I couldn't do NCT classes and we are new to the area for DHs work so I don't have any friends around here - plus all my closest friends dont have babies - I love, love, love being on mat leave and have really made the most of enjoying it and this time with DD. We go to a few groups (baby sensory, massage etc) but I find the groups are a bit like reliving secondary school in that there's the old trying to fit in thing - especially when there always seems to be a group who are already friends and 'do lunch' but aren't very friendly.... I guess I'm not the most socially confident person but am happy and confident with my career and my friends ...I guess I wanted to throw myself into some baby groups in the hope that DD would be better than me at this sort of thing. Does anyone else find them a bit hard work? I sort of feel like I should have made loads of new mum friends and be organising play dates or going for coffees but I'm not...am I being daft or doing it wrong?? X
I think Eskimo has a point, although I' d probably say the same about bars!!! I'm fairly socially confident but have only ever met a couple of people I've particularly liked at either baby or toddler groups. Just because you all have a baby doesn't mean you will get on. I think the other issue with groups is that people tell lots of lies which can make you feel worse not better.
My motivation for going is to get out. I am polite to the people I see but that's it. Remember if they seem ' cliques' they probably knew each other before the group so that's hard to get past!!!
My advice is to just keep going out, not just to groups but for a quick coffee, to the park etc you will keep seeing the same people and eventually you will make some friends.
I agree it can be difficult if groups are already established. I also thought it felt very much like a "date" when asking people if they fancied a coffee! I've found that it just takes time, you can't expect to be best friends with someone immediately and you won't get on well with everyone. The colleague analogy is a good one.
I experienced it again having moved nursery and DD started going to birthday parties. The children had been through nursery together and the Mums all knew each other. Having said that I went to so many that over time I got to know them better!
I also found friends in random places: swimming lessons, noticing a common panic to get DC1 ready whilst stopping DC2 from wondering off etc! We now meet up sometimes. One very good friend of mine I met because I phoned her to ask her details about her DS's birthday party, we clicked so well that we regularly go out for drinks and have dinners with our DHs etc.
I also found the post natal NCT group to be a fantastic way of meeting friends and have also got to know people through volunteering at the NCT nearly new sales.
It does take time and a bit of confidence initially but it's worth it!
I found my local baby and toddler group were all in a clique or just rude. I hated going there. I found Mondays Monsters run by lovely old ladies in a rougher part of town and made tons of friends. I loved going so did dd. As kids have got older I have lots of friends through their sports. You will get there. You have to persevere.
Try going to as many different groups as you can - some of ours are lovely and friendly, others cliquey. It's early to say (dd is 10m) but I think I have made a couple of long term friends through them. Now I know more people a bunch of us have a standing arrangement to go for coffee right after a couple of groups and we make a point of inviting new people - we remember being in their shoes!
That said, people are people, therefore many are utter arses.
Our surestart feeding group is the friendliest, btw. Due to the personality of the dragon running it. She does not agree with bullying/leaving people out. We did a secret santa there for the regular babies and made sure we asked the new mums particularly.