to be outraged and upset by playground politics

(113 Posts)
Lottiegal Tue 17-Dec-13 09:43:39

I know this is probably a common situation, but it's the first encounter of it for me. I'm pretty friendly with most of the mums at school, my son is in Year 1 and daughter in Reception. Last year many mums got together and went out on a few occasions, I couldn't make a couple of the nights out, and since then I've noticed my son's class has formed into two distinct groups, of which I seemed not to 'belong' I noticed they were a bit distant when I'd try and join in. So I thought I'd break it up a bit by organising a summer BBQ at a local picnic spot in the summer, many mums showed interest so I went ahead and organised it, but then they pulled out at the last minute, leaving me to pay most of the hire fee. It was annoying and a bit embarassing, especially as I saw lots of Facebook updates showing mums going out together over the summer, while I got invited nowhere.
I noticed when we went back in September I was definitely now out of the loop, despite my attempts to be friendly and invite my son's friend's round to play.

Foolishly I thought I would organise a Christmas drinks party at a local pub, again many said it was a good idea and joined the Facebook event. I kept the dates open, and the first date I suggested all said they couldn't do (that was last weekend) so I booked a table for a date those said they could make at the end of November. I had a mixture of mums, mostly ones that weren't in the two main 'groups', then I noticed people pulling out at the last minute again, and it ended up just with four of us, which was ok. I'm just really pee'd off that this weekend just passed, both groups of mums posted lots of pictures of them all going out drinking and dancing and listing all the names of who went and what a fab time they had. To me this is just rude. Then this morning they are all smiles and saying hello to me like I wouldn't care!

None of this should matter, but my son has a group of 5 close friends, all of who's mums are in one group and go out regularly together. Despite my attempts to join in, they just don't want me there. My son keeps saying 'mummy so and so's mummy's went to wherever at the weekend, why couldn't we go' which is sad as I just have to say that we weren't invited. There was even an incident in the playground recently where one of the boys told my ds he wasn't in their group anymore because his mummy said so.

Can't believe I've been embroiled in this, as I swore I'd never be involved in playground politics :0(

blackandwhiteandredallover Tue 17-Dec-13 09:46:16

Sounds awful :-( Is it just the Y1 mums? Could you instead try anf focus on socialising with the mums of your DD's friends instead?

Lottiegal Tue 17-Dec-13 09:48:02

Yes it's just the Year 1 mums, so yes I am now making a fresh start with my DD's friend's mums who thankfully seem much nicer

MrsUptight Tue 17-Dec-13 09:48:22

Stop trying so hard. Seriously. THese are not friends....they're the parents of your son's friends and you don't have to be their friends too. Just remain polite and smiley. I am not drinking buddies with any of my DC school friend's parents but my DC still get party invitations etc.

It seems you tried to organise multiple events which didn't work out....maybe these people know each other already from years back?

SarahFx Tue 17-Dec-13 09:49:06

They sound horrendous. I would keep away from the whole situation . Why would you want to socialise with such bitches?

SkinnybitchWannabe Tue 17-Dec-13 09:53:08

Hold you head up and ignore all the petty bollocks.
Smile and say hi but leave it at that, or ask them outright when they're all together.
I do feel sorry for you DS though, getting the children involved in their pathetic little games is unacceptable. -

Lottiegal Tue 17-Dec-13 09:54:28

The problem is many of the mums in the groups have become such close friends and do everything together, so it really shows in my son's year if you are not part of it. I'm just sad that he can't do anything like go to fireworks or trick or treating with his friends as they group together to do stuff like this and I just have to take me kids on my own. You are right though MrsUptight, I will not bother with them anymore, but I don't think I can be polite even to them now as it would seem like I didn't mind them treating me like that.

I'm almost 40 and can't believe there are people like that at our age!

TwoTurkeysMarinatingInABucket Tue 17-Dec-13 09:57:58

I'm always surprised by these kinds of posts. I get a hello in the playground if I am lucky. I don't know any of the mums and I don't care either.
If your son is friends with 5 kids, doesn't mean you have to be friends with their mums.
Yanbu to be upset but brush it off, move on and they probably aren't worth being friends with if they aren't friendly.

MerryMarigold Tue 17-Dec-13 10:00:15

That must be really hurtful, but you've done your best. Sometimes people have nothing better to do than be mean about others. I would try and rise above. Stay friendly with the kids, but you don't need to make any attempts with the mums.

Tailtwister Tue 17-Dec-13 10:00:37

I agree with MrsUptight, these women aren't friends they are simply the mothers of your DS's class mates. Personally I don't bother with any other school parents apart from saying hi and having a quick chat in the playground. I go to the organised class social gatherings and school fundraisers etc, but apart from that I don't really have time. It's difficult enough making the time to meet up with my real friends!

TwoTurkeysMarinatingInABucket Tue 17-Dec-13 10:01:16

Well I should have read your post properly blush definitely not fair to involve your child like that. No wonder you are upset.
Ignore those mums.

gamerchick Tue 17-Dec-13 10:03:20

Lord I couldn't be bothered. I fix a scowl on my face and it's like moses parting the sea when I walk up the path grin

Delete them off Facebook and give up.. be polite if you want but seriously.. pick up and drop off.. its just not worth it.

Lottiegal Tue 17-Dec-13 10:07:08

You are probably right, I'm probably more sensitive about making new friends as we've quite recently moved here so I know no one, but hey I'm sure it'll happen by other means

Lottiegal Tue 17-Dec-13 10:08:55

If I was working I probably wouldn't care, but it gets a bit lonely being a SAHM of a 2 year old, I was kind of hoping to make a couple of mates at the school, but obviously I was being ambitious!

gamerchick Tue 17-Dec-13 10:12:47

Sometimes it's offputting when you have somebody new to town who seems to try hard. Nothing wrong with that just maybe it's a bit full on.. especially if they're comfortable with their group.

Best thing to do is just ease your way in. Chat in the Playground about nothing and that's it..accept Al invitations if they come (or most of them) and take things from there. But I really wouldn't concentrate on the mums on its own. There are other ways to meet people.

Lottiegal Tue 17-Dec-13 10:20:11

gamerchick I did all that, chatting naturally for a whole year and everyone was friendly with each other, this has only started since last summer that's why I suggested we meet over the summer. I think I'll take a step away from them all as to be honest they've hurt my feelings and I wouldn't be able to make friends with them knowing that

dimsum123 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:23:39

I had a very similar situation with my DD. I wasn't bothered for myself but I was heartbroken for DD when she didn't get invited to things because I was not friends with the mums of her friends (despite trying to be friends for DD's sake).

I gave up in the end as it was impossible. The mums just didn't want me in their group. And DD herself never seemed bothered about her friends doing things without her eg at weekends. It was definately me being upset on behalf of DD.

TheWitTank Tue 17-Dec-13 10:25:27

This is entirely why I keep myself to myself and don't try to do the whole "best mates" thing with school run mums who I don't really have much in common with other than our kids go to school together. I'm always polite and make chit chat about weather etc but I have my friends outside of school who I socialise with. I see the school run for what it is; ten mins of my day to pick up my children. It's not a social occasion for me. I think you are probably trying a bit too hard, and should probably just accept these women are not going to be your best buds. Why would you want to be friends with a bunch of people who are not really that into you/choose to let you down/exclude you?

dimsum123 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:26:00

Some people are just not very nice. You would definately do best to stay away from them. I would never treat another mum like that and I'm guessing nor would you.

Can't understand why you organised the Christmas event after they bombed out on the summer one and left you to foot the bill. hmm I agree with the poster who advised to stop trying so hard - are there other ways to build up friendships in the area, clubs, gym, volunteering, etc?

Very unpleasant behaviour towards your son though.

Timetoask Tue 17-Dec-13 10:34:00

For those of you who say that you don't socialise with school mums, some of us have moved area, or aren't working, or don't have family nearby and making friends through our children's school seems like a good option.

I have the same problem you have OP. My only salvation is that one of the mums is very kind and seems to appreciate me, so she includes me in things she organises. There is however one particular very popular mum that seems to call the shots and unfortunately I am not her type of person! I am glad that DS up to now is okay, but I do worry about what will happen as the years go by. The mums definitely seem to be the ones deciding who their child socialises with outside of school.

I am not on Facebook, because I have enough coping with the problem in real life, don't want to suffer whilst relaxing on my computer as well.

Elfhame Tue 17-Dec-13 10:34:12

They don't sound worthy of your friendship.

It's horrid when you move to another area. No one talks to me at the school gates, either.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 17-Dec-13 10:36:47

DC have been at school now for a good number of years and I now realise that it is because a lot of the Mums know each other from years back. Their parents know each other, some are related, they have siblings married to siblings etc.
We are 'outsiders' and our history with the area only started when DC went to school.
I don't mind as I have always worked and have friends from years back too. Trouble is, my friends and family are scattered across the world and theirs live next door but one or in the same village.
People are always friendly but I am not invited to their gatherings. DC are invited to the odd thing but a lot of people live in each others pockets.
I have just learnt to accept and chat to everyone or no one depending on who happens to be there.
Try organised groups OP where you can be on an equal footing with everyone. I understand how lonely it can be - you seem nice so maybe forget big get together a where people naturally drop out and invite one or two out with you.
Don't lose heart.

wheneverIhear Tue 17-Dec-13 10:37:01

oh, I can see why you're upset - though, as always, there is a possible less hurtful explanation for everything - dates in summer holidays can get stumped by people's last minute plans (the barbecue), the two 'groups' are just established groups and don't think in terms of leaving people out, just being with their friends - so I wouldn't necessarily assume these dms will never be your buddies!

The thing about posting photos and listing names - well, it does seem that customs are changing and it's not unusual to do this (I think! I don' do facebook, but from what I read about it) although I do think the old ways were better! And the playground incident - ds' friend's dm may not really have said that - more something on the lines of 'oh lottiegalds isn't coming on this outing' and it's got embroidered by the other boy.
There seem to be two separate issues - the first is your ds getting excluded from outings which is upsetting for him - I would speak to the teacher to check there are no major issues between the boys, and then maybe, if you get a good response, just invite individual boys in the group back to play for a while, see how things go from there?
The second is making some friends amongst the mums - there I would focus on the four who are friendly and turned up to the do, as they obviously are keen to socialise with you. Christmas is a good excuse for inviting families over for a drink!
Good luck, these things are upsetting - especially if you're new in town!

FunnyFestiveTableRunner Tue 17-Dec-13 10:39:52

They sound unkind, thoughtless and self-centred. Unfortunately there's nothing you can do. If they have known each other a long time maybe they have just settled into a group together. People like that don't always understand what it's like when you have to move areas and start again with friends.

If they are leaving your DS out then that is unforgiveable, especially if they are pushing him out because it doesn't suit them. Maybe try and get him out and about with other kids? Or do some nice things yourself? You could also try inviting them over to yours for a playdate for the sake of your son.

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