A Manifesto: 22 Ways To Avoid Being a “Mean Girl” Mom


Becoming a parent is a rich experience, one that’s full of mind-blowing love, fear, immense responsibility, and possibility. It’s a time when you need more support than ever, because everything is new, and you have no idea what you’re doing. Yet the reality is that the parenting culture in America, especially among women, is very “Mean Girl.” There’s a tendency judge and form cliques, instead of reaching out a hand. This has encouraged me look inside myself to determine what I can do to avoid this, because that’s a first step in inspiring positive social change. Here’s my pledge, and one that I challenge others to consider as well.

1. I will hold on to my individual identity, even when motherhood threatens to consume me, so that I don’t define myself through my child.

2. I will remind myself that there are many ways to do most things, including parenting, and no way is right or wrong.

3. I will contain my social media time.

4. I will acknowledge that it’s okay (and normal) to be clueless.

5. I will ponder my own childhood, where my loving parents did things differently from how I’m raising my own kids, and everything turned out okay.

6. I will laugh.

7. I will refrain from turning parenthood into a competition.

8. I will trust and empower my partner in raising our children together.

9. I will acknowledge that I’m not perfect, and I’ll forgive myself when I fuck up.

10. I will try a new parenting technique.

11. I will seek out my “tribe,” the people I connect with deeply, so that I feel loved and supported.

12. I will remember that I am enough.

13. I will read articles and books that have nothing to do with parenting.

14. When I begin to feel snarky and discontented, I will ask myself what I need to do for myself to change this.

15. I will avoid bragging about my child’s awesomeness.

16. I will ask for help.

17. I will commit to 30 minutes of self-care each day, whether this means exercising, practicing yoga, making a healthy lunch, watching a comedy, or simply staring at the clouds.

18. I will do my best.

19. I will not hang out with women who perpetuate the “Mean Girl Mom” culture.

20. When I get caught up in the minutiae of parenting, I’ll step back to see the big picture.

21. I will remember that parenthood is (often) fun!

22. I will be grateful for the privilege I’ve been given to raise a child.

Explore Wild Mama by Carrie Visintainer available on Amazon and iBooks today.