WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Smooth Operators earnestness," Butcher explains. "Raising a child is challenging, but we need more levity—we like to be able to laugh at ourselves." Which gets back to what the duo terms the "perplexity" of suburban situations. "We've all experienced nearly being run over by a mother on a mission to get her child to Tae Kwon Do on time," laughs Pyle. "So we're ask- ing, 'Are we missing something here?'" The two women have known each other since they attended high school together in Delaware. Coincidentally, they both landed in Boston for their careers; Butcher's background is in sales and market- ing for financial services, while Pyle spent twelve years working as a researcher at Harvard. They lived downtown during their professional years, and they both Charm School Sometimes, the simplest of social interactions don't run so smoothly. Many parents in the Wellesley and Weston area, for example, are highly accomplished professionally and academically. Pyle and Butcher have observed the use of language that can unintentionally be exclu- sionary—especially in the context of modest activities like an elemen- tary school fundraiser. "Did that mom just say 'net-net' about the bake sale?" posits Butcher. "While we're lucky to live in such an enriching community, sometimes we need a gentle reminder that we're not building the next Facebook." Saying that their Web site speaks for the "silent majority," the two fast friends say they see the humor in the suburban motherhood track, where, at times, matters such as costumes for the school play seem of utmost importance. Innocent comments from small children can raise larger issues. For example, how does an adult woman graciously reply to the salutation, "Hi Betty!" from the neighborhood preschooler? "It's a mystery as to how greetings from children to adults changed from Mr. and Mrs. to a first-name basis," says Butcher. "It doesn't seem quite right to me." Pyle says she prefers to be known as "Mrs. Pyle" among her chil- dren's peers. "But, some parents do prefer to be called by their first names," she points out. "So you need to respect their wishes, but like- wise, they should respect that you would like to be called Mrs. In fact, we just completed a home renovation, and I instructed my children to call the contractors 'Mr. ' I feel they owe respect to adults." 126 encountered the new spheres of play dates and volunteer activities after a transition to the suburbs as stay-at-home moms. "Manners for Modern Mothers" is their outlet to explore those dimensions. "Blogging didn't come naturally to us, though, because we were both raised in tradi- tional environments where talking about yourself wasn't emphasized," says Pyle. "It took awhile before we started writing in the first person." A Primer for Handling Delicate Situations When Parents Brag About their Child's Palate "Little Billy just loves sashimi," a mother might say smugly to anyone within earshot. The modern mannered mother might simply nod, utter "How interesting," and then quietly note that tomorrow Billy's eating habits may change entirely. When Your Children Don't Play Well with Your Friend's Kids Less successful is telling your dear friend what is wrong with her off- spring. Or forcing the tots to be BFFs. More successful is planning adult dinners to which children are not invited. Maintain your friend- ships, despite the tykes. Why We Have Trouble With Saying Thank You The mannered mother who insists on table manners and thank you notes sometimes feels alone in a culture of indifference. But reinforc- ing these behaviors gives children a bit of humility and respect. And research bears out that well-mannered people are more successful in every aspect of life. WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012

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