Mommy group is a time where mommy’s can get together with their babies, talk about parenting, watch their children frolic, sing songs, get emotional support, and judge each other. I love my mommy group. The kids are adorable. The other moms are amazing. Everything was going great until one day someone tried to put me in my place, and of course a bitter passive aggressive battle ensued.
Here is what happened. Usually, when we first get to group everyone has a moment to check in, ask questions, or brag. This fateful day I happened to be complaining about The Munch and her sleeping habits. Maybe I was being dramatic, and perhaps a bit inflammatory, but I mentioned that when she wakes me up all night I sometimes hate her.
Okay. Fine. I shouldn’t have said that I hate my baby, but I was obviously exaggerating and venting to the group. It is not like I look The Munch in the eye when she wakes me up and say “Hey! Listen up baby. I HATE YOU!” I just mentioned in passing that I feel like I hate her in those moments… I guess I am sort of digging myself into a hole here. Point is, I am not saying what I said was right, but I wasn’t totally serious either.
So one of the other mommies, who is actually a stay at home daddy, spoke after me. In his monologue about how brilliant his daughter was he slyly slipped in…
“Lauren is really understanding everything we say now. I have to be really careful about what words I use, because she knows exactly what I am talking about. So when you use words like hate, they feel that energy and internalize it.”
Sigh. You have a point there. I could have been more careful with my words. But did you seriously just condescend me like that?? I was ready to spit in this guys face. Even if I could agree with what he was saying, my ego was ready to attack.
This daddy went on to talk about how offended he was by the fact that when he was looking at a parenting magazine in the doctors office, all the adds were catered to women. Pictures of the busy mom doing everything. A 15 minute monologue ensued detailing how daddies can be better nurturers than mothers, how his role as a stay at home dad is undermined by society, and how he now knows what it is like to be a minority and discriminated against.
“Well, you do realize that these magazines probably conduct market research as to who their main audience is right? If women are 95% or their readership they are obviously going to use adds that cater to the woman’s psyche. I think you are taking this way to personally and should probably look into the inception of marketing and its place in modern society. You do know that the concept of marketing was first conceived by Freud’s nephew right? You are away that there is an intentional psychological manipulation taking place? Have you ever read Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent?” I think you would learn a lot.”
I was not trying to take away that he this daddy took his speech very seriously, but what I was trying to do was undermine him like he had done me. Although I did believe everything I said, I was also well aware of how condescending I was being. It didn’t end there either, and went on and on and on for about 20 minutes. Going back and forth and back and forth. Both of us knew what were really saying to each other was …
“No, you suck…” but masked by rhetoric and semi serene faces. So now I have an enemy in mommy group who I strive to irritate and provoke. And you know what? Even though I may joke about hating my baby, she knows that I love her because I joke about that too.