A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Mommy Wars’


Last week, Cole’s teacher celebrated her birthday. Typically, the head room parent spearheads an effort to get a card signed for the teacher. Considering that kindergarteners have 2.5 hours a day in class, I decided to send an email to the parents in Cole’s class encouraging everyone to MAKE a card for the fabulous Mrs. Kinder. I also told the parents that I’d buy some flowers or a plant for our children’s beloved teacher.

The afternoon class’s head room mom had emailed me about the birthday. She asked if we should go in on something together, or what our class was planning. I told her our plans. She said that their class was doing the same. Great!

Mrs. Kinder’s birthday was on Thursday. Friday, Cole came home with a thank you note typed up from the teacher. My jaw dropped. First, I will wholeheartedly admit that I am competitive and can be Type A. I like to win. I do. Second, this sealed the deal for me that the Mommy Wars are SO VERY REAL.

Mrs. Kinder’s note expressed her gratitude to both classes for showering her with attention. She thanked the parents and students for their cards and for the gifts. She listed the gifts. I knew what our class had given her. I thought that maybe some parents had gone all out. I felt a little sheepish that our class had *just* given her an orchid and balloon.

Over the long weekend I had some time to chat with a fellow parent. Her son is in the afternoon class, and we had a play date. She showed me the picture of the gifts that the afternoon class had given to Mrs. Kinder. Holy moly!!

Apparently the wife of the co-head room dad got her Pinterest on last week. They presented Mrs. Kinder with a basket of flowers….the flowers had the face of each one of the afternoon class’s students. She artfully arranged them, with pipe cleaners, foam grass, etc. In the basket, she included not one, not two, but three gift cards to Mrs. Kinder’s favorite stores. To top it off, she sent in gluten free, peanut/tree nut free cupcakes for the class to eat to celebrate.

The competitor in me was angry. I lost. I totally, unequivocally, lost this one. The little orchid, while a beautiful token of appreciation, could in no way, shape or form be as great as that. It isn’t sentimental. It isn’t personal. Dang!

This is how Mommy Wars are formed. It didn’t help that the mom with whom I was chatting was beaming and talking about how Mrs. Kinder said that the flower arrangement would be on her shelves when these kids are 5th graders. In Head-Room-Parent-Land, ‘dem is fighting words!!!!!

There are a lot of things I could do. I could scour Pinterest to find the perfect End of the Year extravaganza. I could whine. I could call in my troops of other competitive mommies and get something rolling. I could blog about the injustices of it all. But I won’t. Instead, I will admit that the other mom did a bang-up job on this birthday gift. She is clearly talented and spent loads of her free time on this one. Kudos to her.

I hope Cole’s teacher knows that our class is incredibly appreciative of her, and that we do wish her the happiest of birthdays.

Superior Summer Plans?

Yesterday I was sitting at our YMCA, aka “The Y”, and was watching Jake during swimming lessons. Tate was with me, playing a game on my phone. Cole was in the childcare room.

To back-track, Jake does swimming lessons not so much because he can’t swim (he is quite a fish, actually), but because it helps him organize and gain coordination and confidence. He loves being in the water.

Ok, back to my story….we were sitting there and two other women sat next to us. They have kids around the same age as mine. The one has a son who is on Jake’s lacrosse team. The other has a son and a daughter right in the age range of my older 2 boys. We said polite hello’s and went about our own activities.

As I sat and played word games with Tate, which work on his speech/language skills, these other 2 women talked about their plans for the summer. They were like 2 teenagers, who talked just loud enough that the rest of us could hear all about how fantastic they are. You know what I mean…. I have to say, must be nice to have ridiculous money.

(I am paraphrasing what I heard. Some words may be different…but you get the gist.)

Mom A: So, we’re going to our beach house for a month. Then, we have a week here, then we go with our friends from (nearby affluent town) to their house for a week. I am putting the kids in day camp here at the Y for a week, because I have stuff to get done. And then it’s time for football training. (FYI, football is HUGE around here.)

Mom B: Wow! You’re busy. We’re going to Traverse City (MI), and we’re doing a long weekend in California. The kids can’t wait to go swimming…they are in the water for 8 hours a day, I swear. We’ll hit the shops, and can’t wait to go to all of the cute local restaurants…sit out on the patios, drinking my wine…this one place has an area where the kids go play. It’s fantastic. We’re opening our pool this weekend, too….

Mom A: Oh, sounds great. Have you got your bathing suit yet?

Mom B: Ugghhh, yes. I need to lose some weight.

Mom A: oh, you look great!

Mom B: Oh, thanks. Hey, we should have you guys on the boat before you leave! The kids can play on the beach, we can have our wine…Husband can grill out. It will be great!

Mom A: Yes! We must do that! I could have my friend cater it, if you want–she’s like Martha Stewart!

They then proceeded to talk about needing massages and mani-pedi’s and favorite stylists at the local spa. Mom A dropped the name of a few boutiques. Mom B complained about her tailor. Mom A made a joke about needing a job to fund her fun stuff. Mom B said that she thought about it, but it just isn’t worth it because it would bump them into the next tax bracket, and ugh who wants that?!

I was about to roll my eyes so hard that it would have been heard, but I used restraint. I just exhaled deeply.

I wasn’t jealous of the other women….I was just amazed by their behavior during their conversation. Like they had to prove to each other how awesome they were. Or to the rest of us. All I was worried about was making sure that my kid didn’t start his potty-talk echolalia in super-loud volume….I am in such a different place than those women.

Would I love to have a summer house or rent a place for a couple of weeks?? Sure…but I just have other priorities right now. Our fabulous summer plans include therapy and summer school and daycamp. And time at the local beach, spraypark, neighborhood park, the zoo, and our own backyard. We will roast marshmallows, and grill out. We’ll get ice-cream, and go for walks around the block while we lick popsicles and allow the juice to dribble down our chins. We’ll have sleepovers in the basement and scooter races in the driveway. It isn’t expensive or glamorous…but it will be fun.

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