Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm so glad I'm not one of "those" moms....

I took the kids to the park the other day and it was swarming with kids, which was good because then I wouldn't have to listen to Cole and Bella whine, "Mommy, there's no friends for us to play with". I always respond with "well, you have each other...why don't you play together with one another?" and they both look at me like "huh?" Yeah, why would they want to play together when they're together ALL THE TIME? My bad.

I soon figured out that a bunch of the moms and kids had met there for a playgroup because there were about 8 moms huddled together, literally in a tight circle, as if to say to others, "don't even think about joining our little clique because we're tighter than tight".

I was standing in front of the play structure, watching my kids play. Cole and Bella had found a friend to play with, a little boy also named Cole who is at the park frequently. Everyone was happily playing when Bella ran over to the swings and wanted me to push her. Garrett and Landon were on the play structure but I felt they'd be fine if I took my eyes off them for just a second to give her a good push to get her started on the swings. And of course, just as I took my eyes off of them, that's when Garrett fell and got stuck on one of the bars so he was maybe 2-3 feet from the ground, if that. He didn't cry but he did scream out to me..."" and I ran over to him as quickly as I could but not before one of "those" moms could reach him. She was nice enough to help him get down since she happened to be standing closer to him than I was .

I smiled at her, somewhat embarrassed, and said "thank you for helping him....he has no fear....he thinks he can climb higher than he really can". I suppose I expected her to smile or chuckle along with me and say "Oh I kids are the same way" or "No problem...I'm just glad I could get there quickly enough to help him" . But no....the look on her face was one of total judgement. She had a scowl on her face and said, "you should probably keep a closer eye on him then". I was completely taken aback by this...I mean, it's not like I was far away, not watching him for a lengthy period of time. I was literally a few feet away pushing my daughter on the swing. I fully intended to walk back over to him within a few seconds after giving Bella a push. It's just as I turned my back to walk over to her, that's when he decided to test the waters.

I decided to keep my mouth shut at that point. I didn't owe her any explanations and she obviously wasn't very forgiving. While I did appreciate her being so closeby and being willing to get to Garrett before I could, I didn't appreciate her snotty, rude attitude about it.

I have 4 kids, all very energetic and all very independent at times....sometimes one of them will run off as I'm attending to another one. It happens...but none of them have ever been hit by a car, none of them have been kidnapped, none of them have ever been injured (not seriously anyway). I was offended by her comment....I mean, even if she thought I was a horrible mom, she could've used a nicer tone.

What I don't understand is why some mothers are like this...why do they sit in judgement of other mothers, without having a full understanding of the situation? We all have different situations, we all come from different backgrounds but we're all mothers, who love our children and want nothing but the best for our children, including to always be safe. There have been many times I've been at the park and I've seen another child fall or get sand in their eyes and maybe the mother either didn't see it happen or wasn't close enough to get to the child immediately, so I would help the child until the mother could come over. It's always been appreciated and usually it ends up turning into a lengthy conversation with just another mom, who's also feeling overwhelmed and split up into a million directions.

After all, aren't we supposed to be a sisterhood? Aren't we supposed to have each other's backs? If anyone can understand the ups and downs and the challenges of being a mother, it's another mother, right? We should be lifting each other up, encouraging and supporting one another, even if we're perfect strangers. Not sitting in judgement of one another or being critical....oh, sure there's a such thing as constructive criticism....but downright snotty, rude, judgemental attitudes? What's up with that?


Lana said...

Some people just need to complain about something, and/or judge others for the sake of making themselves feel better.

I think I would feel the same as you. Taken aback.
Try not to dwell on it. Sometime in the near future, something similar will happen to her and her kid. She'll either blame someone else or will realise that, "Wow, I'm NOT perfect after all!!"

Here's hoping, anyways.

Arg. I can't STAND "those" mothers!

Connie said...

It's sad when other mothers feel the need to judge instead of being real. Sorry this happened to you. She's the one with the problem not you.

Leslie said...

You're right and she was way out of line. It WILL come back to haunt her and she'll get her comeuppance -- you just probably won't get to see it, which is always disappointing.

Snap a picture of her next time, and tell us which park, and the rest of us mothers will huddle in a little clique and then break and take her down!


Christine said...

I am sorry my heart is breaking for you over that comment. I am a very sensitive mommy and I don't do well with negative energy which is all she was!! You are a fantastic Mom! As a mom of four I know the trials and tribulations of feeling pulled in a million different ways. Never underestimate yourself we all do the best we can. I felt like a horrible mommy today because I let my 15 yr old watch Alexander so I could take my college exams. Unfortunately I have no one else so we made do and I rushed through my test. I hope that women (she doesn't deserve to be called a mom) gets a taste of her own medicine!!

Chatabox Girl said...

From what i read of your blog, you are a great mother. Some people just feel so insecure in their own lives that they need to bring other people down too.

You have 4 very energetic children. It is not expected for you to be be beside every one of them 24hrs a day. This is how thay gain confidence, and become an independant person.

Creative Junkie said...

Some people are just born with that holier than thou gene. It's best to ignore them, but I know how hard that can be when you feel like your head is going to just explode off your body because you KNOW that every time they look at you, they are judging you.


Doré said...

Helene- Don't let her get to you. You are a wonderful mommy and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise.

She obviously had to be ugly to you to compensate for all the things she lacks.

Phooey on her!

Anonymous said...

Ugh, that is so frustrating. She has no clue! I agree I am so glad your not one of "those" moms!

Tabbatha Rose said...

You did better than I then because I would have said something to the woman. How many children does she have?? Does she have multiples? Some people need to get off their high horses.
I think you do an awesome job taking care of both sets of twins!!

Hajar said...

Don't take it too serious. You will probably never see her again. It's her loss for not being nice and trying to get to know you. You are an inspiration to me, because you have two sets of multiples. I enjoy reading about your experiences and I feel a little less overwhelmed on the difficult days, because I remember that you have two sets and you are handling them quite well. So I can surely handle my one set. Go, Helene, Go! Rah rah rah!(punches fist in air)

Heather (How to be a Woman..?) said...

I'm glad you're not one of "those" Moms either! I'll never understand it. If anyone should be understanding it's another Mom. I can see if you were lighting up a crack pipe or something. That might have justified her response. For shame!

Kim said...

I wonder how many children that mom has. In my experience, "those moms" usually have ONE kid and "those moms" are major helicopter moms . . . or they're crazy. And I do mean not quite right in the head.

You need to come and hang out at my playground. I'd make you feel a lot better, because I'd watch my kid drop and then yell, "That's what you get! Next time be more careful!"

ParentingPink said...

I've been there! I remember one horrific episode (known as the "Blue Paint Incident") in our local craft store over a year ago when I had a 4, 2, and 4 month old with me. I promised my eldest daughter a box of crayons and what I got instead was a 2 year old covered in a bottle of blue paint she's snatched off the shelf and poured all over herself and her newborn sister! She must have reached for it while inside the basket.

Either way, NOBODY stopped to help me as my two little ones were crying and i was trying my best to get them to the bathroom. I was on the verge of tears and instead, other moms stopped, stared, and glared at me like I was the worst mom in the world for not being able to control my toddler.

I ended up stripping the baby and toddler completely naked since the paint soaked through to their diapers and leaving the store, BUT NOT before purchasing that box of crayons I promised my daughter. I stood there, naked blue kids and all and decided that I was going to do what I had set out to do.

I cried when I got to my car, but I wasn't about to let those other judgmental moms know how I really felt.

I never forgot the looks on their faces or the fact that none of them offered to help me. Unfortunately, it taught me a lot about the selfishness of other "snooty" moms, but it also made me realize that I was a good - no a GREAT- mom because I bought those crayons. I loved them that much! LOL

Sorry that lady was rude to you. But we all know you are a wonderful mom and who knows what "goes on behind closed doors." Clearly, that other mom has her own set of issues she needs to deal with :-)

Minxy Mimi said...

I did a post on this awhile ago.. I know these types well. Judgemental, snobs who enjoy making others feel uncomfortable. Dont let their bad attitudes and insecurities get ya down!

mrsbear said...

Okay, some people just suck. Seriously, there are no other words. That you even venture out to the park with four little ones is impressive to me. You obviously are confident in your parenting abilities. Besides I've been at home two feet away from any one of my kids and they can just as easily fall or get hurt. You're right, as moms we all have a very fundamental thing in common, we should support each other not criticize and broadcast our hostilities.

Michele S said...

Helene, you are so much nicer than me. I would have eaten her for breakfast and threw her up at lunch. There is NO WAY I would have let that go.

Everyone judges everyone. That's what people do. And some people are jerks. That's my judgement of her.

Is there any chance she might be at the park next time? Any at all?

Here's my fantasy. Make sure the kids have on matching t-shirts. I always went with fluorescent lime green or something equally loud, so that there is no question that you have the most kids and are highest on the hierarchy of motherhood. Then I'd make sure I'd look insanely fabulous, just so she'd have to go home and kill herself for being a disgusting slob with only one or two kids.

Then please report back to me when she is dead.

stickymama said...

Incredible. I think it's an unspoken rule on the playground: if a kid needs help and you're the closest hand, you help, no judgement or expectations. Because let's face it, sand flies in eyes, kids get stuck, knees get scraped, and we just can't stop every injury.

twinmama said...

This infuriates me. I completely agree with all the comments on this post. She was way out of line.

Do people really think they are perfect or something? Wow, it amazes me that compassion and manners is out the window.

BTW - I have to agree with Kim's comments. That made me LOL!

Kate said...

Oh man, I've been there too. I had a rather obnoxious incident with a mother who told me child was a terror and they were leaving the play area because of him....whatever. I hope she doesn't plan on putting her kid in public school because then her kid will be surrounded by hundreds of "terrors" everyday. So, you know what, don't sweat it. Anyone who can keep four kids alive for as long as you have is worthy of motherhood stardom.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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