To feel intimidated at baby groups?(62 Posts)
I have terrible postnatal anxiety and very little support (none) when it comes to taking care of my 8 month old so I force myself to go to groups to meet other mums but I feel like a young, clueless idiot compared to all the other mums and I leave feeling awful.
I live in a very nice area with some huge houses, flash cars, glamorous looking mums and what not but I live in a 2 bedroom semi, drive a Renault and I'm lucky if I get chance to brush my hair before I leave the house some days. I try making conversation but they mostly look down on me and don't include me which makes me feel like shit but I my dd loves it so I can't stop going
Is it just me who feels like this??
Yup. Been there 100%. As you drive, can you try other groups? It's really trial and error finding one you like. I never did with my first but have with my second. I found local faith baby groups and ones in sure start centres more welcoming (and often cheaper with better facilities and snacks!).
I found my local baby group very unwelcoming the first few times I went.
I ended up volunteering on the committee, and did what I could to make it more friendly.
I understand that's not possible for everyone or every toddler group!
YANBU. I have an 8 mo DD and I feel the same. I would love to make friends at these groups but it never gets beyond pleasantries. Where are you based? (Wouldn't that be handy!)
Awww bless, I would certainly as you drive, try other groups. Have you tried SureStart centre in your area.
What part of the country are you in op?
I do think you might not have found the right group but sometimes it takes a while to get used to a group. A good five or six sessions
It's not just you OP. It's hard when the other parents know each other and there's no chance for you to make friends. No advice for you as I felt so awkward I stopped going.
I have a 19mo and still feel like this. if you are in Essex pm me. Two people rubbish at these things might make good friends!
With pfb I fell into the trap of thinking I had to go to baby groups - and I didn't enjoy them at all. I'm not that confident (I tend to assume everyone dislikes me/finds me boring.... this may, of course, be an accurate assessment), and I found it hard to have conversations with people I didn't know well.
And I found the constant baby-comparisons hard - I remember going home from one group when pfb with 6 months old and crying. Why? Because apparently every other baby in the group loved books and would sit quietly for their bedtime story. The only interest dd had in books at this time was eating them. It took me a couple more babies before I worked out that some of the mothers may have been economical with the actualitie .
In reality, OP, the only purpose of baby groups is to give mothers some support and an escape from the monotony of new-motherhood. If the groups are making you miserable don't bother with them. I promise you, your dd won't care if she doesn't go... and now the weather's improving you may find that you get more fun taking her to local playgrounds.
It does get better.... really. Best wishes.
What kind of groups are you going to? I found the ones aimed at babies were very much full of the mums you describe, doing yoga/massage/messy play/arsing about. Church type stay and play sessions are much more mixed although you do have to be wary of rampaging toddlers
nowadays that's mine but I remember The Fear!
I feel slightly better knowing that it's not just me who feels this way! One of the mums yesterday was talking about how she was spending the summer in LA and I built up the courage to join in and she pretty much turned her back to me and spoke quieter to the other mums. I could feel tears filling my eyes and I had to snap out of it, maybe I'm too sensitive I don't know.
I'm in Yorkshire.
I go to baby yoga and baby sensory classes weekly and then a music type thing which wasn't as bad but still. I feel stir crazy and don't have any family I can visit so these groups are my only social contact apart from when I see my friends who don't have kids.
I felt that way OP and all I can say is persevere. I hated baby&toddler groups at first. The other thing is the groups are ever changing as new mums come, others leave, go back to work etc. I didn't like the first 'set' of mums, much older and all very cliquey, but they filtered off and mums more my age and mentality joined. Now I no longer go as thank goodness my two are gradually getting older and we can do other things on non-nursery days. Just remember that people are usually thinking about themselves, not you! Best piece of advice I ever heard!
My best one was a church-based group. At the time I was not an avid church goer but the other mums were so lovely and so welcoming. So maybe try a church group, or join a group slightly further away from your "very nice area". That mum who turned her back on you sounds like a BITCH.
All the best OP, it does get better and easier as they get older.
I feel exactly the same. DD is 6 months and bar going to get her weighed, I avoid baby groups like the plague. I'm also a younger mum, but also look a lot younger than I am and have been horribly judged in the past and am now petrified of being looked down on bar knowing I'm a great mother. Luckily, a few of my friend have babies the same age, and a few others are due soon.
Toddler groups might not be right for you. I ran one for years and from my experience you have to go with the right attitude or you'll find it awful. Absolutely everyone who goes was new at some stage and the vast vast majority of people are nervous and unsure of themselves. They only make friends because they make the effort by being smiley and open and responding to people. Some people might not be very nice (you get them everywhere) but IME it's very rare for places to be "cliquey" - it's just that other mums have made friends and are busy having a chat so might not go out of their way to include you. It's up to you to seek out other mums who look a bit lost or to situate yourself close to a friendly-looking group in the hopes they mention your baby and give you a chance to join in.
In my years as an organiser there were a few mums who came numerous times but who made no effort at all to talk to other people. I tried talking to them but honestly it was like getting blood from a stone and in the end I gave up. Unless you're willing to put some effort in yourself you can't expect others to accommodate you. You might come up against some not so nice types or some ridiculous competitive parenting but that's life, you get used to it!
What a total cow that woman was! It's like being back in bloody school sometimes, there are some
people women who just love to have a pecking order. You're not missing much IMO of course I know that's no help if you're feeling isolated.
Second what others have said about going to Sure Start. It's not normally very posh so the people tend to be kinder and funnier
bit of inverted snobbery there, sorry
Try library story time sessions as well op, they tend to attract more of a social mix. And remember that statistically pnd and anxiety are so common that some of the mums at that group will also be having to battle it
Don't bother with that one any more. Try some different ones. Some are really unpleasant and it's just not worth persisting.
Cailin has some good points there, about keeping an eye out for the people who are giving off friendly vibes
Definitely worth trying church based groups, not least because they're often run by older ladies who are more than happy to have a cuddle with your baby while you drink a cup of tea
and eat biscuits with both hands free
That comment really irritated me toomuch. I go to a variety of groups, Surestart ones, NCT ones and ones I pay for such as baby sensory and baby massage. There are kind and funny people at them all, just as there are less nice people at them all.
No help but just to say I used to feel exactly the same. I hated them and went very occasionally.
It all worked out in the end and once the babay stage was over it was all much easier to mix.
Good luck OP
Bring your LO to a playground and push her in a baby swing. You'll meet mums there who are in the same boat and its not as awkward, cos you're outdoors and not sitting in a group. Baby will love it too!
Another vote for Sure Start here - or maybe your local library does a Rhyme Time or similar? IME the free/cheap groups have been more welcoming too. LA bitch woman is not worth your tears - don't give her another thought!
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