Today I noticed a few posts going about about the “Mommy Club”. I stumbled across Stacey’s post and then managed to make the link to Melinda’s post in my tired brain. I recommend you give them both a read so you’ll understand what I’m on about.
While I can completely relate to how Stacey feels, I don’t think it is done intentionally to make anyone else feel inadequate. Feelings of inadequacy go hand in hand with motherhood. I feel inadequate all the time. I do think that Twitter fuels these feelings greatly, but I am certain it is because of the way I internalise and interpret these postings and has nothing to do with the people posting whatever it is at the time. I pegged a while ago that people cannot possibly have the fantastic and perfect lives I see on Facebook. Personally I am very picky about what I post. I don’t always post moonshine and roses, but I often hold back bad things
and photos with double chins. If Rudi and I are fighting I’ll often be tempted to fire off a scathing tweet, but I often end up deleting and not posting it at all. These nip-tucks on my posts probably alter the perception the readers of such have of my life. I am sure almost everybody does it. Sarah (one of my best friends) told me the other day I’m a great mother. I didn’t comprehend the statement. Sarah isn’t a mother yet and she obviously has NO idea what a good mom is (this is what I tell myself). I then started to tell her about all the mothers out there in the bloggersphere and Twitter world that make amazing cakes and rainbow jelly (RAINBOW JELLY!) for their kids’ birthdays. They make play dough for them, do arts and crafts and a multitude of other things. I haven’t managed to bake a birthday cake yet. I still haven’t figured out rainbow jelly (I even googled to show her photos). I probably wasn’t half as nurturing and did she know I just couldn’t manage to breastfeed? What on earth is she talking about? A good mom. Ha.
The lives of these Johannesburg mothers certainly do seem fabulous and glamorous. I am sure that their lives are wonderful, but not without poo, pain and problems. Another thing I learnt a while ago is that even the hot chicks get cheated on, dumped and treated like crap. All my life I assumed that beautiful, skinny girls were put on pedestals and treated like queens. No guy would mess around something so great once they got their hands on it, right? Wrong. Just because I have self esteem issues and do not love myself as I should, doesn’t mean someone else is better off than me because they fit into the mould society has created. I think these moms are doing exactly what I am doing. They are sharing their experiences and the nice things they are able to do when they get the chance. I would do exactly the same. I really don’t think that they are trying to rub our collective noses in it. They are hanging out together at a place they like that is good for their kids and sharing it with their virtual friends. They are bloggers and tweeters. It’s what WE do.
All of this controversy raises a question for me. These mothers are clearly taking time out of their lives and creating opportunities to get together and spend time with each other. They are actively engaging, forming strong friendships and bonds and at the same time their kids are having fun together. Why is this not happening in Cape Town? Where is MY Mommy Club? Why are we not spending time together? Most of my friends do not have children. I have met a few Twitter moms, but we never really see each other anymore. I haven’t seen most of them in over a year. I haven’t even MET most of the Cape Town mothers and therefore do not really have many ‘real life’ mommy friends. Wouldn’t this be nice? I think it would be awesome to have a few moms and their kids get together somewhere. The kids can play. The moms can talk. Hell, we could even drag the dads along and turn it into a braai! Perhaps friendships will develop and I will find more people I love spending time with.
We all need camaraderie. We all need someone to listen and a shoulder to cry on. We all need someone that can relate to our joys and frustration. Mommies should support each other. It really shouldn’t be a competition. Yes, people are naturally competitive, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Am I being naive? Is it so hard to empathise instead of comparing and feeling superior? Maybe this is why it is so hard to ask for help. The fear of judgement. Where does this come from? Bugger all the condescending old ladies who tell us we’re not doing it right! We’re a new generation of mothers who have the Internet at our fingertips, instant connection should mean instant validation and support.
And now…to lighten up this post, some pictures from our breakfast at Skilpadvlei on Saturday morning:
Thank you to Willem who took these lovely shots of Babyice.