My Kid's Friend's B****Mom - LONG!

My son has been attending TotTime since he turned three; he’ll be five in September. The first year was really great, there were a couple of boys that he made friends with and all was good. We’d get together with these friends outside of school as well. One in particular, I’ll call him Anthony, has a mom who was a bit IMO overprotective and had him way overscheduled, but, whatever, he was/is a sweet little boy and I just adore him. Before the second year of school started his mom put him into another pre-school that was more academic. His other good friend, I’ll call him Alex, also went on to another school. Bryan made some other friends during the second year, but nothing even approaching the great rapport he has with these two little boys. I guess we’d say these two boys are his favorite friends.

Now, my son and Alex are fairly good friends. We have a playdate once or twice a month and his mom works really hard to keep things going. She’ll invite us to tag along with her and her three kids to (free!)movies, the community pool, or up to their house to play (they’ve got a BOUNCY HOUSE!!). She brings Alex to my house and either drops him and his little sister (older boy is in school) off to run errands or stays and we’ll enjoy a nice intelligent chat. I really like her, and feel, well, thrilled that she’s found a way to allow the boys a continuing friendship. It’s all good.

So, of course, they’re moving away. Quickly. Like within the next month. I’m sad that my boy will be losing a good friend, but more selfishly that I’m losing a great communication link. It’s not exactly easy to find people of similar intelligence and interests. We could discuss just about anything and I’d walk away learning something. I have a lot of respect for her and will deeply miss what I consider a friendship. I think though that other moms consider these “friendships” as just a side effect of their kids being sociable. IOW, not really a friend, but an acquaintance. That’s kind of hard for me, I need friends. Badly, since last year in August I so offended my best friend of 15 years that she no longer talks to me much.

After finding out that Alex was moving away I contacted Anthony’s mom. She’s been very friendly on the surface but has rebuffed many attempts at scheduling playdates in this year since he changed schools. I think in that first school year we might have had five or six outside of school get-togethers. Anthony’s been to my house to play and my son has been to Anthony’s house. We’ve met at the pool and the park and such. Whenever my son and Anthony meet up now at parties or somesuch it’s quite clear that they like each other. Of all the kids at any given party, these two gravitate together. They joke, play and really enjoy each other.

Anthony’s mom, in denying my several attempts for play has made me feel less than great with the situation. The day I found out Alex was moving I emailed Anthony’s mom about an upcoming party and to lament the loss of Alex and his mom. The actual reason for the email was to request the return of some kid’s software I gave Anthony 1.5 years ago and test the waters. I asked if maybe my son could accompany them sometime when they go to the pool, since my connection to the pool had been Alex. I also made friendly small talk, but acknowledged that I thought she wanted distance because of her lack of interest in the playdates. It was a NICE email, really.

She never responded. And Alex’s birthday party was approaching and I knew I’d be seeing her. Further, she knew she’d be seeing me. I seethed each day that she couldn’t deign to even email me back. My questions apparently got pushed away because she didn’t want to deny my pool request. Didn’t even have the decency to lie. Just ignored the whole thing. She has a history with me of ignoring questions that she doesn’t want to answer.

So, at the party last Sunday when she arrived she gave me that phony squeaky-high voice saying “Hi!” like absolutely nothing had occurred. I said, in monotone, “good morning”. When I saw Anthony though, I showed him how happy I was to see him and fawned a bit. I really do like the kid. He calls me by my name and seeks my attention. Anyway, his mom and I didn’t talk at all during the party with the exception of three sentences while I was helping her mop up some soda she spilled on the tile floor. And those sentences were along the lines of how our own floors could use such attention. Nothing personal at all. I know that if I had fawned over her upon their arrival that we probably would have sat together and chatted. I chose not to, thinking I’d allow her the room to approach me. She chose not to. We’d smile at each other in passing, but geez, to someone not knowing, they’d think we were strangers. When we were getting ready to leave, Anthony says to me “Stop! We have something for you!”. Okay, I wait and his mom pulls out the game as I’d requested. I said thanks. We left.

I can’t believe how angry I got at this woman. Granted, they must have much more money than we, their home is probably worth a million plus. They live in an area of snobby people, this fact was noted in the local newspaper recently when the residents objected to their housing tract being referred to as part of a certain fire district. Stupid, it was. But there it was.

I sent an email telling her how I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t worthy of even a reply and why she didn’t want the kids to be friends. I told her it smelled of elitism and for god’s sake just ignoring someone isn’t the considerate thing to do. Shame on her. Too fucking good for me. Beeyatch.

There, now MAYBE I can let this go. It’s been eating on me for so long I’m surprised I have any extremities left.

Thanks for your support!

Perhaps she has a reason for not wanting to continue the friendship, but doesn’t feel that she owes you an explanation. It may have nothing to do with elitism - it could be anything, and she has the right to stop contact with you and your son if she wants to.

Your son will make new friends.

You hit it; she didn’t feel she owed me an explanation. Isn’t that a bit mean? Especially since we had a previous relationship? Wouldn’t a nice/considerate response be better than just blowing someone off? We’re grown-ups here, both @ 35+. I don’t think I could do that without at least saying “well, we’re moving in another direction, it’s been fun, see you around”.

I’m just surprised that I didn’t deserve an explanation. Is that a common thing?

You emailed her initially; you got no response.
You saw her in person; you didn’t discuss it.
You emailed her once again to complain.

I think what we have here is a failure to communicate. May I suggest a more personal form of two-way communication in the future?

I’m having a hard time with this note. I’m getting a real negative vibe from this description. The real reason was software, but you’re hoping to get hooked up with some playdates since Alex is leaving. If I was “eh” about doing playdates with you in the first place, this note wouldn’t exactly tip me to the other side. I might feel that my son was second string, and you’re looking to playdate only because the first stringer is moving away.

Granted, the devil is in the details, but it sure feels like the only reason you wrote it was because Alex was moving away.

Leaffan also has a good point, you were totally cold when you met in person. That was the time to be friendly and see what the deal was. There’s a bit of room between fawning and a monotone good morning, you should have been in it.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think you realise the impression you gave - that Anthony was a substitute for Alex, you wanted the software and that she was not interested in friendship.
It doesn’t sound like a nice email.

Seething each day suggests that things will go badly.

I think you need to decide if you want a playmate for your kid, or just show how much you dislike this woman.
You were presumably still seething, got offended by the other mum’s voice and spoke in a monotone to her. Not behaviour that will make her want to associate with you.
Then you say you ‘fawned’ on Anthony. Was this genuine affection, or were you just acting?

Well you certainly don’t sound like a gracious hostess. You invite her over (mentioning that her kid is a substitute and that she owes you software), greet her in a monotone and wait for her to be friendly.
You chose to be ungracious.

What does money matter? Why do you mention it?

I don’t think you come out of this too well. Even if you’re right, what benefit did you get from insulting her? Presumably she’ll tell all her friends how rude you are and that will make it more difficult to get friends for your son.

And mentioning that you’d like to use her to get access to the pool wasn’t exactly a statement of gracious intentions toward her or her family. You want her to overlook your crass motives and rude behavior and make authentically warm overtures toward you and your son. You sound like you believe she has a duty to you and/or your son. Wrong.


She wasn’t rude not to reply to your email angling to get your son invited to the pool. She was ignoring your atrocious manners, which is a very polite thing for her to have done.

Dear Anthony’s mom,
Hi, I know I let our kids’ friendship slide when you moved because it wasn’t really that important at the time, but now that one of my kid’s real friends is moving, I need a stand-in, even if I do think you are overprotective and over-scheduled. Especially since I no longer have access to a free pool.
By the way, you know that software that I lent you, I need it back. Why don’t you want to be my friend?

Fast forward to the after-party email:
Hi, I know that I was monotone and uninterested in you at the party, especially in comparison to my fawning over your child, even though I know if I had been warm and gracious you would have responded in kind. I think you’re a snob and I can’t quick picking at this wound. Why aren’t we friends? Why? Why? Why?

Maybe she picked up on the fact that you disapprove of her overprotective attitude a long time ago and decided to let the friendship fade. Maybe she didn’t mind being reminded to return something (which she obviously DID need to do), but resented the request being couched in an hunt for a second-rate friendship and access to a free pool. Maybe she thought your “fawning” over her child was to flaunt to her just how cold you were trying to be to her. Maybe she only allows multilingual helper monkeys in her house.
Either way, she doesn’t owe you any kind of explanation, and your emailing for it probably sealed the deal on the death of that relationship.

Having raised a 14 year old and a father of a 6, 5, and 3 year old I can say that situations like you described in the OP will happen about 675 times in your life. You will meet all kinds of cool parents and people that you might become attached to or want to know better. Most of those relationships, for whatever million reasons, will not materialise. Most people already have their core friends and are just being sociable in these situations because of the children involved and the settings (other adults/kids around to impress, school function, church, etc.). Kind of like the friends you have at work. You may be the closest of buddies with your co-worker, yet never talk to them outside of the job. Or ever see them again when you leave.
I wouldn’t get the least bit disconcerted over what happened in the OP. Also, some clicks are nearly impossible to get into, or undesireable for that matter. It’s been my observation that the social groups in these settings are pretty tightly connected, and for a casual acquaintence such as yourself, the chance of becoming part of that group is small.

She may be non-communicative and snobby, but you’re definitely coming across with a slightly scary “I WILL NOT BE IGNORED” vibe.

I am somewhat stunned as I’ve never really had a female to female back and forth social interaction diagrammed out like this for me. Women’s social relationships really are an order of magnitude more complex than mens.

I’m still at the puzzled at (what appears to be) you getting bent out of shape over an ‘ignored’ email. Jeez. If I had a nickel for every email to which I didn’t respond because I was doing something else at the time and just simply forgot to return to it…well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Fortunately, my friends (mostly busy professionals themselves) realize this and none of us bear hard feelings over missed email exchanges.

Sometimes I’ll go for a month without checking my email at home. For some people communicating in person or over the phone is a preferred method. Could it be that she actually hasn’t seen your request yet… and now another has piled up chastizing her for a non-reply?

Mothers of small children tend to get plenty of “needy” from their own children. Most of us also get enough experience of obligation in our relationships with our own children. If an opportunity for an interaction with another parent or family has even a whiff of a possibility of being less than reciprocal and fulfilling, it tends to be moved down or off of the list of social opportunities we (or I, anyway) will accept. Those years of childcare can be isolating and emotionally demanding, as well as largely delightful. Even moms who seem to be pretty together must teeter near the edge sometimes. I fall somewhere in the middle: moderately together about half the time, with intermittent chance of teetering. I, for one, have to make choices to preserve or pretend to my own balance and sanity and just plain time. I can’t afford, for my own sake and my kids’, to be dragged down by the insatiable neediness of some of the other mommies. I make some pragmatic choices about who I can bring close to myself and my family. When my kids are older and the demands are less, I will have the resources (time, money, sanity, patience) to be a bit more charitable to more of the assorted needs of other people. For now, I have a clear set of priorities and if you are going to or might interfere with those, I can’t afford your friendship. Thus, I am a bitch in the protective, preoccupied, maternal – though not canine, in my case – sense from which the insult derives.


I tried to explain this to my wife. She was upset that her sister didn’t respond to her e-mail (after phone calls went unanswered).
I told her that just because you e-mail her doesn’t mean that she’ll get it right away and respond 5 minutes later. The wife said, “But I know she’s on the computer all the time, she told me so.” That doesn’t mean she’s always staring at her inbox.

Not all women are like this, and most of us avoid ones that are like the plague. I would never try to force a friendship like this. IMHO, if you have to pester someone to be your friend, it isn’t going to happen. Sorry, RSSchen.

I think you’re getting way to worked up about this and I’m trying to figure out where that note of, well, almost desperation is coming from. Why is this such a big deal for you? You hardly know this woman and your son hardly knows her son.

If Anthony’s mom doesn’t want to have play dates with you and your son you can’t really do anything about that. It’s unfortunate since your son and Anthony seem to hit it off so well but them’s the breaks. Your son is very young and he’ll have many, many opportunities to make friends. So will you.

Let it go. It’s just not all that important. You’re taking her behaviour personally and it’s just not personal. She has her agenda and you have no way of knowing what it is. Let it go.

RSSchen, in my opinion, you’re completely in the wrong here. You really should apologize to HER, assuming that she would even want to talk to you at this point.

I know I wouldn’t.

Anybody else read the title as “My Kids Friend “is banging” Mom!” ?

One thing that caught my eye - you mentioned a sour relationship with someone who had been your closest friend for 15 years. You mentioned that you REALLY need friends now.

Have you tried to mend your relationship with your former best friend? And not just sending out an email and waiting for an answer…some fights are too hurtful to be resolved like that. I once had a huge fight with my best friend. It lasted nearly two months. I fixed it by seeing her at the bus stop in town, waiting for the last bus of the night to take her home, and I had my car. I pulled over, opened the door, and she got it. Drove in silence to her house. Baked a cake (at 2am, freaked out her mother!) and we started talking about everything EXCEPT the fight. We were friends again. In time, the issues around that argument came up, and we were able to discuss things rationally, and get past all of it. In hindsight, it was pretty stupid. Hurtful things were said, but heartfelt appologies were said later, and we are still as close as can be.

Call up your friend. Go see her. YOU make the effort, don’t stand there and expect her to know your needs. Tell her what you’d like to have from her, tell her you miss her, and do everything you can to resolve the situation. If she still wants nothing to do with you, at least you know you are the better person for having tried to resolve it.

It sounds to me like you’re placing your expectations from your ex-friend onto all these new people you meet, and that isn’t fair to them. It’s not fair to you, either. Your son has made new friends. He will make new friends many times in his life. What’s wrong with the parents of these new friends? Are you a SAHM, or can you set up a weekly happy-hour get-together or something with co-workers?

I hope this post doesn’t sound mean. I understand your feelings, because I’ve felt similar things sometimes, but I never acted on them the way you have. It’s hard to feel alone in life. I hope you take some of the things in this post (and in this thread) to heart, and manage to come out of this a better person.