Park Moms: A rant of sorts

Earlier this week, I took the kids to one of the outdoor play areas in town. The kind with AstroTurf and big fake animals and tunnels and stuff. I normally stay far, far away from those things because they just look like they’re crawling with poop and snot viruses. I swear the one at our mall has brown squiggly lines floating up in the air above it, indicating there’s a large quantity of smelly things in the vicinity. The one I took the kids to never seems to be overrun with 8,000 kids at one time, especially on a weekday morning, so I figured it was a safer option.

Now Maddie’s still two, but she’s massive. Everyone thinks she’s at least 4, so a lot of times other kids will expect her to understand them and go along with what they’re doing. She usually just stands there with a smile and says something like, “I have Tinkerbell panties!” and then chases herself in a circle. The older kids will pick up on the fact that she’s not quite on their level and leave her to play by themselves. I feel bad for her, but she’ll understand sooner or later that you can’t just start talking about your panties the first time you meet someone. A girl can ruin her reputation that way, amirite ladies?

Sometimes kids leave Maddie out and sometimes they get along like long lost friends, bonding over sand or a rock. Interesting stuff. This particular day, she made friends with a group of four year old girls. They were all so sweet, it was killing me. One of the girls came up to me, told me her name and that her favorite Jamba Juice flavor is Mango-A-Go-Go. She kept coming over to check on Jack while I was holding him, making sure he wasn’t too cold. The other girls showed me their bracelets and told me what they were going to dress up as for Halloween. Such delightful kids. Their moms weren’t quite as charming though.

From across the ‘field’, the three moms were sitting on a bench. I’m not trying to gossip or be ugly here, but the best way to describe them would be pageant mom types. That’s a legit descriptor, right? Bedazzled, poufed, sprayed, lip-lined, all in a nice little tan package. While their daughters were playing with Maddie and talking to me, they were engrossed in their conversation and ignored the kids, except to scream, “I TOLD YOU TO STOP RUNNING!” every few minutes. Mango-A-Go-Go’s mom scolded her for talking to me (a stranger, which is good), but she gave me a dirty look like I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t being overly chatty with the girl because I didn’t want to give the mom any reason to worry or be weirded out (I’m very aware of those kinds of things) but good Lord, I was just answering her questions. I wasn’t prompting anything, the girl was just friendly. I really didn’t like feeling as if I was a scary stranger, especially when the moms weren’t paying them attention except to yell. I felt bad for the girls, that’s all!

When they were ready to leave, the moms stood up and turned their backs to me and walked off. I told Maddie to say goodbye to the girls and they waved as they left. They were kind in spite of their weirdo socially retarded moms.

This is just one example, but I find myself in these types of situations a lot. I smile at strangers and am ignored. I say “excuse me” when it’s someone else’s fault and get ignored. I try to strike up a conversation with the mother of Maddie’s new playmate at the park and don’t get any response. I know, poor me, boohoo, but REALLY? Why are moms so freaking rude?? Aren’t you supposed to be teaching your kids how to behave in society? I get that people have bad days and maybe I’m just too quiet for anyone to hear me when I say hello, but regardless of the reason you’re acting like a snot, your kids are watching you CONSTANTLY and pick up on every little thing. That’s a scary thought.

I’ll continue to strike up conversations with other moms at the park because sometimes you find a gem. There are just as many nice, polite moms as there are rude ones and I have so much appreciation for them. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s sick of the high school dynamic. We’re adults, let’s be nice to one another. If our three year olds can figure it out, shouldn’t we be able to as well?

End rant.

36 thoughts on “Park Moms: A rant of sorts

  1. Story of my life. My girl is pretty outgoing and she’s awesome with other people. Other people, however, are not so awesome to her. When we were at the park, this little boy came up to us to talk to my baby and I did the same thing you did. Just talked to him as his mom was IGNORING him, chomping on her cheetohs. And then she finally comes over and says “Stop bothering people. Let’s go.” and he tells his mom “but look, there’s a little baby here. I am being nice to her because she’s little. I’m like her big brother.” and the mom just looks at me and says “mhmm.” and pulls him away. I was like he just said the cutest thing! Acknowledge it and encourage him! so there’s my mini (pathetic) rant. sorry to anyone who actually reads it. hahaha.

  2. uuuh realized what a jerk I sounded like. I am not at all trying to say that my kid is better than other kids. I’m just sayin’ some kids are naturally social, some kids need encouragement. and we as parents should see to that.

  3. I have had similar situations, in my case its usually larges groups of sloppy scary moms that glare at me, at the ZOO, like I am on their territory its really ridiculous. I think in my case I live in a town (MOVING SOON!) where people in general just suck, haha.
    Hang in there! If I was in the park I’d totally be your friend and let you converse with my child, LOL!

  4. That has happened to me too… and I just have my head held high– because really, they are miserable and want you to feel their misery because you are a happy and pleasant mama.

    I used to get the moms (in an affluent city where we used to live) with the extra-expensive strollers and super nice clothes glare at me. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe cuz I was playing with my kids. Happy? Smiling as I chased them down and made them laugh. ??

    Or what about the bullies at the playground? The ones, where when they are bullying some kid, you look around to see if a parent is gunna come running. There is no parent. And then as they are about to leave, you see them and their response is “COME ON!!! Let’s GO!”

  5. YESSS… this happens all the time. And you’re right, the diamonds in the rough are the only reason I keep being nice and attempting to make “mom talk” at the park. I’ve found the parks in my immediate neighborhood are much more friendly than the play area at the mall. (I know, its gross… but the meltdown if I don’t stop is so embarrassing. AND its right in front of Macy’s so I cannot avoid it.) Over all Temecula is good, but then you come across a mom who is basically a horrible person (yes, I can tell this by 3 minutes of watching her) and you just know her kid is going to end up like that too.

    For the record, I’d totally talk to you at a park. I’d only be a little intimated because you’re so dang pretty. And skinny.

  6. It’s so true…some people just never get out of HS and their cliques!! They probably aren’t anyone you would want to hold a conversation with anyways, if they are all snotty and such!!

  7. Did you copy and paste this from my life experience journal that’s underneath my mattress? Sometimes when I say sorry for someone being in my way..and they don’t say anything and lady hormone wants to come out and strangle someone!! And do I look like white trash? Because moms are rude to me too. But it’s obviously because your pretty and am I talking too much?

  8. Well, at least there are moms taking their own children to the park where you live. I get ignored by the Ukrainian, Russian and Hispanic nannies.

  9. Preach it girl. Seriously there are some strange ones. Once my son, who is still one, was being super friendly with another little boy by the playground equipment. His mom was on the phone and pulled him away from my son, like don’t talk to him. WHAT? I went over there and said something a little too loud to the effect of “oh is my son scary or something” Some people, for real!

  10. I agree it’s totally rude, and parents, especially, should be polite to set a good example for their children. Unfortunately, it’s not just moms who are rude. Most people in today’s society sadly lack basic manners. I think it’s because so many people in this day and age are selfish and only care about themselves and what will benefit them, they can’t even take an extra second to hold the door open or help somebody. It’s really quite sad. People need to grow up and out of their high school mentality, and act like how adults are supposed to act, and set a good example for kids.

  11. I agree 100% and admittingly, I have to keep myself in check with what vibe I’m giving off when my daughter is watching. Sometimes I don’t feel like chatting it up but I realize that L is learning from how I treat others and put on a happy face, but snotty moms make it that much harder. I’ve also found that its worst when they are in a pairing or group, it’s like they’re teamed up against you. Bleh, playground politics.

  12. YES YES YES! I worked retail until my store closed in January, and I was really appalled at how many people thought nothing of being rude to a retail worker in front of their children with no real catalyst. They’re modeling this whole act of superiority and not at all thinking of the long term effects. I think too many people see parenting as a series of short-term solutions instead of actually trying to teach their children to be incredible adults. It bums me out.

  13. This is exactly why I have given up on making new friends everytime we relocate due to the military. It just seems so pointless…we’re not anywhere long enough for me to take the year or more to get into the ‘inner circle’ before we turn around and leave again. And the few times I have found friends quickly it came back to bite me in the tush seemingly overnight. Sadly, highschool drama BS is running rampant with military wives so I just try to stay away. It’s sad but I’d much rather deal with being friendless at a particular base than to have to worry about the drama that comes with moms. And the experiences I’ve had with the drama mommas definitely rubs off on their kids. I remember telling my hubby one time that so & so was very controlling and then later that day one of my boys came home and said that so & so’s daughter was so bossy! It’s really sad that people don’t realize they’re examples for their children, and then wonder why their kids act the way they do.

  14. I totally feel your pain sister!!! It IS rude and hello, I left that in high school too. It’s ridiculous and sad for the kids who have to see it. You’re a great mom, obviously and your kids will reflect that. Stay strong girlfriend!

  15. My mom sent me the link to this post on facebook, because she and I were having a similar conversation the other day. I think some people are just socially awkward–that’s what I tell myself anyway. But it’s good to hear that other moms experience the same thing, because it helps to not take it personally.

    If we met at the disease-infested park, I would totally talk to you.

    Ok, that came out wrong, but you know what I mean ;)

  16. Morgan: I just want to say you’re so adorable and I always enjoy your posts, no matter WHAT they are about!! You have such a good sense of humor! I love that you are a kind caring person, don’t ever change :)
    Those tan fake rude moms don’t have NOTHIN on you!! ]\

    and, I hope you keep blogging forever because I love it!
    p.s. haven’t gone vegan JUST yet but I am GOING to, I promise!! you are an inspiration :)

  17. This is the same exact thing I’ve noticed, I recently told Todd I’m clearly not going to find any moms my age around because it’s almost like worst than high school!

    We’re you at Todd Beamer park? I seriously have the same gross fear of icky parks!

  18. oh man. i SO wish we lived closer. we could rock those playgrounds. I’d pouf your hair so high, those moms would be green with envy! haha

    (also, i have lots of anti-bacterial spray.)

    anyway i totally get what you’re saying. even though GG is only 5 months, i’ve already experienced the rude mommy situation. wtf, yo. let’s all just get along.

  19. Oh, my, this is quite distressing! I’m so disturbed by the lack of civility in today’s world.

    I was not lucky enough to be a mom, but I’m going to pull out my big sister chops on this one. I think the problem is that this type of behavior catches us off guard – as well it should! After all, we, being the all-gracious and benevolent ladies that we are, would never behave this way. Unfortunately, however, when we don’t expect a certain situation, we’re not prepared to handle it.

    So what would you think of getting ready for next time? Let’s think of some ways we can prevent the nastiness, and ways to cope with it if it does come up and bite us again.

    How about being assertive? When the nasty mom comes up, introduce yourself and your child in a friendly manner, and add a comment or question. For example, “Hi (big, big smile), I’m Di, and this is little Harry. Your little boy is sooo adorable; is he always this interested in babies?”

    Or you might try bringing a snack, and taking it over to share with everyone, introducing yourself and talking about the children to get things rolling.

    It’s sad that we have to make these efforts, but maybe we can model good behavior to these rude women and help them learn how to play nice.

    As always, I think WWMMD? — that’s what would Miss Melanie do. That’s Miss Melanie, from Gone With the Wind (what! you haven’t seen it? quick, go rent it. NOW.)

    Lots of love and a big ole “wave” from Cape Cod
    to all you wonderful young mommies,
    Miss Judith Ann

  20. I have a park very close to my house that I avoid for the same reasons. The uppity moms who sit and gossip while their kids are ignored. They basically stop short of pointing and staring at the moms who are actually interacting and playing with their kids. And I’m not sure who is worse, those moms or the kids who are pushing and shoving and acting up since they know that their moms are clearly not paying attention.

  21. Just have to say at first I read “pageant moms” as “pregnant moms” and I was all, huh???
    Anyway, Mooch started kindergarten this year and the moms are super clique-y. Last night was curriculum night at her school and I didn’t know anyone there. I saw a mom who I thought I recognized and went over and said hi, and she looked at me like I had 2 heads and walked away. TOTALLY feel your pain.

  22. Ugh, it doesn’t get any better once they get into school. Big is in 1st grade, and I do not know ANY of the parents. He has several kindy friends in his class, and even attempting to say hello to those parents elicits nothing more than a blank stare and a nice view of their rear as they turn and immediately FB about the “person” at so-and-so’s school who just thought she could start talking….

    Of course, the other two are still in daycare, but I only know a few of those parents because:
    a) I work with them and/or
    b) our kids have been in the same class since they were 3 months old and they are 4 now, so we had to meet and do birthdays/class projects/holiday parties at some point.

    I work full-time, which means I cannot devote 3 of my weekdays to being a room-parent. I donate goodies, I chaperone field trips, I am a member of the PTA, I volunteer for school stuff that needs help. BUT, since I am not IN his classroom BEING a room-parent, I am shunned, disparaged, made to feel less-than. It sucks sideways.

    I get it at the park too. I’ll pick up 3 kids after a full day at work, then decide to swing by the park for 30 minutes before going home to the chaos of dinner and homework time. I’m looked at as crazy because I’m still dressed for work, I’m running around, actually breaking a sweat, chasing my kids in FUN (as opposed to just yelling at them to stop being kids, which is why we came to the dang park in the first place right?) and keeping an eye on that 2-year old who is climbing the rock wall unsupervised. And that 9-year old who just pushed MY 4-year old off the monkey bars? You bet your primped, bedazzled butt I told him off!

    I’m ranting. Again. Sorry. It’s a soapbox, and I’ll step down now.

    Point being, all moms judge one another, and it’s just plain dumb. I mean, if we can’t even be civil to one another without going all Judge Judy, how can we ever make friends?

  23. I can’t say I’ve ever, ever experienced mean moms at the park or library. Apparently the midwest is a hotbed for moms who are down-to-earth and friendly. Ha. So, just move here! ;)

    Its so silly that moms would be that judgmental since we’re all sort of screwed.

    I *do* get intimated by the moms in their Lulemon and pushing their BOB strollers. I am broke and young, though, so you’ll have that. ;)

    You are a gem!

  24. The one big problem is that, even though I’ve never met you, It’s obvious from your blog that you are a warm, confident person who loves her role as wife and mother more than anything else. Well, many, many women do not feel this way…it’s not you or your daughter that’s the problem…it’s them, and someone like you only reminds them how unfulfilled and unhappy they are. I became a mom in my late 30’s and have cherished every minute of motherhood. I feel so lucky to have my children when I had thoughts that I might not. I ran into the same thing…the unhappy moms are drawn to other like moms. But don’t worry, there are plenty of moms out there like you :-)

  25. Oh I am so with you on this one! you are 100% right!
    As a parent you are the one your child learns from first and foremost. They will copy your attitudes and behavior and that is a huge responsibility.
    If we want our kids to grow up to be nice, kind, responsible adults WE as parents have to start that by BEING that ourselves. A little kindness and a smile and just some all around manners never hurt anybody!

    I try everyday to be nice to people, to smile at the cashier who has been sitting there for the WHOLE day doing the same thing for hours, everyday! I have this thing where my goal is to compliment at least one person everyday (and mean it), to smile at people and see how many smiles I get back in return, and to help someone in some kind of practical way. It is the little things that count and there is no such thing has manners, etiquette and kindness EVER being old fashioned or not needed. Treat others the way you want to be treated. So if you want to be treated like a trashy pageant mom who yells at your kids and scowls at strangers, then that is the way they want to be treated. Says a lot!
    Don’t give up, cos it’s people like you (and me) and the many others That DO try to be nice that make this ugly world a little bit better!!!!

  26. Ooooo I can so relate. It stinks. Being a miitary wife, we move a lot and friends move away so I swear I’m always on the lookout for decent people that I mesh well with. I’ve learned that some already have their “clique” and do not want to let any others in. Why are some women this way? Jerks! If they only knew how badass I was they would be a bit upset that they wrote me off.

  27. Yeah, interacting with parents in public places always feels tricky. I have had mixed experiences when meeting new kids and parents at our park.

  28. FACT: women are bitches.

    I try to remind myself that when talking to a another mom at the park/playground/pre-school drop-off, to NOT ignore the loner mom who knows no one and to try and include her in the conversation (regardless of the fact that she might be an obvious dork)….

  29. Move to the South. Seriously! You won’t have that problem. There’s truth in what they say about southern hospitality…I’ve never met a person I couldn’t strike up a conversation with or make smile, and I think that’s to be said of most other southerners as well.

  30. Oooh…. I wish you lived by me. I would love to have a conversation with you at the park. Usually it’s just me and my two little ones. I hear ya about the rude mom thing though. Bugs me too.

  31. :) Your posts make me smile. I would totally have a conversation with you in the park! I’d be the Mom chasing my one year old around because there is NO way I’d be able to keep her off the tall slide… she’s a bit fearless. For now I just have to keep her away from big toys. I bet those Moms were the jerky pageant girls or cheerleaders or something… too bad they never learned how to behave like regular people!

  32. You know what drives me nuts? When we take our 3 year old to the park and while there’s 10 kids there, we’re (my husband and I) are the only ones watching and playing with our kid! The last time we were at the “big” park, which is seriously awesome and has slides that make *me* squeal, I watched as a little girl, who had to be around the 1 year mark, wandered around, trying to figure out what to do as her mom sat on a bench and stared at her phone. This park is seriously big, with the average height of everything standing at least 15 feet in the air and the mother couldn’t have cared less that her daughter, who looked like she just learned how to walk, was wondering around up there, looking down giant slides and whatnot. I ended up watching the little girl as I was playing with my Evie because I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself if something bad happened. Why do mothers this the park is a substitute for keeping an eye on their kid? Like they can’t get hurt there?!

  33. Oh my goodness, after I read this post I thought to myself “you must go to the same parks as me”. I had a guy friend (who takes his daughter to the park) describe these women as ‘peacocks’. He said they are soriety girls who have their nannies run after the kids while they sit around in their lulu lemon and gossip about other moms. He said they give him dirty looks when he plays with his daughter, as if he isn’t supposed to be doing that!
    I’ve given up trying to make new mommy friends, to intimidating.

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