“Be Kind…For everyone, you meet is going through a hard battle”. This is a favorite quote of mine and one I try to keep in mind on a daily basis. With the start of another school year, it seems to be even more imperative that I remember it.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a new mom at my children’s school. There were four moms who were just sitting around and chatting about nothing in particular. Truth be told, I think we were all enjoying some adult conversation and sharing stories with people who “get it”. All of a sudden this mom says “I am so happy to meet real moms who aren’t (fill in the blank) or judgmental. Apparently, at her last school, many of the moms weren’t as open or engaging as she found us to be.
However, there was something I didn’t have the heart to tell her. We are ALL judgemental.
We all judge
I have a confession; of course, we judged her. But not for the reasons you may think. In my opinion, moms judge one another to assess how we are being judged back. It’s human nature to make a quick assessment of someone we have just met. A quick check of the hair, style of clothing, makeup (or lack thereof) and their ability to make eye contact. Based on that first 5-second interaction, the majority of moms will be able to assess how their relationship will move forward. Typically, that assessment falls into one of the following three categories
- We can be friends
There are times when you meet someone and just click and it feels as though you have been soul sisters your whole life! You know in your heart this woman could care less if you show up at after school pickup in your pajamas with rollers in your hair; she is just happy to see you! This is the person you hope your child and her child become lifelong friends with. You actually look forward to seeing her for ten minutes after school on Monday through Friday, and you even leave early for pick up so you can have time to chat.
This is the mom who you would love to be friends with but she is absolutely perfect. She is so perfect that she is a tad intimidating and you begin judging yourself to see if you measure up! This is the mom who is dressed to perfection, her hair and makeup are on point and she never raises her voice to her kids. Yeah, probably not going to happen you tell yourself, but if it did, you would be pleased.
- Not in this life
This mom is in everyone’s business. She goes above and beyond to let you know how busy she is and then she complains about how she never has any time. She volunteers for everything and huffs and puffs through it all, making you wonder why she volunteers for anything! She is a constant complainer and when you see her coming your way, you want to run in the other direction. She is always scattered and late, making you not want to be on the homeroom moms’ list with her.
Mom to Mom
Here’s the truth. On any given day, I could be any one of those moms mentioned above. We all judge one another…I don’t believe it is vindictive, it comes from deep within and we are constantly seeing how we measure up to other moms. I truly believe we are all doing the best we can and whether we pick our kids up in gym clothes, business suits, or a swimsuit, we are picking our kids up. At the end of the day, our kids don’t care who we are or what we look like, as long as they are given a safe home and loving parents who are interested in what they are doing.
To all of you moms out there who are doing the best you can, always REMEMBER YOU ARE AMAZING! Being a mom is the most difficult job there is and quite frankly, the most important job there is. Let’s model for our children openness, loving our fellow moms and being kind.
After all, we have a whole generation of children watching how we interact with one another. Let’s give them a positive role model.