I remember being in jr high, what is now known as middle school.
I would ask my mom, what would make girls be mean to me? or why would someone say something bad about me?
Her answer would just confuse me. Maybe they’re jealous. Maybe they’re intimidated by you. I know that she was trying to make me see as she did. That I was beautiful and smart. That I was someone who others might envy. Because she saw me as perfect.
But it would just confuse me. I do appreciate it now, that as my mom, she wanted me to have the confidence to make that stuff not matter.
But it mattered. When you’re 12 years old, everything matters. The tiniest thing can seem like the biggest thing.
Now that I’m a mom to a 12 year old, I try to see myself in her shoes. She is facing the middle school drama now. The same as it was then, yet even more complicated with today’s social media and expectations. I find myself repeating the things my mom said.
Why would someone talk bad about me mom?
Maybe they’re jealous.
And I caught myself. I looked at her as she said, I don’t get it.
I didn’t get it then either.
So then I said, Well, Are you what they said? are you a bitch?
Are you a whore?
Then don’t listen to girls that are saying those things. Be proud of who you really are. You don’t have to try to please them. Just be you. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be confident. Be friendly. Isn’t that who you are?
Yes mom. that is who I am. You’re right. I’ll try to think of it that way. Good night.
Girls back then didn’t call each other bitches and whores. But really, it’s the same mean girl mentality as always.
And while I would love to think she is perfect in every way, I know she’s not. I know she’s just doing the best she can.
Sometimes, I have no idea what I’m doing as a mom to these girls.
I’m just doing the best I can to nurture love and strength. So that they can someday know on their own that mean girls aren’t worth worrying about.
I hope it’s enough.