To hide from mums & babies groups(28 Posts)
My DD is 9 weeks old & I haven't yet ventured out to any sort of baby group, because the idea of walking into a room where I know no one terrifies me. The idea of meeting other parents appeals but I'm very, very shy, always have been, and struggle to make social conversation. It's ridiculous because my job involves meetings with people all day every day, but that's different, that's work.
I've enquired about joining a baby massage group, although it's taken me 3 weeks to work myself up to that, as I can just do the massage & leave if I want. But baby stay & play I can't face!
The point is, I don't want to disadvantage DD by not taking her to this type of thing. Do you think I would be? Any help/advice would be gratefully received!
Gosh no, you wouldn't be disadvantaging her at all.
9 week old babies don't need to socialise, however it sounds as though you do, so it's probably something you might think about in future but there's no rush.
I doubt you'd disadvantage your DD but personally I made a lot of friends at similar groups which has been a godsend!
How about an activity that doesn't force you to interact with other parents if you're not ready, but give you the chance to see if there's anybody you click with? Baby swimming lessons perhaps? Baby massage sounds good - the ball is in your court there, so to speak.
What about your local children's centre? The people that run ours always get to know new faces and introduce them to people so that at least you know someone when you get there. Then you can work up to going for a coffee after groups and arranging to meet up with people at the baby groups etc which is a lot less intimidating!
But everyone else has walked into the room on their own. I appreciate that if you go to a play session then you find groups of mums who know each other and that can be scary but if you find something that is new then everyone will be in the same boat as you.
Have you not been to your post natal group?
If you were to go to a group the NCT a bumps and babies coffee mornings are very friendly. The last thing you want is to go to a group and find no one really talks to you.
I felt exactly the same as you as I find socialising really hard. My DD is 4 months and we now go out pretty much every day to something as its my lifeline - she doesn't care whether we go or not! I started with baby massage at 6 weeks, it was a perfect one to start with as it was a small group, activity focused and only for 5 weeks. From that I learnt about some other things and started going along to the local NCT coffee morning. I've been going to groups for about 6 weeks now and find the same people popping up at different things we go to so I'm starting to form friendships, albeit slowly.
I never socialised DD till she went to nursery whilst I attended uni. She's 7 now and the most sociable person. I actually find it very difficult but my shyness and social awkwardness has had no bearing on her personality or ability to make friends!
I wouldn't stress too much about it
Remember with stay and play you can always leave before the end. Babies have all sorts of excuses for you I have similar social anxiety type issues and got overwhelmed sometimes so I would just catch the leader person, tell her we were heading off and say bye. It helped a lot knowing that I wasn't stuck there if I felt awkward.
As an aside though, I would say don't expect too much from the groups and that will take the pressure off you too. I do think midwives, health visitors etc build these groups up as guaranteed friend factories when sometimes they just aren't! And it can leave you feeling as though it's your fault you didn't get a coffee out of it when really it's just down to luck of who turns up to your group.
I didn't bother untill around 18months. After that age, I do personally think it benefits the child. Well it did my child anyway. And after that age you are playing with them and interacting, rather than sat there feeling like a plum with a baby that doesn't move!
I go every day now, and we all love it. Still don't chat to a great deal of people but my son loves it.
I found viewing it as a chance for them to make a mess somewhere that isn't your own house when they're older made it more bearable - but then when mine got to the toddling stage I'd rather just take 'em to the park or soft play anyway - no interfering do-gooder children's centre staff scrutinising you to see who they need to get on the phone to the health visitors about there.
Disclaimer: I had a ridiculous experience at our children's centre when I had a quick chat about "oh yeah we're having a bit of a crap time at the moment, was talking to the HV this morning about problems we're having with the GP surgery doing DD2's prescription" and got hauled into their office and told that "because of your disclosure we're going to have to ring the health visitor"... my reply of "OK, so you're telling me that because I told you I'd been telling the HV we were having a tough time, you're going to have to ring the HV to tell her I told you I told her we had this going on? And this doesn't strike you as at all excessive or mildly bonkers?!" didn't go down well.
HV's comment when she heard all of this was along the "oh for pity's sake" line!
I was in exactly the same position as you op with my DD. Kept going to the family centre for weight ins and seeing all the mums and babies at the baby group there and just couldn't pluck up the courage to join in! I ended up signing up to the 6 week baby massage group and it was brilliant. It was structured and we had something to concentrate on, it was a great bonding experience for me and DD too. There were only 8 of us in class and we all got chatting and found a lot of us felt the same about baby groups, so we all went together. DD is now 19 months and I am in contact with all those mind still, we go to other sessions together and I can class a couple of them as really great friends now.
So, do the baby massage class, it's a good way to ease you in gently. Babies don't need the interaction with other babies at that age but you need to have adult conversation, it was a godsend for me!
Thanks everyone for your advice, it's reassuring! I have got my NCT group but we haven't met up again yet & not sure when that will be ( I don't drive which is a pain) I'll put some feelers out there & try arrange a coffee with some of them.
I think there is a bit of pressure to get out and about which is why I've felt bad about not going.
I think now would be a good time to tackle this, not because your dd needs it at all now but because when she's older she might be affected if you can't take her to things.
The worst that can happen isn't too bad is it, that you don't enjoy it or no one breaks the ice but it might be worth giving a go ? It's encouraging you manage so well at work.
I take my post back , don't feel any pressure to get out as she's so young still! Trying to meet gently with people you already know and when you are ready sounds a good step and she won't mind if you do or don't get out so just enjoy her and sorry if I sounded pushy, I didn't mean it
These groups are for you, not her. She won't need enrichment activities, go to the park when you're ready. She will also not really form meaningful friendships until she's 2 or 3, can be even later for some children. If you want mummy friends, bite the bullet, but don't worry about dd, she will not miss out.
It is hard. I was a bag of nerves before going to the first one I tried (DD was only a couple of weeks but it was a breastfeeding support group that only meets monthly, and I had some questions so forced myself to go!).
I struck lucky; everyone is absolutely lovely and a lot of the people go to other baby groups in the area that I've been to too. In fact my problem now is that I feel like I'm clinging too much to the same people and don't want them to get sick of me (I feel like they all have much more going on - they have other older children and DD is the smallest baby).
Honestly, I know how hard it is; I'm really shy too. Baby massage is definitely a good idea. If you don't want to go to groups then don't, nobody will force you! But it might be worth that leap of faith to make some friends.
She doesn't need them at this age so it's up to you.
I'm similar to you OP, and I'd moved to a new area where everyone was already in their NCT etc groups of friends. The groups I found easiest were ones with an activity e.g. rhyme time at the library, sensory, massage etc. Then I could just focus on the activity if I needed, whereas at the ones with no structure I found it hard to do chit chat.
I think an activity such as baby massage (or sensory or music or another activity) is best, as you can just do the activity if you want and there is less.pressure on making friends. You can then take it slowly re getting to know others.
I agree activity based stuff is good as you can always just do the activity and leave if you don't fancy talking to anyone. I signed up to massage and sensory classes when DD was 3/4 months. Both were great, still going to sensory (DD 8 months now) and still in touch with some mums from massage. But even if I hadn't stayed in touch the class was good anyway, even if it just gave us something to do! 3/4m olds don't do much
I did not go to groups until my son was around 1 and starting to play properly. He is now nearly 2 and we still go to a few each week. I don't really see them as a way to meet mums but as a way to play with ds somewhere different and to keep him entertained for an hour. Meeting other women is just a bonus but it's not why we go.
Oh, just to add... don't feel pressured to go anywhere if you don't want to. It won't disadvantage your DD. But if you do want to brave it, activity based meets ate a good place to start.
Daughter 7 months and I still havent taken her yet! I'm going to though... soon! as she starts nursery in sept.
Hi op, when my dd was the same age as yours I could have written your post!!
You definitely wouldn't be disadvantaging her if you didn't go - however of urge you to give them a try. I did, and I found it tough as I was self-conscious and shy just like you. I made some brilliant friends and foe the first time in my life I have a 'circle' of friends. As our babies are similar ages we find that we're going through the same things, and we have got each other through some tough times.
The baby doesn't need it (though a godsend when they start crawling and want to constantly explore new things), but can be a great place to meet other parents. I'm pretty shy like you, and found it terrifying at first (took my mum along the first time) but I've made some good friends, which is a real sanity saver!
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