To give up on making new friends and just resign myself to being lonely(51 Posts)
I'm done now I've really tried.
I'm a sahm, I've tried to make connections with people at baby groups, antenatal, preschool drop off Etc but it doesn't happen.
Its happened a few times where I have met up with someone for a playdate (sorry hate that term too) with my eldest or baby and we've had a nice time they've said we'll have to do this again and then I've never heard from them again. I don't know where I'm going wrong I'm nice (i think?!), I'm not opinionated or overbearing I don't think, I keep conversation light and chatty. It's happened a few times now so its obviously me.
I've asked a couple of long term friends if they could think of where I'm going wrong and they said it wasn't me but it must be.
My youngest has been quite high needs and ill so I've not even been able to get out much recently so feeling even more lonely.
Aibu to give up now I can't keep trying if people obviously just don't like me.
It's hard isn't it? But just keep at it. You're going to groups and pre-school anyway so you just keep on - don't give up. You could try being a bit more honest with people and telling them that you're a bit lonely, it might encourage others to do the same or make a bit more effort. Is there any chance of you doing something like an evening class to meet people outside of child related stuff? That could help too.
Have you thought about volunteering? Charity shop or something like that? Perhaps you need away from people with whom the only thing you have in common is that you have children. I know a sahm whose father passed away last year who now does voluntary work and she had really enjoyed it and it's given her confidence along with a new group of friends. Don't give up though - just widen the search
I agree with red - try and widen your search, when I was a SAHM I didn't particularly want to meet other SAHMs I would rather meet women who had different lifestyles so there was more to talk about than 'baby/child related subjects' - equally some of the women I met loved meeting a young baby when their own children were grown up
and I got a few offers of babysitting. I joined the WI, got involved in local community events, did meals on wheels - all things I could do with my child - and met a wide circle of very pleasant people.
I never made friends at baby group/playgroups. I don't know why, people seemed friendly, we did the odd coffee, but just like you, these things never seemed to take off. I think people with very little babies/toddlers often find sustaining new friendships hard work, also many go back to work after 6 months so there's less opportunity.
All I can say is that I do have friends now! These are mainly through work, and are a mix of ages so the ones with older children are a bit freer- a couple have no children.
It's not you, honest, but as others said, you probably need to look elsewhere, where you have interests/stuff in common/work together rather than just having babies.
Maybe you are trying too hard and they can sense it?
The only thing you have in common with these people is you have given birth to a baby in a similar time frame.
You need to gravitate towards people with similar interests. I have made friends through, work, voluntary work, church, video gaming shop, classes at a local college.
I made most of my network of friends from joining first the baby group organising committee, which led to the pre-school committee, followed by the PTA. Some of my very closest friends I made because we "worked" together so had something in common to build bonds. Does your pre-school have a committee? If so I'm certain they'd be happy to have another volunteer.
How old is your baby? All I'd say is that it can be tough going. Usually - as an adult at least - you make new friends because you have something in common. If all you have in common is motherhood, it often isn't the basis for a long term friendship. What I would say, though, is that it can be worth persevering. I found the endless talk about brands of nappies, weaning etc pretty excruciating - but if you can break that barrier and get to know people beyond the "mother thing" then you can end up making proper friendships. It won't be with everyone you meet, but, if you're lucky, it will with one or two.
I agree with the other posters about just getting out there. Try an NCT bumps and babes group? Or join a baby music class? You mention pre school, which suggests you might have an older one - you could suggest a post drop off coffee or post pick up picnic? If you include a lot of people in a general invitation you might end up with a group to chat with and it could become a regular thing if it works well - and that allows you to get to know a few people in a low stress way.
I'm on a local mums page and a couple of people posted there about how difficult it was to meet people especially if they were new to the area so someone has set up a local meet up group and there are now a couple of things planned including plans for an evening for those that work and can't make during the day. You'll be surprised if you are honest how many people feel the same as so many people have commented it's a great idea. Real mix of people, ages and of children's ages so not just baby groups. You could always try something similar?
It's happened a few times now so its obviously me.
Try to challenge this way of thinking about yourself. It won't help and I'm willing to bet it's not true.
I agree with the poster who said the only common ground is generally that you've had a baby at similar times.
We wouldn't expect to befriend someone in a Tesco queue just because we have a similar trolley full of shopping, yet we feel this immense pressure to make 'mummy mates' bleurgh.
I found this stage of my life quite depressing, the people in groups I naturally gravitated towards seemed to have already got a bond with one or two others.
The other group members-I had absolutely nothing in common with, including the way we parented.
You do feel as if it's you, it really isn't!
You already have friends so obviously are capable of maintaining healthy relationships.
Ditto school 'mates' for me now.
I've backed off to being friendly at pickups, parties etc but no more than that.
I have different groups of friends that have no ties to my children through these means, and am much happier.
You sound lovely too btw
Also, the other mums may be feeling the same as you, OP, and reluctant to make the first move when you swap numbers etc. I know in the past I have been, but one day I decided I had nothing to lose, so I started being a bit more open about wanting to make friends.
It's worked to an extent, but you do really need to 'click'. I also find it's difficult sometimes doing stuff with the DCs in tow (particularly if it involves anything outdoors, like the park - I hate parks, grrr), depending what it is, so that might be a factor for some of he other mums too - I'm sure it's not you, OP.
I could probably count the number of people I met on one hand that I met at these places. Mine are 7 and 12 now.
I did find children complicated meeting people. There were times when mine cried a lot or misbehaved a lot, too, so I did get the vibe that I was "that" parent.
Also, being a parent seems to highlight your different outlooks much more. You probably wouldn't know people's views on feeding, sleeping, discipline in an adult setting but when they were starkly different to mine, it did make the friendships difficult to sustain on a deeper level. This wasn't always at my instigation either. It was often a mutual thing, though.
I make friends very very slowly. I've been going to a particular activity for nearly three years with the same 2-3 other mums and I still rarely meet them outside of that (except for kids birthdays and a few very occasional picnics)
I'm busy, work p/t and have lots of pre-baby friendships to keep up so although I'm open to meeting new people I'm not very free.
I never made any "mummy friends", either. As others have said, a real and meaningful friendship requires more connection and commonality than simply having children the same age. Do you work, volunteer, have any hobbies or interests? My (very, very few) friends tend to come from those areas of my life, even though they may or may not have children.
we've had a nice time they've said we'll have to do this again and then I've never heard from them again
Try not to take it personally. I know when I say this I really do want to chat, hang out or whatever but work, DC, life....all get in the way and stops me making friends with people I'd perhaps like to.
I joined a group designed to introduce new Mums. We were all first timers and our babies were all born with about a month of each other. We had absolutely nothing in common from the passionate vegan (before it became fashionable) to the lady whose husband though PND didn't exist (though she had previous MH problems too ) and wouldn't allow her to seek help, to the socially ambitious woman who only wanted to meet up with the only wealthy woman in the group. Frankly although all very pleasant I had absolutely nothing in common with any of them bar one and even the bar one it took a while to work out we had lots in common as the conversations seemed to revolve around nappies and their content and reaching developmental milestones in the group.
I realised that occasionally meeting up with them was enough and toddler and baby groups weren't much better.
With hindsight I think most people felt the same to some degree as most of us wanted social contact but were also not really able to invest as much effort as we usually would as we were so focused on our babies.
Eventually I did make some friends rather than acquaintances but I do think you need to be proactive and make those calls or send messages and sometimes it is a lot of effort when you are sleep deprived or busy but it does eventually pay off.
Hang on in there and keep making the effort ,it does pay off.
I didn't make any friends at baby groups, or when DDs when to pre-school. I did finally when they went to school and when I went back to work.
Hang on in there - just see these places as an activity for DD. Chat to people but don't see them as potential friends.
I have struggled with this for years as well. I felt jinxed. Friendships never seemed to take root and flourish. I really missed an old friend, we drifted apart probably due to each having our own baggage at the time but in 15 years I never had a friendship that replaced that one.
Since we re-located and mostly through getting involved with the school over the last year I really like finally I have a circle of friends. A mix of people, not all my eggs in one basket. I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not to fit in. Weirdly last week my old and much missed friend finally got back in touch and now I wonder whether it's worth re-kindling the friendship after all the water under the bridge since then.
It's not you, don't let it get to you. It's can be hard to meet people when you have tinies around and you might have to meet a few people and get to know them until you meet people you click with. Bit like dating. Amateur dramatics I found good for meeting people too back in time, but whatever you enjoy and can fit into your life.
Agree with pp, try to find some sort of activity that reflects something you're interested in rather than focus on baby groups.
I also never really met anyone beyond an acquaintance in the pre-school world but I got involved in a community project which was entirely different. The project itself folded after a few years but the people involved are all now a group of friends with a social life which didn't exist before.
Disclaimer: I don't have kids.
However, I was discussing this with a friend who lives some distance away - we were musing about how our friendship groups have changed over the years.
She said that it's very difficult to have a decent conversation with a gaggle of young kids in tow, so you don't really get to 'know' or connect with anybody and, naturally, you spend most of the time talking about the kids.
She met plenty of nice enough people, but not people she wanted to really make an effort to be friends with - because friendships do take effort.
I will probably get flamed for this, but I also think it's easier to make friends when you've had a couple of beers together - obviously not going to happen at a playgroup!
I would arrange time for yourself, away from the kids to do a hobby or something that really interests you.
Thanks everyone for responding I do appreciate it.
I would love to get into volunteering but my OH works away a lot and I have the baby in the day when eldest is at school so I don't really have time without a child in tow.
We usually get out to baby groups when baby is not ill or out to park but generally I'm managing the children constantly which is why I've focused on trying to make more 'mum friends' (sorry cringe!) as when I'm out if the house Im accompanied by little people so would like some people to meet up with while the kids play iykwim.
In the future when youngest is at preschool I would really like to volunteer but right now its possible.
Just download the Mush app. It's changed my life.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.