AIBU to expect other Mums at toddler groups to at least smile or say hello??

(62 Posts)
Cakebaker35 Fri 03-May-13 14:21:27

Sorry for slight rant but I'm just so surprised by the rudeness of some other Mums. I always just say Hi or smile at people when going to groups or classes, I don't want to come across as a needy weirdo looking to attach myself to people instantly, but honestly isn't it just polite to say Hi and if that becomes a conversation then great? I'd like to make more Mum friends but I'm getting really put off some of these groups, I only go as my DD enjoys playing with the other children and as she doesn't go to nursery/childcare I think it's good for her socially. Should I just not bother?? Any tips on making friends? Starting to lose my confidence a bit.

Cakebaker35 Wed 08-May-13 13:41:54

Just a bit of an update for you - ditched the old group and went to a new one today, bit further away but wow what a difference! Had smiles and hellos before I even got into the building! A much more friendly group all round and whilst we've only been once I had more friendly chats than I ever had at the old one. So I would say to anyone else don't put up with rude grumpy people, go elsewhere if you possibly can.
Faith in other mums restored, phew!

C999875 Mon 06-May-13 17:34:04

No it isn't unreasonable to expect a hello or a smile. I would have caused them no pain or hardship would it. For as long as there are mums there will always be cliques, sadly.
I was never part or included in cliques (don't know why) and yes I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me. I am a human being of course it did. We all want to be popular don't we. However there was no way in hell I was going to stop taking my daughter to mother and toddler groups she enjoyed going and that was the end of it and she had just as much right to be there as the children of clique parents did. xxx

rubyflipper Mon 06-May-13 14:59:33

Alas, I'm in Banbury so a bit too far out.

Glad to hear you're ditching the moody group - life is too short for all of that!

Cakebaker35 Mon 06-May-13 13:39:21

Wow it is great to know I'm not alone but sad too there are so many miserable, ill mannered people about! Glad to report that not all the classes, groups etc i have been to have been so bad, just this one in particular which really wound me up so I have decided to ditch it and keep going to a few others.

I have to remind myself I am really lucky to have a great NCT group I still see, so there are nice normal mums out there too, and you all sound like that so I'm feeling more positive! :-)

Kasterborous and rubyflipper I am in Abingdon so if you're nearby then message me - any other friendly locals too :-)

SizzleSazz Sat 04-May-13 07:49:22

I met my 3 closest friends at our toddler group (new area for me so I needed to make new friends). I did start going when dd was only a couple of months old though (needed to get out lol) so maybe easier to strike up conversation about a baby?
6 years on and we still all meet regularly smile

I know some can be very unfriendly, but others are great!

MiaowTheCat Sat 04-May-13 07:38:39

Sometimes time and persistence just aren't enough - in my case - the women they've hounded out have been going ages, started at a similar time to the clique and it's just been systematically taken over... they've recently co-opted a couple of women they like into it, but there are about 6-7 women who they really want to stop coming so they've got the whole thing to themselves and they're very open about it. Makes me angry since a couple of the ones they've taken a dislike to are very much of the social group that SureStart was actually first designed to help (indeed if I wanted to I could argue that I could be included there since I've got a history of pretty nasty mental health and also previous social services involvement in terms of that malicious referral)... they don't like the more rough and ready mums and they'd like them gone too - but the staff seem to be really trying to protect them (justifiably so - but they shouldn't be having to do that).

I go because DD1 loves it and loves the room to crawl about more freely (our house is tiny) - I get bog all out of it myself these days (I know the clique is why the other women stopped going since I've run into them all in town of late), I just put up with it for the sake of the girls.

Hell they've even now got it set up so that the STAFF don't feel able to intrude on their little ignore the kids and sit and chat party! It's ridiculous and I've complained informally about that and another issue - but I'm actually almost to the point of wanting to make a formal complaint about it all. I can go along to stuff, smile and break down barriers over time - but what's going on locally is just fucking malicious.

Travelling further isn't really an option for us - no transport during the day - it takes me almost an hour to walk to the CC as it is!

Beamur Fri 03-May-13 23:59:35

Just to add - few years down the line now - a lot of the Mums I met at the local toddler group are now fellow Mums at the local school and in the main, it's much easier to chat and get along with them now. We all have a little shared history even if we aren't best mates.

MummytoKatie Fri 03-May-13 23:14:21

I like baby / toddler groups on te whole. It generally takes a while to get to a point where people are familiar and you feel comfortable there but I find I usually get there.

Generally they are better if there are organisers who are just organising (ie don't have their own kids). As then they can keep an eye out for new comers. I generally try to but I'm usually in the middle of my most welcoming smile when dd decides to try and stick a pen / toy / cuddly toy up her nose and I have to run off and rescue her.

Also better if there is at least one set activity as you can then sit and do it and is therefore easier to chat.

Having said that I can remember times when dd was about 8 months old where I probably wasn't very friendly. Dd was teething and didn't sleep for more than 30 mins at a time (followed by at least an hour of screaming - repeat all night for a couple of months) and I really couldn't remember how to have a normal conversation. I could talk and I could listen but couldn't really process both at the same time. So you either got a monologue or silence from me. I must have seemed very weird!

Littlehousesomewhere Fri 03-May-13 22:27:53

Yes I completely agree. Some mums at these groups are so cliquey and ignoring of 'outsiders' or are so sullen and grumpy with everyone. It is so hard to find one with the friendly and positve vibe.

I persevered at one for awhile for dcs sake before realising that I didn't want them socialising with children whose role models were so antisocial and rude.

Since then I have been more discerning and choose groups that are more structured with organisers that are more proactive. This means travelling further and paying more but I think it is worth it. Try others and don't put up with rudeness, you and your dc are worth so much more than that.

Littlehousesomewhere Fri 03-May-13 22:25:13

Yes I completely agree. Some mums at these groups are so cliquey and ignoring of 'outsiders' or are so sullen and grumpy with everyone. It is so hard to find one with the friendly and positve vibe.

I persevered at one for awhile for dcs sake before realising that I didn't want them socialising with children whose role models where so antisocial and rude.

Since then I have been more discerning and choose gr

Mnetter111 Fri 03-May-13 21:38:02

Definitely post on your local mumsnet, I did after struggling for 2 years to make any mum friends (working fulltime didn't help I admit) and I've met some lovely mums and it has made my life a lot better.

nailak Fri 03-May-13 21:16:48

but the established members dont see themselves as established members, they just see themselves as someone who needs a break so is going to toddler groups to let their 2 year old run around while they can put their feet up and have a moan to their friends.

sometimes i make an effort to go and chat to new people when it is their first session. generally the childrens centre worker will introduce me or point the new person out to me, sometimes this doesnt happen and i might not even realise there is a new person because i dont know every single person who has ever come to the group, or i may just be exhausted myself!

starlightloz Fri 03-May-13 21:10:28

I am sad so many toddler groups are so unfriendly. I run three groups a week and try really really hard to make sure every person is made to feel welcome and I try to get to know their children and include them in all the activities. There is often a change over of people who come along though so worth it to keep giving it a go. I have trawled through dozens of groups and definitely some are extremely hard work hence I started to run the ones I do, to try make sure other Mums didn't have such tough times.

hokeycakey Fri 03-May-13 20:53:15

Yy exhaustipated I completely agree, I am preg with dc4 so have years of experience! You just have to keep on, smiling & chatting, I know it can feel like a massive effort sometimes but it also pays off.... Some people are just arseholes, I don't really know why with some people but on well.

Recently I also started volunteering to help out setting up/ making the teas or getting the toys out & that way you have to talk to people

Good luck it will get better, maybe try some different groups too

SleepOhHowIMissYou Fri 03-May-13 20:50:17

So glad it wasn't just me excluded, can totally emphasise here.

Panic not though, it does get better once they start nursery/reception and the Mums realise that they're stuck with your company in the playground for a good few years to come; more effort is definitely made!

Chottie Fri 03-May-13 20:49:12

This is sad to read! I can't believe there are so many unfriendly,cliquey people around. But it is years since I went to a toddler group.

Would anyone consider setting up their own group? Now that summer is here, could you put up some notices and arrange to meet at such-and-such a time at a local park? or coffee shop? I'm just wondering how many other mums have been put off from attending toddler groups. Even if just a couple of people turn up, it would be better to have a couple of smiley, friendly people than a room full of ignorers.

Cuddlydragon Fri 03-May-13 20:48:10

Oh god, YANBU. It's as if defending their clique from incomers is all important. Grim. I kinda think if they're rude and impolite it probably means that's what they might be teaching their kids.

Exhaustipated Fri 03-May-13 20:39:23

YANBU, but IME the key is just to keep showing your face. Just keep at it, and unless it is a very unusually unfriendly group you should either
A) find someone nicer than the non smilers or
B) discover that the non smilers were actually tired/stressed/depressed/shy and are actually quite nice after all (or at least willing to chat)

But this can never happen unless you keep plugging away for a good few weeks, whilst perhaps trying another group in case it really is as unfriendly as it seems!

stopgap Fri 03-May-13 20:23:17

How odd (and unfortunate). I've made lots of mum friends at groups and classes (but I live in NYC, and people tend to be very, very outgoing).

MrsRogerSterling Fri 03-May-13 20:21:04

I'm lucky in that the primary school my dd1 goes to has a playgroup on 2 mornings a week straight after drop off so when I take dd2 I recognise a lot of the other mums from the playground. I also go to one at a church but I go with a friend so have never felt uncomfortable even though people tend to stick in their own little groups at that one.

buildingmycorestrength Fri 03-May-13 20:03:38

Do you live in my old village? I ended up moving, it got to me so much.

Now I live in a place where mums smile back and happily make inane chitchat because THAT IS NORMAL.

ChairmanWow Fri 03-May-13 19:30:15

Sorry but I don't buy the tiredness excuse. I've been on my knees with exhaustion and still managed to find the energy to at least crack a smile. I've sometimes used it as an icebreaker - 'I don't know about you but I'm knackered!'. It's just rude to ignore someone, tired or not. Also find it a bit weird that a pp said she didn't sometimes doesn't speak to new folks because of one too many comments about her being an older mum. Why go in the first place then? Btw I'm 40 and haven't had a single negative comment. Not everyone is weird about it. Again, not an excuse for rudeness unless someone actually makes an inappropriate comment

I'm on my second bout of mat leave and after going to a breastfeeding 'support' (hah!) group which was being treated as a coffee morning by a group of mums with 6 month olds, who blanked me and the one other woman there who were actually experiencing probs with breastfeeding I vowed not to go to any baby or toddler groups. I hated them last time.

Stuff I did find successful were buggyfit classes, swimming and baby massage. Made some great friends from those that I'm still in touch with 2 years on. Activity-based groups are absolutely the way forward.

Misspixietrix Fri 03-May-13 19:17:46

Horrace that's so sad sad I think us Adults could sometimes learn a lot from how Children so easily make friends smile we mainly go to the Park nowadays, and Soft Play on my really brave days! ~

Misspixietrix Fri 03-May-13 19:14:51

Oh YNBU! This put me off for a while with both DC's. Everytime I dared say Hi or to start a Conversation anyone would have thought I'd just asked them for their Bank details the looks I got! grin.

Hope you manage to find a nice non-cliquey one. I agree with PP's, is there a friend you can take with you? make it less intimidating as it were? ~

Kasterborous Fri 03-May-13 19:13:43

Hi Cakebaker35 I live not far from Oxford and I'm 40 so an older Mum too.

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