Welcome to “Mayberry High”

Reader’s Question:

I live in a small town. It seems like most of the moms here know each other. From my experiences so far…these moms are very “clicky.” Over the past two years, I have noticed that because I am not in these crowds, my kids don’t get invited to parties, play-dates, or even after school hang outs. My kid hangs out with the “clicky” mom’s kids at school, but never seem to be able to make plans out of the classroom. I have come to understand that because I am not a PTA mom, a social butterfly, a local “lush,” or a part of the “in crowd,” my kid loses out. Where do I go from here, because I feel no need to pretend with the “popular” moms? I graduated high school a long time ago!


Welcome to “Mayberry High.”

If you thought social inclusion based on popularity would disappear after high school, think again.

I also live in a small town – not that larger towns are exempt – and have been here for about five years. I too have noticed the same occurrences with groups of moms and their kids. If you aren’t part of the “gaggle,” you are an outcast and so are your kiddos. These moms would never admit this, of course, and it all feels very much like high school.

I call this occurrence “Mayberry High” because these moms usually portray themselves and their kid(s) as perfect.

Being a part of these gaggles requires the utmost ability to be phony. Oh no, do not “adult” here. Do not dare discuss unflattering real life happenings. These groups don’t want to hear that you think your kid is a little shit most of the time. Although, husband bashing is perfectly acceptable. In these groups you must only speak of how dearly you love your child and all his/her difficulties.

Hogwash, I say. Parents should be able to vent to each other and be real/honest about how hard raising kids really is.

“Mayberry High” crew members often remind me of the movie “American Beauty.” These moms try their damndest to have the community view them as perfect. In reality, their private life is often more f’ed up than you can imagine. The “popular” moms also tend to binge drink…like I said, raising kids is hard.

We all just want to fit in, right? Wrong.

People will always judge you and you should be strong enough to not give a shit! Especially as a parent. Think about the example you set for your young ones.

As for the kids, well life does go on. Hopefully they will make friends who are not so tied to their parent’s social lives. This generally doesn’t happen until they get older, about seventh grade or so.

Remember, you are not alone. I get this question dozens of times every week. Just ignore the “cool moms” and do your thing.

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