Last night a comedy club hosted a night out for the moms in my neighborhood. I was looking forward to hanging with friends and meeting some new ones. I had also heard that a local mom was a co-owner of the place, and although I hadn’t met her yet, I was psyched for the opportunity to support her business. (I dream of launching my own business one day, and I find moms who have reached that goal to be really inspiring.) The event was scheduled for 8, which meant I could feed Mason and play with him before I headed over to the place, so I actually felt less guilty about going.
Unfortunately, what I encountered when I got to the club was not at all what I had unexpected.
A friend and I arrived about 15 minutes early. After we were seated, we noticed that the front of the small venue was occupied by a group of women who were clustered together, chatting and laughing. Some moms were seated in the tables behind them, sort of just sitting there because they clearly didn’t know the group up front. My friend and I walked over to the larger group to introduce ourselves, but the reception was pretty icy. Finally, a woman stood up from their table and introduced herself as the co-owner.
“This is my mom’s group,” she said, waving her hand around the table.
We immediately felt like outcasts. We tried to make small talk with her and her friends for a few more minutes but finally gave up and walked back to our table. I’m hoping that she, at least, had no intention of being so exclusive. Perhaps she was just caught up in the excitement of hosting her friends at her new club, and she didn’t stop to think about how those of us that she didn’t know would feel sitting on the fringes.
I enjoyed seeing my friends and meeting the awesome ones sitting next to us, but I was a little disappointed. My friends and I had left our kids at home to hang out with mean girls. As I watched the little clique, I wondered whether I had made other moms feel excluded in the past, too. After all, I have a small, chummy group of friends within the larger neighborhood network, but we feel like we’re always friendly and inclusive of others. What if we’re wrong? I want other moms around me to feel supported, not excluded. It was a good reminder to reach out to a mom I don’t know the next time I’m at the playground, or maybe buy the mom with the newborn a cup of coffee the next time I see her at our local coffee shop.
Have you been in a situation where you’ve felt left out by other moms?