I’m notorious for dodging Susie at carpool. I don’t actually know a “Susie,” however, I think we all know the one mom or group of moms who just so happen to have the 411 on everyone. In their most natural habitat you can find them huddled in a circle at carpool, scanning the crowd and whispering amongst each other. I thought the, “Have you heard about…” comments would be left behind in the halls of my high school over a decade ago, but unfortunately the chatter of gossip is just something we can almost never escape.
Let’s be honest, most of us enjoy a juicy conversation with the ladies. So I may have an unpopular opinion when I say this, but I find minding my own business to be much more satisfying than listening to the mom at carpool who heard a fellow parent’s child was acting up in class or wasn’t doing well academically. The playdates that consist of conversations about what’s going on with Tonya and her husband (while Tonya isn’t around) don’t exactly tickle my fancy. I also don’t know a “Tonya,” but I think you grasp the point. Perhaps I am too worried about the conflicts in my own life because a real person can admit that we all have them, or maybe, just maybe, I know the majority of these conversations rarely come from a place a concern.
I recently took my kids rock climbing at the gym, and the guy working at the front desk was bombarded by a school of elementary students having some elementary conflict over chips and cookies. He calmly looked over at the students and replied, “The best thing to do right now is to mind your own business,” and he went about his work completely unbothered. This guy was my hero. In that very moment, I told myself, I am going to live by that motto. The best thing to do is to mind my own business! It has been absolutely life changing. And it truly has become an art. I have learned to wave at “Susie” from a distance during carpool without stopping. I have taken “an important phone call” and walked away when I started to feel uncomfortable hearing too much information. I have suddenly had to change my child’s poopy diaper during a playdate when the conversation shifted towards a topic or person that in most situations would not like to be conversed about.
I’m team mom! This means I encourage mothers. I uplift them in conversation when motherhood or relationships get tough. I don’t find productivity in listening to the “I heard XYZ” comments, but I would rather have a real conversation with the person not in the room or in the carpool huddle. As mothers, we all understand the struggles that comes with motherhood, so rather than take part in the, “Did you hear about…” remarks, let’s reach out to the mom with the struggling student, the mom having a tough time in her marriage, or the mom who is having a hard time handling her little ones. Offer some encouragement, and then take a page from the rock-climbing guy’s book and go on with your day continuing to mind your own business.