When did mothering become on Olympic
worthy sport? Birthday parties are becoming more and more outlandish. Kids are scheduled to death with everything from soccer and violin to tai
chi and Latin
. All this before they even enter preschool. In my observations, Competitive
Mommies tend to fall into one or more of four categories. If you are "lucky" enough to encounter someone who can be classified as all four, watch out. Her head may literally explode if she catches you feeding formula to your never-been-to-Gymboree
, non-verbal, pacifier sucking, Ferberized
nine month old.
1. First, the Activity Mom
. The Activity Mom schedules her children for every, and I mean every
, activity under the sun. Whether it's because she's terrified that other children are getting a jump on her precious darling in the Advanced French Literature for Toddlers classes or just a wish to spend less time with the fruit of her loins, the end result is exhaustion for everyone involved and an insanely high gasoline bill.
I started thinking about the Activity Mom today because I was home with my children (sick sitter) and we watched Jack's Big Music Show
after lunch. Do you know this show? My kids love the music and dancing and I can tolerate it, unlike that annoying purple dinosaur or that blue spotted dog. (Sorry fans, just my opinion) We actually have every show on DVD. Anywho
, at the beginning of every episode, Jack, heads out to his backyard clubhouse and we hear his mother yelling out the door "Jack, you don't have much time. We have to leave soon for scuba lessons/ping pong practice/basket weaving class/etc..." Every day Jack has a different activity. There have been 20-something episodes already and 20 different activities. Strangely, I enjoy hearing what Jack's activity of the day will be, but I digress. I know JBMS
is lampooning the typical over scheduling Mommy
but I have friends who seem to be doing the same thing. Every week little Jimmy or Jane is involved in a new enriching activity and I am gently admonished that I am somehow harming my two year old
because I don't do the same. (Oh, yeah, and because I work. But that's another post
.) Give me a break. I refuse to get caught up in that insanity and I usually just let the comments roll off of my back.
2. Next, we have the SanctiMommy
. Everything SanctiMommy
does is the
best and only
way to parent. It doesn't matter what your choices are. If they are different from SanctiMommy's
, she will either bluntly or subtly express her disapproval. Are you a working mom? SanctiMommy
tells you that she
could make herself happy by working but she's willing to sacrifice herself for her children. They are soooo
important, after all. Are you a stay at home mom? SanctiMommy
tells you that you're a drain on society and should be using your valuable education to break the glass ceiling. You owe it to future generations, including your children. Not breastfeeding? Breastfeeding? Spank? Don't spank? Attachment Parent? Fond of Ferberizing
will judge you. Mom-101
summed it up best, writing:
While the Sanctimommy is quick to deem others unfit mothers based on (really, in the end) superficial decisions like the cleanliness of a child's nose or the YoBaby in the grocery cart, she's reluctant to look as closely at herself. At her own attitude. At what seems to me to be anger and angst and a general unhappiness directed at a world around her which she can't control.
Yup, she nailed it. SanctiMommy is infuriating at times (see Mommy Wars), but she can be ignored.
3. Third on our list is the Mensa Mommy
. Mensa Mommy has given birth to Jesus H. Christ, or at least the next best thing. Her child will walk before yours, talk before yours, sleep through the night before yours, breastfeed better, and generally stomp the crap out of your child before the age of 2 and for the rest of your lives. No matter what cute, adorable, or truly remarkable thing your child does, she has a story to one up you. Come on, you all know exactly
the type of mom I'm talking about. Let's face it. We all like to talk about our kids and brag about our kids and generally convince other people of how wonderful they are, but most of us are careful to make sure we don't push it too far in the process. You're excited to share that your little girl said Mama at nine months? Mensa Mommy's little genius had a vocabulary of at least 30 words at that point and was speaking in full sentences by one. Your 3 year old learned to count to 10 in Spanish? Mensa Mommy's kid was fluent in Mandarin at that age. You're all worked up about sending your little boy to pre
-school at the age of 4? That's nothing. Mensa Mommy's brat was deemed "exceptional" by the school and started at 2 1/2. You can't win. I don't even try.
4. Finally, we come to Passive Aggressive Mommy
, my personal favorite. P.A.
M. appears to be supportive, friendly, and non-judgmental, but beware. She will betray you and the sisterhood in a heartbeat. My favorite example of this is a fellow Mommy at my sons' daycare. She's a fellow working mom and a professional woman in a field dominated by men. My soul sister, I thought, when I first met her. There were several incidents with which I could regale you, but let's jump to one of the more recent - The Great Christmas Caper. I was busy as hell in the first part of December. I took the last two weeks off and had to cram four weeks worth of work into two. Frazzled Mommy that I am, I didn't think to start freaking out about my sons' daycare holiday party until the day before. I asked M, our sitter, if we should bring presents for all the kids. P.A.M. was there and laughingly butted in with a, "who on earth has time for that???" comment. I bet you can see where this is going.... Anywho
, I was relieved. If necessary, I was fully prepared to run out to Target after 8pm in the middle of the Christmas shopping season to get small presents for all the kids. But I didn't have to. Someone in the sisterhood of working women gave me permission to just let it go. Whew! My kids showed up the next day with a present for their sitter and none for the other children. And they came home with gifts from their sitter, almost every other child at daycare, ... and Passive Aggressive
Mommy (or at least from her son, but last time I checked 4 year olds
weren't allowed to charge books at Barnes and Noble.) Now, of course, the kids didn't give a rat's butt. Mine didn't and I'm sure none of the other toddlers did either. (For the record, neither did my sitter.) Nope, we all know that the only people who care about and notice these things are the other moms. And I am now the slacker Mommy who can't be bothered to get Christmas gifts for all the other children. Thank you, P.A.M.
Now, do I really care about any of these judgmental mommies? No. Of course not. But they do get under my skin no matter how much I try not to let them. Am I wrong or should moms be supportive of other moms? We're all part of the same incredibly difficult, awe inspiring little club so why can't we give our fellow moms some props instead of tearing them down?
So do you have any categories I should add? Competitive Mommy stories to share? Let's hear them!
Labels: Mama Drama