I get a lot of letters from mothers about their feelings being hurt for a variety of reasons, from not being invited to join the neighborhood supper club to feeling like their being shunned by the cool moms at a PTA meeting. So, I decided to address these issues with one big lesson – Call it “Mom Friendship 101.”
The first and most important thing every woman needs to learn about mom friendships is, Hurt Feelings Are a Time Suck. So, you didn’t get asked to join some other moms from your kids schools for a lunch party or your invite for the neighborhood pot luck got lost in the mail. Your first thought shouldn’t be “Oh, wow, I feel left out and sad.” Instead go with “Yippee, it’s one less thing on my to-do list” and get on with your day.
Do not overthink it, analyze it or try to imagine what you could have done differently to secure an invite. This is also a huge time suck and will get you nowhere but closer to drinking the boxed wine in your refrigerator before noon. Because, and this is very important information so please feel free to take notes, the reason you’re not being included probably has very little to do with you. It could be the moms going out for lunch have friendships that started back in college or, and this happens a lot, their kids are all in the same extracurricular activities, let’s say little league, and the moms want to meet up to complain about and plot against the coach.
Do not make the mistake of expecting that just because you’re in the same supper club, Bible study group or serving together on the PTA that you should be included in any and all social endeavors that members of these groups partake in. You are an adult and the kindergarten rule of “every child in the class gets invited to the birthday party” no longer applies. So get those yoga pants out of a twist and buck up.
If your happiness hinges on your social calendar, plan your own parties (there’s no better way to hone your own exclusionary tactics), volunteer for fundraising galas or look for a job as an event planner. Otherwise, be content with the bounty that is already in front of you.
Lastly, and this has worked for years for me – if you don’t get invited to something or are feeling left out, just tell yourself the reason you weren’t included is that the group is probably a bunch of swingers, you know what I’m talking about, and you, being a morally upright individual, just wouldn’t fit in.
If you have questions for Dear Snarky, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org