Whenever a mean mom or a mean married woman throws shade my way or towards other women who don’t have kids or aren’t married, my first instinct is to clap back. I should at least be able to defend myself and other women who put up with this crap, right? Especially when the insults and negative comments are coming from different moms and wives who feel like they can say, write, post, or troll other women that aren’t in the same space of life they’re in.
I just don’t get it.
I typically don’t say anything back. I hold my peace and take the high road. With these particular groups of women, I’ve found that the root of their nastiness frequently stems from a place of insecurity, jealousy, or bitterness, so I often ignore the insults and move on. These women may be hurting about something (or multiple things) that have absolutely nothing to do with me. So as hard as it is sometimes, I try not to take their shots fired personally. But this isn’t always an easy thing to do. Some of their insults sting. The way I’ve been treated by some women from these groups has been tough too. To indicate or publicly claim that a woman isn’t a “real woman” if she doesn’t have a child or is married is an ignorant statement to make, but it’s one I’ve heard. While I’m unable to relate to a number of the personal ins and outs of being a mom or a wife, I’m still a woman. I know sacrifice. I’ve gone without. I work hard. I too have challenges, juggle multiple tasks, roles, and responsibilities, often on my own, and do so without much assistance, whining, or complaining. I also don’t envy other women who have what I don’t when it comes to children, a husband, or receiving help with tasks typically handled by men. But still. Some of the meanest moms and wives I’ve ever met feel like they can mistreat other women, talk down to them, and belittle the success of women who aren’t parents or spouses.
I could be mean back. Make jokes. And stoop to their level. But that’s not who I am or who I want to be.
Plus, I’d never want any of my happily married family members, friends, and acquaintances, including those who are terrific parents, to get hit in the crossfire of anything trivial because I reacted to someone or something beneath me. That would be foolish and reckless. I have noticed though that life has an interesting way of humbling people. A number of the married women who have been mean or made fun of me and others they know who are unmarried or don’t have kids, have unexpectedly found themselves in some unpleasant situations: separated, divorced, learned their partner or spouse betrayed their trust, couldn’t handle raising their kids, and more. These things could happen to anyone and certainly no woman deserves being dealt a rough hand, but my whole thing with married women and women with kids is this: you were once a single woman at some point. So be nice.
Not every woman wants your life, wants what you have, or even cares about what you have going on. There are a lot of women who are busy tending to their own lives and too focused to be concerned about you, your boo, or your babies. I know there are some really bogus women out there who wreck homes and will try to come for what you have, and for that, I’m really sorry. But your relationship status or the fact that you’re a mom doesn’t give you license to be rude, give unsolicited advice, provoke other women, or negatively criticize them and claim they’re not real just because they’re not wives or moms. As women, I’d like to believe that many of us are on the same team.
It’s about time we start acting like it.