I work in a department of 25 people. I am the only one of the 25 who does not have children. In the department, there are three units. My unit consists of me and five other women (plus my supervisor). Four of us are the same age, while the two others are 45 and 60+.
On some days, the girls at work are my best friends. They give great advice and listen to me blow off steam when I need to. They threw me a baby shower, inundated me with hundreds of dollars of hand-me-downs (including a top-of-the-line breast pump), and supported me through all of my infertility/IVF stuff.
On other days, I want to go home and crawl in bed and never talk to them again. They can so quickly become vicious, undercutting, and cruelly judgmental. They are strong, working mothers who for some reason can’t feel confident in their identities and have to constantly cut down the choices and actions of other women.
In my head I have started referring to this as the “smug mommy club”. Because even though they clearly have deep insecurities about their child rearing (as I’m sure all parents do), they act as though they always know the best thing for their child, and for everyone else’s child.
But they don’t.
These women supported me so graciously through the early, scary weeks of pregnancy. Then, they made me feel worthless for choosing cloth diapers, even though they knew nothing about modern cloth. They celebrated milestones of the pregnancy with me, but I have intentionally withheld our choice not to circumcise because I know it will make me the subject of ridicule.
The worst part is that these women are my friends. I count them among people I truly care about. Usually, they are great people. It’s just that sometimes the smug mommy switch flips on and I can’t be around them.
As much whining as I’ve done on this blog, I have gotten through almost all of this pregnancy without becoming the whiny, self-absorbed pregnant woman I used to hate. At least, I feel like I have.
I hope that means I can become a mother without unintentionally joining the smug mommy club. I want no part of that.