Please, For the Love of All That Is Holy, Don't Be 'That' Mom

Lauren Gordon

best friends
Lauren Gordon

I've got a near constant group text going with the three best friends I grew up with. Over the years, that text group has evolved from Sunday afternoon messages of  "how's your hangover?" to "how did the baby sleep last night?" I have other friends and a sister in law whose conversations have taken pretty much the same turn.

  • We've evolved a lot throughout the years.

    There were times where three of us were mad at one of us, we've thrown bridal showers and attended heartbreaking funerals. We've been through what feels like "it all." But perhaps the biggest change of all has been becoming mothers. 

    When I tell you I could not have survived my first year of motherhood without these women, I'm not exaggerating. I texted, called, cried, and whined with wine to each of them about how freakin' hard it is so many times I've lost count. Each and every single time, they've given it to me straight.

    "This stage is the worst, you'll get through this, what can I do?"

    "No, you're not a horrible mom, you're human, you're doing great."

    "Would you like me to help hide the body?" (For clarity, we were talking about my husband's body after he did something unintentionally -- but still immensely -- dumb.)

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  • But you know what they have never, ever said to me?

    "Just you wait" 

    "You think one is hard? Try having two!"

    "Oh 1-year-olds are a breeze, you'll know real pain when they turn 3!"

    Never. Not once. And you know why?

     Because they aren't garbage humans, plain and simple. 

    If you say anything remotely close to this to a fellow mom, you are doing her a huge, immeasurable disservice and are officially known as "that" mom in the group. 

  • When a fellow mom shares she is struggling, she's already reached her breaking point. 

    By the time she's reached out to her girlfriends, she's repeated the same thing to her children no less than 15 times. She's already beat herself up for not handling it better. And she's probably already cried all her mascara off. The last thing she needs is to be told things are only going to get worse. She needs to know that she can muster the strength to press on, not that no matter what she does, things are only uphill from here. 

  • Moms, we have to stop this incessant "one-upping" culture we've created. 

    We aren't competing in the struggle Olympics. There is no prize if you have it "harder." At the end of the day we are all just moms, standing in front of other moms, asking them to not be jerks. If you have an inclination to one-up another mom, I'm begging you to stop and think before you say something unkind. Instead of competing with her, commiserate with her. Not only will it be comforting to her, it'll be cathartic to you. Don't be "that" mom, because honestly it's just heartbreaking to everyone involved.

    Motherhood is a hard enough race to run without someone constantly moving the goalposts. 

    And to my girl gang, honestly, I couldn't be more grateful. Now when's our next girl's night?