Now, I've met a lot of great women (and a few men) who are parents of my son's classmates and friends. We get along just fine and smile and nod when we pass one another in the parking lot. There are even one or two that I could call and just sit and chat with over coffee if I wanted or needed to. I like them just fine, but barring one or two of them, we have very little or nothing in common. So I don't.
And I have to admit that the politics of the "mom wars" are just enough to make me want to puke. They may not be as blatant when your child attends a public school; after all we are Christians so any attacks must be so passive aggressive that they may be unnoticeable to anyone but the recipient of said attack. There is an inherent snobbery to people who put their children in a private school. There's a "better than you" attitude that manifests in all aspects of interaction (directly or indirectly).
I'm not as great a mom because I don't volunteer in the classroom and I don't go on every field trip.
I don't send candy or other treats in for the class for every holiday (and in fact, I end up throwing at least half the crap that comes home with my child in the trash when he's not looking -- he never even misses it).
I don't buy expensive gifts for the teacher and her assistants.
And I don't have elaborate birthday parties for my child or even take my son to half the ones he's invited to. See, there's a rule (actually stated, if not in the school handbook) that if you're passing out invitations to a party, you invite everyone in the class (or at the very least, all of the kids of the same gender). And most of the parents extend this to all of the kids in his grade (both classes of Kindergarten in this case).
So... here's the exchange that my son and I had roughly a week or so ago regarding the party he's attending this afternoon:
Me: (noting the close to tears expression as he got off the bus and traipsed into the house) What's wrong, Buddy? Something happen in school today?Him: I hurt Logan's feelings and now he won't be my friend.Me: What happened?Him: I told him I couldn't come to his birthday party.Me: (confused and trying to remember an invitation coming home in his bag in the past couple days) What party?Him: On the 8th of May.Me: Do you have an invitation?Him: (bursting into tears) No, I gave it back to him.Me: Why did you tell him you couldn't go.Him: I don't know... but now I want to go.Me: Ok, you're going to apologize to Logan tomorrow at school, ask him if you can still have the invitation, and then we can talk about it when I can see the details.
So today, we were looking for a birthday present for a child that I know nothing about (except that on the one field trip I did help to chaperone this year, it was obvious that he was "that child" who was always in trouble). I know what my son likes, but I also know that my son's interests are very different from many of the boys in his school. And I felt the pressure of trying to make sure my son wasn't "the friend who gave me lame presents," and that I wasn't "the cheap mom."
He's 6 and already the pressure and the drama that I can't afford to deal with. And this is one of the many reasons that we are homeschooling him next year.