Don't Call Me 'Smart For a Mom'!

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Once I became a mom, I noticed that the compliments I received started to change. No longer was I smart of witty or funny or pretty. Suddenly everything was "for a mom." As in: "You are fashionable...  for a mom!"

A compliment is still a compliment, so I'll take it. But it has started to wear on me a bit over the years. It's like we moms were taken out of the regular people pool and put into some kind of weird "mom pool" where the competition is not nearly as stiff.

In our pool, most of the swimmers are more like doggy paddlers with sprained wrists. They are lucky to be keeping up at all. So what I want to know is where is it written that a mom can't still be as fashionable as she was before kids and compete with the childless? Where is the rule stating that all moms think about are diapers and burp cloths? 

It is actually an insult to all moms.

Sure there are those moms who can't hold a conversation unless it is about their children, but they are few and far between. Most of us actually gained some knowledge from having children and have a new -- and often interesting -- perspective in the world. We may not be the most with it in terms of pop culture, but we can still play a mean game of trivial pursuit.

A friend told me the story of a friend of hers -- a man who was quite disparaging of "moms" and "mommy writers" who wrote about "mommy issues." I used to find it condescending. That is, until I took a long hard look at who he was -- a 36-year-old who still played video games almost non-stop, had never had a page published by a reputable news source in his life and was nothing more than an overgrown version of the Comic Book guy on the Simpsons. Am I really worried that I know less geek trivia than that guy?

Not really.

And if I were, I could take solace in the fact that he knows a lot less about school committee facts and municipal government and city budgets and other local political things I pay attention to because I have children and a stake in the community. He is not as civically engaged or as committed to social change and whether that is because he does not have children or because he is just a bitter, judgmental weirdo is not clear. What is clear is that his condescension is probably more about jealousy than anything else.

We moms may seem out of it or overly concerned with the mundane to outsiders, but we are smart, fierce, fashionable, funny, hot and interesting. Not "for moms," but for real.

Do you ever get those qualified compliments?

Read More