Dear Mum, while it’s okay to feel hurt, disappointed, and upset, it’s not okay to experience continuous self-doubt.
You are not invisible. You are not a wallflower, or a doormat, nor are you the cup for other mums to refill their energy with. Most certainly, you do not deserve to feel left out.
It can be challenging to go from being on your own, to being a mum. It can be even more difficult to find your tribe, or one that welcomes you with open arms.
Tribes can sometimes be like social cliques, with limits on who, what, when, and why they would accept other mums. You could be the go-to mum when you are needed, but find yourself left out when it is time to want to laugh or smile.
Mum, when your child is left out, you often advise them that they do not need to be around people that do not appreciate them or welcome them with open arms. You tell your child that there are people that do value them and those are the people they should surround themselves with. You tell your child not to feel sad and you cheer them up with reasons to smile.
In reality, it is okay for them to have some sort of expectation and to feel a bit disappointed. It is not okay for them to feel completely worthless due to someone’s inability or lack of desire to make them feel included. This very advice is valuable, and it is the same advice you should provide yourself with when you have been left out by a group of mums.
It is okay to feel hurt, disappointed, and upset that you have been left out. It is okay to wonder “why?” but it is not okay to experience continuous self-doubt.
Sometimes, there are unknown reasons as to why you have been left out. When it feels unfair, you could spend many moments thinking about why you would visibly be dismissed or isolated.
Although it would be nice to simply be remembered and receive an invite, it could also be for the better that you don’t join some plans.
When it hurts, try your best to remember your worth. Try to set limits around those that take but do not give, and try your best to surround yourself with people that would be more than happy to include you in plans.
Sometimes, this takes putting yourself out there or sparking conversation with someone you have recently met. It can be tough to make friends as a mum, to find your tribe, or to make the extra effort to connect with others. However, it helps to remember the kind and loving spirits that do appreciate you for who you are and take the opportunity to welcome you with open arms.
These are the people that deserve your time and energy. I hope your hearts have come within each other’s company and reminded you of the love you deserve to feel.
Mum, you deserve to feel embraced. May you be surrounded by those that understand your worth. You are not invisible. You are visibly wonderful and a blessing to be around.
Chereen Shurafa is a mental health counsellor