Another week of loneliness and discouragement at school drop off /pick up time. Feeling very sad and isolated. I just wanna share(67 Posts)
a conversation, a coffee, a nice get together, nothing...I tried my best ( I feel anxious and shy about socials) and tried v hard but after all the effort all I can hear is polite excuses and indifference.
I'm seriously thinking to pay someone else to collect my kids from school to avoid those two moments of my day...sorry to post this but I needed it. No extended family or close friendships nearby... At home we are a very self contain unit but apart from that I'm on my own most of the time and it feels incredibly painful and lonely...what's wrong with me? Sometimes I wish to disappear , that's it really...very sad.
Oh that's hard. I'm sorry.
My oldest has just started pre-school so I'm not very experienced with this, but:
1. Is there a class parents Facebook group? Might be worth finding out. We have arranged various social things via that; and
2. Does your little one have any friends you found invite for play dates with the mum/carer. Woukd double up as social time for you too
Are you particularly keen to make friends at the school or just friends locally? You may have more success at an exercise class or book group where you know there will be a shared interest.
I think you are being unfair - projecting your need for friendship on people who only know you because your children attend the same school
I never 'meet for coffee' with other mums - I smile, I might have a nice chat - but that's it - nothing personal but it's school drop off not a social club
Try meeting people elsewhere? You could volunteer and meet people or do something at college
Hi btfly2, I am shy too and find school drop offs and pick ups hard. It isn't the best environment to try and forge a new friendship. How old are your children? Could you arrange a playdate over half term and invite the Mum to stay for a cup of coffee when they drop the child off?
You say that you are very self contained. I am the same and I sometimes find that because of this I can neglect friendships if I am not careful. Being a good friend takes a certain amount of time commitment!
Just try talking to people at pick up. I'm sure not all of them will be indifferent to you. I panic and say the most inane things and people are still nice to me. Just keep trying.
I know school drop off/pick up can make lots of people feel vulnerable so don't beat yourself up about that. But I wouldn't, in the kindest way, rely on making new friends easily and quickly in the playground.
It's almost definitely not personal just that most people are in their own bubble at those times of the day and it can be difficult sorting social things out when you're either waiting for the bell to go or dealing with bags and water bottles being thrust at you!
I didn't know anyone in the school when I started and just used to use the time to look forward to seeing DD again. I wasn't working at the time and had pretty much no adult company during the week. But over time (and I'm talking a couple of years not a couple of months) things have changed and I now have two new important friends in my life.
I know it's easy to say but just chill and enjoy playground time for what it is, honestly you'll give off better vibes plus you'll relieve the pressure on yourself to 'do' something whilst you're there. And think how much you'd miss seeing your DCs faces when they see you at the end of the day if you outsource it!!
Are you actually looking for more friends? If so, absolutely go and look for them in other places - classes, book groups etc - which are more conducive to conversation and where it's not about the children, no one is dropping and rushing off and thinking about their work day etc. But I certainly wouldn't be hanging all my social overtures on school drop offs/pick ups.
That you're finding it so hard and hurtful suggests there's more going on. I don't really have any local friends at all where I currently am - my closest friends are scattered around other countries - but during my rare drop offs and pick-ups, I'm completely on work mode, have split-second timings to meet to get the bus etc, so am not thinking about potential friendships, nice though it would be to meet kindred spirits...
Find friends another way. Many people on school drop off/pick ups are actually in between work and home and just want to go home. Or are off to work.
Some good ways to find friends are:
Get a job locally - in a shop, or the school. Or volunteer until you find something paid. You'll get to know coworkers and customers alike.
Join a club during the day or in the evening if someone can have children
If you have young children, go to toddler groups regularly.
I was also going to say join a club or class during the day.
I started a swim class and we all ended up going for lunch after. 14 years later still going to the class and we still go to lunch.
I'm going to echo what others have said OP. You're putting pressure on yourself if you're expecting to make friends at the school gate. School is for children to make friends - there's no rule to say that the parents all have to be mega friendly with each other. Maybe find another way to meet new people (part time work, club, volunteer...) and view school drop off and pick ups as times to just deposit and collect your children. Don't start dreading it and don't take it personally.
Depending on where you are, it might just not be possible - pretty much everyone doing dropoffs at DS1's first school was then on to their own job - SAHP were unusual, so a brief, superficial chat while waiting for the kids to go in and that's all there was.
I think you need to look elsewhere for mates (assuming you mean during the day) - library reading groups, or just going to the coffee shop yourself and seeing if you hit it off with any other regulars?
I have to agree with ghosty. In the nicest way, I wish people would stop expecting to make friends somewhere they stop twice a day for what 15 minutes tops?
And l say that as someone who knew no one locally and have spent a year doing the school run on mat leave.
What year group is your school aged child?
Best way to get to know school gate mums is to arrange reciprocal play dates with a selection of your child's friends.
2 pieces of advice if you want to make friends with other mums and dads on school run.
1 - Invite your child's friends on playdates
2 - Join to PSA !
I almost never chat to anyone, a friendly smile or nod and that's it. Some of the parents meet up to play after school or go for a drink. I don't, I'm not interested! These are random people who I have nothing in common with other than a child in the same class.
I would look for friends elsewhere. If you were at my school I'd just smile maybe small talk and that's it. It's not personal, I just want to get my kids and leave as efficiently as possible.
Theres probably nothing wrong with you.
I've said it before and I'll say it again....people really need to stop spreading this myth that the school gates is a place to find friends. These are merely completely random people who happen to have children in the same class or year as yours. That is it. And you are in their vicinity for a few minutes, twice a day. They do not owe you coffee mornings and friendships, same as you do not owe them. It's insane to think that these people should automatically be your friends just because of proximity!
It's the bizarre expectation that is the problem. They are not being mean to you, they are not being cliquey if they happen to be standing there talking to their own friends and acquaintances. You need to look in more sensible places to make friends, a hobby group, a book club, the PTA. Anywhere but the school run!
(And please ignore the people who post here on these threads who will tell you they are all nasty bitches and its their problem. It's bullshit and they are the ones creating these insane expectations!)
In my experience the best way to make friends at the school is to invite your child's friends round and their parent for a coffee .
However I do think some people put to much pressure on the school run. Most people are there to drop off your child or pick them up. That's not where they are looking good for friends. Many are busy between drop off and pick up.
If you want to make friends, the school run is not the only place to do it and often not a great place to do it. I also don't think other parents should have pressure put on them to start being friends with other parents. I think if you get your hopes up and assume the school run is where you will make great friends, you will often be disappointed. After all, all you have in common is that your kids go to the same school.
I've never actually made any friends in the playground either but I do see people I already know from other groups and we chat.
I echo previous advice to join groups/community projects/volunteer etc It's easier to forge friendships over a shared interest.
It's probably not you - our school parents are a very friendly lot, but people tend to be very busy. One mother got upset because I kept declining coffees / play dates etc... We discussed after a while and it turned out she had no idea I worked, no idea of my other family/caring commitments. I don't like accepting play dates when I know I won't be able to return them.
I used to hate the school playground at my son's infant school.
It always seemed like they were all part of some great big friendship club which I was the only one who wasn't a member of.
Do you know what don't worry about this lot, find your friends elsewhere.
Chatting to people at the school gates isn't the way to friendship!
I've got a load of people I can chat to at the school gates - ain't got any friends though!
It's not a great way to make friends. I really CBA to make conversation at the school gate with people I know and like, never mind new people! My closest friends are mums of my ds but we got to know each other over a long time through play dates etc. There were some mums who tried hard to organise mum's nights out etc but it all kind of fell apart because we had nothing in common except having kids in the same school.
I don't think too many people make new friends at the school gate. Those who stand and chat know each other already or through playdates. I would do a club or activity in the day and have some children's friends round to play.
As others have said your better off joining a club/group/team where you have similar interests. At school the only shared interest you have are that your children share a classroom.
My ds is reception so if he has friends over the mums come with them and I make tea and we chat. I'm not sure I would consider them friends, though I like them well enough.
Also it's not you. Many of them may just be busy. Often I just want to get the kids in school and get on with my day. So perhaps I appear aloof. Some days I just can't be bothered with the school run chatter. I have sent Dhaka today.
Do you have a local library? In my area they run all sorts of social activites from book clubs to knitting groups and family history clubs, plus volunteering opportunities. It might be worth seeing what is happening in your library. Or may try offering your help to the local children's centre or even help in the school?
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