The Mummy friends

(48 Posts)
clutterfly Sun 24-Feb-13 23:08:19

Ok, here's the scoop. I'm finding a lot of the 'mummy friends' I've met since having the kids - brace yourselves, it sounds bad - are fake, not real or true. I'm sure many might say exactly that of me. Or perhaps it's not them, or me, but the situation we all just find ourselves in. A life-stage thing.

Friends simply because we have kids. That's the entry point. Do you ever get deeper? I find that I can't. I really do try to talk about other things that are not always school/domestic related, but it seems their appetite for other material is not there - I don't mean politics or hard work talk but past experiences/hopes/dreams/views.

I guess it's the pretence I'm feeling. Everyone trying to portray that they're doing everything great. And there seems to be a bit of judging going on with no one able to really be honest and open.

It could very well be me and my own shortcomings that make me feel this way, and the fact that i'm in a new town and making friends anew.

And there are the dinner parties. A whole dinner party cycle going on round here where everyone just talks about schools and kids and its all rather la de da, keeping up with the jones' and then taking it in turns to get out the best china and napkin rings to do it all again (Sorry, but that really is how it is).

Please help shed some light, some sanity or, if you must, scolding true MN style.

Beamur Sun 24-Feb-13 23:10:46

You don't have to be part of this circle if you don't want to...
Maybe these people just aren't your 'type'?

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Feb-13 23:12:33

OMG I think I want to be sick grin

I've had 3 kids and not once did I feel the need to have 'Mummy friends' <pukes liberally>

If other people find that sort of thing helpful/supportive then good on them.

But I simply kept in touch with the same friends I always had before I gave birth, regardless of whether they'd had kids themselves or not.

Most of them have by now anyway.

serin Sun 24-Feb-13 23:14:25

Wow! Where do you live Sunningdale? grin

I must be very lucky as I live oop North, we have mugs, not best china and though the talk does sometimes turn to schooling it more regularly is about work, holidays, gardening, who we fancy and which of us has daftest child.

I think I would find a more genuine set of friends if I were you. Maybe enrol on a short course?

Oopla Sun 24-Feb-13 23:15:37

Smash it up. Invite them round for fish n chips then ply them with vodka.

Oopla Sun 24-Feb-13 23:18:41

Who the hell says "here's the scoop?"

beenhereayear Sun 24-Feb-13 23:19:12

I think once you have had kids it's harder to find common ground with new friends as there is just not that much going on in everyone's lives in the early years....

aldiwhore Sun 24-Feb-13 23:22:14

Some of the friends I made when I smelled of sick all day and felt like I was forever up to my elbows in pooh were exactly as you describe op we used each other, in a good way I think, but we found ourselves drifting once we started wearing our nice clothes again and had two hands to spare...

Saying that, some of those mummy friends will be friends for life, the friendship has worked in exactly the opposite way... some of those mummy friends have lasted and will last the distance. Mostly, those are the friends who wanted to be themselves occassionally, to dance on tables (but not in public) to have a grown up laugh, to tell crude jokes, to talk about ANYTHING other than babies.

My babies are both school age now, my baby obsessed friends are gone, my crackin mates remain. I think I am lucky.

ceeveebee Sun 24-Feb-13 23:22:37

Oopla, I've only ever heard journalists say that before [hmmm]

ceeveebee Sun 24-Feb-13 23:22:52

Or even hmm

Gwlondon Sun 24-Feb-13 23:23:14

I think beenhereayear is right.

I haven't had much success with making new friends since DS.

SpringBulbs Sun 24-Feb-13 23:24:01

I think this is usual when you meet up as a group as children are your common ground. Is this still the case when you meet one of the mums on a one to one basis?

I moved to a new area when I was pregnant with DS3 and made new friends through Mumsnet and another parenting website. Initially our conversations centred on our children but they're not the main topic of conversation now.

If you really don't see these friendships going any further but you do want to widen your social circle then try joining groups/classes that are based on something that interests you or go to your local Mumsnet section and leave a message on the Friendship Bench message board. You may just find a couple of kindred spirits.

DeSelby Sun 24-Feb-13 23:24:02

It sounds like the issue is that you are in a new town and expecting to replace your old friends with friends you've made through having children. They probably only talk about the children because that's all you have in common, it's just you notice it more as you've left your other friends behind. So I sympathise but YABU!

clutterfly Sun 24-Feb-13 23:25:59

I say 'here's the scoop!'
Thanks for your views everyone. You're saying what I want to hear. You're right, I don't have to conform. Would love to have my old friends nearby to spend my time with, sadly they're all hours away, as are my family. We do as many weekends away as we can and have them over to us too but I do want local friends too. Guess these are just not my type.
Don't live in Sunnigdale but it does feel like it sometimes!!

foxache Sun 24-Feb-13 23:26:11

The fact that you're new and in a new town is a big factor. I'm also starting again with new friends and ds is much older, and there is nothing like the intensity that there was with the mum friends I met when he was 2/3.

When the children are growing up together from day one, you almost feel a responsibility to keep all their friends close, and maybe you start to feel like it's the only friendship group you can fit into.

The best thing about it, is that it's a real eye opener to different types of people - you get to know people you would never choose to be around, it's good experience! With some, you realise it's never going to work and drift apart.

tropicalfish Sun 24-Feb-13 23:28:10

Try suggesting to them going for an evening out. Once the children are not around you may find things are different.

DeepRedBetty Sun 24-Feb-13 23:33:59

I say 'here's the scoop' too. And was highly embarrassed when it was the catchphrase for the ditzy PR character in 2012 on BBC2.

About five of the Mummy Friends are still friends, the rest are people I run into in Waitrose and say hi to. But the survivors are the ones who'd probably been friends anyway if we'd happen to do university together, the way I found the rest of my friends.

We never really got into dinner parties with our circle of mummy friends thank god.

clutterfly Sun 24-Feb-13 23:35:47

Mmm, maybe I need to stay open minded, i do also realise you've got to work on friendships and let them grow. It's up to me to get to know them better perhaps, see behind the facade. But then I don't want facades to even be a factor in my friendships!

aldiwhore Sun 24-Feb-13 23:46:26

I'm not sure it's ALWAYS a facade, when I was a nervous new mum with few friends, well none at all actually that lived within visiting distance, it took a while for me to feel comfortable enough to be something other than a pleasant 'mummy friend'. I think the turning point came when a large group of us held a fundraiser for the toddler group, in a pub, in fancy dress (the idea horrified me at the time). On the morning after the night before I knew who's company I really enjoyed, and who's I didn't.

I'm not sure getting blotto is something that would usually be recommended when giving advice as to how to find friends, but it worked for me. smile

Sounds like they're not much fun, now you're past the point of being friends out of necessity. Time to make less effort with them and foster new friendships methinks.

Worra Really? The idea is nauseating?
None of my pre-DS friends lived locally, nor did they have children yet, so if I hadn't made 'mummy friends' I'd have had no one to talk to but DS!
That's the problem really, all my existing friends work full time, so bar the odd lunch date and weekend plans, you have to find new friends at playgroups and postnatal classes, ie other mums.
Yes, I've made a few superficial friends that I'll never be close with, but have also met some great women whose conversation extends beyond nappies. No sick bag required.

cory Sun 24-Feb-13 23:49:55

Why do friends have to be either Close, True, Forever friends or Fake. Isn't it both more realistic and kinder to acknowledge that most people have friends on different levels, that friends sometimes come together and drift apart, and that it can be impossible to judge from the outset who will be a longterm friend (I've had some surprises there).

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 24-Feb-13 23:57:27

It's fairly common when a largish group of people are together socially then the conversation is dull non offensive and inclusive. This isn't particular to mummy friends. It could apply equally to work friends or golf club friends or neighbour friends. It takes ages to make proper friends. Some of my best friends are women I've met through school/toddler group and others are 'superficial' friends who I enjoy a passing conversation with but whom I would never see again if one of us moved away. The same as I had a huge pack of friends at university but I'm only in real ie not exclusively FB contact with 3 of them now and I only see one person from my old job.

clutterfly Mon 25-Feb-13 00:01:22

Thank you everyone for your views. cory I have wondered whether I just need to accept there are different sorts of friends you can have. I supposed that bit's down to me and being more open minded, not worrying/thinking about it all too much, or judging them.

richardsimmonstanktop Mon 25-Feb-13 00:20:52

I also don't get worra's vitriol towards 'mummy friends'. I also kept in touch with my old childfree friends - and we're still good friends. But it's not like they were there during the day when I was bored out of my mind with a newborn. Maybe some people can deal with being at home/doing stuff by themselves all day, but I needed company!

OP, my 'mummy friends' (do hate that phrase though) were fantastic, years on from birth we're still all close. Nothing like you describe - I have never seen a set of napkin rings at anyone's house - although we are all so different from one another. If I were you I'd make an effort to extend my social circle.

BegoniaBampot Mon 25-Feb-13 00:25:50

Can't say I really recognise your description TBH. Met women through babies, toddlers etc at toddler groups and so on. They were lovely ladies and the ones I continue seeing almost 10 yrs later are people I genuinely enjoy spending time with.

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