My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Introduction to Mama Drama

I have officially been initiated into the world of Mama Drama.  That world where other mothers judge you and critique you based on how you perform as a mom.  And to think, I got initiated just shy of being 14 weeks pregnant, lucky me!

So this will likely be the last time I discuss the R family and the person I introduced in my first post as my best friend, PR.

For you see, I've been dumped.

It all started about 10 days ago when PR and I were chatting on IM.  She was reading my Babies R Us post, and I was squawking in her other ear (eye?) about car seats.  I was ranting about how stupid it is that car seats expire after 5 years no matter how they are used or if damage is done to them are not.  After 5 years, they are no longer safe to use.  I found this to be absurd and I was annoyed by it because it means that one of the car seats that my cousin is going to hand me down to me is over 5 years old so the money I was hoping to save there, nope, gonna have to spend it on a new one.

So PR was getting really upset about my blog post, informed me that it was completely offensive, got mad that I didn't understand why it was offensive and then generally got mad at my sense of humor.  In the midst of getting upset by the blog post, she also misinterpreted my rant about car seats.  She thought I was saying that it was stupid to buy a new car seat and that I intended to provide my kids with less than the best to save myself a few bucks and some convenience.

As best as I can figure out what she was thinking, she was upset because she thought I was calling people stupid for going to time, expense, and effort to do what's best for their kids.  And since she is someone who goes to time, expense, and effort, I was thereby calling her stupid.  Unfortunately, this was a gross misinterpretation of the text.

When it comes to the car seat rant, she just totally misunderstood what it was that I was calling stupid.  And I'm insulted that she could actually think I would put my kids at risk for the sake of a couple of bucks and some convenience.  I was doubly insulted that it didn't occur to her that I couldn't possibly mean that and ask me to clarify.  And I'm 10 times insulted that once I realized she was misinterpreting me this way, I attempted to correct her and clarify and she still didn't believe that I had no intention of strapping my kids into a death trap.

So she gives me a few flailing sentences about the offensiveness of my blog post and a few lines about how she can't see anything stupid about keeping kids safe and delivers the parting blow of "you shouldn't even bother having kids if that's the way you feel about it", logs off of IM (effectively hanging up on me) and starts the silent treatment.

On day 5, I try to give the benefit of the doubt that maybe this silent treatment isn't all about me, and I email her saying that from my perspective, I'm receiving the silent treatment but gee, I hope nothing is going on her life that's just keeping her away from the computer.  So she replies with a chit chatty email about how busy busy busy she is and all is great, la dee da.

So I reply back and ask her if she realizes what she said to me, how evil it was, and that the more time that passed, the angrier I was getting.  And if she was hoping that a cooling off period would make this discussable in the future, that strategy was backfiring because every day of silent treatment just multiplied my anger so we need to discuss this and get it over with.

So she emails my husband.  The crux of that email is that since I'm not doing cartwheels about the pregnancy, and I'm looking at all of the work coming my way rather than all the joy, and that I tend to talk about and recognize the sacrifices in my future, she can't reconcile that attitude as belonging to someone who actually wants to have a baby.  So hubby replies and very carefully outlines to her what I've gone through to try to get here, how I may have a cold exterior but that's not necessarily all that exists of me, etc etc etc.  He doesn't tell me about this exchange until a day or two later.

So on day 8, I email her again and reiterate that the passage of time is making things worse, not better, and since she's the one continuing the silent treatment, I have no power to do anything, she needs to take some action here.

Her reply is an attempt to placate me and again expresses that she doesn't understand how I could want to have children when I don't display any child appreciation behavior.  She says that she is creating some distance between us because she doesn't want to flare tempers.

So I write back with a novel.  I know, a novel from me, really?  Who'd a thunk it?

While what I really want to say is "Fuck you", I instead opt to completely opening up and just spilling my guts.  She has asked me to answer the question of why do I want to have a baby.  I tell her that I'm never going to answer that question because it's ridiculous for anyone to even be asked that question.  No one has to justify why they want to be a mommy so I'm sure as hell not going to dignify the request for that justification with a response.  But I would acknowledge the question of "Do you want to be a mom" and went into quite a bit of detail.

I talked to her about being on the pill throughout my 20's to try and teach my ovaries what to do when the time came to do it.  I talked to her about making life decisions when I was 20 years old primarily for the sake of being able to tell my own kids to try something new.  How when asked in college what we want to do with our lives in terms of our careers, when the round table got me, I said I'm going to be a mom.  How when we bought our house, we made sure we had a baby room and have refused to do anything with it for the 5 years we've been here to keep it available for kids.  How I've destroyed the one thing in my life that's precious to me (other than my husband and marriage) and that's financial security in order to get pregnant.  And if she still wasn't convinced that I wanted to be a mom, she was never going to get it.

And the response I got was "Come on Alex"  And then details about how people who want kids surround themselves with kids.  Make it a point to be around their friends kids.  Choose careers that put them in contact with kids.

Um, really?  Every person who wants to be a mom surrounds herself with kids?  Not this person.  I intend to adore my own children but no, I'm not particularly fond of other peoples.  And even so, I still get a bit of goo-goo face when I'm with her baby.  And I've offered to babysit but was told that her kid only knows his Aunty E so, no, I can't babysit.

I was admonished because I didn't treat my body like a temple after my failed IVF attempt and before the success of this one.  Yeah, I was flawed, but I did lose 15lbs in the interim, and took my metformin to prevent gestational diabetes.  My flaws were basically based on the belief that I would never actually be pregnant anyway so it didn't matter.  I'm a bit fatalistic that way.  As soon as it did matter, I started treating myself well.

So I got admonished because I don't count calories to make sure that I'm eating enough for three and I'm not monitoring my water intake as closely as she thinks I should.  For the record, I'm a fat woman.  And I'm eating plenty.  And my tastebuds have decided for me that I'm going to pretty much eat healthy because I no longer enjoy crap food.  So never in my life has NOT eating enough been an issue.  And I'm drinking plenty of water, thank you very much.

I'm doing exactly what my doctor has told me I'm supposed to do.  Chill out, don't fall and injure myself, and don't eat, smoke, or drink anything to poison myself.  The rest will happen as it needs to and he'll let me know when things need to happen.

Did I mention that in her letter to my husband, one of my offenses was that I'm not preparing for and being proactive about childbirth?  I'm in my first trimester.  What the fuck am I supposed to be proactive about here?  The doctor said we'd discuss it and come up with plans near the end of my second trimester.  So I kind of think it's going to be dealt with and I don't need to be freaking out about it right now.

So her final email to me starts off by telling me that she should have ended our friendship a long time ago.  That there's no foundation for a real friendship and that she's only been sticking around because she's felt obligated to do so.  It goes on to list the various "bad mommy" offenses that I have committed.

And just to make sure that she's not only judging me for the bad mommy stuff, she also tells me that I've been belittling her beliefs, she believes that I have been friends with her all of these years the same way that a person enjoys a silly puppy.  Watch what the puppy will do next, and enjoy its company, but no mutual respect.  We've been best friends for about 4 years, and this is the first I'm hearing that my teasing has genuinely hurt her feelings.  I had no idea!

But that seemed like it was just tacked on at the end.  95% of her communication in all this has been about how I shouldn't bother to have kids because I hate them so much and then she just kind tacked on that little bit because she was flailing for some excuse to be hating me that wasn't so damned ridiculous.

I don't have a whole lotta friends.  I'm an ornery, closed-off, snarky individual and fairly unlikeable.  I know this.  It's who I am.  It's not a fact that thrills me, but at least I'm not blind to it.  Those that choose to get past that exterior and get to know me are greatly rewarded with loyalty, kindness, and someone who will always be there for them.  She was family to me.  She got to know me, at least I thought she knew me, and I regarded her as family.

But now I've been dumped.  All communication cut off, unfriended on facebook the whole nine yards.  And as much as I wanted to reply with a prideful "fuck you", my last email to her admitted my devastation and that she hurt me as much as a person can be hurt.

If I've hurt her feelings in the past, it was unintentional.  Friendly barbs and teasing that touched a nerve I didn't know was there.  But this capacity for cruelty on her part just shocks me to the core.  Her whole persona is about acceptance, and being nice to everyone no matter what their eccentricity, and her husband and I even joked a month ago about how if she has a flaw, it's that she's too accepting of everyone without discrimination.

She fooled me.  I sincerely believed she didn't have a mean bone in her body.  And then overnight, after 4 years of almost daily interaction and friendship, she flipped a bitch switch, and delivered every cruel blow she could think of and pushed every insecurity button I have.  And not only am I hurt by her actions, but I feel like a total ass on top of it for ever trusting her and letting her in in the first place.

So, that's my first experience with a Mommyer Than Thou personality, and it hit me outta left field.  If this is what mommy friends are like, fuck it.  Don't need 'em.


  1. A true friend accepts you and appreciates you for your differences, they don't expect you to always have the same thoughts and beliefs as they do. A true friend will talk things through, not let it fester. A true friend would NEVER discuss problems with the friendship with your husband; that's probably the most insulting thing of all! I'm sorry that you gave your friendship and trust to this person because she is obviously so wrapped up in her own perceptions of the world and motherhood that she can't see we aren't all Stepford mothers. I hope you find a mommy friend that believes, like a normal person, that people still have lives beyond their children. She'll never survive the empty nest.

  2. Ah, welcome to the world of mommier-than-thou. I'll tell you one thing I've learned. Children with cantankerous moms like you, Alex, grow into the most delightfully independent, headstrong, WONDERFUL people (I know from experience). You'll be a GREAT mom!

  3. I really feel for you. I know what it's like to be convinced that someone is awesome, let them have prime real estate in your heart, and then they go and blow up the whole property leaving a smoking crater where a lot of love once was. All I can say is, it's not your fault. She wasn't acting like a real friend.

  4. You are right to let her go. She obviously wasn't interested in being friends with you, all she wanted was to judge you. I'm sorry that you lost who you had thought for 4 years was a friend, but it looks like good riddance.

    I have a theory about the car seat thing though. I think that with all of the heat fluctuations, particularly in the summer, the plastic gets compromised. I had a plastic earring rack in my husband's truck for a couple of days, and it warped. So it wouldn't surprise me if that's the case with the car seats. Just a guess though.

  5. Agh! This why I'm not in the PTA at school. Mommier-Than-Thou continues with zest in elementary school. Your approach to motherhood is much like mine. Yes you need to mourn the loss of your ability to do what you please. Hell, I miss living alone! It doesn't mean your not excited to be a mom but its a huge change in a persons life We don't have to be martyrs to BE GOOD MOMS. Wanting to save a buck by using an inherited car seat(even though you cant due to expiration) isn't a sin! My kids didn't have brand name crap and they turned out fine so far They grow out of baby stuff so quickly anyway. Save it for when they are older and want American Girl dolls and Nintedo DSI...Sorry to write a novel in addition to your own, but you need to feel supported whilst pregnant. Good riddance of that "friend".

  6. I may get flack for this but my baby is in an infant carseat that is almost 6yrs old. I, too, have heard of the 5yr rule. Here is my stand on it. The car seat is an infant one; not one that permanently stays in the van. It gets hauled inside the house and that is where it mainly stays. The car seat was first used (brand new) 5-1/2 yrs ago and was used for 7 months. I was the only owner of it and know exactly how the car seat was treated. Nothing has been comprimised with it, wasn't in accidents, cleaned up when needed, wasn't baking in the heat of the car, etc. When it was being stored for 4+yrs, it was in a dark closet in the extreme heat or light conditions there. I say, use common sense and good judgement. I have nothing against the buying of a new car seat but when you know exactly how a used one was used and the conditions it was in, Use it!

  7. Hey Elizabeth - No judgments here. Someone did mention the idea of plastic fatigue to me so you might want to learn a little more about it just to make sure the car seat is still safe. But since yours is treated especially gently and hasn't sat through major heat fluctuations, I'm going to guess it's fine.

    We are still going to accept the hand me down car seat by the way. It's about 4 years old so still within the safety period. We're going to buy brand new ones for my car (the primary childcare car) and put any hand me downs in either my husbands car or my parents car since the kids will very rarely be in either of those.


Please share your thoughts! It makes me feel like I have friends.