To the Snarky, Sarcastic MomsMar 02, 2020
I went to dinner last week with a friend who has known me for 15 years. We had our children together, survived toddler times together, and basically grew from young moms into middle-aged women together. It's always just a matter of time before we start reminiscing. I brought up a memory of our kids playing in my living room while we complained about earnest moms who act like everything is great and never say anything negative about motherhood. I said something like, "It's so fake! I don't think there's anything wrong with telling the truth; parenting sucks sometimes and if you don't laugh, you'll cry!"
My friend agreed, but then she commented that sometimes it's not the best to do in front of your kid. I was about to retort that I never say anything THAT bad, and my kid didn't really know what I was saying, but something stopped me. Probably it was the deeper knowledge that my defense was complete crap.
I flashed back to 5 minutes earlier when I had made some cynical comment about how my kid was driving me so bat-sh*t crazy, I just wanted to drop kick him down the stairs. My kid was a toddler. He knew what I was saying and I hadn't thought twice about venting in front of him. Somehow, I hadn't noticed that my kid wasn't a newborn anymore; I had developed the habit of unfiltered venting when he was tiny, and I never stopped.
Somehow, I hadn't noticed that my kid wasn't a newborn anymore; I had developed the habit of unfiltered venting when he was tiny, and I never stopped.
I am a naturally sarcastic person. The only magnet I have in my kitchen reads, "Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic," a gift from another friend who has seen me blunder through life with the grace and deference of a rhinoceros. I really ONLY have snarky mom friends; they're the best.
But, I think there are 2 kinds of mom-snark. There's the fun snark that says: "I'm still cool and the same person I've always been even though I drive a minivan and spend all weekend at soccer games." It's the kind of wit and sarcasm that makes the ups and downs of parenting laughable, and connects us as we go through the gauntlet of motherhood together.
But sometimes parenting isn't laughable, no matter how cynical our sense of humor. That's when we veer into the second type: angry snark - the kind of snark that says, "I am so sad and resentful about my life. I love my kids but I hate my days. I'm stuck and trapped and this blows." It's the kind of snark that hurts and it's not fooling anyone...especially not a parent coach who has dabbled in angry snark more than she wants to admit.
I met with a lot of wonderfully snarky moms in February. They were so much fun to talk to; we laughed all through our sessions, and I knew without a doubt that I could help them with their parenting troubles. But, the part of the call where I give feedback and suggestions really pissed them off, and I totally get why.
I think back to the mom I was during that playdate from above. I was really unhappy back then, which made me selfish and oblivious to how I affected the people around me, including my kids. My life was colored by entrapment and disillusionment. Life hadn't turned out to be anything like I thought, and I couldn't see any way to change that; motherhood sucked and there was no way out - the end.
My coping method was sarcasm and I was clinging to it like a life raft. If someone had called me out about my angry snark, I would have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction.
Unfortunately, the changes in our lives and our kids' behavior that are necessary to shift our snark from anger to fun, are ONLY possible when we deal with what's underneath. It's not enough to vent about how "life would be fine if my damn kids would just stop badgering me for 5 minutes."
They're not going to stop badgering you until you implement different responses to them...and you're not going to do that if your true self is buried under 20 layers of protective sarcasm.
It takes one to know one, right?
Here's a heartfelt message from a fellow cynical mommy - I see you, snarky mom! I know you, I know you're not as trapped as you feel, and I know how to make it better, first because I had to figure it out for myself, and second because it's now my JOB to figure it out for other moms every day.
I know how to identify where you are on the 'snark spectrum' and help you face and change it. I know how to make a safe space for you to drop your defenses, fall apart, and fix your sh*t so you can get your kids to behave, your life to be fun, and your home to function. And you still get to be hilariously snarky; I promise to preserve your FUN kind of eye-rolling and shade-throwing; the world needs more snarky moms!!!
To all the snarky moms: book your free session now!