There’s a lot of talk about bullying in the news these days. But, there’s one kind of bully that is rarely mentioned: MOM BULLIES!
I would bet my life savings that every mom out there has been the victim of a mom bully at one time or another. And, isn’t that just the saddest thing?
The bullying begins before you’ve even had your first baby. “What kind of childbirth method are you going to use?” “You’re not going to use medication are you?” “Let me tell you all the details of my one thousand hours of labor, scared little mommy-to-be.”
And then come the toddler years. You will inevitably be bullied about when to lose the binky, when to stop nursing and when to toilet train.
When my firstborn was a year old, I ran into an old school friend at the store. She had a daughter the same age as mine. I kid you not, she asked me how many words my daughter spoke! In shock, I managed to reply that I really didn’t know. “Sixty-two,” she told me smugly, “My daughter can say sixty-two words.” And, then she pulled out a bottle of juice that she had squeezed from berries she picked herself (again, I’m not kidding). I walked away with my sad store-bought juice and my ten-word-speaking child and cried my way home.
And, now social media has opened up venues for bullying that never existed before. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all have their share of mom bullies. “Hi, look at my immaculate, perfectly decorated house.” “See my children in their matching designer clothes playing with their handmade wooden toys.” And, “look at the gourmet dinner I whipped up after I got home from the company I founded.”
I tell you in no uncertain terms that this is a form of mom bullying.
Bullying: “The use of whatever means are available (physical strength or social power) to show dominance over others.”
And, don’t you feel a little smaller after you’ve been subjected to their perfect posts? Mission accomplished. They “win” (although what they win, I have no idea!).
Why? Why do we do this to each other? (For, if we’re really being honest here, we’ve all been bullies at one time or another).
Is it insecurity that drives us to prove we’re a “better mother”? Do we gain so much satisfaction from bullying that it makes it worthwhile to belittle another mom?
What if, we listened more than we advised? What if, we encouraged more than we criticized? What if, we were honest about our own faults and found camaraderie with other moms instead of pretending we were perfect?
That’s why we here at All Mom Does try so hard to be real and honest. Our goal is to draw moms together so that each of us feels a little less alone.
Mothering is hard enough without having to deal with bullies too.