Ok, so is it just a Southern thing for Moms to try and upstage each other all of the time in the most random of ways? Or is this Pinterest-esque one-upping a national or even international phenomenon? It happened to me, yet again, today at my daughter’s ballet class.
Now let me emphasize that she only sees these girls once a week for an hour. They don’t all hang out…. Or go to the same schools… And the moms aren’t a very cohesive group.. We don’t really chit chat much. It’s gotten to where I leave during her class and go do something else for an hour with the other two Herdmembers I’m keeping under control. So you can imagine my shock when we arrived at ballet class today… Hurrying in as we always do because I’m never sure that they won’t be starting early.
One of the moms, who isn’t very social with the other moms, was standing at the door with her daughter and handing out goody bags overstuffed with Easter treats … Cookies, a curly straw, bracelets, plastic Easter eggs with candy inside, more candy in the bag, and the list goes on. And the bags were decorated into cute little bunnies! Goody bags for my kids’ Birthday Parties aren’t this nice. I’m actually anti-birthday party goody bags (that sounds like a political stance of some sort) but that’s an entirely different rant for another day.
While yes,it was a nice thing to do, it was out of place… And it wasn’t just me thinking this. All of the other moms were like… oh! ok! How nice…thank you. And they just kept walking.
The mom had kind of a smug look on her face as we all thanked her, too. This was unprecedented and has the effect of making all of the other moms feel like we somehow fell short… And then our kids ask us why we aren’t passing out Easter Bags for all of their Ballet friends, too?! Thanks a lot, Lady. Now I have to explain to my daughter that we aren’t obligated to buy someone else something just because they gave us something, and she’s going to look at me sadly, like a Precious Moments Doll, and say “Ok Mommy” sadly and in a disappointed voice.
Why do people like this do this crap? To prove something to their kids? To make their kids feel like they’re better than the other kids? It’s ridiculous. It’s like they’re trying to make it a new “thing”, by where ballet friends are expected to swap gifts for every occasion…. Like Gretchen Weiners in “Mean Girls” trying to make ‘fetch’ happen
I refuse to let Easter Goody Bags HAPPEN and become a thing. I’m all for giving your pursuits every edge and advantage you can, but what the hell are these women aspiring to achieve?! Queen of Mommydom? Good luck with that…. I’ll sit here with my Scotch and laugh with my friends…. And I warn you, I have an authority problem.
It’s this constant ninja-one-up-momship that drives me absolutely crazy and makes me resent the moms who do it… And it doesn’t stop at just Random Goody Bag gifting.
When I first started sending my kids to preschool, I assumed it was socially acceptable to send the “Normal” Valentines from Target that come in a box and include a small treat, like a lollipop or a tiny candy bar. I was wrong.
As I found out, Valentine Goody Bags were unspoken norm… And it was obvious that some of the moms were trying to out-do one another. Huge Bubble wands with candy AND a homemade Valentine card… Small Heart boxes of candy with a Card and a Pack of stickers… Insanity. Totally awesome for my kid to receive these things… But then he or she is left wondering if the Valentines they distributed were sub-par.
It used to make me feel like I sucked as a Mom or that I wasn’t doing enough for my kid when this would happen… But now I have realized that I just choose to invest my nonexistent time into other productive things… Like playing with my kids or… Dare I say it?! READING a book on my own!!!! That does NOT make me a slacker… It makes me a PERSON.
So here’s what I think…. That all of that over the top effort on things that really don’t matter and shouldn’t be material for competition, and RELAX! Moms everywhere will thank you…. So will your pocketbook…. AND your sanity.