Mom: Piranha In A Sea Of Goldfish

I'm so glad school is off to a great start; its my daughter's last year in elementary school and we're very excited! We love the school, teachers, etc. Well I've recently gotten to know the mother of my daughter's best friend. They've been at the school longer than we have and they had a such a horrible experience at the school before we arrived, other than parent teacher conferences, the girl's mother or her father don't attend school activities with their daughter. The mom is very angry and foul mouthed about the school and the daughter makes negative comments about the school too. Several times last year my daughter's friend called us asking for "a ride" to evening events (the family has one car and her dad works the evening shift). Coming from an elementary school student, I thought her request was odd but I obliged. Although the girl was well behaved, it was awkward at times because she's competing for my attention with my daughter whose an only child. Well yesterday the mother tells me she's going to follow the same suit this year - going to school as little as possible - I couldn't believe she didn't go to parent curriculm night and I told her that I needed to hang around [parents who made better choices -"bright people" is the term I used]. In the back of my mind I'm thinking, if your daughter asks me for a ride to an evening school event this year and you're not going with us, the answer will be no. I hate to judge because I haven't walked in the mother's shoes. Many times its not easy for me to get out of my comfort zone to attend activities at school but its for my daughter. Even as a single parent, unless it was an emergency I just wouldn't feel comfortable sending my daughter to a school event with another family. And on some level, I feel like they've tried to use us as my daughter would say " as menons." Not too long ago, the mom described herself around my daughter and I as a "piranha in a sea of goldfish." Now I'm beginning to see what she meant and glad that I am.
zeeva70 zeeva70
41-45, F
2 Responses Sep 13, 2012

How strange, but maybe she needs more attention, and she likes you.

We often took children to school events, and made a point of getting photos of them. If their parents, couldn't or wouldn't do it for them. Every child needs to feel special. I grew up with out parents to show up for me at school or special events. I would have done anything to have someone there for me.

It wasn't always easy to give extra time to these special kids as I had a herd of my own and my husband travels with his job. But to this day I would not do anything different. The joy on those kids faces when I gave them their photos. When they had an adult there for them.

The fact as adults they still stop by to see my husband and I and call us "mom and dad" I am not saying you have to do this. I just thought you should know there is a reward of knowing you stood for a child nobody else would stand for. These children don't deserve to
be treated this way by their parents, and while it is not your job. It is a job that no one is going to do.

I understand and appreciate your pov. I agree that every child needs to feel special too. The love you and your husband have given to children will always comfort you. However balance is key. At this season in my life, I struggle with depression, anxiety, recovering from being overly involved with other people's responsibilities - probably stemming from taking on things I shouldn't. Although many people thank me for the assistance I've provided over the years, I'm not convienced this situtation is something I should be overly involved with. I think they often use people.

Then you are not the right person for this job right now. Please do not obsess on letting this kid down. I had no way of knowing your situation. So I shared my experience. I was in a place where I was able to do for other kids. Remember That! Do Not Judge yourself on what I did. If you find yourself feeling bad message me. We will talk...OK?! Promise me that. I had no intention of making you feel bad.
(Of course they use people! their kind always does and they never say thank you.)

Don't worry Jenna, I'm not judging myself based on your response - I was venting. Most of all, THANK YOU for checking in to see if I'm ok; you're a caring person. I have the tendacy to be too nice at times and taken advantage of. So as I got to know the mother along with her self described "piranha in a sea of goldfish" anology I became concerned about their influences on me and my daughter. I'm rather obssessed with being their for my daughter and prefer to be around parents with similar values about parenthood. I'd take their daughter to functions in a heartbeat if they weren't always trying to pass their children off on other people in a manipulative way. May God forgiving me for judging this mother - I haven't walked in her shoes.

I think you should be glad you are not like her, and your correct neither of us should judge her. I guess I am really guilty of that. I have abad habit of being done with people who don't feel as strongly about doing for their kids as I do.

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