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(Long,sorry!) To be bothered that we have no 'local' friends ?

(27 Posts)
incensed Sat 22-Nov-14 21:09:53

Just that really . Bit of context , myself and DH ( both early forties) ,our DD (5) and DS(1) have lived in suburban south London for 5 years and during that time we have not made any local friends , ie the type of friends you could arrange an impromptu weekend lunch with , or call up to come and help build a flat pack . Rubbish examples but I hope you get the general idea ?
DH was born and brought up 10 minutes away but his mates seem to all have moved away or emigrated . He is not the type to go for a pint with his mates (teetotal!) and goes out very rarely ( say 4-5 times per year ) with football and work mates.
I have a small group of girlfriends I have known for about 20 yrs from school days who are all in London , we meet up every couple of months I'd say .
Since my DD started school last year I have got to know and like some of the other mums but we only get together with the kids , no 'mums' nights out' that I was hoping for ! I am quite shy with low self esteem and have gone through life this far feeling that I don't have much to offer and have been quite reserved socially as a result. I am currently having counselling which is defo helping with the self esteem.
So basically , I feel like we are not part of the community , that everyone else has established networks of local friends and that it is a bit late to try and build one now ? Just feeling a bit sad as we have no Xmas invites or anything and I feel we need to set a better example for the kids .
Sorry for the ramble, any thoughts or advice very welcome .

Stubbed Sat 22-Nov-14 21:11:53

Why not invite the mums round to yours? That would be a good night out for me

RaisingMen Sat 22-Nov-14 21:12:33

It's never too late. Can you take a deep breath and be the one to suggest a mums night out?

formerbabe Sat 22-Nov-14 21:14:59

Good idea Stubbed...or you could organise a small Christmas party for your children's school friends at yours with a note to parents that there will be drinks/nibbles for them too?

Heels99 Sat 22-Nov-14 21:15:33

Hi we moved to a new area and didn't know anyone. I had to work hard at it but now have lovely local friends. It does take effort. Invite a couple of families from school to your house for lunch, or text a few mums suggesting a Xmas drink at local pub, or have Xmas drinks at your house and invite some locals. I had families to my house who never reciprocated, others did. It took a year to establish friendships after my kids started school. Now I go out for dinner with parents, go for days out, drinks, meet for coffee etc.
the easiest place to start is with the parents of your children's friends. Pre Xmas drinks at your house, pick 2-3 families to invite. If one family declines, pick another one. That's one event. Then text all the mums in the class suggesting Xmas drink at the pub. Choose a week night so people aren't away. Even if only two people turn up that's two people you will get to know better. I joined the PTA and got to know a lot of people that way.

Good luck, it is hard but worth the effort.

Fingeronthebutton Sat 22-Nov-14 21:19:10

So your waiting for the school mums to ask you out for a 'girly' night. Why don't you ask them.
Why do 'shy' people always expect us loud mouths to do all the running.
And it's sad to say that most friendships start in the pub or the workplace.

PingPongBat Sat 22-Nov-14 21:21:51

"Why do 'shy' people always expect us loud mouths to do all the running."

Finger I think the answer is in your question smile

feckitall Sat 22-Nov-14 21:23:25

As the others said, try making the move. That said don't expect too much. Children are a great ice breaker but unless you have other aspects in common, children will be the only common denominator.
We moved here 11 years ago and we still don't have any friends.
DC were teenagers when we moved and although for the first couple of years I met and got to know some parents, as they got older we were dropped and after trying in vain to keep things going I gave up and excepted they had run their course.

I have tried to foster friendships through work but inevitably also get dropped after a while once the person leaves.

DH and I were discussing it the other evening in fact. I have come to the conclusion that we just aren't good at friendships. <sniffs pits...nope not that> grin

Levismum Sat 22-Nov-14 21:27:49

I'm in a similar situation. I live 2 roads away from where I grew up. All my family &:friends have left London.
My children don't go to school locally.
My neighbours are elderly, 70/80 ' s.
It's very lonely now.

gildedlily Sat 22-Nov-14 21:31:04

I felt like I'd missed out on making mum friends 2ith first child so made a big effort with the second. Suggest a coffee after baby/toddler group. Invite a few school/ nursery mums to yours Friday afternoons are good you can crack open a bottle of wine. what about neighbors?

Helicoptopus Sat 22-Nov-14 21:35:22

I've no real advice as I haven't managed to crack it myself. I live where I grew up, am successful professionally, do voluntary work, get out and about with the DCs regularly, but still find myself wondering why I don't really have anyone to call on. I mean I do, but no one I would feel comfortable to assume they would be right there without question. This week I met someone with same age DC who said she was new to the area so I followed up with a quick message saying nice to meet you and if you and DC would like to meet up - seeing as you're new to the area and all - let me know, and I didn't even get an acknowledgment. I read so many threads here with so many people looking for friends but goodness knows where they all are in real life! Sorry OP I don't know what to suggest but getting involved with school life might help, PTA etc?

amidaiwish Sat 22-Nov-14 21:36:54

I've found good friendships are made quickest through shared experiences. It's hard with a 1 year old but do you get out to do anything? What could you try? Just hoping for school mums to arrange nights out is probably hopeful. Why don't you suggest meeting for a drink/coffee/get together and see who comes? Good luck.

museumum Sat 22-Nov-14 21:41:07

I generally make friends through shared interests so have friends from my cycling club and when I used to volunteer at guides before ds. The two mums from my antenatal group that I've stayed close to are because we run together one evening a week and have similar interests. The other mums I see maybe once every few months but it doesn't work so well if you've nothing else in common except the kids.
Tbh if I was in your position ID rather find a local yoga class or gym or running group than try to work the school mums. And if I were less sporty I'd try finding a book club, language class, crafty group...

skaen Sat 22-Nov-14 21:50:01

I sympathise- in a very similar position. I regret moving out of London to be near my parents and DH's work when Dd was a baby as we had that sort of arrangement there and now we don't....

PhoebeMcPeePee Sat 22-Nov-14 21:59:57

I'd second the idea of pre-christmas family drinks - we did it when we moved to the area & it definitely helped break the ice & because kids were there it felt for relaxed & less need to make idle chit chat.

We did it a 'anytime between 4 & 6pm' so no one felt obliged to linger for hours & could escape without feeling bad if LO's started acting up. We put out a couple of nibbles (nothing too fancy in case none turned up shock), some mulled wine & a bottle of fizz and put a christmas film on for the kids. We invited a few local families: some were busy, 1 cancelled last minute & 1 didn't show up despite saying they would confused but 4 other families came & we still get-together quite regularly either en mass with kids (go for walks then drinks, pub lunch etc) or for evening meals without DC.

The worse that can happen is no one turns up, you get pissed on the booze & fall asleep in front of the film (& obviously tell anyone who asks what a lovely little get-together you had wink) but I do agree if you want local friends you need to put in the effort.

Macmillan coffee mornings are another good (& worthwhile) excuse to invite people round grin

incensed Sat 22-Nov-14 23:07:17

Thanks for all the responses. Basically, I know friendship is something you have to put effort into and I can't sit back and wait for people to knock on my door .
I just need to shake the feeling that I am not someone worth being friends with, and that people my age all have their supportive networks sorted and don't 'need' any more friends .

Norfolkandchance1234 Sat 22-Nov-14 23:23:07

Yes you do have to make an effort but it will work out ok. It is easier to have people over to your house for dinner about 6 at a time or organise a pampered chef party or a jewellery party so you can fit more people in and don't offend anyone in the process. Everyone likes a night out. Then start organising drinks for the parents in your DC class.
One new family on our street organised a street party and we all got to know each other very quickly esp as I had no idea who lived at the other end of the street and now I do and so another neighbour is having a Xmas party, another has just organised Xmas drinks in the pub, when I go I will know some but not others as a few have moved and been replaced. But it took just one person to begin to organise that street party and it has changed all our lives on my road.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sat 22-Nov-14 23:26:15

It took us until our older DD was 8 to make any local friends. They were families from school...other parents we got on with. That didn't happen right away. Volunteer for as many school things as possible as you will meet others and that's how mates are made...through shared experience.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sat 22-Nov-14 23:27:29

Don't organise a party where people have to buy stuff OP. It's just not a good idea. Many people are stretched and those who aren't...many just don't like paying for things in the name of socialisation.

OwlinaTree Sat 22-Nov-14 23:29:24

Try joining a local club, like a book club or sports group or even start attending your local relevant religious worship? You will meet others with something in common then.

SpringHeeledJack Sat 22-Nov-14 23:40:39

nowt useful to add but I feel your pain

we moved three years ago and know a handful of people, but couldn't muster up a group of say, 4/5 to go down the pub with

we're a bit shy too also fucking lazy

grin

it's quite (scrub that, REALLY) hard to make the jump from having friendly chats in the street to being in and out of each others' houses, babysitting, going out for coffee etc

Norfolkandchance1234 Sat 22-Nov-14 23:45:22

I have been to a few parties where hardly anyone no one has bought stuff because it's just an obvious get together with wine and nibbles with the items to buy as an excuse to get everyone together. Makes no difference if people are stretched or not, free wine will bring people knocking at your door not some jewellery or whatever that no one is expected or wants to buy anyway.

Lottiedoubtie Sat 22-Nov-14 23:50:53

I agree it's horrendously hard. I have the same issue- do you know what really gets me though? The amount of people who in casual conversation make it sound like they have tons of friends? Maybe I'm just a jealous bitch (quite likely) but I don't get this at all- surely most people are really like the people on this thread (inc me) clutches at straws

StillSquirrelling Sun 23-Nov-14 00:06:30

When my DD1 was about to start school, I didn't really know anyone in the village at all (as we live just outside the village, having moved out of the nearest town 6 months after she was born). We get free school transport because of where we live so I was really concerned I wouldn't get to meet/make friends with other mums because of not being on the playground. I'm also fairly shy.

When I turned up for the 'just about to start school' parents meeting, it happened to be on a night that they had a mum's sewing group in school (as well as Brownies - it was all a bit manic in such a tiny school!). As soon as the meeting was over, I took a deep breath and walked into the sewing group's room, introduced myself and asked if they minded me joining them. They were all really friendly and were happy for me to do so, even though it was still several months until I was officially a school parent. That was 3 years ago and we are still going.

I am still really good friends with my NCT group but not many of us manage to see each other at all regularly due to work and other commitments - and the fact that every single one of our children goes to a different primary school! I suggested a couple of years ago (probably going to out myself now!) that we start a pudding club. This involves going to someone's house once a month with wine etc and three or four of us will make a pudding to take along. We eat, drink and chat and it's all very lovely. Might be worth approaching some mums in the playground to see if they might be interested in something similar? You could even ask school if they might put a mention in the school newsletter?

We have a few mums that hire a village hall and put on a curry night every so often. Everyone brings a dish and a couple of quid to cover hall hire and the kids just run around playing and the grown ups all mingle and chat. It's usually a big success!

Norfolkandchance1234 Sun 23-Nov-14 00:12:06

OP just pretend to yourself you have just moved to the area and what would you do to connect with people. My mum has neighbours always popping in with cakes for Christmas, flowers for Easter that kind of thing and then just like that they are friends or know each other just well enough to have Christmas drinks one evening and it all snowballs from there.

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