom who thinks I am a bad mom (and says so) because I want my kids in their own cribs has far worse insecurity issues than I do. I do what I think is right and I don't need some passive aggressive lunatic telling me her way is better. Period.

KatieP. KatieP.

I completely agree with you Sasha. I know that what I do is best for everyone involved but probably won't work for others. In real life I have not met a single one of those "mean" mommies. I have tons of working mom and SAHM friends. Pretty much any issue I have tons of friends on both sides. On here- an aweful lot. (and one of the above posters is one of the worst I have "met" on this site.)

CafeS... CafeSasha

Also, when I go get pedicures, I do so while my children are with their dad. Not that it should matter or that I should have to defend myself. My husband is a loving, caring parent and so I get a lot of downtime. I need it. I think what this video (and the response to it) proves is that there are a lot of people out there who think what they are doing is better than what I am doing or some other mom is doing. That is called sanctimony. It is the one-up-manship I hate. I don't understand how someone becomes an expert in parenting because their ovaries work. Sorry, but I will take the PhD or the Dr. any day over some woman who happens to think she knows what is "best" for my family.

nonmember avatar Kim

I have a group of friends that I adore. We get together with our kids. Occasionally get together for girls night out and occasionally have entire family bar b q's. We are more than happy to invite other women along and do quite frequently but there are times when the mean moms are told to leave. None of us have time for it. It is insecurity and immaturity plain and simple. Nobody should be treating anybody else in that way. If your so much better than every one around you fine. Go be the bestest ever all by yourself. I don't have the time or patience to be insulted by someone who barely even knows me.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Sanctimommy is often the term used only to insult another mom who does something differently or puts more importance into somethign specific than you do.  That makes you just as insulting as you think she is... but worse because you're the one calling names.


I also don't see anyone call people bad moms... but I see people SAY "Don't you dare call me a bad mom!" when it was never said and often not implied.


My point is, STOP when you're getting upset with someone and HONESTLY think whether or not they are just discussing differences in their life and how they feel, or whether they're actually trying to one-up you.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I would have loved to have left Rowan with my husband to go do fun things.  And I did.  Once he was about 3.  Because my husband deployed and was gone for more than 70% of my son's life at that point, neither of them were okay with him being left alone.  One he hit about 4, I looked into daycare and a part time job. But see?  People just assume that I'm anti-daycare and anti-leaving my child because I feel superior, right?  When actually, it's because we moved and I had no support and no family, my son didn't know my husband and vice versa due to the military life, and we couldn't afford for me to work.


Just like how you all insist people don't know YOUR story, maybe take some time to understand the people you think are trying to be superior?

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