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To be down due to where I live?

(70 Posts)
TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 08:34:37

DP and I bought a house when I was pregnant and it was all we could afford so we now live in a famous dump, on a notorious estate. Area is increasing in value and our house needs work so we should sell it on for a profit soon enough but will still have to live in said crap town.
I didn't mind that too much, it is near enough to a great city for weekend trips and we are frugal and happy spending time as a family pottering at home (DS is 6mo).

However, despite having always been treated as a relatively intelligent person, I find HCPs here treat me as though I'm going to give my child pureed sugar, cigarette butts and chicken nuggets if they don't tell me otherwise. I'm pretty sure this is because of the area I live in. Or maybe all mums are treated as though they have absolutely no grasp on how to bring up a healthy baby? My son is thriving, I am (hopefully) articulate, I just feel so patronised by HCPs as though I must be thick because I live in a deprived area!

I'm also finding it hard to meet like-minded friends here. I do meet people sometimes but no-one I really relate to. I had hoped that due to the economy and our proximity to a pretty liberal city that there would be plenty of similar people around but I don't feel like I fit in with anyone I've met. I feel so isolated and down. I miss my family, I miss living somewhere where I could carve out a social life that made me feel like myself, I miss being treated like a valued person. I feel so sad that this is my experience of being a new mum when if I lived elsewhere it could have been so different. AIBU? Does this mum friendly utopia exist?

Imnotaslimjim Thu 17-Mar-16 08:40:11

YANBU at all, I totally agree with you. We're in a similar situation, bought a house 15 years ago as it was all we could afford. Now house prices nationally have gone up but ours hasn't, DH works but I don't so we can't get a bigger mortgage so we're stuck.

I've found a lot of health care can be generic to the area, meaning a lot of people can feel very talked down to. And I don't talk much to the other mums at the school gate either, I find they're very much a product of the area and are the sort to feed their DC pureed sugar

I'm of no help though, sadly. I've recently started college and I've made a few friends through that

sizeofalentil Thu 17-Mar-16 09:18:52

RE: the friendship issue…

If you live there then logically there must be at least a few more you-type people there too, iyswim.

I've made a few friends in my local area by searching for it on Twitter and chatting to nice-sounding people. Also, I joined my local community Facebook group.

Are there any local book groups or anyone trying to start things up like fairs, fetes or community markets? Even if these things never come off the ground, they still attract people looking to make friends.

Meetup.com might list some local groups in your area. Supermarkets and libraries have community boards that might be worth looking at.

If all this fails, why don't you try setting up some sort of group? There MUST be more people like you in the area, looking to make fun new friends.

RE: being talked down to by hcp

I wouldn't take it too personally - they've probably done the job for years and have just got in that mindset/a groove when it comes to talking to people. Whenever things like that happen to me I make a joke about it like. So, if I was you'd I'd say something like "So, what you're saying is I shouldn't feed them pureed sugar? I'll have to switch them to Diet Coke in the bottle then." It normally bombs, but when they see I'm joking it normally cracks the veneer and helps them remember that I'm a sane-ish human.

shovetheholly Thu 17-Mar-16 09:22:17

Are you absolutely sure you can't afford to move to the city, even if it means sacrificing a bit of space?

I say this because I moved to a godawful small town that sounds much like yours and hated it. I now live in the city, in a smaller place, and I am so, so much happier.

LuckySantangelo1 Thu 17-Mar-16 09:27:26

do you have a local Nct babies group? Or baby classes like sing and sign? You may meet some more like minded mums at places like that.

SansaClegane Thu 17-Mar-16 09:28:55

Agree with pp, try and move to a nicer area where you feel you fit in more!

We bought by the principle "better the worst house in a good area than the best house in a bad area" so we're a bit cramped, but I'm very happy with the community, school, clubs etc. Although it can feel a bit isolating at times to be the one who doesn't drive a Range Rover Sport, doesn't own horses, doesn't go on fancy holidays 4x a year, ...

antimatter Thu 17-Mar-16 09:38:38

Moving is expensive. Can you afford it within a year of your previous move?
Or are your plans to move in the next decade?

CantWaitForWarmWeather Thu 17-Mar-16 09:45:21

I like that principle Sansa. I live in a nice area but don't have as much space. It's better that way I think.

I have 3 children and live in a 2 bed house (council). I look every week to see what 3 bed houses are available (been doing this for the past year), and the ones that become available are mainly in areas I don't like and are too far away from school. I refuse to move to a bigger house in an area I will be unhappy just for the sake of bit more space. Not worth it when we're perfectly happy where we are.

MollyRedskirts Thu 17-Mar-16 09:50:12

Are you me? I have exactly the same problems.

I haven't figured it out yet, but I know that my local baby groups are never going to be the answer to finding friends. I'm too different to the other mums. I'm very likely on the autistic spectrum too, so that makes it all the more harder.

My DH works shifts so I can't commit to anything regular of an evening, which makes it harder, but I am going to make an effort to go to more things I can make, like Skeptics events and book readings/signings.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 09:53:01

I agree- next time I would rather live in a smaller house in a nicer area. However, the town we live in is really cheap and we anticipate still needing to be here for the next house until we can move again! I am unlikely to work either, as the cost of childcare means it would be more beneficial to the family if I am at home and can then do childcare, house work and cooking rather than us both have to come home to loads of jobs! So everything will be on DP's salary.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 17-Mar-16 10:11:38

YANBU:
I live on what I consider a very nice estate and am very happy here. It is the sort of place that would be considered "deprived" by health care professionals and boy, can you tell from the way they talk to you!
Health Visitors, GP's, Nursery Staff: all patronising as fuck. I read an interview recently with an early years specialist and she said that in mc areas proffessionals just treat the children as children. In wc areas they consider themselves on a rescue mission and this is exactly the attitude Ive encountered. The frustrating thing is that behind closed doors they are probably wringing their hands over why parents "wont engage" Gah! angry

Re frienships: I feel like a fall between two groups (very wc Mums who've lived here all their lives and yummy mummies from the posher area nearby) and dont fit in with either.
I've just resigned myself to going to toddler groups for the kids sake and not expecting friendships out of it for myself. If i can pass the time of day with a superficial conversation thats good enough for me.
I just concentrate on maintaining pre child friendships.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 10:15:08

Unlimited- I'm exactly the same! Don't fit in with the shopping-mad competitive mums or the ones who grew up here and never left!

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 17-Mar-16 10:20:42

Its tough isnt it? I kept thinking the shared experience of kids should be enough to find some common ground- but it really isnt sad
I started volunteering at a toddler group (setting up toys, making snacks etc) and that seems to help a bit.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 12:18:44

Thanks guys. It seems trivial but just getting it off my chest and realising I'm not alone made all the difference to my state of mind! flowers

Piratepete1 Thu 17-Mar-16 13:15:30

HCP can make snap judgments on a variety of things. I found surestart groups a nightmare after my baby turned 1 as I had chosen to be a SAHM. As the leaders were different every week I was constantly invited to events to help me get qualifications to get into work. One lady even enrolled me on a level 2 maths course without asking me. They all looked gobsmacked when I informed them I had 2 degrees and a masters. Obviously I just look a bit thick confused

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 17-Mar-16 13:20:46

Its not trivial at all Turtle! Adult contact is so important if your a SAHM. It just sucks if you cant find folk on your own wavelength.

Georgina1975 Thu 17-Mar-16 13:35:13

No - it is not trivial. I lived in quite a deprived area when I had first DC. Tried local groups when on maternity leave and really didn't fit in as vast majority of carers (mostly Mums) where aged between 16-22 and had gone straight from school/college to motherhood. I was 35 years-old.

I was diagnosed with PND and my GP actually said it was a "shame" I didn't live in her area (very affluent and not too far away) as I would probably have more in common with the parents there!!!

I had the problem of being relatively neglected by HCP. I was (am) relatively intelligent, had a partner and a "nice" home. I was actually told by a HV that I was well able to "sort myself out" compared to a poor young girl she had just visited with two children and an abusive partner. This was after telling her that I felt suicidal on occasions. It made me for guilty for being ill and it was another 18 months before I sought treatment for my PND from the GP.

SohowdoIdothis Thu 17-Mar-16 13:37:24

HCP can make snap judgments on a variety of things

when you encounter them next time, have a copy of new scientist under arm in view, and or the guardian and experience a different attitude, sad but true.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 13:42:15

DS and I are listening to jazz and eating fresh fruit. Screw those guys! We are nailing this! grin

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 13:43:23

Actually he's eating a spoon and my jogging bottoms are covered in mango. Facepalm.

harryhausen Thu 17-Mar-16 13:55:37

I do sympathise.

My Dcs are in primary school and when they were younger I asked at school pick up if anyone had heard a comedy of Radio 4 last night. They looked at me like I'd grown another head! These days, I realise that they don't even watch the news let alone contemplate the radio. I felt like a right tit.

I live on the outskirts of a very cosmopolitan city. I have like minded friends about 5 mins away in the car and make do with that. I met them through getting out and about to baby groups nearer into town.

These days I'm happy where I live but it's taken me a long time. I like my neighbors and I have air and lots of space, but occasionally I do yearn for a bit of quick like-minded chatter.

OP, you're not alone. I would try and move nearer into town before school. I think you'd be happy with more of a mix of people.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Fri 18-Mar-16 15:35:42

I just wanted to update as I have been thinking about all of this a lot. What I didn't write in my OP was that when I expressed anxiety about baby led weaning and choking this week, HCPs referred me to a course which I know is aimed at improving life chances for those in lower socio-economic groups. I then got very anxious and apologetic about how silly I felt even worrying, which made me look even more of a wreck.

I got home (the day I wrote the post) and cried. I might sound stuck-up saying this but I am bright and well-educated and my run-down ex-council house is full of books, my freezer is stocked with home cooked healthy meals, I love the theatre snd the arts and have a very pointless middle class degree! grin

Obviously they aren't to know that, but I thought they would be able to ascertain that I wasn't someone who needed a course like that just from the fact I often reference having read books on particular things to do with babies, and they have seen me singing to my son and just generally no one has ever treated me like they were in a position of power due to my lack of intelligence before. It made me question my whole sense of self, which I already feel is in flux since having a baby. Your posts, and speaking to some good friends helped. I do think though that it would be wise for people in these roles not to judge a book by its cover, especially when my generation (I'm 30) is so monumentally screwed that if you want to get on the property ladder it really is a case or buying in areas that you would never normally consider. DP has a good wage and yet our first home is nowhere near as good as the (still very modest) home my parents bought in the 80s on much much less. So I feel services should reflect that changing demographic.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Fri 18-Mar-16 15:52:22

What I mean is that HCPs should treat everyone as rational and intelligent unless proven otherwise! What I wrote above sounded like I wanted to say "I'm not like the rest of the council estate" when what I wanted to say was "deprived areas and their residents are diverse and rather than treat everyone like an idiot, they should treat everyone as an intellectual equal. If someone then says they were planning to puree a Twix and a red bull and leave their baby on a pub toilet, THEN give them the advice not to."

dolkapots Fri 18-Mar-16 16:14:43

This is really horrendous and I have been on both sides, as a result I would take a flat in a naice area rather than lots of space in an "undesirable" area.

There was actually an academic study that I believe was called "the council estate effect" The author grew up in a council estate and went on to become a university lecturer and said that the effects of living there as a child still had consequences to her as an adult. When people knew where she grew up they would comment on how well she did to "better herself" etc.

I have found that it is the same wrt the school that your children attend. We are in a grammar county where grammar children with bad behaviour are "likeable rogues" whereas the secondary modern are the "problem of society".

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Fri 18-Mar-16 16:30:13

I read that a few years ago actually and it came to mind for me as well! I have also been on both sides. It is very disheartening. It's not something I anticipated moving here; I just never thought people would look down on me based on my address because I thought it would be obvious that I had my head screwed on. I've also followed government guidelines regarding breastfeeding and weaning to the letter so far, whereas all the other mums I know in naicer areas have chosen to ignore the advice. From a HCP perspective I would think they would look at someone in my position and think that I was a less likely candidate for being patronised than my peers who have posher houses but have gone against healthcare recommendations.

I might go eat that chip on my shoulder for dinner. Or, you know, feed it to my baby.wink

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