Hello Pot, Meet Kettle

November 2, 2011

I recently read a blogpost about the top 10 moms to avoid/ignore. The problem is, we can’t avoid these moms because they are us. We are all guilty of being at least one, if not all, of these types of moms at some point toward others.

The author’s list (paraphrased below) includes the following types of moms. As you read through, think about how you could fit into each category. (If you can’t see yourself, please read #5 again.)

1. The critical mom. A new mom admits to pumping her breast milk instead of nursing so she could tell how much her son was eating. The critical mom spends the next 10 minutes lecturing her  for  “depriving her son of the nutritious fats that baby only gets from nursing.”

2. The smug mom. This mom, whose 11-month-old daughter walks, is shocked to discover your 14-month-old does not. Her immediate reaction is to ask if you are worried your child is behind, then she condescendingly assures you he is “probably” fine. 

3. The antisocial mom.  This is the mom who reacts as if you had just asked her for her bank account information when you try to start a conversation.

4. The buzz-kill mom. This mom is Debby Downer. She can quote Web-MD and knows the statistics for statewide kidnapping.

5. The perfect mom. Her kid is a better walker, talker, and eater than yours and she’s more than happy to share how your kid can be just as perfect — if you give her the chance.

6. The backstabbing mom. She’s your best friend/biggest supporter when you’re around but as soon as you’re out of sight (or earshot) she’s picking your parenting prowess apart.

7. The insensitive mom. A new mom with a chronic illness confides in another mom that she feels guilty for taking medication during her pregnancy. The insensitive mom replies, “Oh I never could have done that. I couldn’t have lived with myself if something had been wrong with my baby.”

8. The negative mom. This mom is always complaining about her kid, her marriage, her job… 

9. The judgmental mom. Her way is the only way. Period. 

10. The worst-case-scenario mom. This mom is always thinking about what could go wrong. What if her three-month-old doesn’t get into the right kindergarten? What if her kid tries finger foods and chokes? What if the stranger in the park is actually a kidnapper? 

Everyone chooses to raise their children in the way they think is best. Otherwise, they wouldn’t do it. It is hard not to be judgmental toward parenting styles which differ from yours. So, we smile and nod, and tend to ignore unwanted advice. By doing so we become the “backstabbing mom.”  If we offer advice to try and “help” we become the “perfect mom” or the “critical mom.” These stereotypes are impossible to avoid, because we only need to look in a mirror to find them.

What works for some will not work for others. If someone does it differently than you, does that mean their choice is wrong? Yes. Wrong for you. Maybe not wrong for them. The best part about life is that we are all given the opportunity to screw up our offspring, in whatever way we choose. Next time you are out and about and find yourself annoyed with the “perfect mom” who is telling you about her perfect child, take a moment to reflect on what you are doing/saying at the moment. Perhaps you are being the “antisocial” or “buzz-kill” mom.

We can’t be all be perfect moms who always say or do the right thing around other moms. We would be living in a creepy Stepfordian world. Be yourself. If others don’t like it, talk to someone else.

End note to the author of the orignal post: I liked your piece. This is not an attack, just an observation. Your examples were great and I could relate to each and every one of them.

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One Response to “Hello Pot, Meet Kettle”

  1. Emily —

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on today’s blog post — and for reading HCT!

    Heather Morgan Shott

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