By Heather O.
I was reading Parenting Magazine the other day (one of my many highly tuned avoidance strategies I utilize these days as we prepare for a move. Have I mentioned I hate moving?). There was an interesting article from the book “Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads” about what kinds of mothers there are, written by the woman who wrote the book that the movie “Mean Girls” is based on.
I’d find the link to the article if I wasn’t so tired right now, but basically the gist was that all moms fall into certain categories. And, sadly, none of them sounded particularly appealing. Also, I don’t think it really described the moms I know.
First, there’s the “Queen Bee” moms, moms who run everything, who are the neighborhood gossips, and who only let other moms be in charge of stuff when she gives her permission to do so. Also, her neighborhood gossip isn’t really gossip in her mind, because she is only telling people about other moms to say, “Poor thing”, or “How can we help such a hopeless cause?” Ok, so I actually DO know a mom like this in our neighborhood, but truly, she is the only person I know who fits such a nasty description.
There’s the “Sidekick” moms, women who suck up to the Queen Bees, “Starbucks and Sympathy” moms, women who will sympathize with you, give you comfort, and then turn on you, spreading malicious gossip that they can use to their own advantage.
Then there were the “Wannabes”, and the “Desperate Wannabees”, women who follow the Queen Bee around like drones, and gossip as well. They are the ones who get permission from the Queen Bee to plan the Boy Scout box car derby, and try to do it to perfection, just so they can outshine other moms, and even, possibly (dare to dream!) the Queen Bee herself. They are social climbers who climb the ladders by using their children’s activities. Again, what a nasty description of a mother.
There are the “Invisible” and “Outcast” moms, moms who do nothing for their child and rarely stick up for them, just because they don’t want to rock the boat or face confrontation. They’ll let their child bear the brunt of all kinds of injustices because they are too busy shrinking into the background, or they don’t fit in because their kids don’t go to the “right” school, the “right” church, etc.
“Floater” moms are the ones that are genuinely nice, can flow between groups, and are popular because they are genuinely likable. Wow, they actually exist?
And finally, there are the “Reformed Moms”, who are mostly made up of former Wannabes and Queen Bees, who realize that this kind of social grouping and cliquishness should’ve been over in high school. These and the Floater moms are the kinds of moms you want to get to know.
Give me a break. What about just plain old nice moms who are trying to do what’s best for their kids? What about just plain old involved parents who want to be a part of the community? It was a ridiculous analysis of motherhood, and it makes me want to write Parenting a letter and tell them I think they missed the boat.
I think some mothers can be cliquish, of course, but I find that for the most part, when we find some common interest with our children, or we have kids the same age, it’s easy to be friends with other moms. Ok, sometimes I think other moms are a little psycho, or I don’t like what they feed their kids, or I think they don’t discipline their child when he hits or pulls my little angel’s hair, but on the whole, I think moms mostly try to get along with other moms. This article suggested that we haven’t left behind some of those high school social tendencies that tortured us as teenagers. I disagree. I would hope that most women who are raising children are beyond that. Other thoughts about social interaction with neighborhood moms?
Maybe the mom who wrote teh article just still can’t get over losing the votes for Prom Queen.
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