The Good Bitch Group

January 13, 2016
Mean Girls | What Hazel Said Blog

Some of my closest friends are mums – amazing mums.  One of my closest friends is my mum, and it goes without saying that she’s one of the best mums there is.

My mum stayed at home for 10 years, she had us 4 1/2 years apart so she could spend the same amount of time with each of us.  We could read and write and knew the top two lines of the periodic table before we started school.  She cooked, cleaned and baked, and played cards and coloured in with us, but it was all wasted because she couldn’t post it on Instagram.

In the times since our mums were staying at home (or not), there’s been a big movement towards online interest groups, in particular online groups for mums.  With rising levels of PND in new mums the increase in support networks for these ladies is invaluable, helping alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Perhaps as a result of this social media support, more and more mums who are at home with kids are also running a small (or not so small) business.  This flurry of #mumtrepreneurs has seen groups popping up on Facebook that are ONLY for small business owners with offspring, and it’s the exclusion that I take exception to.

Let’s apply the same logic to a real life situation.  My aunty has an annual lunch with her two daughters and five daughter-in-laws, but this year she’s decided that only the ladies with kids can come.  So the one who’s been desperately trying for babies for four years is uninvited, as is the one who’s been too busy getting a PhD in pig welfare.  Seems legit.

A friend of mine runs a small business and was approached about taking part in a “Mum Giveaway”, she said she’d happily supply her products, but that she wasn’t a mum.  She was promptly uninvited to participate, and was even accused of “being one of those women that chooses a career over kids and thinks they’re better than stay at home mums”.  Wow.  Just wow.

Truth be told, this friend is a mum, to three angel babies.  Just let that sink in for a sec, she’s given to birth to not one, not two, but three babies, and they have all died.  Medical professionals have strongly advised her not to attempt to carry any more children, so it’s highly likely that this friend will never be allowed access to the exclusive small business club.

Here’s the irony, not only is she a small business owner, she is a professional services consultant, she knows her shit, she’s a genuine #GIRLBOSS.  Does she hustle?  Yes, she hustles, and if anyone was going to make a valuable contribution to a small business group, it would be her.

Now, this isn’t the first time that I’ve been up in arms about something that has nothing to do with me (and why I need the Give Less Fucks jar).  A couple of years back three of my close friends were trying to conceive.  All three of them got pregnant about the same time, but one of them lost her baby near the end of the first trimester.

This was during the year of the cleanse, back when I used to eagerly accept every invitation, even if I knew it was going to be long, painful and awkward.  So I found myself at dinner with one of the pregnant ladies and her mum friends.  The entire conversation was about labour, breastfeeding, sleep training, potty training, time out, and those fancy re-usable nappies – the exact conversation that the pregnant friend had refused to sit through pre-conception.  My issue: the friend who had recently suffered a miscarriage had to endure three hours of baby dribble (no pun intended).

The next day I got a text, “Sorry about all the baby chat last night, must have been pretty boring for you”.  I said that it was OK, I got through it, but that I felt for our friend, we both knew about her loss and it was unfair that the entire conversation was about kids.  The reply: “yeah, well it’s not my fault that people want to talk about their kids, nothing I can do about it”.

It’s not my fault that people with closed minds and open mouths are so opinionated about mental illness, suicide, abortion, domestic violence and homosexuality, but if there’s someone in the room who will be upset by an asshole’s line of conversation, I will politely tell said asshole to stfd (sit the f*ck down) and stfu (shut the f*ck up).  That approach definitely hasn’t earned me a lot of friends, but it’s earned me the right ones.

By all means, celebrate your successful attempt at reproduction, be proud of the mini humans that you’ve created and that they can use a knife and fork and complete a sentence, because, honestly, that shit takes commitment.  Full credit to people that raise little people, I’ve said before that I can’t even look after myself, let alone a dependent or three, and even more credit to people that are raising little people and running a business.  All I’m saying is, this ain’t no country club y’all, support and include small businesses, whether the owner has children or not.

So I’ve decided to have a party and everyone is invited.  It’s The Good Bitch Group on Facebook, where the only condition is that you have to be a good bitch.  I don’t care if you were breast fed or bottle fed, if you get paid to work or you’re a volunteer, if you went to university or you didn’t finish high school, if you’re a good cook or a terrible cook, you just need to be a good bitch.  It doesn’t even matter if you don’t have good chat – just leave the chat to me!

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16 comments

Guest January 13, 2016 at 7:57 pm

I’m just wondering how the mum friends were meant to know about the miscarriage and therefore not talk about their babies? Was the one mum who knew meant to share it with everyone when it’s clearly not her news to share or should the miscarriage friend not have turned up? Or should she have said something so everyone knew and then talked about other life events like marriage, holidays, work. Reality is there’s always going to be people who have miscarried or can’t get pregs and done rounds and rounds of IVF and they’re now on the list to adopt a child. Or there will be the ones who have the pigeon pair family and living the dream. Everyone has a different story that’s life and while people keep having children there’s always going to be those conversations…

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Hazel January 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Hi Guest, there were three people at that table who knew about the miscarriage, and that should have been enough to steer the conversation away from the constant chat about kids.

Please refer to the paragraph: “By all means, celebrate your successful attempt at reproduction, be proud of the mini humans that you’ve created and that they can use a knife and fork and complete a sentence, because, honestly, that shit takes commitment. Full credit to people that raise little people…”.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t talk about kids, I’m saying that a bit of sensitivity goes a long way, and in that situation, the pregnant person knew how she had felt when she was trying to get pregnant and everyone around her talked about their babies non-stop, a demonstration of empathy would have been really nice to see.

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happymumhappychild January 14, 2016 at 5:34 am

From a Mum perspective – being a parent is a struggle. It can get very lonely, so we do turn to Facebook and form support groups together. There are loads of other business pages out there that are all-inclusive.

If a person who hasn’t had kids yet, or has had babies who have passed away or not made it until full term isn’t included, then really it is up to them to stand up for themselves and put their case forward. Not everyone knows another person’s background. And in all honesty, if they did know, I doubt they would exclude her.

Most people’s actions come from a place of not knowing. 🙂

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Hazel January 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Hello happymumhappychild, please refer to the paragraph: “In the times since our mums were staying at home (or not), there’s been a big movement towards online interest groups, in particular online groups for mums. With rising levels of PND in new mums the increase in support networks for these ladies is invaluable, helping alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with mums supporting each other.

Please also refer to the paragraph: “A friend of mine runs a small business and was approached about taking part in a “Mum Giveaway”, she said she’d happily supply her products, but that she wasn’t a mum. She was promptly uninvited to participate, and was even accused of “being one of those women that chooses a career over kids and thinks they’re better than stay at home mums”.” That person doesn’t have to know how many babies my friend has lost to know that speaking like that to someone is inappropriate, unfair and non-inclusive.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and the blog is mine. I am well aware of the feathers it has ruffled, and in all honesty, the fallout has completely proved my point. Should all small business owners be worthy of support? Should working mums be supported? Should non-working mums feel connected even if they don’t have a small business? Absolutely. The point: there shouldn’t be exclusions.

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happymumhappychild January 14, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Hazel, thanks for your reply! Totally understand where you are coming from, however I kind of think you are missing the point – Facebook itself IS all inclusive. It’s just that within Facebook there are specific groups for everyone.

If there was a men’s business page, would you get offended at not being able to be a part of that?

This woman wasn’t included in a Mum’s business page because she doesn’t have children. If she feels otherwise then it’s on her to take that up with the business owners.

The conversation we have been having about this post only proves that you can’t please everyone. And to not take things to heart.

If you’re not a Mum then you’re not allowed on that specific business page. There are plenty of other Mum pages / Mum giveaways that do include others too 🙂

There are loads of places for everyone on Facebook.

I realise that you’re saying she felt excluded given her circumstances, but Facebook is for everyone, and your post actually comes across as super douchey.

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happymumhappychild January 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Please don’t get me wrong, I understand where you’re coming from, just don’t agree with the blog post 🙂

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Tammy January 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm

I find this a very hateful and quite frankly sad blog post. I think you are just having a rant at missing out. Being a mum and running a small or large business is a damn huge task. Having support from other parents in the same position is invaluable. Most of the discussions in the group I belong to is about juggling kids. Kids activities. Kids meals. Kids kids kids. Doesn’t sound much fun for a business owner without kids does it?

If you have to just reply to comments by quoting your blog post back to us then I assume you think you have covered all your bases. You haven’t. If you don’t have kids then you honestly can’t have any clue or right to say how we deal with it. I think you are complaining about something you don’t even understand. You just sound like you have no idea.

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Hazel January 15, 2016 at 9:15 pm

Here’s the thing Tammy, I have to respond with direct quotes from my post, because you’re coming at me saying things like “being a mum and running a small or large business is a damn huge task. Having support from other parents in the same position is invaluable”.

And in the post, I said the following: “With rising levels of PND in new mums the increase in support networks for these ladies is invaluable, helping alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.”

And: “Full credit to people that raise little people, I’ve said before that I can’t even look after myself, let alone a dependent or three, and even more credit to people that are raising little people and running a business.”

Kinda sounds the same, right?

You’re right, I have no idea. Being a step mum, partner, working full time, doing enough hours of study to ensure my CPA eligibility, running a small business, helping my partner run a very large business, planning a wedding, selling a house, volunteering for a local animal rescue organisation, fostering kittens, and in my spare time writing incredibly offensive shit on the internet takes no juggling at all.

I have covered the bases that I wanted to cover in my blog post, believe it or not, there was no brief, no criteria, no list of things that I had to include, it’s just an opinion. It differs from yours, and that’s OK, it’s not your blog.

An excellent way to communicate your difference of opinion would be:

“I don’t agree with this post. I’m a member of a group on Facebook for women with children who also run a business. In fact, I founded the group, and I’m proud of that. The group isn’t exclusive, we include and support everyone. The members of the group find it valuable and we really enjoy the networking in the community that we have created. We don’t condone the things that were said to your friend, that was unfair, unnecessary and insensitive,”

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Tammy January 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

You assume that moms don’t do that all as well? Multiple woman in the group have all that going on and more. And to be honest, kids are not just another thing on your ‘busy list’.

You’ve linked again what you’ve said in your post again, but that doesn’t change the fact that what you’ve written in this blog post is ignorant. Pure ignorance.

It does seem that any person who has spoken out against your blog post has been meet with the same formulated reply. It’s like we’re hitting out heads against a brick wall really.

I’m sorry you don’t understand what we’re trying to say. I’m also sorry you felt the need to put down another group of woman based on a friends experience that wasn’t even dealt with well on her behalf. The labeling and shaming of ‘mumtrepreneurs’ is becoming more common because woman without children seem to fear they are missing out on something! It’s a shame.

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Hazel January 16, 2016 at 10:38 am

Well hello there Faye, aren’t you a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day! I like you Faye, and not just because you’ve got my back, but because you’ve objectively read this post and interpreted it as it was supposed to be. You’re ticking all the right boxes for someone who could have been affected by this “hugely offensive” post, but you’ve managed to catch my drift, and I appreciate that – thank you.

You took the words right out of my mouth with an alternative response to “I’d love to be part of the giveaway, but I’m not a mum”, remembering that SHE was approached about taking part, and not the other way around. I was trying to inspire some sensitivity, to broaden some minds to the struggles of others and how something like, “if you’re not a mum you can’t play with me” is a knife to the heart of someone who has lost three babies in two years.

For the most part, it looks like I failed, and that’s OK, I got a heartfelt “thank you” from my #GIRLBOSS friend, and that’s all that matters.

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Faye Elizabeth January 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

Is it wrong that I’m totally singing *i got suniiiiinnneee on a cloudy dayyyyyyyy** right now?
No, you’re right, I saw your point for what it was. I could see it from your perspective, I can see it from your friends perspective too, I’ve struggled with trying to conceive and I’ve had a miscarriage.
I COULD have gotten offended but what good would that do? That would make me just as bad as people who choose to be closed minded, no thanks!
I feel for your friends, both the one who had to sit and listen to the baby dribble and the other who was subjected to exclusion because she hasn’t reproduced, I’ve been in that situation myself and I have felt very excluded. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the points the others are making in their comments too, they have valid points also, but, it doesn’t make their opinion right and yours wrong, it just means that each person has a different option… I don’t mind who thinks what, all I mind is that we’re friendly to each other. The comments weren’t friendly, they were rude, that’s what makes them ‘bad’ comments, in my opinion, not the content of them, the attitude behind them.

But yeah, you’re right, I’m with you on this one babeh!

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Ashliegh January 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm

You two are my fav ❤️

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Dee January 17, 2016 at 2:32 pm

“But it was all wasted because she couldn’t post it on Instagram” gosh I sure am loving the juxtaposition between that kind of unnecessary snark for parenting bloggers and this “we are all in this together” stuff…Really proves your point.

It says a lot that you would use a friend’s (?) Angel Babies and another friend’s (?) miscarriage to get people to join your group. I think I’ll stick with groups run by people who don’t exploit their so-called friends’ tragedies. I am not at all interested in being part of something that’s about putting the boot into others who are just trying to get by – especially when the aim is just to further the blogger’s online profile…I mean I get the point of posts like these, you want clicks and attention, but I do wonder about the long term gain…

Of course anyone who disagrees with a blog that attacks mums who work and parent is just rude right….how convenient…

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Hazel January 17, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for stopping by Dee, I appreciate it. The Instagram thing was an attempt at humour, as was the periodic table thing – we didn’t really know the top two lines, only the first one.

I actually didn’t intend to start the group, but then thought that I couldn’t really say “someone should start a group with no criteria except that you’re a good bitch”, because that would show me up for the lazy tart that I really am.

I don’t blog for other people, I blog for myself, and the reason this post got so many clicks was because it was shared in The NZ Mumtrepeneur Network Group by a friend (?) and then it went far and wide on Facebook because of the comments from members of the group.

Never fear, I’ll get a job soon and I won’t have time to offend people by writing blogs, I’ve got beans to count baby!

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Sarah January 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Hi Hazel,

I am a mum and a business owner and have very little time to myself. However, my 2016 mantra is to make more time for me. Yes, I am neglecting the pile of filing to my right and bills to my left, just so I can twiddle on social media for 5 mins and then I stumbled across this post.

I am surprised at the amount of working mums that have seen green / red reading this post and replied in a negative way.

The point in case here is that you you have an aunty that is excluding the 2 nieces that don’t have kids and your friend was excluded from donating a gift for the Mum Giveaway, as she herself was not a mum. I do believe that your friends who are entering social situations that don’t feel comfortable with the same conversation – over and over – should have a right to avoid those social circles and you are simply stating this also. We live and learn. I am a mum and all that mum talk bores me to tears……it always did.

I don’t believe you are exploiting your friends tragedies. You are simply stating your opinion on a matter of fact and that what blog posts are all about.

Let me just say that the said ‘juxtaposition’ mentioned above by Dee, relating to the mums of the past and their inability to be able to use Instagram (because it simply did not exist), was read by me as a fantastic attempt at you humour and not that of ‘an unneccessary snark at parenting bloggers’. Some people ought to learn to laugh a little.

All these negative people! Women are meant to band together and support each other, not knock each other down and pigeon hole, which is exactly what some of these responses are doing to your blog post.

I always enjoy reading your posts, when I have time. They are very real!

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Chops May 28, 2017 at 9:50 am

I am astonished by the comments – and from people I know too – totally flabbergasted….
Here is someone defending the feelings of the hurt, of the person going through things we don’t wish on our worst enemies (right? just double checking as the above comments have made me doubt everything) and the response to this is not understanding of the people that are hurt , the response is attack attack attack.
Nowhere in this blog post do I see anyone’s rights being taken away – nobody is told what they can or can’t do…. a matter of fact the blog post is ABOUT the people that are excluding people and limiting what they can or can’t do… and the thoughts and feelings the writer has about those situations. Respectfully explaining an OPINION.
It is about the choices she makes in life around these situations and how she feels about them…
But I guess it must have struck a nerve somewhere, looking at the responses above – somehow the excluding party doesn’t like being criticized or written about. Guess that if you want to defend your opinion by stating ‘that is what social media is all about, deal with it’ then this blog post is part of that too…. the knife DOES cut both ways.
How about a; “thank you for letting me think about the affects of my choices, they were never my intention” or “what could anyone do to not make the other person feel excluded or hurt?” or just a simple “these are my views on this”
Did the name calling and personal attacks really need to happen?
Why are we no longer looking out for other people’s feelings – why has it become the norm to just reduce other’s feelings or opinions to nothing…?
I will happily stand with the minority, even if I am not a part of it…
Happily be disliked for speaking up and standing for something, THAT I do know

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