Supposedly after having children, we are all supposed to have a unique sensitivity and newfound appreciation for human emotions. This is something we may have been lacking through our teens and twenties when our biggest priority was which bar to hit up on Friday night.
But alas, with the birth of tiny humans comes so many enlightened perspectives. We realize now the value of, well NOT being a total asshole. We try to raise our children to be kind, considerate, and to anticipate the needs of themselves and others. To be accepting of ALL people.
Why oh why, does it feel like I am now back in high school during my children’s school years? Back to being that same girl looking in from the outside at all the “cool” moms? I mean, I thought I was a cool mom. Why are me and my children not being invited to your gathering of all classroom parents? Why am I sitting on my phone looking at boomerangs of you and your margaritas with literally the hashtag “mymomfriendsarecoolerthanyours.”
Why do I care, you ask? Does this trigger some childhood emotional trauma of being that one Indian kid left out and made to feel not part of the group far too often? I mean hell yes, that’s exactly the reason. And you are a liar if you can’t relate to ever being felt left out. Newsflash: it is rude. It is hurtful. Don’t do it. It’s 2020 and I thought we could do better than to perpetuate a culture of exclusivity.
My kids go to a super progressive, multi-cultural, very organic Montessori. And this is still happening? Who knows what is happening at schools where diversity is just a nine-letter word. Why would you ever want to ignite a culture of elitism and superiority, when very easily that can be your child being made to feel left out and less-than. It’s just tacky, and we can do better.
Of course, I get it, sometimes it’s purely innocent and no one means to leave anyone out. Not every mom has their contact information out. Some working moms aren’t able to be too involved with the school community in general so you may forget about them. To this, I suggest, let’s not let this oversight happen more than once. It’s your duty — I’m talking to you, to the moms who are able to be involved — to ensure that everyone is on some communication board.
We cannot create this type of culture in our schools. Can’t get behind the fact that poor old me got offended that I wasn’t invited to your white wine spritzer and bowling shindig? Well, then I am pretty certain you can get behind this. Elitism culture trickles down and affects everyone. The mindsets of parents, of course, inevitably flows to the subconscious thoughts of our tiny little humans.
As adults, we are somewhat more equipped to handle and cope with hurt feelings. But if your 6-year-old son is made to feel perpetually excluded, what might you think would be the consequence of that? If you are thinking bad behaviour, bullying, acting out, and self-destructive thoughts, then you would be right. Children don’t have the coping skills to rationalize why they are feeling isolated in their environment. Over time it just ends up becoming part of who they are. And yes, that affects everyone.
And hey, left out moms. You kinda got to step up too. Want to be invited? How about starting a get-together of your own and showing them how it’s done? Invite all the moms in the class, or hey even the school if you are able. You can figure out your logistics, but you can’t be off the hook because you work, or are shy, or whatever the reason is. We all have to step up and do our part. We belong to our respective school’s community.
Belonging and socializing makes for more confident children and parents, and families. And yes, that too affects everyone.