A few months ago, I signed Sofia up for the baby gym. I figured it would be a great place for LB to run around and burn off energy, while I could make some mom friends. I mean, we all know the saying about how raising a child takes a village, and you guys, I am in dire need of finding a village here.
So off we went to week 1.
As soon as we arrived, it became clear that certain moms knew each other. They were doing the whole ‘talk really loudly and discuss every weekend plan together’ thing. That’s fine, I thought, it’ll just take some time to get to know them.
But as the weeks continued, those same women continued to huddle together and push their children to interact almost exclusively with the other children of their group. On more than once occasion, I watched them steer their children away from playing with other kids they didn’t know by routing them to different parts of the gym. They sat at a table together after class and saved seats for their kids and kids they already knew. It was high school all over again, but in a passive-aggressive-cattiness kinda way.
And suddenly, it occurred to me…why did I care so much to be a part of their group anyways?
These grown, adult women were acting like mean girls. And, y’all, I don’t want any part of that. That is not who I am and that is not what I was Sofia to learn.
I want her to always be the compassionate little babe that she already is. I want her to play with all kids, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. It’s our job to teach our children the importance of inclusion and that lesson begins at home. Now when we go to the baby gym, we eat our snacks at various tables, play with all the kids, and chat with everyone — even if they are new and seem a little unsure!
For me, ‘mean-moms’ cliques won’t win. If they want to leave some people out, I’ll happily bring those people in to hang out with me instead. That’s all there is to it.