|"My mommy makes other kids cry..."|
Do I truly think that, or even want to think that? No, definitely not, but boy, did I screw up a couple of weeks ago. I forgot about playgroup, for the 5th time in the past year...and I should have been "x'd" at 3.
For me, this is a pretty big deal, not only have I sabotaged my toddler's social life, but mine as well. A year before my first son was born, I moved away from the only life that I knew, full of family and friends. For a year I lived with my husband and young baby in Texas...without socially connecting with anyone. Yes, my brother-in-law lived in the same town and in-laws were a safe 3 hours away, but besides my husband and son, I was truly alone.
We attended church regularly, but never got to know anyone, which was a failure on our parts. So when we had to relocate to Kentucky (with baby #2 on the way), I knew that I couldn't rely solely on phone conversation anymore. My husband and I made some friends through the church, a few of which had young children, but I wanted to build a bigger social life for my boys.
When my children were 2 & 3, I had signed us up with a local play group.
It was great...at first.
The Good - I got to socialize with DOZENS of other moms, and my kids made little friends too! Not to mention, I felt human again. No longer home bound...this mommy was free as a bird!
The Bad - For someone who will be late to her funeral...I could never get to the meet ups on time, and even missed a couple...which lead to the boot to my rear.
The UGLY - Now maybe I am using this statement to replace the hurt I felt from being shunned away from the play group, but I felt like I was back in high school every time I met up with these women. We had little in common, and I felt like I always had to embellish my conversations just to fit in. For the most part, I felt like I was purely some sort of vapor. You know its there, but it's barely visible, easy to dismiss.
|"So, I hear the weird girl got kicked out. She was a waste of space anyway."|
"If you plan to RSVP and not show, this is THE worst!! Set a good example, [remember] you are being role models for your children. We (the organizers & hosts) all work VERY hard to plan and prepare activities for most events. We all go out of our way to get our kids ready and out the door to the event. If no one shows, we are wondering around by ourselves, with disappointed children, wondering what in the world happened!?!?"Just for the record, I do not disagree with the above statements. I know EXACTLY how this feels. There have been times when I have spent an entire day cleaning up my house and scrambled to make a meal, and separate ones for those with dietary restrictions for our church small group (that had dwindled in size over time)...who ended up not showing up at all. That sucks...but the next statement sent me into a bit of a rage :
"You wouldn't want to make our kids cry, now would you?"OF COURSE NOT! Seriously, why on earth would I want to make a child cry on purpose? Sure, missed a few play-dates out of negligence or simply because "life" took over, and I seriously doubt that I was missed by anyone, other than the one taking attendance. Of course I want to set a "good example" for my children. In fact two of those play-dates I cancelled last minute (cancellations require a full 24 hour notice, otherwise they are marked as "no show") in order to watch my friends kids so she could go to her job interviews. Hmm...what if I told her "sorry, I just can't cancel my kid's play-date...I am setting a real bad example for my children and I may cause a kid to cry". Setting a good example for my kids would be to encourage them to help another person out when the opportunity arises...and not to leave a "true friend" out in the cold for others who would rather kiss a dead fish than carry on a conversation with you.
Now that I have had a couple of weeks to cool off, I am ready to move on.
I just can't get myself to get down on hands and knees, begging to rejoin this group, nor do I feel like I should fight to be a part of some so-called club whose members feel like they are doing some sort of favor by accepting me as one of their own. Maybe that high school clique mentality that is occurring is just a figment of my imagination, after all, I am a pretty shy girl and do not go out of my way to say hello and strike up a conversation with every single mom. However, I am sure a majority of the 63 women had said a few words to me, if any at all, over the course of the past year.
Do I honestly think I have screwed up my kids? No. All of us have moved on with our lives and they could care less about who they are playing with, as long as they are sharing toys. Life goes on. Today we are perfectly content with the tiny group of friends that we have and the new playgroup that is small enough for us to bond with. I shouldn't have to flash a fake smile and compromise who I am just to appease others or to gain my children some "friends", and for that alone, is one of the best lessons to teach my children.
Have you been a part of a play group? What were your experiences?
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