I've been a member of a local mom's group since CJ was about 8 months old. Just recently I started to get more active in it. Since CJ is older, he can do more and I don't feel as awkward just standing around during playdates and such. It is good to be able to get around other mothers and obviously it is great for CJ to get out and play with others.
But there's a dark side to mom's groups. You know what it is.
Unfortunately, women seem to be unable to meet without instantly judging each other. It gets even worse when you are a mom. You're judged on everything your child does, everything the child does, whether or not your are breastfeeding, whether you work or stay at home, whether you have a natural birth or a hospital birth. Oh and your probably being judged on whether or not you lost all your baby weight and if you have spit-up on your shirt. It really never ends. And it is disgusting. Women beat themselves up enough without having to take it from other women. Especially as a mom. Every new mom is second-guessing herself on what she could possibly doing wrong. She doesn't need other moms to chime in and make her feel even more bad.
So what happened to get my pants in a bunch? Let me tell you.
A friend (who I actually met through the mom's group) and I went out to trivia. She was telling me about an incident that happened at another playgroup earlier this week. This mom has an 18-month old and is also 5 months pregnant. She has decided recently to go back to work. Financially, it makes sense for her, and she loves the fulfilling feeling of working and earning a paycheck. Frankly it doesn't matter why she decided to go back to work. It's her prerogative. Well she mentioned that she was going back to work to the other mothers and was met with complete disgust. "Don't you know how important the first year of a child's life is?" "What about all the milestones you will miss the first year?" She told them that she was really lucky, and her mother was moving down to take care of the kids. What was the woman's reply? "Well, I guess that is better than some stranger." Really? Really? Like she's not struggling with having to leave her baby in someone else's arms enough? She needs little miss high and mighty to be judgy mc judgypants?! Let's not even talk about the reaction she got when she answered the question "Are you going to have a doula?" with "What's a doula?".
Then there is my recent issue with the mom's group. There are 3 playgroups going on tomorrow at exactly the same time. That's the group's own stupid fault. Well I accidentally rsvp'd to two of them. So I got an email from the mother's group asking that I change my rsvp to no for one of them "because other moms might want to go to playgroups too." No crap. I obviously don't plan on being in two places at once. It was an accident.
Well the playgroup I was planning on going is at another mother's house. I don't have the address and wasn't sure I was going to get it in time, so I changed my rsvp to no and decided to go to another one where I know the location. So I get ANOTHER email from the same woman asking why I changed my RSVP and telling me that "not going to in-home playgroups is going to lead to the downfall of the group". Really? Really lady? Why do you give a crap which playgroup my son and myself are going to. I'll tell you one thing, it isn't going to be at any playgroup you are in anymore. I think that the downfall of this mom's group is going to be pettiness and micro-managing.
So that's my rant. Moms, be kind to each other. Don't judge. Just be kind.