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Real Housewives? Mommy Mean Girls!

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I just can't believe how catty grown women can be!

Two woman whispering and laughing and woman standing
I confess. I can't get enough of the "Real Housewives." The bitchtastic nastiness is my guilty pleasure. But recently I found myself in a real-life mean girls dilemma that left me feeling like I was back in fifth period gym.

I was at an auction at my kid's school, volunteering at one of the booths. I thought I looked pretty cute -- I actually had five minutes to put myself together in nice jeans and a shirt (read: shirt that wasn't covered with crap, dog hair or both and jeans without a hole in them). Of course, I walk into the gym -- and everyone is decked out. Like cocktail dress decked out. That's the last time I ask my kid what the dress code is!

Anyhoo, I got over it and started manning my station. I was minding my own business when I look over and see four moms, in a circle, literally looking at me, giggling and pointing. They were THOSE moms -- you know. The homecoming queens. Their kids always wear designer clothes, and they never have a hair -- or hangnail -- out of place. Teachers love them ... other parents (like me) loathe them.

At first, I thought I was being paranoid -- but I soon figured it out. They were TALKING ABOUT ME! Apparently, my ensemble was an embarrassment. I wanted to DIE. I finished out the night and left in a rush with tears in my eyes -- with my kid wondering WTF was wrong with me.

As a mature adult, I don't want to burst into tears the next time this happens to me, so I asked clinical psychologist Dr. Michelle Golland how to deal with grown-up mean girls.

Dr. Golland:
It is true there are mean moms who were most likely mean girls in high school and college. These women are insecure and feel very inadequate in other areas of their life, so they choose to feel powerful in inappropriate ways such as being a 'mean girl mom' which is really just bullying behavior. They enjoy gossiping and putting other mothers down. Worst of all, they often talk negatively about other women's children because they want to feel better about themselves.

Seek out women you genuinely like who hold similar values as you. The most important quality in adult female friendships is someone who will have your back when needed and truly wants goodness for you and your family. These are qualities the mommy mean girls simply don't posses.

Six Ways to Manage Mommy Mean Girls

1. If they gossip about someone in front of you, just remember that as soon as you walk away, you're next. Avoid that kind of person at all costs, or at least keep your guard up.

2. Ask what they were like in high school. If they talk about how they ruled the school or how "lame" the other students were, watch for the replay of that behavior. Once a mean girl, always a mean girl!

3. Try to widen your family's social circle and meet other moms you better connect with.

4. If you find yourself being "left out" and feeling bad about it, reflect on your own high school experience. Is this opening up some old wounds? Process some of those feelings with your spouse or a good girlfriend. Dealing with the past can help you move forward.

5. Indifference is your biggest weapon. Try not to care so much about what the mean moms think. They are so insecure, they want you to care. When you don't, you take away their power.

6. Always have integrity, grace and dignity. Never forget you are your child's role model for how to handle friends and bullies.





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next: You Suck at Hiding Your Feelings
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous February 26, 2009, 11:11 PM

You should have smiled and waved at them. How rude. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself. You should pitty them that they are still living in their high school days b/c their reality of here and now is obviously unfulfilling.

busymama February 27, 2009, 11:59 AM

OMG! You should have walked up to them and said, “May I help you with something? It appears you have something to say to me.” They would have had an accident in thier pants! LOVED your article, those kind of Moms need to be put in thier place! I have done it and have not problem ever doing it again! P.S. I was a homecoming queen and am NOT like that…so please try to keep an open mind
;-) I’d love to know what school that was, as I live in your area! Next time, stop them in thier tracks! You will feel so much better after.

NYCity Mama February 27, 2009, 12:18 PM

Arg. I know those moms. They live in my neighborhood…or wait, is it me who lives in their neighborhood? Anyway, yes, awful and hurtful and anger inducing. I have stopped frequenting a playground where they mingle to avoid them and avoid their being mean to my kids (which on of the was), and it was hard because while this is all happening your children are watching so you want to set a good example. Good luck to you, those “girls” are the worst.

Anonymous February 27, 2009, 12:55 PM

Who cares? You were confident when you left the house. You’re responsible for how you feel, not some weird gossipy moms!

Jilll February 27, 2009, 2:47 PM

Yeah, i would have been sent to the office for flippin them the bird.

Kristiana February 28, 2009, 1:21 AM

I know an adult bully too. It’s a family member, unfortunate;y, so I have to see her at family dinners. She verbally attacks me (like what a child bully does) and does it purposely. I don’t respond to her. I ignore her but most of the time I just want to slap her so hard.

Elizabeth February 24, 2010, 11:10 AM

You gave the best advice yet! I especially like the part where you say try not to care what they do- they want you to care. if you dont, that takes their power away.


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