I wrote about the Top Five Things I Like About Confessions of a Scary Mommy yesterday, but there is just one super tiny part that I didn’t like. It is in the chapter titled, “The Twelve-Foot-Deep Death Trap (aka the Pool)”, when Jill Smokler sees another Mom at the pool who has a beautiful body in a bikini, four obedient children and an effortless style and she says…
“And that is why I despise her, Mrs. F***ing Swimsuit Model.”
I read this on blogs and hear it from friends pretty often, all the reasons why we despise other Moms for having qualities we wish we had. It is snarky, I guess, to react that way, but isn’t it also a little weird?
I have a friend who is very amazing. She is owns her own successful business, while she also works 3/4 time to spend more time with her young girls. She is a published author and a speaker and an expert in her field. Se eats healthy and runs half marathons. Even more impressive, she is calm and sweet with her girls even when they are being frustrating.
One day me and my girls were with her and her girls at the zoo and she was slicing an apple with a pocket knife, when she sliced a huge gash in her hand. Emergency-Room-Visit-For-Lots-of-Stiches-HUGE. But, she didn’t want to interrupt the fun we were having at the zoo, so she pulled band aids, a plastic bag and string from her backpack and with one good hand, she dressed the wound and created a tourniquet to keep pressure on it, so the bleeding would eventually stop. It was like watching a real-life-Mom version of McGuyver. She was brilliant.
I had to decide early on in our friendship if I was going to feel like, “Ugh, she is so perfect, I hate her!” and I just decided not to.
When she created a hand-made party invitation for her girl’s birthday party, made from designer paper that matched the party theme, with party information written as a poem inside, I just told her, “I’m sending out an evite for my kid’s party, you know.” And it wasn’t weird, it was just kind of funny. She doesn’t feel superior and I don’t feel inferior, we are just different.
I like Scary Mommy’s Chapter 25, The Mommy Races, that talks about Moms who feel superior to other Moms because they are more organic or more attached or more career-focused or more home-focused. I liked that chapter. We just don’t need to compare each other and rank each other and have a Mom medal platform like the Olympics where almost-all-except-for-three Moms don’t fit. But, the other side of not comparing yourself with other Moms so you can feel superior, is to not compare yourself to other Moms so you can feel inferior either.
It’s not like judgement doesn’t have its place, like when a friend is being a jerk or her kids are hurting your kids, but when we are just talking about Moms and motherhood in general, I wish we all had more room for Moms that aren’t like us and I wish we did less comparing overall in ways that make for a winner and loser on either side. The good-looking Mom at the pool is just another Mom.
Well, besides just that one tiny part, I really liked the book. I might even take it with me to read it again, next time I go to the #$$@#$ pool.