Nope, you’re not invited to this one, sweetheart.

Today, my 7-year-old daughter, Madilyn, came home from school in tears. She asked me if I knew about her friend’s birthday party and I said, “Nope, you’re not invited to this one, sweetheart.” The tears welled up in her eyes and I could just feel the anxiety and I just gave her a big hug and said, “No worries! We have other plans that day anyway!” (We really don’t but we will do something fun.)  She was still upset but this is a big part of life, right?

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I still can’t believe my Madilyn is 7 years old and already dealing with heartache and disappointment. It seems like yesterday I was looking at beautiful baby shower invitations for girls as I helped my mom plan my baby shower. In my eyes, Madilyn is amazing. AMAZING. She is so smart and kind and truly loves all the kids in her school. She wanted to invite all of the first and second grade to her party back in December. Of course, this didn’t happen. I just don’t understand why she wouldn’t be invited to every darn kids birthday party in the whole school! Totally kidding – I get it. I am a parent. I know how much these parties can cost. I know that us moms are just trying to do the best for our kids with our budget and time and the overwhelming Pinterest ideas. I also know that this kid’s birthday party is a celebration for her. It is not about my kid. She wasn’t obligated to invite my Madilyn. It is OK. She isn’t going to be close with everyone. In fact, some kids might not like her as much as other kids. Gulp. That’s OK too. 

I feel like Madilyn is still my baby girl and I just want to keep her young and safe forever. Yet, she is growing up and realizing that life is difficult sometimes. My job as her mom is to show her that she is very much loved by so many amazing people, yet sometimes, life isn’t always perfect – sometimes we get left out.

Even as adults, friendships can be hard work. Friends can disappoint you. Friends change. You change. Friendships you have had for years might not look the same today. It is OK. All you can do is control how YOU treat others. You can not control how others treat you. I hope I teach my girls this. I am working on it every darn day.

The earlier we realize that this is a part of life, the better we all will be. I didn’t think Madilyn would be dealing with these real emotions in the first grade but maybe it is better. Maybe it will help her as she grows up. Even as grown adults, we get left out. We feel like we aren’t good enough. We don’t have the newest car or the best, designer handbag and we feel like we are not good enough. I am over it. We ARE good enough and we don’t have to get upset about being left out. We just need to focus on being nice to everyone. We need to teach our kids to be kind to everyone, even to the people who leave us out. Spread the love. Spread the kindness. Get your picture taken with your kiddos often. They grow too fast. (Photo credit: CL Pagac Photography)


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  1. I love the Birch Monarch Suite (Stationery)! I also love the Valentine’s Day cards, for example, the four Photo Title Card is perfect to add black and white photography prints!This would be a great way to personalize cards to give to loved ones.

  2. My kids are adults (36 and 39). They have thanked me several times over the years for telling them starting as young kids and regularly while growing up that life isn’t fair. You are doing good Momma!

  3. Been there, felt that 😉 Gabby is the same way with wanting to invite all the girls in her class to her birthday parties and, so far, we have been able to swing it. But I reminded her that sometimes only a certain amount of kids can be invited and it 8 were allowed, maybe she was number 9 (one in particular was a little girl who she considers a friend) Plus, with Gabby having Type 1, if the party isn’t really meant to include the parents, some hosting parents aren’t comfortable learning about how to take care of Gabby, and that’s ok. Gabby still talks about it months later, but, as much as I hate it, this is life!
    As for the paper, I always wish had stationary to send a quick thank you or “thinking of you” note, so I would have to choose some of the stationary from the website!

    1. Thanks Maria! You are so right – this is life and the earlier they can find a way to deal with it, the better. Gabby is a sweet sweet girl. You are a great mom!

  4. My sweet Madilyn. <3
    This breaks my heart too but your attitude is so good. Teach her that it's ok and that her kindness is what is always important. Every time Harper uses the term "best friend" I try to get her to think about it different because I remember how badly that term hurt me as I was growing up. Nothing worse than hearing your best friend call someone else their best friend!
    Love you all!

    1. Oh Jen. SO hard. Nothing worse than seeing your child heartbroken and thinking she is not “good enough.” I know, I also try not to let Madilyn use that term “best friend.” It changes daily in the first grade! Love you guys!

  5. A bittersweet slice of life’s reality. It’s never fun to be excluded, but it’s okay to love yourself anyway.

    1. Oh Sandi, it was the worst. However, a good intro to the realities of friendships and relationships. Actually glad it happened now and not the first time in middle school! Oh dear! This gets harder doesn’t it? Ugh!

  6. This tugged at my momma heartstrings! You are great Mom, Betsy. Thank you for this article. Oh and I am in love with those “adult birthday” invitations.

    1. Oh thanks girl! I know it is not going to be the last time this happens. Ugh. Watching them not be loved by all is SO hard. I guess it is a good life lesson. I know – they have the prettiest stationary and I love those invites too. Excuse for an adult party? XOXO

  7. You’re right Betsy! It is hard trying to pick who to invite when you have budget and location restraints! I’ve totally seen the struggle with planning wedding receptions especially! ❤ And even when you are blessed to be included sometimes you can’t go anyway! I definitely think it helps to start learning early!
    As for That awesome giveaway, I’m thinking invites for my housewarming! So many people have helped me with this crazy process of creating a home! I want to invite all of them! ❤

  8. I am a Grammy❣ I want to teach my grandchildren the art of a handwritten note. I think it’s so exciting to put down on paper your thoughts and then send it and anxiously wait for a reply! I don’t think the younger generation knows how to address an envelope (my own experience with this)! I know they know how to text, but have they ever had the thrill of receiving a letter in the mail? I think not and that’s sad to me.

  9. We are planning a 6th birthday party and would love to invite the entire kindergarten class! We want to teach our kids to always be kind.

  10. I have a daughter Madelyn that will be turning 8 in March. She was recently NOT invited to a friend’s party and it broke her heart, but she also got some Mommy time and we made cookies! I would love to win this awesome giveaway and be able to invite her friends over for a pampered girl/spa party. There’s a lot of cute birthday invitations. I’d like to do something fun for her and her friends to know she really is liked/loved!
    P.S. I also have 9 year old twin boys and have to deal with the “Nope, ONE of you are NOT invited and ONE of you ARE invited” situation this weekend. It’s really hard and life isn’t always fair, so we just make the best of it!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh my goodness Tammy! I can only imagine how hard this is with twins! Oh my! Life can be so tough. Yes, I think you are on the right track. Just showing them who does love them so very much!

    1. Awe thanks Lori. It was not my first response. HAHA I had to take a step back and ask myself, “what can we learn here?” Not always easy to do!

  11. I’m a Preschool Teacher, and I’m sad to say happens already. If the parent isn’t inviting the whole class, I ask that they let me give invites to the parents so that the kids not invited aren’t as upset. Usually if they find out, it’s after the event and they are upset for maybe that day, not several days before a party.
    If I won, I would get thank you cards.

    1. Oh Kathryn it is SO sad. I think part of the problem is social media. The parents send out evites and tell the kids and then they all talk in school in front of the kids that are not invited. I totally get that not all kids can be invited. I just think the parents need to be respectful and tell their kids not to talk about it at school because some kids may feel left out. Thanks for sharing!

  12. What a wonderful post. Annie recently dealt with the same thing. Thank you for writing this:). I would love the invites for my sisters upcoming baby shower. Xoxo

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