Nice title…right? Well let’s face facts it is true. There are some wicked women out there and (shudder) some are even moms! Until I recently had my second child…I had sort of forgotten about the bitch factor that exists in Mommyland. I have lived in the area for 12 years, have two children and, thankfully, a large circle of friends that I cherish. I haven’t much thought about the ruthless shrews that made my life miserable when I was a new mom. While woman everywhere can be nasty and mean (as can men) I am specifically talking about bitchy moms with young children.
You know the ones that I am talking about. They glide into every kiddie class with the greatest of ease. They smile at their posse, exchange pleasantries with the instructor and often don’t give a newbie even a glance. I first met these types of women when I had my daughter six years ago. It was the strangest feeling…even though I was able to easily make friends in high school, college and then at the work place these mommy bitches weren’t having it. Man…they staked their claim at the park, playgroup, mall play areas and even the damn grocery store.
These mean mommies weren’t open to intruders and didn’t need any new friends and if you started to move on one their crew…they would quickly rein them in with some conversation you couldn’t participate in. It was like “Bitch…I did my time, you figure out how to make a friend”. Fabulous, just want I needed. My jeans didn’t fit, my baby wouldn’t sleep through the night, my friends all had full-time jobs and I was fairly certain I wanted to kill my husband in his sleep on most nights. Why you ask, because he breathed, that’s why!
I needed a friend, yet these women had their clicks and even if their child was only 4 months older than buddle of joy, they looked at me like a freshman on the bus. It was the first time that I truly felt like an outsider. To make matters worse, my child was shall we say “spirited”. This meant that she transformed into the Tasmanian Devil every time we hit a playground, playdate, storytime, movement class, dance class or any other damn event that was supposed to give me time to bond with other mothers.
I didn’t have a minute to find a friend. Nope…the ladies in my playgroup looked at me like I had three heads. I am sure they probably wondered if the kid had gotten into my coffee. I literally came back from some playdates in tears. My husband would pick up our daughter, hand me a tissue and tell me that you can’t force friendship. He would remind that our little one was great and maybe everyone else had the problem. Maybe he was right, but it really didn’t help me at that moment. I just wanted to slap him for being right, having a life and a salary!!
In time, I took a new approach. I decided that my daughter Gia was going to be Gia and I couldn’t stop her (still can’t). She has a huge lust for life and wants to discover EVERYTHING. BTW, that plays better once your little one hits preschool. I dropped out of our normal playdate circuit. Most of the women were actually very nice; I just couldn’t stand still long enough to get to know them. I stopped trying to turn her into a ballerina and I started to make playdates with my friends who I had met years earlier at The Little Gym. Note to file, it is much easier to make friends when you have an infant. A 4-month-old blob can’t move very quickly and you can actually meet some moms that are also desperate to make new mommy friends. With the ladies that I met in the early days I could let it all hang out (I still can). They forgave Gia any indiscretions and we could be very honest with each. We didn’t sugarcoat it. If our kid was being a royal a$$h&le, we could say it! No judgment.
In addition to courting my old friends (the reason I tried a new playgroup was due to a move), I discovered that Gia was the toast of the town at our local gym. I would check her into the childcare center and you would think that Elvis had just arrived (Justin Bieber for the young folk). Hey, why fight it? I started going to the gym…a lot! Life became easier and I became a happier mom. I realized that you can’t force the idea of lingering playdates and magical friendships that will appear out of thin air. I also came to understand that you can’t let those other moms, who won’t let you in, get you down. Even if they are the Grand “freakin” Puba of your local mom’s group.
Anyway, I think I have come full circle. I was at the gym the other day with my new baby (did I mention she is so darn cute!!!). As I headed for the childcare center, a woman pushed in front of me at check in and plowed through the crowd to the childcare center. Suddenly I was once again the chick with a stroller, I was worse than road kill…WTF! To make matters worse, it was another mother that ran through me.
She (bitch) sauntered in ahead of me to the infant room. And this time I was thinking “Oh no you didn’t!”. She trotted her infant out like he was the second coming of Christ and then abruptly left not even holding the blessed door for me. HEY…WOMAN WITH BUCKET SEAT AND A BABY…LITTLE HELP. I could see what studio she was heading to and I laughed. All I could think is…it’s Spinning…you aren’t solving world hunger and coming up with the answers to the arms race issue in Iran. Settle down babe, you could have been a bit more polite to those around you. And BTW, you aren’t all that special! This isn’t my FIRST DAMN RODEO EITHER!
And there it was…that same “type” of woman I had met 6 years ago. She was unwilling to help a fellow mom, unwilling to even say hello. And there are plenty of her ilk in the gym, at the park and in playgroups that are just like her! I am too old to care this time around. I have my friends, but it certainly taught me to take a minute to chat with a new mom or fellow mom. We are in this together.
So what is moral of this LONG story? I am here to report that motherhood is not a cure for rudeness or self-centeredness. My advice, ignore those insecure prom-mom queens and seek out genuine friendships. If you are new mom, find a local mom's group. Get to know some of the folks and try to forge (not force) a friendship if it feels right. You need support!! Go to The Little Gym, Kidville, Gymboree or other movement classes (check out the Kid Trips Book). You will eventually find your way. Cast a wide net and don’t give up. There are endless avenues in this area that will help you find friendship and support (see our Kid Trips Book for a our chapter on Support Groups). You just need to find the right fit.
And, if you remember, hold the door for the chick with the stroller=;)
Image Credit: Mary As Life Goes By Blog
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