I have a friend who’s daughter has a physical disability. This little toddler has made incredible strides in overcoming her physical limitations- only she’s not limited, she’s a firecracker with an enormous personality. And did I mention how cute she is? Talk about the cutest toe-head blonde you’ve ever seen.
You see, this mom and this daughter have dealt with bullies, maybe the kind that come to mind- the kids who stare or laugh or point. Yes. Its happened and it will continue to happen as this child grows and starts school and continues on with her life. But this mom and daughter have also dealt with mean moms. Malicious moms at the soccer game sitting in the bleachers, laughing at her daughter.
Its true that kids can be mean. Its also true that moms can be even meaner.
Being a mom today is a daunting task. We’re all just trying to do our best with our own circumstances while putting our best face forward. We’re expected to be cooking the perfect meal from organic produce, while breastfeeding each child and simultaneously taking the older kids to ballet/soccer/piano lessons while keeping a perfect figure because we’re supposed to look thin and chiseled, dress like a super model and have a spotless house. Society has done women and moms a huge disservice by upping the standards of perfection through media. But it seems we moms are trying to hold other moms accountable to these intangible standards as well- and letting them know when they fall short.
We are a new generation of moms trying to be perfect online and IRL. Its tough!
Moms tend to be jealous of each other online and IRL. We see others’ accomplishments and wish they were our own. We see our friends and their smart and/or athletic kids achieving things our own kids won’t or can’t accomplish. Today’s modern mom faces competition with the very gals who we should be supporting- other moms.
Mean moms show up in PTA meetings, on the soccer field, in band practice, on your FB feed, and judging you in an Instagram photo. So how do we deal with a malicious mom and protect ourselves?
Call her out. You don’t have to get mean yourself, but letting a bully know you don’t appreciate their behavior towards you sets clear boundaries.
Control your social media settings. If someone’s harassing you online through social media/blogging reset your settings. Block them, report them, unfriend them, and set your blogging comments to “moderate.”
Take a breather. If you receive an inappropriate comment or see something that bothers you online its best to unplug before you respond. Take a walk, read to your kids, or count to ten. Giving yourself some space before you reply (if you really need to) can make you more rationale. Or just delete the comment. Pick your battles wisely.
Be careful not to air your dirty laundry. Its fine to vent, we all do it and need to every once in awhile to stay sane. But doing it constantly can send negative messages. Never post anything that can haunt you later and always double check your posts before posting.
In the case of my friend, standing up to the mean moms can be a tricky situation, especially if its affecting your kids. Use these moments as teaching tools to show your kids that the bully behavior is unacceptable and it hurts to be a victim. We’re all trying to do our best, living each day and raising our kids the best we know how. We moms need to raise each other up and stop putting each other down. Be the example and start a positive movement all around you- putting a stop to the mean mom behavior.
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