I’m not a “mean mom,” just a tired one.
I recently attended a holiday party at a girlfriend’s. It was a moms night out that I really was looking forward to. These days, it takes a lot of energy to tuck the kids in, get myself out of yoga pants, and drive after dark.
When I arrived I was surprised to not know any of the other women aside from the hostess. Other mommas were gathered at tables already engaged in conversation. I immediately felt myself tense up. I began to think:
I should have stayed home.
I feel out of place.
And I’m too tired to make the effort to get to know anyone new.
Truth is— I could have easily expected those other mommas to get up and introduce themselves. Or to even invite me to sit down with them. And when they didn’t, I could have simply chosen to label them as a “mean moms” for not including me. I could have left with my feelings hurt, disappointed, and regretting I made the trek out in the first place.
But I didn’t. Because in reality, they aren’t mean moms, they’re tired moms, just like me.
Moms who wanted a night out kid free, without the work of caring for someone else. Moms who wanted to take a load off, engage in simple conversation, without the pressures of entertaining another person. Moms who simply didn’t have the energy to make a new friend that night. I don’t blame them, because I felt the same.
And it wasn’t personal.
As my perspective changed and I glanced around the room, I saw everyone was smiling. It’s as if we all made this unconscious agreement to enjoy ourselves, and our night out, without hurt feelings and without labeling each other the mean, non inclusive, snobby mom. Because in reality, we all just need the break, and not one more added responsibility of trying to impress each other.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if we all made this agreement— from here on out?
I walked over to the appetizer table, with a sigh of relief. I made myself a plate and found a seat to relax in. It was a fun night after all.
And I didn’t have to share my cheese.