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Monday, February 13, 2012

Feeling Like A Third Wheel...

I read a post on Twitter this weekend from @FunnyXL that said "Dear Sidewalk, Please get wider. Sincerely, third friend walking behind feeling excluded." It really hit home with me.

I know that feeling. I've been in that situation. I am not the girl who will try to make myself more noticeable. I am the girl who will take the step back and fall behind so there is room for all three of us.

The problem with that...it is really lonely walking behind your friends. You can feel your head begin to lower. Your heart starts to hurt a bit. Your mind starts to wonder if your friends would even miss you if ducked behind a tree while the three of you are walking along.

The worst part of knowing the feeling of being the third wheel is knowing that your child feels that way at times too. You want to take the hurt away. You want to teach them all of the lessons in friendship that you have learned throughout your many years. You want them to believe that they are worth making room for on the sidewalk but how? 

As you struggle to help your child sort it all out, you find yourself leaning on your own friends for comfort and advice. They tell you to show your child how you treat your friends and how they treat you. Your friends suggest sharing stories of how you helped your friend or how your friend did something to help you. They offer to include your child in conversations about supporting one another as friends at the next gathering.

They are all wonderful and helpful tips on friendship that are very welcomed but in the end you know that your child will only learn so much from you and will have to figure the rest out for themselves. You can guide, teach and listen but they are the ones who will need to believe in themselves enough to know that a true friend would never let you walk behind...only beside.

Source: wanelo.com via Erin on Pinterest

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21 Comments:

At February 13, 2012 at 8:19 AM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

This is such a powerful post. I love the idea of a wider sidewalk.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

This is so true, I never felt truly included with my friends either and I am already worried about what will happen with my daughter as she heads into grade school. Wish we could make it all easier for them.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 8:29 AM , Blogger Robbie K said...

It is heartbreaking to watch kid's learn the hard way sometimes. My daughter is more of the "one BEST FRIEND" kinda girl and I worry about that too!

 
At February 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM , Blogger Jax said...

Being a third wheel can be rough! I was always the "I'm Hereeeee!" type of girl. I think it all has to do with your personality. Your daughter will figure out her way soon enough. Sometimes a bad feeling is necessary to learn who you are and what kind of friendships to look for in the future.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Love it! You are so right... It is lonely at the back of the sidewalk. We used to walk this short distance to our house... Like 3 houses, and my brother and I would fight over who walked next to mom. You are a great mom. And I have a feeling your girls are going to enter life better prepared than most kids. xo - the other Kristen

 
At February 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM , Blogger Michelle said...

I have felt left out quite a lot... and really don't want my kids to ever feel like that.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Kristin said...

So true Mrs. Kristen :) I think all of us feel like a third wheel at times. Sometimes you really feel like you have to scream to get people to notice you. It's not a good feeling..but your right we've just got to deal with it positively. I hope I haven't ever made you feel left out..and if I have I apologize. Love you my friend! xoxo

 
At February 13, 2012 at 10:46 AM , Blogger marie said...

I have so much experience with feeling left out. I try and help my kids find great quality friends that don't play games (you know what I mean?). I have really encouraged a great friendship between a sweet doll and my oldest daughter. It took a while to find her a good match but they are so cute together. Do I sound like a controlling mom? I kinda am.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Charlotte said...

This makes me heart ache. I have been in that situation before, too. Most recently, though, it makes me conjure up images of my ex bf who, for whatever reason or other, never wanted to walk alongside me whenever we went somewhere. It was awful and hurtful and just one of many reasons we broke up... but the point is something we have to feel those emotions to understand and appreciate a TRUE friend and a caring boyfriend (or whatever) when we do find them.

You sound like a great momma and I imagine I would feel much the same way if I were in your shoes. I believe your son will be just fine with such a wonderful, guiding force on his side. XOXO

 
At February 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM , Blogger Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I'm the one who backs off too! I worried that my kids would follow suit, but in my case, both of them are much better in social situations than I ever will be.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM , Blogger Gia said...

Ah, that third wheel feeling absolutely sucks. Don't worry - your child is going to be okay. Feeling left out sucks but eventually it will help you figure out who your friends are, or at least who are the type of people you want your friends to be.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM , Blogger jedawson said...

it's so true and sad, and I can relate to all the posts...I was always 'out of the click as a kid'...despite having lots of friends, and now moving around I feel it as an adult, so I can only imagine how my little ones feel at times. I just stress to them that the bottom line, love and acceptance starts at home.....that is guaranteed. Outside of the home, you will feel hurt at times, but you always have the home base that will love and support you.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 4:54 PM , Blogger Cherie said...

Great post Kristen!!

I think there are times all through our lives, even as adults, when sometimes we feel like the one left out. Ugh!

For kids, as rough as elementary school can be - Middle school is brutal with a capitol B! It seems that that is the age that kids split up into groups and the big peer pressure starts. Oh how I dislike watching it.

I think all you can do is teach your children to include others, to be kinds to others, and to feel empathy and then if they feel left out at least they can hold their head high and move on knowing that it won't last forever and that they have been a good person.

Love the sign.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 8:16 PM , Blogger Jenn and Casey said...

They are such tough lessons to learn, and I feel like it starts younger and younger that kids are learning them. Thanks for such a thoughtful post. She will have you to be there when her feelings get hurt, and to celebrate with her when she finds those real friends.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 10:42 PM , Blogger Heather said...

These are the things that keep us moms up at night. But I have confidence your girls will be just fine with you there to guide them.

 
At February 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM , Blogger Kim said...

I love this post!! I think one of the hardest things about parenting is knowing the lessons your children are going to have to learn on their own.

 
At February 14, 2012 at 3:37 PM , Anonymous OneMommy said...

Beautifully written! So true that there are things we want to share with our child, and things they have to learn on their own. I love the idea of a wider sidewalk.

 
At February 14, 2012 at 7:48 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Feeling like the third wheel is never fun in any situation.

 
At February 15, 2012 at 2:07 AM , Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

This it home for me today. I was watching me daughter on the playground this morning when I dropped her off. She started walking up to a couple of girls from her class who were playing on the swings, but the swings were full and she was too shy to start a conversation so she just walked away. A little painful for me. But I know she'll make friends. And she'll have her own story to tell one day about how she overcame her fears.

 
At February 15, 2012 at 9:01 PM , Blogger Sara S said...

Such a great post! I was so shy growing up, and sometimes even now, okay okay, I still am, that it's hard for me to get out there and make myself "seen". I just hope Ab doesn't have to deal with that too often.

 
At February 19, 2012 at 10:54 AM , Blogger Recovering Supermom said...

This is a very thoughtful and thought provoking post. It's so hard when we know our children are hurting or one day will hurt and we can't do anything to stop it. But I think you're right that we can teach them as much as we can and accept that they will learn the rest on their own through experience. Boy, it's a tough one.

 

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