Being a mom in any parenting situation is challenging enough. No mom, myself included, needs any more stress in their lives. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with another mom who feels the need to “help you” by forcing their beliefs and views on you by making sure to tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong as a mom, you are not alone. And no, it’s not OK.
These women use their preferred parenting practices as an excuse to bully other moms, looking for ways to start a never ending circular argument designed to do nothing more than cause drama. These aging versions of Mean Girls‘ Regina George are cleverly disguised as moms helping moms through constructive criticism. If any of these lovely descriptions sound familiar, follow your instincts and run. And if they sound like you, just stop and find a new outlet for your pent up aggression.
The Attachment Nightmare
You’re really into baby wearing. As far as you’re concerned it’s the best thing for your child’s emotional and physical well being.You wear your child on you for a majority of the day, and perhaps sleep with them too. So when you see a mom in the grocery store carrying her child in a torture device, otherwise known as a bucket car seat, you feel the need to share with them the damage they are doing to their child. God help the person you see wearing their child facing out in a standard Bjorn.
The Nipple Nazi
You want only what’s best for your child and children everywhere, so you breastfeed. Exclusively. And you plan on doing so until they ween themselves, whenever that may be. When you hear of another mom who is opting to formula feed from the start, you feel you must share with them all the possibly harmful ingredients in the formula and the vast benefits of breastfeeding, as well as the resources available so they too can exclusively breastfeed. You can do it, so clearly they have no excuse.
Women’s Studies 101
Little girls who prefer dolls over trucks only do so because their parents force such toys on them. So you go out of your way to find androgynous toys for your child. Pink and blue are not for you. And plastic? Uh-uh. Wooden open ended toys are the only way. In fact you make sure to give such marvelous toys at each and every birthday party you attend, while also explaining the purpose of the gift, so as to show them the errors in their toy selections to date.
The Card Carrying Member of the Intelligentsia
TV is wonderful. For those who can’t read. Your children never watch a bit of TV (but know each and every character in Frozen…hhhmmmm) and you can’t imagine introducing it into their daily lives. Studies show it should be used sparingly, at max for 30 minutes a day. So you share this with all of your fellow mom friends, and all the creative ways you’ve come with to avoid using the TV as a “babysitter” so they can start to cut down on the amount of TV their kids watch.
The Unqualified Nutritionist
You buy only organic and clean foods for your family. So when one of your children goes to a playdate at a friend’s house and comes home excited over the awesomely delicious Ding Dong paired with a Sprite they had for a snack, you obviously must share with this other mom that your children don’t eat that way, why they don’t eat foods like that, and provide healthy alternatives to such snacks so they too can live the healthy lifestyle you do.
Yes, it’s more subtle than hateful comments and profanity spread all over Facebook, but it is no different than any other form of bullying. It’s the same mean, underhanded, nasty Girl-World bullying that happens throughout schools, only now it’s being done by adult moms, and even worse, under the pretenses of “helping” and “teaching”. Worst of all, this mom bullying is hurting other mothers, to the point of increasing rates of Postpartum Depression and its many forms, which can occur up to 4 years after childbirth.
Your child won’t perish from a processed food treat, there are millions of healthy adults with no major issues who weren’t breastfed or worn by their mothers, and I bet you played with Barbies. Stop being a bully. And if you see another mom being a bully, call them out. I’ve got your back.