We all the know Mom Extreme………or more than one of her type. She is beyond proud, beyond uber proud, she is telling you all about Suzy’s great grades, looks, job, college prospects, athletic ability etc, you name it, Suzy does it better!!! Mom Extreme rarely complains about Suzy(or Sam because she has uber wonderful sons too). M.E. is sly too, she doesn’t assault you with her glowing reviews of Suzy or Sam right off, she sort of worms her way into the conversation, and then she goes on and on about what her little off spring has accomplished, and my favorite zinger and deal breaker move? M.E. ends her praise fest with, oh and how did your daughter or son do on so and so, and you know what…………she is really nosy and wants to know, so she can once again remind you that her little darling did better.
Last year I ended a friendship with one such toxic mom. We met long ago when our daughters were in first grade and they were new to our town. This M.E. also had another child the same age/grade as Nick. We were thrown together by happenstance, and our kids were never best of friends, but in a smallish Catholic School, kids cross paths at birthday parties, activities, sports, you name it. I liked M.E. and her husband was one of those people that most folks just enjoyed, he was likable. They lived in a larger home, in an upscale neighborhood, and they took expensive vacations. I admit I many times had to reign in my jealousy on those fronts. But honestly I was never jealous of their children.
M.E. loved to boast of her children’s stellar grades, and I always wondered at what cost. Her oldest daughter was not socially adept, she had few friends, and had her own issues with bragging and belittling those not as “good” as she was. I was often put on the spot when asked about grades, and I tried my best to change the subject, to say, oh great for your little Suzy etc(not her real name). After a few years of getting closer, I ended the friendship, this was after some ups and downs when she believed that an adult should choose even a teen’s guest list for parties, and I did not and my daughters no longer included her girl. I had also just had enough of the comparisons and the competition and an attitude of entitlement and knowing more than others. Toxic it was, and for the most part I haven’t looked back. It was also in my favor that they moved.
Why do I write all this? I’ve recently noticed a trend in some online and local friends. I see this on facebook and in email discussions. The over the top, my child is wonderful talk. This is awful because every child is beautiful in their own way, but I find it difficult to agree, join in praise, “like” or comment on these talks. I’m very torn. I feel like some is less toxic, because I’m just not letting myself get drawn into those friendships. Then you wonder……………..is this Mom Extreme thinking I’m rude because I’m not chiming in on how smart, cute, amazing, gifted her little Suzy or Sam is?
How do you handle moms like this?
Please note, I adore my own children, and while I think they are the bomb, they are flawed little humans, and growing and changing. Teens have developing brains, and mine are very much still finding their way, so if I brag too much……….let me know, or better yet I could start blogging more about the bad days………….but who really wants to read that junk!?