When I first had my kids, I knew about the Mommy Wars – hey, I read Parents magazine!  Breast vs. bottle, family bed vs. not, stay-at-home moms vs. working (for pay) moms, you name it.

But somehow, I thought this competition would end once the kids began school.

I was wrong.

Earlier this week I was at a meeting for a parents school group I volunteer with.  The moms always begin talking about their children, and here’s a sampling of the fare:

Mom A:

“I walked by Alexandria’s room the other night, and she was doing her advanced trig, bending over her book with a calculator.  She saw me walk by and said, ‘Mom, I just LOVE math!’.  She is just the complete package; she doesn’t really have a weakness …”

Mom B:

“We just hired a college planner because Victoria just isn’t focused enough on what she wants to do for her future.  The planner is wonderful!  She helps us know what’s out there, and she knows the people who work in the admissions offices of several top-tier schools and can tell us who we should call to keep bugging them about Victoria’s application, what activities she should do to look good – it’s great!”

Mom C:

“Okay, I have to tell you guys this because I know you’ll get a kick out of it.  The other night Alexandra (gr. 5) told me, ‘Mom, I’m going to be an attorney until I get my first book published, and then I want to be an architect, and after that run for Congress …'”

(laughs all around)

“… and then Brittania (gr. 3) asked me what I thought she’d be good at, and I told her, ‘Well, maybe a veterinarian or a doctor.’ And SHE said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be either of those things!  Do you know how stiff the competition is to get into school for that?'”

Now, please understand that these are lovely ladies.  But when the conversation gets going like this, I tend to listen much and speak little.  This is because

A) I feel that, in general, most people are not particularly interested in hearing minute details about other people’s children, and

B) my one child who has expressed a career goal desires to work at the local chocolate shop.

I long for the days when kids could just play after school, and you didn’t think much about college until you were a senior in high school.  You didn’t have to plan your “high school experience” in sixth grade, and planners were for business executives, not teens headed off to college.

It’s all a bit much for this “laid-back mom” (as I was dubbed in my years-ago MOPS group).

But hey – if you come visit me in about 10 years, I’ll take you to the chocolate shop with me and I bet we’ll be able to get a discount.

9 thoughts on “Slackers.

  1. I so agree! I never participate in those group talks either. Sometimes it’s just a big game of “top it”. Funny the need for mom’s to drop little bits of info like their child is being tested for the Gifted Class, etc. etc. Let kids be kids. I’m a laid back mom, too.

  2. Susan, this is seriously one of the best posts I have read in a long, long time. I love it. Hilariously funny.

    You are so right to say that other parents are not interested in hearing the minute details about other people’s children. I think people listen, passively, just waiting for the opportunity to jump back into the conversation and turn the focus back to their own *amazing* off-spring.

    When I am involved in conversations like these, I like to look at them as an opportunity to throw people a bit off kilter. My response is usually something along the lines of, “yeah, I think my kids have some potential, but truth be told, I really have to focus on me right now. Every day is a new battle to stay clean and sober.” It usually has the desired outcome that I am looking for, which is to get people to speak less. 🙂


  3. Oh boy! I was hoping we were almost past that stage. I agree with you kids should be allowed to enjoy childhood and not have to worry about college and what they want to be when they grow up at such an early age.

    Right now my daughters only goal is to be a Princess or either Santa!

  4. I have always felt guilty that I did too little to equip/steer/encourage/direct my three daughters towards preparing for college/careers…

  5. Susan, you are so funny! And I’m with your daughter, give me the chocolate factory over the stress of the other ANY day! LOL!


    Sheila 🙂

  6. I am SO with you on this one. I contacted a local soccer club for my twins and at first, the coach kind of implied he was looking for kids with superstar capabilities – at 8 years old?!! IS that a JOKE?!
    Turns out today, due to my silence, he is groveling for my kids. Whatever…I want them to enjoy their childhood not become David Beckman…not yet anyway.

  7. When I was a kid I was going to grow up and be a professional dishwasher at my favorite restuarant!

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