My husband is an idiot…
…but I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I’m allowed to say that, I guess?
When stay-at-home moms get stressed, they need to “vent.” And venting may include being disrespectful toward their partners, without judgment.
At least, that’s the message I’ve gotten in various online “Mommy Groups.”
My sister-in-law is expecting her first baby, so she’s getting her first tastes of the “mom group” culture. It’s not always a pretty sight when a bunch of bored women get together in the name of “supporting” whatever weird, thoughtless, or downright selfish thing pops into another mom’s head.
It’s literally impossible to support EVERYBODY. So–in these Mommy Groups–the support goes to the women who say/do what the administrator approves.
Anyone who asks an unpopular question or, Heaven forbid, calls out another member will quickly have her “support” revoked. (In other words, the person doing the calling-out will be called out.)
My sister-in-law had her support revoked when she called out the Husband Bashing. This commenter explained that she broke the rules:
Now, understand what’s happening here.
It’s not against the rules to say rude things about husbands, behind their backs…
But it IS against the rules to “shame” another woman, or say something that might hurt her feelings.
Here’s an official list of Group Guidelines which are very, very common.
“Drama” is another one of those words you’ll come across a lot. The women causing the so-called drama aren’t the ones making jokes about their husbands being incompetent.
The women causing the “drama” are the ones who think they’ve crossed a line.
So, once again, if a woman says something rude about her husband, where he can’t read it, that’s okay…because she needs to vent.
But, if a woman posts (direct quote) “I’m not sure I want to be part of this,” then she has broken the rules. She made the other women feel like it’s not safe to say whatever they want!
It seems the chief rule of being a Mother in America these days is: Thou Shalt Act as if Your Fellow Mothers NEVER Do Anything Wrong.
Ladies–this is why we need good, honest friends who hold us to higher standards.
(I wrote about how we actually need MORE judgment in this post, and I got a lot of unexpected “amens” for it!)
We desperately, desperately, desperately need to get out of this crazy loop where our girlfriends encourage our worst behavior, by calling it “support.” We need women who don’t let us get away with “venting” when it inevitably crosses a line into gossip or slander.
We need friends who will remind us that feeling shame or embarrassment about things we said/did in private probably means we need to change what we’re saying and doing!
That’s the kind of Supportive Mom Group I can get behind.
-Speak the truth, in love.
-Care for one another…care enough to say something that might be unpopular.
-Have thick skin, but an open mind.
What do you think? Is that too much to ask?
(*sigh*) Maybe it IS too much. Maybe our culture simply is too confused about what “bashing and shaming” mean…