I have been ostracised at the school gates ... WWYD?

(33 Posts)
ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 20:29:52

When DC first started school, one of the local Mums organised a get together for the other local Mums and it was really nice, got to know each other etc.

I knew a couple of the Mums beforehand but one of these Mums went funny on me about the time the children first started school. I don't know if I have said or done something to upset her.

I've found out now that this particular Mum has now organised other get togethers and I haven't been invited. I didn't even know about them until another Mum mentioned them recently. What this has done though is effectively exclude me from the rest of the group - they are all friends on facebook, meet up etc etc. And the Mum in question can't even look me in the eye at the school gates - I can be having a conversation with another Mum and she will waltz up, start talking to the other Mum and completely ignore me.

I'm finding this quite upsetting really and I don't know how to deal with it. I've never been in a position where someone can stand near me and completely ignore me!

I don't know if it is relevant but this is a private school and said Mum is quite showy (and I am quite the reverse). But it may have nothing to do with that and that might be my insecurity. I never had private education, don't drive a posh car or any of that stuff so maybe I just don't fit in.

WWYD?

fusspot66 Wed 04-Dec-13 20:37:45

Oh dear. What you have here is a Wendy. A Wendy is a kind of Queen Bee who will dictate who is in the group and ostracise you on a whim. There was a thread about this earlier this year. Someone may know how to link it. I don't. You may find it in a search. It's not your fault. Some women can't leave the school playground behind. Good luck, hold your head high, & I hope I'm wrong.

ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 20:42:23

fusspot, I think you might be right but don't the other Mums see what is going on? It feels like being back at school again.

Part of me is tempted to give this 'Wendy' a piece of my mind!

BrianTheMole Wed 04-Dec-13 20:43:39

The private school is not relevant. The woman is a twat. Theres plenty of them out there, hanging round the gates of any school, private or state. Ignore her or blank her back. Not everyone will buy in to this, seek out the parents that are decent.

Meow75 Wed 04-Dec-13 20:46:18

Do it. What have you got to lose.

Alternatively, give them ALL the ignoring they deserve for being such fucking sheep!!!

The mum who "spilled the beans"; does she know why you're not in "the clique"

The Queen Bee needs calling out in my opinion, but I'm an aggressive, confrontational sort. YMMV!

The other women might have no idea, they might know but be too worried they'll be ostracised themselves to say anything or they might know and not care because they're in the 'cool' crowd hmm if she's an especially good Wendy then they will not know she's doing it, she's probably made comments about how you don't like these events or prefer to socialise with people outside of school, something to make it seem like you're snubbing them and drive a wedge between you and them.

What I would do is next time the other mum mentions an event, say "that sounds really fun, maybe I could join you next time". Then the other mum might invite you even if Wendy doesn't!

ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 20:48:28

The thing is that I knew one of the other Mums previous to this and she seemed really down to earth etc. But she has been taken in by 'Wendy' such that they now seem quite close. And so I moved on to another Mum who again seems down to earth/decent etc and wasn't at the initial gathering and now even she is being targeted by 'Wendy'.

uptheanty Wed 04-Dec-13 20:50:06

You'll have to ride it through.
Some will have clocked her but will be afraid to be on the wrong end of her wrath. They will keep there heads down and be secretly relieved it's you & not them.
The playground brings out the worst in people.
You will get through this, stay positive. Smile, even when you don't feel like it. Hold your head high.

If you can keep your cool, in time the good, healthy & same women will seek you out.

thanks

And remember, it's not your fault.

HRHLadyG Wed 04-Dec-13 20:51:08

Its hideous....and quite common. I've always found it strange when these parents behave as its their school and revolve their own social life around the school gates. In fact it is their Childs school and not wise for the adults to be overly cliquey.
I would be lovely to everyone that you actually like and ignore this womans existence totally. Don't discuss her/ bad mouth her at all. Perhaps ask one of the others when the next mums night is saying you 'seem to have missed a couple as you were busy but would love to join the next'? Keep it light and friendly.
Good luck x

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 04-Dec-13 20:52:33

I think you need to talk to her gauge her reaction if she still wont engage with you ask her if you have done something to upset her. I think you also need to do it when others are around so she can't twist it.

Chottie Wed 04-Dec-13 20:53:26

What a horrible woman! What do you think would happen if when she comes up to speak to another mother you are speaking to, you speak to her? Would she actually ignore you in front of everyone else? Just say good morning to her and repeat louder if she doesn't reply. If she doesn't reply would be able to ask her if something was wrong? is she unwell perhaps?

Good luck, please don't let this woman dictate how you feel, she is truly not worth it flowers

ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 20:54:18

I think some of the Mums don't mind as long as they are in the 'crowd'. I think the private school thing is relevant here - a couple of the Mums are very nice but very aspirational and one of the other Mums that 'Wendy' sucks up to is very wealthy. The Mum who told me is very nice and decent and I don't think she will be sucked in by it - but everyone else has.

thecatfromjapan Wed 04-Dec-13 21:02:34

I think you have to do some organising of your own, to be honest. It sounds a little awkward: how can you invite everyone around to yours when Crazy Lady has been inviting "everyone" except you? You can't. So you will have to invite in threes and fours, or even smaller groups.

Basically, you've been left out of the group getting-to-know-yous, so you are going to have to be pro-active.

Don't assume that all the other mothers are part of a group, and colluding with this behaviour, it is very unlikely most of them have even noticed (which will be one reason it's gone on as long as it has). It is massively unlikely that all the mothers are the same, personality -wise, and all like the same things, and all are mean (and mean to you). In short, there will be quite a few women in the class/school who will potentially be great fun/good women for you to get to know. You're just going to have to be active in finding them.

This kind of thing often happens in group situations: the more confident people take on the role of organising social stuff, and have an initial success. It may or may not continue, depending on how pleasant, as well as confident, they are. It's your misfortune that Mrs Organiser has not taken a shine to you. However, I would say that it is her msifortune that she has the sort of "bumpy" personality which leads her to take against people, and act in obviously unsociable ways. That kind of personality, for some reason, does not fare well in bounded social groups over the long term. They just don't. So I would further advise to start making overtures of friendship to other women, but don't get too deep for a while - my guess is that there will be a fairly rough re-shuffle coming up soon ...

Good luck.

VworpVworp Wed 04-Dec-13 21:02:48

It's a little like this at school for our family- we send our children to a hothouse fee-paying selective school because we want them to be pushed educationally, and both DH and I had particularly poor experiences of education in the state sector, however as neither of us care much about glamourous dressing or driving behemoths around (tiny, crowded city streets!), there are quite a few parents who think we're not worth bothering with. Coupled with the fact that my children are dressed as children, rather than 'styled', and aren't permanently jacked into tablets or iphones hmm I think we're seen as quirky but harmless.

I let it wash over me- my children are benefitting from a fantastic educational environment, and are both doing extremely well. Life is too short to make small talk with the small-minded wink

Perhaps some of her attitude stems from envy/jealousy? (my DC are top of their years, academics-wise, which carries a lot of cachet in their school)

BrianTheMole Wed 04-Dec-13 21:02:50

I don't think its relevant to private schools in general, my dc go to private school and the parents are ok, well the majority are. Maybe its relevant to that particular school for some reason. Perhaps she feels she has something to prove. She deserves pity really, it must stem from some sort of insecurity to feel the need to treat others like that.

BrianTheMole Wed 04-Dec-13 21:05:08

Good post the cat.
How about inviting some children and mums round for playdate and coffee, to give you a chance to get to know them better?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 04-Dec-13 21:05:16

At the school my children used to be at the mothers used to talk to me but then suddenly stopped. I guess they decided I wasn't as well off as them and they went from talking to not overnight. One woman would talk to me if no one else there and then turn her back once someone else came along. DH and I called her Mrs Turnherback after she did it to him as well. It is all rather pathetic and it stopped bothering me once I realised I didn't actually want to be friend with, and accepted by, people who would accept or drop on a whim.

Stupid thing is, if I am your friend then I am your friend and totally loyal. Plus DH probably has more money in the bank than all of them!

ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 21:17:03

Actually I recall now that she did in fact speak to me once at a party when she was on her own and there was no one else for her to speak to. But then she blanked me the next time I saw her when there was someone else for her to speak to.

CointreauVersial Wed 04-Dec-13 21:24:30

Ignore Wendy; she's not worth wasting your energy over. Build your own relationships and put her out of your mind.

The school playground is a big place, there are other more worthwhile people to get to know. So organise a little get together yourself, and just invite a few mums that you get on well with.

ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 21:26:41

You know I'm thinking I might invite her DC over for tea and check out the reaction. I'm in a mischievous mood

NearTheWindmill Wed 04-Dec-13 21:28:47

OP have you ever tried living your life as you and not through other mothers at the gate. I can't imagine other parents decide to talk to you based on whether you look wealthy enough and both of ours are at private schools. In fact I think the indy parents are generally easier than the others if I'm honest - not as edgy or as defensive.

I always tried to avoid the cliques like the plague, didn't get involved and just went out to the whole class mum's dinners that were arranged. There were cliques and they were quite opinionated and nasty but by the end of 10 years at the primary everyone knew who was genuine and who wasn't. As soon as DC move on from primary it all gets watered down anyway and you won't know who the parents are anyway.

ranoutofnames Wed 04-Dec-13 21:37:26

I do live my life as me. I work so am not always at pick up. I would have liked to have a few friends from the school but my social life need not be centred around the school. However, I have never encountered being ignored in this way and I don't really know how to deal with it tbh i.e. that I can be mid way through a conversation and someone buts in who then completely ignores me.

I don't think most other parents do judge me based on wealth etc but I think it is a factor for this 'Wendy' and the others just go along with it - maybe they are oblivious. When I say 'others', I am referring to the other local Mums - because it is a private school, there is a wide catchment so I feel excluded from the local Mums group. A lot of the other Mums have older children at the school so have existing friendships.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 04-Dec-13 21:41:54

I have been thinking about this and there is definitely a criteria to whether you are spoken too or not -

pretty
slim
appear to have money
poncey car

I failed on all counts grin.

CointreauVersial Wed 04-Dec-13 22:06:48

Actually, OP, thinking about it, maybe you should invite her DCs round. Try a charm offensive.

I'm thinking about an occasion when I was convinced that someone didn't like me, and was deliberately excluding me......it turned out she was actually slightly intimidated by me, and what I thought was coldness on her part was actually a lack of confidence in speaking to me, and a little bit of envy.

I was taken aback, because I don't see myself as remotely intimidating, or anything special, but then I suppose I'm quite a loud and confident person........what I'm saying is you might just have misread her.

Of course, she might indeed be a complete cow.grin

NearTheWindmill Wed 04-Dec-13 22:23:07

Do you really think there are hierarchies like that Toffee. I think that's so sad if you feel that.

NearTheWindmill Wed 04-Dec-13 22:24:23

Posted too soon. I did feel it was a bit like being back at school though because there were people you had to be mindful of.

That's what I like about MNet - you can say what you like, when you like to whom you like and nobody knows and very few care.

Idespair Wed 04-Dec-13 22:29:46

You don't want to be friends with these bitches. Just be civil if anyone talks to you and don't engage otherwise. As long as your dc is/are ok, forget about the playground nonsense. You get this sort of stuff it at private and state, just the same.

hattyyellow Wed 04-Dec-13 22:39:07

Is there another group of mums you could be friends with instead? If these ones have got sucked into this clique mentality I wouldn't bother with them to be honest, if they can't sustain a friendship with you outside this. We have a Wendy type at our school you literally could be talking about the same person except we are state.

And same criteria as another poster above - you have to have a huge car and lots of money and be selected by this women as sucky uppy enough to join her group, err that's about it. Not that all mums like this are in the group, but no mums are who haven't got these requirements.

I can't be bothered with it. Have found a much nicer group of mums who aren't going to act like cliquey 15 year olds. smile

uptheanty Thu 05-Dec-13 05:25:58

Aahhhh op, you work?!

This could potentially be your problem.

Does Wendy?

Missing out on the 3 hour coffee after drop offsmile.

My dc are private, there was a woman who got v offended by me as I refused an invitation. She invited me to her house in the middle of the afternoon with 5 other women to have popcorn & watch a Woody Allen movie??

Who has time to do this in the afternoon and with NO WINE shock

Congratulations op Wendy's only ever do this to women they are intimidated by for whatever reason. You have the power really.

ranoutofnames Thu 05-Dec-13 06:21:37

Wendy doesn't work so is at pick up etc every day and has ample opportunity to schmooze etc. not everyone in her group is a SAHM though but if they aren't then they are either wealthy or pretty.

mrscog Thu 05-Dec-13 06:44:48

Calmly tackle it head on - 'hi Wendy, I really enjoyed the first meet up but I was wondering why you'd not invited me to anything else? Are you just a bitch or is it an oversight?' Watch her squirm. Also be very direct with other mums -
Make it clear to the other mums you're interested in future
Meet ups and to let you know when they are.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 05-Dec-13 10:59:23

NearTheWindmill - I know there are but thankfully I have moved my children and don't have to see such nonsense anymore grin.

bolderdash Thu 05-Dec-13 11:33:00

I have a woman who has treated me like this for about 4 years now - since dc started nursery. I knew three in the group quite well and she decided I was not the right sort.

She started excluding me around that time. If I was talking to someone, she'd stand between me and that person on the ruse that she had something really important to ask them, and stick her hair in my face.

She can turn on the charm and organises nights out and parties so people flock around her. Ocassionally she's a complete arse to somebody but the others in the group will never stand up for them for fear of them being next in line for it. And they're always completely stunned when she turns on them, having watched her do it to other people for years.

I have dealt with it by talking to other people in the playground. I do still talk to one or two from the group on an individual basis. Keep you head held high, carrying on talking to people and don't let her bully you. But I'd find another friend or group of friends outside this group. In the long run, you'll be glad that you did. They are forever having falling outs, the bitching and backstabbing is horrendous. Find some grown ups instead.

She still interrupts my conversations with people, but mostly now they side step her and carry on talking to me.

There is nothing wrong with you - she is an arse. Just keep that in the back of your mind and keep talking to people.

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