Thursday, 27 March 2008


This is an issue we are dealing with here at Chez Podkayne lately.

For Lil'Bug it really started about two weeks ago at Park Day. Some kids were there (not from our group) and were playing pirate, her favourite! Unfortunately they yelled at her and threw sand, calling her a baby and a girl and telling her because of those two things she can't be a pirate.

Broke. Her. Heart.

Soon after the kids from our group started showing up, but they were the older kids. They tried to play with her but her mood had turned so dark that it was difficult to do and eventually they gave up, leaving her alone by a tree. That day was bleak.

Recently at playgroups I have noticed, as the kids get older maybe?, that the boys and the older kids seem less willing to play with her. Perhaps it is that she is less willing to play by their rules and wants to have input. I don't know. I do know that sometimes even when people come here to our home and play with her toys, she ends up being left out. This makes her cry, but also hit and kick and get mad which does not lead to kids wanting to play with her. THEN she is upset for days.

The girls that are her own age are few and far between. She does ok with them though if we are not at home, but she still prefers pirates over princesses and that seems to be a problem with that age group of girls.

This leads me to the other side of this. I know exactly how she feels. I don't fit in either. I don't try to, but there are certain things/rules I really didn't know until recently. I didn't know that it is polite to bring food to a playdate, a dish, a bread, a snack, some offering. I didn't realize how important the telephone still is to socializing with women. Big problem for me. Mostly, I don't know much of how to be a good friend. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I stick a big warty foot in my mouth.

It doesn't feel good to hear that many of the moms all get together and have girls night out, even though I couldn't go even if I wanted to. Why? Something else that separates me from them: I work. I stay home with my kid but I also teach college classes online. My "free time" is spent grading papers and communicating with students and filling out paperwork. I blog and read blogs when my grades are downloading. The rest of my time is spent with my family, tending house, or learning with Lil'Bug. My husband is attending classes online and working a lot to prepare for the time off he will take when June Bug arrives, so I take up the slack. But the not feeling good about it is not resentment for my life, it is feeling like I am being left out of that circle of friendship, something strong and good and rejuvenating, like the cool kids are sitting there with their back turned on the art geek. Been there, thought it sucked then too.

I actually had a friend recently tell me that she just doesn't click with me, when she thought she would. I like honesty, but ouch. That left me doubting myself, which was even worse. What about me was unlikable? (Plenty, is the answer. I am human and have personality flaws. I know this.) Still, pregnancy hormone fed emotions swelled up and left me bleak as well.

This is definitely an issue I will have to work out if I am going to help Lil'Bug. It was also an issue I thought I could ignore if we were moving to Ohio, but it looks like that won't happen for many years now, if ever. The important thing here is that Dearest Husband found out how I was feeling and boosted my self esteem. What a wonderful guy. :) He offered to rearrange things so I could have a night out, but that's not really what I want. I like spending time with my family. I don't need a night out.

Then there is this online wonderful circle of friends that I belong to. Perhaps that is why I come here daily now when before I simply checked email. I've actually avoided blogging about much this week because of how rotten I was feeling (also WAY busy!), but perhaps what I need to do is blog more and perhaps take up walking in the mornings or even with Lil'Bug in the afternoon.

(I sigh and lookout the window.....) is snowing. I thought that the thunderstorms this morning were rolling in with Spring, not bring one last dose of freaking Midwestern winter. Grrrrr.


  1. I'm sorry you (and lb) have had your feelings hurt. :(

    Telling you "I just don't click with you like I thought I would" is just...
    I don't know what.
    Not something you should say to someone, or at least think about it and come up with the kindest possible solution. sheesh.

    You know what my favorite part of life happening like that is?
    When I get to feeling betrayed, or sad or scared of the world, that's when I crawl the deepest into my family.
    I lock the doors, close the drapes (figuratively if not literally) and crawl inside them as deeply as I can for comfort and safety.
    That feeling I love.
    I'm always so grateful to have them, then.
    As always, but you know.

    Here's to springtime and rejuvenation.

  2. Yes, that feeling of having chosen the right partner and blessed with children is incredibly comforting. :)

    Here here to Springtime!

  3. You are always welcomed here...

  4. I know, it sucks. BTDT and it's happened to others I know too. I'm sorry to hear that you're hurting and I wish there was something I could do to help. I retreated into the warmth and safety of my family too and it turned out to be a good thing in the end. I'll email you. -- Oh, and that avoidance of the phone thing? Me too!

  5. I am so sorry that you have been feeling so down, friend! Man, that playdate really sucked. How do you keep from giving those other kids what for when they throw sand at your baby? I freak out about things like that. And that person who said they just didn't click with you?? For goodness sake, you're better off if they're capable of making comments like that.

    Hold on a minute, people are getting upset because you don't bring a snack to a playdate? Good grief. I have probably offended a large number of people because I didn't know that was something you were supposed to do. Sometimes I think people get all wrapped up in what people "should" do and don't notice the kind and wonderful things they ACTUALLY do.

    I think you're a super person and count you as one of my friends even though we can't actually hang out.

    Sounds like your husband was able to make you feel a bit better and that's wonderful. So glad he's there for you like that!

    Keep your chin up! We've all got your back.

  6. I have all sorts of little social quirks that make it so I don't fit in with the clique. That's what it is. I am different, I school different (they are not for the most part unschoolers), and my home/self life is quite different as well. I value diversity, but there are simply some things that do set us apart.

    I've decided to just keep being me. I found myself fretting over the things I could do better (would they like me more?), bah.


  7. Bah.

    That's a good word for it.

    Double Bah.

    Here are things I don't do, that keep me feeling isolated.
    *use the phone (you're not alone in this!)
    *call back
    *text message
    *socialize at the bus stop, because I don't have kids on the bus!
    *bond over school stress at school activities
    *buy 345345345 things from the 34534534 kids selling school fundraiser stuff
    *gossip with other moms at the playground.

    I tried getting involved with girls nights out, but it was uber stressful and too much like jr. high. Sometimes, when neighbor ladies all do stuff together without me, I wonder what is wrong with me. But then I realize that I'm more of a 'have a couple very close friends' rather than 'party with everyone' kind of gal.

    I'm left out of a lot, but I'm trying to focus more on how I can reach out and invite a few, tender, friends in.

    Sorry this was so just got me thinking.

  8. I'm supposed to be bringing something to playdates??? Geesh. I didn't know that. I have never taken or expeced anything brought over. By the way... this means you aren't expected to bring to my house, either.

    I hate the phone! I can even take days at returning calls and then I try to be off in less than a minute if I can at all help it.

    Girls Night Out? Who knew. Oh well, another thing I don't miss. I prefer family time, too, anyway.

    If it makes you feel better, you're more clued into socializing than I am. It doesn't even occur to me half the time that I could have/should have talked to someone or carried on a conversation after "hi" until long after the moment has passed.

    K still loves Lil' Bug (even though he's now a "big" boy). He's already planning what to wear for her next.

    This could be longer... but I think I covered enough for now. :)

  9. I identify with many of the things you posted. Been there too. Don't like it much and it sux to watch similar things happen to our kids. All I've got are virtual hugs. I'll leave the awesome advice to the wiser sages before me.

  10. I don't get it. Maybe it's because I don't fit in to any social groups either? Maybe it's because I don't know you on a real personal level? But you are so smart, funny, and you are so open to different people/situations (at least from my experience).
    I'm sorry that you are feeling down and out. I know from my experiences that it's nice to have family to be able to go to that love us no matter what but sometimes there is still that void where a friend should be. For what it counts: I think you're awesome! :)

  11. 1. Reading this post and the comments have led me to draw two possible conclusions. Everyone who reads your blog is a social misfit (me included), or perhaps most people have these feelings.

    2. I, too, rarely feel that I fit in, even with other moms who parent in a similar fashion. I'm awkward socially. I have a sense of humor that few people understand. I say inappropriate things. I either don't say anything or I can't shut up. I don't catch on to unspoken social expectations. I've always been a geeky social misfit.

    3. When I'm finally ready to crawl out of my cave (well, I'm ready now, but I can't come out just yet), we should def. get together for a playdate. W doesn't seem to care if he plays with boys or girls, but pirates is always good. He's also turning into quite the social misfit, probably because of me and my live-in-a-cave tendencies.

  12. An unintended result? Now we have plenty of playdates AND I am meeting some really wonderful people.

    Thank you all!

  13. Know that you are not alone in those feelings. I have recently, by luck and chance, fallen in with a group of wonderful moms. I spent so much time before this trying to be a part of a group, trying to find friends and feeling so down, so down on myself. "What's wrong with me?" I would ask. I would look around and see "everybody else" had good friends and good times with them and I felt like I was the only one on the outside looking in, an outcast. I know a lot of it goes back to childhood and that's hard to drop, no matter how aware of it you are.

    So it hurts me to hear you say these things, because I have been there, and it's not a nice place to be. But just like you found your DH, you too will eventually find some friends that you click with when you are least expecting it. I felt awkward and out of place at first with these ladies, but the more we are together, the more we talk, the more we find out how much we are alike rather than different. When I focus on those things, all the other worries/self-esteem issues become background noise.

    And all I can say is Oh crap, no wonder I've had trouble finding friends - I don't bring snacks to play dates and never call anyone either!

    I haven't been around much lately, but had to comment. Sometimes I crawl into my little shell and it's hard to come back out, even when I know what there's something good to come back out for.

    Anyway, I could say more, but I'll be done hijacking your blog for now. :-)


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