Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No place to hide

I'm one of those moms who stays at the soccer field during practice. Since I have two young ones always with me, I use the time to play with them at the field. We bring all kinds of balls and some books for downtime. I find we pass the time well together.

My peaceful alone time with the kids is in jeopardy now. I'm being followed by a soccer mom stalker! I like to be friendly and polite when approached by other moms. Now I think my friendliness may be my downfall at the field. Being the only mom available, this "stalker" seems to want to be my shadow. The other moms either drop off their kids or hide out in minivans. At the first couple of practices in the fall, I politely listened as this mom went on and on with one gossip topic after another. She would follow me all over the field. No matter where I would set up camp, I could count on being discovered by her. Even if I'm kicking a ball around with my kids, she is there right beside me. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I think I need some breathing room. My kids are starting to get annoyed and cranky when she shows up. Oh, if only a new soccer mom would step up to the plate and take this "field friendship" over! I dread when I see her minivan pull up at the field parking lot. Any advice on how to get out of this stalking relationship? It is going to be a long season!

24 comments:

thezeninyou said...

Oh no! I had a "stalker" for awhile...and it was the one that told me way way too much! Yikes! After awhile I just began avoiding the places I would see her... This is so hard, but you may just have to very politely say that this is your special play time with the kids, although you would love to chat, they need your attention. Either that or start not showering and smell bad...lol. Wish I had some sagely advice!

Heather said...

Oh, that's awful!! Don't you hate it when people hover... it drives me nuts. I agree with the first commenter - tell her that it's your special time with your kids and that you'd like to devote your attention to them. I'm sure that's WAY harder to actually say to someone, but it might be well worth it. Good luck! :)

becomingkate said...

I would sit beside someone, but I would never follow them around! I agree with the others. You might have to say, "oh, I'm so sorry but the kids want me to themselves. Last week they said I talked so much they missed out on their special time. I'm terrible for that..."

I wish you luck, though!

Kim said...

You poor thing. I have a really good friend who I am sure you resemble to a T. She is the nicest person I know and I`ve never met anyone who didn`t like her. Sometimes this makes her miserable;0)

I like Kate`s idea of saying that the kids want you all to yourself and then give a sheepish shrug. We have a team member at work who has a similar type of disorder. She jumps into any conversation she can hear and has to one up you with her story. It`s a lot of work to be around her.
Good luck Kelly!

T Rex Mom said...

First, take it as a compliment that she wants to be around you.

I've never been in this situation before - but chat with her for a few minutes. You might just be the person she looks forward to seeing during her hectic week. Then politely excuse yourself, thank her for visiting, and say you promised your kids this would be there special time and you don't want to let them down.

I just worry about this poor gal - she might be so lonely. Of course, you first priority is your kids, but give them the bulk of the time and if she's a pleasant person, give her a few minutes.

I've had people in my life that are somewhat annoying but treat them all kindly and friendly - one time one of these folks really came through for me in a pinch. One never knows when you'll encounter someone like that.

Take care and good luck. I know no matter how you handle it, it will be fine. You are a great person with good intentions - you can't go wrong. And if she takes it wrongly, maybe you don't want to be affiliated with her.

Lois Lane II said...

Oh, geez, girl, I feel your pain! This is not cool! I've had that happen to me a couple of times, and what I like to do is to answer randomly -- like say something weird that might make her think, "This girl's kooky. I don't know if I want to be around her." Lol! It actually works, though!

Dani said...

You know, I feel for this lady. I bet she is desperate to find a friend. I'm sure you may like to have a friend too, but not during soccer practice. I like the comments above about telling her this is your special time with the kids. But perhaps you could also add an invitation (if this is a woman you think you could be friends with at a different setting) to have lunch or a double-date night with her or something. Perhaps this would just make her day! She may be completely happy to fend for herself alone during soccer practices if she feels like she's made a friend. Good luck.

H.K. said...

That is such a hard call! It's not like you could change parks. I have a feeling that no matter how nicely you tell her that you want to be left alone, her feeling will get hurt and she would most likely feel offended. But, bottom line your kids feelings come first. Good luck!

septembermom said...

Thanks to everyone for all your advice. One time I did say to her that my 3 year old daughter was getting fussy because she wanted to play with me alone. So I excused myself to play with my daughter and the woman did follow me within 2 minutes. I don't know if she really is looking for me to be a friend or just someone to listen to her gossip. She talks about everyone. It makes me uncomfortable sometimes. I'll keep trying to get away in a nice way.

CDB said...

Have you ever seen "Groundhog Day", with Bill Murray? Remember the scene where he meets Ned, the insurance salesman, and he says, "oh Ned.. how I've missed you so much. We HAVE to spend more time together, you and me.." as he gives him a long, long hug? (:

You see where this is going.

No, I'm kidding. This is rough.. you don't want to lose your ability to be the "nice" mom but maybe.. just stop active listening now and then? (I'm very social and find when I need someone to stop talking.. I often have to as well!)

Mari said...

I've had this happen to me a few times too and it is tough to deal with. I don't have anything to add to the other comments. They gave you the same advice I would!

Sassy said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog...I love making new friends...although I won't start breathing your same air as it seems to be the case with your stalker....could you accidently kick the ball in her direction and hurt her just a little so she stops following or maybe just knock her out....I have been there because I always stayed with my children at practice even when my little ones grew up and I wasn't watching any it just felt good sometimes to be alone and quiet or look at a magazine or read a book....you've been given some good advice...it is just a sticky situation and I hated when it happened to me too often...good luck and again I loved having you visit.

Life with Kaishon said...

Could you go to another park? I know it would be annoying, but just for a few weeks until she takes the hint?

I feel sad for her because she must be lonely. That's definitely a sticky situation! Good luck!

rightonmom said...

Uh, awkward. Yea, I think the poor lady's missing something upstairs. Dark sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, and a trench coat should do it..hehe

Seriously, I love to socialize too, but this is a bit strange. I would probably get out of her radar somehow. She'll get the hint eventually.

Good luck!

Joanne said...

Really, it seems all you can do is what the others suggested, letting her know this is your time with your children. You might have to repeat it, or maybe tell her that you will catch up with her later. Funny, but I have a feeling that even this won't work. Let us know how it turns out!

Joanne said...

Hi Kelly, I have a quick question for you. I often find that when I visit blogs with the Cutest Blog On The Blog template, I get a funny pop-up that locks up my computer. It just happened with my last comment, and I can't close the pop-up without manually shutting down the computer. This has happened on 3 different computers. Do you know if anyone else visiting you has had this pop-up, or has it happened to you? Thanks.

Banteringblonde said...

I feel sort of bad for this lady too ... but i can see why it would be a bit annoying! I might start hiding out in my car LOL

Wendy said...

oooh, that is a hard one.........i like t rex moms idea.......i guess you are going to have to keep excusing yourself over and over again until she gets it.....and if she doesnt then, you are going to have to be more straightforward....especially is she makes you uncomfortable......good luck!

The Write Girl said...

Oh boy, this is a hard one. This lady sounds downright persistent. I like the ideas some of the other posters suggested about spending time with your kids and excusing yourself. I hope you keep us updated on this.

LuAnn said...

Sorry for this - It's tough to be so nice and than feel punished for it later. I say take everyone's advise here. And wear a big hat. Maybe she won't see you.

pughy said...

I have to agree with some of he others, she must be lonely, but you need your time with your little one's. I thnk you must say something before you become resentful.Just be very smiley and say the kids have been feeling neglected. You can as someone sggested ask her for coffee to soften the blow. Hope that helps.

Carol and GJ x

Minka said...

If yu start hiding, you lose - and you shouldn't because you've done nothing wrong. Having tried it the nice way already, I can't see any other option, but to say out loud what's bothering you. Not easy for a nice mom,I know. But the way you described her, it may take more attempts than one for her to get the message. Can your husband join you once or twice?

Becca said...

I have no advice to give you because I have no idea what I would do in this situation.I feel bad for her because she is probably just looking for a friend but I can totally understand why that time is so special to you and your children. I am sure that is incredibly awkward for you. Best wishes!

Jenners said...

This is awful. I am a magnet for these type of people. I guess that is why everyone is hiding out in their minivans. Perhaps a disguise is in order?