Friday, 28 January 2011

Glamma Mamas

A friend of mine, a good, kind and generous friend of mine, has asked me to allow her some space, to get a little something off her chest. Something that she needs to get expunge, without recourse from the very clique she writes about...

I give her my love, and let her spill, here, on my blog.

I suspect we can all relate to her words.

I call them the glamma mamas.

A few of us do.

They’re the ones who do the school run in their gym kit in full make-up. They’re the ones who run late picking up their kids from school, usually because they’ve lingered over their liquid lunch with their “besties.”

We’re “allowed” to be friends with them on Facebook which is three shades of awesome. This is mainly because we get to see photos of all the parties, balls and social events they organize but never invite us to.

I’ve learned to circumvent the stab in the heart this causes by blocking their feed there.

They’ve got the art of small talk, but very little else. If you can capture a glamma mama’s attention for long enough, the talk is usually about the nail bars they frequent or how the person tweezing their eyebrows simply isn’t doing their job properly.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am.

Because I’m the one who waits with their kids after school until mum totters in on her impossibly high heels. Meanwhile I’ve soothed their children and assured them “Mummy will come.” (Eventually)

I’m the one who wishes that I too be could be effortlessly glamorous and exude an air of entitlement.

I wish I could be invited to their parties and it was me in those pictures looking amazing on Facebook.

But I won’t be.

I love my life, my family, my friends, my job. But I must admit to a slight stomach churning about dealing with the school run again this year.

It’s bad enough dealing with my children and their grief when they feel excluded or left out at school. But it serves to magnify my own all the more.

It seems that when I left high school, it didn’t leave me. But while I see their gilded world for what it is, shallow and meaningless. I can’t help thinking, that sometimes, just sometimes; it would be nice to be included.

Sometimes, being a grown up sucks.

Sometimes we need to rise above it with grace, as I know she does.
Tell me, do you suffer the glamma mama syndrome?


  1. While feeling left out sucks at any age, I would never want to be with people who weren't "real". Head over the Snarky in the Suburbs blog, she writes about the moms who are hyper achievers, power wielders and just generally annoying. You will get a laugh, scroll through some of her posts, she will bring a smile to your face! (

  2. Thanks Kim, I shall have a look. And I suspect my friend will enjoy too...

  3. Don't worry about them, you just find your tribe. Your people.

    I don't quite fit in with any of the "groups" at school, nor do I want to. I work a fair bit of the week so do a lot of drop and run or after school care. I've seen though, a lot more when they were in prep, that familiarity breeds contempt. It's not long before these perfect groups implode. Screw the others husbands, say something bad about the others kid, that kind of thing.

    Best advice, you're not missing out on anything. xx

  4. You're a wise one...thanks Bern. I suspect my friend will be reading the comments voraciously...

  5. A Farmer's WifeJanuary 28, 2011

    Loving Bern's answer. I agree that maintaining such a "glamma" life is a facade and, like everything that isn't based in reality, such a life will eventually collapse.

    I live in a rural area and the school run is very casual. I have done the school bus drop off in my PJs... Wearing jeans and not trackies means you have dressed up! However the flip side is a complete lack of anonymity and putting up with everyone thinking they know your business...

    You are dead right when you said it is like being at high school and not fitting in. But just remember that fitting in is for school girls. You are your own person... And it sounds like you should be super proud of who you are.

  6. One thing I've learnt as I've gotten older is not to care what anyone else thinks or does. We are all our own person and what might be right for one, won't be for another.

    I saw these types of mothers when I was a nanny in a rather posh outer county south of London - I would rock up in my comfy clothes and they would be dressed to the nines. They never interacted with their children etc

    If I had children, I would do as I did then - not care. As long as my child was happy and I was happy I wouldn't give two figs about ANYONE else on the school run. Don't let them have any influence over who you are, what you do or what you feel.

    And as for the "effortlessly glamourous" I assure you they're not, alot of work and effort goes into making them look like that - you see what they WANT you to see...

    Re hiding their feed on Facebook - if they make you feel like they do, why even be friends with them? Another lesson I've learnt [the hard way], life is too short to have anyone in your life that doesn't contribute POSITIVELY to it :-)

  7. This is such a great post! I know that my feelings of insecurity around these women are my issues, not theirs. But damn them for always looking go good while I'm wearing tracksuit pants and a t-shirt with soggy weet-bix on the shoulder!

  8. Spot on Michelle. And my friend SHOULD be proud of herself - she is amazing.

  9. Totally agree. Since posting this for my friend, I have had cause to ponder on it a lot. And the theme I keep coming back to is "rise above it all" with dignity & grace, knowing you are the best perosn you can be, for yourself, for your kids, for your world.

  10. I suggest a lot of the "glamma" is cover up for a lot of insecuties as well. Most women are insecure. Make-up and high heels and lots of "glamma" make up distract from lot of shallow personalities perhaps?

  11. MotorbikesLadyJanuary 28, 2011

    I never wanted to be apart of any of the mum groups when picking up my oldest daughter when she was younger and my step daughter when we have her.

    All they seem to want to do was pick other mums apart that werent in their group & try to make their kids out to be better then any one elses.

    I use to take a book with me to read till the bell went then pick up child then leave the school grounds. I don't know how mums can be so bitchy like they are.

    (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

  12. kim at allconsumingJanuary 28, 2011

    I'm the person they friend because I'm 'HILARIOUS' and 'AMAZING' because I have a child with special needs and three other children.

    I yearn to have aspects of their life (fancy car, unlimited budget for buying new-season clothes and shoes (SHOES!), our own house ...) but then I get the whiff of it. That smell that gets my hackles up. Pity.

    And I hightail it out of there because nothing, NOTHING about a friendship with people of that ilk makes me feel good about me and my life.

  13. And that is why we ♥ you Kim. You see through it all. xxx (And you are hilarious and amazing and I have no pity, I just think you rock.)

  14. I am one for always carrying my book in my bag too, and that is such a good suggestion! xx

  15. I live on the North Shore of Sydney - OF COURSE I know these women. Many are my 'friends'. I'm actually in the middle of a 'difficult people' post on these very beasts!!

    Ignore the parties and the clothes. Focus on the dead eyes. x

  16. "Ignore the parties and the clothes. Focus on the dead eyes"


    This is why I adore you sweet Bron. xxx

  17. kim at allconsumingJanuary 28, 2011

    Well that feeling is totally reciprocated lovely lady.

  18. kim at allconsumingJanuary 28, 2011

    The cold dead eyes. So true!

  19. Donna WebeckJanuary 28, 2011

    They sound like far too much like hard work to be friends with - really, who has the time or energy?? Most lives like that, crafted to within an inch of the "Stepford Wives" model, eventually come crashing down like a house of cards. As my main gal Lady O would say, live your authentic life - you will be the one smiling brightest x

  20. Curvaceous QueenJanuary 28, 2011

    The phrase "All that glitters isn't gold" springs to mind. If you have so much of yourself on "display" is there any room left for anything of substance?

  21. An amazing post. Beautifully written and gut wrenching. I shake my head at mother's I know who participate in this bullshit.

    The grace to rise above and to set a new standard for children in how they treat each other is the very least we can hope for.

    And really, it's not the glamma one's fault. We let them have the upper hand. We hand it over willingly. Whether they be on the pick up or in our office or in our friendship groups. And to that, I can relate.

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Elenore Roosevelt.

    Perhaps I should have left it at great post! Argh. Prone to rambling speeches.

  22. PlanningqueenJanuary 28, 2011

    Great guest post Lucy. Love the dead eyes!!!

  23. Thea SmithJanuary 29, 2011

    Yes, all great advice, but I feel just like you on this one.
    Glamma mummas just make me want to scream and turn me instantly back into the unpopular school girl who just wanted to fit in. xx

  24. Huge hugs Thea. xx

  25. She does. Her smile is bright. I guess it's the glimpses of old insecurities that are unsettling...

  26. When I started arranging for my boys to meet me at the crossing because the 3yo began having MEGA tantrums when we waited at the door, I quickly realised that I didn't have to play the game anymore and make small talk with glamour mums that didn't care two hoots ;o)

  27. When I started arranging for my boys to meet me at the crossing because the 3yo began having MEGA tantrums when we waited at the door, I quickly realised that I didn't have to play the game anymore and make small talk with glamma mamas that didn't care two hoots...unless they had a tupperware party ;o)

  28. That is such a good point. Last year, when my son was in a wheelchair for a few months, we adopted the same deal - my eldest had to meet us at the crossing so that my son was not faced with the playground every day. It made me realise how much happier I was keeping slightly apart. Cordial, but separate....

  29. Untill, of course, I needed to get extra bodies at my Yupperware do!

  30. Life In A PInk FibroJanuary 29, 2011

    Ignore them! Find the fun people. The real people. The people who dress off the floor in the least wrinkly thing available. I've always liked those people better.

  31. I have to put my hand up in defence of some mums who are in heels and makeup. If they're like me - they're on their way or coming from work. And sometimes we're late because of that too. Don't judge a person by their clothes - they may need to dress that way for other reasons. I find that it doesn't matter what the mums are wearing, there are "groups" all the same. I've been a school mum for 11 years and there have been many a time that other mums have made me feel very uncomfortable about rushing off to work and not hanging around for 30 minutes after drop off to chat. Remember, everyone is generally trying to do the best job they can as a parent. Don't be too quick to judge ... you may not know their full story.

  32. Good point Nikki. And thanks for commenting. I think what my friend has issue with is the type or the group that neither works nor turns up on time. And I am guessing that the main problem too is not actually the heels or the makeup as such, but the shallow vapidity of personality that she has encountered with such groups.

  33. You would be a magnet to me most mornings Al - I go in sweaty running stuff - delightfully smelly!

  34. I haven't had to deal with school runs yet, but it seems to me there's finger pointing in both directions. Why can't we just recognise that everyone is different, everyone has a story and everyone doesn't like everyone. Kindness and generosity in spirit is what matters, not what people do or do not wear. The cool gang is the one you create with the people who love and appreciate you for you.

  35. ugh. I think they are the worst part of school as a parent. We had a group of them on the parent group committee and it's quite off-putting. Takes me back to high school too. Doesn't help that I went to high school with some of them. :| But then I make jokes about their antics with my down to earth friends and that helps. That helps heaps.

  36. I had a good time here but will return to google now.


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