The Weird Mom
Being a mom is rough.
It’s the understatement of the century, but it’s true. The Mommy Wars, where everything is a competition, just serves to make it harder.
But I want to pinpoint the Mommy Cold War.
I’m the weird mom.
When attending things for my kids, I’m a wallflower, because I don’t want my inability to human like a normal adult to affect my kids. I’m terrible at small talk, because I will inevitably try to participate, which will in turn result in an awkward silence where people make polite noises and continue as though I’m not there.
Things are a little better once folks have acclimated to me, but the sad fact is we are tribal creatures, and I tick so many weirdo boxes. Giftie burnout? Check. Anxiety disorder? Check. Attention Deficit Disorder? Check? Atheist, nerd, trauma, don’t follow sports? Check, check, check, check. And I’m not even that far out. I can only imagine what our LGBTQIA+ moms and disabled moms have to claw through for a seat at the table, especially here in the greater Baton Rouge area just from a demographic perspective alone. The neurodivergent moms and entertainment industry moms. The moms who stray further and further from the 2.5 kids, dog, white picket fence, mid century nostalgia ideal.
And that’s a fantastic and valid lifestyle, provided everyone in it wants to be involved, but it’s not where everyone fits or even something everyone is capable of.
Becoming a mom taught me to find a well of strength I didn’t know I had, but it magnified and amplified many interpersonal issues and traumas I’ve had forever.
I’m extremely fortunate to have the access to social media which has allowed me to have a wider pool of ideas to bounce off, but I’m still extremely isolated, because I simply don’t feel welcome in so many spaces.
It’s terrifying to imagine the implications of what feels like my personal failings will model for my boys. I can know, logically, that there are complicated reasons for why we interact with each other the way we do, but that doesn’t stop the feelings of loneliness and shame. So often I can overhear confirmation of my anxieties muttered among the more socially accepted moms when they think I can’t hear. I’ve found myself not even realizing when another mom is trying to truly extend friendship to me, because I’ve become so used to being treated like an alien species that is only sought out for incredulous questions and maybe some volunteer assistance or an MLM opportunity.
I don’t like to compete.
Never have. So it becomes wildly exhausting when every interaction feels like I’m being dissected and examined. The sidelong glances and fake smiles as the other parents politely move past the interaction with me as quickly as possible are a lot more obvious than people realize. Often, I’m told this is because I’m not doing the right things, but I don’t understand why we have to meet the more socially accepted moms where they are, and they so rarely think to extend us that grace, as well.
Let’s be real, even the Coolest of Cool Moms experiences very real social anxiety and imposter syndrome. They difference is they usually have a social support network and resources the Weird Mom more often lacks.
My ask is this:
If it really doesn’t matter, can we let it go? Our kids are watching and learning. I can only model as well as I have opportunity to work with.