The Mothers from Hell

Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.

We have a saying at work: “Dealing with an angry mom is like dealing with a burglar; just give her what she wants, and no one gets hurt.”

I see it almost every day at the pool - a mother’s desperate desire to have everyone acknowledge her son as the fastest, strongest, and simply the best. I believe that mothers hold a special place within the animal kingdom, possessing the power to instantly transform into the scariest species on the planet. They will pounce instinctively for the betterment of their offspring, and they’ll do it all without chipping a nail. And I witnessed this unabashed, maternal aggressiveness recently when a mom felt that her son was not being recognized as the alpha in the pack.

I watch as she confidently strolls towards me from the side of the pool, eyes locked, head raised, and shoulders back. All I can do is brace for the impending verbal barrage coming my way. “Why is my son with this group?!? He deserves to be in the next level. Look! He is swimming perfectly. At home, when I swim with him, he goes all the way across the pool without stopping! Put him in the next level class!”

Keeping my composure, I periodically glance at the pool to check the safety of all my other swimmers while she continues for...

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