I'm having another problem as a young mother of two. My oldest daughter is in first grade at a private school. My husband and I bust our butts and cut back on a lot to send her to a good private school. Well, like most private schools, there are a lot of wealthy people who send their kids there. It doesn't bother me that they have more than me b/c my daughter has the same uniform, the same lunches, the same education, and they same materials needed for the school. In my eyes, my child is as equal to the other children in school when school is concerned. She might not have a walk in closet full of clothes at home or the latest Hannah Montana guitar, but in school she's equal. Well, her best friend is wealthy but just sweet as pie, and so is her mother, we all get along great. A few months ago my daughter went to her house after school to play and they ended up going shopping at the mall b/c her friend needed new clothes. The mom didn't want to leave my daughter out so she bought her a few new outfits at Neimans. Obviously something I couldn't afford.....but she LOVED her new clothes and looked so damn cute in them that I couldn't return them to the mother, and just let it go this once. Well, two days ago the same mom called and asked if my daughter could come over and play so I said sure. She called me around bedtime asking if she could spend the night, they did their homework she'll wash their uniforms, make sure they get to school on time yadi yadi yadi. Anyways, I'm not a big advocate of school night sleepovers but I figured she's young enough so I said sure. Well, the next day I was on my way to pick her up from school and the same mom called me again and said, Well I picked up Mary from school , the girls were begging me to let her come over again, but if you need me to I can drop her off at your apartment now, but we would love to have her play for a couple hours. So I said yes, just a couple hours. Well I call before dinner was about to be ready to pick her up and the mom said they just started eating dinner there and if she could stay for dinner.....yes sure call me when she's done. Doesn't call so I call her back an hour later and now they are in the bath tub. Well, she started telling me about how her daughter needed new winter clothes and a new coat since it got cold outside...so they went to Neimans again....and bought my daughter more clothes again. I don't want to be mad at this woman but I also don't want her thinking that my daughter needs handouts. I give my daughter everything she NEEDS, but I don't have the privilege to give her everything she WANTS. Anyways....I asked her how much I owed her and she wouldn't have it at all........which is good b/c I don't have money to give her anyways hahaha..... Anyways she starts going off about how Mary is all excited to show me her new clothes and model them for me, but they got muddy while playing so they are in the wash. She doesn't want Mary to go home without her new clothes that she's so excited about showing me, so can she spend the night again???????????? I couldn't believe it, but what was I supposed to say? Oh thanks for buying my daughter the things I can't and I know she's having a GREAT time, but no I want her to come home. I have a problem saying no if you guys haven't figured that out by now. Anyways so I said yes, but I am definitely picking her up today, I have an excuse ready if she calls wanting her to come over again. So my problem isn't her coming home today, but does it seem like to you that this lady feels bad for my daughter b/c she doesn't have as much and maybe resents me for not giving it to her? Does it seem like she's trying to give her what she thinks she deserves but I can't give her?? Does it seem like she thins I'm a bad mom??? I like this lady but it's about to go too far and I don't her gossiping to the other moms that Mary doesn't have a good life....b.c she does. She has the BEST LIFE I CAN GIVE HER. I just don't want this to come back on Mary, having friends tease her or gossip about her b/c of stuff like this. It just makes me mad, b/c I sent her to this school for the SCHOOL, not the people or their money, so don't take it any further than school you know. Mary could be the most stylish and the richest and have the most things in school, if she went to public school, but that's not what's important to me for her, and I just wish these parents would see that. Any words of advice??????
I don't think that she is looking down on you or what you can or can not provide for your daughter. . I think she is shopping for your daughter, because she was along with her daughter. If you are used to having a lot of money at your disposal, it is often not a second thought to spend it on other people that make you or your family happy. I'm from a straight middle class family, no extra to go around, but if I have my daughter shopping with me and she has a friend along, I usually buy something for the friend also. It doesn't mean that I'm doing it because they can't afford it. It is done because I like to do it.
Would you have the same problem if she was shopping at Wally World or a thrift store and bought the same items for your daughter?
I'd just say she needs to come home! There was a mom at the preschool last year who for 3 years would shop Target clearance racks, and was always bringing stuff to me for my boys. At first it made me uncomfortable until I figured out that's just how she was. She always found great deals on the stuff though. I wouldn't like a friends mom buying clothes for my boys though. It would make me uncomfortable and I don't think I would accept them.
Daradon, I don't mind things being bought for her b/c I do understand. I have taken her daughter to the mall with Mary and bought them both little things, but she's spending up to $200 on her, and I DO GREATLY appreciate it, but I just don't want to be perceived as a mom who can't provide the necessities for her daughter. I'll buy her coat....not at Neiman's but at Target. Maybe if it was something that was not a necessity, such as warm clothes for winter, then it wouldn't affect me so much. I mean, should I talk to her and tell her stop? I don't want to seem like an ungrateful b**ch.
I have actually had this happen with my daughter. I dealt with it in a happy, joking type way. When she came home with yet another new thing I joked with my friend and said' Wow - you can adopt me next" and that helped lead into a conversation of that you appreciate it and "little Suzy Q" loves the coat, shirt, what ever and they look great on her, but I don't want her to expect every time she plays with "Janie Lou" that she is going to go shopping.
It is hard to not feel like they are "looking at you as the poor family". I felt that way when my friend gave my daughter a pair of Marc Jacob shoes that she only wore once. I thought she was trying to buy her affection, and to her it was only giving my daughter a pair of shoes that didn't really go with the outfit she bought them for.
It is hard not to think of them as RICH, but once you start looking at them as someone with the same type of problems that you have.
Maybe she can't say no either to her daughter. Maybe "Janie Lou" begged and begged until she gave in on the sleep over, and she begged and begged until she bought your daughter something.
The business where I work is owned by a family with a boat load of money. It intimidated me - greatly - until I stared talking to them as people - not money - I realized my daughter had the same problems as their kids, I had the same issues that they did. It's hard, and now I am rambling....but I don't think she meant anything by it.
If I take my kids shopping and a friend is over, I buy the other child an outfit too. I don't spend $200 on another kid, but I will buy them and outfit and take them to lunch. I really don't think the parent means anything "mean" by it. I enjoy sharing what I have with others.
I would be more concerned about the school allowing another parent to pick up my child without my permission. Personally, I do not let my kids spend the night at anyone's house. I'm just not that trusting. I have a couple of friends who are cops and you just wouldn't believe the things that people do to kids.
I agree that this woman doesn't look down on you as a mom, I think she's being generous. That being said though, it obviously makes you uncomfortable, as it would me too. I would definitely have a heart to heart with this woman and nicely let her know that you cannot allow her to be so extravagant with Mary in the future.
I think if you allow this to continue, Mary will be completely confused. You want to instill your values in your children, not the values of their friend's Mom.
Also, about the sleepovers, when she tries to con you into yet another night, I'd say "sorry, we really want Mary home in her own bed tonight". I never allowed sleepovers during the school week or until my children were old enough to defend themselves. They're 18 and 20 now and away at college, so I'm thinking I'll start allowing sleepovers this year!
Seriously, we don't know what goes on in other's houses. I don't see any reason for a child in the first grade to sleep at someone else's house. Sure they can have a playdate, maybe even eat dinner there, but bedtime is at home with the family. You need to start practicing the word "no", believe me as your kids get older you'll be using it a lot more.
Daradon, I totally get what your saying and I do considered myself and her mother friends. She is a SWEET woman and talks to me about her problems.....I guess my problem isn't really with her. When she does these things it makes me feel bad about myself....does that make sense? Although I can buy my daughter a coat for winter, it's not as nice or cute as the one she bought. My daughter just loves it so much and will go on and on and on about how much fun she had going out to eat, and going to the museum, going shopping, that it makes me feel inferior to this mother, b/c she can give more than I can to my own daughter. I know it's not all about the money and stuff, all about the love, morals and teachings but it still makes me feel like s**t when it happens so often. Once in a while is cool, especially if I return the favor and do something nice for her daughter, but this is getting to be a lot of clothes and a lot of cool trips. I just don't want my daughter to want to hang out with her more than me ....does that make sense???? It's not the mom at all, I love her to death, she is great to me and my family. [/quote]
I can see where you are coming from, but like most of the others, I don't think this mom is looking down on you at all. I know if I have my best friends kids in the truck w/me for one reason or another, and we stop off to get something to drink, I always include them also. No it may not be the amount of what she is spending, but they are with me and it would be rude for me not to include them also. My friend would do the same for my children. If she finds something she knows my kids will like she buys, as I do her. Maybe pick up a really cute outfit for her daughter as a "thank you" for what shes bought yours. It does not have to be expensive but something to show her you appreciate it.
What special things can you do that the other mom can't/doesn't know how to do? I became a girl scout leader to spend more time with my daughter and her friends. I've had the neighborhood over to decorate cookies at christmas time. All the kids loved it and I was the "Cool Mom". Taught the troop how to do basic cake/cupcake decoration. How to make jewlery.
I can totally relate to your feelings of not being adequate and comparing myself to other moms. It is hard to get over those feelings. It does get easier.
Thanks for your supportive words guys! er little girl is spending the day with us today and I'll probably end up buying them something special, even if it's not $200 I got ove it last night when my daughter came to my bed scared from the thunderstorm.... Thats something she can only get from me, comfort.
I honestly don't know how I would handle a situation like this, but I know I would not be comfortable with several aspects. First off, I would be VERY upset with someone for picking up my child from school without my knowledge or permission, AND with the school for allowing it. To me, this is a very serious matter that I would have serious issues with and I would put a stop to immediately. I would not allow school night sleepovers, either. That is just not a good idea. I would be uncomfortable with the shopping, too. Buying a meal, small trinket, paying for an activity, etc. is one thing, but buying someone else's child an entire outfit or winter coat is a bit weird. If it were someone who was a very close family friend who was like an honorary aunt, that'd be one thing, but it doesn't sound like you're anywhere near that close.... She may simply being over-extravagantly generous, but it is over the top and I wouldn't want my child to come to expect that and I would try to somehow diplomatically ask her to stop.
I think you hit the nail on the head yourself. All the stuff that's happening is making you feel bad about yourself. So, it's really your issues that you need to deal with. I don't mean to sound harsh, I'm not trying to come off that way. I just think that if your daughter is in a safe environment and she's having fun, why on earth would you stop it? You really need to put your daughter's feelings ahead of your own here. That doesn't mean that you can't have boundaries. For example, I personally feel that 2 sleepovers a month is the limit before my kids become cranky. But, I don't look down on people who have them every week or even more often. That's a limit that you get to set as a mother. I agree with what some other people said that you can find your own things to do that the girls will love. I've had kids over that fell in love with making their own play dough. Homemade play doh never comes out quite as good as the real thing, but they couldn't stop talking about how they made it themselves and that made me feel good. Bake a cake with the girls and let them decorate it. You can do things with the girls and provide things for them that the other mom can't. And yes, people with money have the same issues everyone does. The other mom could be feeling insecure about herself and spending money may be what she does to make herself feel better.
I say stop trying to figure out the other mom's motives. Let your daugher enjoy the friendship. Invite the other girl over to so things at your house. Set boundaries that you're comfortable with and try your best not to let your own feelings get in the way. If there is one thing I've learned over the years,it's that ALL MOMS no matter how much money, where they live, who they're married to, we ALL have insecurities about our abilities as parents and we should all support each other.
Just remember YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!!! If this girl and her mom likes your daughter then you've played a part in that!!!
Kirsten - mom to Grace, Faith, Hope, and Eli (10, 9, 7, 5)
I think you hit the nail on the head yourself. All the stuff that's happening is making you feel bad about yourself.
I would agree with this. When I was a divorced mom of 2, I would get upset when someone bought my kids something because it made me feel like I couldn't provide or take care of my own kids. My then-boyfriend-now-hubby one day told me to get over myself when he bought shoes for my kids because my daughter's shoe had a hole in the bottom and I couldn't afford new ones. He was right.
My daughter spent the night at a cousin's house. They are VERY well off and wanted to buy her a sweater or a sweatshirt or something. My daughter wouldn't let them "....because mom will get mad!" My cousin called me to tell me he bought it because he wanted to and just wanted me to know that.
It was my own ego and my own feelings that I was fighting .... no one was trying to make me look bad or insinuate I was a bad mom.
While you feel you can't reciprocate in the gift buying department, then do as someone suggested above and find something you can do also .... like having the kids decorate their own cake, or taking a cake to the other mom as a "token of appreciation for all you do".
You'd be amazed how the simple things mean so much. When I was first married (the first time), I had homemade cookies at my house all the time. 1st-hubby's nephews were always wanting to come to aunt debi's house "....because she ALWAYS has good cookies!" Their mom told me once that I was making her look bad!
First off, I would be VERY upset with someone for picking up my child from school without my knowledge or permission, AND with the school for allowing it. To me, this is a very serious matter that I would have serious issues with and I would put a stop to immediately. I would not allow school night sleepovers, either. That is just not a good idea. I would be uncomfortable with the shopping, too.
I agree with CakesByJen2....I am less concerned about the clothes she is buying and really uneasy about the fact that she is picking your daughter up from school without permission and then always seems to be pushing the limit of your comfort level. That is totally a red flag for me!
She may be the sweetest, most generous thoughtful person in the world...but the bottom line is that she is YOUR daughter and anything...and I mean anything....that makes you think twice or makes you feel uncomfortable needs to be addressed immediately.
She seems to have issues with boundaries for sure. Just be honest...don't try to be thinking of excuses for next time. That will be a never ending game.
The dad from a boy in my son's 5th grade...who I never even met before...asked if my son could go to Six Flags and spend the day with him and his son. I didn't even try to make up an excuse. I thanked him for thinking of Gabriel, but that his dad and I don't let him do trips like that yet. End of discussion.
Don't ever be afraid as a parent to let others know where your boundaries are. You'll be glad you did!
I think dkelly27 has a point. I'm a bit wary of sleepovers, especially involving very young children and I never allowed it on school nights. I think its best for kids to be at home in their own beds. Persooally I would limit playdates at the age to no more than 2-3 hours.
As for all those free clothes, I would thank the woman but someone find a polite way to tell her it's really not appropriate or something like that.
I can totally see where you're coming from I would be unhappy about this too but i don't understand why you have not put your foot down as you are clearly uncomfortable about all of this. She is your daughter - end of story. You make the rules and the boundaries and your daughter, her pal and her mum have to respect these - whether they like them or not. As a mum i would be more concerned if someone never questioned or put their foot down over these issues - that would suggest to me that they're not too bothered about what their child gets up to AND NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH IN YOUR CASE! I don't mean to sound critical or harsh and i don't think this mum has any alterior motive - it's possible she is buying the affection of her own child by pleasing her friend (your daughter). As you are such good friends with this mum i would ask her over for coffee and have a bit of a heart to heart and explain how you are feeling and why - under pressure to agree to last minute plans and uncomfortable about the expensive gifts ( no need to compare what you can or can't afford just not happy with unnecessary gifts for no reason) Lay down what your rules are and what is or is not acceptable. You may not be able to provide $200 coats but the love, respect, self respect and morals you are teaching and instilling in your daughter are priceless and you don't want this hard work undone. Your daughter can have any friends, boyfriends etc. she chooses but she will only ever have one mum...YOU and no amount of $$$ can buy what your girl has in you.
Good luck...you sound like a fab mum
I'd let the clothes-buying go, but I'd put my foot down about the sleepovers and being picked up from school. My kids' school requires a note from us, a photo ID and your name to be on the approved pickup list to take a kid out of school, I can't believe they just let her take your daughter! That, and the repeated sleepovers, would be what I dealt with first. Tell her you don't want your daughter to go home with anyone but you unless you arrange it in advance. That's also a bad habit for your daughter to get into, you should tell her that she shouldn't go home with anyone unless you've told her beforehand that that's the arrangement for that day. Just make a no-sleepover during the week rule, and you don't have to make apologies for that!
I'd also tell her that you appreciate the clothes and that your daughter really likes them, but that you're not comfortable with her buying things every time they get together. If nothing else, that makes a kid think that shopping is something that you do all the time, and that money grows on trees. I think of those kids on the super sweet brat-teen shows who don't appreciate anything at all, and it's because their parents never said no to them. If you're not feeling good about this, and it's clear that you're not, then you should just put your foot down in a nice way. It doesn't sound like she's trying to do anything underhanded, but the whole situation is a little creepy, and it doesn't sound like she has the best judgment.
I don't believe she means anything bad or negative about buying things for your daughter,but you might want to talk to the other mom about what this might do to Mary. My concern would be, "is Mary going to start wanting to go there just to get something new?" and is this going to affect how she views friends-as a way to get something? You just don't want her view of friends to be distorted.
It sound like you are doing a tremendous job with her. Keep doing what you are doing and don't worry about the other parents and how they view you. No one can look down on a hard working, responsible person.
...Also, about the sleepovers, when she tries to con you into yet another night, I'd say "sorry, we really want Mary home in her own bed tonight". I never allowed sleepovers during the school week or until my children were old enough to defend themselves. They're 18 and 20 now and away at college, so I'm thinking I'll start allowing sleepovers this year!
That's funny. This sounds exactly like me. My older daughter is 17 now, and she still wonders why I'm funny about sleepovers. I tell her that now she can really get into trouble.