We’ve all been there. Every, single one of us mamas have had those moments when we just can’t anymore. We second guess everything, we doubt ourselves, we cry, we curse (some of us more than others). Tiny humans are freaking exhausting and being a parent is hard as hell-see there is that cursing. We heavily rely on wine and coffee to get us through our days… not in that order, unless you’re really hard core. And, if you’re lucky you have a tribe of other mamas behind you who understand what you’re going through.
I have a bunch of friends, and two fabulous sister-in-laws who can all relate and say “yup, we’ve been there.” When my 3year old goes on a hunger strike- seriously, he has basically survived solely on milk, I know I can rely on my mom crew to tell me that their kids have also gone through similar self-starvation periods and I am eternally grateful for these sister-friends.
We turn to these people even in our darkest moments. When we feel like we just can’t mom anymore, when your toddler cries at your feet from the second he opens his eyes and your 3 year old yells “you are not my mom” amongst the cries and chaos, these are the people you call.
Take this horrific moment for example. My oldest son fell down 3 steps onto concrete pavement, while strapped in to a stroller when he was about 15 months old. Scariest moment of my life to date but thankfully, by the grace of God, he was totally fine, save for a skinned up little face. After reaching out to my uncle who happens to be a pediatrician, then crying for about an hour and even calling out of work for the next day, I texted my mom friends… “you’ll never guess what I’ve done… I am the worst mother ever.” They responded with nothing but love, affection, understanding and reassurance. These are my people.
So why, in the name of all things, do we also turn to mom groups? You know what I’m talking about-those groups on social media that we cannot seem to get away from. Those groups with pages upon pages of bullet pointed rules. The group where you may post with a legitimate question, with the hopes of seeking a variety of perspectives and opinions only to be berated or critiqued and feeling like a dweeb. These are the groups that we cannot get away from because often times they are like a train wreck- you can’t not look even though you don’t really want to see. Come on… Am I right or am I right?! Let’s take a deeper look into the moms who you may find among these social media mean girl clubs.
The Drama Mama
The Drama Mama’s posts go something like this…so my husband accidently got my sister pregnant. Should I stay with him? Listen lady, I’m in no place to judge and if you really want to stay with your scumb bag husband while he spreads his seed, go for it. But for heaven’s sake, do not allow your decision makers to be strangers on Facebook… are you kidding me?
The Disclaimer Divas
Disclaimer Divas come in the form of posts titled with “trigger warning” before disclosing an upsetting event or problem, looking for advice and guidance. If you’re planning to share or post something so disturbing that it requires a “trigger” warning for other mothers who may have experienced a similar traumatic event, save it for your therapist-social media is not the place for topics so deep that they require a disclaimer!
The Dooms Day Doctors
You know these moms… these are the women who tell everyone for anything to go right to the emergency room. I mean come on-that picture of the small red bump is clearly a mosquito bite. Let’s not stress an already worried mama by saying it looks like a flesh eating bacteria and telling her to head immediately to the ER. I also thoroughly enjoy when a mom posts a medical question, along the lines of, “my son is talking like he has marbles in his mouth and saying his throat hurts” which ultimately results in someone commenting “sounds like strep” only to be proceeded by 50 other moms saying “strep, strep, strep, sounds like strep, definitely strep.” Was it really necessary to take time out of your day to prove your medical knowledge when it had already been posted 20 other times?! And finally, while we are on the topic, how about the other end of the spectrum. You know, the moms who post, my kid has a 105 degree temp and is suddenly un-responsive. Anyone ever have this happen? CALL YOUR DOCTOR!! Do these Dooms Day Doctors really have you that fooled to where this was the first place you decided to search?
The Wacky Worriers
There is actually something endearing about these mamas… Wacky Worriers are harmless and comical… they are the epitome of mothers, truly just trying to do their very best. You may see posts along the lines of “I just found out I was pregnant. How do I baby proof my house?” Let’s pause for a brief chuckle-we are not laughing at the wacky worrier, we are laughing…. Okay, yes, we are laughing at the wacky worrier, but it is all in good fun. So, listen mom-to-be, let’s talk about pushing that poppy seed, which will rapidly grow into the size of a 7-8lb watermelon out of your vagina-yes, I just said vagina and if that made you squirm, you’ve got a whole new set of issues coming your way. After we’ve tackled that, let’s discuss nipple creams and what to do when you feel like your nipples are falling off while nursing. Once you survive all of that, in addition to adult diapers, sleepless nights, poop blowouts, & post-partum hormones THEN we’ll talk about moving the candles and how to cover your electrical outlets. You see, this one is all about perspective my friends. The moment you pee on that stick may seem like the moment to buy protective edging for your brick fireplace, but I assure you, this is the least of your worries.
The Judgey Jerk
The Judgey Jerk is not to be confused with the comical banter we just discussed when reviewing the wacky worrier. As mentioned, there is a difference between informing and just being a down right asshole. The Judgey Jerk comments, rudely on everything. You had a wonderful, unmedicated childbirth that you are very proud of. So, you share you story to encourage another mom considering this route for the birth of her own child and someone calls your advice garbage. THAT is The Judgey Jerk. These are the moms who can spin anything, regardless of how positive into a quick negative. The Judgey Jerk comments “where are the admins?” to any post that is slightly questioning a breach of the aforementioned rule list. The Judgey Jerk makes you feel like not only the worst mom ever but the most ridiculous human as well. Kudos to you judgey mom-for making us all feel like idiots.
The Perfection Princess
The Perfection Princess sounds something like this “look at these adorable Halloween costumes I sewed by hand they were really so easy, I made them right from pinterest!” cue the mom guilt. While the rest of us are happy with the Paw Patrol jumpsuit purchases right from the Halloween spirit store, the perfection princess one-ups us all with her homemade costumes. Disregard the fact that they are freaking adorable, we hate her for rubbing it in our face. Where do people like this find the time anyways?!
The Strict Mamas
Do you believe that someone actually posted that kids can go days without food? Someone had asked a simple question in a mom group regarding their child and meals and a parent actually stated that if her children don’t eat what she makes then “too bad-they can go days without food & survive.” Now, I’m not saying that we need to make multiple courses each night, I am saying that this was most likely not the answer that the mom with the question wanted. While this may be true, are we honestly going to do this to our kids? I personally am not willing to test the “how long can my kid go without food” theory. The strict moms in these moms groups have a way of making other moms feel less than par. For example, the mom with the summer chore chart that comes close to breeching the 13th amendment. I am all for teaching responsibility and encouraging older children to help around the house. But I also feel like they’re only young once and they are your kids not your maids. So the strict mom, while she also most likely has good intentions, needs to back it down. We don’t need to feel like we are raising delinquents for serving them pancakes for dinner, while your kids are on their 3rd day with no food.
Okay, so I am sure I am missing a ton of other stereotypical mom group moms….
There are so many eye roll moments when scrolling through those feeds that I sometimes wonder where all the normal mamas are. But then, I take a step back and think. We all have our ways. We all have things that matter and things that we let slide. Some moms are adamant about sleep schedules, others get fixated on organic, whole food nutrition, while some moms just stress over poop. The point is, everyone is trying to do their very best. Instead of worrying about what every other mother thinks about you, or whatever other mother is doing, just do you. Do what is right for your tiny humans and your family. We are all normal. We all belong and we are all in this beautifully chaotic journey together. I challenge you to build others up. The next time you are in one of your mom groups and you feel that inevitable eye roll coming along, pause, take a step back and consider what that mom is going through, where she is coming from and what she might be thinking. Then, take a second to build her up, encourage her, or offer a kind word. In a sea of opinions, be the breath of fresh air and always, always put kindness first.