I'll always Listen To Your Mother, Chicago
The 3rd edition of the Chicago “Listen To Your Mother” production is complete and to say I was blown away by this year’s show is an understatement. While I wasn’t a part of the cast this year (you’ll remember that I talked about the audition process in an earlier post), I went to the show to not only support my friends Melisa and Tracey (the Producers) but also my bestie, Kari from A Grace Full Life.
I CANNOT WAIT for the videos of the show to hit the Listen To Your Mother YouTube Channel this summer. Kari blew it OUT OF THE PARK!!!! All of the women in the cast were amazing – I’m just a little partial to my girl who ROCKED IT!
While I was not a part of the cast this year, I loved the piece that I wrote and I wanted to still publish it. It’s something that means a lot to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
The Mommy Mean Girls Club
When did we become a society of Mommy Mean Girls? While interacting with each other at our children’s schools and throughout our neighborhoods, when did it become okay to stop being a community that cares and instead become Mean Girls that gossip about each other? When did it become the norm to ignore, isolate and shit talk each other at every waking moment?
What happened to “It Takes a Village”? It feels like it has become “It takes a Village as long as your village is full of clones that look and act like me!”
Let’s face it, mothering is ROUGH! Most days I look at my two young daughters, ages five and eight, and legitimately wonder if their goal is to drive me completely insane. It’s us against them some days – why are we making it Mom against Mom???
I’ll give you a few examples of what I am talking about:
Grammar school drop off and pick up is a Mean Girl fest. Mothers huddled together in large groups, critiquing everyone that drops off their child – whether they walk or drive. And if you live within the “respectable” walking distance and you choose to drive your kids to school? You’ll get the “school moms” AND the “neighborhood moms” all in a tizzy!
Ok, I will own that I basically live across the street and drive my kid to school most days. But am I dressed and ready to start my day after I drop her off? Absolutely.
BUT WHAT DOES IT MATTER IF I WAS WEARING MY PAJAMAS??? What harm am I doing to you?
I didn’t realize that I was attending a fashion show at 8:00 in the morning. When was it decided that we were all back in high school, and it was okay to make fun of what other people are wearing? Is THIS is the example we want to set for our children?
Next, let’s talk about the Single Mom. At first, the “Single Mom” is the “Separated Mom”. Tons of sympathy and compassion are showered upon the Separated Mom. People WANT to know the details. They NEED to know what happened. They are concerned about what you and the kids will do now that you have been basically left on the side of the road, homeless and penniless by your spouse. The “Separated Mom” is a sad and pathetic thing, an object of pity.
REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT IS WHAT THE MOMMY MEAN GIRLS ARE HEARING YOU SAY TO THEM.
Until . . . You officially become the “Single Mom”. Somehow, overnight, you have become a pariah. People stop waving back at you when you go to pick up your mail. Phone calls for play dates go unanswered. Whispers and snickers follow you at EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL FUNCTION. Whatever you do – do NOT wear anything form fitting or showing the tiniest bit of cleavage. Doing so will cause you to be branded a hussy and a wanna-be-husband-stealer in 10 seconds flat. No one will care what the details were that you shared with them – those have been left on the curb where they say your ex left you.
During one of the most difficult times in a woman’s life, when the Single Mom could really use the help of the mothers in her community, Mommy Mean Girls generally turn their back on Single Mom and leave her to figure it out alone. Because Divorce is apparently a disease and Single Moms are contagious.
The last and most horrific of the Mommy Mean Girl cycle is that of the “Stay-at-Home Moms” versus the “Working Moms”, and which one is better. The Stay-at-Home Moms will tell you that they better because they are THERE. They are PRESENT FOR EVERYTHING THEIR CHILD DOES. Their children are more organized, better dressed, have amazing hand-made lunches, and always have every form turned in at the exact right time (or even earlier) because they are better mothers.
WHAT THE HELL!!!!
The Working Moms will tell you that they are the ones doing it right. They haven’t given up their careers or their identities. Their children are flexible, more accommodating, and have a stronger sense of independence. Working Moms are the better mothers because they are doing it all – and the general society doesn’t look “down” on them for not having a job. They aren’t only better mothers – they are better women in general!
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS TO EACH OTHER??? WHY AREN’T WE HELPING EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF TEARING EACH OTHER APART!!!!
The vast majority of us have experienced the ugly parts of pregnancy and motherhood. Heartburn, stretch marks, shitting the delivery table, and looking at our lady bits with a hand mirror and wondering if they will EVER go back to normal. An inconsolable crying baby, overwhelming exhaustion and feeling like you will never have a normal life again are completely terrifying. We have all been there. These experiences alone should bond us together from the very moment that we referred to ourselves as “Mothers”.
But there are amazing things too; the wrapping of those little hands around your finger for the first time. Children falling asleep in your arms, whether they are three months old, three years old, or thirteen years old.
Remember the feeling you had when your child smiled at you and said, “I love you” for the first time? And I’m not talking about a gas smile either. I’m talking about acknowledging YOU as their mother, eyes lighting up and a smile washing across their face from ear to ear. The feeling you got in the deepest place of your heart? THAT is the thing that bonds us together as mothers.
Whether it took you days or months or years to feel it with your children, you’ve felt it. We share that common thread. Let’s treat each other like the members of the incredible secret club that we all belong to. Let’s stop acting like Mean Girls and start acting like the amazing creatures that we are.