Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The "Mommy" Code of Ethics

When you become a mom, you are initiated into a club with other moms. This club has a strict code of ethics. You know, basic rules that are unspoken that all moms follow--or SHOULD follow. More moms ought to know these unspoken rules, so I am going to speak them here:

1. Moms don't show up at another mom's door with their adorable 4 year old and tell her that the 4 year old has been "begging to play," and then ask if they can leave that (yes, adorable) 4 year old at that mom's house for a while so they can go get their nails done or whatever it is they need to do. Moms need notice. Just a few minutes will do. They at least need a phone call, in an apologetic tone, with a good explanation. You see, moms sometimes might not want another child at their house, no matter how much that child wants to play or how cute he/she is. Sometimes a mom just doesn't feel like it unless she has some notice. Sometimes a mom is, oh, I don't know, making ricotta and not in the mood. Or sometimes she just wants to read blogs and look at facebook without interruption. (Exceptions to this rule are extreme emergencies wherein no phone could be accessed and the offending mom is desperate).

2. Moms just understand that other moms need to blog, and they don't ask each other "how do you have time?" when they darn well know that moms make time for things like that if it's important to them.

3. Mormon moms don't act self-righteous to other Mormon moms about how often they have prayer, family home evening, and scripture study. Mormon moms, instead, uplift and help each other. No bragging or self-aggrandizing, please.

4. Moms don't ask other moms to leave their house in the evening and come over to their house to babysit for them. Nothing is more demoralizing than spending a day taking care of children, slaving to put dinner on the table, then having to leave home and go watch someone else's kids. (again, extreme emergencies are an exception).

5. Moms don't make trouble for other moms re: television intake, sugar intake, epidural intake, formula intake, and birth control intake.

6. Moms don't yell at another mom's kid when that mom is right there watching. Moms respect the fact that another mom might have a different discipline philosophy and so they keep their mouths shut. (Exceptions include extreme cases where maybe the one mom doesn't notice that her child is about to fall into an abyss and so the other mom yells "Connor, get away from the abyss!" etc.)

7. Moms should reduce, rather than increase, each others' anxiety.

8. Moms don't make other moms feel guilty if they spend more money and time on their own wardrobe than on their kids' wardrobes. And on the other side, moms don't give moms grief about not looking their best when they are just trying to get a handle on this "mom" business.

9. Older moms, i.e., grandmothers, don't give new moms grief about the following: nap times, eating habits, potty training, crawling, walking, and behavior problems.

10. Moms know how to read between the lines. For example,
A) No, I don't need dinner. Really, I'm fine means "please bring me dinner."
B) I could do the fundraiser, but I'm not sure who I can ask to donate means "I don't want to do the fundraiser."
C) If you need anything, let me know means "I don't really plan on helping you. Ever."

So, there it is. The secret's out! Sorry, but once you're in the club, these are the rules.


  1. Amen. So what do you do when the adorable 4-year old is sent alone and unannounced to your door many times each week to play for a few hours? (He's too short to see through the peephole.)

  2. I always need a buffer phone call so I have time to put some pants on.

  3. Amen, sista! It sounds like there is a story behind this! I would love to know the details.

    I wish I had gotten to know you better while I lived in Rexburg. From reading your blog, I think we would have gotten along swimmingly.

  4. So regarding #10, when you said, "I love the bowls from Anthropologie, but you don't have to get them. Really, you don't..." that meant, "If you value your place in my life, those bowls better be shipped by tomorrow?" Phew! I read between the lines! Happy Birthday! :)

  5. And if people break these unspoken rules you can be sure that they are not like you. They are pods.

  6. Amen to that added rule, Lisa. And here are some more:
    Moms don't exploit their relationship with other moms by inviting them to parties where they will be a)asked to spend money or b)given facials or pedicures, or any other treatment wherein makeup or shoes must be removed in front of large groups.

    Moms understand that there are other things to talk about besides how adorable and funny their own children are.

  7. Golden. Every word. If you sell this list on Etsy may I suggest a vinyl reproduction on a piece of tile?

    I also agree with your last rule about being invited to parties where you will be expected to buy something. They only host the party to get the free hostess gift. Are people really that cheap and desperate to "use" their friends like that? Nevermind, I think I already know the answer to that.

    For the record, I NEVER go to those parties. My truest friends don't host parties like that anyway.