Left Out

It happened. I knew someday it would, and it has. Totally inevitable and only a matter of time.

Over the weekend, Lily found out about a classmate’s birthday party that she wasn’t invited to.


Now, the girl isn’t in her class, and it’s totally fine not to invite each and every girl in the first grade. Of course. Maybe there was a size limitation. Maybe the invitation got lost in the mail. Maybe this girl doesn’t like Lily as much as Lily likes her. All possible and none the end of the world. At all.

But to a six year old? It was shattering.

Jeff’s solution to this was to take Lily out for pancakes during the party, which while sweet seems like a sure-fire way to start a life-time long issue with emotional eating. Let’s stuff our feelings into puddles of maple syrup, shall we?

All of the parties I didn’t get invited to as a kid came flooding back. The junior prom to which I had no date, the weekend parties that I spent thinking about while I sat at home or babysat. It didn’t take much to remember how much the feeling sucks. And, I’d argue that it feels even worse when it happens to your baby. But, as much as I remember the crappy feeling, I just can’t remember what I wish my parents would have done.

She was over this particular party pretty fast, but I know it’s only just beginning. With three kids, we have years and years of heartbreak and hurt feelings ahead of us and I’m just not sure how to deal with it. Reason with them? Cry with them? Bash the other kid? Take them to Toys R Us every time they get left out? Is there anything we can do?

To think I thought the toddler phase was rough.


About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


sue L 3 years ago

I just experienced this with my 10 year old daughter. A girl who she has been in class with for 2 years and who my daughter has had to her own parties told her she was invited to her party and even messaged her to look for the invitation. When the date got closer and no invitation came my daughter called her to ask about the party and was told it wasn’t happening and then the girl hung up on her. Of course we know all of the kids that are going and my daughter just doesnt understand why this girl would tell her she was invited if she did not want her there. Reading all of these posts helped me so much! It just kills you inside when your baby is hurting. Thanks to everyone for helping me realize I probably feel worse than she does and doing something special with her on the day of the party is ok.

Cate 5 years ago

I know I’m VERY late to this conversation but please don’t use the “suck it up option” for something like this. If your child is feeling real pain (and not being invited is pretty painful), please just empathise with them. It’s not that hard – just acknowledge their feelings and echo back to them what they’re saying. It then allows you to simply sit with them and let them know that it’s ok to feel whatever it is that they’re feeling. And, if you’re both up to it, you can have a conversation about how one’s actions influence other people. Please don’t negate what your child is feeling!

marie 5 years ago

Now my daughters current 3rd grade class has 27 kids… and most parents pick some pricey party then limit the number of kids–

I think it’s the better thing to teach my child that between the two: either you can have a pricey party and hurt people’s feelings or you can have a party that includes everyone… this is a no-brainer. We find a budget party and invite everyone. We always invite the whole class. period.

The Flying Chalupa 5 years ago

As the mother of a toddler, this distresses me. But seriously, I don’t think there is anything you can – or should – do, other than hugs and kisses and a chat. Except maybe a mother-daughter midnight bonding trip to toilet paper the kid’s house.

guarros 5 years ago

I don’t know why, but this is one of the things I frequently think about and fear. Obviously – her health and well being I worry about most – but her heart ache? I know it’s going to hurt more than my own and damn I remember it hurting. I hope I can go with the ‘suck it up dude’ – while supporting – motto.

b harper 5 years ago

I know I’m not ready for a 6 year old because my first instinct would be to make virgin mojitos and talk shit about the girl. I guess I have some growing up to do before my baby interacts with other kids…

Stacey 5 years ago

It is so terrible to see our babies heart broken over being left out. It ends up breaking our hearts too. We know that it is a process that they have to go through yet we want to protect them from it all. Sometimes I want to throw up my dukes and fight for my son. Luckily with boys I don’t think they take it to heart as much as girls, or they just lead us to believe that. I think talking with her about her what she is feeling that moment and even crying with her if she needs it will help. She has to know it is a part of life and that she is not the only one that feels this way and that it is completely normal to hurt from being left out.

Rachael 5 years ago

Ugh. SO not fun. My son is only 4.5 and I am NOT looking forward to the day that I experience this stuff for the first time.

Jeanne 5 years ago

I think this happens to everyone during childhood- except for maybe the super popular kid. But perhaps it’s better to be the one who is left out sometimes, rather than the one who is leaving others out. It’s a good opportunity for her to eventually learn that unconditional love comes from her family and close friends.

Tiaras & Tantrums 5 years ago

My son is in 3rd grade this year – the first year he has been invited to any of his class mates bday parties! (True story) He’s the super smart, weird kid in the class. (he has sensory issues and sometimes forgets the correct amount of “people space” for chatting with friends) so this has been a great year for him so far! However, actually going to the parties – has been tough for him!

Erin I’m Gonna Kill Him 5 years ago

Ohhhh, poor thing. She’s got a good family to fall back on. It’s going to hurt you more.

Allison @ Alli n Son 5 years ago

I remember that feeling. Heck, it still happens. I think the most important thing is to make her feel included in something. Maybe it’s a special shopping date or trip to the movies. Just make sure she knows that she’s wanted and loved. That’s what I would want anyway.

Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation 5 years ago

Poor Lily! But you know what? I think it is better to learn these life lessons at a younger age. Life only gets harder. Am I being to cruel?

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    No, it’s true. Sucks, but it’s true.

Kimi 5 years ago

Awwww, I remember my ‘left out’ moments. I think everyone has them growing up. My little guy is only 9 months but I already can’t imagine having to see him go through that.

Making It Work Mom 5 years ago

That is a real stinker. I kind of agree with the “suck it up” philosophy. If we put too much weight on the issue it becomes bigger for the child. We do have an obligation as parents to “help” our children become socialize whether we want to or not. And that sometimes puts us out of our comfort zone.
My bigger fear than my child being left out is my child turning into the child (in particular my girls) who leaves people out. I am trying to do everything right, but sometimes it seems that even the nicest little girls get in the wrong crowds as teenagers.
*sigh* You are right the toddler years have nothing on the next 10.

TLT 5 years ago

I was a weird kid (I make a pretty good adult though :) ) and so was left out of lots of things. It was hard, it was sucky, and then it was over. I think, even as a kid, I was more aware of leaving others out and including people in the group because of it. My parents largely went the distraction route with the suck it up route on the side. Deal with it, but lets pick a game or something fun to do today.

Jack 5 years ago

My youngest sisters were the kids that didn’t get invited to parties. They were twins during a time when twins were truly unusual. I can remember two birthday parties where none of their friends showed up.

But what I remember most is the look on our mother’s face. I was a teenager then and I understood why she was upset. Still, I didn’t totally get it until I became a parent.

It sucks to see your children get hurt, especially when you can’t protect them. Although I suppose that I should add that I am far more concerned about this with my daughter than my son.

He doesn’t want to be invited to every party.

Brook 5 years ago

Yep…this happened to me alot in school…last one picked for the team, not invited to parties, etc. But I agree with Kim that it has made me a more compassionate and empathetic person. Use it as a teachable moment then go to the movies that day and forget the whole thing.

Karen 5 years ago

I was that kid, too. I was pretty dorky but I also skipped a grade, so no one in the grade I came from liked me (3rd) or the grade I went to liked me (4th). My mom says I came home from school crying every day. I don’t remember crying every day, but I remember a lot of those feelings. My mom told me they were jealous, and I believed it, but it still didn’t make it hurt less. I guess you could say it makes me much more compassionate now.

Kim 5 years ago

Unfortunately I think it is the start of a very hard lesson but, an important one. And there will be times in life when your kids leave someone out – maybe not on purpose but, it will most likely happen. I was left out a lot and frankly, I think I’m a much more sensitive and compassionate person because of it. I don’t wish the feeling of being left out on any child however, no matter how hard you may try to prevent it, you can’t. I’m sure Lily will end up a stronger & better person from these experiences.

Catootes 5 years ago

In all honesty, I’m in the same camp Andrea is on how to deal with this kind of thing.
Life is not equal or fair and learning how to deal and move on from rejection/being left out is an important skill. Because at some point it’s going to happen.

Jennifer 5 years ago

This is one of those hard things we have to do as parents. It does hurt. I would just try to explain that she couldn’t invite everyone, just like Lily can’t when she has a party, and that she probably didn’t mean anything by it at all and that in a few years she won’t even remember that it happened. Reassurance is probably the best treatment for hurt feelings.

Andrea Reiser 5 years ago

My four kids are now teens, and at the risk of sounding callous and insensitive, we adopted the “Suck it up, dude,” philosophy from the time they were very young. The truth is, not everyone is invited to the party. Everybody isn’t a winner all the time. Only one kid can be picked as the lead in the show. You can’t always be first. It’s a fact of life, and the earlier they learned to accept that, the better prepared they’ve been to bounce back when things don’t go their way. It’s a lesson in resilience. Of course we’re right their by their sides if a situation is physically dangerous or their rights are being compromised, but we treat garden variety disappointment or failure by giving them an ear to listen briefly to their wallowing, a hug, and an honest, “Suck it up, dude.”

Vinobaby 5 years ago

Oh, we are going through this now as well.

My 1st grade son’s best friend/girlfriend (he even asked her father for permission to be her boyfriend) used to be inseperatable and played together every day after school. Since mid-December she has been working him, being coy, and shutting him out. Every day when he begs to play with her she says “Maybe…I”ll call you if I decide to play with you.” Every day he sits by the phone waiting for her (mom) to call, wondering what he did wrong and why he isn’t good enough for her anymore.

I’m about to cuss this little tease out at the bus stop.

First grade and hearts can be broken already.

    Sarah 5 years ago

    Don’t do it. She is only 6 or 7 too! She’s enjoying her new found power. I hope you are able to coach him thru not being someone’s patsy and to recognize when he is being taken advantage of so that he can say, “wait a minute… This dynamic doesn’t work for me. I’m taking my ball and I’m going home. Treat someone else like dirt, but I won’t tollerate it.” I bet she snaps right out of it and they go back to the balanced dynamic they had.

dysfunctional mom 5 years ago

Reading your post & then the comments makes me see that so many of us were left out as kids, and look how totally awesome we all are now! So clearly you can use that as a lesson for your daughter. Left out = awesome.
Seriously, I think it’s good to sympathize but not make too big of a deal of it. (And fight that impulse to say “who wants to go to her stupid old boring party anyway??”)

Leigh Ann 5 years ago

Oh, i know I am in for this. I know that the day will come when one of my twins will be invited to a party and the other won’t, and I can’t expect them to always be invited to the same things their entire lives. And although I’ already prepping for how to handle it physically, I’m sure I’ll be unprepared for how to handle it emotionally. I remember those feelings too, and it pains me to think about my kids’ feelings getting hurt.

Christine 5 years ago

When my daughter was in Grade One we invited all the usual girls she played with at recess, but she added one extra invite to the list. A boy who was physically and mentally challenged who she speculated never got invited to birthday parties. He came with his Mom, they stayed an hour, and before they left, the Mom was touched by the invite. He didn’t really interact with the other kids and it was out of his comfort level, but it was the Mother who felt included. Children can be cruel, but they can also be altruistic, moments for us parents to learn from.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    That’s very sweet of your daughter. Yes, they can be amazingly thoughtful sometimes— definitely inspiring.

      Karen 5 years ago

      Christine – goosebumps. Wow, what a great kid you have.

Carabee 5 years ago

I imagine every single person has at one point or another felt left out, I know I have. Maybe it’s just part of the growing up process. If you get invited to everything, do you really appreciate them? It’s like the kiddie sports that don’t keep score because they don’t want there to be winners or losers. How does that really teach kids about sportsmanship? But back to the issue at hand. I know it sucks, but maybe the lesson here is to teach Lily to be inclusive and sensitive to people’s feelings. And as for what you as parents can do, I would say there probably isn’t anything. Just be there for a hug or some pancakes.

MusingsfromMe/Jill 5 years ago

I don’t have any answers either. It’s a fact of life that you can’t invite everyone to your child’s birthday party. We have never invited my child’s whole class to any party we have hosted. I always tell my children not to talk about their party at school. I don’t want kids to feel slighted for not being invited.

Sometimes parents can get too involved with who is or is not invited. A good friend of mine gave me the 3rd degree before my daughter’s 9th birthday party. She even told me what she had bought for her daughter to give my daughter. I hadn’t set a date, sent out invitations, or anything. I took great delight in letting her know that I would be leaving the guest list decisions to my 9 yo. My daughter did invite her friend, but my friend’s persistence annoyed the heck out of me. I wasn’t the only person who my friend grilled about birthday party invitations.

Kimberly 5 years ago

Heartbreak hurts triple time when it’s our kid’s heart that’s breaking. I don’t suppose there’s much to be done except to love her through it, which I bet you already did.

Amanda 5 years ago

I have no idea what you do. I haven’t come to that yet. How do boys even react to not getting invited to a party? I’m totally clueless on this one. You should post about what works for y’all.

Life with Kaishon 5 years ago

So far it hasn’t happened to Kaish. Thank goodness.
It really hurts when they are hurting. It is the worst!

Courtney 5 years ago

Yep. Just remembered how bad that used to suck for me, too. The fact of the matter is that those things happen to everyone, unfortunately. I agree that the pancakes thing wasn’t the best idea and you did well to not teach her how to “eat her feelings.” I don’t think there is really anything anyone can do to make it easier. Just roll with it. That’s life and those things happen, even though they really suck. Hugs!

anna 5 years ago

Stop beating her up about pancakes for crying out loud! A special treat every once in a while is so not a big deal! The kid probably took this slight much better than momma did, they are pretty resilient.

Brittany at Mommy Words 5 years ago

Oh man all those feelings just came back for me too. Poor Lily – I’m glad she rebounded after the syrup but it seriously sucks. I am so crazy about not hurting feelings that I throw huge parties here at the house and invite everyone. They aren’t fancy but they are fun. I am sure the day will come when my kids’ feelings get bashed and I hope I will know what to do. I’m pretty sure while a hug is nice and says you love them at that moment that’s not what they care about.

It seems that all these stages are near impossible as I am in the baby and toddler and pre-school stage and I don;t have a pfft anywhere in me. Today, for example, made me cry.

Hugs to you and Lily!

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    I think every stage is exhausting and impossible in its own way. Oh, the joys of parenthood!

Cindy H 5 years ago

Teachable moments… I used them to illustrate for my very sensitve DD that she should always remember how it feels to be the one left out, and NEVER do it to someone else. In fifth grade, her teacher took me aside at the school farewell party and she welled up with tears as she told me my daughter was the kindest girl she’d ever had in class — always reaching out to include the kids who felt left out! I was so proud of her. (And SO THERE, mean girls!)

Brie 5 years ago

I think empathizing with her would be your best bet. Tell her about times that you remember feeling the way she does. Letting her know that you understand how she feels will go a long way.

Jen 5 years ago

I too am learning the hard way that being a parent to babies is SO much easier.

Hilary duncan 5 years ago

My daughter has been left out more times than I care to remember. What’s worse is that for 2 of her birthday parties we invited her entire class & 4 kids showed up (both times). It was just a horrible reminder to her that she isn’t one of the popular kids. We’ve stopped the parties; now she invites one friend to have a fun-filled day. I hate to see her upset & I just want to choke the kids that are mean to her, but all I can do is hug her and let her know that I love her.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    That’s so sad! :( A whole special day with a friend sounds better than a party to me, anyway. Sigh. Kids suck.

vanillasugarblog 5 years ago

oh no kids here but i remember that happened to me for a junior prom. it did suck, a lot. when you’re young like lily they do get over it fast don’t they? it’s those teenage years that suck.

julie 5 years ago

So so (so) hard. I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t. Both my kids are the type who have just a couple of close friends, not dozens of them (like me, honestly).
Both of them watched their BEST friends transfer to private schools when they started 6th grade.
Middle school is hard enough WITH your best friend let alone without.
So last week, when we were in the car, my son said, “Sometimes I eat lunch by myself.” I almost drove off the road. I said, “Oh, buddy!” To which he replied, “I know. I kind of feel sorry for myself.”
I probably don’t need to tell you I didn’t sleep that night.
I kept checking on him and in the morning we had a long talk about how he needed to put himself out there to meet new people now that his BEST friend didn’t go to school with him anymore.
And every day, while I wait to pick him up, I cross my fingers that his heart isn’t broken.
Damn, this mom thing is hard. Who knew?
Only everyone, I guess.

Mare 5 years ago

No more than 2 hours after I read this my daughter came home from school telling me about a skating bday party she wasn’t invited to. It’s so hard trying to explain to a 7yo that not everyone can be invited to a party & she doesn’t get to invite everyone to hers too. Parties get expensive. Soon we’ll have spa night where we watch movies, paint fingernails, wear face masks and eat popcorn.

Fire Wife Katie 5 years ago

Oh no, that is the worst!! I’m glad she got over the hurt quickly. But that downcast look, the genuine sadness in her voice when she tells you that someone doesn’t want her there… my 6 y.o. has gone through it too, and it flat out sucks. :(

Our solution has been to allow the hurt child to pick a dinner of his or her choice that night. It doesn’t make the hurt feelings all better, but it does make her feel like she can be in charge of making something positive happen. And it’s a good time to reinforce over dinner that we’re always there for each other as a family, in spite of the friends that come and go (and hurt) along the way.

Amy 5 years ago

This has already happened to both my girls. One is 6 and the other is 8. My 8 yr old is friendly with everyone and my 6 yr old is very “lively”. I have explained to them that this is something that happens all thru life; I will go to an event and everyone is talking to everyone else but me. Maybe it is because I am very hard of hearing and sometimes it is very hard for me to follow a conversation who knows, but it always makes me feel on the outside looking in.
I told my girls that they will encounter all kinds of situations and emotions but that they are still great kids and in my head I say “Fuckem”.:-)

ThePeachy1 5 years ago

It sucks. It sucks as a kid, and it sucks as a parent. my older kids are 21 and 19. I watched one being the social prima donna and the other the lepper. There is nothing you can other than make sure they are morally sound, and let them make their decisions from there.

myevil3yearold 5 years ago

Poor baby. I just can’t help it. I just want to hate on that other kid but there is probably a good reason. I remember this happening when I was little and you are right I never expected my parents to do anything to fix it.

jessica 5 years ago

This sucks more than most things!! It’s so devastating to both daughter and mama, alike. We had it happen this summer while at the local pool. My daughter’s friend was having her bday party there at the exact time we trekked there with the whole family to go swimming. A lot of tears and even screaming. Her heart was broken. Awful!

Jae 5 years ago

Ugh, I hate trying to explain that one. With three, 8, 8 and 9, we often get invites for one twin, and not the other. It’s so hard. {{hugs!}}

Jae 5 years ago

Been there. {{hugs!}} I have three as well, 8, 8 and 9 – and sometimes I have to explain to one boy (twin) that only his brother was invited to said party. Childhood can be hard!

Jennifer K 5 years ago

I am seriously thinking about home-schooling. Either that, or having her dad bring her to prom, that won’t be too dorky will it?

    lesa 5 years ago

    I homeschool, and I can honestly say that it doesn’t solve the problem.

Sarah 5 years ago

I think there are a lot of good tips here.

Whatever the situation I tend to talk it to death with my kids.

My second eldest is a truly amazing person (age 12) but she is very different from other kids. Adults love her, but a lot of kids don’t really ‘get’ her. She is rarely invited to parties, even though on her last birthday she invited around 18 kids, she has only been invited twice in the last year.

The worst situation was school camp. I don’t think the other kids really dislike her, but she’s not one of their closer friends, so when the teacher asked all of the kids to write out the names of 4 other kids they’d like to share a room with only 1 wrote hers down. And actually, she was the girl in the class that my daughter didn’t like. Lots of tears and it was all I could do not to pull her from the trip. I felt sick.

To make matters worst both my eldest and youngest daughters are Miss Popularity.

I just tell what a cool person she is and that someday she will meet the right friends. People who will really appreciate her for who she is. That and give her lots of cuddles.

    Carri S. 5 years ago

    Oh, I so understand what you’re saying. My oldest two sons are 11 months apart, with the oldest being somewhat immature around kids his age and loving the company of adults, and the second oldest being incredibly smooth and easy-going and popular at school. They are both in 5th grade now, so watching my oldest get shunned when my second oldest fits right in is terrible. I have no idea what to do for him, other than empathize and let him know that he’s practically me made over and I completely understand his hurt. It sucks. I am so thankful my second oldest got his daddy’s personality and has a fairly easy time making friends, but for my oldest it can be torture. Kids can be so hurtful. Good luck to you.

Gigi 5 years ago

No, unfortunately there is nothing you can do. And yes, these phases are FAR rougher than the toddler years.

Sarah 5 years ago

Oh man. I was always the left-out kid. I was pretty nerdy, and my parents were strict (I was not allowed to watch movies past PG, or go certain places unless my parents approved first). I don’t know if the parents knew my parents had certain rules & didn’t want to make an issue out of the rules, or what, but I never got invited. Not even to the nerdy kids’ parties :(

I remember several times crying over it, and my mom & dad just hugging me & telling me what a great kid I was. Then they would try to take me out to do something special. With 4 kids in the family, special 1:1 time with just mom & dad didn’t happen too often, but they made it a point to do it every now & then.

Hmmm….maybe the bean will be home schooled afterall 😛

    Jeannette 3 years ago

    Unfortunately home schoolers get left out too!

Crystal 5 years ago

Oooh I hate that left-out feeling (not at ALL like “that loving feeling”!) And it IS worse when you have to watch you kiddo go through it.

lesa 5 years ago

I feel bad for Lily. At least she wasn’t invited just because the birthday girl just wanted more presents. That happened to me once at that age. I got invited to a party from a girl in my class, and I thought it was kinda weird because I didn’t hang out with her much. My mom thought it was great that I was invited. My mom was raising me as a single mother which was kinda unheard of in our town at the time, so she had a hang up about making sure I was like everyone else. Anyways, I went to the party, and it totally sucked. The girls were all playing, but I wasn’t allowed to play with her toys with the other girls. She looked at me and told me I was only invited for the presents. Needless to say, I ended up going to the mother and telling her I wanted to go home. It just sucked.
Kids are so cruel at that age, and honestly anymore, the parents of those children are not much better.

annie 5 years ago

Uh, I remember the first time with my oldest all too well. There were 3 of them close from kindergarten through 2nd grade. She was seperated from the other 2 in 3rd and when one had a party she didn’t get invited. We sat and talked about it and she cried…then she said “Mom, I didn’t know life was going to be this hard”. BROKE. MY. HEART. I still don’t like the little creep who made her cry!

Victoria KP 5 years ago

Oh, SO horrible! We’ve gone through that a few times–no fun! We’ve also discovered the joy of only one child being invited to a particular event. My youngest makes friends much more quickly than his older brother and he’s starting to notice and say things like, “I wonder why people like James more than me.” Ouch! So painful to watch.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Oh, that’s so hard. We haven’t had that happen yet, but, ugh.

American in Norway 5 years ago

oooh we have already been through this with my son…
I think it bothered me more than it did him… but watching your baby hurt.. is well… painful.
What did I do?
I had a WAAAAY better party & then invited the other kid…
OK. I didn’t want to invite the other kid.. but my then 9 year old, told me.. “remember mom, 2 wrongs don’t make a right…” :-9

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Wow! Your kid is SO much more mature than me!

Alissa 5 years ago

I can’t imagine my little guy’s first heart break.


WebSavvyMom 5 years ago

–>Tough call for sure. I had a “friend” named Megan who would always get chummy just before someone’s birthdays to be invited to the parties.

Nina 5 years ago

Shoot- this is a tough one, and you’re right–it won’t be the last time. I say it’s tough because as the classes get bigger, it’s hard to invite everyone. I’ve been sticking to girls only/boys only so we can invite ALL the girls or ALL the boys, but it won’t last forever. I really hate the whole bday party thing. It takes over every weekend and I’m always buying presents. Not to sound like a total party pooper, but i liked it better when the kids were really little and we did family only. So much easier!

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    SO much easier. The whole birthday party thing sucks and really, the only reason you go is so that people will go to your kid’s.

    Every class should just get together and throw 4 seasonal parties together. No thank you notes, no drama, shared cost and shared planning. Huh. I think I might be onto something.

Cathy @ All I Want To Say 5 years ago

I wonder if it’s a girl thing. My boys have been left out of many, many parties. I’m the one who gets upset – they could care less.

Seriously though, one of the tough lessons in life – one of many yet to come. I’m a fan of: “It’s no big deal” and “suck it up kid”.

Lady Estrogen 5 years ago

Being that age is frickin’ horrific. I remember staying up 1/2 the night stressing over things like that… and I was only 8! It was ridiculous – and why I’m glad I have 2 boys – much simpler creatures. LOL.

Crystal 5 years ago

Oh no! Poor little one (and mommy)! My daughter is just about to start school, and I already have every fear in the world and now I have this! Not only am I going to be a disaster when I first walk her through that door, I now realize that this is the end of my sanity for the next 13 years. Thank you for enlightening me to the joys of dealing with her future heartbreaks and disappointments! I’m gonna go get some pancakes now….

BalancingMama (Julie) 5 years ago

Oh my, another thing to fear when my child gets older. Thanks for bringing it up. Now I can work on my response for the next 4 years. Maybe I’ll have a good one when it’s time.

Liz 5 years ago

Poor little thing!
I think a good way to make her feel better would be to share your own experiences. She looks up to you, and knowing that you have felt the same heartbreak will allow her to see that it can happen to anyone, even to you.
Then watch a good movie. Movies are always a great distraction!

Marilyn @ A Lot of Loves 5 years ago

I worry about causing that pain for the other kids in my son’s class. Birthdays and such seem like such an all or nothing thing where you have to invite the whole class or skip the entire thing. My son hasn’t been left out yet, but he will of course. I think the trick is to let our kids tell us how they feel, and don’t try to solve it by telling them everything will be okay or shoving toys at them. It’ll be hard though.

Jackie 5 years ago

Ugh, that sucks. This why I got suckered into inviting my daughter’s entire pre-school class — that’s 15 2- and 3-year-olds for those of you keeping score at home — to her upcoming 3rd birthday party. We’re having it at our house and she really, really wanted to invite a couple kids but I knew a 3-year-old would never be able to understand that Child A but not Child B was invited (and keep it to herself). So, I sucked it up and invited them all. Send wine now.

Oh, and p.s. the party is less than 2 weeks away and NOT ONE of those parents have RSPV’ed yet. So maybe they did think they invited Lily but that you just never RSVPed since apparently the rest of the world doesn’t RSVP anymore!

I love the flowers and letting her cry over it comments from above. I’m filing those away for when this situation inevitably happens in our home, too.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    OMG, the non-RSVPing kills me. This year, people weren’t bad, but our last party? Over half never responded. WTF?? And, one woman dropped her kid off and was an hour late picking her up with no apologies or explanation. People can be such assholes.

Jessica D Torres 5 years ago

Poor girl. It is sad when your child gets left out. My daughter had a hard time in kindergarten making friends with the other kids and it really affected her. As a parent we want to protect our kids but we can’t all the time. I think it only gets tougher for girls as they progress through the grades. Middle school and high school are really difficult.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Middle and high school scares the shit out of me. I may just move them into a big bubble for those years.

tracey 5 years ago

All I can say is this: It’s a good time to learn empathy. I’m sure your daughter can’t invite everyone that SHE likes to her parties, either. It’s a reminder that not being invited doesn’t equal not being liked. It means not enough space for everyone. Really. It helped my kids. Especially when they have their own parties to plan. They remember what it’s like and try to make thoughtful lists.

SaucyB 5 years ago

Oh that’s awful. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child hurting, whether it’s physically or emotionally. Wish I had some advice!

SaucyB’s last blog… Make Me Laugh Monday

ShortWoman 5 years ago

Ok, Here’s a story for the next time. And unfortunately, there will be a next time because there always is.

When I was in 5th grade, one girl had a huge birthday party! She invited every girl in the 5th grade except me. Even the smelly girl. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even have heard about how I was slighted if it weren’t for the fact that a friend invited me for a sleepover the night before, thinking we could just go to the party together.

My friend was livid on my behalf, even though my attitude was “well, I don’t like her either!” But the crowning touch is that the class prima-donna (you know, the one who somehow had Hello Kitty EVERYTHING) managed to do something that put the birthday girl into tears at her own party. Karma is a bitch, or “what goes around comes around.”

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Perfect. And even the smelly girl? That totally made me laugh.

Diana @Hormonal Imbalances 5 years ago

This made all my horrid memories of school dances and my best friends becoming best friends with each other pour back. I think the best thing any parent can do is be there, sympathize, and tell them you know how it feels. Just what you did. Because it’ll happen now, and it’ll happen 30 years from now. It does to all of us.

((hugs)) to Lily.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 5 years ago

This is so sad, but I know it’s going to happen here too. I’m sure that with b/g twins, eventually, someone will have a “girls only” or a “boys only” party…ugh! My Mom used to bring me a little bouquet of flowers on the days that she knew I’d be especially disappointed…just looking at them brightened me up a little bit. It’s still hard knowing that everyone’s going to that party, but it might soften the blow a little bit (and will give her a little cheer that Monday when her friends are talking about it).

Eve 5 years ago

Awe that sucks! Unfortunately, I only have a 10 month old and he hasn’t been invited to anything yet, so I have no advice. Sorry! Let me know what you come up with. Until then….comfort food will do the trick. :-)

amber 5 years ago

That’s heartbreaking. Inevitable, but heartbreaking. Unfortunately, I think the pain is part of growing up. Pancakes might help, as will reminding them how special they are? Maybe?

OHmommy 5 years ago

I am a 33 year old woman and every Monday at my daughter’s ballet class, in the waiting room, I feel left out. It’s the other motherfucking sahm’s that we are all “friends” with that talk, talk, talk throughout the entire hour about how much they went out over the weekend and their plans for the following week. In. Front. Of. Me. And a couple others who are never invited.

End rant.

    Leslie 5 years ago

    Isnt it terrible how even as adults other women can still make us feel bad.

      OHmommy 5 years ago

      It is terrible. I think I’ve got a post of my own brewing now.

        Scary Mommy 5 years ago

        What???? BITCHES!!!! Who wouldn’t want to hang out with YOU?! And why can’t you live in Baltimore?!?!

    Brittany at Mommy Words 5 years ago

    I think we go to the same ballet school or at least I wish we did because then we could chat and be awesome and not alone. Who are these women who go out all the time without even inviting us? Not that I have a sitter but still…

Marinka 5 years ago

Oh, that’s tough. and mmm….pancakes…

pamela 5 years ago

ick. that sucks. I definitely know how THAT feels.

I’m sorry. I’d give extra hugs and make her a cake…

sue 5 years ago

Ok, now here is my dillema. Jilly is having a different kind of party this year so lots of the 1st grade was invited but I did say no to some, especially the ones who her reaction was “who is that?” There is another child who she is not in her homeroom but also in the first grade. Jilly says she is not friends with her at all and does not want to invite her but would I be doing to this little girl what —– did to Lily? I see her at school events and at other kids parties but she has never been in Jilly’s class in all the years.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    If Lily doesn’t know know the kid, I’m not inviting them to the party. Our rule was all the girls in her class, plus the ones from last year that she was friends with. Hopefully there won’t be any broken hearts!

Jennifer Lynn 5 years ago

I found out about an end of the year party my son didn’t get invited to last year. He was the only one in his class as far as I could tell (I’m sure there were others). Even his teacher was invited. I wanted to hurt the parents! Especially when they talked about the party in front of me! How stupid can people be? If you don’t want to invite everyone, then at least have the decency to keep it quiet in front of the people you didn’t invite!
As for your child, when this happened to me when I was little, the best thing my mom could do was hold me tell me she loved me. I just needed to know that someone did even when another kid didn’t.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    That’s so sad! Totally agree- either invite everyone or shut the hell up about it. It doesn’t take a genius to know that feelings will get hurt.

Nicole 5 years ago

Poor Lily! I remember that feeling. It was just awful.

I’d go cry on my bed and my mom would try to reason with me. Then she’d tell me that it was ok to cry because it was ok to be sad. She’d lay down next to me to keep me company and that made me feel better.

Makes me remeber I have a great mom.

Give a hug to Lily for me. Reminder her that they’ll be more parties to attend down the line :-)

Can’t even imagine what I would do if I was in your shoes! A hug for you too Mama!

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    That’s a perfect mom move. :)

The Blogtessa 5 years ago

Oh Jill, poor Lily. :(
I can remember so many things as a child that I felt left out of, too. And like you, I don’t know what I would’ve wanted my parents to do either. Is there even anything that can be done? And what I hate about these things and this first time is that it makes or breaks whether a child decides to try to be the way they think someone will prefer them to be, so that they are liked and don’t get left out again. Or if the child heads down the “What do I care who likes me?” path, which can be good… sometimes… but can take a turn for the worst if too much emphasis is placed in a child’s mind on thinking it’s ‘cool’ to be the non-comformist. I’m sure you know what I’m saying. I hope sweet Lily loved her pancakes and finds herself surrounded by many friends and her mailbox finds itself full of invitations for years to come. :)


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