Thank you so much for inviting me to your upcoming event. I am honored that of all the people you could and may have invited that you included me amongst the people you would like to be there. When I became a mom, I started thinking a lot about extensions of kindness and inclusion. I do not take invitations as lightly as I used to.
Before my daughter was born, I was the type of person who assumed that even if I was invited to an event, the host or hostess probably didn’t care if I was there or not. Perhaps they included me as a technicality or because I was usually a fairly reliable person. I never thought too much about the fact that it might have brought them joy to see me.
I had low self esteem during that time and my social anxiety didn’t help. Because of this, I rarely hosted parties of my own. When my father asked me if I wanted to have a high school graduation party, I quickly and decisively responded, “NO!” I could tell he really wanted to host a party for me, but I just couldn’t do it. I imagined no one would come and that possibility was too painful for me to risk.
When I ventured into motherhood, I knew I needed to get over my hostess phobia, especially when I realized I gave birth to an extrovert. She makes friends wherever she goes, hugging new friends she meets at McDonald’s before they leave, and receiving invitations to join birthday parties that she crashes at Chuck E. Cheese. My daughter thrives in social situations.
Once I started hosting parties for my daughter, I started to think more carefully about what it means to extend an invitation. I always envisioned it would upset me if no one came to a party or even bothered to RSVP when I hosted a party and I was not wrong. I know what that sting feels like now and it still makes me anxious to think about it.
But I learned something else, too. I learned that life goes on. Just 3 months ago I was agonizing over RSVPs to my daughter’s 4th birthday party. All leading up to the day of the party, I envisioned no one would come. It literally kept me up at night. In the end, the party was a hit and my daughter had so much fun. She was surrounded by love and happy as a clam.
I have also learned over the years how powerful an invitation can be. And that knowledge, in turn, has made me so thankful for the people throughout my life who have invited me to things and continue to do so.
I’m so sorry if I have not responded to something you have invited me to in the past. I will try my best to always let you know if I can come, because it is important. It may have taken an incredible amount of strength to even invite me. I want to honor that with a response. Or maybe you don’t overthink invitations like I do and you just want to have fun with your friends. That’s ok, too. I want to honor that spirit, as well.
I am also sorry if it turns out I can’t come. It’s not because I don’t care or want to see you. Unfortunately, living a life with an unpredictable highly emotional young child and my still lingering social anxiety sometimes makes it so that I have no reserves left to show up for you, and I deeply regret that. I always want to show up. This is something I have been processing ever since I became a mom. What it means to show up for people and to have them show up for you. So this is a long winded way of saying thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
At times motherhood is lonely and people assume I am always busy (and sometimes I am), but I am still an individual who enjoys going out and interacting with the world outside my home. So thank you for thinking of me when you chose to invite me to your event. If I could go every time, I would. Sometimes I can’t, but I never forget the kindness of the invitation. I hope you will continue to include me, regardless of whether I can come every time. I truly hope to see you again soon.
Your Mom Friend
I love this post. As the mom of 3 kids, stuff just comes up. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to be there or don’t want to see you. Life just gets in the way sometimes.