The unfortunate truth, I've found, is that mean girls, who of course "grow-up" (using this term loosely) to become mean ma'ams, don't usually experience some phenomenal metamorphosis into kind-hearted, softened souls after pregnancy. They simply turn into mean ma'ams with babies. Also know as Mean Mommies.
You'd think a woman who has not only gestated life inside of her for nine months, but has also birthed and held such a miracle in her arms for even a single moment, would be transformed by that all-encompassing love, the breadth and scope of which was wholly unknowable before, into a kinder, gentler person. This, I've found, (repeatedly) is usually not the case.
These Mean Mommies, for whatever reason, cannot let their hardheartedness be softened by their miraculous new being. Nor do they ponder that they should perhaps begin emulating the same gentle behavior with which they should want their baby to one day be treated. Instead, they continue in their mean-spirited ways, now targeting their venomous words and behavior in an entirely new social circle: The Mommyhood.
You know who I mean. Those Mommies who see parenting as a competition that only they are winning~ and fail to notice that it's a competition in which only they are participating. They openly roll their eyes at the choices you make with your baby, from what they wear to what they eat to how you transport them places. They'll make snide comments or ask demeaning questions that are explicitly geared towards making a Mommy feel badly about her specific Mommying, whist attempting to elevate their own parenting. It’s not enough for these Mean Mommies to simply differ in opinion from other Mommies, they feel compelled to put down any Mommy who doesn’t see and do things exactly their way. Some Mean Mommies, either because there's no one in their daily life to target, or because those targets don't quite fully satisfy their hunger for being nasty, will even seek out Mommies online on whom to unload their misplaced life dissatisfaction.
Anyone who needs to tear down another in an effort to feel good about oneself, is hurting. Anyone who goes out of their way to do so is really aching. People who are content with who they are needn't look outside themselves for negative validation; hoping their attempt to make someone feel “less than” will somehow make them feel like “more than.” Contented, confident and kind people just don't do that. Mommies most certainly don't, because time is limited enough to even have the opportunity to take a shower, so why waste those rare minutes seeking out someone to be nasty to instead of having a peaceful moment of Mommy me time?
Please, don't get me wrong for even a moment. Many Mommies are delightful. They’re supportive, encouraging, kind and helpful. Just LOVELY, actually. But, these are women who were that way before pregnancy and Mommyhood. It's been my experience, and that of other Mommies I know, that most mean ma'ams just morph effortlessly into Mean Mommies.
After some reflection, I’ve realized that it can only speak to a great hole and hurt in their own lives that with so little time and energy on their hands whilst caring for their precious miracle, they use it to seek out other Mommies to lash out at with unkindness, and sometimes, downright nastiness, by way of name-calling and other demeaning language. Hopefully, they will (sooner, rather than later) eventually look inside themselves to find their truth and work towards recognizing the origin of the aching in their hearts and begin their healing.
Every Mommy deserves to be her best, warmest, kindest self for her own well-being, and for her baby. Love and kindness are what they most are missing, what they most need, what's indeed right in front of them, and what their baby most needs from their loving Mommy. It can begin with even the smallest steps: Just being a little kinder every day. Firstly, to themselves.