I was recently at little kid party and I totally felt like I was back in high school. It was clear all the parents were hanging out together socially (play dates and whatnot) and I felt totally excluded. It brought me back to my old teenage insecurities of “Is everyone hanging out without me?”
Short answer: Yeah, probably. But why do I care?
This is where my 4 year old is more mature than me because she did not care about playing with everyone at the kiddie party, nor did she feel any pressure to pretend like she did. I could see some kids pairing off into groups to play, my daughter was invited to play too, but she did not because my 4 year old is so confident and sure in what she wants.
She is perfectly happy playing by herself in a group setting. This is what makes her more mature than me.
I want to be wanted, even though I too would be happier playing solo. I know this doesn’t make sense, but there you have it. I think true maturity is not even caring if you get asked at all. Clearly, my daughter doesn’t care either way.
After we got home, my husband poignantly said, “Do you remember you were invited to some stuff with that group and you always declined?” Oh yeah. They probably stopped inviting me because I said no every time. Duh.
Even knowing this, why do I still wish to feel included even though I truly would rather not join the crowd? Where is this insecurity coming from?
I had to do some journaling about this and discovered I felt excluded from a group in high school and while I didn’t really want to be friends with everyone in the group, it still hurt my feelings never to be asked. Now I am asked to join social gatherings, and it’s my choice to decline.
My goal is to get to a place where being asked doesn’t even matter to me. My daughter is only 4 years old and she’s already made this realization. My 4 year old is teaching me life lessons. I wonder what I’ll learn from her next.