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Feeling insecure, wanting to fit in....(9 Posts)
Not sure where to put this but it's to do with my relationships with people.
Has anyone else found that having a child start school for the first time has meant the resurfacing of feelings about needing to fit in, be accepted?
DS started school this year and seems to be loving it so far. He doesn't have any great friends but I am hoping that will come in time and I am not worrying about it too much.
As a child I went to several different primaries and a couple of secondary schools so was often the new kid and always trying to fit in/be liked etc. I don't want this for my son so we intend to stay put and keep him in one school if at all possible.
I just found out that I didn't get voted in as a parent Governor which I should have expected really as there were many applicants and no one knows me so there's no reason why I should have got it - but I just feel really sad about it and it's made me think back to when I was in school and never got picked for anything - not even the things I was good at.
I just wondered - if you had a bit of a hard time at school yourself, is it natural to feel a bit anxious when your child starts?
Yes, it is natural. I had a hard time at school, and I'm a bit anxious, but purposefully trying not to let it get the better of me.
Like yours, my family moved a lot - and it was a sometimes difficult to make new friends ... again... and again ... and again. So, similar to you, I am not moving until 10 yo DS is in ... university, if then!*
Also, my mum made no effort to socialize with other parents, and in retrospect, I think that put me at a disadvantage in terms of making friends. I say this because I've noticed that it seems some parents will competitively socialize in order to ensure their children are popular. I am not willing to go that far, but I do what I can without being ... you know, one of those parents.
I volunteer as much as I can at the school - although I work, I make time as much as possible to do it. Not only because I get to see what DS is doing at school, but because I think it boosts his confidence to be able to say ... look, my mum is here.
My mum never volunteered, although she was SAHM. I have no idea what she was doing all day at home. Maybe reading a book.
Sometimes I really can't stomach the SAHMs with the bleach blond hair and perfect figures laughing and talking about their latest bathroom/kitchen renovation as if that's all they ever do ... so, I've just picked a few parents to socialize with, and that seems to help.
Unless your child is amazingly charismatic - social skills are something, I think, you kind of have to teach, and help a bit with, sometimes by role modeling it.
Does this sound like a good approach? (See, I'm not even 100% sure! Just winging it with this parenthood thing!)
*Sometimes I think it would be good for DS to have the challenge of making all new friends, but I think summer camp fills that need.
Hope that helps! Kind of long winded.
Yes I experienced these feelings too when my DC were at school. There was a competiteness amongst the Mums asMotiSen mentions. I felt excluded from the 'in crowd' partly because we were new to the area. I remember seeing them all dressed up outside school as they'd all been out for lunch together. I felt like I was invisible.
Years on and my children are grown up I look back and see what a load of meaningless bollocks it was. On reflection I was better off being on the outside of the cliques as I avoided the gossiping and bitchiness. I made a couple of friends who were school mums. We still meet now, even though our adult children are no longer in touch. We share a bottle of wine and put the world to rights
OP just be your lovely self and don't worry about fitting in, you're better than that
ah, the parents playground politics.
OP, are you at pick up/ drop off everyday?
Yes, definitely, I sympathise, it brings it all back. I was like you, moved a lot, was often the new girl. I didn't really find an answer though as I went back to work full time- feel more comfortable at work.
Often I've found the only thing I have in common with the "school mums" is the age of my children.
My advice would be to not put any pressure on yourself to make friends with any of them. If it happens it happens. That's not the only place to make friends anyway.
From my experience all the interference from the mums ruin the children's otherwise happy relationships!
I went to one of their soirees and was totally in shock at the type of nasty conversations they were having. They were on the PTA but were calling one of the little girls from the school a really horrible humiliating name and being disgusting about her mother. It was horrendous. Oh and the birthday parties where the mothers did the invites instead of the children! There are many other stories I could tell you too. I decided early on that they were toxic and watched as they played their pathetic games with other mothers.
They tried to manufacture their children's friendships but once in the playground the children played with who they were personally drawn to!
This is why I stay out of it all. They aren't real friends, they are simply in competition with each other. My friends and I connect on a much more genuine level. Funnily enough we don't even ask what each others husbands do because we don't give a shit. We like one another and that's all their us to it!
They drone on and on with their boring competitive conversations about their boring stepford wives lives.
I live in a very well off area; I'm not sure if that is the reason for all the bullshit. Too much time and money on our hands!
So bottom line. Be confident, open yourself up to finding friends, with the aura of if it happens it happens. People who smell desperation will be repulsed or take full advantage of you.
You do not have to be friends with other mothers for your children to find friends. My child has many friends at school and from her activities and my friends aren't school mums. Also, I love having some childless single friends too!
I really hope you and your family find happiness in your new area, I'm sure you will. Relax and take the pressure off yourself. What will be will be. Xx
Thank you for the kind replies, I haven't noticed any bitchiness at the gates - people are welcoming - it's just that I find small talk quite hard and never know who to speak to. I am an introvert so don't feel comfortable initiating conversations. I do do it though and then feel disappointed when people quickly default to talking about the weather.
I do every drop off and a couple of pick-ups and spend a lot of time talking to the other kids because I like them and they are welcoming! I also went to the PTA meeting where a committee was elected but didn't put myself forward for a role. I am happy to help out and have lots of ideas but little confidence to put them forward either.
It's early days and I am trying to hold back from my son's early attempts to form friendships because I think he needs to make his own mind up and I know he takes his time over this stuff but I do have small anxieties about some of the stuff he's told me (one boy being very horrible to him, but I like the boy's mum) and worry about him.
In answer to your OP, yes, definitely. My DCs have been at their primary school for three or four years now. In the first year, I was friendly to as many parents as I could be when I saw them (exhausting) but put all my energy into inviting potential friends and new friends over to play. A nice parent I spoke to back in those days reckons it takes her five years to make friends when she moves somewhere new. I might count her as a friend in a year or two - so I agree with her!
DCs, otoh, are settled and know who their friends are. They are not the same as they were then. They've had friendship difficulties from time to time, but I reason that all children go through that and it's a healthy stage of development. So I listen and comfort and hold my breath for when they're happy again! It's worked so far!
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