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Bizarre school Mum bully situation

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#1 livelifelovehappy

Posted 23 February 2020 - 10:29 PM

I’m experiencing something utterly bizarre with some parents of my year 4 kid’s class.

I posted here a while ago. My next door neighbor suddenly stopped talking to me or acknowledging me or my husband and children about two years ago. We were only at a hello level anyway, nothing happened that either of us can think of except that we, extremely politely, asked that they stop having their dog p*ss in front of our house as it was killing the grass my husband planted. They have an enormous dog and zero yard, it lives entirely inside, so they have to bring it out to the nature strip. Our sons (at same school) did not hit it off, and so as to avoid any tension with someone so close by, I’ve requested they be placed in separate classes for the last couple of years. All fine. She also asked for a play date but my son did not want to go. So we didn’t, but I made a polite excuse. She also treats our lovely neighbour on the other side the exact same way.

Anyway, her husband is friendly (even chatty) so I just put it down to her problem and left it. I cannot stress the fact that we’ve had no interaction (for years!) and the fact there was no serious incident enough before I move to the next part.

Our children are at school together. They don’t interact, are in different classes, so it’s not that. For various reasons, I’ve not been involved with the school drop off or anything like that at all for well over 18 months. I went in the other night for parent teacher night and she was there. She was sitting with some parents I recognised in a group of 4. So I waved and said hello. She ignored me, completely. It was obvious to everyone and so awkward. The others gave me sort of tight strained smiles. I don’t know these women either beyond who their kids are and their names. But we used to say hello at parties etc and make chit chat. It was a group snubbing, that caught me completely off guard.

I am genuinely friendly with some other Mums (occasionally socialise with them etc). One of them told me that the neighbor woman had been gossiping about me and had, without knowing she was talking to my friend, said I was “weird”.

WHAT THE ACTUAL? I do not know this person. She doesn’t know me! We are all nearly 40! This is like a high school mean girls situation where she’s said nasty things and these grown women are listening?!

It’s just so strange. I wouldn’t let it bother me, but my son is at school with these people’s kids. It could impact him socially. I have no idea what she’s been saying. And what are they modeling here?

I can’t approach her to discuss anything because if she sees me leaving the house etc, she literally hides behind her letterbox rather than wave. And what would I say? Why have you been saying mean things about me? It’s just so crazy. We do not interact, ever. How would she even know if I’m weird at all? I am, but I’m also nice?

Can I ignore this ridiculousness or do I need to address it? Don’t people have better things to do with their time? I’m 40! Good lord.

Edited by livelifelovehappy, 23 February 2020 - 10:39 PM.

#2 BusbyWilkes

Posted 23 February 2020 - 10:48 PM

Ignore. Buying into it, even to try and smooth things over, only gives her more power.

The people who know you at school know the truth, your kids aren’t friends, there is nothing to gain by engaging with her. I don’t think this is uncommon - the mean girls from high school seem to never grow up!

#3 livelifelovehappy

Posted 24 February 2020 - 12:19 AM

My gut reaction is too ignore. It’s just so unnecessary.

#4 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 24 February 2020 - 12:50 AM

I’d absolutely ignore that too.   You’ll just get caught up in more drama if you give her and her gossip any attention.  You don’t need to prove anything to anyone and by year 4 the kids will be choosing their own friends anyway.

#5 IamzFeralz

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:23 AM

Yes just ignore and accept that you are misunderstood.  It doesn’t sound like they are a bunch of people worth worrying about anyway.

#6 luke's mummu

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:38 AM

I would just ignore it. I’ve had similar issues- after 2 discussions with neighbors about an illegal pergola they were building on the fence line, I complained to the council and they had to move it back. That was a few years ago. We barely speak to them, but it’s now become obvious they gossip about us to other neighbors. Nothing we can do about it.

Some people are “ precious “ about their animals and some about their home renovations!

#7 darcswan

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:40 AM

From her perspective... You complained about her dog, asked for your kids to be in seperate classes (which is pretty extreme) and then rebuffed the hand of friendship when extended. Then waved a sunny hello when out in public.

You obviously don’t like her, so no surprise the feeling is now mutual?

I’m not sure saying you’re weird is bullying, but if I were you, I’d just be benignly pleasant to the school mums (her included).

#8 Prancer is coming

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:50 AM

She does not like you.  No need to read much more into it.  I agree with poster above.  You turning down a play date, asking her to stop her dog weeing and seperating your children could to her seem like a snub or you not liking her.  I don’t think she is gossiping.  She was most likely doing what you are doing now - venting and trying to make sense of the situation.  Does not sound like bullying neither.

i would just carry on as normal.  You both are not keen on each other.  Be nice to those around you and they can make up their own mind about you.

#9 AllyK81

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:56 AM

I find it odd OP that you are wondering why she is behaving like this. Perhaps re-read your post back but from her perspective you have done a few things that obviously gotten her off side.

The worst thing she did was let her dog wee on the nature strip (which I assume is the usual set up so not actually ‘yours’) and made it clear you want your child to have nothing to do with her child despite being in the same year at school.

And then you wave and smile at her at school as though nothing has happened?

She’s not bullying you. She is probably puzzled by your behavior.

#10 Sentient Puddle

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:58 AM

Agree with the above posters. I would think you a bit over the top complaining about a dog peeing on a nature strip. It is a nature strip! You turned down the play date and took the extreme move of asking for your kids to be in separate classes. Leave it alone and move along.

#11 kimasa

Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:07 AM

If your kids didn't play together anyway why did you ask for them to be in seperate classes? Is there more to the story there?

#12 AnythingGoes

Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:09 AM

At our school requesting kids to be in separate classes has to pretty serious grounds (e.g. ongoing incidents etc not just because kids didn't hit it off) so maybe she knows about that request. I'd looking sideways at someone who'd requested a separate class for their kid to mine for no good reason.

#13 José

Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:11 AM

It doesn't really sound like bullying to me.
She thinks you're weird. You think she's weird.
Just carry on as usual.

#14 luke's mummu

Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:12 AM

Just a thought- did you tell your son that you’d requested for the boys not to be in the same class? If so, maybe he’s been gossiping around the school. The school staff shouldn’t have told that to the other parents or boy. I had a situation a few years ago when my son went to high school I requested he gave some classes with his best friend ( as he has special needs and was anxious ++++). School said yes that’s fine. My son knew about this request and told his friend. Turn up day one and they have NO classes together. I reckon other boy’s parents requested no classes together ( a few other things make me think they don’t like my son). No way of proving it though

Edited by luke's mummu, 24 February 2020 - 06:59 AM.

#15 Caribou

Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:34 AM

I’d be peeved about dog peeing on nature strip, especially as by council requirement you’re expected to maintain it etc so yea it’s still yours and not her lawn to pee on. If it was a one off ok, but a daily occurrence destroys grass.

Anyway, I can’t imagine she knows you asked for yours and her kid to be in seperate classes unless someone tattled.

I also recognise it’s hurtful and off putting as well as frustrating to be someone’s source of gossip. So it’s a jarring experience.

Vent to your closest friends, but after that, make peace that you and her aren’t going to get along and it’s just life. Can’t be friends with everyone. You won’t be in schools forever and high school rarely has parents meeting at school, just try ignore and move through life knowing you are above all this.

#16 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:55 AM

Someone always tattles about requests for kids to be separated.

I think she thinks you think her family are beneath you.    That makes her feel bad and she is striking back by calling you weird.  

#17 FeralZombieMum

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:05 AM

Just ignore her. Everyone is weird in their own way. I'd take it as a compliment.

If she got her nose out of joint because you pulled her up on her dog p*ssing on your front lawn, then she's not worth the effort.

Some people are still stuck in the high school mentality 20+ years later - it's a reflection on them, not you.

#18 eponee

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:08 AM

That's not bullying

#19 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:20 AM

View PostJosé, on 24 February 2020 - 06:11 AM, said:

It doesn't really sound like bullying to me.
She thinks you're weird. You think she's weird.
Just carry on as usual.

I agree.

Just smile and wave.

It’s not worth the angst.

#20 lozoodle

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:26 AM

Eh, just ignoring it. She doesn't like you for whatever reason, that's fine. You don't have to acknowledge her.

#21 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:42 AM

I don't think its cool for her to gossip and say you were weird, but I can see from her perspective she felt snubbed by you.

I think the best thing to do is just ignore it.

Im pretty sure our neighbour with same age kids gossips about us and says similar.  She looks down on me for being a working parent and says faux friendly things like 'oh I don't know how you do it being away from your kids for so long'. I just be nice to her and have a quick chat and then go on my way. Its not worth getting into a spat over.  I don't care that she thinks shes better than me LOL.

#22 HolierThanCow

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:44 AM

Ignore it and pretend nothing happened. If you confront anyone or bring it up with the other mothers, it will come across as confirmation of your alleged weirdness and solve nothing.

#23 livelifelovehappy

Posted 24 February 2020 - 08:08 AM

The patch of grass we replanted was in front of our letterbox. So they were bringing the dog across our property line and up from the street. Technically the nature strip but the part right up at our gate, if that makes sense. They have paid for returfing of common areas several times now, off their own bat without discussion, so they know on a level it’s their dog killing the grass and their fault. I just pointed out there were seeds in that spot, because it isn’t obvious. I was very polite, it was a “just so you know there’s seeds there” message.

The only way they’d know about separate classes could be if they’d asked for the same and been informed it was already taken care of. I just really don’t think it would be known. I took that step because in year 1, the kids got in a scuffle, the only time this has happened to us, but not to them. They blamed my son entirely and he apologised. I accepted this because it had never happened before and I was horrified my son was involved. Their child did not apologise and a couple of weeks later, hit my son’s friend on an excursion where I was a parent helper so I witnessed this. It wasn’t provoked. But the narrative of it being the other kids fault entirely was repeated.

The school did not inform me of the scuffle, she knocked on my door to tell me that her son had told her about it.I asked the teacher to keep an eye on my son and tell me if he was doing anything wrong in the playground. We met with the year advisor who said: “ the matter has been dealt with and your son’s behaviour is fine”.  I asked her to refer any school matters to the school and have them deal with it. Nothing since.

So I’m slightly wary of this boy and their reaction to anything involving him, and I just didn’t want any further run ins with people so close. The play date was after this, and I now see may have been an attempt by her to smooth things over, but at this point my son didn’t like the boy, and felt he’d been unfairly entirely blamed so didn’t want to go. I didn’t give any of this any more thought and certainly didn’t tell anyone else about it.

ANYWAY I’ve decided to approach it as invisible and just continue to be pleasant. I think it’s probably a misunderstanding that’s ballooned in her mind, but it’s impossible to fix something with someone who ignores you. I’ll just move on.

Edited by livelifelovehappy, 24 February 2020 - 08:19 AM.

#24 seayork2002

Posted 24 February 2020 - 08:18 AM

From what I have read I would not say this is bullying, When I am at school I am there for a reason, sure I talk to people if the situation arises but I just don't have the time or energy to care about who says what to who or not.

I am there to drop off or pick up my child so if I was in your situation I would ignore and do what I was there to do.

#25 TheGreenSheep

Posted 24 February 2020 - 08:21 AM

View Postlivelifelovehappy, on 24 February 2020 - 08:08 AM, said:

ANYWAY I’ve decided to approach it as invisible and just continue to be pleasant. I think it’s probably a misunderstanding that’s ballooned in her mind, but it’s impossible to fix something with someone who ignores you. I’ll just move on.
You mutually ignore each other. There’s nothing to fix.
You have given yourself great advice to move on.

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