Monday, December 1, 2014

Mom Friends – Your Best Allies and Your Worst Frenemies

I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child.  I would have already had a serious melt-down and would have walked out on my family, if it wasn’t for my strong network of women who knew exactly what I was going through.  (OK – so I wouldn’t leave, but dang would it be hard!)  However, these strong, beautiful, supportive moms that listen to you complain about how sleep deprived you are, can also be your worst critics.  The worst part is that it is never intentional.  We truly want what is best for our sisters, but deep down inside part of us want to be doing a little better.  We want to believe that we have this parenting thing down a little more than everyone else.  We all can fall into at least one of these categories from time to time and in the process, make our best friends feel inadequate.  I’ve come up with 5 that I’ve encountered so far.  Which mom stereotype have you been guilty of?

The One Upper Mom
This mom friend calls you up to see how you and your baby are doing.  She’ll ask you about various milestones that your child is achieving.  But she asks in a way so she can use it as a platform to brag about her child.  ‘Is your baby rolling over yet?  She isn’t?  That’s strange because my little Janey has been doing that since 4 months.  But don’t worry; I’m sure yours will do it soon.’  ‘Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?  She’s still waking up?  My little Janey has been sleeping through the night since the first month, so sorry I can’t help you there.’  Every time you hang up the phone you look at your perfect angel and start wondering why she isn’t at the same level as little Janey who is also a few months younger, yet accelerating in all the developmental mile-stones.  Since my baby isn’t rolling over, does that mean I can say goodbye to her future as an athlete?  If my baby isn’t talking yet, does that mean that she won’t be a genius, and her future as an award-winning medical researcher who discovers the cure for Ebola is over before it started?  

The Martha Mom
This mom’s life looks like it is straight off of Pinterest.  Every meal posted on Instagram is a gourmet masterpiece.  She throws parties for her children that are over the top with the amount of personal touches from the homemade birthday banners to the hand-stitched matching outfit for her child.  Obviously all the baby food for her child is homemade and she always has ‘rainy-day’ crafts prepared to keep her kids entertained.  While she doesn’t do this to be a show off and truly has good intentions with trying to provide the best for her family, it leaves you feeling like crap.  You worry that your kids are disappointed that their parties don’t look like that.  Your husband makes comments like ‘why don’t you cook like that?’  The good effort turns into resentment.  (I must admit, my friends would probably put me in this classification.  So here is my PSA in my defense.  I really do LOVE spoiling my friends as a small thank you for all that they do for me on a daily basis.  I’m not good with sending sweet cards and am terrible at returning phone calls, but when it comes time for your wedding or baby shower, I will be the first to volunteer so that for one day you can feel like the princess you are.  These parties or meals are my thank you card for being the great friend you are.) 

The Hot Mom
This mom had the best pregnancy ever.  She gained a perfect 20 lbs all in her belly.  Her body looked better at 9 months pregnant than yours did when you were in college.  When you see her a month after having the baby, her baby weight is already gone and somehow she managed to lose another 5 lbs without trying.  Apparently a side effect from nursing is an instant 6-pack.  I guess I just didn’t get that side effect.  Not only did she lose all her weight, but she was able to keep her pregnancy boobs.  So now she is a size 0 with double D boobs.  At the same time, you gained 50 lbs. during pregnancy and 9 months later after eating nothing but celery you haven’t lost a pound.  You wear frumpy clothes that are covered in spit up while hot mom is playing with her kids on the beach wearing a skimpy little two piece.  Rather than thinking, ‘good for her, she is a great person’ all you can think is ‘I hate that skinny bitch.’ 

Crunchy Mom
This mom is trying to connect with her inner native warrior princess.  She had her baby naturally in the bathtub at her house.  She is exclusively breastfeeding until her child is 8 and when her child does eat, it will not only be home-made and organic but it will also be vegan.  She uses cloth diapers that she made herself, along with her homemade laundry detergent, wipes and soaps.  She has chosen this alternative lifestyle for her and her baby, but judges you because you didn’t.  She is a stronger woman than you because you went to the hospital and requested the epidural.  She cares about her baby’s nutrition more than you because after 6 months of trying, you are giving your baby formula.  She clearly cares more about the environment because of all the poison I am putting into the earth with my wasteful disposable diapers and my Tide laundry detergent that is polluting our waters.  She sees you in public and rolls her eyes at your life decisions while you are trying to hold yourself together.  My kid’s insides are not going to rot because I gave her a goldfish cracker.  We are all trying to make good decisions here but sometimes, you work with what you’ve got.

The Baby-Obsessed Mom
This mom’s only identity is that of her child.  This is all she talks about.  Every story she tells is about something that her kid did.  She wants to show you pictures constantly, even though that child is sitting right in front of me.  All questions are parenting or baby related and all activities must be baby approved for her to bring her child to.  She has never spent more than an hour away from her child and has convinced herself that she is the only one that can make her baby happy.  Everyone else is holding them incorrectly, even though we have babies of our own that have somehow survived.  They are proud stay at home mothers who turn their nose at those who would dare think of leaving their child with a complete stranger to go to work instead of spending these fleeting moments at home with their baby.  I love my child and spending time with her, but I am not a bad mother because I also love my time away and enjoy my job.  So put the iPhoto montage away, join me for a glass of wine and let’s talk about a social issue or even celebrity gossip if you want to keep it light. 

 Okay, so I called myself out on the ‘Martha Mom’ but I have been guilty of all of these to a small degree at one point in time or another and I’m sure you have to.  Well, maybe not hot mom.  No one has ever looked at me and said wow, I can’t believe you had a baby, your body is amazing.  More accurately people assume I am already pregnant with number 2 – that is the only logical explanation for me to still have an extra 20lbs. around my belly right?  Note to everyone in the world:  Unless I am wearing a shirt that says, ‘Yes, I’m Knocked Up’ NEVER ask me when I am due.  For every month that it took for you to gain weight during pregnancy, you get a year to lose it right?  So if I drop it by the time Zoe is 9, I’ll be on track.  Or I can start a ’10 is the new 0’ campaign to get my husband to jump on.   It worked for age… it can work for weight.

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