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Are Moms Obligated to be Friends with the Mothers of Their Kid’s Friends?

by Ilana Angel

August 2, 2011 | 11:06 pm

I am blessed that I love my son’s friends.  With the exception of one bad apple, they are all really wonderful kids.  Even the bad apple is a decent kid, and once he kicks his drug problem, he will be lovely.  When it comes to my kid and his friends, I hit the jackpot.

I have met most of the parents of his friends. Many are acquaintances, a few are friends, and some have become family.  When your kid spends so much time at school, or in extracurricular activities, it’s natural for parents to become friends with each other.

I am friendly with a lot of people, and I value my friendships, but I don’t let a lot of people into my heart.  I have trust issues to be sure, and opening up can be hard, but that’s a mess for another blog.  By “another blog”, of course I mean I could write a thousand blogs about it.

I am a good friend.  I am supportive, reliable, funny and kind.  If someone needs me, I am there.  I am honored to be able to say the same about my friends.  I have friends in my life I have known for a short while, and some that go back to my childhood.  It is a blessing.

I select my friends carefully and share my secrets sparingly.  I can be tough, and truth be told, I use the same watchful eye when viewing my son’s friendships.  I truly love his friends and I love the kids in his inner circle as if they were my own, which is special.

Being a mom is hard, we are all doing the best we can, and I struggle with feeling obligated to like the mom’s of all of his friends.  This week I was forced to look at what I thought was a friendship,  only to discover it was not real, but rather based on obligation.

When trust is broken for me, I’m out.  It’s not up for discussion or negotiation.  I just cut my losses and walk away.  Right or wrong, good or bad, it’s how I roll.  Sometimes I question my choices, but I never regret them, as my gut is usually right.

I’m a black and white kind of person.  Right or wrong, good or evil, I rarely sit in the middle on anything, and I think people are the same way with me.  You like me or you don’t.  You get me, or you don’t.  Those who know me and how I am as a mom, understand my take on things.

I worry for my son that my choices regarding other parents will adversely affect him.  I pray it doesn’t, and hope there is a maturity which will allow us as adults to separate feelings for each other from those of our children.  We cannot like each other, but must love the kids.

I love these kids.  They are remarkable children and my home and heart are always open to them.  Friendships or not, I will be kind to parents, but at the end of the day, when it comes to obligations, I am only obligated to my son and myself.

I am raising a wonderful young man and I am proud of the work I have done.  He is amazing both because of me, and in spite of me.  Not all parents like each other, and that’s okay.  How we deal with each other is a test of motherhood.

Can we love our kids enough to not allow our personal issues with the people they love, change their love for those people? Are kids always judged by the choices of their parents?  I love my son, and respect myself, so all I can do is hope for the best and keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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