Usually, Mike or Ruth takes Mazzy to gymnastics after school, but yesterday they were both unavailable so I left work early to take her instead. Mazzy was really excited to have me there and I was excited to see her. It had been longer than I care to admit.
There’s an observation deck above the gym floor where all the parents and caregivers watch. The gym is huge so there are many classes going on at once. We got there early with time to spare, so I got Mazzy changed and then we hung out on the deck at one of the various tables, where kids were eating snacks and doing homework.
When it came time to take Mazzy down to the class, I took my stuff with me. After I dropped her off, I went back up to watch and found all the chairs pulled to the perimeter so people could watch by the railing. There weren’t many people up there yet, but everyone seemed to know to claim a spot along the railing before drop-off and leave their stuff on the chairs to show they were taken. There was a stack of chairs on the far side so I grabbed one, walked it back over to the side with the view and tried to find a place to squeeze in before everyone came back up to sit down. I found a spot that looked viable but I just needed a few extra inches to make my chair fit.
Two seats down was a woman sitting next to a table. On the other side of the table was a bit of space; just enough so that if I shifted the table and the woman shifted a couple inches to the left, I could make my chair fit. No big deal, right?
“Hi there. If I shift this table a little to the left, would you mind shifting your seat down a couple inches so I could squeeze mine in?”
“Yes, I do mind. I got here early so I could position my chair perfectly to see my daughter.”
Uhhhhh huh…what now?
“It’s just like three inches. Your view wouldn’t change.”
“Are you serious?”
“I have a seat. You’re the one trying to squeeze in.”
I gestured to all the empty seats saved with jackets. “So… this is okay though?”
It was a response that made me feel very small. It said— you don’t usually come to watch your kid, so you don’t know the protocol. Which was true. Still, would it have KILLED this woman to shift over three inches?
I began trying to shove my chair in place without her having to move, while she continued to berate me. I can’t remember the exchange exactly but it was clear she felt in the right and totally comfortable picking a fight. I was not interested in calling attention to myself at all, especially since I was a newbie there, so I remember saying, “I’M NOT FIGHTING WITH YOU” and then refusing to look at her as I plopped down in my seat, which was now successfully shoved in place.
Then I scanned the floor for Mazzy who had just taken her spot for warm-ups, while my heart leapt out of my chest and anger brewed in every part of my body. I furiously texted my husband so I could relieve my aggression in silence.
“The moms at gymnastics are BRUTAL.”
“I’m not sure but we might not be welcome back here again.”
As I tried to relax and keep track of my daughter as her group switched from floor to trampoline to balance beam, I couldn’t help but be hyper aware of my new arch-nemesis talking with her friends. She was being completely lovely to everyone around her (“Hi such and such! How are you?! Oh, fabulous, me too!”), while I gritted my teeth all alone.
Why was I letting this woman effect me so much? I just couldn’t believe that I had encountered a real life mean girl mom. Not one of those sanctimommies who judges people online from the comfort of her computer and the anonymity of her Instagram handle, but one in the flesh!
Maybe I was the asshole who didn’t know to save a seat because I don’t usually come to gymnastics. Maybe I’m the one who broke etiquette by trying to shove my seat into an optimal spot at the railing. But we were both there to see our kids. Our kids were both going to look up at that railing to see if their moms were watching. Why not just help a fellow mother out? What point is so important for her to make? Why not just BE ACCOMMODATING???
To make the whole situation even more laughable (aka infuriating), towards the end of the class, I realized no one had even come to claim the chair between me and the woman. It had been empty with a jacket and a bag on top it the entire time. A few minutes later, I realized why.
Another friend of the mom (why do the mean girls always have the most friends???) came over to ask if she could watch her daughter while she picked up her son from a different class.
“Oh, of course! No problem!” my arch-nemesis oozed with sticky sweetness. “She can sit right here!”
Then she picked up the stuff on the empty chair and put it on the table, giving the girl the seat that had apparently been holding her stuff all along.
I glared at her. She didn’t look at me. I wondered if she even remembered we were in a fight or if I was in this all by myself.
So thanks a lot, gymnastics mom for getting pleasure out of claiming your territory and ruining my afternoon. Thank you for reminding me that even as an adult, absolute strangers still have the power to make me feel small.
But most of all, thank you for that very last move, to clarify completely for me— YOU ARE THE ASSHOLE.
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Man, I got all worked up and anxious just reading about this interaction. What a b*tch. I would go out of my way to be accommodating to someone if they asked nicely, especially if it didn’t affect my life (or view in this case) in any way. You can find solace in the fact that though she may seem like she has a lot of friends, I can guarantee they’re not real friendships…while yours are.
Ugh. This is everything that is wrong about groups of moms. Parenting is NOT a competition it is sharing a journey. Yeah we all do the journey differently but good grief the one thing we all have in common is we are devoted to our kids. How that plays out practically family to family loses significance in the big picture of someone else getting how it is to love a small person that much. I’m a stay home mom – I get to go to the classes every week (not always excitedly) but please know some of us realise how precious it is for new faces who might not always make it. I’m the weirdo who starts conversations with people I don’t know at toddler groups, swim class, at the store because we’re all in it together wanting the best for our kids. Saving seats for no reason is behavior I would not expect from my five year old. Seriously.
I have felt this very way before in mom groups! I work full time as well and so does my husband so I instantly feel out of place in mom groups like that. I totally would feel the same way, Small (which is the worst way to feel) in your shoes. But I agree with Amy above – “Another friend of the mom (why do the mean girls always have the most friends???)” i’m sure her “friendships” are as shallow and ridiculous as her behavior towards you. Dont let it bring you down. You are a good mother!!!!
I’d like to say this sort of thing is uncommon, but it’s not. As a working mom, trying to stay involved in her child’s life, this type of thing happens A LOT. The SAHM’s in our neighborhood seem to have had their own evil cliques since their kids were in preschool, and I have been shoved, mocked, and frequently left out of email chains regarding school and neighborhood activities until it is much too late for me or my child to participate. So what if I show up in yoga pants, chugging coffee, with no makeup and my hair in a ponytail! I work 60 hours a week! I don’t have time to primp for gymnastics or soccer practice! Why does that have to affect my child??
Before children, I would have just flipped the lot of them the bird and walked away, but considering I want my child to be able to participate in sports and activities, I just keep my mouth shut and grin through it all. But seriously, I thought moms were supposed to support each other??? When did motherhood become the new 7th grade????
Honestly I fee like this is the shit that would happen to me. I hate people like that and quite frankly I dont think I would have asked her to move I would have just shoved my chair in. I hate when people can still make me feel small it’s a small comfort knowing she maybe always feels small and that’s why she behaves poorly…
Man, just reading this makes me furious. I would have done the same thing you did – try not to make a scene, but silently stewed for the rest of the day. There may have been tears too… You just have to feel sorry for people like that. They never learned manners and must have such low self confidence that they need to control anything that they think they can. As we say in Texas, “Bless her heart.”
This isn’t just moms. These “mean” moms can be so sweet to you but the minute they find out your at an activity with your nanny kid it like you have the plague. What they don’t know is I’m also a mom ( I have 2 children) not just a nanny !
Wow! I wouldn’t have even thought twice about moving over a couple inches. Her kid would be moving on the floor to different areas too, her spot would only be optimal for so long. I would have taken that sort of treatment very hard, also. Even if there is “gymnastics eticuite” she should be understanding that not everyone would know. You handled it well, and I would have done the same. I wouldn’t have been able to watch that happen to someone.
I would probably go again next week, and sit directly in her spot. Maybe not the most mature action, but I cannot stand disrespect like that.
Oh, I like that idea! Like you said, not super mature, but it’d sure get the point across, and I’d feel better! 🙂
Something very similar happened to me and my husband at my daughters gymnastics “mini Olympics”. I was VERY visibly pregnant with my second daughter, and this b$*#% kicked us out of 2 of 8 chairs she was saving for her family members (with a gronola bar for crying out loud, I thought it was a give-away at the event). I’ll save all of the absurd details, but it concluded with her sending her husband over to confront us, once he arrived, well after the start of the event. I was shaking and almost in tears…at a 3 year olds gymnastics performance!
You know, the fact that you live in NYC has to have something to do with this scenario. I have lived all over (military). I can see this happening, say, in Southern California, but never in South Carolina, Georgia, or Ohio. You need to move where people are nicer!!
I have to disagree. I lived in the city for seven years (with kids) and currently live in South Carolina. I think mean moms are everywhere and not limited to city environs.
I have to agree with Caitlin. Geography doesn’t guarantee politeness. There are mean, short-sighted moms everywhere. Sure some places may be generally kinder than others, that doesn’t mean everyone lives up to the area’s reputation.
Ya, I grew up military…there are irks everywhere. South, North, Midwest…I always had to deal with “mean girls”. Notice she said the mom was super sweet to the other ladies. She chose to treat her that way.
Believe it or not, it happens all over the place. Not just New York or the big cities. Anywhere that someone is trying to make themselves feel bigger or better than others.
Wow, I got worked up just reading this. I would be livid!! In the end though, remember it is HER who has the problem, not you. (That’s what I try and tell myself when I’m in similar situations). Hope next gymnastics class is better!
I’m a dance mom. Here’s my advice. First, this is not OK anywhere at any time. This behavior is juvenile and ugly. This is three inches and a stinking chair!!! I’d bring it up to the gym owner. I’d spin it like “I assume this mom is here a lot and has a good relationship with you and I didn’t want you to hear that I was a buffoon, so here’s my side. Sorry I didn’t know the protocol… whoopsee…I sure hope it didn’t cause any trouble…” And this gives the owner a chance to bond with you and see how charming you are despite your occasional absence. What it will accomplish is this: The woman is probably a beast. I’m sure you’re not the first to encounter it. She might be a huge thorn in the gym’s side. When they are aware of it, they might address it with the woman. I’ve seen it done. No business likes this wants to earn the reputation of having the mean moms. And keep showing up.
YES!!!! PLEASE!!! I own a gymnastics school and if a parent was behaving like this i would want to know so I could address it and make the viewing place a safe place for everyone! (And I am so so sorry this happened to you…seriously, the woman who did this is beyond rude.)
So I have been to the gymnastics place you are talking about many times and that behavior has been going on for YEARS (May daughter is 9 and started there 5 years ago). I had almost the exact exchange you described a number of times with different women. So I found myself wonder what is it about that place/ upstairs seating that leads to that behavior???
I sure hope that bitch is one of your readers. That’s just NASTY and SO not necessary. I am a “dance mom” of a 6 y/o and thank goodness haven’t had to encounter that nastiness. I think it would be awesome if you could gather a bunch of people to go watch Mazzy and take up all of the f’ing chairs a
t the railing before anyone else got that. I know it wouldn’t be right, but it might feel good! 😉 My stomach is still in knots after reading this!
Dude!!!! Does she even realize how much of a missed opportunity that was?? Probably not, but you never know who you’re talking to when you’re out and about! I’ve learned that sometimes the most casual conversations have the most opportunity to make a big impact on someone. She could have made a friend that day. Sigh.
I am so sorry this happened and I’m embarrassed for that woman. If it had been me I think I would have handled it exactly like you ONLY I would have been fighting back tears. That was a grown up mean girl bully situation for real…I don’t understand Moms who can’t support other Moms. You don’t get extra mom points for getting to gymnastics early enough to save a seat (and bully others) and you don’t lose any mom points for not being able to go as often as you would like. UGH! I’m glad you wrote this…sometimes, it has to be done.
What a total bitch. I can’t believe there are people like that in the world. Well, I can. But it just sucks. ????
One can only hope some good will come out of you posting this. Possibly the mom who upset you so much, or even many others who read this, will take a moment to consider how they will next react when asked to move slightly to allow another sister-mom to proudly view her child. One can but hope…….????
When this happens to me, because you know it happens to all of us, I just remember the 2 things my mother told me…1- they have to be them FOREVER, and 2- kill that bitch with kindness!
How annoying and immature of them! I used to take my husband’s nephew to hockey and so many moms were like that. I did a lot of eye rolling and ignoring while watching practices. To me it felt like they all felt the were untitled to superiority over what I do not know.
It’s such a shame too because those parents are usually the ones who’s kiddos can do no wrong. Makes no sense to me at all.
wow! sounds like a case of entitlement! and i laughed at your comment about the mean mom’s having so many friends. I’ve learned that i think people are afraid not to be their friend. its like the mob, once you’re in and realize the shit you’re in you can’t get out so you need to just play along! lol
Oh Ilana! I feel for you so much! No, what you asked for wasn’t unreasonable. Since when did after school activities become a sorority that you apparently have to earn your spot in? I’m so sorry you had to go through this!
I’m gonna say that this goes beyond “mean girl” moms. I had a similar encounter with another grown woman at a conference after she swooped in and took the seat I was walking towards next to the only woman there I knew. B***ch went around the table on the outside and placed her notebook at my seat while I was stuck behind a line of people slowly walking towards their seats. She knew this too cuz she did the whole speed walking thing. By the time I got to the end of the table, all the seats were taken. That meant that I’d have to go all the way to the back to find a seat when I had waited extra early in line to guarantee a good seat!!!! She was vicious and I ended up telling her off and crying furious tears in the bathroom. It was horrible. After speedwalking over to my seat and plopping her ass there, she insisted that she was in pain and could not move. ONE SEAT OVER. Hate mean people.
I’ve actually done this. As I was leaving I waved, smiled brightly and said “See you next Tuesday!” Think about it….heh heh…. It feels so good!
OOOH. WHAT’S MIKE GONNA DO NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!?
Next time that happens (and we know it will) say something like “Oh bless your heart”. Which can mean many things but you are basically calling them slow and stupid. Say it all sympathetic like, then squeeze your chair in and let it go.
That’s the worst!! I hate how interactions like that have the potential to just ruin your day. And it seems to not even phase the other person. And I totally echo your observation–why do the mean girls have all the friends? Something I’ve struggled with my whole life. While I’m sorry you went through that, but it’s nice to hear that these things happen to even people like you!! Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing your experiences–especially the unpleasant, yet so relatable, ones.
Oh.my.word! I totally “get” your steaming hot anger. I would have confronted her after the last move, something like, “Oh, so you can’t move your chair over THREE freakin’ inches so I can pull up a chair, but you’ve been “saving” an empty chair THIS ENTIRE TIME? What are you, Twelve? ”
I had an older lady schooch me out of the square foot I was standing in along the wall at a YMCA basketball game for 5-6 yr olds, literally brought in a chair and PUT it ON my foot to make me move over, so she could sit in “her spot”, then her granddaughter scrunched in between her chair and where I was then standing, moving me over even more…and then the daughter showed up. At that point, I turned to the guy on the other side, whom I was practically “in a relationship” with, I was so close to him by then, and said as loudly as I could, “I didn’t realize this family OWNED this particular section of the wall.” …didn’t even phase them. People can be so rude…especially at kids’ sporting events.
I don’t think this has anything to do with living in NYC – I had a similar thing happen a few weeks ago in small town Tennessee. I do think it only happens when all women are around – if Mike had been with you she probably would have smiled sweetly and offered the seat next to her. I usually comfort myself with the thought that her husband has no doubt figured out her true nature and is therefore screwing his secretary. It’s not mature, but does make me smile on the inside and feel better.
I hate mean moms! I hate one to question my parenting abilities last week. And she tried to belittle me in front of my child. I don’t get why people like them think they have the right to do so.
It may be that the upper deck’s elevation is too high for proper oxygen levels in some people’s brains, causing them to be unable to function as adults up there. We live in a small town clear across the country from you, but we dealt with so much rude behavior when my daughter was in gymnastics. Our gym had installed a baby-gated area at the back corner of the observation deck, so siblings could play safely while parents watched. They had safety rules posted; two families who came together, several kids each but only one from each was in the class, felt that these rules did NOT apply to them. They left the gates open because their kids wanted in and out repeatedly, rather than making them stay put or god forbid having to get up and down, or give up the primo front row seats to be within reach. This was my biggest complaint because my little one and several others made beelines for the stairs when the gate was open, so I would end up sitting right by the gate to guard my son, and would have to syasnd up to see anything on the floor. Their kids fought, threw things, jumped off toys onto other kids and literally climbed the walls, with zero regard to other kids. One let her maybe 7-year-old take her infant (!) in the play area, and when big sister got tired of it she used a toy to climb over the gate-baby in arms!-and they both practically fell into my lap-then the mom got mad at me for having closed the damn gate!!! And I WAS a regular attendee, they were the new ones who waltzed in without a care, or a set of manners. You tried to be an adult, and you held your temper admirably. Good on you!
HOLD MY PURSE, I’M GOING IN. I absolutely hate that there are people in the world who feel like it’s okay to act like this, especially when it’s clearly not an off moment or a bad mood, it’s just their immature, crappy personality. As someone who never knows the other parents at school functions or athletic events, I get how isolating it can feel. The fact that she ruined your afternoon instead of doing one tiny, simple thing that could’ve made it the fun parenting moment it should have been just goes to show how right you are—that SHE is the asshole.
I had a confrontative situation last week; this mom had it out for me/my son, all because my son and hers had an accident (it was my son’s fault, but then she tried to kick us out of a play place, long story short). So I can relate to her and dealing with another bitchy, controlling mom. There are people like that in the world. Some of them are moms. I feel like this is a character building/defining moment. It was for me last week, and it was for you in gymnastics. You can’t control what other people do, you can only control what you do. So do the best you can so you can feel good about yourself once you are away from the situation and assess it. It sounds like you did a great job; the best you could under the circumstances. And that is all you can ask.
You can’t control what other people do, you can only control what you do
Something I tell the elementary school kids I work with every day. It’s a sad fact that we have to deal with adults who are petty and rude. My blood was boiling reading this story!!
My comment is in no way meant to sound negative to Ilana or how she handled the situation. I would have done exactly the same (choking back tears), especially furiously texting my husband about it all!
Just saw this quote and thought of this story: “You can’t look good trying to make someone else look bad.”
I hope one of her mommy “friends” follows your blog. How great would it be for a friend of hers to tell her about this story & how much of a horrible person the mean mom is, only for this lady to realize this story is about her?! You should be nice to everyone because you never know who that person might end up being!
I was thinking the same thing too.
Or the woman did know who Ilana is and is jealous that she rules the mommy blog world while all she rules is two little chairs on the second floor of a gymnasium.
Yeah I was thinking the exact same thing. It’s sad though that even if that’s the “power” you have you don’t realise as an adult that sharing it makes you a bigger and more influential person than keeping it for your bag.
Oh my. I don’t even know what to say, except that I probably would have cried. Would definitely been shaking with anger. I’m so sorry this happened to you.
WOW That makes me pissed. What if you had been a new mom and this was your first class. I will never understand moms that cant get along and help each other out.
Grrr, that would piss me off and make me angry all day, too. What an ass. Like others said, it can be isolating when you’re not able to make all of the school/activity/sport functions, so when you do you feel like a total outsider. Sorry she made you feel so bad 🙁
I am the type of person that when I get really angry in order to calm down I end up crying. I literally had tears in my eye after reading this! I, too, would have been so angry and then when I saw her take her things off a chair that wasn’t being used?! Oh Lord, I’m not sure I would have been able to hold my tongue…definitely not my looks. I total get how you felt and I’m sorry you had to deal with that, especially since this was one of the first time you were able to attend Mazzy’s practice in awhile. UGH! I’m still upset for you. 🙁
I just don’t understand this meanness. I mean, I’m a queen bitch..I don’t suffer fools at all and tend to call people out on their bullshit, but even I’m nicer than this. I would have happily moved the table and got your chair in, if I didn’t be lazy and just say “Oh, hey, take the 3rd from the right. She ALWAYS saves a seat and NEVER uses it! Hahaha!” I just don’t see the point in getting nasty over this crap.
As far as this work mama vs SAHM battle, I don’t get it either. I have both types of friends, I am a SAHM. When I get to be at all of my children’s events I tape everything I can, because if work mama can’t be there then she doesn’t have to miss everything. Some of us have to work, some of us want to, some of us get to stay home. My ability to be present everywhere just means, to me, that I can take advantage of the situation to get pictures of all our kids. And so many working moms appreciate that text in the middle of the day, when they schedule the first grade program, of their child all dressed up and smiling. The neat thing is when they are at things I can’t attend, they also step up and do the same for me. They also know when I’m volunteering I’m keeping an eye on their kids as well as mine and will report back if there’s some concern. I’ve had lots of work mamas ask me “have you noticed little Jimmy acting having trouble”? It’s just so much easier to work together than fight over whose the better mama.
Just don’t listen to that mama I got in a fight with….that woman actually started a fight with me over tape…that’s her problem, not mine.
This lady is why we have kids who can’t get along ad feel the are entitled to things! Ugh!
Sigh. My husband takes my daughter chelsea piers sat am for gynmastics and he tells me the same stories! I really didn’t believe they were being that mean to him but now I do… So awful.
I hate adults that behave this way because then they create a new generation of rotten people. It makes it so hard to make new friends but so easy to make enemies. Being highly self aware makes this whole thing even worse.
I had an incident at a zoo while in line at changing table. This woman with the help of her friend tried to put her child underneath mine as I was laying my child onto the table.
Grumpy, cliquey people are everywhere.
You totally have more friends.
I had a mean woman moment at the Rose Parade stadium- like seating this year . During a break in the parade, several people stood to stretch their legs, including a friend i was with who walked with a cane. Honestly, there was no one on the parade route, but some old bitty screams “Sit Down, down in front” in a screeching southern voice ” i was so embarrassed for my friend who struggled with a blanket and cane . She did it twice, louder and the last time, i turned and said “we’re going to stand while the American flag goes by, Felicia. Okay? ” It always makes me feel better to call a bully b!+ch Felicia.
Oh my this hits a chord. I’m a working mom and a soccer coach. Among other things. The though process of some mothers does not seem to extend out of middle school. With daughters in soccer and gymnastics I run across this all of the time. You are not special because your child is participating in an activity. Get over yourselves. And I would have not let it go, luckily this doesn’t happen too often to me, as I am blessed with resting bitch face and it tends to scare people away.
Well, I can totally side with both of you. My daughter is on a competitive swim team and at meets, there is sometimes little seating available, especially where the younger swimmers start, so we usually get to the venue 2 hours before the event start time for warm up and to get a spot. When my daughter and I put our stuff down I will walk her to her coach and then I come back, I hate when people move our stuff to accommodate their late arrival and seat choice, but if I’m there and they ask, if possible, I do move and if there is no more space and I can’t, I POLITELY let them know I can’t. That heifer being that rude though was uncalled for and I would have sat there and stewed just as you did, shaking mad…I’ve done it before!
Honestly, people are going to be petty and mean. This is not new ground. However, the way we handle it, as adults, can be both informative and transformative. Imagine what that lady would have done if you had just moved her stuff. Just put it ON THE GROUND. Further, what if you had chatted her up? The whole damn time. Waved to her little friends as they walked up? You can’t let small minded people get you down. And if you can’t join em, beat em. And I would make sure to get to Mazzy’s class next week, even if I had to leave work early and take the woman’s seat. I’m sure you remember exactly what her purse looks like. Because if she’s not taught manners or at the very least how to deal with people with basic decency, she will treat people like this her entire life. I’d let her know that you write a mommy blog and want her picture for it too.
infuriating.. my daughter is same age as Harlow and i’m not looking forward to dealing with these kind of moms. Sometimes i can sniff out these women in the playground already by the way they talk. You’re too nice. hahaha.. i’d probably say “Look fxckface, you don’t own this place and if you don’t move your ass i’d just shove the chairs without your blessings.” pardon my language i only talk this way when anger steams out of my ears… UNBELIEVABLE!! and these ppl are PARENTS?? Imagine what kind of CRAP they are teaching their kids who will turn out just like them. Parasites to our society!!
ugh. I feel ya! I used to take my toddler to a tumbling class… emphasis on the USED TO. This class was meant for toddlers, and specifically open to special needs kids who had recently graduated from physical therapy (like my daughter) but could still benefit from some bonus exercise and the use of tumbling equipment. And even THOSE moms were viscious!! Like, seriously?! Did I miss the memo to be as absolutely unfriendly and mean as you possibly can starting the second you walk in the door?! No, she doesn’t talk. No, she can’t do a sommersault. No, your little brat can’t have a turn on this trampoline because there is another perfectly acceptable and vacant trampoline three feet away.
[Why do the mean girls have the most friends?] I want to know too…!?
Well, there goes my blood pressure. Reading this story made me more angry than you can imagine.
So, first time moms with children just joining the place would be treated this way? How terrible for you to have to endured such bullying. I would email or call whoever runs the place and let them know they need someone to rein in the bitches!
Wow, I might have asked whether we were parents and role-models, or middle-schoolers trying to make ourselves feel better by making someone else feel small. Growing up is a part of life. It’s sad when folks can’t let go of their own childhoods long enough to realize that when you help other parents out without putting yourself to a huge inconvenience, you’re actually helping yourself out too. Gotta wonder what happens when SHE is the one being denied something small to the person it’s requested of, but huge to herself. Might it be a tantrum?
Mean girls don’t have friends, they have followers, people who want something from them, and those who are too frightened to tell them the truth. It has to be a pretty lonely spot to be in. One other thing to wonder is if she ever found out even to this day what a true friendship is like.
That’s the worst! What a great example for her child! If someone asks me something nicely (especially just to scoot over a bit), I always accommodate! This Mommy thing is hard enough without being judged by the “Super (Rude) Mom)”
That’s awful and the sad thing is her daughter will probably grow up to be the same way. Just be kind people, it’s not that hard!
I know how you feel. Something similar happened to my family on a large scale back in the fall. Our son, a first grader, was on the school’s flag football team. Our team made it to the championship game – the kids were so excited! The day of the final game a few families got to the field early so we could get spots on the sideline and cheer for our kids. We had our cheer squad coming also to cheer on the team. While we politely stood to the side waiting on the game before ours to end, the other team’s fans started to arrive. They pushed their way to the sideline and before we knew it… Filled up the entire sideline. Both sides of the field. We were in shock! A few of us mom’s asked if they would mind moving to one side or the other of the 50 yard line. Didn’t matter which side, just one way or the other, so we could have some space to watch the game. Multiple people flat out told us “No. We aren’t moving. We were here first.” I’ve never experience such a rude display. We did get some satisfaction when our kids won the game 12-6. 🙂
I had a bad experience with moms at a gymnastics place, too! What’s up with that?
She thought you were all alone. Too bad she didn’t know you got a blog full of people on your side. ????
Dreadful people who aren’t worth your breathe because they cant reason with logic or the small possibility that someone besides them has valid input… ????
A perfect opportunity for you to pull up your chair next to her table and chat her ear off like a nice Enthusiastic mother. There is always next time. That gym is so big! Surely you don’t need to watch your kids every single second?
I would probably have casually flipped her the bird when no kids were looking. That always makes me feel better.
You asked “why do mean moms always have the most friends?” It’s because their “friends” are scared of them, so they try and be close to stay on her good side. You did the right thing! Stand up to that nasty!!!
People are UNBELIEVABLE. She’s miserable at home/work/life and needs to exert some sort of power. I always assume misery when people are like that because I cannot imagine what kind of world makes that behavior OK.
Question – what happens when Mike or Ruth take her to gymnastics? Do they also sit in gallery to watch? I am curious to see how they treat them and if it was because Queen Bee didn’t know/ recognize you. NOT THAT IT MATTERS BECAUSE SHE IS A B&TCH.
Ruth read the post and when she saw me the next day said, “The same thing happens with me at gymnastics!” She told me she just moves their stuff and their chairs and doesn’t care.
I am from France. Trust me, it’s not geography, those asshole moms are everywhere. And I even met the asshold DAD too.
I hate when someone ruins my day or I let them ruin it. The ending did not surprise me at all. But as a grandmother I can say I probably would have sat on her coat till someone claimed the chair.
She was probably a bully in high school as well. Has your daughter complained at all about her child? Children learn what they live.
Reason #345 why it is acceptable to bring a flask to your child’s sporting event. 😉
Now, in her imagined defense – perhaps her point of view is that she shows up every week to watch, makes a point to arrive early and claim her spot, only to be constantly asked to move or whatever, and this was the proverbial straw that made her dig in her heels. Maybe she even has her own blog, where she is kvetching about a lady at gymnastics telling her to move her seat, and her comments are filled with “you go girl” to her. Sometimes we need to take a step back and try to see the other person’s point of view, as if we can empathize we can compromise.
But sometimes no matter what, nothing will help because bitches be crazy. Your blog always has a ring of authenticity to it, and it does sound like she was over the top rude with no desire to show a shred of kindness to a stranger, including her refusal to move an empty chair … That is mind boggling. I’m sorry that her inability to try and think beyond herself resulted in you not enjoying a special parenting moment with your child 🙁
I think sometimes parents need to be reminded that showing up to view their children consistently doesn’t make them any better or more entitled than any other parent showing up at any particular time. It’s a shame when adults suck at adulting.
I’m home sick from work today and I think my fever broke when I got so angry reading this. Reading the comments, I got a lot of great tips on how to handle this- you could turn all those ideas into a blog post! In fact, I might even write it! I’m sorry you had such a bad-tasting experience, but love all these empathetic, supportive moms, that greatly outnumber the jerks of the world. Keep on keepin’ on, and being such a source of smiles and support to us! Much love for all you do!
Oh, and I’ve had some similar experiences! It’s truly outrageous.
Wow, sorry that happened! That would have definitely ruined my afternoon too. This makes me angry just reading it!
Oh my god, this got me all worked up. I TOTALLY know that feeling, where your stomach is in knots and your adrenaline is all crazy. It’s so infuriating. That woman is a total dick and a poor excuse for a mom. We are all in this together. I mean, all of us except her.
And I’m especially sorry that she ruined your one gymnastics viewing opportunity. Hazy takes ice skating and Matty takes her to like 9 out of 10 lessons, but I caught the last one last weekend and it was a joy. I’m sorry you were robbed of that.
P.S. I want you to print this blog post out and flyer the gymnastics place with copies.
Never go “mean mom” on a blogger! LMAO You think she knew who you were, coz I promise she does now!
I’m not going to lie. It’s the other parents that scare me the most when I think about my daughter getting old enough to go to school and extra curricular activities. I already see some mean behavior at day care.
You ask why the mean moms seem to have the most friends… I’d venture to guess most of them are more afraid of her, rather than actually fond of her. So sorry you had to go through this.
You have clearly never been to a Disney parade lol Even worse.
Hi ilana..i have a 8yo daughter who is also a gymnast (rhytmic gymnastic).we have been 2years busy back and forth, 3-4times per week doing this routines.
I cant believe new york has those kind of mean mothers precisely like most moms back in our gymnasium in my hometown,surabaya,indonesia.
Im not the social mom,so i usually just sit alone,read a book,and periodically check in my daughter.
Eventually the other moms realize that im good,smart,and.warm.les than a semester,i got those weirdos moms surrounding and become my followers.
You just have to be your self,put up ur independence.they’ll watch. And they will address you in no time.
I wanted share my mommy mean girl story. It happened to me during my son’s very first “early walkers” gym class. As I followed my son around the room during the free play portion at the beginning of the class, smiling politely to all the new faces- we wandered over to the trampoline, & as my son giggled & jumped- the 2 moms standing within earshot are chatting when I hear the following: blonde mom with statement necklace says to brunette mom with statement necklace after glancing over at me, “I don’t know, it’s just weird today, isn’t it weird today?” Brunette mom nod/shrugs…when blonde mom continues.. “It’s like all these new people, it’s like so crowded.” Needless to say, I was taken aback, am I weird? Not welcome? Who the hell are you!? What is wrong with you mean mom, totally overdressed for a toddler gym class? I did not say any of these things- as I live in LA, where it is totally acceptable to say rude passive aggressive things, but not acceptable to call someone out on their passive aggression- so I chose to stay tightlipped & just go back to basking in the joy of the face of my toddler. But seriously, what a bitch!
Hot dang this would piss me off even if I were just watching this woman talk to someone like that. I’d have to step in… people get so high and mighty about things they never should get high and mighty about. That woman is a jerk.
It’s NYC who seriously leaves their belongings somewhere unattended? I don’t. Why can’t women just be nice to one another?
When I signed my son up for preschool gymnastics, he was the new kid in an established group. I was the working mom with the weird kid. (Yes, he’s weird. Like actually just a strange kid.)
The other moms were all pals and didn’t exactly welcome me in, but I gave exactly zero fucks.
When they are uninviting to the other new moms, I’m all about being overly nice and inviting. Their friend group is stagnating. Mine is growing and so is my weird kid’s.
Tonight is my son’s very first gymnastics class….now I am so worried about coming in midyear!
I want so very badly for that woman to read your post. But you know, with people like that, it still probably wouldn’t do any good. But still…I want to say, “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO SHE IS???” You’re amazing and kind. She’s an asshole who clearly has deeper issues. Don’t feel small. Feel amazing for being who you are.
i was there with you in spirit..
many mean moms here where I live too so i keep to myself. dont worry about her. she’s probably unhappy about her own life in some way and is taking it out on the world.
Don’t you let her or anyone make you feel small, Ilana! You are doing a great job as a mom and you’re also a considerate human being. This post actually is a reminder to me to be decent to strangers in my life. You never know how your good or bad attitude can affect someone.
It happens in all sports. I had one stranger make room for me on a pool deck and other people complaining… she was so great and told them “I am sorry, we are all here for our kids.” Some people felt justified to be angry with her because they came early and saved spots, but I was glad because I would have cried and been in the parking lot so fast! She just told me “It’s ok, I’m from Jersey. This is nothing.” I never thought I would have a Jersey guardian angel in Charlotte, but I did. So Bless all those moms who “make room.”
My kids’ gymnastics place posted this on its FB page and I really appreciated reading this. I am a dad who has been raising my two kids by myself for 5 years. There have been times when taking my kids to gymnastics (and ballet is usually worse) causes me such dread inside. Luckily the place my kids go to now is really pretty good in this area. I guess I had grown to assume that all moms were part of this weird and scary cabal – it was nice to read that I’m not alone 🙂
I’m a dance mom and an equestrian mom.
At dance class, normally we sit in the waiting area, but once every month (September-May) we go in and watch what the kids are doing.
Judy, our nanny takes my daughter (5) because it’s at three o’clock each day, but last April I went because I never go and that upsets Lacey sometimes. (“Mommy never comes…”)
I found a chair, and was squashed. “Can I have some room here?” I asked Mean Mom.
Here what my answer was:
“I have TRIPLETS in this class, I need the front row seat!” she demanded. I made a face and moved to the back row.
Then her mom friend with the blue hair, pink lipstick, and four kids came in and the lady moved a bit for her.
On the way home, my daughter complained “Nancy, Anne, and Alice are always so mean!, and they always squash me so their mommy can see them”
“It doesn’t make sense because their mommy sits in the front row”
I figured out who was their mom. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!