Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Over the past few years, a woman I’m friendly with often asked me if it’s ok if her son comes over after school with my son. At first I didn’t mind, because the boys were friends, but over the last half of the school year, it was obvious that they sort of drifted apart and didn’t really have any common interests. I didn’t say anything to my friend because the school year was coming to an end and I knew she asked me only when she was in a jam because of work and couldn’t pick up her son. But now it’s the summer, and she’d asked me several times if her kid could spend the day with us.
Normally I’d say sure, I’m a stay at home mom, and her kid is really easy good and no trouble. But I feel uncomfortable forcing his company on my kid, since they’re not friends. Should I say something to my friend?
Feeling Guilty Already
Dear Feeling Guilty,
You had a kid not related to you come to your house throughout the whole school year and now you feel guilty? Look, I personally have never been canonized, so I’m not fully familiar with the secret lives of saints, but I think you have absolutely nothing to feel bad about.
Sure, it was nice and easy for you and nice and convenient for your friend when your boys were friends and enjoyed hanging out together. But then those darn kids had to develop their own personalities and their own interests and drifted apart. So as of right now, the boys are not friends and having this boy over at your house isn’t a great fit.
You have to let your friend know. Tell her that it looks like the boys’ relationship changed and it doesn’t seem like they enjoy hanging out together. Tell her that maybe it will change again in the future, but for now maybe it’s best if they don’t spend so much time together. If you think they have a cordial relationship and an occasional outing to the batting cages or a movie or some other group activity is appropriate, let her know that you would be happy to include her son. Just not on a regular basis.
It’s entirely possible that your friend may not know that your sons are no longer close. Sometimes our kids don’t discuss relationships and friendships with us as much as we’d like them to and your bringing it up may lead to an important conversation between them. Maybe there are other friends whose houses he’d like to go to on days when his mom can’t pick him up. Of course it’s also possible that your friend may feel slighted. Make sure you explain that her son is welcome in her home and that she knows that she can rely on you in a pinch.