I’m on my fifth kid, and I still don’t get it.
I have been the “Mommy” in “Mommy & Me” classes for years. Without exaggeration, years; I have gone through the Kubler-Ross cycle of Mommy and Me classes. Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Some classes are tedious from the adult side of things (please, God, not “Wheels on the Bus”), but once you get the hang of the mothering thing, you know how to pick classes at good places where the kids will be stimulated and have fun. So, as they say in another context, It Gets Better.
The thing I don’t get and never have and never will: The Rude Moms. You know the ones–the ones to whom you say, “Hi!” and they give you a grudging hello, or maybe just a nod. Then they deliberately ignore you for the rest of the class, and talk only to their friends. At best, this is awkward; at worst, if you’re in a vulnerable place when you’re being shunned, it’s downright hurtful.
Let me be plain: Here is why you should not be rude to other moms, dads, caregivers, what have you, in those Mommy & Me classes.
1. Rude is rude.
It’s not nice to be rude. Period.
2. Friends, maybe not. But friendly is necessary.
We might never become confide-in-each-other-over-coffee, go-on-summer-vacations-together kind of friends. I find that the older I get and the more kids I have, the fewer there are of those people (to say nothing of having less time in which to have them). But here’s a bright-line rule: Be Friendly To Everyone You Meet. Your kid’s teacher, your kid’s custodian, your babysitter, your fellow airplane passengers, and certainly other parents.
3. Model the behavior you want your kid to emulate.
If you want your kid to grow up to be a nice kid, the only way they are going to learn how to be nice is from you. Later in life, they will go to school and see less of you–but you, their parent, are their baseline for human behavior. If they see you being nice, they will see that that is the normal standard of human behavior and they will, eventually, rise up to it. If they see you being bitchy, well…
4. Remember: That “random mom” may come back in your life when you least expect it.
Don’t be shortsighted. When you’re in Toddler World, it seems like you’re always going to be there. But before you know it, your kid is potty trained and in elementary school, then middle school, and then…well, look who is on the soccer team and wants to know if you would do her a favor and pick up her son as well! If it isn’t Rude Mom!
Finally, last and certainly least:
5. Someone could write a blog post about what a jerk you are.
I’ve done it before and apparently needed to do it again…and that’s just me. I realize this should not be the primary deterrent to not acting like a jackass, but hey…whatever works.