In my family, I’ve never had an issue calling my family out on their drama. I’m also the sarcastic joke cracker. I try to lighten the mood in awkward situations. My family is always emotional about something, and I’m not a huge fan of out pouring emotion when I’m trying to feed my toddler picnic food. I hate big confrontations and would prefer a smooth family gathering, but thats a rare occurrence.
I wasn’t close with my family during college, but once I graduated and got together with my now husband, I started getting close with them again. I was very reserved and shy at first. I was pretty quiet at family affairs. They were still boisterous and full of drama like any family that could have a successful sitcom. Once I got pregnant, the old me started coming back. I wasn’t afraid to make jokes or be myself. I didn’t let people make rude remarks or be shady. I also didn’t let people put my children down. I noticed my so called sass was branching out and I wasn’t letting people walk over me the way they used to.
With each pregnancy and baby, I became braver to say how I felt. In my family, that makes me mean. In the real world, that’s how you lose some friends. My father started telling me I was negative or bitter because I didn’t agree with him. I love my father, but he has a very demeaning, old school idea of women. He wants them skinny and dressed up. He likes long hair and believes women should not have any tattoos or piercings. He likes a quaint lady who does absolutely everything for her husband. He’s a bit barbaric. Regardless of his medieval ideas about marriage, motherhood, and women, he loves me and my strength.
I’m the opposite of his ideal, and I hope, I’m slowly changing his mind. I’m loud and opinionated. I have a fair amount of tattoos, and I’m certainly not skinny. I also like to challenge him or anyone who enjoys a playful debate. He has learned I won’t always let him win with his outdated rants, so he just tells me I’m mean. I’ve actually heard it from a few people in my family. It hurt at first, so I had to evaluate my attitude and put myself in check.
I started thinking about who I wanted to be or if I needed to change. I had huge balls in high school. I always stood up for myself and was surrounded by “friends.” The older I got, the softer I got until my babies were born. I no longer have tons of friends or even a super close “mom squad.” I have a few friends from high school, but I don’t hang out with many people. Looking online at all these mom groups and best friends made me wonder if I really became mean. It made me question myself entirely.
I’ve tried making friends and getting together with family members close to the same age. I don’t like artificial friendships, and to be honest, it takes a lot for me to trust people around my kids. I tend to prefer the same few friends I’ve had for years, and even some of them disappeared once I had kids and got married. I didn’t want to be that rude person in every group who swears they aren’t an asshole, they’re just “real.”
To some people, it’s mean to point out the truth. Anytime, someone in my family asks me for advice, I don’t sugar coat things, so to them, I am mean. I’m perfectly okay with that. After asking myself if I was being negative or hurtful, I realized I wasn’t. They would ask my opinion or what I would do in their situation, and I didn’t hold back. Not holding back is off putting to some people. I’m not one of those people anymore.
For example, I won’t be mean for no reason, but if you’re having an affair and taking your kid along to the other person’s home while your baby daddy is at work, I’m going to say something you most likely don’t want to hear. If you put someone down for no reason and I happen to be there, I might point out one of your short comings because we all have them. If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t ask. If you are being rude for no reason, prepare for a challenge.
I guess being a mom has made me cut all of the bullshit. It has taken a few years for me to see through the veil of crap that I was around. I don’t want my kids to be around some of the outlandish situations people get themselves into, so I’ve become a mama bear. I will keep asking myself if I’m being mean so I keep myself from ever being cruel, but I will not be weak just to keep people in my life.
I’m not mean to my kids or my husband, but I certainly don’t have a problem deflecting or defending myself against toxic or even just stupid people. So if someone says you’re meaner as a mom and having kids has changed you, maybe that’s not a bad thing. It’s brought out the strongest version of myself.