Has another mom ever started a bad rumor about you?

I was talking with a mom at school that I didn’t know all that well. We were talking about another mom that I didn’t know either and she was telling me about her. She said “Oh she’s a teacher and she’s just the nicest woman.” She paused and said in a low voice “Well as long as she hasn’t been drinking.”

She paused again. My mouth dropped open and I just looked at her. She finally started laughing and said I’m just kidding. I was in total shock and didn’t know what to think.

I’m pretty sure she was kidding but it’s a scary proposition to think that some ladies talking in a school yard could completely ruin a mom’s reputation at school. (And in turn hurt your kids!)

I decided that I had better stay on this lady’s good side so she doesn’t tell someone that “joke” about me.

So the question for today is: Has another mom (or dad) ever started a rumor about you or one of your friends at school? Did people take it seriously? How would you counteract it? Is this actually something moms should have to be dealing with and are dealing with?

61 comments Add your comment

Jeff

September 1st, 2010
6:41 am

Some people love the 7th grade so much, they never leave it.

iRun

September 1st, 2010
6:44 am

What is wrong with you? Stay on this mom’s good side? WHY? So she won’t turn all her friends against you? What grade are you in????

Why do you give these people any power? If you don’t like the way she does things…stay away from her.

I have no idea if any parents at my kid’s school talk about me and I soooooooo don’t care if they did. There are few parents at my kid’s school I socialize with and the ones I do are people who have a lot in common with me (duh).

I am way too busy to worry about this crap.

Theresa, this topic sounds like something a teenager would talk about. Seriously. I almost can’t believe I am reading this on a blog about motherhood. From a woman even older than me, and I’m 35.

Did you worry about this stuff when you lived in NYC?

iRun

September 1st, 2010
6:51 am

Jeff, THANK YOU. In one sentence you summed up all the disbelief I babbled about in my entire post.

LCS

September 1st, 2010
7:03 am

That woman is a big, nasty bully- plain and simple. How could you ever ask your children to stand up to bullies when you won’t do it yourself?

motherjanegoose

September 1st, 2010
7:09 am

Well…I did have something printed about me in a newspaper article, that was not true. I had an interview, with my picture. When the article came out my kids both read it and said,
“where did they get that from…it is not true!” A great lesson for both children to realize that everything you read is not the gospel. It was a small thing but nonetheless a great example for my kids to read.

Off to work and then lunch with Becky today…yippee!!!!

mom2alex&max

September 1st, 2010
7:15 am

Interesting. I was just talking to another mom last night during Open House. We were commenting on all the “no bullying” posters and signs that are posted all over the school hallways. I told her that I thought the worst bullying was actually occurring amongst the adults. She agreed.

Van Jones

September 1st, 2010
7:33 am

Maybe it is true. If so, I would rather know this about the lady than not know.

Jesse's Girl

September 1st, 2010
7:34 am

I would have looked that woman dead in the face and…as tactfully as I could…said something to the effect that she should be careful what she says. Don’t walk on egg shells around this lady. Start that crap and its hard to stop.

Robin

September 1st, 2010
7:50 am

Unfortunately, the behavoir of the adult (aka parent) is often seen in the kid(s). Parents that often run their mouths have kids with some issue as well. It is always the adults that ruin it for the kids – whether it be school, sports etc. If only they realized their behavior damaged their kids. To be quite frank, I steer my kids away from being BF’s with toxic families. Don’t want the drama!

Photius

September 1st, 2010
8:00 am

MEOW! Mommy Cat Fight!

deidre_NC

September 1st, 2010
8:06 am

it is a childish topic-but adults do act very childish at times. where do yall think that kids learn to gossip and be mean. usually from home. i would feel pretty sure that this womans kids also say things about people they shouldnt say. theresa didnt we just have a bully topic? one of the rules is do not get caught up in the bully’s group. if you act a certain way just so she wont say things about you, you are playing her game. i always tell my kids-you know what you do…god knows what you do…no one else matters in the end. do not succumb. please.

JJ

September 1st, 2010
8:27 am

You cannot control what others say.

I have no problem with people talking about me. I have such a wonderful life I really don’t care what others think. I’m not here for them, I’m here for me.

Big minds discuss ideas. Small minds discuss people.

JATL

September 1st, 2010
8:37 am

As far as I know no one has ever done this regarding me. I like Jeff’s comment -and iRun’s. I really don’t have time to concern myself with what childish 30 or 40 somethings have to say about me. I probably would have looked at her and said, “Ooooh -I’ll have to take her out for drinks and find out what that’s all about!” -and walked away with a laugh. The only time I can imagine truly responding to something of this nature is if a rumor was really going around that I was having an affair or beating my kids -something honestly detrimental to my life and possibly my children’s lives or my marriage. In that case I would locate the source and eliminate it.

DB

September 1st, 2010
8:47 am

To answer the question: Not that I know of, but if they did, I sure wasn’t paying attention. That’s the nice thing about being secure and confident in your 40’s or 50’s — people might talk about you, but you just don’t give a flyin’ flip if they do! And if they lie about you in a public medium, you can sue ‘em for libel. :-)

So, T, can I ask you a question? When this bitch said that, did you stay silent and thus encourage her? Or did you look her straight in the eye and ask her, “Have you actually ever seen her drunk, or is that just a particularly ugly rumor?”

I would recommend to you the book “Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence.”

http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Bees-Wannabes-Boyfriends-Adolescence/dp/1400047927.

If not for your daughters, then certainly for yourself, it sounds like you’re going to need it at that school! :-) That sounds like a nasty bunch you’re in with, m’dear. I

deidre_NC

September 1st, 2010
8:52 am

devin victoria was born 8:30 this morning :):):):)!:)!:)!:)! everyone is fine….my 5th grandchild :)

Robin

September 1st, 2010
8:55 am

In retrospect, I really can’t see someone starting a rumor that is a boldface, outright lie. Why would anyone start a rumor about abuse or affairs? You’d have to be an absolute nutcase to say something like that.

Unfortunately, the rumor in question may have some truth to it. Maybe the woman has the start of a drinking problem. Ironically their was another instance sort of like this regarding drinking and it turned out to be true. The economy seems to be havoc on personal lives. I thought divorces rates were lower in a down economy – which is not true from what I see around me. However, we should be, as ADULTS, showing compassion and not adding fuel to the fire!

We are teaching our children that is okay to mock, make fun or light of a situation, and possibly bully, when we as ADULTS stoop to gossip.

Why are blonds in SUV's always on cells?

September 1st, 2010
8:57 am

Pathetic! This is what happens to middle class white women. They are so insulated from reality that they live like children. The saddest part is they attempt to raise kids of their own and some of them profess to be Mom experts and write blogs about it. They never find out how much of a drain on society they really are. Forget welfare cases or indigent elderly, middle class white women dont work, they insist on starter mansions, suvs, 4 vacations a year, iphones, mani/pedis…. and they do nothing to warrant these kinds of expenditures. They end up bleeding the idiots that marry them and they wind up in mommy and daddys basement, chain smoking and drinking RC’s. other than that, have a great day guys.

Becky

September 1st, 2010
9:01 am

Like JATL, don’t know if this has ever happened to me and really don’t care..I figure if they are talking about me, it keeps them from talking about someone else..As I tell my coworkers, I’m not here to win a popularity contest and if I were, I lost a long time ago..

@MJG..Looking forward to lunch..See you later..

catlady

September 1st, 2010
9:11 am

How about confronting her!!?!

When someone pulls crap like that, you have to step up and call them on it! Loudly, so you have witnesses!

JATL

September 1st, 2010
9:20 am

@ Robin -in case you haven’t noticed, there are PLENTY of nutjobs out there! I was simply using those cases as an example, but I have unfortunately been on the edges of some situations where extremely vindictive and immature people did start ugly rumors about very ugly, life-changing things. Regardless of whether this woman is drinking or an alcoholic or anything else, the person talking to Theresa needs to keep her mouth shut.

deidre_NC

September 1st, 2010
9:21 am

Becky

September 1st, 2010
9:33 am

Congrats deidre..New babies are so much fun..

I have a sign that hangs on my office door that says..

Now that I am older, I thought it was great that
I seemed to have more paitence..Turns out that I
just don’t give a sh*t..

I think that about sums it up for me…

TechMom

September 1st, 2010
9:42 am

I don’t think I’ve ever been the victim of rumors. If people talk about me then hey, I guess they lead pretty boring lives.

I hear stuff all the time but it’s usually not rumors… gossip yes, but nonetheless based on the truth.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 1st, 2010
9:44 am

It was so shocking because she seems like the sweetest woman — very calm soothing voice, really sweet when she talks to you —- I do think she making a joke but it does worry me that that is under there personality wise — I will keep my distance —

YUKI

September 1st, 2010
9:49 am

I loved JATL’s idea for a response. That would have been great.
You can’t worry about what other people think or say. Just do what you need to do. I feel that by the time you get into your mid-late 30’s (like we both are) you are confident enough that you really just don’t care.

Warrior Woman

September 1st, 2010
9:51 am

@Robin – People start rumors that are outright laws all the time. I had another parent start a rumor about me once that accused me of things that could have resulted in losing my job and going to jail, if true. Of course, when a friend told what the other parent was saying, I picked up the phone and reminded her that there are laws against slander and if she didn’t correct her falsehoods that I’d see her in court. She acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about, but the rumormongering stopped.

Kate

September 1st, 2010
9:57 am

I don’t think anyone has ever started a rumor about me, or at least if they did I didn’t know or care. However, sadly, many of my fellow mommies spend an inordinate amount of time gossiping about each other. About a year ago one of my neighbors (also a mom) and I were standing at the school bus stop making idle conversation while we waited for our kids to come home when all of a sudden she launches into this tirade about another lady in the neighborhood. She proceeded to tell me, repeatedly, what a drunk this lady is and what total losers her kids are. I was absolutely speechless! I barely knew either of these people, not to mention the fact we had been talking about the weather literally the second before. Unfortunately, I ran into this woman while waiting at the bus stop a couple of more times after that, and each time she went out of her way to say something nasty about this other lady and her kids. Since I have never noticed this lady reeking of alcohol or tossing beer cans out the window of her car as she speeds through the neighborhood (and her kids appear to be perfectly normal), I assume the nasty gossip was the result of some spat. Or else my neighbor is just crazy. Either way, I always do my best to avoid gossipy people. You can’t stay on someone’s “good side” if they don’t actually have one.

jmb

September 1st, 2010
10:34 am

Oh, I have one of the worst gossip neighbors possible, and it’s a man. Over the past 6 years, I have probably told him off 10 times in subtle ways and just recently, told his wife what I think of him. He has always tried to be friends with us and we entertain quite often so he’s met a lot of our friends and had something to say about all of them. He’s lazy as hell and lets his wife work while he stays home so my theory has been that he just has too much time on his hands. Just sucks that I ended up moving next to someone like this and have to pay 6k a year in property taxes to do so. When things pick up, we’re out of here for sure.

Mrs. G

September 1st, 2010
11:03 am

Oh no…my (long!) post didn’t post! :(

Bunch of Yentas

September 1st, 2010
11:19 am

Why are you socializing at your children’s school anyway?

I mean this in the most polite way I can, but, get a life!

When I go to my child’s school to help with this or that, I have actually noticed that there seems to be a group of parents whose social lives revolve around the elementary school. I find it sad.

Specifically about the comment; I use that joke all the time. I say, “Oh he’s a wonderful man, as long as he isn’t driinking”. Its a common joke. When the Daily Show got their emmy the other night, the Producer of the show made the same joke about Jon Stewart.

1911A1

September 1st, 2010
12:16 pm

Ah, dysfunction, the gift that keeps on giving!

Gossip is destructive in so many ways. I would tell the instigator that I prefer not to participate in gossip, and if they persist, I would remove myself. Sometimes just using the “G” word can disarm a gossip enough that they might actually stop and think about what they’re saying (but don’t bet the farm on it.)

caroline

September 1st, 2010
12:21 pm

I agree with Bunch of Yentas. It sounds like the lady was just making a joke and not trying to be mean. I’ve heard the same joke. I think everyone’s getting a little worked up over nothing.

Taylor

September 1st, 2010
1:13 pm

All is well until you find out that your respectful neighbors failed to tell you for months there was an alcoholic living down the street. He seemed to be fine, driving to work everyday living a normal life with no outward signs of alcholism. That is until you see his mugshot blasted through email, arrested during the day charged with drunk driving and hit and run. Glad my neighbors were more concerned about this man’s private life than my kid’s safety playing in the neighborhood streets.

jmb

September 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

People need to realize that other people’s lives are not any of their business and this is exactly what I tell those that try to snoop and cause drama (about me or anyone else). I don’t live in their homes or pay their bills so it’s not for me to judge nor for others to do the same to me. I firmly believe in the right to privacy. I work hard to live my life and don’t appreciate someone judging me like they know me or think they do anyway. I will say that if I saw someone driving drunk and endangering children though, I’m going to call the law on them…not run to all my neighbors to give them the scoop.

OK., driving drunk is a serious NO-NO..

September 1st, 2010
1:39 pm

…but the last two posters talked about driving drunk and endangering children. Point made – yet, MOST (not all) drunk driving arrests are made late at night/early in the morning – if your kids are out at that time then it is YOU who is endangering them, along with the DUI persons…

jmb

September 1st, 2010
1:50 pm

OK – my comment was merely in reply to Taylor’s implying that people should speak up about drunk drivers. My point was, I’m not going to tell Taylor if I see that scenario, I’m going to call it in to the proper authorities.

jmb

September 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

Oh yea, soccer moms drink during the day while hubby is at work and kids at school so your theory is incorrect.

Becky

September 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

Just got back from a 2 hour lunch with MJG..Had a really great time..Thank you MJG..Can’t wait to meet again..

Nothing new for the topic, just wanted to share that I survived lunch with MJG..For those that think she’s the wicked witch of the south..

Hey, jmb..

September 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

…what part of “most (not all)” did you not understand?

Becky

September 1st, 2010
1:57 pm

@OK, did you not read the article about the mother (PA I think) that went thru the car pick up line to get her daughter and she was drunk at 2:30ish??

Hey, Becky..

September 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

…see the question above to jmb…

Regular posting out today

September 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

Am I the only hearing “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt?

Seriously, folks people are going to talk if they want too. If they cannot find dirt on you they will make it up.

Grow a thick skin, live the life your heart says you should (ie the good high road path) and let the gossips be the bi%%ies they are going to be.

“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue” (Proverbs). Paul had a great deal to say about “gossips and busybodies saying things they ought not too” as well.

Becky

September 1st, 2010
2:31 pm

Yeah, I saw it..I also know that after being a bartender for 10 years, and seeing the same people come in EVERY day at about 1-3, then leave, I would think that there are a lot of kids out that would be in danger then..No?

Yes, Becky..

September 1st, 2010
2:36 pm

…I agree with what you wrote about the 1-3 bar crowd and what jmb wrote about soccer moms and others who drink during the day – so I will repeat my question –

What part of “MOST (not all)” did you not understand? I believe this allows for just the scenarios you and jmb wrote about…

Kate

September 1st, 2010
2:38 pm

I read about that crazy women picking up her kids from school while she was drunk. It does happen. My older brother’s school bus driver got busted for having a whiskey bottle tucked under the driver’s seat OF THE SCHOOL BUS! Fortunately she was arrested, not to mention fired, before she hurt anyone. The point is, once parents noticed her erratic behavior, plus the kids said she smelled like booze, they decided to alert the proper authorities, not sit around gossiping about it!

jmb

September 1st, 2010
3:01 pm

Thank you Kate, that is exactly what was I saying in my original post. And to the nameless poster, do you not have anything better to do than sit around and disect other peoples posts? Get a life…geez, you’re probably my lazy neighbor so I’m talking in the wind.

Or, jmb..

September 1st, 2010
3:10 pm

…you could be the soccer mom and you are talking about yourself…

So, who is more dangerous..

September 1st, 2010
3:13 pm

…the soccer mom or the pron viewing trucker?

Porn-viewing trucker jailed

Becky

September 1st, 2010
3:29 pm

@what ever you are posting under now..Truce…

As I have said before, Life is way to short to worry over things that I can’t change, things that don’t affect me and if someone is talking about me for no reason..Life is a b*tch and so am I…

Or, jmb..

September 1st, 2010
3:31 pm

hiccup, wanna buy me a drink