Somewhere I heard that you are not supposed to build relationships based on a shared contempt for some third party. I think that’s a solid spiritual axiom– relationships should be built on mutual love and respect, not because you found someone who’s a hater like you. However, the person who said that definitely never went to parents’ night at their kids’ school.
But I’m not here to complain about the parents that make my skin crawl because they are grilling a preschool teacher about how she intends to teach four-year-old kids how to create a narrative arc or deconstruct string theory. Nope, I’m flat our praising those douche bags because without them, how could I find my people? The crazy parents are the Maypoles around which I am able to dance and find other people grooving to my rhythm. How could I have ever found my school BFFs without bonding over the serious case of crazy that some other (not us, never us) parents display during student nights and open houses?
We need them. Each and every one of those hyped up, over-zealous, run-to-the-administration-to-complain parents is vital to the rest of us getting to sit back and remind ourselves that we are crazy, but not that kind of crazy. In their shadows, we can congratulate ourselves for our balanced and sane approach to parenting and education.
So don’t be a hater. Be an embracer– harness that negative reaction and find your fellow eye-rollers. Those are your tribe. It may not be the soundest basis for forming a friendship, but sharing contempt for the same people isn’t the worst way to start.
For more on this, see how I this played out on my latest Mom.me post. (Click here).