(FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out)
I LOVE people. Women, specifically. Girl gang, tribe, group, whatever you call it – hanging out with people makes my heart sing.
My mum has always said I make friends wherever I go, that when she dropped me off at primary school/ a violin group/ a party she was never worried. I’d always meet her at the end holding someone’s hand and saying they were a new BEST FRIEND. I’m one of THOSE mums at a playgroup, giving you an encouraging (hopefully not creepy) smile, trying to start up a conversation and asking you out on a date at the end. At a social event, I’ll sidle up to you (I realise I’m sounding increasingly creepy), drink in hand, and before you realise it, I may well have engaged you in a conversation about how I have a somewhat obsessive crush on Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in Star Wars, and that he’s “on my list.”
I can also be, to coin a family phrase, something of a “jealousy-doo-dah” (anyone else use this expression, or is it just my family?! If my mum pals are getting together for a playdate and I’m working, jealousy threatens to rear its ugly head. If I see a group of mums chatting together at the school gates, I wanna be in their gang. If a group WhatsApp starts about the amaaaaazing time at the trampoline park (and that’s just the parents), or the Mum’s night out that ended with Sophie dancing on the tables, why wasn’t I there? And I’m a bit of a people-pleaser – invite me to something and I’m loathe to say no: even if I hate it, I don’t want to upset you! And that’s even before we tackle social media.
Why does @coolbaps75 (I really hope there’s no one with this Instagram handle) love @foxyboxymummaloving’s (again, apols if this is anyone’s actual name) posts so much more than mine. Why didn’t that adorable picture I just put on of the kids and me at the playground get so many likes? Why aren’t people describing my blog as “hilaire”… and actually, why wasn’t I invited to that mumswhoblog event?!
But my God, what a moaning minnie I sound. And how bored I am by that attitude. Fear of missing out?! Fear of turning into a whinging barbara-no-mates more like. And there’s something else, too. Going OUT out seems more and more like a faff. By the time I’ve got the pickles to bed, organised the preschool and nursery bags, made the packed lunch, put the washing away, it’s got to be really special to get me away from my PJs and Midsomer Murders (the original Barnaby, obviously).
So, I’m going to take the following steps in 2018:
1. I’m going to plan my own social life as judiciously as I do my children’s. Why should they be the only ones who get play dates?!
2. I’m turning the F of FOMO into the FUN of missing out. Sometimes just stopping, getting in a bath and TURNING OFF MY PHONE – that’s winning at life right there.
3. I’m learning to say NO to things I don’t want to do – and it feels marvellous.
4. If you don’t want me in your gang, I totally understand. I use phrases like jealousy-doo-dah. But you know what – I’m going to make my own gang – and it’s open to everyone. Exclusive? No. Fun? I hope so!
The funny thing is, the only thing I ever have true FOMO about is when it comes to my kids. They’re growing up too fast (that really annoying truism “the days are long but the years are short” seems annoyingly accurate), and, in the words of Aerosmith “I don’t wanna miss a thing…”
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