Friday, July 29, 2011

The Mummy Hierarchy & The Look...

Where are you on the 'Mummy Hierarchy?'  

Have you ever given another mother 'The Look?'

You know the look I mean.  

The one where you feel just a little bit smug because they're obviously doing a far worse job than you.  
Even if you don't have kids, you may be guilty of 'The Look.'

I've done it.

I've just been reading an interesting article that I found through BlogHer  'Everybody Hates Mommy' by Lyn Harris.

In it she comments on the seemingly massive divide between childless women, other mothers in general and the new breed of super moms.

You know the mothers I mean.  

The 'stroller mafia'.

Perhaps you've seen them taking over a cafe in your  local shopping centre or hogging the footpath at your local park.

The ones whose conversations can only revolve around car seats, little Johnny's latest tooth, organic food, the gym creche and the latest model Bug a Boo.

Manicured, blow dried and driving the latest model SUV.  The ones who have their offspring enrolled in every single kindy gym, swimming class and musical program available.

I dislike the BS of the stroller mafia.

I remember sitting next to a 'perfect' looking group of mummies at McDonalds.

Their Harrisons and Coopers were rampaging in the playground.

One of them whacked another in the head and told him to 'Get out of my way you little bastard!'.

Perfect mummies looked shocked.

Harisson's mummy stood up.

"Goodness me, Harrison apologise right now!  We do NOT speak like that to other people!"

"Why not?  We do at home."


The exercising stroller group at the beach scares me too.

Lunges and Bugaboos?

* shudders *

Professional mummies who have their sh*t together often battle it out with the stay at home, sling toting, all natural super mummies.

These scare me too.

These mothers are apparently higher up on the public 'mummy' hierarchy than your average mother just trying to get through the day, dragging her kids to the playground or the shops or home from daycare.

Don't even get me started on public perception on mummies of large families.

Apparently, we are waaaay down on the list.

The looks and comments I've gotten...

'Yes, they do all have the same father...' 'Yes I do know what causes it.'

And to top it all off, apparently the mere sight of all of us installs fear and loathing into the hearts of the childless.

The ones who feel that mothers take up far more space than they're entitled to.

How dare we force our offspring on the poor unsuspecting public?

My favourite comment from the article - 
We don't need mothers to reproduce to shore up our dying populations.  Having children these days is something highly uncreative women do to fill their lives.  PERIOD.

Having kids is what uncreative women do to fill up their lives?


I think many of my creative, smart, successful friends WHO HAPPEN TO HAVE PUSHED A HUMAN BEING OUT OF THEIR VAGINA would beg to differ.


You want to know what started this?

Yesterday I got The Look.


We were on our way home from school when I remembered we were out of vegemite.

A quick detour to our local shopping centre was in order.

4 kids to the shops to grab one item.

No biggy.

Then Crazy Clarkes had to have 40% off all their Christmas crap.

So I grabbed a trolley and we stocked up.

Kids in the trolley decorated themselves with tinsel and baubles.

Jazzy found a stick pony.

You know, one of these...

That neighed when you pressed its ear.  


So that was thrown in with the purchases too.

We still had to get the vegemite.

So we hauled our festive trolley over to the supermarket.

Jazzy was galloping down the aisles on her pony, bursting into loud drunken sailor renditions of Old McDonald had a farm.


Oh and I better mention just before we'd left the house she'd done this to herself.

So ahem, yes, to the untrained eye she may have looked like a feral child gone wild.

I thought it was funny.

Child one was sent to chase her down the aisles.

Child two tried to amuse the baby by setting off a caroling Santa.

The check out chick smiled.

A mummy with one, clean, quiet child gave me the look.

The why can't you control your feral children look.

A couple in the check out queue gave me the look.

The ugh, breeders, look.

The stroller mafia at the cafe tutt-ted and sipped their lattes.

I forgot to get the vegemite.

Why can't we all just get along?

Remember it's not easy being a mother.  If it was easy, then fathers would do it.


adrienzgirl said...

Oh my friend I have so been there. I know I have given the look too. Sometimes you can't help yourself when kids are running their parents instead of the other way around.

I feel for you. I have gone many a time to a store with children covered from head to toe in marker or paint. Aye!

Sharnanigans said...

Round of applause! Great post Alex!!!
I too hate the 'stroller mafia" types and I am not one of those, nor will ever be - and in fact since becoming a mother my creativity has BLOSSOMED!

How dare they give you that look.....!!
The people that are in the 'stroller mafias' were in the equivalent before they had children - it is just a type of person I don't think it has anything to do with being a mother or not - when they have kids they just replace what other wanky thing they were talking about and trying to outedo each other about with bugga boos....
Gee long comment. But great post, it warrants lots of comments!

Daffy said...

Stroller mafia...minivan mafia...they can all stick it! There are extremes to everything and then rest of us exist in between.

Yes, I am an uncreative breeder...PROUDLY. How narrow minded...cripes! Bet my toddler has a bigger vocabulary (in TWO languages) than Ms Nonbreeder.

I'd TOTALLY gallop down the asiles with the pony too :O)

Organic Meatbag said...

I'd gladly cover myself in vegamite and run through the neighborhood screaming "Spread me on toast!!!"

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

Woo hoo - fabulous post. Here here! {Lost for words because yours were so good!} said...

Hey, when you've got four children and one of them has burst into song, there should be a round of applause as you near the checkout and that's the only reason you've drawn attention.
Some people are only comfortable if they're sanctimonious arses when faced with any other lifestyle that they don't currently embrace. Just throw them a free condom, tell them not to worry-it's not contagious and run like hell from them and their holier than thou attitudes.

Imagination said...

I really enjoyed your website! Your blog is wonderful reading. Have you heard of Danny the Dragon? One of my favorites, and worth a visit as it is the nominee for Best Children’s Picture Book of 2009!

DarNonymous said...

Is there a single Blog in the world left that didn't get spammed by 'Imagination' above?! Lets all sign their email address up to all the spam sites we can find thanks!

That quote at the end of the post was PMPL!
All so, so true.

Jewels Diva said...

So far, I don't have kids and it's down to circumstances.

But I do give women the eye when they don't control their children. The shopping centre is not a playground, don't scream. Although the mothers that stand there while their kids yell down the shop do need a swift kick up the arse.

Lene said...

I love this post...I absolutely love it! As the mother of four (yes! four!) children I get the 'look' all the time. Usually it is in relation to the sheer number of my offspring, comments like 'Don't you own a television?' is pretty standard. My answer? 'Yes, I do, but making babies is much more fun!'

I'm also on the GC and I'm amazed at how many members of the 'stroller mafia' are out there...maybe they're planning a take-over?

mixedgems said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Returning the favour. Yes, why can't we all get along?! I just have to say that it's a pity mummies can sometimes be like the grown up version of Mean Girls. I've yet to have *those* stares but my toddler has yet to throw a real tantrum in store yet. She has, however, "tattooed" herself with glee like your Jazzy. Your photo brought that memory back.

My Mummy Daze said...

Haha, I love this post.

The fact that you can see straight through everyone's facades mean you don't have to buy into it.

Know that you're a good mum, and that the seemingly perfect mums have feral days too.

It's so easy to judge a book by it's cover, isn't it?

I totally agree that mums should just stick together and stop the bitching and judgement. Motherhood is hard enough as it is!

Sarah said...

Last year I ended up buying my kids 300 candy canes. I know, don't ask (long story!) but the looks I got from other parents as I went through the checkout will always stay with me. And I try not to judge either.

Becci said...

Absolutely loved your post and laughed out loud when I saw the leg artistry. I'm in complete agreement with you and most of those above (except Jewels Diva? do you even remember being a kid?). Admire your stamina as even though I set out to have 5 kids I stopped at 2 cause I was out of steam (which reminds me, thanks for visiting my blog too!:}) Also what's with the HUGE 4WD Mercedes double parking outside school then looking down at you if you just inch up closer and closer until you can see the tramp stamp on the back of their neck? I was just curious if you had mud on your flaps (tyre ones I mean). Anyway I'm a new fan and following.

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

Well put. I especially enjoyed the photo of your little one covered from head to toe in texta. Makes me feel better about the fact that I spent the whole day in track pants with stains on them and my bad hair tied up and hidden under a cap. And I only have two children.

Quixotic said...

Great post!

I remember having to hae one of "those" mummies visit as she was the wife of a work friend of J's, yada, yada, yada.

She got all sniffy about the fact I had put a DVD on for the kids, saying, "Well, we don't really approve of TV..." I stopped the DVD and the kids channel came on, whereupon her darling little tyke proceeded to sing the entire theme of Timmy Time - word perfect.

Priceless, effing priceless!!

Daisy, Roo and Two said...

LOVE this! LOVE it! Do you mind if I link to it in future??

CRAP Mamma said...

bwahahahaha!! I had this effect on Woolies today when I only had two of my tribe with me. People just don't see the funny side of kids chucking their half-sucked, half-chewed bickies on the shopping centre floor whilst screaming 'MILKSHAKE, MILKSHAKE, MILKSHAKE' as we go past the Calci-yum flavoured milk stand. pffft to them!! Love this post x

Nmaha said...

If I ever get to meet you, instead of hiving you a 'look' I would do a full scale ' not-worthy'. Grocery shopping with one is tough. How are you brave enough to step into a store with 4! Please transfer some of that strength and fortitudey way, I'm still dithering on having another baby.

Ash said...

Oh you had me laughing out loud withe drawing tattoos and the e-i-e-i-o and the supermarket chase. I'd give you the jealous look :) I'd love to have 4, nearly 5!

Lyn said...

Well all of my children are grown up and have long left the nest. But oh how well I remember those days.
Now my youngest son was prone to do things like charging off up the supermarket aisles at the speed of light. And, when I caught up with him, he would throw himself on the floor and scream 'Don't hit me Mummy!'
Everyone would turn to look at me as though I was some kind of child beater.
I often went home with only half my shopping because I was dying of embarrassment.

Naomi Hart said...

Bless you. Hang out with Little Miss Q and I and you will feel like the most togetha motha eva. I am one of four and love my brothers so much and had such a fabulous time growing up, I'd love to grow four of my own...mama better get a move on though, I'm a decade behind my own mother!

River said...

*puts on smug hat*

MY children were always perfectly clean, perfectly well mannered and walked quietly by my side each older one holding on to the pram on either side while the baby slept peacefully through the outing.

*takes off hat*

I wish.
Reality was a little different. I had four too.

Kortney said...

Hi! I'm stopping by from the Super Stalker Sunday Hop! Thanks so much for linking up with us and stalking around! :) Be sure to come join us again next Sunday for a fun filled day of stalking! =D

Kortney's Krazy Life

Salz Food Blog said...

LMAO u just reminded me of one of my shopping trips. i got the stares from everyone while the toddler screamed the place down. one stupid lady kept telling me to smack her and she threw in some hand gestures just in case i didnt understand her after i gave her a look of are u f'ing kidding me.