My Tendency to Hate Other Moms
I’m not a joiner. And, I am absolutely not a PTA mom. Never have been, never will be. If you just nodded your head, I love you. You are my people. Let’s grab a drink.
When my daughter was in fourth grade, I remember the school holding a Back to School ice cream social. Of course, we wanted to go. Why would we not? Ice cream!
When we got to the school cafeteria all the kids were shuffled back to the band room where the ice cream was dug out.
The parents, however, were kept in the sterile cafeteria where the president of the PTA got up and gave her tearful plea for us to join the PTA and how it has changed her life.
Yes, there were actual tears. I was incredibly perturbed for two reasons. First, I was sitting in an elementary school cafeteria ice creamless. Second, I had been duped. The ice cream social was a ruse to get parents into the cafeteria to raise funds and membership for the PTA. I have no problem with that but call it what it is.
Now, I will happily write a check to the PTA. And day of the week. But, don’t make me sit through a 45 minute presentation about why I should volunteer my time because I’m not gonna do that. And certainly don’t pull the ice cream rug out from underneath me. And I really don’t want to hear about your insta-pot recipe, Sheryl. Why? Simple.
If there’s one thing I hate more than other people’s kids, it’s other people’s moms. At least I’m honest. An asshole, but an honest asshole.
I have never belonged to a mommy group. I’ve never understood people who have emails that include the name of one of their children and some sort of derivative of mommy attached to it. I have never been the mom that has her shit together and knows what to bring to school on any given day. I am the hot mess all the other moms glare at with an eyebrow raised. I’m cool with it.
Mom Joiner Attempt #1
My first foray into trying to have “mommy friends” ended horribly. I got invited to join all the other moms in my neighborhood for game night. All was well and good until they asked if I was going back to work.
I couldn’t afford not to. We were a double income household by need and I was the breadwinner. I told them my maternity leave was only 10 weeks.
“Don’t you want to raise your daughter yourself?” one of the moms asked me.
Oh hell no. I was having none of that.
I just smiled sweetly and told her, “Well, actually, I have some solid resumes from a couple packs of wolves and I really think they’ll do a good job.”
I washed down my own bitter hate fire with a sizeable glass of Chardonnay. Needless to say, subsequent games nights went off blissfully without me. I did not get asked back.
Mom Joiner Attempt #2
When my daughter started pre-club volleyball I took her to her first practice. I knew one other mom. She was a nice enough lady and told me that some of the other ladies were going to go out and get a bite to eat and a drink while the kids practice for a few hours. Before I could even stop myself I agreed to go. I still can’t figure out why I said yes. I knew better.
When we got to the restaurant I quickly realized that a bite to eat and a drink meant salads and ice teas. I had just got done ordering a bacon cheeseburger and a beer. Oops.
This group was also the ritzy Scottsdale moms. If there is any particular group of moms that I fit in with less than any other, it’s this group. I felt like Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
There were loads of conversations about their husband’s business trips and where they were going to go on your next big vacation. Nobody asked me what I did for a living. But they did ask what my husband did. It was completely bizarre.
I became increasingly less comfortable. I can be pretty extroverted so it takes a lot to make me feel out of place. These ladies got me there pretty fast.
I made frequent trips to the bathroom where I sent out live updates on to social media to alert friends I was being held hostage by captors.
That was partially true because I had carpooled to the restaurant with one of the moms.
I contemplated sending Morse code messages to the cigar bar next-door for the whiskey drinking men to come save me and let me hang out with them. I was certain they would harbor a refugee that had been cruelly forced into discussing Pottery Barn linens.
All kidding aside, I think it was my first actual experience of social anxiety. I may have had the teensiest panic attack in a bathroom stall.
My saving grace was that eventually some dads joined us and I got to carry on a lovely conversation with one of them. About plumbing. I wasn’t even mad.
Other moms make my teeth itch. I am convinced there are other people out there like me. Those of us that are doing the best we can to raise our kids to be functioning, self sustaining humans. My daughter can be anything she wants. Just not an asshole. It’s my only rule.
So here’s to the all the other awkward moms. The ones that make an inappropriate joke during soccer practice. The ones who accidentally verbalize out loud that the kids’ new Social Studies teacher is pretty hot. The ones that have no idea that the book order forms are due on Tuesday. The ones whose kids have Christmas wrapping paper to cover their Valentine’s Day shoe boxes.
I see you. I love you.
*If you’re a hot mess parent of either gender (because dads, big props…) feel free to check out these other pieces where I may or may not be a horrible parent.