Did She Seriously Just Say That?



“My Olivia started laughing at three months, even though all the literature says it happens at four or five. But she’s so advanced already, so it’s not a surprise. I can’t believe your little Violet still isn’t laughing yet. Don’t worry, it will happen eventually.”

Those words – oh, they sound innocent enough. The average husband probably wouldn’t pick up on the huge verbal slap that just smacked you across the face. Your child might have just turned 3-months-old, but it only took you a few days to become fluent in Mom-Speak. And in Mom-Speak, that horrible troll just equated your child with a caveman. Sure, she sounded empathetic and supportive but her words were crafted darts of poison.

So why do we do it? Why do we effortlessly shame other mothers in order to feel superior? (Whether we realize we are doing it or not.) We all had a tiny human expelled from our bodies and are dealing with less than five hours of sleep a night.  This beautiful yet exhausting experience should bring us together and create a fellowship straight out of a Tolkien novel. But sadly, that is not the reality for many new and seasoned mothers. Born with our child is a sense of competition that when paired with our post pregnancy hormones can take us to levels of Tanya Harding crazy. But there are ways to overcome the petty comments; we can rise against the tide of shallow mothers. How?

Cleanse your life of negative people. Destructive people are toxic and can dismantle your confidence brick by brick. If it means avoiding phone calls and dodging happy hour invites, so be it. Your mental health should be valued above an emotionally abusive friendship.

Embrace a Dalai Mama. We all have that one friend or family member who gives the best mommy advice. Keep them close and learn from the master.

Find a safe, nurturing online environment. Sometimes we need the advice of a complete stranger. However, it’s best if that advice is constructive and nonjudgmental. By researching and joining an online community built by positive, uplifting participants; you can get the anonymous help and support you need.

Just smile and wave. If someone is dumb enough to talk smack about you or your child directly to you, just smile and remove yourself from the situation. I know that’s super hard to do, but try to walk away without hurting anyone.

Be supportive of other mothers. That pretty much speaks for itself.

Once we realize we’re all in this together, our playgrounds will no longer be considered battlefields. We won’t have to give ourselves a little pep talk before we head out to “that birthday party”. Life is easier when a compliment is not back handed and we can share our joys and accomplishments without engaging in competition.

Let’s lose the toxic Mom-Speak.

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Emily and her husband belong to their one year-old son, Oliver, who selfishly takes up most of their time. When he deems to set Emily free, she goes off to her job as a 3rd grade teacher. Emily LOVES Harry Potter! It’s pretty much her identifier. (ex: Have you met Emily? She LOVES Harry Potter.) Things she hopes to do again someday include reading books for fun, sleeping, watching marathon TV shows, and spending hours wandering aimlessly around Target. Things she thought she would miss but doesn't include a quiet home, movie theaters, her little Honda Civic, and her general freedoms before motherhood.