This is the second installment in how to handle recruitment if you are on the “mom” side of things. In most cases you will be at home during the actual process wringing you hands, most likely having margaritas as 9 am (hey it’s got to be 5 o’clock somewhere 🙂 ) with you cell phone glued to your hand awaiting a precious phone call of text.
DON”T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS
My mom always told me that “no news is good news” and that’s the mantra you must have with this process. If your daughter gets her party card at 9 am do not expect a phone call at 9:01 (yep I was one of those moms that did !!). You might be sitting at your house right now reading this and shaking your head, thinking to yourself….I won’t be the one to do that but I am telling you we all fall into this trap. She will most likely be running around checking out everyone else cards to see who they got back.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE PHONE RINGS
So time has passed and now the phone rings. You have the following possible scenarios….1. Your daughter is ecstatic because she has all of her favorite houses back , a full party card and is having a great hair day and met the cutest fraternity boy ever while out getting a soda with some of new friends……2. Your daughter is mildly pleased that she has most of her favorite houses back but is a little sad because she doesn’t have a full card. the good news is the girl who she has become BFF’s with is in the same boat…3. You believe the voice on the other end of the line is your daughter but the wailing is so long and loud that you aren’t sure, so you run downstairs to make sure somehow the cat isn’t stuck in the dryer again. All kidding aside you just don’t know what you are going to get when you answer to phone so be prepared! If your text tone goes off…run for the alcohol now!!!!
LOOK ON THE BRIGHTSIDE
So lets say that your daughter’s party schedule is not exactly what you (oops..I mean she had hoped for). First you must resist searching for the phone numbers of the sorority houses that did not invite your daughter back thus scaring her for life. In today’s world most houses do not have a home phone and so this is futile. Searching the recruitment chairs number also isn’t a good idea. So you must resort to being the cheerleader for the houses left on the card. You may have to dig deep but you have to be positive about each house that is left and what wonderful qualities is has to offer. I am sure that at first your daughter won’t be buying into any of this but it does work (I’ve had practice). Finally..when in doubt lie. Saying things like, “well I for one am glad that XYZ didn’t invite you back because I heard that one of their girls got a disease from doing a lap dance at a fraternity” will most likely buffer this tense situation and help your daughter to relax. Now you have to just hope that your daughter doesn’t repeat this crazy story to anyone.
WORK WITH ME HERE
There are also those girls who have the exact opposite problem…they got invited back to EVERY house they wanted and more. The call then becomes a whine fest of however is she going to decide which she likes the best when she likes them all (or…really doesn’t connect with any of them). I just have to throw out there to you who end up in this positions…you could throw a few bones to those of us who are dying over here with not full card. I actually think sometimes this is the tougher situation..how do you pick. This is the time when you have her make a quick pro and con list for each house and then you tell her to go back to each party and you are sure everything will be much clearer by the end of the day.
THE MIDDLE ROAD
This is the safe route. Your daughter has a nice party card that has a few of her favorites and few of her not so favorites. She wasn’t invited back to a full party card but has enough to not make her panic. She’s just kind of bleh. Now is a great time to remind your daughter to take a good look at those houses that are just so so. The middle road gives you the time to do this. She needs to pull the blinders off and take a good hard look at why she love love loves those top houses and to dig for the little nuggets of greatness in the other houses. I tell you this because chances are that maybe tomorrow you may be searching for the brightside.
PRACTICE YOUR PEP TALK
My mom had a cup she used to drink her coffee out of each morning. It was by Mary Englebreit and it had this saying on it about how wonderful a daughter was and how she had all these qualities that everyone should be so envious of and how that mother was saying this and the daughter should believe her . So sit down right now and pen one of your own….cause you’re gonna need it! I promise. It might just be that her mascara is glumpy and she tuck the brush in her eye…but I promise you at least once and may be more you are going to have to give her the pep talk…the you are a one in a million pep talk and how lucky any of the houses would be to have you pep talk. The ….you’re not fat and no one can see the scare by your eye where you fell over your brother’s fire truck and got stitches when you were two.
INVEST IN KLEENEX
Strategically place boxes of kleenex around your house, work and in your car. Your daughter will call with good news…it’s an emotional week..you WILL cry. Your daughter calls upset because her roommate got invited back to Pi Phi and she didn’t…..you WILL cry…..your daughter sends you a text pic of her getting ready to walk out the door to Preference….you WILL cry. And then, you WILL cry when you are missing her something awful and wishing she would call just so you can hear her voice and know she’s ok. Finally you WILL cry ..just to cry. It’s an emotional week…you WILL cry.
CALL OUT THE CAVALRY
Have lined up some of the special people in her life to just “Touch base” with her the week of recruitment. These are the folks you can text as soon as you get off the phone with the distraught princess and they can just “happen to call”. It has to appear not planned but this is life saver. first of all it give your daughter another person to bounce ideas off of and secondly it give you a little break.
Tuck some funny little notes quotes, or jokes the two of you share. When our kids were home they were all athletes and during their season we used paint markers to write inspirational quotes on their bathroom mirrors. When my daughter left for recruitment I tucked all kinds of little momisms in her things where I knew she would find them. Funny how things work out but it seemed like just when she need a hug from home she found one.
Well as I was writing this “my sorority girl” needs a little mommy time so am going to call it quits for tonight…need to be a cheerleader and pull out one of the pep talks from the file. Good news all of the above doesn’t only apply to recruitment..you’ll need it all 4 years of college (better go buy some more margarita mix!).