Beware These 5 Bad Mommy Friends!


Mean WomanOne of the things I was most excited for when I got pregnant was making new mommy friends. I had all these visions of playdates, shared family vacations, and wonderful new women with whom I'd embark on the journey of motherhood and be forever friends thereafter.

And I found some, but I also found some really crappy ones too.

Some moms just don't play nice, and new mothers are especially vulnerable to their bring-you-down behaviors. The hormones, the loneliness, and the frustration of those first few months make us want to cling to any smiling face who seems to understand, but it's important to look behind the smile.

I caught up with Dr. Andrea Bonior, a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and author of the upcoming book The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up With Your Friends. She identified five friends no new mommy needs.

See if you recognize any of them in your life: 

1. Ms. Hot and Cold

We all have our frazzled days, when we just can't turn on the chipper smile no matter how hard we try, or we just don't feel like chatting, even with our nicest neighbor. But the Hot/Cold Mom takes this to the extreme. She'll be sweet as pie at the park one minute, saying how much she loves your stroller, only to be glaring at your child and excluding you when another mom shows up a half hour later. You're BFFs on Tuesday, bonding over your babies' hatred of their car seat and agreeing to help her out with a neighborhood potluck, but when you bump into her on Thursday, she barely gives you a second glance. Calculating, self-centered, and unpredictable, she's far more trouble than she's worth.

2. The Flake-to-the Fullest

Part of the Mom Bill of Rights is the ability to be forgiven for dropping the occasional ball once in a while; after all, the constant multi-tasking makes it all but inevitable. But the Flake-to-the-Fullest is consistently unreliable. In fact, you can count on her letting you down and making blithe, never-to-be-fulfilled promises so often that you can't understand how she keeps a straight face when she makes them. For her, it's not about being busy or stretched too thin: it's about never meaning what she says. Life is too short for you to give unending second chances.  

3. The Sanctimommy

"You know why you shouldn't use that kind of diaper, right?" "I can't believe you let her sleep that way!" Ah -- the attack of the Sanctimommy. Her way is the only right way, and she's not about to let you believe otherwise. She gives her unsolicited and self-righteous opinion on everything -- and we mean everything -- from burping to co-sleeping to whether or not you should eat that chocolate (you're nursing!). Hey, advice is what we look for from others in the same frazzled, wobbly new-parent boat -- it's often a lifeline that solidifies new friendships. But when that advice is domineering, condescending, and constantly makes it seem like we're the baby ourselves? We'll pass, thank you.

4. The Passive-Aggressor

Sometimes, the judgment is a little more subtle, but no less annoying. Often overly competitive and insecure, the Passive-Aggressor wants to turn everything into a race for Best Mommy, but tries desperately to hide her motives. The questions she asks feel intrusive, not supportive, and she seems to bring up other moms in ways that undercut them. Nothing is what it seems with her; a simple "So, are you going back to work?" feels loaded with land mines. Let's face it: you don't need the stress. The next time she says, "I don't know how you manage with so little space" or "I could never deal with a husband like that," do yourself a favor and withdraw from the competition.

5. The Drainer

The beauty of friendships in rocky times (and yes, the fact that you haven't slept or brushed your teeth since Tuesday qualifies!) is that you can lean on each other for support. But the Drainer takes up way more than her fair share, and she risks bringing you down -- way down. She rarely asks you how you are, and when she does, she gives you about a nanosecond before launching into her latest hardship. She's already borrowed half the baby gear you own, and you're starting to feel like you should be clocking in and out, and getting a paycheck, for each of her frantic phone calls. Save your tender loving care for your baby -- and the people in your life who are capable of returning the favor.

Which of these bad mommy friends have you encountered?

Image via xinem/Flickr

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RanaA... RanaAurora

I agree with yours, for sure. My friends give advice, but it's obviously well-intentioned - no "treating you like a baby." We all admit when we struggle too, so no "best mommy" crap. I've always said when you think you have no room for improvement is when you need to improve the most.

One of the worst that I know of are the moms who insist that all your hard work is worthless.

I use cloth diapers to save money, for example, and the other benefits are just pluses to me, but out comes the "I think cloth diapers are so disgusting. I can't believe you're handling poop. You know no one actually cares if you cloth diaper or not."

Or when it comes to breastfeeding, for example: "That's so disgusting that you'd nurse a 2 year old! It doesn't matter, you know. No one but you cares."

Carseats: "If your baby is going to die because God says so, it doesn't matter how they're strapped in. I can't believe you'd rather let your baby cry than just flip her forward already. She wants to see out the window!"

Those examples are all things I've had said to me. It really sucks when you bust your butt to try to do the best you possibly can, and people act as if your efforts are completely worthless and stupid. Those people aren't my friends, though, as I'm sure you can imagine!

DoveM... DoveMomma

i am scared I am all of these, which explains why I can't keep friends around.

Just2... Just2busymom

Let's see....I've had the Flake to the Fullest, the Sanctimommy, and the Drainer as friends.  Two of them are no longer around.  The one I still have around is a combo of flake and drainer.  She says we'll get together and we don't, and continues to use me because she's now a working mom, and I'm only a stay-at-home mommy, for her kids.  Also my best friend is not a mother but continues to give me advice and her opinion on MY kids.  Yeah, finding a really good friend is harder than ever!!

CoolR... CoolRelax

Dealing with the Flake now...she was pressed to tell me that she wanted to "throw" my baby shower and I would bet money that she doesn't even show with the one dish she should bring.  She also got real sanctimommy on me because I didn't want to wait for my fiance to return from Iraq before I had the shower.  Apparently I'm setting my kids up for failure by not getting him "used to" being a father.  Sigh.

Beths... Bethsunshine

I've dealt with the Flake, the Sanctimommy and the Drain. Out of the three, the only that is still in my life is the Sanctimommy, but not nearly as much as she used to be. I had to deliberately cut down on the time I was around her before I had a psychotic episode. As far as the Drain goes, I learned my lesson the hard way, both emotionally and financially. I'm very leary about that stuff now!!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Oh and the Drainer... after 13 long years, I'm finally free of that one. Thank god.

molly... mollymae09

My older cousins are sanctimommies. They think merely because they have a few years on me that they know so much more... Yet I'm the one that's actually taken college classes on child development... (not to mention my child is actually in his carseat correctly and I'm not using recalled gear with him)

I've got the flaker/drainer. She also tries to tell me how to raise my son and she has no children, nor has she even babysat or nannied much. No thanks.

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

I've dealt with the "sanctimommy" more than once.  I think because I am young (24 now, 21 when my son was born) people thought they could bully me in to parenting the way they thought I should.  Wrong. lol.

cozyhat cozyhat

Ugh....had the Sanctimommy in my life when my first dd was born.  I could handle about a year and half of her before I ditched her.  She told me my daughter had a runny nose all the time because she only ate chicken.  She also told me that I had sciatica because in the winter I wore coats that didn't cover up my backside!!  Flake-to-the-fullest was also my friend until she started treating me like an Angie's list.  She got the boot.  Currently I am surrounded by a lot of Ms. Hot and Cold.  What's up with that?  So sick of it.  Life is short and I don't need those kind of people.

lovet... lovetwins731

I love this article! I have a flake-to-the-fullest in my life who I would really like to get rid of except for the fact that my husband wants us to be friends. She's also a Mrs. Hot/Cold. I really want to tell her one day to just stop lying and that we don't have to be friends because it's too draining trying to be friends.

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