My kid gets left out because I’m not in the “Mom Squad” and it freaking sucks.
My daughter was next to me the other day as I carelessly scrolled through Facebook. “Wait, go back,” she said.
She saw a post from the neighborhood “Mom Squad” with pictures from a get together they had that we were not invited to.
All of her little friends’ faces smiled back at her and she was devastated to learn that they had “the best time ever” without her. Oh how I hate Facebook.
This led to an important, but painful conversation about how sometimes you just don’t get an invite.
It hurts to be excluded, but it usually isn’t personal.
I explained that there will be times when her friends get together and she isn’t included. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like you. Sometimes you just can’t invite everyone from a logistics standpoint.
Sometimes the gathering is spontaneous and naturally occurs with people who happen to be in the same place at a particular time.
A lot of her friends have older siblings that are the same age and they hang out while tagging along to their functions.
And sometimes the reason she gets left out is my fault because I’m not in the “Mom Squad.”
There is a group of moms in the neighborhood that all have kids the same age as my daughter. They all hang out together all the time. They invited me to dinner once, but I guess I didn’t make the cut.
On a personal level, it doesn’t bother me that I am not part of the neighborhood mom clique. I prefer to hang out with people one-on-one or in small group settings.
I have flashbacks to high school every time I’m around large groups of women.
I’d rather choose my friends based on common interests instead of the mere fact that we had unprotected sex around the same time.
Don’t get me wrong, having friends with similarly aged kids is a godsend.
You need to connect with people who are in the same phase of life. You may even get lucky and meet another mom you would normally hang out with who just so happens to have a child that your kid gets along with.
In my experience, relationships based solely on the kids fade quickly once that link is gone.
It hurts to hang out with someone all the time and then never hear from them again the second your child transfers to a different school or the sporting season ends.
I get it— we’re all busy and we form these quick and fleeting friendships with other moms out of convenience.
These relationships are enjoyable, but they don’t last.
Once our kids move along to the next activity, we make new friends there and the cycle continues.
What happens when the kids grow apart or don’t get along anymore? It makes things super awkward for the parents if that was your only connection.
I don’t have a ton of free time so I’d rather invest it in people I’d still hang out with even if our kids weren’t in the same class at school. Because next year they probably won’t be.
I wish there wasn’t an expectation that moms have to micromanage their kids’ social lives these days.
My mom never arranged playdates for me when I was a kid. I just ran down to my neighbor’s house and asked if she could play or invited a friend over after school. My social scene happened organically.
My mom didn’t have to invite another mom over and entertain her so I could make a friend. She was friendly with my friends’ moms, but my parents had their own social circle that wasn’t directly related to mine.
I like to keep things separated and this arrangement works pretty well… until me not being in the “Mom Squad” is the reason that my kids aren’t included.
Then it freaking sucks.