Over the years, I have been blessed to have made some pretty great friendships with other moms. Through playdates, school functions, work, and other mommy affiliations, I have eventually found myself a part of a fabulous tribe of women, a cluster of personalities that have ultimately become not only my outlet but part of my mothering village. What started out as maybe just a fun group text with a group dinner here and there has turned into mommy sleepovers (oh! It’s a thing!), road trips, and even planned joint Cancun vacays. However, I’ve come to notice that with a close-knit group, there are others on the outside trying to look in, others that might wish they, too, could be part of something like this. And, while my friends and I are very welcoming and inclusive to all, extending invites to other mommies as often as we can, sometimes we like to get together to experience the bond we have with just each other. We plan fun socials together that often times are documented on social media. And, we all know that with social media comes a tendency to open up a can of worms in the FOMO department, but please don’t mistake my social mom squad for cliquey mean girls.
We’ve all struggled with a FOMO vibe when it comes to social media. Heck! I caught it this past Mardi Gras break when it seemed everyone and their grandmother was in Gatlinburg or Disney World. When I see a group of people get together and have a great time, it makes me want to have a great time too. And, with so much instant access to the on-goings of my very social mom squad, sometimes others may feel left out or get their feelings hurt because they weren’t a part of it. But, because not everyone was part of it, does that make us mean?
It’s not personal, but sometimes we just need our besties.
My girlfriends and I have formed our treasured circle because we have bonded or connected over the years. We’ve found similar interests or our kids have hit it off or we can relate to one another on a deeper level. It’s very unlikely for someone to have that connection with everyone she meets. If she did, then the said friendship wouldn’t mean as much. But, some could mistake this close friendship as being too exclusive. If a group of women wants to foster a friendship over coffee or walking the bayou or dinner and drinks, why should they feel the need to extend an invitation to the rest of the world every time? Now, I’m not advocating that one should only be social with their circle. Of course we create fun events and invite as many people as possible at times, but sometimes we want to just be with our besties where we don’t have to work at finding a connection. It’s just easier this way sometimes and even serves as a nice mommy outlet to vent or unleash stress on those we are the closest with.
Though it’s important to include all, sometimes that just can’t happen.
It’s like when your kid has a birthday party and can’t invite the whole class due to limitations. He invites just his closest friends, right? Are mommy squads not allowed the same clemency? Sometimes we want to plan a fun brunch or a gathering at someone’s house, but there is a limit to numbers there. What then? Sorry, the entire Facebook friends list won’t fit, so no one should have fun? That just doesn’t seem realistic or fair. I wouldn’t make my daughter invite the entire class every single time she asked for a friend to sleepover at my house (Lawd, help me!), so why should I feel pressured to do the same? Of course, the more the merrier in plenty of cases, and it would be a blast to have a large group gathering all the time, but there are instances where large numbers just won’t work, not to mention the stressful coordinating logistics of it all for the hostess. It’s just not practical all the time.
Keep your FOMO in check, and don’t jump to conclusions.
Seeing pictures of friends or acquaintances having a good time without you can certainly make you feel a certain way. It’s very easy to get caught up in those feelings and assume you weren’t included for maybe an unfavorable reason. But that impulsive perception can only exacerbate the situation. If I scrolled through pictures of a group of friends getting together without me, that’s ok. They’re allowed to do so. I don’t know the backstory there. Maybe they needed to discuss something private over dinner. Maybe the women involved had a rough day and got together to de-stress. Or, maybe they just happened to be at the same place at the same time. Sometimes just a simple and easy, low-key get-together to foster one’s own friendship is needed. Who cares why they didn’t invite me. I don’t think they’re being mean for not including me. Let them do them, and I can worry about myself. I mean, I, too, have texted a friend or two to meet up and not included the entire group. We can’t be part of everything. Accepting that notion will help put one’s mind at ease the next time you see a social going on that doesn’t involve you.
Society has a very evil way of convincing us that a group of girls giggling and having fun with just each other can be dangerous. So many strong, unified female squads are stereotyped as being such. And, though there are mean girls out there, let’s not add to the label by assuming all girl groups are. If you find yourself feeling on the outside of such a tribe, extend the invite to get together on your terms and turf. Host a brunch, suggest drinks, ask to meet up for coffee. You might be pleasantly surprised that those women who seem so “exclusive” on social media, are quite the opposite and are just trying to get through motherhood with other mommies in the same boat.