7 Ways to be a Less Annoying Mom in 2014 (You're Welcome)Meredith Carroll
I’m the first to admit that I’m not a perfect mom. However, I’m quite proudly also not an annoying mom.
I mean, sure, I annoy my kids. But that’s my job. I’m not annoying to other moms, though, and for that I feel quite accomplished.
You know the kind of mom I’m talking about — the kind who brags how there’s no TV in her house because her family spends their free time studying ancient Greek in books printed in braille instead. Just for fun. Or the mom who would like to join you at the 5K race this Saturday, but she just can’t because short distances like that will interfere with the triathlon training she’s doing with her 3-year-old son, who, did you know, already got a letter from Princeton admitting him to the class of 2032?
It’s not a matter of some moms being too sensitive. Honestly, it’s not. It’s really just a matter of having moms out there who are just too annoying to be around.
Unfortunately annoying moms are a dime a dozen. In 2014, vow not to be one of them.
New Year’s Resolutions for Moms 1 of 8
You can do it!
Be Honest 2 of 8
OK, maybe your son does think broccoli is dessert. Maybe your children never fight. Yes, OK, your daughter potty-trained all by herself in just a day. Perhaps your angels really choose to volunteer to serve meals to the homeless in their spare time instead of playing with their iPhones.
But honestly? We don't believe them. Or you.
Seriously. Maybe there's a parent out there who exclusively feeds their children filtered, grass-fed and locally sourced air at every meal and they're all happy as clams (which they would never eat, of course, because bottom feeders). But it's just us here, so let's be truthful. You know you're not the perfect healthy chef and your kids are not eager vegans who are entirely content to live their lives in the service of others. It's fine to be healthy and it's also OK to be a little unhealthy sometimes.
What's not OK is you lying about it to try to boost your family's esteem in the eyes of others. You know that acting superior can possibly result in someone else feeling inferior, right? That's just not very nice. Besides, we simply don't believe you most of the time and we think it's weird that you have to go out of your way to try to make a statement that we think is not so impressive in the first place.
Enough with the Humble Brags 3 of 8
While it's entirely possible that you really and truly didn't sleep last night because you were tossing and turning with worry about where to put yet another one of your kid's trophies for excellence in (pick one or all) spelling/soccer/soo bahk do/humanity, you realize what you just did, right? In just a few sentences you came off as a total ass who seems to enjoy shameless self-promotion. Um, awesome?
Here's the thing: If you're really just proud of your kid, just say you're proud. That's cool. Saying it in a roundabout way, however — like it's a burden to have a child who is just so good — is seriously annoying.
Keep it to Yourself 4 of 8
Got some really good advice about how I should potty train my kid? You know, that kid you met just once before and kept calling her Emma instead of Emily? And your advice on how I should potty train my daughter is based on how you potty trained your son? When he was in diapers? And you say he's now 19?
OK. Got it.
Guess what? I'll pass on each and every one of your tips. But thanks anyway.
Stop Comparing Your Kids to Mine 5 of 8
When you hear a mom tell you her baby started crawling at 11 months old, you might think it's relevant for her to know that your baby rolled over an hour after exiting the womb and started crawling a few days later.
But the truth is, it's not relevant. Your kids aren't related. Children develop at different speeds. For first-time moms especially, having others compare kids just adds to the unnecessary anxiety of motherhood.
Resist the urge to compare, especially if you just know your kid is going to end up on top in the scenario. You might think you're adding something to the conversation, but all you're really doing it potentially ruining someone's day.
Think Before You Speak 6 of 8
So I tell you my child has a stomach ache and has been grabbing his ears. You tell me he's having a reaction to the flu shot he received four months ago.
Unless I missed the medical degree hanging on your wall, how comfortable are you — really — giving me medical advice? Perhaps you've been a mom longer than I have. Maybe your children get the same symptoms all the time. But do you really, really want me to avoid the doctor on the strength of your diagnosis? That's something you're really comfortable with?
Everyone has an opinion, yes. But when you have an opinion on a topic that others attended highly specialized schools in order to get a degree — medicine, psychology and education spring to mind — perhaps it's best if you think verrrrrrry carefully before offering your take on the matter. By all means — recommend a doctor, speech or occupational therapist. Beyond that, leave it to the professionals, please.
Zip It 7 of 8
Oh, do you not like how I don't care when my baby sticks his lovey in his mouth? How I don't holler at him to eat his peas with his spoon instead of his fingers? How he still uses his pacifier at night?
Guess what? I don't care what you think. Your opinion is yours. Your parenting style is different than mine. I don't agree with everything you do, either, but I know better than to open my trap every time you force your kids to kiss total strangers and tell them raisins are a healthy snack if they're organic.
Kindness Counts 8 of 8
Look, not every mom is going to be friends. For moms with kids around the same age, though, at the very least it pays to be nice. Because you're setting an example for you kids, yes. But also because your kids have the potential to be in class together for the next dozen-and-a-half-years or so, and it will be hard to avoid them.
Don't be that mom perched firmly on a pedestal with her kids at her side unless you think you're never going to need help with any future school fundraisers, class trips and team sports. Because the more annoying you are at any point with your gratuitous advice, humble brags, incessant comparisons and useless or borderline dangerous opinions, the less likely other moms will be to want to be around you, never mind help you when you might need or want it the most.
Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
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