We know them well, don’t we?
The moms who can’t do their carpool duties because of a birthday, the moms who book a play date and then dash off to do some errand, and the mom who never invites your kids to play because her “house is under renovation.”
Then there are the moms who are gracious and warm, open and hospitable and know the importance of etiquette – especially where kids are concerned.
Here are some of the hallmarks of these magnificent creatures:
- They are appreciative. Keenly aware that everyone’s life is busy, these gracious mothers look for opportunities to say “thank you” for favors like doing extra duty on the carpool or passing along the name of a good babysitter by sending a hand-written note of appreciation.
- They are respectful of your life and it’s demands. A gracious mom will never presume you’re always up for taking care of her kids or continually run late when it’s her turn to carpool.
- They are not cliquish or clannish around new faces. In fact, a mom with superb manners will go out of her way to introduce herself and the group to a new neighbor or play group member.
- They interact with teachers in the most respectful manner. Should there be an emergency at work on the same day as “back to school” night, a mother with panache will either call ahead or send a note apologizing for her absence.
- They are excellent conversationalists, which means they can talk about something besides their latest acquisition or the children’s Stanford-Binet test scores.
- They use people’s time wisely. How often do we go to a board meeting and find ourselves listening to a monologue rather than a dialogue? Women with superb manners listen more than they speak so they can acquire the useful information to move conversation into action.
Whether it precedes your entrance or follows you like a puppy, you must cultivate a reputation for beautiful gestures, extraordinary thoughtfulness, and a gift for making people feel good in your presence. That is the essence of etiquette.
So if you find yourself guilty of not always having the best “mom manners,” take a cue from this list and try to live more graciously.