Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Open Letter to Mommies Who Just Don't Get It

Dear Mommies,

Lydia and Kate here. We started Rants From MommyLand because, though we didn't know it at the time, we needed it. It would be hard to find two more different women than the two of us. Yet our friendship and our collaboration works, because we get it. Sadly, there are a lot of mommies out there that just don't get it. As a result, they make life exponentially harder not only for themselves, but for everyone around them. And that has got to stop.

Mommies Who Just Don't Get It, or the MWJDGI, loosely pronounced Moo Wedgie...because that's what they need. A cow to wander up to them, say, "Wow, I get it and you don't. And I am an actual heifer. That is so sad..." and then YANK! Fantastic. Plus, we are adding it to the MDR and you moms-in-the-know can glance over at each other sagely, when one the clueless moms says something unbelievably stupid, and say silently to each other, "Moo Wedgie". There's something totally satisfying about that.

These moms are rampant and come in many shapes and sizes. We're about to describe ten types of Moo Wedgies. And in an effort to be totally honest, both of us are guilty of some of the behavior we are about to describe. We are fully aware that we are a couple of idiots who are not always on our best behavior, but at least we try. So here they are:

1. Pedantica (The Know it All)

She tells the teacher how to run the class. She has seen every movie and read every book and her opinion is the right one ("You actually liked Twilight?" and then comes eye rolling and numerous recommendations to help educate you). Wondering what mini-van to buy? She knows the make, model, options, and MSRP and if you don't take her advice then you are making a mistake. Feeling crampy? She can diagnose you with a food intolerance/allergy/hormone imbalance and if you fail to follow her instructions, go ahead and resign yourself to a life of abdominal bloating. Conversations about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting are to be avoided AT ALL COSTS.

2. The Self Esteem Vampire
This person is potentially very destructive. They are equipped with a fully-loaded arsenal of methods to make other people feel like crap. We recently had a "friend" say: "I read your little blog! It was cute. You know, I thought about writing a blog but then I would never presume that my life was so interesting that anyone would actually want to read about it." A conversation with this person will make you want to go home and get in bed with your precious Target wine cube and not get out for a while.

The most evil version of this type will not only target you, but may also target your child. Or someone else's child. While we are ready to forgive and forget almost anything, this is Avada Kedavra. Unforgivable. You do not target someone else's child. Ever. It is NOT OK to making snarky comments on the side of a soccer field, or a sneak a quiet word with the teacher or coach about how bad little Johnny is (and how good your little Jimmy is), or getting a HERD of other Moo Wedgies together to gossip about a child's real or imagined short-comings. It happens all the time. It should be illegal. But it's not. So we should be able to rope and brand 'em, right?

3. The Catch and Release Friend
This mommy befriends you and is in contact all the time. Texts, calls, emails, Facebook. You're buddies - all of a sudden. While it may seem a little odd, but you go along with it thinking - maybe this is just how she rolls? Then just as suddenly, her calls and texts stop and the cycle of catch and release friendship resumes, sometimes with someone else. You are left wondering WTF just happened: are we friends? Acquaintances? Frenemies? Have I wandered into a time machine and found myself in 8th grade?

Both of our husbands love baseball, and they have term in that fine sport about making trades: Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). These mommies are the perfect capitalist model of friendship, trading their mom-friends based on some VORF model of whackness. Except that these capitalists are not in business. Unless that business is crazy. You're better off without them. Note: the real reason to be wary of this type is the fact that it usually involves your kids and her kids. While hers may be used to friends floating in and out of their lives, yours may not be.

4. The Issue Queen

Hey, you have 3,000 bumper stickers on your vehicle and always wear slogan t-shirts and you care and you are engaged and we understand that. But do not accost me in the parking lot about your issue or candidate. Do not assume we are on the same page. And even if we are, leave me alone - if I wanted to be an issue queen, I would be and I am NOT. And, if we were going to vote for your guy, we're not now. And, when we see him, we'll tell him why. Because that's fun. For Kate.

5. The Ruthless Leader

This mommy is the PTA president, troop leader, soccer coach or class mom. Not the cool kind, who make it kind of fun and has everybody over for drinks sometimes. This one loves the perceived power of her position. Which is kind of funny when you consider that about half the time, they can't pay people to take these gigs. And she is fiercely territorial of her little kingdom and ruthless to those she considers to be interlopers. She runs that damn swim team like she's Amanda from Melrose Place, plotting and scheming. This Moo Wedgie really needs to get over herself.

6. The Free Rider
This mommy is the Ruthless Leader's evil twin. She sends her kids every week but refuses to help with anything, even the lame, easy stuff. Guess what, hotshot? No one wants to break down tables and move chairs. Do you think I like going to Target and buying snacks for 30 ungrateful kids? Do I enjoy volunteering in the nursery and changing some random baby's poopers? I do not. But I do it because pulling your weight is the right thing to do. And every time you shrug it off and give some lame excuse as to why you can't help, it sends one message: "I'm too good to do my part. But since you are not as important as I am, you can do my part for me."

7. The Shameless Self-Promoter
Do you know a mommy who spends more time telling people about her volunteer work than she spends actually doing volunteer work? Who drops little nuggets into every conversation about how awesome she is? Things like "When I was student in London..." or "I taught competitive water-skiing for years" or "I'm on several Boards right now. I keep saying no and they just keeping asking!" At a certain point, you have to ask yourself - is this woman full of herself or full of crap?

We have dealt with this kind of mommy. What she doesn't realize is that she is not perfect, her kids are not perfect and she is being a tool. Once she slows down and stops trying to impress everyone, we're more than willing to split a bottle of Charles Shaw with her.

9. The Sad Sack

This mommy is always struggling. She feels terrible and everything is so hard. We've all been there. But the difference between the Sad Sack and everyone else is that hers is a constant state. We've observed that there are two kinds of people that are high-drama: (1) those that are always creating drama in order to get attention and sympathy and (2) those that have drama constantly thrust upon them. Those that fall into the second category are getting divorced, are sick, have special needs kids, a deployed spouse, are caring for an aging parent, have suffered a loss, and they tend to have both a good sense of humor and a good attitude. On the occasions when they don't - well, who can blame them? Pour another glass, sisters, tomorrow is a new day. For the first group - be careful - you go courting drama and some day you might really get it.
[This is sort of me. If I could just get some damn sleep I would be fine. - Lydia]

10. The Straw that Stirs The Sh*t

The sh*t stirring mommy knows things. Again, there are two kinds. (1) the Machiavellian type - strategic in how she dispenses her collected intelligence data. Then sits back and watches as people react, silently cackling an evil laugh. (2) The Unintentional Sh*t-Stirrer - This mommy may be a real sweetie, but she is clueless. Basically, she has no filter. And she needs one. Both are dangerous, but the filter-less one is worse because you never what she'll say, who'll she say it to or when she'll say it. God love her.

Being a mommy simultaneously offers you the highest highs and lowest lows that you can experience. And because it's our job to take care of everything and everyone, often there is no one to take care of us. That's where our mommy friends come in. They understand that hysterical, bordering-on-crazy laughing or heart-broken sobs or truly inappropriate humor or accidentally drinking an entire bottle of wine are all perfectly appropriate responses to life's little bumps. And they don't judge. And you find yourself feeling better. And you realize how lucky you are to be surrounded by mommies who get it. And keying the cars of the moms who don't. But fear not, you wielders-of-paint-destructive-techniques...they'll find a way to blame the world for it anyway...they you can sit back and cackle. [Editor's Note: Kate is #10 - can you tell???]

xo, Lydia and Kate

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  1. Dear Lydia & Kate,
    I found it amazingly sad that I am #9. The sad sack...however going down your list of sadness I found something even more sad. I have 4 of the sad woes...special needs kid, husbandaka (ASS) was deployed 2 years now divorcing.. but the saddest of them all you forgot to mention..teenagers. The ungrateful love vampires. I have 3. But ironicly the ass I am divorcing intials E.OR sad sack ass #9...thank you ladies for the laughs. You rock!

  2. OMG! I had a mom on my son's hockey team last year that I really.....and I mean REALLY want to send this letter to. But instead I'll just send it telepathically & pretend I get to see the disgust on her face. Wench. Y'all kick a$$ & I love it!

  3. Too funny, and true. I sent this to my stepmother, who's fantastic, because several of the mommies sounded like her boss! Thanks!

  4. I may come close to #4 BUT only because I have 5 magnets on my car. I don't go around telling people how to vote -- they can just read my van. LOL! no, seriously, this was funny! Good collaboration!

  5. I have one to add: The I Have No Life Mommy.

    She has given up any semblance of a normal non-mommy life because of her kids. She turns down a once in a lifetime opportunity to free front row tickets to (insert favorite band, concert, play, etc here) because her mother is out of town and she refuses to let anyone else babysit her kids. When asked how her week long vacation at the beach was, she replies that she is so worn out because she HAD to play with the kids every second. Ummm, you had 3, therefore they have built-in playmates. Grab a fruity drink and that vampire novel and go sit under the umbrella! She also is the type to go by McDonalds on the way to a family friendly BBQ because "my kids don't eat that". Honey, it's not poison and they won't starve. Please allow your kids to try something besides chicken nuggets and cheese pizza. She is the over-acheiver volunteer, there for any and all field trips and has tendencies towards #5 and #8 behavior. All this girl really needs is to be kidnapped and taken on a girls weekend so she can remember that there IS life outside of mommyhood and that yes, your kids will still be alive and well when you return.

  6. I run into Mommy types 1-10 all day every day! At school, at church, at dance class, everywhere - especially "Perfect Mommy". My question is this - how do you root out the "normal" Mommies? We need to come up with a badge, a hi sign, SOMETHING to identify ourselves to others, cuz in my little corner of the world, it ain't happening! And I'm getting tired of drinking my Target Box-O-Wine by myself!

  7. Yeah!! :) Looove it!

    Kalen, you are so right. I used to be friends with a Moo Wedgie, the no-life version. I realized the friendship was over the day I asked her, "So, who were you before you were a church member, wife and mother," and got, "looking for the right church, husband and children and researching for my future roles." Yup. It was over. I don't want to be friends with anyone who is either humorless or 1 dimensional.

  8. That was hilarious! And a bit scary, since I've been lucky enough to stay in the house and not make funs until now my eldest is in pre-kindergarten. Making mommy friends seems a little more drama filled now.

  9. Crazy sounds so much better with a clever label! Love your work, ladies!

  10. Thank you for pointing out in your sad sack label that most of us with special needs kids have a good sense of humor and good attitude! I have a little girl with Downs and not only has she brought out my sense of humor, but she is pretty darn funny herself. Ladies, I love your blog. Keep up the good work :)

  11. This made me chuckle. For real. And I'm a sad sack these days thanks to a 5 month old who won't sleep! The list is priceless. I think I might be seven or eight of these... perhaps that's a clue that I should seek professional help. Love the blog! Will add it to the list of reads!

  12. As someone who isn't a Mommy yet but is married and VERY well into her 30's, I see these women all the time- Mommies or not. What is it about women post-college? The good ones are gems. Is "The Perfect Mommy(friend)" the one who is always trying to fix you- especially so she can tell you how she did things and her way was perfect? I hate that woman. Especially when she asks me why I don't have kids yet. I don't care if you've known me for 15 years- that sh!t just ain't your business unless I say I want to talk to you about it. Is this a new type of friend/mommy? Grr. Pass me the bottle of wine.

  13. Dear Ladies:

    I have just spent the entire work day (half already...plan to spend the rest of it) reading your wonderful, hilarious, SPOT-ON-BLOG!!! I am an adoptive single mother in the Land of Married Perfect Stay At Home Moms. There are days they make me sick. Thankfully I found some other women who, though married, are basically single moms due to having Husbands Who Do Nothing and Have Been Asked to Leave the Home. I've been sharing your blog with them and plan to go directly to Target and find that damn box of wine!! I've been getting my Pinot Grigio at the QT gas station near my son's daycare but the T-Box looks like a better deal!

  14. I gave up on having other Mommy's as friends a long time ago...

  15. That is Avada Kedavra.

    A phrase that should become part of popular vernacular.

  16. I am a bit #9, but try to hide it. VERY #10, but unintentional sh*t stirrer. I try HARD to manage my tongue, and for months, I am good...but sometimes I relax around people I trust (which is a very small group) and I say things I shouldn't. (shame-faced)

    I don't devulge other mommy friends deep secrets...but I let things slip about my own homelife...and then it gets back to my husband and the sh*t hits the fan...

  17. The scary thing is I know a couple Pedanticas personally...and a MALE who embodies EVERY SINGLE TRAIT in this blog on his own...and NO, I wasn't married to him at any of my friends is.... o.O




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