Parenting: The Mother ‘Hood, Judgmental Mommies and Mean Moms Teaching Their Daughters to be Mean Girls

As a parent of three kids living in Greenwich, I’ve seen it all over the past nine years, since I had my first child.  Parents who were way too lax (especially around pools with their little ones, that was nerve wracking!  Especially when it was my pool!), too strict, too opinionated, or their baby trumped all others in their “advanced state of development” (!).  The list goes on…and somewhere along the way of “mommy dating” you find the ones you are in sync with and you find a happy place of building a community of friends to enjoy the journey with.  It’s an experience like no other!  I took a big step back from running The Well Appointed House when my children were small.  My first two were ten months apart, with the third right behind – they were all born within 36 months – so those early years are a blur.  But a very happy blur!  My most treasured memories!  I saw every different style of parenting before my eyes and many lessons were learned along the way.

Have you seen this video, put out by Similac, called “The Mother ‘Hood”?  If you’re a new mother, check it out! Boy, did it take me back!  The video synopsis reads, “There’s something going down on the playground…Don’t they know that everyone has their own way of parenting?  But when it comes down to it, we’re all on the same side.  Help us put an end to judgement by sharing this video with every parent you know.”  Post your thoughts…

There have been a few fabulous things circulating the web for the past year relating to parenting, bullying and mean girls.  I wanted to share a few good ones. This is an article I enjoyed last year called “Are You Teaching Your Daughter to be a Mean Girl?”  In it, the author (Lyndsi Frandsen) writes a compelling article about two things:

1) Mean girls grow up to be mean moms

2) Little girls learn from their moms how to be mean girls

Read the article here and post your comments.

I think it’s such a great article for mothers of girls to read and remember.  As kids grow into the age range mine are now, the Mother ‘Hood brand of baby-mommy-judgement seen in the video above morphs into mean-mommies making mean daughters.  Luckily, it’s not the norm, but it’s out there.  In addition to dealing with mean girls, the issue of children being or not being good sports also arises. You find yourself looking at some parents and kids at sporting events and wishing you could teach them a lesson in sportsmanship.  And in a town like mine, it’s less about teaching children not to be sore-losers — and more about teaching them to be humble about their “stellar” accomplishments and have a team attitude.

I’ve become privy recently to a number of instances of women being unkind to other women. It’s not unusual, we all know that women can be mean.  This is no surprise to any of us and unfortunately seems to become an accepted norm. But it shouldn’t be that way.  I’m reading a new book that I picked up at Diane’s Books in Greenwich a few days ago called “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells” by Andrew Sean Greer. There’s a great scene in the beginning of the story, when a woman is nasty to a man she has no idea is dying of a terminal illness.  He’s out on a walk with his twin sister and their dog.  It’s the last walk they will likely take together, as he is so sick and while trying to be neighborly, the woman is quite nasty to him.  She takes issue with his dog, and tells them to leave the neighborhood.  After she sends some smug comments his way (not knowing how sick he is) – he responds by asking her a question:

“When you were a little girl, madam,” he said, gesturing to her, “was this the woman you dreamed of becoming?”

What a great line! I made a mental note to remember it moving forward  I’ll leave you with this photo – it’s not me – but I love the message!


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