NCT - leaving people out? AIBU?(50 Posts)
I have a 12 week old DS and a very nice NCT group. We normally meet every Tuesday for coffee
Now that the babies are a bit older, we have started to do more things together - we've just done a music class thing. We also go out for walks etc. as we meet quite a few times a week, it's quite relaxed if you can't make a meet up etc.
Soooo... We met today for coffee and not all of us were there, as usual. Three if us were left at the end and agreed to go out for a walk. The other two asked me if we should email the others and I said yes. I had to pop out to the car and when I came back, they were saying we should not bother and just have a 'select" group etc
I feel really uncomfortable about this. I would hate there to be any kind of feeling that we're leaving other out. I really want to try and bring DS up to include everyone if possible and I would hate to think that the others in the group feel like we're branching off
I think my feelings may be slightly coloured by
hormones and the fact that most of the rest of the group are going to a baby swimming class. This was arranged at a coffee meet up that I couldn't make. However, I only knew about it because there's been lots of "see you next Thursday at swimming. Oooh we were so lucky to get on the course and it all sold out now." I'm not terribly bothered as I don't want to take DS til he's 6 months but I do feel bit excluded when they're all talking about what applies they'll need for it. I feel a bit sad for DS which is nuts as he obviously couldn't care less but it made me feel a bit like they didn't want us to come
I'm taking DS to another class and made sure I said to everyone by email etc and funnily enough most if them want to come.
I don't know if this is just the first in a long line of things like this - welcome to parenthood! I do also know that there will certainly be times thatbDS doesn't get invited to parties etc and I'm totally fine with that etc. However, in a group where everyone ostensibly gets on, AIBU to want invites to be open to all?
1500- I agree. I don't live in the Uk and
stalked gathered my mum friends from a variety of places- pre-natal yoga, friends of friends, baby groups etc. I was still a teeny bit jealous of my mates in the UK who had awesome NCT groups though - it all just seemed so easy/assumed and tailor made. Everyone goes there expecting that they're all going to hang out after the birth. I guess I only heard about the good ones though :-)
Mind you, I still had to pay c.£500 for pre-natal classes (no government ones in English here) and met no-one. Here, people seem to only go to pre-natal class to learn to give birth. There's not the social aspect of it.
New mum friends are definitely lifesavers but you don't have to pay £300 to meet them! Pop along to any groups, join swimming, mummy fitness sessions etc. don't beat yourself up that everyone has to get on/ be involved in everything because they are in the same NCT
I'm in an NCT first time mum group and there are 9 of us! It's impossible for everyone to be at every weekly meet up, never mind all the extra activities.
We have a Facebook group where we put on what we're doing as open invitations but people also organise "private" meet ups too with those who live closer etc. you have to expect this will happen and it doesn't feel 'personal'.
I do agree it would be wrong and unpleasant to be purposely leaving someone out though, that's just nasty.
I agree with that too Richman. I think there's just something a bit odd about a group of people being thrown together purely because they've had babies at the same time. Gathering friends as you go along at various groups feels much more natural and less fraught.
Jamie's hit tje nail on the head anxiety/competitiveness. I look back on that first few months hanging out with the NCT group with mixed feelings. On the one hand it was good to be able to talk baby at a time when we were coping with finding our way as new parents, on the other hand we weren't allowed to talk about anything else but babies and it was a bit claustrophobic.
I totally agree about mum friends being lifesavers. I was very lucky to have developed a friendship witha work colleague whomwas also pregnant and i spent a lot of time with her. We then met others througha toddler group. But i am not a big groups type of person, and meeting people gradually seemed a more natural way of forming friendships.
I get a funny urgh feeling when i see big groups of new mums out and about. Too much anxiety and barely suppressed competitiveness sat round one table.
But then i am antisocial
At some point you realise that you simply can't sustain being friends with everyone in such a large group, simply because you happen to have children
Thing is, it is easy to say "Oh don't overreact. NCT is so shit/ cliquey" when you're not a first time mum with a newborn, and I know it's cool on MN to be disdainful of "mummy friends" ("Why go to baby groups? I just take Tarquin to Glastonbury/The Ivy/The ROH with all my childless friends") but actually, for a lot of women, myself included, friends I met who also had small babies at the same time were an absolute lifesaver in those first 6 months when the days were often very long with limited things to fill them. My childless friends were at work all day, as were most of my friends with children older than 6 months, SAH mums with more than one child don't have the time on their hands that you do and their schedules are usually dictated by the older child, not the baby, and DS was not a baby you could just put in the sling and go to an art gallery with. I needed those almost daily coffee meet ups like oxygen.
It is upsetting when you find out that while you were pacing the floor with an unsettled baby, two of them were drinking lattes in Cafe Nero, BUT at the same time, some days I could just about get my head around getting out of the door to meet the person who'd suggested coffee, never mind face trying to coordinate a time/venue to suit 4 other people. It wouldnt have occurred to me that the other people might be upset/ think I was leaving them out deliberately.
You sound nice OP and I think your general approach is right, but don't spend time overthinking it.
We had 6 in our NCT group and at first we did everything together, but one by one people drifted back to work, or chose differing activities and now we meet up as a group probably once a month in the evenings for wine. We all work different days now so I see some of them on a Monday, some on a Friday and others not at all.
I think given that you were all already having coffee and then decided to go for a walk afterwards, there would have been no need to email everyone. But if looking at a new group or arranging a future activity just send a group email, some will come and some won't
Godmother? That's shocking. I don't know about you but I'd be politely declining that one.
It's a bid sad seeing all these tales of cliques and fixations. Maybe there's something about new mum hormones that sends some women back to adolescence. Or maybe it's just NCT mums. Either way I'm looking forward to not having a defined group I have to belong to when I have this baby in a few weeks.
Chairman thats what happened in ours the fixation thing! Stalker mum even made the target mum godmother to her baby we had all only known each other 6 weeks . It was quite funny though but at the time all felt terribly important. Still a couple of the NCT women became proper friends if you keep 1 or 2 out of 10 thats not bad going.
Flashbacks for me too. Mainly it was one woman who became a bit single white female about another member of the group and would smugly refer to all they times they met without the rest of us. Then the woman she was meeting moved away and she fixated on someone else in the group. It all got a bit weird. I met various people at baby groups and set up a Facebook page. Best thing I ever did as it got us away from the strangeness. I'm regularly in touch with 2 of the original 7 now and we're good friends. All my other mummy mates are from baby groups, swimming etc.
My group is 7 as well, but I'm coming at this from a slightly different angle than you OP. Our babies are nearly 1 now so a bit further along than your group, but what's changed is that I've got to know the people a lot better and know who I want to be friends with and who I don't get along with. I'd much rather see the ones I like without having to invite people I don't!
I also prefer smaller groups of people as its easier to get to know them properly. I agree that it's not nice to gang up and exclude people, but realistically you're going to get along with some people more than others, and its natural to form smaller groups as time goes on.
From your POV just do your thing of letting everyone know when you're organising something, if that's what you want to do, but don't think the worst of hose who'd prefer a smaller group sometimes, it's allowed!
I agree that you will look back on this time and wondered how you could have minded, but at the time you get totally wrapped up in it. It can get suffocating and competitive imo. However, that's not what you asked. You sound like you are being kind but I think it is perfectly reasonable to arrange to go for a walk with a couple of others without emailing everyone. I personally would feel irritated if I tried to arrange a more casual/smaller group situation and someone insisted on asking everyone but that's just me. YANBU but it is unlikely that a group of 6-8 adults will find that level of organising sustainable.
This is the whole reason I hate it when people suggests you should pay £300 for the benefit of developing a group of 'friends' post baby. It is all so cliquey and horrible. Friendship can't be forced/ bought and feeling left out of a group is just shit.
If you want to do something just do it and don't feel that you have to tell all the other people - you may actually find some proper friends.
In 12-18 months time you won't care about any of this... you cannot force friendship because you went to the same class for a few weeks. You'll naturally split into different groups, you'll meet other parents & kids through groups or nursery. Some of your group will go back to work and not be around much, one or two of them will get pregnant again and start doing their own thing because of that.
So i wouldn't worry about it too much .
When I read these NCT posts it makes me really glad I didn't bother with it all!
Having antenatal classes together doesn't mean you all have to be BFF.
In my group we meet up as a big group every few months. In this case we make sure everyone is invited. On a day-to-day basis we just hang out with people who we get on with best, or live close to, or who do the same groups/classes.
I would take being left out by the NCT cronies as a compliment.
yanbu. I think you are right to be sensitive at this point - no harm in making sure people don't feel left out. AFter all - people pay all that bloody money so they have a group to meet up with when feeling vulnerable!
On the fence. I think it's fine not to do everything together so long as there isn't one person deliberately being left out. A walk with seven women and seven pushchairs could be a bit painful tbh.
Couldn't the swim thing be explained by one person saying "I'm going to sign up for this" and everyone else deciding they'll also do it? In that case it's not really the first person's responsibility to email everyone not present in the interests of 100% inclusion if it wasnt initially proposed as a group activity.
So yes, I think you're being a bit hormonal.
Initially email everyone maybe? It might seem the fair thing to do for the first few months until friendship groups firm up a little.
I'm like you and would want to be inclusive BUT I think it's quite natural to split into smaller groups over a long period of time. My NCT group met as both one large group and three smaller groups. There was no friction, just the evolving of genuine long term friendships. 12 years later my smaller NCT friendship group are still my best friends and we still meet yearly as one whole large NCT group.
second the poster who said this thread is giving me flashbacks, I really hate this sort of thing, nothing like a new baby, hormones and a group of women whose main thing in common is giving birth around the same time to set off flashbacks of school and teen years. Op YANBU, but this sort of stuff goes hand in hand with some NCT groups, it certainly did at mine, just brush it off (easier said than done). I gave nct a wide berth second time around becuase I just couldn't be arsed with this sort of stuff.
We use a Facebook group page to avoid precisely this situation! We often meet up in pairs or threes arranged privately, but if we're planning a day out or a new activity we post it on the group NCT page and see who's interested. It works really well for us, we're all quite different and don't all want to do the same stuff. This way the invitation is out there, and if we really want to avoid going with a particular person (which sometimes happens) then we just don't invite more than one or two others, so they're never left out of a big outing.
I'm one of the only ones without a Smart phone, the others will update the Facebook page while they're out and about, so it's just as easy as texting.
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