(UPDATE) Am I a bitch? I don't want DD sleeping over with these people!(175 Posts)
Original thread - www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2623701-Am-I-a-bitch-I-dont-want-DD-sleeping-over-with-these-people?noti=1#60728941
So sorry for the essay but I'm so upset.
Do I like the fact that the kids are dirty, the dad is a borderline bully and the mum smokes around the DCs No? But that doesn't mean she is evil or doesn't have feelings and I do owe her an apology. I should have been (sort of) honest as many of you suggested and said we don't do sleep overs at other peoples homes. Just because I don't want DD sleeping over doesn't mean our kids can't have some fun. Today after school I gave DD a little pressie and card for the DC this post is about, hoping that would be the beginning of a peace offering. DD was excited and ran up to the other DC and gave it to her. Whilst they were having a little natter I took the opportunity to grab the mum for a quick apology - and to propose a sleep over at mine in a few weeks to make up for it.
I was well aware it could look like "Your home isn't good enough my my DD but my home is good enough for your DD" but to be frank as DDs mother I do have real concerns about this lady's current home life and don't feel comfortable. I think that's fair. As soon as I started speaking she was cutting me off with "it's fine" every five seconds - she wasn't being aggressive (I wasn't threatened ) but she was very snappy and rude. By this time our DC's were by us again and I didn't want the DCs to see the tension so I said "sorry again, but lets please try and work something out". As I started to walk away I heard "fuck off" under her breath and she started snapping at her two DCs who as I mentioned before are the most quiet little kids you will ever meet. She was rushing them to zip up their coats and hold on to the pram really harshly. I naturally turned around at the "fuck off" and when she started snapping I did frown (I noticed a dad behind her looking too) and she snapped at me again but only said "WHAT?" It easily could have been missed in a busy playground - nothing to call the police over - but it made me uneasy not only for me but for her DC's so I literally shook my head and walked off. It takes a bit to get out of the playground as the exit is a little on the small side and prams etc have to get through and I could hear her behind me going off and having a rant.
I'm not superwoman and didn't look back but she was upset about a fake bitch giving her looks (me) and some drama with her mum. Everyone around us could hear her and DD was getting anxious so I refused to look back and just got straight into the car.
Got home and told DH about what happened when he got in. It's not a big deal in the grander scheme of what life's about but it set off this huge fucking fight about moving DD to a different school.
I wont bore you with ten more paragraphs but DH was leaning towards prep school and I wanted her in state. Even when we didn't get our first choice of primary school I stuck to my guns and sent her to this one which at the time was rated "good" by OFSTED but has issues in the past. 31 kids in her class, unchallenging homework and two horrible teachers later and DH has had enough after what I told him went down after school. He knows this from my feedback and having a sweeping look at DDs homework and asserting it's too easy. Fair enough. It is. Okay then. I said what I saw to be the most rational thing at the time; "lets have another word with the teacher about homework and I'll give the other schools in the area a call"
He got really irritated and said I've had my way now I should just let it go and have her do 10+. I said we've already been to a couple of open days and I didn't like the vibe. I just didn't. I don't want her going too far before Y7 so we have a limited choice of independent schools.
The argument escalated and consisted of:
Me saying he is barely home, gets to sweep DD off her feet at 7:30pm every evening and be fun superdad while I'm flustered moany mum! I'm the one who does the hard shit (homework, school run, playdates, cooking, washing, after school clubs etc) and he gets to tuck her in and play with her on the weekends while I slave over dishes and hoover. He isn't even that involved in her school life (not as much as me) so what's wrong with me taking the lead with certain choices? Such as schooling?
Him saying he works really hard and does it all for us - why am I making him feel guilty for supporting us. What's wrong with him having quality time with DD when he gets in.
Me getting really angry because even though I don't do the crazy 70 hour weeks I used to, I do still take on a projects that can accommodate my home life. And no I'm not minted like him and his fucking family but my job isn't less than because I've cut down.
Him saying he didn't mean it like that
Me saying he did
Him saying I have something against independent schools and it's dramatic faux liberal crap
Him saying I think he's a snob and I'm missing the point. It's not about me thinking the schools are a bit elitist and lame, it's about DD's education.
DD was upstairs in her room probably heard the whole thing I'm disgusted at myself and pray she was fast asleep.
It was petty - but a little on vicious side and he has never ever spoken to me like this.
I'm downstairs and don't want to go to bed.
After being called a snob yesterday on MN its ironic that at home I get into a RL argument with DH because he thinks I think HE'S a snob.
I feel like such shit. Such shit.
From that mum being nasty in front of everyone at school to DH being pissed at me - this is a shitty evening. Just want to disappear.
So you feel her current school has horrible teachers, unchallenging work & children that (although nice individuals) you don't really want her socialising with? What positives do you think she gets from this school that she wouldn't from a private school? Maybe you should listen to your DH on this one. Also, if you think he shouldn't have the same input on schooling because he is less involved on a daily basis, do you think he should make the major money decisions because he is more involved in earning on a daily basis than you are?
I didn't see your other thread, but I know that problems with other parents can happen at any school, state or prep.
Ignore the other Mum - why would you even have put yourself out to try to build amends like that? It's clear that friendship is over for your DD on anything but a superficial level at school. There will be plenty of other children she can be friends with.
Try not to let this woman's attitude create issues with your DH. It's only giving power to her.
Taking it apart......
The school isnt a good fit is it? It wasnt your first choice, the playground mums are affecting your childs friendships and, sorry to say this, you are coming across as slightly condescending on this thread so probably are IRL. I am sure that your motives are good (the gift etc was a lovely thing to do however may have come across as patronizing), but you dont fit in and soon your DD wont either. Playground mums like this will soon make sure that your DD isnt invited to the parties, isnt played with etc. Sad but true.
He is being a dick by sweeping in as Disney Dad and assuming he knows better than you. His accusations of you thinking him a snob are saying more about him than you (he is a snob, just doesnt like being called on it). "Quality Time" is being a good father/family and not just making them laugh for half an hour before bedtime, he needs to understand this. If his job requires him to work the hours he does then he needs to find other ways to have QT, and ones that dont involve putting you down for being there all day every day and being a chewed rag when he finally gets home.
You both work crazy hours and both need to appreciate what the other does. Yes he does seems to undervalue the hours you work (the same as his) Is outsourcing an option so that you can all spend QT together at the weekend knowing that the cleaning/laundry/shopping/garden is taken care of?
You do seem to have an issue with independent schools, but equally I would say that he has an issue with state schools. On this one I think you need to give way. She went to state school and it isnt going well for her or you or him, now is the time to give his choice a good go.
You both love your DD, that much is clear, but you are pulling in opposite directions.
Does he have a point about your liberalism? Is he a snob?
I'm not going to read the other thread either - but I do wonder what your reasons for not letting your DD go to a school that will expand her learning opportunities are.
I went to state primary and private secondary, and I agree that it's a good thing socially to give a balanced view of the world and people in it; but if my DC were being "dumbed down" and not given all the encouragement they needed at that stage in their schooling, then I'd change my mind. My principles don't override their need for a decent education, should I be in a position to give them the choice.
Your DD's views should also be considered (although she shouldn't get the final say) - would she want to move schools? Sounds like she's had a fairly unpleasant time so far, maybe she might like the option.
re. the other mum - you've clearly offended her past reclaim and there's really no point beating that horse now it's dead, so let it go. Whatever she thinks of you now, there is nothing you can do except learn from it for the next time a similar situation crops up.
And then write a pros and cons list about your DD's schooling, so you actually have a concrete argument (if you do) to show your DH, rather than "feelings" about private primary/prep schools.
On the school mum front, if I had been asked to think about how to upset her more, my answer would be pretty much exactly what you did this morning!
I don't get why you didn't listen to the people telling you more gracious and sensitive ways of handling it. Eg saying that you don't do sleep overs at this age, or that you're busy then, and shutting up after that! And to establish play dates rather than sleep overs as a good alternative.
But you go rushing straight in to really put the boot in and ensure she knows that you do do sleep overs, just not when she's the parent! And then to try and slip her a pity present to rub your superiority in more?!
In the nicest possible way, ouch! Bull in china shop syndrome?! Or foot in mouth disease at a minimum?!
So utterly tactless, utterly bonkers in fact!
I'd accept that ship has sailed, and steer clear of her and her friendship group for a while.
I'd also not make any decisions when everything is fraught and miserable.
I hope you and your dh make it up and he can give you a hug about the horrid school gate politics stuff.
Then go round some more private schools, maybe there's one you'll like better, they're not all snobbish and they don't all create entitled princes and princesses.
Also have a look at another state school and how you might go about getting her in?
I do think this snobby / classist / privileged angst is something that you need to sort out in your head, as it's obviously something you are struggling with. These events have highlighted the issue for you, rather than created it.
Good luck either way.
One day you'll laugh at the cringe of today - over a nice big glass of wine!
I think you made a much bigger deal of the sleepover thing than was necessary and made your real feelings obvious to the other mum from your awkwardness about it.
School choice is a totally different thing. Sounds like neither you nor your husband are happy with the primary. If you can afford it, move DD in September.
You have decided you don't like the other children's home life ....
Yours doesn't sound like domestic bliss so as the saying goes , people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
Honestly? Get over the chip on your shoulder about private education - the school clearly isn't a good fit for your daughter, and you shouldn't automatically be ruling out the independent sector just because you have whatever issues you do over growing up (according to your previous thread) on a tough council estate or whatever. Things aren't going to get better in terms of her education at the current school, I don't think - and things in the playground aren't going to get better now you've patronised the other girl's mother and offered a sleep over at your more suitable home
Ring round other schools in the area, see who has spaces, go to see them- and check out independent options too, to see if you can find one you like if there are no state options suitable in the end. And be bloody glad you can afford the option, even if you decide in the end not to use it. Of course, there's no guarantees at a different school that you won't find people who smoke over their children or go to the betting shop...
I think the chances of you repairing things with the mother in your example are approximately nil. Back off and leave the poor woman alone now - and have a good, long, calm talk with your husband. It sounds as though there's a variety of issues making you resentful in general, not just your daughter's schooling, and I think you need to work on sorting all of those out, as well as your choice of school.
I appreciate this is a bit tough love - but honestly, I don't think you can have any idea of how your OP makes you come across, not to mention the other thread.
I read both threads. I didn't comment on the first thread because you had so much advice already.
I think my childhood ŵas like your daughters. My parents weren't the same as my classmates parents but they absolutely believed in state education and insisted I go. I wasn't allowed sleep overs or to dress like my peers, or stay up late and watch the same programs on TV. I wasn't allowed out as late as the other kids or even to the same places as they were. Any time my mother got involved in a friendship she ended up very upset. I also played a big orchestral instrument which I had to carry to school most days .
At the time it was terrible. I had a few lovely friends, but most of the 'fun' of school went on without me. The others all knew I would never be allowed to do anything / go with them so eventually they stopped asking. This meant I had nothing to talk about in the playground and it soon got pretty boring.
Now looking back, I'm happy with the rules my parents set for me, but think they should have sent me to another school - there was even a state girls school that probably fit their style better. At least I would have been able to fit in a little.
I think you should change your daughters school as soon as possible.
I am glad the woman told you to fuck off.
I do hope you and your husband get on better tomorrow, and don't be so fragile. Independent schools are great, and you are not looking at Eton - normal people go to Independent Schools. It is no big deal, send her she will get a better education.
I agree with MiscellaneousAssortm
You handled the whole thing badly and made the situation with the other mum much worse. I'm not surprised she told you to fuck off. It was clear from the first "it's fine" that she didn't want to engage with you and certainly did not want to be patronised by you. The whole thing sounds cringingly awful.
I hope you and your dh can work this out. You were probably feeling prickly after your encounter with the other mum. New dawn and a new day and all that.
OP, I feel really really bad for you. . What an utterly shit time.
I think that you were feeling bad and were trying hard to fix the situation because you are sensitive and felt awful about what happened in your first thread. But your genuinely good intentions inflamed everything and now things have gone terribly wrong. It isexactly the kind of thing I do.... get over anxious about what someone else is thinking/feeling and then make a bit of a hash of apologising.
I read some of your first thread, and I would not want my child staying over either.... the home life of the other mum sounds loud, aggressive and at least verbally violent. I also understand your anxiety and vulnerability over your DH wanting a prep school...... my DH wants my DS to board when the time comes. He is autistic and I DON'T WANT HIM TO BOARD. My DH mentions it sometimes as a 'joke'and it pushes all my buttons. Your buttons got pushed last night when you were already feeling vulnerable.
Call other schools today. Talk to your DH now a new day has come. Take some time out for a cup of tea.
Hope you are okay.
I'm getting 2nd hand embarrassment at the way you went and spoke to that poor woman - over apologising and pity presents? Christ, I'm almost surprised she only told you to fuck off and didn't deck you.
Has it occurred to you the poor woman might be on here and read what you have written about her ??
My parents had more than enough money to send me privately. I had an awful education in poorly managed state schools all because my father said they were good enough for him. He grew up in a council house and was a self made man. My education was dumbed down, I lost all my confidence and was bullied. My mother, who went to a prestigious grammar wanted to send me to private school. Then I failed my 12+. I struggled, awfully bullied, frightened every day to go to school, literally seeing children getting their heads kicked in - that's shoes on heads. I then switched to a grammar school for A levels and really struggled. I even failed one despite being pretty intelligent and had I had the right education, I would have surely got high grades not "D" "E" "N" (N = near pass Ie borderline fail). I managed to get a degree course through clearing and proved just how well I could perform with the right education at university. I still have massive gaps in my education and feel embarrassed and struggle with the legacy of esteem issues. I was a child of the 70's so standards have improved. My DD is going to state school at the moment because she is getting on very well there thank goodness because I am also not well enough to drive her to and from private school every day. She is being stretched, is well liked and the teachers are fab. People move here to get a good primary education then a good handful from each year will go to private secondary. Dh was a bit when I said I wanted DD privately educated in secondary but he gets it now - he's French so it's different over there. Nothing is decided as yet but we will do our best for her and I'm not sure where we will send her yet but we've got a couple of years to get our heads round that one. One of the feeder schools is apparently really brilliant and the only state secondary I would consider sending her to. My advice would be get your DD to private school now especially if you are in a grammar school area because the system there is private educate prep years and grammar for the upper years.
Posted too soon. Like Ickythump. I didn't fit in so I made myself fit in and ended up depressed and self medicating on alcohol at 15.
I wouldn't want my Children sleeping over with families that smoke, bet and swear like that.
I can only see yours and your child's social situation getting worse.
What vibe didn't you like from the independents?
For someone who bangs on about maturity you seem to be lacking it yourself. Your relationships with other adults are drama filled.
iit was fine to say no to the sleepover but you made it into a total circus and have damaged your relationship with the other mums and got into a "huge fucking fight" with your DH.
It's like a scene from bloody Hollyoaks.
At. 35 you should know how to talk to people by now, eh? After all you've had 9 years of being a mum.
They aren't drama filled this is MN. This is a post on MN. Not my life story. Thanks for the advice of those of you who stuck to the post.
You can do no right on MN. I was advised a million times on one post to say sorry and to suggest another sleepover........which is what I did.
Now after I do that I've caused a circus.
Don't know even why I posted thanks for the couple of people who actually gave advice x
For what it's worth OP, I think you've been a bit harshly treated on here. I read your previous thread and from what you said, it sounds like the other mums were just as judgemental to you as you were about them and let's be honest, everyone judges everyone to some degree.
I hate sleepovers - because I just worry about other people's parenting and their level of being safety conscious. It's got zilch to do with whether they live in a council house, a mansion, whether they're the queen of England or not working on benefits. If you don't feel comfortable having your child around these people then that's your decision!
Incidentally, my dd's best friend comes from a lovely 'normal' family. They live in a council house, both work but not loads of money. DD goes for sleepovers but I worry every single time because the dad smokes and I worry if there'll be a fire if he hasn't put his cigarette out properly. Also, I know he leaves his lighter laying around and the younger ds sometimes puts it in his pocket
They are a lovely family but it's only natural to judge others.
If I had been the other mother I would also have muttered "fuck off" at you after that. Unfortunately I do think you handled it very badly.
Hopefully you can sort it out with your DH - I suspect a argument was always likely after something like this as the school is not what he wanted but was your choice alone.
Ifs she's as slovenly and horrid as you say she is I appauld her only tell you to fuck off under her breath - surely it would have fitted your profile of her to say it to your face.
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