I was strolling the bookstore at the mall today with Isaac when I literally bumped into a member of the what I jokingly call the Gymboree-3 mafia. They're three women who were in our class at the local kiddie gym that formed a tight little mommy-clique and would always look down their noses at other moms who aren't....well, them.
When most people think of cliques, they think of the movies Mean Girls, or Heathers, and think of cliques as being the most popular, beautiful, trendy gals among teens, or tweens. Apparently some people never grow out of this when they reach adulthood because there are many moms out there who still enjoy the power rush they get from being exclusive and aloof towards others (and in some cases, just being plain snobby and rude). It's a shame we can't leave high school antics behind, where they belong when we supposedly 'grow up'. We're supposed to be mothers, guiding and teaching our children, and shaping who and what they will be when they grow up. Do you really want to teach your child this type of attitude and behavior?
Anyway, a little background on the Gymboree-3:
They would never speak to anyone in our class of 8-10 moms/kids other than each other and would literally corral their children to keep them playing only within their clique. One of them is the ‘nice gal’ who would sometimes talk to others, until Queen Bee 1 and 2 notice, then she sort of fades into their shadow. I guess I sort of noticed but didn't give it much thought until we'd been attending class with them for a couple months, until one day I saw the look on a couple other nice gals faces when it appeared they were purposely excluded from a conversation the G3 was having on the gym floor. It was a look and scene I recognized from the high school cafeteria. Ridiculous. A couple weeks later when the G3 missed class, a few of us chatted while our kids played, and two of the moms brought up the clique and how they felt being snubbed and excluded when the G3 announced lunch plans but quickly moved to 'their side of the gym' when these two gals acted as if they'd be interested in coming along. Sheesh.
So today at the mall when I bumped into 'the nice one' she commented on how big my son has grown since she saw him when they used to attend the class, and how cute he is. We no more than chatted for 20 seconds when the other 2 rounded the corner....The Queen Bees....and I swear, they exchanged looks, and then sort of glared at the nice gal and the three of them turned away from me without a word and simply starting chatting as if I weren't there. Unbelievable. I just turned my stroller around and walked away. I have no use for negative people or behavior like this.
Later, they showed up at the children's play area. When my son recognized them and ran up to the Queen Bee she just looked down at him and turned away. He looked over at me, sort of confused. I simply went over and nonchalantly steered his attention to another climbing area and helped him climb and slide. I noticed as I watched my son play, they continued to whisper, snub other moms and corral their kids to play away from the majority just as they had at Gymboree. (Why then, don't they just play at home?! Well, I guess then they wouldn't get the power rush from being a clique?).
I don't know what it is...they're not petite beauty queens, I don't think it's socio-economic based (they don't wear mama-couture or seem overly wealthy), and I don't think it's a predjudice thing (my son is Korean and I'm Caucasian) because their group is somewhat diverse (Queen Bee is Caucasian, QB2 is Asian, and Nice Gal looks to be part-Hispanic). My son and I are both cute and friendly. We wear attractive clothing (but we don't fuss over labels). We treat others with kindness and respect. I don't know what their motivation is to be like this. Maybe they are trying to hang onto the social power and hierarchy they commanded in high school? I have no idea. Mystifies me, because I've never behaved that way or treated others like that. I certainly don't want my son to behave that way or waste time on people who do.
Apparently this is very real trend because when I googled Mommy Cliques I found that there are numerous articles on this and even a book about this subject Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads, which I have not yet read. Wow maybe it's a vicious cycle...be a Queen Bee in high school, grow up to be a Queen Bee Mom, teach your child to be a cliquish-Queen Bee...and so on...ridiculous!
What is your take on mommy cliques? Have you experienced this type of behavior among moms where you live?