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What do you make of this situation? (long)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My husband and I met a single mom (I'll call her Sandra) and her daughter (Michelle) almost four years ago. Our daughter and Michelle became friends, and have continued that friendship. They are both in 3rd grade now and are very close friends.

This past summer, we had Michelle over at least two times a week for full days (9 to 5) while her mom worked. Sandra told me that Michelle hated her "day camp" because one of the instructors would tease her about her appearance and call her fat. I treated Michelle like a daughter, took her to movies, to the beach, fed her healthy meals and snacks, put sunscreen on her, etc. Michelle is a very nice kid, and easy to have around, and I was happy that she and our daughter had each other to play with (both are "only children).

The girls had a blast all summer, watching movies, playing in our garden and playroom, and swimming in the pool. We continued taking care of Michelle after school started, on minor holidays and teacher's days when the day care was closed but Sandra had to work. We'd invite Michelle over after school once a week or so, also, since the girls usually had some project they wanted to work on.

When my husband was traveling, I'd invite Sandra and Michelle to join us for dinner after Sandra got off of work. This was all fine, and when Sandra would thank me, I'd tell her it works out well for everyone and I really didn't mind. That was the truth, but now things have changed.

Our girls like to call each other on the phone, and my daughter has asked Michelle a couple of times on the weekend if they could get together. Michelle always said she couldn't. We thought maybe because the weekends were "mother-daughter" time, but more and more my daughter realized Michelle has other friends visiting on the weekends. She felt this was fine, but why isn't she also invited sometimes?

About four weeks ago, we ran into Michelle, Sandra, a friend of Sandra's, and his daughter. My daughter asked me if Michelle could come over, and Sandra spoke up saying, no, that they were all going to her apartment to watch a movie.

At this, my daughter stormed off, her feelings hurt. Michelle asked me, "What's wrong?" and I told her, "She wants to play with you on the weekends sometimes, and maybe at your house now and then."

Sandra told me, "Oh, you know she's welcome any time." I did not reply, but I wanted to say, But she needs to be invited!

I figured out that Michelle has spent about 25 days (8-9 hours per day) with us in the last six months. Yet, if you don't count Michelle's birthday party, Sandra and Michelle have not invited my daughter to their apartment even once in the last six months.

Now, Sandra is completely ignoring me, to the point of rudeness. I honestly don't know what happened. I don't know what her problem is, but I'm not going to take it on. Our daughters are still good friends. I didn't start feeling like Sandra was taking advantage of me until she started snubbing me. It's like she has no more use for me since I figured her out! Or something!

Does anyone have any insight on this situation? I'm at a loss.

Cheers, from
SwampWitch
post #2 of 15
It almost sounds as though you were a convenience for her when she needed a "sitter" and now she doesn't need you any more. How often are the girls seeing each other now? Or has her daughter backed off and is seeing less of your daughter as well?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
The girls are still best friends, and play at school when they can. We haven't had Michelle over since we ran into them that evening about four weeks ago, but everyone's been busy and there haven't been any days the day care was closed. I also thought there would be an invitation and a "Sorry, didn't realize how lopsided things had become," from Sandra... but she avoids/ignores/snubs me now instead.

I don't feel too taken advantage of since I did it for my daughter, too.

Cheers, from
SwampWitch
post #4 of 15
That sounds strange to me....do you think that the other friends dad has something to do with it..ie, a boyfriend or something? (not that that is any excuse)
post #5 of 15
Can you just talk to Sandra about it?
post #6 of 15
Maybe Sandra feels threatened?
like she is losing her daughter to your family...maybe she feels she isnt being motherly enough...like a jealousy thing.
Sometimes being a single mom you can get caught up in work responsibility and negelct being a good parent...maybe she just realized that now.
post #7 of 15
I remember being a kid and I remember my "summer" friends and my during school friends. sometimes they would cross over, but I know that a girl that lived across the street from me, we were always close in the summer time but for some reason never hung out in the winter time. I think we were both so busy during the school year that we hardly ever saw each other. We'd always pick back up right where we left off after school ended.

I wouldn't be surprised that either Sandra has a boyfriend or maybe between motherhood and Michelle getting older and participating more in school that she could feel overwhelmed.

I would definitely ask Sandra what's up.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the excellent advice and support! Any more suggestions are also appreciated.

I guess I'll confront Sandra if the opportunity arises, but I'm not sure that I care enough... I don't want my daughter invited over there now because I think Sandra might be a little mentally unstable. I don't trust her any more.

My daughter is O.K. because she has no shortage of friends. She also has some new friendships developing with kids that haven't been over here at all yet. But her and Michelle really click, and they are so nice to each other, and have so much fun together!

EricaNicole, you bring up an excellent point! Michelle LOVES coming here and she's said it many times. When her mom picks her up, she acts like it is the Grim Reaper coming for her... I talked to her about it: "Your mom works hard all day for the both of you, please treat her nicely when she comes to pick you up," etc. so she got better. Maybe Michelle feels too comfortable with our family!

Cheers, from
SwampWitch
post #9 of 15
hmm the only other think i can think of is. That sometimes depending on what is going on your friends can be differenet at that time? I mean, as a adult and even back when i was a kid. I had my gaming friends, my sport friends, etc?

but it does sound strange that no invite was returned in 6 months that does not sound, like the friendship goes both way.

Good luck
post #10 of 15
I would kindly try to talk to Sandra when the children aren't present. Something might be going on with her that's making her uncomfortable/upset. Maybe she just doesn't know how to bring it up? I wouldn't use the term "confront" because it seems a bit aggressive. Instead, I would approach her with kindness ( like you seem to be doing) and let her know that you're around if she needs to talk,etc. Maybe she is feeling like a 2nd hand mom ( I know that when I was younger and would hang out a lot at my best friends house- my mom, even though she'd never admit it- got a little jealous because she worked a lot and wasn't able to always entertaine,etc like my best friends mom did. When I cought on to what was happening- i tried to make my mom feel really appreciated too and let her know that she was always my mom and was irreplacable. We are still all very close- I have had the same best friend for years now and her family is like my second family- as is mine to my best friend- we all get along really well It sounds like your friend's daughter is too young to catch on to those type of emotions at the moment....so this is something that should be delt with on an adult level. Also, she might just be swamped between work, being a single mom, and everything else that goes along with those things....maybe she didn't realize she was being rude and was just tired? There is no excuse to be rude to you though is that was her intention- you've taken excellent care of her child and have been a good support system and friend to her- she should not take advantage of that if that's the case and then just dump you when she doesn't "need you". I really don't know what to make of the situation. I would honestly just try to kindly approach her and see what's up. But remember- never do it in front of the children- you don't want to turn kids against each other. (although i'm sure you wouldn't do that- you sound like a great mommy!)
post #11 of 15
that's a good point. I used to spend a lot of time at my friend's mom and i noticed my mom was also getting jealous when i talked about how much fun it was at her house and what a blast i was having.
post #12 of 15
I wonder if Sandra is embarrassed about her apartment? Maybe she feels like Michelle has so much fun at your place that her place isn't good enough/fun enough/clean enough and doesn't want the girls to be bored at her place?

I imagine if I was a single mum who worked hard to keep the family going, I probably wouldn't have a spotless apartment, and if I was a different sort of person wouldn't devote as much time to my child, and maybe the house gets dirty etc and all of a sudden the last thing you want is to have someone else's kid come over and realise you have to clean up, or try hard to make things fun and it all becomes too hard.

Maybe she doesn't want her parenting skills "judged"?
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by IloveSiamese View Post
That sounds strange to me....do you think that the other friends dad has something to do with it..ie, a boyfriend or something? (not that that is any excuse)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Maybe she doesn't want her parenting skills "judged"?
See I agree with both of these answers
post #14 of 15
Are you sure it's the mother with the problem and not the little girl who has forged a new set of friends outside of school?

My advice is to not get involved in the situation at all.

Parents meddling often make things worse, even when that wasn't the intention.

I remember back when I was 11 or 12 years old, something similar happening to me. My mother took it upon herself to talk to the girl's mother. That lead to not only a feud between my mom and that girl's mom, but it also caused me problems. Because not only was I excluded from being invited to that girl's house anymore, but the word spread (kids tend to gossip), and soon I found myself pretty much friendless at school.

My advice is to stay out of it and the let girls work whatever is going on between them by themselves.

You said your daughter has other friends, if that's the case, start inviting them over for play dates and parties. Also, don't forget to extend an invite occasionally (IE: for parties) to Sandra's daughter too.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
EricaNicole, you bring up an excellent point! Michelle LOVES coming here and she's said it many times. When her mom picks her up, she acts like it is the Grim Reaper coming for her... I talked to her about it: "Your mom works hard all day for the both of you, please treat her nicely when she comes to pick you up," etc. so she got better. Maybe Michelle feels too comfortable with our family!
Umm...how bad is the grim reaper look? Maybe because she is having such a wonderful time, and as some people mentioned Sandra is a little jealous about it. I almost wonder if something's going on at home that Michelle or Sandra don't want anyone to know.

Usually most kids are excited to see their moms and want to tell them everything about the day they had. If she isn't excited to see her mom, then it makes me wonder....
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