Dear Abby: Mom feels shunned when planned playdates never materialize

Published 11:19 am Saturday, April 24, 2021

DEAR ABBY: I am a mom of two boys, 8 and 12. They both have best friends whose moms I like and I would like to be friends with. My problem is, when we set up a playdate for the boys or make plans, when the time comes around and I text them about it, I don’t hear back from them at all. I have even left phone messages a couple of times.

I’m bipolar, and I have social anxiety, so when I say yes to something, it is huge for me. When they don’t respond, I feel as though I am annoying them or they’re mad at me for some reason. The rejection is starting to upset me, and it’s upsetting my children, especially my 8-year-old. My question: How do I deal with flaky moms without ruining my relationship with them? — REJECTED IN CALIFORNIA

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DEAR REJECTED: Have these women EVER agreed to a playdate with your children? Flaky is not the way I would describe them. Rude bordering on cruel would be more accurate.

It’s time to start cultivating relationships with other mothers. Do not personalize what has been happening because the way you have been treated has less to do with you than what it shows about them. In the future, rather than chase these moms, take your children to a park to play (if one is open) or enroll them in other activities.


DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for eight years. After being divorced for a year, I became curious about dating and have been on and off the online dating sites. I have a rule about not meeting anyone with a status of “separated.” Knowing myself, I knew I needed time to get over my divorce before welcoming someone in my life.

A man who listed himself divorced for 3 1/2 years and looking for a relationship was actively contacting me and invited me to look at his photos on Facebook. When I did, I noticed he still had his wedding photo posted. I thought it was odd, so I asked him about it. He said it was 20 years of his life, and he just cannot pretend it didn’t happen. He said I was reading way too much into it.

My gut is telling me, “Thank you, but no thank you.” What are your thoughts, Abby? — PHOTO FINISHED IN NEW YORK

DEAR PHOTO FINISHED: Listen to your gut as you get to know him better. For someone who is divorced and looking for a relationship to leave up a wedding picture with his former spouse makes me wonder if he’s lazy about removing pictures from his Facebook, or sabotaging himself because he’s not quite as ready to move on to something new as he thinks he is.


DEAR ABBY: My late husband was of the Jewish faith. Our children and I are not. Through the years, kind and generous friends and neighbors have sent cards and gifts for Jewish holidays, which makes me very uncomfortable. What wording would you suggest I use to have this practice discontinued without seeming rude or unappreciative? — NON-JEWISH IN ILLINOIS

DEAR NON-JEWISH: You can get your point across to these thoughtful people by saying something like this: “I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but you should know that although my husband followed the Jewish religion, my children and I do not. We are ___________.” Frankly, you should have spoken up years ago.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)