When moms turn into mean girls

I started a mom group on Facebook and now they’re shutting me out! Am I wrong to feel hurt?

Not at all, says our elder — but you’ll find your tribe.

Dear EWC

OK so I need some advice. My feelings are hurt and I don’t really have anyone I feel comfortable getting advice. I have always struggled with finding regular mom-date mom-friends. I recently had my second child; she is 10 months old now and I have a three-and-a-half-year-old son. So, I started a Facebook group for moms of the same age range as my daughter. It started off really good; about 35 people joined and a small group of about six people are the only ones that were eager to meet up regularly. One girl is especially proactive, almost taking a leadership role and trampling me over.

Anyway, I feel I am being excluded from this small group now and it really hurts my feelings. I go to a small nursing circle at a coffee shop that is a new group of people and I felt was a safe space and enjoy going without feeling excluded. Well I sent out an open invite to my other group. So, a few of those other ladies showed up and kept talking about their group chats and their group lunches that I have never been invited to. And they would give eyes to me when they would discuss their group activities. It really hurts my feelings and it seems like senseless bullying. I ended up leaving the nursing circle after only 20 minutes of listening to them share their private discussions. What would you guys do? Am I being completely nuts for feeling so sensitive about this? My intention of starting that Facebook group was for it to be a welcoming environment and not a clique that elbowed other moms.

Good-Listener replies

I’m so sorry you’re going through this unpleasantness with your mom groups. I’ve heard this stuff before, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you’re going through it.

There are always some who will take over — even though you’re the one who set things up and should be the moderator, so to speak.  I’ve had that with groups I’ve joined before and it’s a pain in the ****. Sometimes it’s just part of the unknown when you’re trying to get things together on Facebook. Before social media, I joined some group for women of a certain age and it was so unpleasant I dropped out almost immediately. I’ve been in book clubs where the same thing has happened.

No, you are not nuts for feeling sad. Some folks will tend to get more cliquey. If you want to start another group, stay away from the people you’ve had a bad experience with. Maybe try to keep it small so that each person has an opportunity to contribute. Quality people are hard to find no matter what the subject matter or where you are. If you want to try again, maybe invite a few women with whom you are comfortable, to join a small group and keep it limited.  

Again, try (if there’s any possible way) to find humor in these ladies and their overbearing attitudes. Chances are you’re better off in a small group — or not even using Facebook. You’re not alone in your feelings, nor are they odd at all. You deserve better, and you’ll find your folks, and see if you can let the offenders be. They’re all at odds competing with each other anyway, so who needs that?!

I go to Starbucks every morning for my morning cup and am usually there right around the time the moms have dropped off their kids at school. I see the cliques and competitions, and, since I am only the observer, I can have a laugh at it. There was even a major article written in my city’s magazine about the very topic you’re describing. It can be tough if you let it — or you can find your own people and let the mean girls go.  Since I’m a woman in her early seventies I can also see what happens to many of those girls when they get older, and often the ones with the worst attitudes aren’t so happy. The ones who have character, such as yourself, thrive.  Take heart — you’re fine and you’ll find your group. Good luck.

Letter #: 422446
Category: Friendship

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