After I became a parent, I started signing up for mommy groups. Because that’s what you do, right? You have kids. It’s your responsibility to make sure those kids get to interact with other kids. Yeah?
Plus, that rare bright-sider in me thought “Hey, maybe I’ll meet somebody cool.” Then this happened:
“It’s hard to look at someone and go, ‘Hey, maybe something nice will happen!’ I know too much.”
Yeah. No. Mommy groups are actually the worst.
I’m not talking about groups of actual friends who are also moms who you hang out with. Those are people you would have hung out with whether you had kids or not. No, I’m talking about women you don’t really know but you hang out with anyway because you signed up for a mommy group through a local club or through your church or preschool.
They’re agonizing, and I refuse to ever be a part of one again. And here’s why the moms who do sign up for those groups should be happy about that:
I Hate Dating
And that’s basically what attending a mommy group is. You sit around making awkward small talk trying to “get to know each other” without ever actually learning a damn thing of value about the other person. Oh sure, maybe I find out a few things about your parenting philosophy or what you do for a living. Maybe I even know what kind of music you like. But I’m probably not going to find out what you (really) think about your parents, what kind of issues you’re having with your sister-in-law, or really what you actually think about any given topic.
I mean, I get that we can’t really get into our existential angst while our toddlers are running around doing their damnnedest to
kill themselves get into everything possible, but I’m just not too enthralled by talking about the weather or the latest kids’ show, and my whole demeanor shows it.
I Cuss. A Lot.
Unless you’re new to this blog, you already know that. (Or maybe you’re one of the whiny commenters who keeps complaining about my use of the “f word.” You’re grown women! It’s OK to say “fuck.”)
Anyway, I try to reign it in when I’m around other people’s kids, but I’m not always the best at it. The problem is that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using any word, and the notion that there are “bad” words seems ridiculous and puritanical to me. That means that I don’t care if my kid says “fuck.” Yes, you read that right: I don’t care if my 2-year-old says “fuck.” What I do care about is if she says “Fuck you” or “Fuck that” or something else that indicates disrespect. I know what you’re going to say: “But she doesn’t know when it is and isn’t appropriate to use those words!” You’re totally right. She also doesn’t know when it’s not appropriate to say “poop” or “Stop it!” or “Get out!” We have to teach her that. Teaching her not to say certain words isn’t the problem. I mean, she can make “Yes” sound like an insult.
The point is, I try my best to be respectful of boundaries that other parents have set for their kids, but since I think this particular rule is kind of silly and arbitrary, I have a hard time remembering not to do it.
I Don’t Make My Kid Share
Basically, I’m the social version of an atom bomb. I come up in your place wrecking the entire fucking program — like that I don’t make my kid share. It’s not because I think that sharing is bad, it’s just because I think forcing it is the wrong approach.
I mean, I get it. It’s nice to share, and when you are generous and kind, people like you and want to be around you. If you’re a selfish jerk who’s like “No, these are my doughnuts, and I will eat every last fucking one in front of you and enjoy that shit,” then yeah, no one’s going to want to be around you. But the point is that no one’s going to make you share. Ever. You’re a grown adult who gets to revel in your own shitty choices.
My approach to sharing is to try to show my kid empathy. Like, “Oh, you didn’t share, and that makes him sad” or “He’d probably really like to play with that. Would you like to share it so he can enjoy it, too?” Maybe it seems like a fine line. Where it becomes clear is if she refuses, I don’t make her. It’s a lesson that will take awhile to learn, so in the meantime, there are a lot of awkward moments with other parents.
I Don’t Like Your Kid
Well, I might like your kid. But I probably don’t.
Again, Louis says it best: “No, some kids suck, man. Some kids are just shitty.”
I’m not a kid lover. Maybe that seems weird coming from a parent. I like my kid. I like my friends’ kids. Outside of that bubble, I don’t like a whole lot of other kids. Kinda makes play dates awkward.
My Generally Curmudgeonly Demeanor
You know, I’m not all about saying fuck all the time and generally disliking kids and all things good in life. I mean, I make cake pops and throw Dr. Seuss baby showers. I get excited planning baby quilts in my mind. I get tickled by picking out fabrics for baby carriers. I actually have “The Lonely Goatherd” and “The Little Mermaid” soundtrack in my iTunes playlist. (And that shit was there long before I had Quinn.)
However, I still suffer from a serious case of BRF —
— and I have a generally curmudgeonly demeanor. Kinda makes it hard to bond over baby food recipes or Elmo.
Ladies, you gotta find your tribe, and for me, that just ain’t gonna happen in mommy groups.