How to Bow Out Gracefully

Updated on June 29, 2013
E.S. asks from Hackettstown, NJ
14 answers

Hey mammas and happy weekend!

Happy to announce that my position on my momsclub is officially over. I thank you all for your support when I was in crisis in trying to reconstruct my treasury report! Success yes, but stress big time.

My lesson learned is to ask as many questions as possible before stepping up to a voluntary position of an organization that reports to the IRS! Or to volunteer in another capacity.

Anyway, tomorrow night is the momsclub annual dinner. Traditionally many people do not attend because June is a big vacation month. But still the board complains at the lack of interest, but truth be told, people have other things going in besides the club, me being one of them.

I responded maybe and now I'm going to have to say no. My husband has an opportunity to see a friend he hasn't seen in a year. I don't want to deny him this for a dinner that I was on the fence with to begin with because the club position has taken up so much time when I was told it wouldn't.

Anyway, I'm thinking of saying that something came up and I regretfully can not attend. It's a kid-free event and I don't have child care and it's not something I would pay for child care either.

I will continue to see these women sporadically but it is no longer an obligation where I have to worry what they think because "I'm a board member." Thank goodness.

Yes, I still feel bad.


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So What Happened?

Thanks for chiming in everyone. I e-mailed everyone this morning about my situation. I thanked them for making me feel welcome as the newest member to the board, and also thanked them for all their hard work. I assured them we'd be seeing one another over the summer for activities and such.

I probably would have gone if my hubby didn't have this opportunity. His friend lives in the city and he has to take a bus, which conflicts with the time of the dinner.

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

Even board members have other commitments or lack child are.
Release the guilt! Such a negative emotion.

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3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I think you really just need to let this whole situation go.

RSVP your regrets. You don't need to give them an explanation. Don't go, and let the guilt go. it's not worth holding onto.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A guy would not give this a second thought. You don't have child care. End of story.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Tell the truth. It's REALLY simple. TELL THE TRUTH. A long time friend has come into town unexpectedly and we haven't seen him in a long time. Thank you. I will not be attending.

Do NOT worry about what people think. Just tell the truth. if they can't handle the truth - that's THEIR problem - NOT YOURS.

I don't understand why you would feel bad about this? You did your job. It was harder and more involved than you thought. You are NOT obligated to show up to this dinner just because you are/were a board member.

When you see these women again? Be nice. Be cordial. If you want more out of their friendship - put the effort in. If not? Press on!!

Have fun with your friend!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

People would rather know where you stand than be stuck thinking you're may "in" or maybe "out" - so tell the truth without all the evaluation. Your husband has a long-time friend coming into town and it's a rare opportunity to get together. You hope they have a great evening. Period. Don't get into whether you are going along or staying home with your kids. You're leaving this group anyway. And don't sound too full of regret or they will think you are wistful about it, and sign you up for something else!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Don't feel bad your obligation is over and you can what you want without getting their permission.

Thank them and move on. Spend the evening with hubby and his friend.

These people are not going to be in your life that much and I wouldn't worry about their feelings. You have a life now live it with no regrets! Like Mymission says a guy wouldn't think twice about it.

the other S.

PS We women tend to over think things and get all guilt ridden about it -- a man does not. A decision is made and it is over end of story.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Be honest. Just say that unfortunately, your husband will be home late and you need to stay home with the kids. Thank everyone else on the board for a wonderful year (true or not), then say how grateful you are to the new board for taking on the positions.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would just say that something came up, or that I had a previous commitment. No need to bring childcare issues into your RSVP. Sounds like you have put in your time and effort, so no need to feel badly. Your family comes first, and it's sweet of you to encourage your hubby to see an old friend. Bow out gracefully, but try not to feel guilty. Cheers, and hope everything turns out well. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Tell them you have unchangeable plans that conflict so you can't make it. You said maybe before the plans were set.
Just be honest.
If they have a problem then they are being petty and it's not your problem.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Wait - a MOMS club event that does not include their very own children??????

ES, I'm so happy you are out of this club....go find a real family friendly event. Or make your own.

Please, stop feeling guilty over your life's commitments and other responsibilities, mainly your very own child.

Plan a special night of your own, for just you and your child. Your relationship will be better off in the long run investing in your own family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

What will happen if someone offers you childcare? Would you still go? If not, don't use it as an excuse. Tell the absolute truth that a family friend you haven't seen in years is in for the evening and you just have to be there with your husband to see him. You can't believe that this is all coming at the same time and you are so sorry that you'll miss the event. Send hugs all around in your regret note.

It's the best thing to do, ES...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Help with what? If you don't want to go then don't. You don't have to make up an excuse. You said your husband will be gone and you have to stay with the kids. Don't ever feel obligated to do something you don't want to do. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Stop feeling bad. You don't owe them. Tell the people pleaser habit to shut up - you'd rather please your husband than a bunch of strangers. Tell them you have family plans and are unable to attend. Then take a deep breath and enjoy the freedom!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

If you think you need to show your face. Go and then join your husband and his friend,

If you really do not want to go, then I am sure you can come up with an excuse.

I like to finish out my commitments to the end when at all possible. That way I do not have any regrets.

Next question: Rsvp'ing for Birthday Party