The Breakfast Moms

  • 17 Aug - 23 Aug, 2019
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

I finally met them. Fondly called “the breakfast moms” I met them a few days into the start of Ibrahim’s school.

“Are you Ibrahim’s mom?” she approached me with a wide and warm smile. I stopped mid-way as I was piling in Ibrahim and his things into the back seat. I noticed how she was the living epitome of a Barbie Doll. Her whole persona was colourful and perfect. Mani, pedi, hair, make-up and clothes. What a beautiful doll, I thought to myself.

I could see she was waiting for an answer. “Yes!” I replied finally with some hint of enthusiasm. “I am his mom and no I’m not kidnapping another woman’s kid!” I laughed at my own lameness. She looked at me quizzically. “Not everyone has your sense of humour, Saima,” I could almost hear Fawad’s amused voice. I just stood there to let her get over the initial shock. It took her a while.

“Yes, yes. I wanted to ask you something. A group of us are thinking of organising breakfast mornings on Fridays. It’s a shorter day at school. We can drop our kids off and go to a venue and be back when they are off. Would you like to come? We’re going tomorrow.” Wow that was quite a speech for a little old Barbie doll. And a lot to take in.

“Fridays are kind of important at home too. Can I just let you know tomorrow? I’ll tag along if I can.”

Once Ibrahim was off to school in the morning there was so much to be done at home too. Fawad agreed to drop him each day so that I could get some shut eye but to be honest all I’d do was get my house chores down and it would be time to pick him up. But I really did want to do this breakfast thing. Saman and I used to love our breakfast dates. It was so nice to catch up with friends early in the day. It sets your mind for the rest of the day.

I decided I would go. If nothing else it would be good to be friends with other moms. You know it would help for play-dates and also if I needed some cavalry against the admin at any point in time. Besides being part of a community that helps with your child’s future is a win-win.

How wrong was I?

I mean it all started nicely in the beginning. We were meeting every Friday and at times even on any other convenient week-day. We would chat and catch-up. We had common interests and goals. We could discuss personal details about our lives because in many ways we were all the same. And very soon I felt that we were in fact a nice group of cheerful women who meant no harm but then again I was wrong. We definitely started teaming up against each other.

“I mean if I’m paying such a high fee then I do expect some changes. That teacher just doesn’t know what she’s doing. You would expect better trained people at a school of this caliber. I have a good mind to get her fired.” Humphed Barbie Doll, and all the other moms nodded their heads in agreement.

Now I knew the story of a teacher, and how hard it was for her to maintain a successful career, the demands of the workplace as well as a home and family of her own. I assumed she must have stood up to Barbie Doll, had a battle of wits or egos at some point and now Dolly here wanted a pound of her flesh in return.

“She isn’t that bad.” I had to defuse the situation and defend her. “I’ve always seen her to be patient and caring towards the kids. Ibrahim is actually quite fond of her.”

All the moms looked towards me as if I was the enemy. I felt like I was stuck in a bad sequel of the Mean Girls.

Barbie Doll finally spoke up, “My son likes his maid too, and should I call her in to teach him?” Ouch. Really?

I had to take out my big guns now.

“Look. This woman possibly has a family to take care of. She’s not working for free you know. I wouldn’t want to be the reason for her to lose her job. And besides if one of us has an issue with her I think it should be taken up with the management properly instead of sitting her and creating vibes against her. I definitely will not be a part of that.”

I was expecting her to ask me to leave. I was also expecting the others to stand by me. But neither happened. She suddenly became polite and kind.

“Oh my God Saima. What’s wrong with you? We just sit here and talk. We talk about family, our husbands and our mothers-in-law. We exchange banter. We exchange recipes. No one is out to get anyone. It’s just us blowing off some steam. God knows we can’t do it anywhere else being women in this rigid culture; whoever listens to us? Why are you so paranoid?”

This conniving snake. She cleverly made me look like the bad guy. She now had full control over this pack of sheep that just stupidly followed and did whatever she wanted and I was successfully turned into the outcast. How well executed?

I started to laugh.

“Of course I knew that. And I wasn’t serious either. It’s just that I taught for so many years. I know what it feels like. I’ve basically been a part of it all and I can feel the pain and the pleasure. I just don’t want any unfairness for any of us especially our children.”


“Absolutely. That’s what we all want Saima. Don’t think too much dear. Relax and have your tea.”

Condescending and manipulative. I decided then and there. I would let the dust settle on this show down but then I would disengage myself from this hideous group of women. In fact, I was concerned with the kind of influence their kids would have on my son. I went back home both sad and pensive. Is this what they do in suburbia; the rich and famous? Irregardless of the entire big picture of what they do or don’t; I definitely was not going to be a part of it.

I guess being given a new lease in life thrust me into the things that I thought I had missed out, the happiness that money could buy. The happiness that was shallow and empty.

I heard the door lock turn and Fawad’s meaningful footsteps.

I turned around to greet my husband. It’s not about the things or the moments, it’s the importance of the right kind of people and those women were not right for me.

“So how was your day?” I asked with a wide, warm smile.

All my happiness was right here in this room for me. I didn’t want more.