‘Up All Night’ Tackles Frenemies At Mommy & Me

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There I was, sitting on a blanket with my three month old daughter, singing nursery rhymes and clapping my little one’s tiny hands together for her. It was my first Mommy & Me class, one of the very few offered after 5pm, giving working moms an opportunity to join in the “new mom” tradition. My daughter let out a little giggle and it might have been one of my proudest motherhood moments.

But as I looked around the room, I realized that I looked a little different from most of the moms there. Mainly, I was still in business casual, having come directly from work. My stiletto heels stuck out like a sore thumb in a circle of tennis shoes and flats. Then, the instructor asked us to go around the circle and introduce ourselves and I made my big mistake. On my turn, I sat up and said, “My name is Lindsay and I’m a office manager for…” Before I could even finish my sentence, the instructor cut in to remind me, “Lindsay, we’re just interested in the kids here. Go ahead and introduce us to your daughter.” Needless to say, that class was a lot more uncomfortable than a pair of stilettos.

Obviously, my experience with Mommy & Me was not ideal. So as I started to watch last night’s “Up All Night,” I began to have horrible flashbacks from three years ago. In the show, a stay-at-home mom bragging that her seven month old could already crawl and taunting the working mom with, “It’s probably because I’m home all day and can work with her on it,” was supposed to be funny. The baby class where a parent is never referred to by their first name, only “Amy’s mom” was meant to be over-the-top. Unfortunately, it might have been a little more on the mark than it meant to.

The show was funny, but mostly because they thought that they were being extreme. The idea of two grown women brawling for dominance of a class for infants might seem hysterical until you meet parents just like that in Mommy & Me all around the country. And seeing a mom chastise and shame another mother with snide comments like, “I used to work outside the home, but I dedicated myself to my most important job, being a mom,” might shock some. But please take into consideration the phrase, “I don’t know how your could let someone else raise your child,” and the fact that I’ve heard it more times than I can count in my three years as a working mom.

We’re supposed to be in this together and as Mommyish discussed last week, the Mommy Wars are bad for everyone. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the competition between moms who use developmental milestones as proof that their way is the only right way. Most Mommy & Me classes won’t end in a physical altercation or the destruction of a thousand dollar stroller, but that open vitriol disguised behind cheerful smiles and baby cooing is no joke.