Mama Love Junkie and Mothertougher: I Hate My Kid’s BFF’s Mom
My daughter has been BFFs with this one little girl in her preschool class since they started last fall. The mom and I got along for awhile, but then she totally sold me out when I confided in her about pretending to be sick to skip out on another classmate’s birthday party. Anyway, it pissed me off and I really can’t get over it.
I have been putting off playdates for months now, despite my daughter begging me to arrange one. The thing is, letting her play with her friend after school means that I have to hang out with the mother. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
So – what do I do? I feel like a shitty mom for depriving my daughter of her best bud, but how the heck am I supposed to remain civil for 3 hours with someone I really can’t stand?Yours,
Friend or Foe
She seriously told on you for feigning illness? Wow.
Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, when Little Mothertougher #1 first went to preschool, he fell in like with a classmate. He was a shy little fellow, and I was thrilled when he asked to have a playdate with this girl. I approached said kidâ€™s mom in the parking lot and tried to be cute and charming by making a comment about how Little Mothertougher #1 might be her future son-in-law. This mom then leaned down and said to my two-year-old, â€œThatâ€™s fine, as long as you become a doctor or a lawyer or something respectable. No starving artist types,â€ with no hint of irony. And she full well knew that my husband and I were both (sometimes starving but mostly just a tiny bit hungry) artists.
I could have swallowed my pride and made nice with this woman, for the sake of my sweet son. I could have put on a fake smile and invited her over to my small, artsy, ramen-filled condo in the poor section of town, and ignored her transparent disapproval.
Instead, I deflected Little Mothertougherâ€™s requests for playdates and encouraged him to make friends with other kids in the class who had less douchey parents.
Kids understand relationship dynamics better than we do. They donâ€™t fake it. If they donâ€™t like someone, they say it. We go around telling them to be nice, and thatâ€™s a good thing, as no one wants their kid growing up to be Regina George â€“ but if someone is mean or rude toÂ them, thatâ€™s another story. I would never tell my child to make nice with some asshole kid who harasses or teases him. Iâ€™d tell him to stay out of the kidâ€™s way, or tell the kid off, depending on the situation. Why should it be any different for us adults? If someone isnâ€™t nice to you (and Iâ€™d say betraying your confidence qualifies as â€œnot being niceâ€) then you donâ€™t need her in your life.
Unfortunately, in the preschool years, friendships canâ€™t really develop without the help of the parents, and your daughter may not understand why she canâ€™t have a playdate with her BFF. But you do have a few options here â€“ you could volunteer to watch both kids on your own (i.e., have Evil Mom drop her daughter at your house for an hourâ€“ most moms, even the evil ones, will jump at the chance to do a few errands alone.) Or, you can encourage her to play with the friend at school, and make excuses every time she asks for a playdate. Or, if youâ€™re really ballsy, be honest and tell her that you canâ€™t stand her friendâ€™s mom, so it makes getting together complicated. Tread carefully, though – this could easily blow up in your face, though, when your daughter announces to her preschool class that she canâ€™t play with Susie because her mom is a raging beeyotch.
Remember, time is on your side: preschool relationships are fleeting, and often based on the relationships of parents. Try making plans with other nice people who have kids the same age. You know, like toddler matchmaking. Arranged marriages for the preschool set.
Just call me Yenta.