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The point of baby groups. Was I wrong?

(23 Posts)
Minnaelise Fri 11-Jan-19 23:56:05

Went to a baby group. Was invited there by health visitor as she said it was a great opportunity to meet mums and young babies who live nearby.

After the introductions and topic of the day discussion run by health visitor we had a informal time for chatting. Chatted to a couple of mums sat nearby. Small talk about sleep, naps, pram walks, baby ages/names, baby clothing size etc.

Then I was chatting to one mum and I mentioned that I was looking forward to going to the local cinema that runs baby and parent movie sessions. I said I went to one film before I had my baby when I started maternity leave and it seemed a really busy social experience, lots of mums and babies chatting in the foyer beforehand etc. she replied ' no I don't need to do that sort of thing as I have a lot of sisters and sisters in law and their children close by for company.' I felt embarrassed as it felt like the cliched excuse/ rejection line 'sorry I have a boyfriend' confusedhmm

What do you think? Would like some opinions as feel a little self conscious about talking to other mums now.

Just to add I don't have any family nearby but I do have a few friends, including those with children so don't feel completely isolated but am open meeting other mums who live nearby.

FortunesFave Fri 11-Jan-19 23:59:56

Oh I had someone say something similar. I asked a girl if she'd like a spare ticket I had to see a play with me...I was about 24 at the time and she said "I don't need friends, I have a twin"

Frigging WEIRD.

She was the oddball, not you. I certainly have no issues making friends OP and you just met the random unfriendly one in the bunch.

OR....she may have not realised you were reaching out....and just spoken her truth...that she has a lot of social opportunities already.

Parthenope Sat 12-Jan-19 00:00:02

She was just politely pre-empting you asking her if she wanted to go to the cinema — just because you go to the same baby group, it doesn’t make you obliged to make friends with all the other members. Don’t be discouraged, but you won’t gel with everyone purely because you have a baby. I realised I found my NCT group experience depressing purely because it was that kind of ‘situational’ friendship.

Birdsgottafly Sat 12-Jan-19 00:01:28

Surely she was just explaining her circumstances and why she didn't feel that it would benefit her to spend the time and/or money on going?

Just be aware that some Mum's struggle for different reasons to fit so much in, or to afford to do things.

I know a friend of my DDs gets out to stop depression, but there's only so much that she can cope with.

She obviously felt the need to explain to you, so she wasn't cutting you off etc. Don't let it put you off.

BackforGood Sat 12-Jan-19 00:04:58

I'm not really sure what you are asking if you were wrong about ? confused

That particular person said she wasn't looking to go to a baby showing at the cinema - I'm not sure what you are reading in to that. You can still go.
You might meet other like minded Mums there - it doesn't mean she has to pretend she wants to go

In terms of mentioning it - of course there was nothing wrong with doing that. It is the point of going to a group, as opposed to having some sort of individual "dates" with other Mums - you all mingle, and chat. Some of you will hit it off and others won't. Some people will be very pleasant but aren't looking to start socialising outside the group, others would really appreciate another Mum or two to be able to meet up with sometimes. We're all different, in circumstances and in personality. Keep going to the group, chat to lots of people, and the more people you meet, the odds of finding someone else you connect with, who is looking to do similar things to you will increase smile

Minnaelise Sat 12-Jan-19 00:07:00

Thanks for replying. Good to hear some perspectives as I just felt an awful rejected feeling.

I was just mentioning it as something interesting I was looking forward to doing later on, didn't put a date on it or anything like that as I think I need to wait a couple more weeks.

Just seems strange to me that someone who felt the need to pre-emptively decline social invites would even bother to attend this sort of local group as the health visitor had sold it to me as a baby group where you meet other mums to build connections with other parents.

Parthenope Sat 12-Jan-19 00:27:40

I think you misunderstood your HV. It’s for parents, sure, in the sense that small babies don’t care about having a social life so the group is for the parents, but attending one is not a sign that you’re actively searching for new friendships or social activities. It’s not like speed-dating.

Minnaelise Sat 12-Jan-19 00:35:46

Perhaps that is where I was mistaken. Health visitor said that they have a general topic for the day run by the health visitor for the session to get started and a short group discussion around that for about half an hour (eg home safety, feeding, sleep etc) but the real value was the informal chat afterwards as that gave the opportunity to make connections. I thought people wouldn't bother going unless you were interested in meeting others afterwards since the group topics were so 'light' and general.

My mistake. I will skip the next couple of weeks and then go back, hopefully she won't be there or I will go late so I don't accidentally sit nearby her.

donajimena Sat 12-Jan-19 00:55:44

I'm with you. I understand. I have lots of friends but when I had my children I felt isolated. I did go to baby group mainly to get out of the house but I also hoped to make friends.

BackforGood Sat 12-Jan-19 00:59:43

You are reading too much in to the fact that this person wasn't looking to go to the cinema. Honestly.
As Partenhope said, it isn't speed dating. It is a chance to get out the house, meet others with little babies.
For some that is enough.
For others, some of them might , once they start getting to know each other, might decide to swap numbers / arrange to meet in the park / meet for a coffee / go to a local farm or something together. But it isn't some sort of "how embarrassing, I've asked her out and she doesn't want to go" scenario. Just go back next week, mingle a bit more, move about, chat to people. Like in any situation when you meet new people (when you start a job or join a sports team or join a club around a hobby etc), you start chatting about the hobby, then you might happen to chat to someone as they are walking home the same way as you, or you might twig you went to the same school or both have an interest in origami or octopus fishing or something. Friendships grow over time. You might make a lifelong buddy there or you might not, but if you avoid it, you certainly won't, and if you go, then you might. Even if you don't, you've had a pleasant couple of hours with a bit of adult company, which you wouldn't get if home alone with the baby.

Fraula Sat 12-Jan-19 01:10:36

Please don't be disheartened. The whole scene of baby groups and school playgrounds takes a lot of getting used to. I certainly found it very new and strange.

Keep going. Also keep going to the cinema thing. It's good to make friends with babies the same (similar) age, so worth persevering.

Smotheroffive Sat 12-Jan-19 01:17:48

The mother and baby group is different to purely social, like the cinema with babies, is howbi think she might have been viewing it. That she doesn't need to take baby to cinema, as would do that with other friends, etc., but I think it's likely there will be others in your group that would enjoy that, especially any that don't have others around in the evenings. Those with involved partners and families will tend to be with them more, imo, but good on those that have this and would go anyway.

coffeekittens Sat 12-Jan-19 01:25:46

You’re reading too much into it, carry on with the groups and you’ll meet your people/person. I’m friendly with a lot of the mums in DDs class but I wouldn’t actively chose to socialise with them outside of the school playground or children’s parties.

Minnaelise Sat 12-Jan-19 03:43:25

Yes I forget that some people go to groups so their babies can socialise. I don't understand that idea as I think they are too young at this age (pre-crawling) but maybe that was why she went. So her baby could could make baby friends!!

I didn't go to make friends as I am not socially isolated, I have friends already. I just thought it would be nice to meet some mums with babies who are on maternity leave like me and who would like to meet up during the week, try out different baby groups/activities etc

Tiredismymiddlename85 Sat 12-Jan-19 04:31:32

I don't understand why you would skip a couple of weeks because of what the lady said. I also don't think what she said was a rebuff. It was just a response to your comment about the cinema.
When I start going to baby groups I don't particularly want to make friends who I'll meet outside of the group...I'm happy to go along have a chat to fill some time in the day. That's not to say if I connect with someone that it won't morph in to more but that wouldn't be my primary reason for going. More to just get out of the house for an hour or so.

Rebah Sat 12-Jan-19 05:00:45

Why are you thinking of skipping a few weeks? The other mum won’t be giving a second thought to what she said.

I go to a few groups a week, I have several friends I talk to there but rarely meet up with them outside of group. It doesn’t mean I value those people any less, just that the group is my time to socialise with those people and if I saw them outside it as well I’d have to sacrifice something else

I remember thinking I’d meet people I’d have coffee dates with etc but it was only really like that with my first, sometimes I’d like more people to meet up with but most of the time I struggle to fit everything in as it is.

Gwlondon Sat 12-Jan-19 07:32:20

Don’t worry. Baby groups are sometimes weird. My favourite one I went to wasn’t really intended for me but I went anyway. I formed my friendships not in the actual group time but away form
It.
Also when people are finding things hard they might act weirder. I was so lonely that I was definitely being weird!

whatsnewchoochoo Sat 12-Jan-19 08:09:48

Why are you skipping groups??!

She didn't want to go, she said so politely. That's fine. It's also fine that you are interested in it.

Why are you giving this so much thought

SoyDora Sat 12-Jan-19 08:19:48

I think you’re reading far too much into the whole thing.
I go to a baby group on a Wednesday morning as it’s a time that I don’t have anything else on and it’s good to get out of the house and chat to other people (for the hour that the particular group is on). It doesn’t mean I want to socialise with those people at other times particularly, I go for my convenience! Obviously if I click with someone and we become friends then great, but I don’t go purely to develop relationships. I go for a bit of adult company for that particular time!

Neverunderfed Sat 12-Jan-19 08:43:03

She wasn't at all rude, you're being dramatic. And neither of you have misinterpreted the purpose of the group. It's just somewhere baby oriented to hang out, some people may be looking to make friends but plenty won't.

picklemepopcorn Sat 12-Jan-19 09:16:24

Don't skip the baby group! It doesn't matter at all whether she is there.

She probably gets to go to the cinema as a full on grown up, with all that family there to look after her baby.

What she does, wants to do or doesn't want to do is completely irrelevant! You do what you like.

Magstermay Sat 12-Jan-19 09:16:25

As others have said you are reading far too much into it. You didn’t ask her to go to the cinema so she didn’t reject you! You mentioned you were going, she said she would rather go without a baby. That’s it.

Baby groups are great and it’s nice to chat whilst you're there. Most people are probably there to have a chat to other mums at this age, but as with all friendships things will develop naturally over time. Just keep going and you may (or may not) find people you click with. Some groups I went to I made friends with people, others I didn’t. It still took time before doing things outside the group.

HopeGarden Sat 12-Jan-19 09:27:25

I think you’re reading too much into it too, I don’t think it’s a reason to skip a few weeks.

Some of the mums won’t be very interested in making new friends and will just be going because they’re free then and it’s something to do, but chances are that there’ll be other mums who are there because they’re interested in making friends with other mums.
And even then, it might take a few more weeks to get to know them!

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