There's a species of Rude Mommy that really tweaks my vibe: the mother who can't take a compliment about her kid without being smug in response.
Today I encountered a delightful, impish toddler at the grocery checkout. When I complimented the mom on her charming little daughter she responded with "Yup, we got a good one." Say, whaa? Let's pause here for a moment. I tell Mom her kid is cute and her response is to heap another compliment for herself on top of mine? We got a good one. That's a line I've heard before in various ways--haven't we all? It's a variation on that whole "We're really blessed"/"We're really lucky" schtick mamas are prone to when talking about their children, words that may not seem offensive at first, but what Mom's really saying is that her kid's a superior sort of tyke, which implies that other kids are inferior, turning a simple compliment into a competition with winners and losers.
Now, I realize that when folks say this stuff they don't mean to be boastful. They probably aren't even thinking about what pops out of their mouths. And, heck, as the mother of a scrumptious moppet myself I know only too well how it feels to be uncommonly blessed and delightfully smug inside my bursting-with-pride mommy self. Yup, while I may crab like mad about my kid, you can be sure I feel blessed, lucky, and that "I got a good one," same as any mother. After all, we're biologically wired to feel this way.
But we're also biologically capable of a smidge of self-awareness and politeness when encountering the friendliness of strangers. For my money, you can brag to family (and your very BFF) about your child's beauty, intelligence, and spark, but not in the grocery line, please. If I say something nice about your offspring, don't tell me you know you're fortunate; it's just not gracious. Especially if you then trail off into silence in the presence of my delightful small human. Dang rude, I say!
In the end I think many of these rude mommies just don't know how to accept a compliment. I can understand that. It's not always easy to receive praise, whether for yourself or the person you created, but I think it's important. It just isn't cool to respond to praise by agreeing with it. Much better to just say "thank you" instead.
What do you think? Are you also ticked with the smugmama? Or do you feel justified in being one?
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