*Joke credit goes to M.E.F.
As if being a stay at home mom to a 2.5 year old and a newborn is not exhausting enough, the truly draining behavior I experience almost daily here in New York comes from other moms. Let me note clearly that I am not speaking about ALL other moms. I have met many incredibly nice, normal, fun moms and nannies. However, there is definitely some seriously catty behavior to be found in NYC in the ‘mommy set.’
For example, the other day when I took Carlitos to one of his classes several other moms commented on his new summer buzzcut. I smiled and said briefly that we do it in the summer because he gets so hot. Well, moments later I clearly hear a mom ‘whisper’ to another mom “…and that’s why I would never cut my son’s hair. I love the long hair.” I looked at her and smiled and said “Yes, I love long hair, too. Luckily, his hair grows back in no time, so it’s really not a big deal that we cut it off in the summertime to cool him down.” Hmmm, not sure why you thought I wouldn’t be able to hear you make your little snide remark from 4 feet away. I felt like ‘whispering’ that I would want my 3+ year old to start using words, so that is why I would never let him have a binky in his mouth constantly. Oops! Did you hear me? Oh, I am so embarrassed. I had no idea you could hear people next to you when they speak. Strange. (Sorry, I managed to muzzle myself in the moment but it had to come out at at some point.)
This week Carlitos had soccer camp and the very first day this mom, moments after I said hello to her and smiled, said, “Can I tell you something?” I closed my mouth, thinking she was going to tell me that remnants of my poppy seed bagel were visible in my teeth or something. “Those things are really not good for a baby.” Uh, ‘those things’ being the carseat at which you are gesturing? “Yes, my chiropractor said they are terrible for their backs. You shouldn’t let them sleep in them all of the time.” Wow, I could have sworn we just met. In fact, I don’t even know your name yet. I also could have sworn my baby is currently in my ARMS. Yes, yes, I’m not crazy, there he is. IN MY ARMS. Crazy lady. But, yes, I did carry him into the room in the car seat because we were late and he was asleep and it seemed safer and faster to keep him in the seat while we rushed in. But now he is IN MY ARMS. So, if you are actually trying to tell me I should not use a car seat in general, I think I will have to ignore your brand of insanity advice, because I am pretty sure I have heard somewhere that they can save lives. If I have to weigh my child’s life versus the health of their back, I am going to have to choose their life. Sorry. And maybe you should be more concerned about the well being of your own child, who did nothing but terrorize the coaches and other kids for 5 straight days, rather than my baby’s back. But really, thank you for your genuine concern.
I guess the second example could be classified as ‘helpful information,’ if her tone had been as such, but it wasn’t. And I know it isn’t just moms in NYC that can be so catty, but it just happens to be my demographic right now. Women in general seem to often want to tear each other down instead of building each other up. What’s wrong with us? Why do we do that? Please note that I said ‘we’ – I am not taking myself out of this equation. I mean, I couldn’t even help myself from jabbing back in my thoughts above. Although, it’s not my fault that their houses were made entirely of glass.
However, I can honestly say that having it done to me recently has made me all the more aware of my own words and actions. For awhile now I have been working on being less judgmental and more supportive overall, but I obviously still have a ways to go on not retaliating. (see above) Let’s just see if I can really survive some of these fellow NYC moms without turning cattiNESS into a catFIGHT. I am going to give it my best shot. Purrrr…