Sometimes the quest for new mommy friends feels dangerously close to the search for middle school friends. It is the whole "queen bee and wannabe" syndrome redux. Sometimes it makes me want to hide out with my computer, writing to the mommies I have met through this blog. Why must women be so mean to eachother?
At first I was sheltered in my mom's groups where the women were all nice and accomodating. But then we had something in common. Out and about it is a madre comen madre world where "mommy and me" can sometimes be as isolating as a junior high cafeteria.
Last week I met "Jen." She stays at home with her children, makes their baby food, co-sleeps and believes that all mothers should do the same. I met her at the mom and baby movies. Samara was in her stroller, screaming, when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to face the hand's owner--a stout woman at least 10 years older than me, sporting a look of pity and bemused superiority. "I think she needs to be held," she said quietly while holding her own quiet child, shaking her head and gently chastising my clear incompetence. I wanted to roll my eyes and say: DUH. Instead, I smiled and thanked her, hoping for a deluded moment that she would be my friend. Instead, she launched into a litany of the things I was doing wrong. I realized she was a sniper mommy--they seem nice, but their aim is good and often pointed right at you.
Meanwhile, my gym's mommy and me exercise class is a minefield of insecurity. The last couple weeks, I have encountered "Mindy" holding court with her group of new mommy friends. A couple times I have tried to speak with her and both times, I have been either ignored or quickly dismissed. Nice. Last week we were asked what we wanted the cardio component to be. After I mentioned what I wanted, she practically led a revolt against my suggestion. " A lot of us are not in good enough shape for that," she whined, giving me the look of death while rolling her eyes at her two friends on either side of her. I flashed back to seventh grade when the local oh-so-classy bully threatened to "kill" me and scrawled "rich bitch" on my locker with a Sharpie. Jeesh. Luckily, I could spot her bangs a mile away so I had ample warning whenever she crept too close. I have not been so lucky with these sniper mommies.
I do have mommy friends I already knew, a couple wonderful women who I can take walks with, get ice cream and generally hang out with while our babies sleep. But who knew that new mommyhood was so mean. I am really hoping that as time passes, I will find more mothers who don't want to ostracize eachother and kick others when they are done. Personally, I finished with that when I was 12.