to want more from my NCT group?(20 Posts)
My son's five months old and so for five months I've made a real effort in trying to get to know the five other women and their babies in our group, but don't feel it's been reciprocated.
Am I expecting too much? Should I just be pleased to have chitchat once a week and not want life long friends?
Speaking as someone who doesn't talk to any of her antenatal group anymore, I'm guessing things just don't gel for you as a group. Never fear - there are many other people out there who would like to be good friends.
I recommend going to many many baby groups and meetng as many new people as possible. I guarantee that you will locate people who do want to build strong friendships, and you'll never look back.
I'd give it time ... I was just about managing to get up and get myself dressed in the morning when my DC was 5 months old. I would have struggled with more than general chit chat.
If you're destined to be life long friends it will happen naturally and gradually.
To be honest I think you are expecting too much, they are just a group of random women who only have in common the birthdate of their child- some people are lucky and really hit it off with their group some don't
FWIW a chat once a week seems like quite a lot of contact with people you only met five months ago but I am prob a bit of a misery I don't think I'd want to see anyone other than DH and the DCs more than once a week!
I think people have different levels of expectation from their NCT groups.
Some people do see it as a chance to meet lifelong friends. Others see it as a chance to share baby experiences but not much more.
Because you are thrown together by chance and having small babies rather than being compatible, it is possible that you won't gel with the people in your group.
I'd enjoy the NCT group for what it is - a group of people going through the same experience meeting up to chat. Then if you do develop deeper friendships over time, that's a bonus.
And in the meantime, get out to other baby groups and activities where hopefully you will meet people who you like for themselves and vice versa, who can become lifelong friends.
My DS is now 3 and we no longer see my NCT group. At first we saw them once a week for a coffee but then as the children became more mobile it became harder. I just don't think we gelled as a group as I know groups that still see each other 10+ years on.
Try to make friends in other places - playgroups, baby classes etc. You might find you have more in common with these other people. Also, everyone is different in how much they want to get out and see people. When I first had DS I wanted to go out all day every day - I found it hard to get used to not working and staying in and watching TV or sitting around reading a magazine just felt wrong. Some people are OK with it and just want to hang around the house.
During my maternity leave, I see my NCT group once a week or so (but not all at the same time). Now my DD is 2yo, I don't really keep in touch anymore, other than at birthday parties, and being fb friends. I don't really gel with them. But it be that I'm a bit of a misery too since I work full time, and in the weekend, I only want to relax and see my DD and DH. I also find them very competitive (wrt to mothering).
But I've heard people made really good friends with their group. I think it's all down to if you click with them at all, isn't it?
Count yourself lucky you have been in a position to make an effort. in my group we had one girl with colicky crying baby and she only admitted months later she was terrified of being out in public with him. 2 others had traumatic births, stitches, ops to repair their bits and couldnt get out much and we all had stages of family staying or visiting families in the early months, so it was nigh on impossible to get us all together. 6 months in and I am only just getting to know them. Join a class or a playgroup and let things evolve naturally...but also accept that it might just not happen. My group is lovely but actually I'm only compatible as a friend with 2 of them.
I've been really lucky with my nct group it seems: a really supportive group of couples and we're still in touch and see each other (in subsets mostly now most are back at work, a couple have moved away) 2 years on.
BUT I have met other friends through other groups as pps have suggested. IMO, nct isn't the be all and end all for friends in this new phase in one's life: a great shortcut and access point to all kinds of support but not the only route. I've found it helpful to think of this as my new "job" - so starting out making contacts etc and allowing those that are more like real friendships to blossom naturally through shared experience. Yes, this involves effort, but its a two way street so if you've reached the point where you've given enough, you're welcome to step back.
I think people have very high expectations of NCT groups, I know I did. I had heard all the lovely stories about how people became really close and even kept in touch years an years later. That's great when it happens, but unfortunately it doesn't always. Really, you are just a group of strangers with one thing in common, that you had babies around the same time.
I would keep in touch with your group, but maybe widen your horizons a bit. Have a look at some local playgroups and classes too.
Tbh I really loved the solitude of being on maternity leave and quite liked not being accountable to any kind of routine (like when at work), so not making close bonds with people didn't bother me.
Although I don't keep in touch, I do consider them really good when I was on maternity leave. I'm fairly shy and without them I don't think I would have gone out and do all those baby groups. Or just getting out of the house and chat. If anyone asked me about whether it's worth doing NCT, I'd still recommend it.
Tbh, my NCT group were all very nice, bar one, who managed to be an unattractive combination of whiny and boastful, but I didn't particularly gel with any of them as friends, and when my baby was 8 months old, we moved away. I don't get the impression the rest of them see one another any more. My sense is that many groups splinter when people start to go back to work, if they do.
I keep in touch with a couple from NCT but the rest of the women were not my cup of tea and to be frank it was a bitchfest from start to finish. I hated the competitive conversation and the pseudo support. These were women that I would have gone out of my way to avoid in normal life but was thrust together with them and their partners. I was upset to start with because I'd thought these would be my baby mates but I quickly learnt to never rely on one source of friendship when you have kids. I went to baby groups and met loads of great women who I would be friends with even if I didn't have kids and I have a really broad network so if one area were to collapse (say group ends or kids go off eachother) I have lots of choices. In other words never get desperate for baby friends because you need as many as you can get to help you through. Bin this lot in your head, see them when it suits you and get out to groups and have fun.
Great advice everyone!
I'm now off to look into baby groups and chill out about it a bit...
Once your baby is mobile, you will probably be more inclined to join groups and meet more likeminded people. I regarded myself very close to my NCT group and we met up once a week for the first few months, then it dwindled as some returned to work. Now they are all having/have had baby no 2 I feel out of the loop a bit which is sad, but in the meantime I have made other mum friends who have onlys which I can relate to much better.
I would suggest do some trial sessions of things like Gymboree, Monkey music etc and not only look at what your baby likes but also which has more of the kind of people you would like to chat with once a week.
I didn't do NCT but have done / am doing lots of playgroups / tumbletots / swimming etc and out of the 50 odd mums I've met and pass the time with, probably only about 5 have gone onto to be real friends where we have each other phone numbers and meet up separately. There is no reason why you should become best mates with these women - its pure chance if you have happen to click with one or some of them.
Totally agree with all the above, its so random, I do not see how people can expect lots from them, nor simply write them off.
Its just luck .
There is a art to keeping things impersonal, chat about fluff...keep things light!
I have zero interest in mummy friends, but I might like the same mum as a friend under different auspices.
I made friends at a knitting group. I learned to knit and joined the group to get away from kid and baby stuff.
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