Bad Mom “Friends”

Too many moms feel pushed to feign perfection due to judgment. Not just judgment from faceless screen names and social media associations, not just from the child-free 20-something at Starbucks, family that simply doesn’t “get it”, or the snippy blue-hair at Target, but from fellow mom friends as well.

I understand the drive to tidy up your home a bit before company comes, for respectability’s sake. I get the desire to swipe on some mascara¬†and brows to feel presentable. I honor the pull to change out of the three-day-old yoga pants splotched with mystery stains and into some jeans (or clean yoga pants.) I get it!

However, to feel the need to conceal the potty-training pandemonium, the tantrum disasters, the back-talk dilemmas, the laundry mayhem, the parenting conundrums, the nitty-gritty real life details because your friends will judge you? To feel the push to hire a house cleaner to visit prior to hosting a friend for a playdate because you fear gossip over your housekeeping? To feel compelled to wear specific brands and certain fashions to obtain praise and approval, and avoid catty side-eyes, from your friends? To feel pressured to present your life, child(ren), and home as flawless for risk of judgment from your friends? Those, dear one, are not your friends.

If you call judgmental fellow moms your “village,” honey, you need to move to a new “village.” If your mom friends are catty and thrive on tearing one another down instead of building and supporting each other, sweetheart, those are not mom friends… they’re immature, venomous toxins.

Many of us moms fear judgment from our peers so greatly we conceal ourselves from those we gift the title “friend.” I’m sorry but, why? Why do we allow ourselves to be belittled, to feel self-conscious, to feel lesser because of our friends? Why would we call these women “friends?”

If your child came to you telling you that his/her friends judged him/her in these ways, would you approve of these so-called “friends?” Would you encourage your child to continue socializing and bending him/herself to meet the approval of these “friends?” I hope not! So why do we moms provide such an example of friendship for our own children?

Moms, you’re worth more than that. You deserve more than that.

If your friends make you feel small and insecure, find new friends who lift you up and support you. Be the kind of friend you want to have and you’ll attract the type of friend you want and deserve.

Friends support each other, laugh with each other, live honestly with each other. Friends do not judge and gossip about one another. Friends do not make friends feel lesser or insecure. True friends make you feel safe, happy, and loved in their presence.

Stop feigning perfection. Stop driving yourself mad trying to please catty, ridiculous standards. Be genuine. Be happy. Be you.

The Loneliness of Motherhood

Motherhood is lonely. As moms, there’s always someone clinging to us, following us, needing us, demanding of us. Even when our children are not physically present, their needs are still in the forefront of our minds.

As mothers, we are constantly surrounded by humans — big and small — but rarely do we truly get to connect with them. We are too busy chasing and aiding our little herds to meaningfully socialize.¬†No matter the size of our “village” or quality of our friends, we will have periods during which we feel alone. We are lonely amongst the madness, isolated amidst the crowd.

When we try to converse with others, it’s guaranteed that a majority of our thoughts and sentences will go uncompleted. “Mommy, I need to go potty!” “Mommy he’s not sharing!” “Mommy, watch this!” “Mommy, I’m stuck!” Each intercession permanently derails a line of conversation. Then there are the maternal sensors that ping every few moments interrupting you just as your child licks the floor, crawls towards power cords, attempts to fly, tackles her sibling, or uses a public drinking fountain as his own personal splash pad.

For many of us, social media becomes a form of self-medication. We use it to camouflage the isolation. We like, post, comment, pin, and tweet to feel less alone… to connect. But it falls flat. It’s not the same.

Occasionally some of us can break free and revel in a mom date. We order adult drinks and savor the ability to eat our meal without having to simultaneously referee. We chat and laugh, we feel human again. Then it’s time to go home to the children we adore and miss, despite knowing full well the level of chaos that awaits us.

We arrive home with our emotional tank closer to full. We’re refreshed and replenished from our social outing. This is temporary, and we know it.

Every tantrum, every meltdown, every sleepless night, every departure debacle and bedtime battle drains our emotional tank. Sweet moments and tender cuddles reverse a bit of the loss, but the loneliness is an emotional hemorrhage that will leave us empty if unattended. The sense of isolation will render us shriveled, aggitated, overwhemed, fatigued, and depleted. We cannot pour from an empty cup, but we must.

Motherhood is joyous and stressful, love-drenched and tumultuous, priceless and taxing. It’s a beautiful gift but it’s lonely.