Moms can be annoying. There, I said it. So yeah, I'm new to the world of Motherhood. Even with all of it's stroller comparin', baby weight losin' and milestone markin' shenanigans...I still absolutely adore it. But I have to say, I don't communicate in ways that I'm finding some Moms do. What do I mean? I'm a question asker. Always have been, always will be. I'm less apt to tell some bragadocious story about Nash and way more likely to ask questions about how my friend's little ones are doing. It's just my curious nature. I love asking questions.
Lately, I've been noticing that when I ask a Mom friend a question, I'm getting the sense that they might be thinking I'm asking because I want them to ask about Nash. But I really don't care if they do or not. No really, that's not my goal in asking. I talk to Walt about Nash all the time. Seriously, all the time. I like to hear how other babies are growing, changing, shaping, adjusting, sleeping and eating. And not because I want to compare. It's because I love to learn. Truly, I do.
It's so striking to me that there is this underlying competitive sphere or numbers game at play here in the Mommy world. And to tell you the truth, it makes me want to gag. I'm really appalled by some of the conversations I've overheard and communication patterns that exist among Moms. I mean, we should have each others backs and lift each other up, right? Well, in my crew...we do! I'm so thankful for that.
Whether you're a stay at home Mom or a full time working parent, being a Mom isn't all peaches and cream. The last thing we need to do is sabotage each others success with, 'Oh really, he slept for a six hour stretch last night? Well my little one alllllllways does eight.' I mean really, how in the world does that help anything? It doesn't. No really, stop being that Mom.
But there's that thin line between asking the question, 'How is your wee one sleeping?' and praying that your friend knows you are genuinely curious about his/her sleep patterns. And not the sheer face that some Moms are just waiting to pounce/squeal in pride that they now are the proud parent of a 'through the night' babe. That thin line is what I'm tip toeing around constantly with some women. I find myself not even saying anything about Nash with others. It's a thin and bizarre line, the distinction between asking a question and being labeled a competitive Mom.
As I weather the storm that is daily Momversation, I'd love to narrate a few of my findings via this new category on CasaCullen. I understand there are times as a Momma Bear when I'm going to proclaim to the world that I have to coolest kiddo ever (which I obviously already think I do) but I hope I never find myself spatting off numbers and percentages just to one-up the Mom I'm conversing with. No really, if I do...someone slap me, hard, in the kisser!
In my personal life I pride myself on being a good girlfriend and supporting those women around me in any way that I can. I don't find this competitive Mom-gab to be supportive at all. Much the opposite. It depresses me, leaves a poo taste in my mouth. So how are we going to fix this? I think this is something that has always been prevalent in our culture, for years so I don't know if there is any fixing. But these types of Moms will be weeded out of my daily interaction.
Some people, by nature, are die-hard competitive and will be bragging about their kids until their last breath. Do I think they mean it maliciously? Nah! Do I think they have any idea how annoying they are? Probably not. And maybe I'll just have to realize that some Moms will always be this way and others are more Mom-focused. You know, supporting one another and building lasting friendships rather than spouting off growth numbers and milestone hits just because they have nothing better going on in their life. Seriously...over...that!
I think my close Mom friends know me well enough to see that my question asking isn't in the vain hope that they'll turn around and ask me the same. That's never the purpose behind my inquisitive nature. It's solely to give them the floor and let them express their triumphs in a space that will never be judged, criticized or harped on. They will always be loved, adored and cherished by me and I want my close Mom friends to know and feel that. I sure hope they do.
Obviously, you need to find the good in it all. And naturally I find myself drawn to other like minded Moms who also still have their own life, separate from their child(ren). I'm really not complaining but I'm also in shock and about this underlying current that seems to prevalent in every Mommy circle I'm joining. You can point Braggy Bragster out from a mile away so I just make sure to steer clear. I don't need that energy in my/our life. Seriously, don't be that Mom that brags about their child non-stop, is constantly comparing and one-upping the next Mom. It just ain't pretty!
As for bragging about Nash...I mean, isn't that what grandparents are for? I can honestly say that my parents get multiple weekly emails about Nash's progress and the fun/funny things he's up to. Yep, they're my bragging board and they eat that shizz up.
Another pointer if you just can't help but be bragadocious...create an email for your little angel. Nash has his own email and I shoot him snippets of stuff almost daily. It's amazing how much that small act of pride and excitement alleviates my need to gush to my friends about his progress. Or better yet, start a blog where only your family and close friends will check in.
Yesterday I snapped a funny picture of him in the shopping cart and it literally takes me one minute to send to his email with a message saying how much I love my shopping buddy. The first time he pooped in the bathtub (yep, we're talking numero dos everywhere here people) you better believe I shot him a message telling him how much we were dying laughing. And his big blue eyes stared at us saying, 'I'm not sure why you two are laughing so hard but I'd appreciate if someone would get me out of this mess!' And of course I let him know that his Daddy was on clean up crew.
Have you experienced this sort of Momversation and wanted to slap a sista in the face? If so, how do you find yourself withholding your inner braggart and being the classy lady in the crowd who shares less and listens more? If you're the Mom of older kiddos, have you found yourself only interacting with a hand-full of Moms over the years? Have you slowly weaned out your Mom friends that are only surface people that want to spout number, statistics and milestones at every chance they get? I'd love to hear your take on this subject...because I'm new to the game and already find myself cringing and biting my tongue at times.
Image provided by Sean Wray Photography.