Mom friends come in all types. We learn to put up with, perhaps, more quirks because being best friends with a toddler gets boring, even though we love the cute little buggers. We need playdates to keep our sanity. We also need other moms to help us with carpool rides when we have a dentist appointment. Having someone to talk to who doesn’t just talk about “Minecraft” doesn’t hurt either. As our kids navigate through life, we start to realize that every mom has in her arsenal the same handful of mom friends who aggravate the crock-pot stew out of her. But she can’t seem to let any of them go. I wonder which one I am.
If you’re lucky, The Flake returns your texts hours after you needed her to, but more often, it’s days, or sometimes not at all. It’s not like you actually needed her to pick-up the kids that time you texted with the words, “help,” and “emergency.” Perhaps you were just exaggerating. You’re not even sure why you bother trying, except that she’s like a will-o’-the-wisp. The few times you’ve netted her, she’s not only been amazing to behold, but her near superhuman rescues and pleasant company keep her elevated, in your mind, as a non-disaster. It’s hard to write off The Flake entirely because she’s so darn pleasant to be around – with her schoolgirl giggles, smiles, and gregarious conversation – that it’s possible to believe that she’s entirely oblivious to her own flakiness. Aren’t we all ignorant to our own faults?
The Fun-Mom a.k.a. The Noisemaker
Fun Mom’s kids can be found outside on any given school night, playing whatever is loudest until well past 10 o’clock. Fun Mom has a full drum kit in her garage because she believes in the creative genius of her angels, despite the fact that they have no experience and no lessons. Blowing off the steam of frustration because they have not instantly become the next Keith Moon or Ringo Starr is easy for Fun Mom’s children, because they can tear off to their trampoline and take turns shrieking about whose turn it is to play the screaming game. Fun Mom’s front yard is so full of skateboards, bikes, ramps, and kid flotsam that it looks like a screen shot from “Sanford and Son.” Sometimes, you feel like a prison warden mom for having infinitely more rules and far more order than Fun Mom. But then you realize that you spend half the day in your pajamas, and it’s all about perspective.
The Dinner Dumper
Everyone is happily playing outside, but somehow, when handfuls of rocks need washing or there are lizards to show off, your door is the one that swings open. Piles of boys clamber into your kitchen, to use your sink. Once they’re in, they never go back out. And they’re like an infestation – they multiply. Two turns into four, and so on. You may have only birthed one, but by dinnertime, you have five boys circled around your table, and when they say, “Do you always eat your dinner at a table?” you take pity on them, text their mother(s) so there’s no worry, and scoop out some potatoes before you realize this is the third time this week. Before you know it, you’re buying extra meat, extra snacks, and even accommodating allergies and gluten-free in your cooking, just in case.
The Support-My-Small-Business Mom
There’s nothing like women helping women achieve their goals. Brick and mortar powerhouses, online offices, or legitimate new ideas are what make the world turn, especially when run by take-charge women. But taking advantage of your playdate position to shill stretch pants for someone else’s conglomerate isn’t a small business. It’s multi-level marketing, dressed up as wine and cheese and a night away from the kids, and worse, as “supporting moms.” It doesn’t matter how great you think your product is, or how different you think your company’s approach is. It’s still taking advantage of your friends and milking them for your benefit. Asking mom friends to buy nail stickers so you can have pocket money isn’t supporting one another’s businesses; it’s the same 20 dollars changing hands, round-robin, as the next mom sells you kitchen products, and the next Tupperware.
The New Thing Mom
New-Thing Mom just read that gluten is poisoning her baby and that 250 percent of Americans are gluten-intolerant. Never mind that that’s impossible. It’s true because she read it. It’s why he has ADHD. Last year, she read that red dye caused both hyperactivity and cancer of the retina and toe-nails. Before that, it was Monsanto killing us all, slowly and deliberately. She also heard about how vaccines cause autism, and even if they don’t, there’s antifreeze in them. Have you heard? Do you want to try a cayenne cleanse with her? She says it will make you feel fantastic and invigorated. She says you can be toilet-texting-buddies while you have the runs! She also just heard that fluoride is bad for you, so she’s going to do some research. But her fluoride-free toothpaste is definitely not the reason that her kid had eight cavities at his last checkup. Thank goodness for the University of Google, right? When she goes back to school, after the kiddies are all grown, she is totally going to study essential oils.
Judge Judy Mom
We’re all Judge Judy Mom. We are the only ones who do things the right way. We are the only ones who raise smart, well-behaved children, and if other moms did it our way, or just a little bit more like our way, things would be better. We lie and tell ourselves this isn’t true – that all kids are unique and all parenting styles are unique – but it is true. In our hearts, we wish that The Flake would get her act together. We know that if it were our house, Fun Mom’s yard would be cleaned up and there’d be a schedule for band practice. We would never shill to our friends like Support-My-Small-Business Mom, and we’d never be so gullible to fall for any of the things New Thing Mom does. But, we aren’t those people. We’re us. We do something else that annoys those moms. Whatever it is, we can’t see it, because we’re sitting on the outside of them, and the inside of us. So, be patient, kind, and accepting with your community of moms. No matter how frustrating mom friends can be, we’re all we have in this journey of raising our little bits of the future.