Saturday, June 3, 2017

Mom Bullies

We who are strong have an obligation to bear the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2

I wrote this post back in the late summer/ early fall but I was too scared to post it.  I was concerned about what else- judging and backlash.  I have learned a lot over this year and mom bullying is still in full swing all around me so here you go!

"Bullying is also identified when there are unwanted behaviors present such as a child attacking someone whether it be physically or verbally, making threats or spreading rumours. In addition, bullying involves actions such as excluding someone from a group on purpose or engaging in public ridicule." This quote is from www.nobullying.com

Yes, it is that time of year again.  Not just back-to-school but back to being surrounded by and constantly judged by other moms. UGH.  This is a post I have thought a lot about.  I couldn't decide whether or not to write it.  I am sure everyone has different opinions on bullying and mom-bullying specifically.  Now, I, personally, did not experience the bullying by other moms in preschool.  My youngest is in her last year at preschool and the moms there are some of the kindest and sweetest moms I know.  They are friendly, helpful, Jesus-loving women.  For that reason, I cry every time I remember this is Hollins' last year there!  I do, however, have other friends who feel judged even at preschool.  Mom's are constantly judging each other about what they are wearing, what your child is wearing, did you not give enough for the school fundraiser etc…. It is truly ridiculous.  There are different kinds of "mom-bullying" activities… from mom shaming to mom bragging.  Being a mom is hard enough without others who are suppose to be going through the same thing judging you for your choices. .  Juggling homework, activities and day-to-day life is hard enough without being constantly judged by other mothers who are going through the same thing. 
There are all different kinds of MOM BULLIES that I have witnessed over my children's short years in elementary school.  Our elementary school focuses a lot on anti-bullying which is terrific.  HOWEVER some of it needs to rub off on some of the moms that I have come in contact with.  

THE CATTY/ GOSSIPY MOMS  I know one mother who now drives her daughter to school instead of letting her ride the bus because of the bus stop.  The moms at the bus top have formed cliques and stand around gossiping about others.  They make others feel inferior and excluded.  Not that my friend would even want to be a part of a group that behaves that way.  I hear different rumors on a weekly basis.  Some are so ridiculous I can't even believe some one would waste their breath.  At times I really feel as though I am back in Middle School.  And I would rather not- it was not fun then and it will not be fun re-living it. There is an inordinate amount of mom-shaming going on everywhere. 

THE ALL-ORGANIC-ALL-THE-TIME MOMS- I buy quite a bit of organic, healthy food.  My kids tend to eat pretty well most of the time.  But sometimes we don't- we eat cheeseburgers and fries and ice cream and love every minute of it!!  Everything in moderation.  Please don't judge me for this.  As we say in my house MYOB- Mind Your Own Business. 

 THE I FIGHT ALL OF MY KIDS BATTLES FOR THEM MOMS- I was unfriended on Facebook by a woman because our children got into one small disagreement in class.  Seriously…. I hope it made her feel better… I'm sure she sleeps better at night now that she doesn't have to see my name and pictures on Facebook anymore.  

THE ONE-UPPER MOMS- These moms constantly want to one up you (as a mom) on everything.  If your child is in 2 activities, her's is in 4.  If you got up at 5:30 to work out or read your bible before the kids got up, she got up at 4:30.  If your child got a B on a project or test, her child got an A+.  You get the picture. I could go on and on. I have also witnessed many parents showing up the first day of school with teachers' favorite candy, treat or some other token that let's that teacher know that that mom has done her homework on her likes and dislikes.  AND she's going to continue to shower the teacher with gifts in the hopes of her son or daughter being treat differently (possibly better) than the others in the class. If you don't have your child or children in a million and one activities you are a "bad mom' because you are helping them find out what they really enjoy and you are just preparing them for their future.  I'm sorry but sometimes our quiet and quality family time is WAY more important to us.  

 THE MEAN GIRL MOMS- these are the ones that purposefully leave moms and children out of activities. A couple years back, while sitting in our never-ending carpool line, I witnessed something that really bothered me.  To some it might not seem like a big deal and that is just fine.  Picture this- a huge stretch limo of some sort (maybe a Hummer) pulls up to the school next to the line a parents in their cars waiting patiently to pick up their children.  Out jumps a bunch of decked-out mothers jumping up and down, screaming and holding up large handwritten posters.  They were surprising their lucky daughters and taking them to a nice dinner and then to see Taylor Swift in concert.  WOW!  What a cute idea, I thought initially.  Until I saw that not all of girls in that group of friends (moms and daughters) had been invited.  You could see little girls with broken hearts that were not included in this soon-to-be special evening.  I heard from mothers that were hurt because they were deliberately left out and not invited.  It was truly a spectacle that caused many hurt feelings that day. 

 JUDGMENTAL MOMS I saw Bad Moms last weekend and laughed my tail off through the entire movie.  I mean, I literally almost sprayed my pinot all over the ladies in front of me!  While I have not witnessed everything in the movie first hand, I certainly have seen bits and pieces of the behaviors at my children's elementary school.   As soon as my friends and I left the movie one of the girls had to use the restroom.  While she was in there she heard mothers (they had just also seen Bad Moms) in the bathroom speaking poorly about another mom- someone that she actually knew!  It was as though they did not watch the movie at all. They did NOT get the message that I got from the movie.  Instead of crucify this mother for her parenting skills aren't we all suppose to just support each other???  Lastly, Children learn what they live (and see & hear).  If they witness their parents being judgmental and un-inclusive individuals they will do the SAME EXACT THING. 

 Isn't being a mom hard enough these days?  Can't we all just support each another through good and bad times!?!

By Dorothy Law Nolte

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