The Mother Eagle Emerges

Yesterday after my daughter HipChick’s Girl Scout meeting, a side of me emerged that most people don’t ever see. My wings spread wide, the talons were bared, and the irresistible urge to protect my young overtook me.

OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but it was a defining moment for me as a mother. As we were leaving, one of the moms began passing out invitations to her child’s birthday party. As she gave them out, each child opened theirs, and fawned over being invited. After a few minutes, I noticed a couple of kids standing empty-handed. Mine was one of them. My daughter’s best friend was showing off her card, and Hipchick’s eyes were revealing worried anticipation. She was waiting for hers. I saw the empty-handed mother, and figured out that she wasn’t getting one. So with the best smile I could muster, I told her it was time to go.

She stood still with a blank expression. She was waiting for hers. I looked at the mother’s eyes, and gently prompted HipChick again that it was time to go. When we got to the car, I was feeling a little numb. You know that feeling you get when you’re so disgusted you’ll either be paralyzed or completely explode? I decided to stick up for my child, and let the other mom know how hurtful it is to give out invitations right in front of kids who are not invited.

Now this girl is not one of HipChick’s close friends, and it didn’t bother me that she wasn’t invited. You can’t be invited to everything. (I’m still learning that, because I usually invite everybody who wants to come) But I could tell she was devastated by watching her other friends being accepted. Also, this mother has had several conversations with me about her daughter being left out by other kids and how it hurt her so much. Why didn’t she mail them, or give them to the kids’ parents?

So I left HipChick in the car (I didn’t tell her why), went back in, took the mom aside, and told her my feelings. I was very calm and polite, but intense. She could tell I was angry. I said, “I just wanted you to know that this is very hurtful for the kids who are not invited.” If I said anything else, I was afraid I’d go too far.

She replied, “Well, that’s why I was doing it outside the meeting.”

“But right in front of them, though?” My pitch rising much higher at the end.

Then she came out with, “Well, I didn’t think they would open them and read them here.” (Since when have you seen a seven-year-old get a card, and not open it immediately? And how about, “Yeah, I’m so sorry, that was a bad move, and I didn’t think it through. Please forgive me.”)

“Well, you really hurt HipChick’s feelings today,” And I walked away.

As I walked out the door, I composed myself, and walked back to the car with a fake smile. When I got in the car, Hipchick asked, “Why didn’t I get an invitation?” The answer came easy, because I knew there was a rational reason. But rational reasoning never takes away hurt. “She probably could only invite a certain number, and just didn’t have enough space. Like the time you had a sleep-over, and I made you choose only two girls. You wanted to invite the whole class, but you had to chose two.” She seemed to take it OK, but she leaned her head on the window and quietly closed her eyes the whole way home. I spent the trip trying not to cry. My heart literally hurt, and I prayed that she would focus on the good friends she does have, and realize that God accepts her no matter what.

While writing this, I’m wondering if I’m totally exaggerating the drama of the event, but it was such an intense feeling for me as a mother. I don’t know if I did the right thing by confronting the mom. This is new for me. I usually hold in the unpleasant things, and swallow my hurt. I don’t stick up for myself. But when it comes to my children, they need someone who will go to bat for them. I won’t apologize for letting her know how much the incident hurt, and hopefully making her think before being so inconsiderate again.

Have you ever had a situation like this? What did you do?

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. Doesn’t that just kill you? I hate that. How insensitive of that mother, and then to be defensive instead of apologetic. My heart hurts for your DD, I remember being there at her age.

    Good for you for standing up and saying something to the other mother. She absolutely should have mailed the invites.

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  2. NellyBelly says:

    This post made me cry. You are not overreacting. I have two very young ones, so we haven’t experienced this yet personally, but I’ll never forget when, shortly after becoming a mother, I was parked at church next to the playground. I saw two boys push down another little boy and my heart exploded in pain right there. I was so surprised at the intense level of my reaction. It is truly a thing unique to motherhood. I think you handled the situation very well. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. You absolutely did the right thing! Children mimic their parent’s behaviors and attitudes, so that child is going to learn some bad habits – insensitivity, not accepting responsibility, and the list goes on.

    As parents, WE are solely responsible for bringing our kids up with the morals and values that we instill in them. Yes, there are outside influences, but even teenagers will tell you that their biggst influence in their parents.

    You go, Mama!

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  4. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    Oh I would’ve been fuming too! How inconsiderate and just plain rude. There’s no way she should’ve been handing out invitations at all – she should have mailed them if she wasn’t inviting everyone.

    We haven’t run into this yet, but I’m sure we probably will. I did break Hannah’s heart last night though in a similar way – she’s been doing cheerleading classes but I didn’t sign her up for the competitions because it cost money, she’d just started, and I wanted to wait and see if she really liked it before I sunk money into the outfit, pom-poms, etc. Well the competition is on Saturday and last night at cheer they made a big deal about making sure parents knew what was going on, and the other girls were all talking about it, and poor Hannah got all excited – and Mean Mommy had to burst her bubble by telling her she’s not going… Sigh.

    I think you did the right thing by letting the mom know that what she did was hurtful – maybe she’ll think twice next time…

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  5. I have never been in a situation like this and I hope I won’t. I am not sure I could be as nice as you were! I think you handled it wonderfully! I am sorry for the hurt feelings for HipChick! Way to protect your young momma!

    Kara
    sahm22boys.blogspot.com

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  6. Not at all! It would be rude to do with adults too, I would certainly feel pretty rejected if I had to stand and watch everyone else be invited. I wonder if this was that mom’s way, without even realizing it, of getting back at everyone for previous rejections.

    I had to watch things like this happen to my brother and sister, who had behavioral issues and therefore didn’t make a lot of friends. They’re in their 30’s now and are still in pain from those flaunted rejections.

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  7. You did the right thing. Parents should have enough common sense to not do something like that. I remember when I was teaching, I had the rule that you couldn’t give out invitations for something unless the whole class was invited. I feel for you and your daughter. I haven’t had that happen yet, but I’m sure I will.

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  8. Thankfully, we’ve never had to go through something like this. Girlie Girl would have felt the same way if she didn’t get invited.

    I think you handled it very well and I hope that mother realizes what she did.

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  9. Good job, Sarah. I have seen my daughter experience this…not at the hands of a parent though. I would be fuming. I think you did a good job about not making it too big of a deal with HipChick. They pick up on that stuff. I think there is a place where people need to realize how they effect others and you did a good job of pointing it out without overreacting.

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  10. Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) says:

    I think you handled that very well. Sorry HipChick had to deal with such an inconsiderate episode, though.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Well, I would have felt the same way, but since you asked, I have to pose the question, “What would Jesus do?”

    Now that you’re not in the heat of the moment, you can re-examine…if your ultimate goal is to point others to Christ, ask yourself if your recent choices helped you accomplish your goal. Were you an empty vessel for God’s love to pour through, or did your human emotions cloud the issue?

    It may have been better to pray first about the confrontation, rather than acting on it right away. Does she know you’re a Christian? Is she a believer? Maybe you owe her an apology…see Matthew 7:1-7.

    Sweet sister, we have to constantly point each other to Jesus. Thanks for your excellent blogging.

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  12. Jordan (MamaBlogga) says:

    Was it not Jesus who told us that it would be better to have a millstone hung around our necks and be cast into the sea than to offend one of these little ones?

    She didn’t berate the other mother or tear her down; she pointed out that this woman’s actions were hurtful to a small child. If someone was never taught to be thoughtful before this point in their life, they certainly should learn it now.

    If nothing else, I believe that Sarah handled the situation well. She was not mean or abusive or even unchristlike to the other mother. The other mother was defensive because she knew she was wrong. Sarah may have even helped this woman realize that her actions were the ones not in the image of our Savior.

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  13. Way to go Sarah. I think what you did was remarkable. You didn’t jump all over the mother, but you did explain how it made your daughter feel. I think you handled yourself just like Jesus would have wanted you to. If it hurt you or made you angry then you were better to address it then and let it go then hold on to offense.

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  14. Sarah, What you shared really touched my heart. Three thoughts: 1 – your children are going to grow up to be strong and godly women. 2 – You really write well. I think you could write books. You’re descriptive and concise. 3 – I thank God for how he grows all of us up. I’m remembering you as that young college girl who loved Jesus so much. And now I’m reading about you as the strong and godly mom you’ve become. Amazing grace…

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  15. Our oldest goes through these kinds of things often. Not so much from other parents, but a couple of her playfriends in the neighborhood have not been raised with the same basic values of friendship/respect/etc.

    On numerous occasions her friends have been VERY mean to her (and the parents are blind to it). I think it’s important to show our children that we will defend them. That they have an advocate and a protector that isn’t afraid to stick up for them. At the same time they have to learn forgiveness. Both are Christ-like values.

    I understand where ‘anonymous’ is coming from, but Jesus wasn’t a pacifist who never confronted people. Your confrontation honored Jesus and your kids. It was direct, humble and very much something Jesus would do.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    How insensitive of the other mother. You absolutely did the right thing by confronting her. I can guarantee the mom was thinking of it the rest of the day. She will think twice the next time she hand delivers invitations. We all have a little of Hipchick inside of us, even as adults, when you hear people talk about a party or cook out you weren’t invited to. Its just a part of life, but such a hard thing to learn at a young age in front of all of your friends!!

    My husband confronted a mom once and she chased him to the parking lot b/c he ’embarrassed her’. (her son body-butted (is that a word), hit her full on with his body at top speed while she was looking the other way…my three year old in soccer (coach didn’t see it). I think it was an ugly scene in the parking lot b/c he didn’t seem to mind telling her that he just stated what everyone at the other end of the bleachers had been saying the whole season about her son’s behavior (and her lack of nipping it in the bud). Needless to say, I banned him from taking DD to soccer for the rest of the season. This was for physical hurts which are quickly forgotten, but HipChick will remember this forever. My heart hurts for her.

    Laci

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  17. Proud Mom says:

    Sarah, you wrote about a feeling that every mother has experienced and may not have had the courage to actually express. You are very brave and an awesome mother. Thanks for letting many, many mothers that “the” feeling is OK.

    I love you daughter, Mom

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  18. Good for you! Parents just don’t think, and if they don’t who’s going to teach their kids to?

    My high school daughter once had a friend call her with a request to lie to another friend about the whereabouts of yet another friend, because of a surprise birthday party that was planned. You guessed it, she wasn’t invited! Then the next day all the others showed up to youth group wearing t-shirts with a message about the party!

    I did talk to the mom after this happened. She was surprised and sympathetic. Actually, a few years later, I would say that talking to her has enabled our families to remain friends, and even the ladies have patched things up.

    It’s Biblical to confront those who hurt us. Unfortunately I’m not very good at it.

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  19. Great post Sarah! It touched my heart. I believe you acted correctly. The mom should’ve thought the thing thru & when she realized her mistake, she should’ve apologized. Kids tend to blame themselves for everything! F’rinstance, if a favorite teacher quits, they may ask what they did to send her packing. God has entrusted us w/the lives of our kids & we must protect them physical, spiritually & emotionally. I pray that HipChick is able to get over this. Maybe do something special for her on the day of the party!

    milton.
    http://werehavingababies.blogspot.com

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Question, do you think it is reasonable for the same child to be left out at every party. Do you know of a situation like this. What if it was your child. What would you do if you were made aware of parties repeatedly and your child was left out. A child who is not a bully but shy. What if the parents and you were friendly through a coop, playgroup or team, even church..any thoughts, prayer, anecdotes or ideas?

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