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My Kid's Best Friend's Mom Drives Me Nuts

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Guest blogger Jana Mathews: One of the biggest mommy myths is that you have to be friends with the parents of your child's friends.

woman doesn't like couple

I'm not ashamed to say that my daughter's best friend's mom drives me nuts. "Kate" is everything that I have tried my whole life to avoid: a former drill team captain and sorority girl, she swears by baby wipe warmers and talks incessantly about what's on sale at Gymboree.

Not that I'm some prize myself. Kate thinks I am boring and weird and could benefit from an extreme makeover. I know this because I asked her once. We were sitting in matching Hamburglar chairs at a McDonald's playland watching our children roll around in box of disgusting plastic balls.

"I'm not sure that I like you very much," I said without a hint of sarcasm.
"The feeling is mutual," Kate replied.

The irony of the situation was downright laughable, even if our conversation wasn't. There we were: two women who, in any other life, would never be friends, yet we spend more time with each other each week than with anyone else, including our husbands.

As much as it pains me and Kate to be around each other sometimes, we suck it up and move on for the sake of our daughters, who, unlike their mothers, are basically the same person. They're that similar. Kate and I agree that seeing our kids so happy has a strange way of putting our misery in perspective.

Not that spending so much time with Kate has been all bad: I just earned my first set of Gymbucks.

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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
leelee February 23, 2009, 1:39 PM

The nice thing is, that once the girls get into Kinder/first grade, you won’t have to spend so much time with her. Playdates will no longer require both moms and sleepovers are great. Good luck to both of you and I’m glad to hear you are taking away as much of the possitive from the other mom as you can.

Anonymous February 23, 2009, 3:33 PM

Too bad you are both apparently too closed minded to learn and grow from the experience. Why not look at it as a great opportunity to see life from a different perspective?

jw February 24, 2009, 3:28 AM

How RUDE! Didn’t your mom teach you that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all? Instead of saying “I’m not sure I like you very much” , which would obviously return a negative reaction (really cause after that who’s gonna say ‘awe please like me cause I really like you. Won’t you be my friend’), if you really felt that way you should have simply had a pleasant, and POLITE conversation. Next time you should try to say something along the lines of ‘I think we got off on the wrong foot…’ or ‘Our kids have so much in common we must have some common ground between us …” . Consider this a practice in human decency. Even if the other mom doesn’t want to play along (and who can blame her after how rude you were to her) you can at least make the attempt. Like they say in A.A. when people are having a hard time with sobriety… Fake it till you make it!

Taffy February 24, 2009, 6:30 AM

What a lovely lesson on tolerance you are teaching your girls.
How proud you must be.

Mary February 24, 2009, 9:30 AM

How HONEST! I’m impressed you spoke the truth and I’m even more impressed that she responded the same way. Obviously the two of you have reached some type of accord if you’ve progressed to earning Gymbucks together. I think you ARE teaching your girls a valuable lesson.
And this is NOT directed at AAers: You “fakers” out there aren’t fooling anyone - most of us see right through you.

jw February 24, 2009, 11:16 AM

Sorry Mary but honesty is not always the best policy. Of course it is ok to not be friends with everybody but it is not ok to exhibit rude behavior - no matter what the circumstance is. You don’t have to like someone in order to be polite to them. My suggestion for the blogger to Fake it till she makes it was not to tell her to be fake, it was a clear comparison of her inability to put a leash on her problem of rude behavior just like alcoholics need put a leash on their drinking problems.

Mary  February 24, 2009, 3:32 PM

JW, these 2 women have moved beyond their mutual dislike and are able to go shopping together! Isn’t that the point, that they can civilly hang out?

And really, how outwardly rude could they possibly be? Not at all, if their daughters still want to spend so much time together. Most daughters would be more sensitive to their mom’s hurt feelings than anybody else’s.

I’m not advocating rudeness, but I do applaud someone who can get beyond being described as “boring and weird and could benefit from an extreme makeover.”

HeeHee February 24, 2009, 3:38 PM

Don’t you just want to slap someone like Kate?

jw  February 24, 2009, 5:05 PM

I understand your need to commend these women for getting past this incident and for learning to tolerate each other and act like mature adults and, I would hope, have this conversation out of earshot of the kids. However, while tolerance and polite behavior is something that should be expected of anyone over the age of 8, not to mention adults, my point is that these adult women should have been able to get past their personal dislike of each other without ever being insulting and rude to each other.

Cassandra March 4, 2009, 6:23 PM

You should be commended for the sacrafice you are making for your chid! Not all moms would put their childs happiness in front of her own feelings of dislike. As adults, and moms that would do anything for our children, we sometimes have to put our feelings aside and at the very least be civil with each other for the sake of our children.

Alecia March 23, 2009, 7:41 PM

Obviously if they really hated each other, they wouldn’t have the play dates together. There are always other kids…and moms to play with. Take what Jane says as what it is…something many of us feel, but cannot write about so well, and so hilariously! Thanks for giving me some laughs!

MarcomMom April 23, 2009, 8:32 PM

I’m curious what was said just before this frank exchange of views. And what happened after?

Anonymous April 23, 2009, 8:59 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with Mary. It’s amazing that both of you can get past the mutual dislike for the sake of your daughters! I’m sure that most moms out there couldn’t. I only hope that if and when I’m in the same situation with my son’s friend’s moms someday, I can do the same!

Christa May 18, 2009, 11:33 AM

I just pray for the day I meet you, because we are kindred souls! I would have said the same thing. I think people appreciate honesty over a fake friendship….and if they don’t then they wouldn’t like me anyway, so why should I be so nice?

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