Mommy Bullying… this has got to stop.

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So another mom recently revealed to me that her five year old son was being bullied at school. I was shocked that bullying would start at such a young age, and began to wonder when and why this happens. I know bullying happens everyday to people of all ages, but it still bothered me to learn that children think that bullying is acceptable.

Later in the week, I began my usual routine of commenting on other blogs and searching out online mommies that I felt needed a little support. It didn’t take me long to notice how many awful and mean comments were coming through online sites, especially from other mothers. I think it is shameful that an adult would perform the act of bullying. The idea that mothers are bullying one another is infuriating. We are supposed to be the role models for our children, the ones our kids look up to and learn from. If you want to do a quick test for yourself, just search a story about a celebrity mommy and review the comments. It’s sickening.

So I began to look beyond the online aspect of bullying, and was appalled to see that there are just as many mommy bullies in the flesh, as there are online. I found real life stories of mothers who had been bullied by mommy cliques and been ostracized from school organizations, sports teams and religious groups by other moms. I have a friend that can’t even bear the thought of going back to work because she’ll have to deal with being judged by other mommy colleagues and talked about within social circles. Since when did we start up mommy sororities that required a seal of approval to get accepted? We’re moms… we should all be in one big freaking sorority that shares secrets and offers endless amounts of support and encouragement to one another.

When I looked up the definition of bully, there were many variations that came up but one stuck out to me. It was the one that referred to a bully as being  ‘a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people’. Cruel. This is the word that sticks with me. We all know how hard being a mom can be, whether we admit it or not. When I wrote the article on how hard being a mom is, I received an overwhelming response from moms both publicly and privately because everyone could relate. So if motherhood can be so hard, why are there moms out there picking on one another? Can’t we all use a little help and support from one another? It seems just plain cruel to knock another mom down, especially if she might already being feeling overwhelmed.

Jealousy. Competition. Judgement. I am not a mommy bully, but I have to assume that these three words might describe what fuels such a person. I just can’t understand why any mom would think it’s okay to treat someone so terrible, unless they were just so blinded by their own insecurities. I can tell you that some of my biggest fears when I meet up with new moms is that they will want to compete, that they will be judgmental and, if I’m having a really good day, they might be jealous. I am a confident strong woman and mother, yet I still sometimes fear being bullied by other mothers. I never realized what an overwhelming problem bullying has become in our society, until I recognized that I often fear being a victim.

So, getting back to the five year old that gets bullied in the schoolyard. It kind of makes me understand now why kids would think that bullying is acceptable. Children look up to adults, especially their mothers, for guidance and they learn from example. I remind myself this every day when I get out of bed, because I realize that my children look up to me. They look up to me to teach them right and wrong. They observe how I treat others, and how I am treated. If we lead by example, maybe one day there will be an end to such horrible behaviour. I’m not sure if putting an end to bullying is in the horizon, but we have to start somewhere… and ending Mommy bullying seems like a pretty good place to start.

Comments

Mommy Bullying… this has got to stop. — 13 Comments

  1. My post today is kind of along the same lines….I had an experience the other day on FB where I posted an innocent question “Am I a bad mom?” which I felt was RHETORICAL because I do not believe I am a bad mom, and some of the comments were down right snarky. It’s hard to put yourself out there only to be told by others that you’re screwing up. We are always in sync huh? 😉

    • So weird… great minds think alike!! Brutal about the snarky comments. I think you’re a great mom 😉

  2. I guess I’ve been really lucky because I’ve not been bullied by other moms. That’s terrible that some moms think it is OK to tear other moms down. You are right about bullying–if kids see their moms doing it, they will repeat it. We need to be good examples.

    • It is terrible. We should be building one another up right? All I know is that I always have two little sets of eyes watching me, and I try to remember that.

  3. Yes indeed, we are the example. And I also think we are the example for our children in the sense that we show them that other people’s words are just that…words…it’s how we react to them that is important. We can’t change other people but we can change our reactions to them.

    • Great point. Hence the phrase ‘Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will never hurt us’. I’m not sure if that’s completely true, but we can certainly be reminded to try not to let bullying overrule.

  4. An Ontario Early Years Centre that I attended has a very tight mommy clique, I was made to feel as a outcast the moment I stepped foot in the door. No hello’s, No Smiles!! No words were exchanged but the body language and looks I did receive spoke for themselves! It is unfortunate for my children because of this event I will never set foot back in that room!!! Though I am sure the proper example to set for my kid’s would be to go back and smother them all with kindness!!! Not to run and hide :-$

    • This is awful. I have totally been to mommy groups and centres where it feels like I am unwelcome. Wouldn’t it be nice if we always had the courage and determination to display for our kids. I think I would end up even more exhausted. We should all be helping one another and learning from each other… instead we’re too busy snubbing each other out.

  5. I am being bullied by another mum at school and the thought of returning after the summer break makes me feel sick… I feel broken. I don’t know what to do. I just want it to stop.

    • Hi Rachael, I’m sorry to hear you are having such a tough time at work. The best advice anyone has given me is that you can’t control a bullies actions but you have complete control over your own. Most of the time bullies are insecure with themselves, especially moms. I have always found writing very empowering. If you want to share more of your story I am always hear to listen and this community is full of non judgement moms. And remember you are a good mom!