Because of course, there’s no way that a group of women supporting each other could actually be a GOOD thing, right?
Mothers’ groups. Seriously, who’d join one? After all, they are vile cesspits of competition, populated by judgemental bitches who will rip your every parenting decision to shreds.
At least that’s what this News Ltd article was mostly telling us yesterday. And we’re not joking. The headline was:
Bullying, ridicule and competition: The playground hell of toxic mothers’ groups.
And that just about sums it up.
The piece went on to give a nappy-load of negative anecdotes about Mothers’ Groups, finished off with the grudging admission that one mother, in Canberra, found her’s kind of useful, once.
Mothers’ Groups have an image problem. And it’s not hard to see why. They don’t sound very cool, these women sitting around talking about babies. Surely they should have something better to do. And seriously, if you had real friends, why would you need to feign bonds with a group of strangers with whom you have nothing in common but a random due date?
And then, there’s the whole WOMEN thing. Generally speaking, and I apologise for the spoiler, Mothers’ Groups contain women. And we ALL know that women just don’t get along.
Look at those female-dominated industries, like those magazine BITCHES. Or those famous women starring on a TV show – they all must hate each other, WHAT A PACK OF BITCHES. Or those schoolgirls navigating hormones and adolesence – so much crueller than boys, they’re just SO BITCHY.
Yes, our culture is very comfortable with the idea that the most likely outcome of gathering of women is dysfunction and negativity .
The idea that women could come together over something as potentially divisive as parenting and not be scratching each other’s eyes out is downright subversive.
Well, I’m calling bullshit. And more than that, I’m calling DANGEROUS, caps-lock bullshit.
Because, this: There are very few times in an adult human’s life as challenging and unsettling, trying and tiring, stressful and emotional as the early days of parenthood.
Yes, it’s a glorious, magical period, full of love. But it’s also a time when you are going through the most profound change of your life. And you have no idea what you are doing. Nobody does.
But apparently, because you are a woman, you are meant to know how to mother. Nurturing is in our DNA and stuff. So when you look at this tiny squalling thing in your arms and simultaneously feel love, fear and panic, you’re confused.
There are books, and websites, and forums. But your baby doesn’t seem to be behaving like that baby in the baby book. And yes, you have a lot of friends, but maybe they’ve already had their babies and have lost sight of that early fog. Or maybe they haven’t had babies. Or maybe they don’t live in your neighbourhood and getting the kid in the car for a 40-minute drive might just be the thing that destroys you.