You know the feeling, or at least I hope you do, when your kid was not invited to the party. Because you are up early, you decide to scroll through social media (my first mistake, I know). You stumble across a post from a good friend who’s child just had a birthday party.
Wait, what?! My kid was not invited to the party?
Before I Dive Into This Post
Wait! Before I dive into this post – all this talk about birthday parties reminds me that I have a really great tool to help you plan your next birthday party – my Kids Birthday Party Planning Kit. This kit includes 3 simple sheets: Birthday Planning Guide, Birthday Party Agenda, and a To Do List. Everything you need to quickly get all your thoughts in one place! You can plan an awesome party, on a serious budget, without sacrificing any of the fun! Get your free printable copy of my Kids Birthday Party Planning Kit right now! Sign up below and I’ll email it right to you!
Your first thought is, oh no, did I somehow miss the invite? You frantically search through your phone calendar trying to find anything about a birthday party you forgot to take your child to. Nope, nothing in the calendar.
Next, you check your email – did you somehow miss an Evite? Nope, nothing there. Then you scroll through your text messages, did you not see a text invite? Nada, nothing there either. Finally, you check the refrigerator – did you hang up an actual invitation on the fridge and completely forget about it?! Phew…nothing there either!
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Another Party Your Kid Was Not Invited To
The realization dawns on you, your kid was not invited to the party this year. Wait, what?! Why?! Your child has been invited every year so far. Your kids are friends, they have regular play dates, they hang out often, they are good buddies – or so you thought.
On top of that, you are in a good place with the mom. You both are friends, you hang out and get coffee regularly, and you thought all was good in the friend universe with both you and your child. So what happened? Why was your kid not invited to the party?
Why does it hurt so much to see the happy faces of kids having a blast at a birthday party on Facebook? The smiles, the yummy cake, the fun that was had? Oh I know, because my kid was not invited to the party.
Birthday Party Exclusion
I’ve been focusing a lot of time and energy the past few weeks on planning my son’s birthday party, so I have birthday parties on the brain right now. I wanted to address this issue of exclusion, as it seems to be happening more and more as my kids get older.
What is it about a child’s birthday party that can cause so much motherhood turmoil? Forget about all the stress over color schemes, themes, balloons, food, to make a cake or just provide cupcakes, frosting flavors, candles, games, to give out goodie bags or not, and the worst part of all – the guest list.
Serious drama and stress flows out of birthday party planning, but the guest list is always the toughest part. It’s hard enough to plan a party and have to invite the whole class, but now the big issue is not being invited to the party at all.
Not only does it hurt my child to not be invited to the birthday party, but the real question is, why does it hurt me so much when my child is not invited to the birthday party? I mean, I should be happy, it’s one less present I have to buy. But, I’m not happy. I’m heartbroken, for my child. No, I think I’m actually the one who is heartbroken. My child doesn’t have Facebook, and doesn’t even know that the party even took place.
Why Am I Heartbroken As A Mom?
Have you ever felt this way? Why does it hurt so much? Goodness, maybe it doesn’t bother you at all, but please tell me I’m not alone in this?! I’m learning that I really do hurt so much more than they do, which makes me feel like a wimpy mom.
If my daughter can absently brush off not being invited to a birthday party, why can’t I brush off the fact that she was not invited? I mean seriously, who is the adult here? This is my time to admit just how human I am. I’m still that kid who didn’t get invited to the cool girl’s birthday party because I wasn’t stick thin with long hair.
My mom used to tell me that I was too cool for all those girls, but it still hurts when you are left out – and it still hurts you as a mom when your child is left out, not picked, bullied, etc. I personally think it hurts us as moms so much because it feels like they are not picking us – even though, it really has nothing to do with us as moms at all!
It’s Not About Me At All
You would think that as a grown woman I would have this figured out and would know not to take things so personally – especially, when it’s usually not out of spite at all, that our child was not chosen. It’s just life. Plain and simple.
My kid not being invited to the party has happened to me, and I say to me, because both times, I didn’t even tell my child about it. Both times, I was personally shocked and hurt beyond words, which I still don’t fully understand. I mean, for goodness sake, it’s a kids birthday party – what’s the big deal?
Why was I so hurt?
Feeling Left Out By Not Being Invited
That’s a good question. I think it has more to do with feeling left out, not being part of the popular in crowd. Wanting everyone to like you and at least be invited – even if you can’t go – that feeling of wanting to be included. As a mom, I feel that way for my kids – but deep down I know, when my child is not invited, it feels like the other mom is not inviting me. Can you relate?
In reality, I know that’s the not the case at all. When I’m choosing to think the best of my mom friends, I know they are not sitting over there thinking “Oh, I’m not inviting her kid because I just don’t want to have anything to do with HER.” Not at all. Well, possibly, but, probably not.
Most likely, their child just didn’t want to invite yours, but their reason may be innocent. They may have been intentionally inviting just a select group of kids – maybe only kids from their class at school, or from their soccer team. Maybe they were only inviting boys this time, or only the girls. Possibly this birthday party was on the more expensive side and the birthday girl was restricted to only a few of her really close friends.
Why Your Kid Was Not Invited
There could be lots of reasons why your kid was not invited to the party. Those reasons probably have nothing to do with your child not being liked by the birthday kid, or with you, as mom, not being liked by the birthday boy’s mom.
Honestly, it’s hard to know the real reason. But does it even matter? It does, but come on mom, it really doesn’t matter. It’s life. Life isn’t always fair and doesn’t always make sense. You can’t be invited to every party. Not everyone can be your BEST friend. You can’t be part of every in crowd. You are not the most popular person out there and neither is your child – and that is ok!
It still hurts though, doesn’t it?
You Thought You Were Friends
It’s always like this new understanding of where you stand with someone. Where you thought you were friends, but now you realize you thought you were better friends than you really are. I hate this new understanding. Mom, it’s not about you. Your friendship with the other mom is not a reflection of your child’s friendship with her kid. Even when I write this, I know that’s a lie. The two relationships are intertwined. The lines do cross, and it gets really blurry.
I don’t have this one figured out yet. It still hurts to see my kids hurt. It hurts me to be hurt. I’m still trying to deal with my own mom drama and those icky feelings of not being invited to the party. I have a long way to go. Especially if I want to teach my kids to not get all worked over something so silly. I’m a work in progress for sure.
Lessons To Learn
What I long to teach my kids, and for me to learn along the way (hang on, it’s a long list):
- Being a mom hurts, but is also very joyful!
- When you kids are hurt it teaches them what real love is, and ugly sorrow lets us learn the true meaning of joy.
- Our job as moms is to teach our kids from God’s perspective, through these tough situations, and at the same time God will use it to teach us moms.
- God loves you. Before, during and after anything that happens, He loves you and longs for you to be loved by Him.
- Sometimes friends do hurtful things. They mess up and they even leave us out. But, there is no reason to throw away a friendship because of it, because then we would be no better than them. We forgive, and move on. We stay friends.
- Choose to think the best of people.
- Just because you were not invited to the party, that doesn’t mean you are no longer friends.
- Don’t hold a grudge.
- Don’t talk bad about the person who didn’t invite you to the party.
- Gossip is gross. Do not go out and gossip about the whole situation because you are hurt.
- Let it go.
- Remember you are not the most popular person in the world, you can’t be friends with everyone, and you can’t be best friends with everyone.
- At some point, you too will be left out.
- Remember what it feels like to not be invited to the party.
- Hurting is part of life.
- Learn to not take things so personally. You are still friends.
- Just because your kid was not invited to the party, you can still be friends with her mom. At some point, I’m sure you won’t want to invite someone else’s kid to your child’s party – and that’s ok – you don’t have to.
- Drama is icky. Put your big girl panties on and get over it.
- God knows what is going on with each situation you and your child are in. He is watching and is there for every part of it.
- God uses these hard situations to teach us about life and how to personally treat people. Also, how to develop compassion for others that we hurt.
Life Isn’t Always Easy
This is life. It’s not always pretty. It hurts sometimes. But it’s life. No one is perfect, no one is free from the drama. No one is immune to the hurt. People are people, we all get hurt sometimes. Learning how to deal with the hurt and rejection is key, and learning how to deal with it in a healthy way is the best thing we can do and model for our kids.
I’m a work in progress. How about you? Have you felt this way before? How did you deal with it? How did you help your kids deal with not being invited to the party? I’d love your thoughts, opinions and help with how I can deal with this better.
Hugs momma! We can do this thing called “life” together.
On a lighter note, if you need help with planning a frugal birthday party for your kids, you might find some good ideas in these posts:
- Kids Birthday Party Planning Kit
- The One & Only Theme That Fits Any Kids Birthday Party
- Best Boy Birthday Party Themes
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