Snoop Mama

November 8th, 2011

I like to take any opportunity I can to snoop. I like to check you out, give you the once-over, peer inside your house and take in all I can see from where I stand. I assess, discern, listen to my gut and then create an opinion about you all within a few seconds. I may be completely wrong, but can only hope that I’m not.

This is how I see it. You – another parent, get my kid; for a play date, overnight, birthday party, trip to the zoo….I get to snoop. It’s my job to create a quick opinion of you. As it is yours to create one of me. We size each other up while making small talk long enough to sniff out any crazy. That is our parental responsibility.

No, I will never be that mother who drops my 14 year old daughter off at her new boy friend’s house without checking to see if you’re home. Nor when I come to pick her up will I text from the driveway to tell her I’m outside waiting in the car! Nope, not me – I will get out of my car, ring the doorbell exchange pleasantries and check you out some more.

I will always open my door and welcome you in, hey I’ll even put the kettle on to make us a cup of tea. Please take this chance to check me out for the sake of your kids. For though I may appear a little wacky at best, I actually think I’m one of the good parents; friendly, kind, with a touch of messy. I’ll try to make your kid laugh, feel safe, and have an all round pleasant experience in my company. But please, judge me as you will, take me or leave me. But you will have to get out of your car and knock on my door, because I’ll be knocking on yours.

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  1. Rosierourou says:

    I like this article- it is a reminder we need to nurture our children & actively show interest in the company they keep. I’m sure there is a better word than snoop though- it implys you don’t trust your child & trust & freedom are so important as they get older- if we keep good company ourselves & set good boundarys we should trust our children will make good judgements on the company they keep as they do get older :-)

  2. Lisa Hertz says:

    I love your blog. We forget sometimes as parents that we need to be watching over them. It’s a tough, but a wonderful journey also. I too will be getting out of my car – it should be in the parent handbook that must have got lost in the mail for so many people. So, get out of your car, smell the fresh air and pick up your son or daughter. We may be embarrassing (us Moms), but we are the ones who signed up to be there for you and protect you. Embarrassing is just part of our job description.

  3. Karen says:

    I am so glad someone else thinks like this! I watch everything too. I think I come off like the most judgemental mommy but I don’t care.

  4. Catherine says:

    Excellent post!  Perhaps the word we are looking for is: “connect”.  I want to connect with you because  you are connected to my child.  I want  my child to understand that there is a village around them, watching, caring, nurturing.  If I am not nearby there are ‘approved’ surrogates.  Or, at least, surrogates to whom I am connected.  We are all looking out for our kids.  Their knowledge of this keeps them feeling safe, accountable and, most importantly, connected.  What a wonderful place to grow from!

  5. Jesica says:

    I love how you presented such an important topic with apparent lightheartedness. I agree 100%, plus more! I call the mother, ask if they will be there while my child is (don’t assume that because the adult is in the house when you call, they have the intention of actually staying once the kids are in), if there is no female adult in the house my teen is not allowed to be there, and I don’t allow sleep-overs… unless they’re in my house.

  6. Kaitlyn says:

    I know this is an old post but it’s really, really good. I totally agree! I’m not a parent and don’t plan to be but I had parents who were much the same. They believed in getting to know my friends just as they got to know their own friends. That meant knowing the family they came from. This had probably helped me become to adult I am today – I pay attention to the people I meet and have learned to be a good judge of character (mostly) as a result. 

  7. I just stumbled upon this post and wanted to support this way of thinking because I am totally this kind of mom. And I love it and appreciate when I meet a new mom who is also cautious with her kids. My kids are welcome and encouraged to try new things and meet new friends, but they know that mama is going to be right there making sure she knows what’s going on. Not in a stalker way…:)

  8. Weezie says:

    I completely support this post and I wish more parents would behave this way.  

  9. Belinda says:

    You said it!  A powerful message delivered brilliantly!  When my daughter calLD this behavior overprotective, I say “thank you.”

  10. Brandi says:

    Great post! I support 100%! It’s the way my parents were with me and the way I will be with my son (and future children)!

  11. Sandy Ryan says:

    As it should be.

  12. Meg, it’s funny how we’ve come full circle, isn’t it? In the immediate post-war generation, kids basically had no rights; they were expected to follow orders and “speak when spoken to.” Then came Dr. Spock, and then in the 70s, amid the massive cultural revolution that was transforming this country, it was all about “giving your kids space” and “respecting their privacy and autonomy” as human beings. To build self-esteem you had to “let them be who they are.” Then all of a sudden every other teenager was dealing weed or crystal (or worse) and mass-producing offspring at an alarming rate, and parents woke up to the fact that you can’t treat your teens and tweeners as if they were just slightly smaller adults. Yet still today, despite all the evidence of what happens to kids who are left to their own devices too much, you’ll have some of those same radical forces telling us that we must “let our kids discover themselves and march to their own drummers!” Yeah, and too often they march straight into the delivery room or penitentiary. I don’t always agree with you, as you know, but I massively respect your passion for the dialog. Keep up the great work!