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A South Boston mom calls out 'Southie Rules'

Posted by Patrick Rosso  February 1, 2013 11:04 AM

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On Wednesday, it was hard to avoid A&E’s new show “Southie Rules.

From the Twitter to Facebook, people were taking to social media to both curse and comment on the show that follows around a “real” Southie family.

For anyone who watched Wednesday night, they would have seen some picturesque shots of South Boston, but they would have also seen one group parodied: The South Boston MOMS Club.

In the second episode in the series character Leah Winters is signed up by her husband to attend an “upscale” mom’s group, ignoring the fact that she is already a member of the group outside of the show.

The episode works to show the divide between the “real” residents and the “yuppies.”

From their organic food, fancy strollers, and prudish attitudes, the mom’s club is featured as the antithesis of all that is good in the neighborhood, but now one mom is speaking out.

Anna White, the president of the real South Boston MOMS Club, a nonprofit with close to 270 members across the neighborhood, said what was seen on the show is just plain wrong.

“Our club does a lot of good and everything we do is child-focused,” said White, a stay-at-home mom who didn’t grow up in South Boston, but owns her F Street home. “I joined because I wanted to meet people and have my kids make friends in the neighborhood.”

The South Boston MOMS Club is a chapter of a broader group called the MOMS Club International. Through activities, member meetings, and knowledge sharing, the group aims to connect moms throughout the neighborhood to not only other parents, but resources like where the best schools are and how to sign up a child for hockey.

“I felt like that it was not a fair representation of the club and it seems like everyone women I talk to seems to think that it was mocking the MOMS Club,” said White, a 37-year-old. “It was absolutely not an accurate representation.”

White said her group, which includes both yuppies and natives, is more child focused and less concerned with champagne and talking about where to get the freshest arugula.

“Our club does a lot in the community. We have the kids write cards for Marion Manor, we collect coats, and raise money for the food pantry,” said White. “We’re very active in the community and not, at all, like what was portrayed in the show.”

White also added that the MOMS Club, which stands for Moms Offering Moms Support, is all about helping.

“It’s to connect moms with everything they need,” said White. “A lot of people who move here don’t have their families nearby so we offer that support.”

The show was also critical of residents who move to the neighborhood for a little bit and leave when they have kids, which seems to be the show's running theme. But it wasn’t the new Foodies that brought White to South Boston, it was the community, something she said she is excited to be a part of for a long time.

“We lived in the South End for five-years before we moved to South Boston and I tell people we talked to more people on the street in South Boston in the first weekend than I ever did in the South End,” said White. “My kids go to school here, we have a house here, and we’re not planning on going anywhere.”

Although episodes will keep coming out every week, to the dismay of both natives and yuppies, White said in the end her group will keep doing what it does, whether they get their shallots at Stop & Shop or Bell’s.

“If it is supposed to be a comedy or a parody of a family in South Boston, that’s fine, but they’re calling it reality and it doesn’t seem very real,” said White. “I don’t really think anyone genuinely thinks the MOMS Club is like that, at least I hope they don’t.”

The MOMS Club is an open group that holds meetings, play dates, and activities throughout the neighborhood. For more information about the group or how to get involved, click here.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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