I love being a mom. Not every little, exhausting, frustrating moment of it, just a general love of my “job”. It’s not always pretty, in fact it is rarely so, and it certainly doesn’t come with a lifetime achievement award, or shelf full of trophies, but my heart is happy. I am content. Truth be told, the icky parts of my job are not usually related to the children. Oddly enough, it’s other adults that really get to me. Other moms to be exact.
How is it that an entire group of grown adults, basically fighting the same daily war, can be so heartless and cruel to one another? Aren’t we the ones that are supposed to be teaching our little people to be nice to their friends, share, help, be generous, try hard, be encouraging…? Why then to we find it acceptable, even normal, to label and judge each other based on every decision we make for our families? We call each other crunchy, hippy, green, helicopter, free-range, silky, scrunchy(?), etc. We value each other based on whether or not we breastfeed, what kinds of diapers we use on our babies, if we eat non-GMO or not, if we send our kids to public school, do we co-sleep….the list literally goes on forever. Our job used to be: take care of our family the best way we know how; it seems that now we have added to that: and make sure every other mom knows we are doing it better than them.
Maybe, I am being unfair, maybe some of us still have friendships with other women that are honest, humble, self-less and true. I know that I have a few friends that don’t care if my house is a wreck when they stop by. They didn’t even bat an eye when I gave my 2 year old a sucker to keep him quiet on our coffee date. And they don’t worry that my kids will be weird and un-socialized because they are homeschooled. We are just buddies, pals, confidants; I know they love their kids and they know I love mine. It is such a simple, natural relationship that I can’t figure out why we can’t, or won’t, embrace it more.
That’s not to say that I am great, or even good at being non-judgemental. I have certainly been part of many gossip sessions, and I know I have alienated more than one woman because she didn’t fit in my mold. But it has to stop. If we look past the fact that the other mom at the park has seemingly nothing in common with us, we would see that she has kids that disobey her, a house that is never quite as clean as she would like, and heart that is crying out for companionship and understanding. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Say hi to her. Reach out to her. I highly doubt that she will mind having another adult to chat with for a change.