This phrase was said a few weeks ago by my friend from a noble Japanese heart when she commented on everything she talked to the director of the school in her son’s application interview. The principal warned him about everything he could expect from school, but he never warned him about the mothers he would run into. While she jokingly referred to us, her friends from the tambourine. It was a joke? do not? The phrase resonated in me and now that the end of the year is approaching and we are all more charged than ever, it resonates louder.
When we look for a school for our children, we look at everything: educational references, values, infrastructure, location, academic performance, languages and etc. Of course, we don’t just go to a single school (although some do), we see several options and we meet with heads of admission, teachers, directors and with whom it is necessary to be calm and sure of our choice. When we choose our children’s school, we know with certainty what to expect.
Or we think we know. Well, as my friend with a noble Japanese heart says she never imagined how much she would have to deal with other mothers and fathers of the school (but to be honest, who?). Somehow, the school manages to get the best (?) And the worst of us mothers. Some return to elementary school and do homework, keep agendas, review schedules and are more aware of their children’s test dates than of their own commitments. Others, return to high school and organize plans, “play dates”, attend parties and the like, making sure – of course – that the “coolest” are invited because they want to ensure the popularity of their children.
In the end, all this is valid as long as we do not forget that our children are the only protagonists of their life stories and we are simply secondary characters. We have our own lives to star in them … I hope.
The problem is when some parents put themselves in a childish or melodramatic quinceanera attitude, giving more strength to the phrase of my honorable friend: “nobody warned me about the other mothers.” When, for example, grudges and resentments arise when creating tambourines or groups of whatsapp and do not include us, or worse, when we let a conflict between adults influence the relationship of children and do nonsense like stop inviting a certain child / to the classroom because we had a problem with the mother. There are even cases that border on folly and are those in which we lend our ears to false rumors and gossip created by the contrived mind of some irritated mother.
Where does our maturity go when we fall into these murmurs? How can we talk about raising with empathy and respect, raising loyal and authentic children if we don’t practice it? No one warned my friend, just as nobody warned me (or anyone for that matter) that many times we ourselves would be the hardest task in generating empathic children with good feelings, dear and loyal friends. How are we going to achieve it if we ourselves are not?