Oct 262012


My son’s sweet preschool recently hosted a tea for the parents.  For any of you who have been reading along with my blog for a while, you understand that my idea of fun doesn’t really include making small talk with a bunch of strange women.  Think: I’d rather beat my head against a brick wall.  But since I’m new at this preschool gig, it’s probably a good idea to get involved.  And since they provided childcare for my daughter, any excuses to blow off the event were looking feeble.  Thus I found myself in full-on tea preparation mode.

Source: Microsoft Office ClipArt
When this isn’t the kiss of death after all…

My dilemna over what I would wear started early.  My wardrobe provides two choices: yoga pants and dresses I whip out for weddings and the like.  Neither choice seemed appropriate for this.  As my dressing hysteria built, I consulted my dear friend JB, who had attended this tea before and had been incredibly supportive with encouraging me to attend the event and promising that it would be fun.  Regarding attire she said that she would be wearing dark jeans (jeans somehow automatically become fancy if dyed darker, you know) and a “top that she wouldn’t wear to the playground”.  That’s why I love this girl; she completely speaks my language.

While I debated my wardrobe in the wee hours of the night when sleep escaped me, I found loads of other things to fuss over.  Would my daughter (currently in the supreme height of separation anxiety) be kicked out of the nursery?  If she was and I ended up having to keep her with me, how would I prevent her from knocking over every single cup of tea in the room?  How many moms would be scowling at me for letting my 15 mo. old daughter loose in their supposed respite from the world of caring for young kids?

What if I was the odd one out and everyone else in the room had a bestie but me?  What if all the other mothers had intelligent things of the world to talk about and all I could say was, “Wasn’t Mickey great in his newest episode?”.   What if, in their carefully crafted outfits, they pointed at me and laughed?  What if I freaked out, stopped being able to breathe properly, entered into a full-blown panic attack, and had to be taken to the ER?  Who would pick my son up when school was over?

This is why I don’t go out.  It’s just not a good idea.

But I love my son, so I went.  And here’s the real shocker: those other moms were really nice.  Go figure!  And my daughted loved being loved on by some very kind ladies manning the nursery that day.  Above all, I had a good time.  As it turns out, JB was right, and my hysteria was perhaps slightly unfounded.  Now don’t get me wrong—I will not be signing up with free abandon for every tea date that comes down the pike, but I did okay with this one.  And really, it wasn’t bad at all.

Bottoms up with your tea cups, my friends.  This Mom of the Year is raising hers in toast to being brave, biting the bullet with the preschool parents’ tea, AND surviving.

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Meredith blogs at The Mom of the Year, dedicatedly earning her title one epic parenting fail at a time. When her kids aren't busy pummeling each other with Legos or requiring their 16th sippy cup refill of the day, she tries to offer quick, relatable laughs for fellow parents of the world and all their empathizers. She remains entirely terrified by crafts, promises to never share any useful household tips, and is fully committed to a less serious look at the world of parenting.

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  32 Responses to “The Parents’ Tea”


    Meredith, loved this and again can very much relate. I think we all go through situations like this at some point and wonder if we are dressed appropriately for something or if we fit in with other mothers. I have felt this way myself recently having to go tot my daughter’s pre-school for the beginning of the year events and to make matters worse, my two nieces are in the same class (they are my in-laws and can’t even really ask them if I did need advice). You did great though and sounds like you had a wonderful time :)


      Ugh! Talk about pressure, having the in-laws thrown into the mix. Glad to know I’m not the only one one who fusses over these kind of situations.


    Haha too funny! Glad you had a good time!!! Those things are not my “cup of tea” either but it is good to get to know these ladies…


    You’re right – dark jeans are much more sophisticated than light jeans!

    We’re not at Pre-K age yet, but I imagine it’ll bring with it a whole new set of worries for me. I’m a homebody and while I do well in social settings, I much prefer to do my own thing.

    Glad to hear the other moms are nice. I will remember this when it’s my turn!


      Keeping it classy by keeping it dark, right? 😉 Trust me, if I had my choice, I’d might just hole up and never leave my house!


    Haha- you are so funny because I can so relate to this. H had a social at her school with the other moms and it made me all sorts of nervous. In the end, it did work out fine but it was scary! I can so relate on the wardrobe choices too! That is me with my closet!


      Who knew our kids’ school events would be so terror-inducing? Things they never tell you before you decide to have kids! Glad it went okay for you in the end :)


    Why do social events have to be so terror-inducing?!? I know exactly how you feel. I have never been the kind of girl who can just show up to a party with no worries. I am the one who frets for hours, but in the end has a good time. Sigh. Does it ever get easier?


    Good for you! I find that most people are always in the same boat but won’t admit it! Btw, that’s a great idea to have a tea party!!


    Yay! Good for you for rocking the fancy tea scene in your fancy dark jeans! Those kind of events where I don’t know anyone always make me so nervous. I always get really excited to go, because I’m naturally a very social person, but then I get insanely nervous right before I get there, and always contemplate not walking in the door. As for the wardrobe choices, I love planning outfits, but since I’ve been on this I’m-A-Stay-At-Home-Mom-So-I-Need-To-Be-Frugal kick, I rarely ever buy new clothes. Thus, I’m stuck wearing the same outfits that were stylish several years ago, but not so much now. Not that I mind wearing it, but then I worry that people will think that I think that what I’m wearing is still in style. I think I need a shirt that says, “I know this shirt is out of style, but I’m too cheap to buy new clothes so don’t judge me okay? (Or at least don’t judge my fashion sense)”. Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll have nice clothes again. In the mean time, my yoga pants will do just fine. It’s not like I ever really leave the house anyway. 😉


      Awesome, Laura. The uniform is now officially set. Can you make me up an extra one of those signs and send it my way? Paired daily with yoga pants, I think we can totally rock this young moms’ scene.


    That’s so awesome! I’m glad it turned out well! I get anxious about these types of things, too.

    I wear darker jeans so I don’t look as fat. Looking fancy is just a great side effect. :p


    I just read through your post,and all the responses, and found it very revealing that what we are all most “afraid” of, is being judged by other people – other MOMs especially! So, I guess my question is… are there really a majority of other mommies out there that consistently judge those around them? Or, are we our own worst enemy? Are we harder on ourselves than anyone else is? And even if there are other people out there judging us less “put together” Mommies, do we really need to care what they think? Who are we living for? Where does our confidence come from? Who are we trying to please? … sorry I turned a bit serious on you here – you got my thinking cap working!!


      Excellent points, Susan. I think you hit the nail on the head–we probably are our own worst enemy in so many ways. I’m pretty sure I’m harder on myself than anyone else ever would be. And you’re right–that is not where our confidence should be coming from anyway! Thanks for the discussion and for checking in.



    I am so glad you went! Over the years (my older son is almost 8) I’ve connected deeply with other moms at my children’s schools. They are my support team and I don’t know what I would do without them.


      So good to hear, Olga! It’s wonderful that you have found such a fantastic group. I really like some of these other women and do hope some friendships can blossom here!


    I don’t think that I even own a shirt that I ‘wouldn’t wear to the playground’ but that is a fantastic description! I’m with you on the not wanting to mingle with other adults. Someday, I will hopefully outgrow this fear….


      I know, having a clear description of what we are supposed to be wearing gives a clear goal to shoot for, right? 😉 That is, if we can get over our fear and actually get ourselves to show up!


    good for you!!! sounds like a good time for all of you.
    here in the elementary school they have moms and muffins. I ask my kids every year, Is it ok if I don’t go? they all say yes..so I do not even know what I am missing. My husband faithfully attended every dads and doughnuts.


    Visiting you from “Jellibean Journals…” my kids aren’t school-aged yet so I’ve never heard of this type of thing…ahh things to look forward to! 😉


      There are so many things I never knew about before we got to preschool. I’m definitely learning as I go! Thanks for stopping by, Elisabeth!


    I don’t like those situations either! Glad to see you survived! lol


    I’m really happy to hear that you had a good time AND have a friend who speaks mommy language. When we were in Italy this spring, I was invited to a mommy group and was way hesitant to attend. Once I got over my unfounded fears and went, I really loved it. All those mamas seemed to speak mommy language, even if a few barely spoke English, and I ended up making a friend that I was very sad to leave behind. Good for you for giving it a go.


      Kind of all about putting yourself out there, right, Jelli? A wonderful friend might be just waiting to meet you! I’m glad you found such a good one :)

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