Hey there outcast mom. I see you.
Having children was a glorious thing for me…having 2 girls 18 months apart, well that was a little bit harder on me. I started a play group years ago, and I was lucky because it was before we all used social media. Crazy, right?
The group would meet, rotate houses, and I picked a random day, Tuesday at 10a.m. But after the girls moved out of that stage, I felt a huge shift in support. I live in a large military area and some of the moms moved on.
When it came time for pre-school, I would drag myself there in whatever I was wearing and drop the oldest off to spend time with tiny people her age and learn, while I nursed the tiny other one or ran errands.
I would see the “other moms”. They were dressed in…shocking, I know, real clothes. They had put on actual makeup. One even showed up after her riding lesson. I tried to make small talk, but felt the disapproval in the looks like I was somehow less. I was never included in much of the chat…but I was at new at this, so I figured they knew each other, right?
The years seemed to continue on in this pattern when I went back to work. I would take my girls to school with me, luckily, because I was a teacher. But the before and after care, and the not being able to be at everything like many of the other moms, had me feeling insecure.
It would be different if I hadn’t felt like I was being pressured, but it was sign up for this, do this, come to this field trip, be a room mom and come to all the parties. Where was the room dad sign up? I never saw that sheet passed around.
Many of you might be nodding your heads right now thinking “I have felt like this.” But then come the birthday parties, the events etc. I felt like it was all too much at once. And again, part of this could have been because I was also fighting my own invisible diseases during this time, I had 2 girls in elementary at the same time, and was working.
I started to dread events…the notes home about sending things in. And I decided to do our own thing for the girl’s birthdays. We started going to the state parks. I started craving being away from all that. Being in nature. Not comparing myself to those moms who seemed to be able to make it to everything. Those moms who posted with the Girl’s Night Out like every night or were at literally everything for every single kid and had everyone in the photos AND on their friends list. << scary concept.
So whether you feel like an outcast by choice, or by feeling somehow less, I am here to tell you that I see you. I know you are doing the best you can, and you don’t have to go to everything you are invited to, and if you aren’t invited, it’s okay. Be the change. Start your own group, or do your own thing.
Do you feel pressured to get together with everyone you meet from sports groups? Do you get tired of hearing people talk about how fabulous their kid is and then talk about someone else who might not be as fabulous? Say no. Move on if the team seems made up of people who tear others down.
I have watched social media take some of these moms to new heights…and new lows. Making their kids lives seem that much better. Getting every kid in school to take photos with them at dances and more. But I have seen that hurt the kids…and some of these moms don’t even realize it.
I watched a young girl completely change her personality for fear that was what was expected on social media. I have watched others decided that was not for them…and get off of social media and walk away.
I have seen social media connect and then disconnect others. I have seen working moms tear into others and stay-at-home moms do the same.
Whatever stage of being a mom you are in…please enjoy it. You are literally doing the best you can. And sister, if you need to un-follow the mom who does it all, so be it. If your child only has a few friends and you feel pressured to make sure they have more…remember that keeping your circle small isn’t always a bad thing. It’s about quality of values. Who is lifting the other ones up? Where is that friend? If your child doesn’t have that friend, teach them to BE that friend.
So today, for no particular reason, I wanted to let you know I see you moms…even if you feel outcast, I see you.
Resources that can help you further:
- Start a Meet-up.
- Look on FB and start a book club or plan an event that fits your personality
- Empty nest? Start your own walking group in your neighborhood.
- New mom? Start a playgroup if you want…or don’t. Just enjoy where you are and don’t feel pressure.
Life is hard enough without feeling like we have to be more than we already are. Need support? I have a women’s group, but it is also for the people who are interested in woo-woo. Just saying, if you are into deep topics, thinking about things, yoga, mindfulness and more, it might be for you.