My son’s best friend’s mum hates me, and the feeling is now mutual.

My son’s best friend is leaving their school and he is distraught.

It’s a hard lesson for him to learn, that people he loves will come and go from his life. They haven’t always been best friends. It’s really this year they’ve bonded and it’s been lovely to watch how close they’ve become.

I’d been meaning to organise a play date for them but became busy and kept forgetting. Now that his friend is leaving the school I started thinking of contacting his mum to organise something. They aren’t moving out of the area, just changing schools, so I felt confident that my son would still be able to keep in contact with his friend.

Yesterday my son came home looking miserable, so I asked him why he was upset. He explained his best friend is having a farewell party and he’s not invited. I was shocked. He told me that everyone in their group is invited except for him. I asked him if he got an explanation and my son seemed reluctant to share the reason with me.

He eventually told me that the reason he isn't invited to his best friend's farewell is because his mum doesn't like me.

Gosh, even now that I'm 40-something it still hurts when you find out that someone you thought you got along with quite well doesn't like you. It's even more disconcerting to realise all those times we've greeted each other and chatted she's secretly hated me the entire time.

How insincere.

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Our history is complicated. I used to be on a school committee with quite a few strong personalities who would regularly yell at me if I suggested something they didn't like. They wouldn't call it yelling, they'd just call it raising their voices. Despite my best efforts on the committee I eventually left, thinking it best to leave them to it. I knew my son's best friend's mum was friends with all the yellers, however she and I have always gotten along as far as I was concerned, so I just accepted she liked me and that was that.

Now I know she's a faker. She's a complete, insincere fraud. Worse still, she's a terrible mother. Who would tell their child something like that? Who would be crappy enough to tell their son that they didn't like their friend's mum, so their best friend wasn't welcome at their farewell? What sort of a message does that send him?

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We are meant to be grown ups. Couldn't she put aside her hatred of me for the sake of her son and his friendship with my son? to help him move on from the friendships at his school in a healthy way? Instead she dislikes me so much she'd rather deprive him of the opportunity to say goodbye to his friend rather than have to talk to me.

So she hates me does she? Well then, let me assure her, the feeling is now mutual. Now not only do I not like her, I don't respect her. I'm also unwilling to fake friendship with her any longer. I won't be smiling at her or greeting her anymore. What a sap I have been.

How did I not know how she felt? And why does she not like me so much? What have I ever done to her?

My son was worried about hurting my feelings by telling me and I assured him that I was fine, that maybe it was a misunderstanding and that we'd write out a special Christmas card for his friend to give him before he left. I explained that sometimes grown ups don't get along and while I didn't know his friend's mum well, I'm sure we just need to get to know each other.

"Couldn't she put aside her hatred of me for the sake of her son and his friendship with my son?"

Simply put, she's a mean girl. Now I know how she really feels about me - and gosh she is good at pretending to like me because I never once suspected, I thought she was one of the good ones - I can just imagine the bitchy conversations she's had with her real friends every time I naively greeted her and shared a joke with her.

I suppose the joke is on me.

You're not always going to gel with the parents of your children's friends but I always assumed that most parents would put their children first and make an effort for their sake. I suppose not.

I'm sad for my son who is upset to be losing his friend but at the same time I am relieved they are leaving. I plan to tread a little more carefully going forward.

Just because people are parents, doesn't mean they are good people.

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