Meet the mom bully

47 Flares Filament.io 47 Flares ×

Recently my friend Meghana who blogs at themotherhoodknot wrote a heartfelt piece on how judgmental, parents can be of other parents. I loved what she wrote and kept on thinking how often it has happened with me too. Mothers who look at my slim-framed daughter comment on what I could feed her to help her look “healthy” (read fat). How do they know that I am not feeding her all those things already? How do they know whether I even care if my daughter put on more weight? How do I make them understand that my petite little girl has enough attitude and will to go through life as a force to be reckoned with?

But is there a bigger issue involved here? Moms who just like to put down other moms (read bullying) in subtle or clear ways to feel good about themselves. The term Mom bully has been in use for a while now and although in our Indian society where comparisons are a way of life the bully moms might not be so well defined, they do exist.

 If I thought cliques and groups were done with in my school/college days, becoming a mother was a rude reminder for me.

Here are five kinds of mom bullies I have encountered so far in mommyland

 The Complan Mom : This mom is forever on the prowl for a so-called underweight child whose mother she can admonish. She knows all the milestones from a newborn to a teenager and god help you if your child missed the deadline on one of them. The weight by height chart is by heart to her and she is always weighing your child on her mental scale. 

 Mrs India Mom : She is the supermodel next door. Always turned out impeccably whether it is for a morning walk or grocery shopping. Every time she sees you in your sweatpants a shiver goes down her spine and you meekly get out of her way lest she points her manicured finger at you. The brunch or coffee play date is her hangout and she will use every meeting opportunity to inform you well about the latest in fashion and beauty while you feel like the ugly duckling who never grew up into a swan.

Domestic Diva Mom: Chef extraordinaire, she has five course meals at her house every. single. day. While you toil in the kitchen trying to prepare one edible meal, she cooks up a storm with dishes whose names you don’t recognize and can’t even pronounce. Every time you invite her for lunch or dinner you have to face the condescending look when you once again bring out your trusted shahi paneer.

 IIT Mom: She has planned her child’s future and if she had her way she would plan your child’s future too. She knows the best preschools, daycare and their staff like the back of her hand. She is the one who is forever asking if your child started her phonics yet? Reading sentences?  How about the encyclopedia? She is always telling you how you have doomed your child by not enrolling him/her in back to back piano, dance, English, swimming, craft classes.

 The “Foren” mom: No, don’t get me wrong, this is no foreigner mom but a true-blue Indian mom who has either spent a few years abroad (thanks to an H1B visa) or even worse who goes for the customary summer Europe trip and brings back gerber food as souvenirs. Suddenly every thing Indian is just too stupid, whether it be co-sleeping or potty training. Never mind the fact that westerners are now embracing the Indian parenting styles with a fervor.

 Through my encounters one thing I have learnt though is the fact that mom bullying ( or parent bullying) is just like any other form of bullying. If you take it, you get more of it. I have often given an earful to those who tried to make me feel a bad mom and that is enough to deter them from making the same mistake again.

What about you? How do you deal with mom bullies?
If you have ever had a mom bully in your life , do share your experiences with me though your comments below.

On a totally different note have you entered our giveaway yet? You can win cute prizes for your child. Enter Now!!!

Related posts:

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. This is a superb read. I like the explanation of various mom types. It becomes so difficult to deal with all of these! they are true Indian moms all around us. I am glad that I am not alone, Swapna. I would rather call myself a fun mom.
    Mansi @Experimenting-mom’s recent fabulous post…2 Great Water beads Play IdeasMy Profile

    • Thanks Mansi. You are so right it can be overwhelming sometimes. And as a regular reader of your blog I will absolutely second the name “fun mom” for you. :) Do enter the giveaway going on right now you can win some cute prizes for Lil M. :)

  2. Which category do you fall under Swapna :) IIT or Indian diva..? ;)
    Nice to know about mom bullys :) nice read.
    By the way, i haven’t taken part in giveaway contest. Will do soon
    Mak’s recent fabulous post…Humane – Gentle: Part 4My Profile

    • I hope none though I think in reality all moms are a combination of these bullies but it is when one of these traits get out of hand and start to think less of others, the problem arises.

  3. Nice post!! You categorized the mom types pretty well…..totally agree with your advice on not “taking it”.
    Harshleen@BeautyTidbits’s recent fabulous post…Summer Makeup Favorites – What I’m loving right nowMy Profile

    • Thanks dear Harshleen. Yeah the first few times I met a judgemental mom it was a little difficult to ignore the comments but once I decided that I was not going to take it, I hardly ever received any attitude. :)

  4. Brilliant read! I fall in the category of the mom who is always seen in the PJ’s/shorts/ capri’s even when she goes down to pick up the kids when the van drops them home. I have no time for that manicure, pedicure or that facial. Most of the times I am aware of the ladies in the society speaking in hushed tones about the unfriendly mom I am :) My day is so packed clubbing work and the boys that I have no time for that chai and pakodas with my neighbour and it does not help that I do not drink tea! And honestly, I totally tune out when a mom starts telling me what I should be doing!
    Pratibha’s recent fabulous post…Home made facial cleansersMy Profile

    • Dear Pratibha, thanks a lot for the comment and I totally get what you are saying about being in Pjs. Sometimes a disapproving look is all it takes to make one conscious about their appearance. Even if we love to dress well at home there are times when we slip and those are exactly the times when these supermodel moms spot us. But yeah like you said who cares!!!

  5. Excellent Read….Have met one of each of that kind ha ha….Esp the IIT Moms and the Foren Moms scare me a lot :)
    jaishvats’s recent fabulous post…My first Exam in Engineering!My Profile

    • Thanks a lot dear Jayashree. Even I am scared of the “foren moms” and especially now as a blogger when I am constantly interacting with real foreign moms who appreciate the Indian parenting methods, are rediscovering co-sleeping and are trying wholesome homemade foods for their kids, it just makes me pity these kind of Indian born but blindly aping “foren moms” even more.

  6. this post is so darn true though i laughed like crazy. i know of a mom bully intimately, my mother. which is funny since she really didn’t take much interest in the care of me. her bully type isn’t listed here and she’s too “american” for it to be due to heritage. my mom will put you down about every choise you make in raising your kids and then, then she’ll gossip about it with anyone who’ll listen. sheesh.
    vanita’s recent fabulous post…Growing Dreams Into RealityMy Profile

    • Dear Vanita thanks a lot for your comment. I am glad the post made you laugh. :) I think all moms across the world face judgement from their own moms especially when it comes to child rearing. From eating habits to the clothes to the way they study everything is under scrutiny of our eagle eyed moms. :) Although mostly the comments are well meaning but yeah the kind of bullying you described is of another level though. Hugs for you. :)

  7. This is the first I hear of Mom bullies–hahaha. I remember them now–how they tortured my poor mom and of course I suffered as a consequence. “Oh she is not obedient enough” ” oh look how she cut her hair? Why did you let her?” blah blah..I think my mom is conservative because of mom bullies!
    bhavana’s recent fabulous post…Mid-Week Global Poetry Series: Purvi ShahMy Profile

    • Dear Bhavana thanks a lot for your comment. Who hasn’t been tortured by those wellmeaning aunties. Surprisingly they are almost least informed or concerned about their own children but need every bit of information and idea about other’s kids. Yeah, it is almost like putting peer pressure on other moms. :)

  8. This is defining so well the types we have all encountered, Swapna! Loved the tongue-in-cheek style and the underlying seriousness both. Lemme add another category…the Flashback Mom…who remembers in what month your child looked healthy and what month he/she looked tired or sickly and incidents related herewith :)). Thanks for crediting me for the inspiration…though you’d agree we’d all be better off without such incidents in our lives! Awesome.

    • Thanks Meg and I totally get the “flashback mom” who is always on rewind mode. As kids grow up most of us forget the small details of the various phases but these moms have made mental notes to spring on any one who cares to listen. :) Although removing such people from our lives is wishful thinking I guess ignoring them or fighting fire with fire are two options available to all of us.

  9. Dipannita says:

    Excellent blog! We all feel judged every once in a while don’t we and it particularly hurts when we are criticized for our parenting style because that is an area where we try to do our best.
    When I read your post, it makes me feel like I’m hanging out with my girlfriends :)

    I’m so scared of moving back home ‘cos I feel like in India everyone judges you ALL the time…from the neighborhood aunty, in-laws, friends, even your own parents! I never get that feeling here in US (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a foreign mom).

    Perhaps it is not even judgment but doling out advice where well meaning “Super Parents” feel their knowledge will help you the “Not So Super Parent”. But I hate getting advice when I didn’t ask for it. I’m learning to be more patient with these well-meaning advice givers, but it is hard sometimes…isn’t it?

    I’m a laidback parent and I just want my daughter to enjoy her childhood without being compared to anyone else. Everyone grows up just fine. In the end I want her to look back on her childhood as a happy time. I do hope I don’t become the foreign mom though!!

    Your daughter is precious, I’m sure you are doing a wonderful job or raising her.

    • Dear Dipannita, as far as I know you I am quite sure you will never be a foreign mom. There are plenty of Indian moms who sugarcoat comparisons, judgements and even insults in the form of so called “advice”. Probably stems from lack of respect for a person’s individuality in our culture. But like I said if you don’t take it nobody will dare give it to you.
      As parents we are all evolving and will keep doing so till the last breath of our lives and no one, especially moms should harbor any misguided guilt regarding our kids. I am really happy to hear that you are focusing on giving her a happy childhood which should always be our priority. And I am so flattered to hear that you find the voice of my blog friendly. Keep visiting girl and when you move to India we should definitely meet up. :)

  10. Great post, Swapna! The type I’ve encountered the most is the Complan Mom/Grandmom/Aunty. I often wonder if they haven’t heard of obesity or Type diabetes!! Why does a child have to be fat to be healthy?
    Fab’s recent fabulous post…Happy Birthday, Garfield!!My Profile

    • Thanks Fab, my thoughts exactly. But I think the theory is that “in childhood stuff them up with food so that they get fat and once they are around 18 start pestering them to lose weight otherwise who will marry them”. :)

  11. VERY well written Swapna! There is this another type, who thinks your brand of affection is just not good enough! So what if the child is so happy in your presence that he laughs away to glory, for her, if you are not sacrificing yourself for your child’s sake, it just is never good enough. And if the child is more attached to the father, you hear comments like: His father is better than a mother to him. Duh! They just totally enjoy proving to everyone that unless you’re eating half a meal, giving your half away to (an unwilling to eat that!) child, you’re no good……..
    Pritesh’s recent fabulous post…Who knows…….only time……….My Profile

    • Thanks dear Pritesh. The type you described is quite prevalent and I have been meaning to write a post on this phenomenon for a long while.Will do so soon. Mothers are expected to be selfless and lose their individuality for child’s sake. I don’t think that is a healthy attitude for either mom or the child. How will a child learn to value his self unless his parents show him how to.I think the way you described your child being happy in your presence sounds like bliss and what more should a mom be asked for. :)

  12. Hahaha…Thanks for writing this up! I agree the more you take the more you get! Yes these Bully Moms need to be put in their place. I had a load of “aunty-type Bully Moms” during my pregnancy who told me what to eat and what not to eat but not in a manner of concern but to show what they knew and quite rudely at that! Little did these ill-mouthed women know that I come from a household where health is of primary importance and so is every little ingredient that goes into the pot/pan as Mum was a healthcare worker. Telling them off never mattered. The rolled their tongues every little chance they got!
    Georgina’s recent fabulous post…Homemade Chilli PickleMy Profile

    • Hey Gina, having been to your blog and seen the recipes and your background, I am quite sure that health is of utmost importance to you. Good for you that you told those women off and I am not surprised that it didn’t affect them because they didnt say all this to you for your benefit or reaction but for feeling good about themselves.The best path might be ignoring such people. What do you say???

  13. hey Swapna…
    Amazing post friend. I know such bully moms who keep a stern eye on others kids. I had such a hilarious (????) experience as well. I take my daughter to swimming every summer (which is pretty common I suppose). This friend (?) of mine asks me …”dont u feel ur daughter is getting a bit dark in color due to swimming” I dont think we should let that happen..coz “Skin-colour’ is of utmost importance for a femaleeeee..and continues with series of such colour comment. Where on earth that comes from…I was so startled by this comment and this thought comes to my mind every time I take my daughter for swimming :). Why in the entire world should THAT lady bother about my daugher’s skin colour…I sure would find a TALL DARK N HANDSOME son-in-law for me..no worries gal :)..
    Praj’s recent fabulous post…Rejoice the gift of present!My Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Prajakta but yikes for your friend (really??) Who says that?? Reminds me of the stupid fairness cream ad which shows a girl who is worried that due to sports and focus on academics her skin has darkened and therefore she must use the magic potion to charm her prince charming. What a farce!! And I don’t think color should deter even a tall, fair and handsome boy from marrying a girl because if he is thinking of color then he surely doesn’t deserve her. And like you said “No worries”. Just tell her off and ask this so called friend to mind her own business. Here you are trying to help your daughter have a well-rounded personality and she is trying to make you feel guilty with this whole notion of darkness. Who needs such friends??

  14. so true….i did just that although it was much more difficult during my pregnancy (esp. being the 1st). they are bossy and just wanna prove they know it all! so ignorance is bliss in this case…i agree! hey tnx swaps..im glad u liked my blog! bless xx
    Georgina’s recent fabulous post…Homemade Chilli PickleMy Profile

  15. I loved the tongue and cheek feeling of this post. But sadly, if you are on the receiving end of a true Mom Bully – and I do mean the full definition of Bully, well- there is nothing funny about it. It can be awful. I have a small blog. No followers, but you can take a read. You can find out how awful a MomBully can be to you, your family – even your kids. This was the one part of parenting I was definitely not prepared for.
    http://www.mombully.blogspot.com

    • Hey girl, I read your blog last night and felt awful about what this mom bully has done to your life. She seems to have walked out of a badly scripted sitcom except this is your real life. I can understand what isolation does to a person and only pray to god that you don’t have to face this kind of harassment anymore. In India we are strong believers in Karma and what one sows they must reap, here in their life on earth. So don’t worry the mom bully will definitely get what’s due but for your and your kids’ sanity I think you have taken a wise decision to move. Chin up girl and one mom here is definitely praying for you. :)

  16. Hey Swapna,

    Kindly note that I have sent a mail on swapna(at)themomviews(dot)com, inviting you for a bloggers meet that is scheduled for 27th September as organized by Aviva Life insurance.

    Hope you had the chance to go through it.

    Feel free to call me in case of any queries.

    Hope to hear from you at the earliest.

    Regards,
    Megha Jamb

Trackbacks

  1. […] Just downloaded the e-book and so excited to read it. Vanita my friend, you are blessed because you are as real as one can be. Many of us would love to be as frank as you are on your blog but just don’t have the guts. You do and you are proud to be what you are. That is precisely why I love your blog and its voice. And even though I don’t have cuss words on my blog, I would never hesitate in linking up to your blog because if we are not true to ourselves then who are we? Keep going girl !! Swapna recently posted..Meet the mom bully […]

  2. […] think moms face a lot of bullying from other moms (sadly) in various aspects of parenting and breastfeeding is probably the first issue on which new […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge

47 Flares Facebook 32 Pin It Share 3 Twitter 12 Google+ 0 Filament.io 47 Flares ×