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Really really struggle to enjoy baby groups

(86 Posts)
NowwhatdoIdo123 Mon 23-Jan-17 13:55:44

I've just got home after trying a new (new to me) baby and toddler group. I'm disappointed again. It was another clique group. About 8 mums, 6 of which stuck together like glue and from what I could hear basically talked about everyone who they jointly knew (ironically one of the women they were talking about they were discussing how she bakes cakes and according to them over charges and doesn't even bake them herself she outsources them, I actually know her! I sat there thinking, haven't you ever been told you should be careful who you talk about because you never know who might know who?!

I have a really friendly toddler so I will persevere and go again for her but every group I go to seems to have a really well established clique.

Anyone else find this?

NowwhatdoIdo123 Mon 23-Jan-17 13:58:21

Btw I am also very friendly, I will happily make conversation with people I don't know but I'm not aggressively friendly and do read social cues so I know when people are just exchanging pleasantries but I'm not being invited to hang around and chat.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Mon 23-Jan-17 14:00:08

I know the feeling. Just think, in a few years they'll be in school and we will never have to go to toddler groups again.

TheSparrowhawk Mon 23-Jan-17 14:02:03

It wasn't a 'clique' group, it was a group of friends talking to each other. They don't seem very nice so the group's probably not for you unfortunately. That's how it goes. Why not start your own group?

DJBaggySmalls Mon 23-Jan-17 14:02:45

Thats a shame, they'll be the same at the school gates. IDK why people feel the need to do it.
Keep looking, there must be some nice people out there smile

usernoidea Mon 23-Jan-17 14:02:45

God yes they're fucking hard work aren't they?! I'm new to my area (know no one) and have a new baby so forcing myself to go to them to meet folk - it's much harder and even more cliquey than I imagined.
If we lived close to each other then we could chat?!

bonfireheart Mon 23-Jan-17 14:03:36

DD and I did lots of our own stuff and avoided most of these groups. The childcare centres near us did loads of drop in sessions which we rocked up to if the mood took us and the rest of the time organised our own trips. But being friends with the mums or finding a "group" was never a concern for me.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 23-Jan-17 14:04:35

I absolutely loathed them op, you are not alone flowers

MargaretCabbage Mon 23-Jan-17 14:06:10

I've never managed to make a friend at one of these groups. There are people I make a bit of small talk with, but I find everyone is there with their friends or we just don't click. I go for the hot drink and to get my toddler out of the house, not to meet people, now.

DontTouchTheMoustache Mon 23-Jan-17 14:07:03

I tried to go to one when DS was little but I had a huge panic attack and ran out in tears. I have horrendous social anxiety so I've never tried again. I feel.really guilty about it as DS is nearly 1 and he has never been to one but I just don't have the confidence to take him.

GoesDownLikeACupOfColdSick Mon 23-Jan-17 14:08:39

I work, so this is all DP's joy to come as he is the SAHP, but when I was on ML, I tried our local Monkey Music (admittedly we live in a rather snobbish part of Central London).

"And are you Mummy or Nanny?" the man on the door asked me. Turned out that by not being a 22 year old nanny and not speaking any eastern European languages, I was not of interest to anyone there!!

The names in that class though.... Ottilie. Lucinda. Persephone. Felix. And something unpronounceable that I always thought was a kind of herb.

NowwhatdoIdo123 Mon 23-Jan-17 14:09:13

I'm new to my area too, originally from London, now in a village and everyone seems to be 'local' smile (can't say that without thinking of the League of Gentlemen "Are you local?")

Everyone seems to be SAHM's too which I'm guessing helps because it gives you more chance for meeting up.

Niskayuna Mon 23-Jan-17 14:10:53

A lot of people go to the group with someone they know, or lots of people they know. They don't necessarily meet there. It's rude to call people "a clique" when they're just a group of friends talking. If you saw three women on a bus having a chat about work you wouldn't deem them "cliquey bitches who won't talk to me."

That said, I don't really think they're all that great for adults looking for someone to talk to. Of the few who do go alone most will keep to themselves. At my baby groups the solo mums tended to stick to their phones or a magazine. They wanted some peace and quiet, not a chat.

Or, they may indeed have seen each other every week, perhaps every day each day taking in a new group, and have already done the small talk and are now talking to each other regularly. But don't get too jealous. When the only thing you have in common with the group is that you reproduced around the same time, the friendships may not last.

I used to just enjoy seeing my kid with new toys.

Just be bold, if it's important to you. Sit down, smile, "Wow, they really love that train thing, don't they?" or "That top is so cute!" or some other nice thing about their kid. THEIR kid. Don't sit down and say something about how amazing your kid is. That actually happens, it's hilarious, some random sitting there babbling at you about their kid's recent genius acts. Or, the opposite, don't sit down and criticise your kid - "Oh god, mine's a nightmare, never sleeps, always screaming, I am so tired and I scream at my husband all the time..." Yeah, no. Not fun.

Noodledoodledoo Mon 23-Jan-17 14:13:40

I found the cheaper the group the more friendly! I had some horrendous experiences - cried the whole way to and from a class for 6 out of the 10 weeks I paid for!! Last few someone talked to me the rest of the time I was blanked!

Second time round I am being a bit more selfish - if I enjoy the class I go, am also being a bit more blunt at talking to others! Its for my mental health as well!

I have also found a local mums page on fb has been great - some people are really not my type but I have found a few more friends this way.

It is taking a lot of effort but I am suffering from huge loneliness which in the past has bought on depression (not PND) so I need to be active in doing something!

soupmaker Mon 23-Jan-17 14:14:15

I'm always a bit meh when posters complain about cliques. I agree with the PP who pointed out they are just a group of friends (nice or nasty). I just think it's a bit much to be embraced from the off when you go to these type of groups. I always made a point of saying hello and smiling at new people and if my DDs started to play in the same space as their DCs would instigate a bit of chat, but I also wanted to chat to my pals. I've also been the new girl at groups and just put my big girl pants on for the first 4 weeks of going, usually got there a bit early, and was friendly to everyone who arrived. I made some great friends, but you also find as the DC get older that friendship groups change, especially once they get to school. If they go to different schools and activities you'll find you see a great deal less of each other.

I'd say persevere OP, and just avoid the groups of not so nice people who won't engage with you.

NowwhatdoIdo123 Mon 23-Jan-17 14:14:37

We do lots of things on our own, lots of outdoor stuff but DD recently went to a party and I was surprised by how sociable she was. I took her to various baby classes when she under one but nothing for the past 10 months until I saw her going up to other children trying to play with them so now I'm trying again.

Don't you might prefer more structured classes like baby sensory, a music class, they're easier to go to and it doesn't feel like you're back at school and the new kid.

Goes you've made me laugh and I know exactly what you mean!

purplecollar Mon 23-Jan-17 14:15:07

I eventually gave up trying to make friends and treated it as socialisation/a trip out for my toddler. My dd would climb the walls if we didn't go out in the mornings. So we went to one every day.

Dd knew hoards of people when she started pre-school/school. Even though hardly anybody would utter more than two words at me at the actual groups, my face now fitted. Years later I come across people who'll say, oh yes, you used to go to such and such group. Dd's new to the school teacher in year 6 was one of these people. In the post office the other day (8 years down the line), a woman stopped me to ask how I was and how dc were doing. I know her from the church toddler group. She barely spoke to me there.

So I would say persist and treat it as socialisation for your dc rather than for you. Suddenly you become part of the community, even though nobody speaks to you.

TheSparrowhawk Mon 23-Jan-17 14:16:04

I ran a toddler group for nearly 4 years. If someone new came along, I always said hi and talked to them for a bit but after that I left it up to them because I didn't want to pressure someone into talking if they weren't interested. You have to make your own effort - no one is going to just stand in front of you and make it happen.

NowwhatdoIdo123 Mon 23-Jan-17 14:17:15

Niska I didn;t call them "Cliquey bitches" your words not mine. And I'm not jealous of their friendships. Merely asking if anyone else finds baby groups hard.

Noodledoodledoo Mon 23-Jan-17 14:17:51

Oh and although I agree the Clique thing can be rude - at one class I was asked to move from the space I had taken as their friend was running late and I had taken their spot, I also tried to start a conversation with someone - nothing major - and they answered in one word and then turned their back on me quite literally.

I don't care if they are their with a group of friends, or people they know better - that is just rude. I was struggling big time and it took a lot of effort to start that conversation and it really knocked me. I wasn't looking for a lifetime best friend but a little conversation one morning!

TheSparrowhawk Mon 23-Jan-17 14:17:54

It also really frustrated me when parents would turn up every week and seemed lovely but they just wouldn't talk. I could see they felt a bit left out but short of following them around and talking at them what could I do?

DearMrDilkington Mon 23-Jan-17 14:18:03

touch I have social anxiety too. I went to a few groups but they were horrid so we didn't really attend any.
Dd is now 4, has lots of friends at school and is confident without being too much with it iyswim.
Please don't feel guilty over it. It really doesn't make any difference to a child.flowers

NowwhatdoIdo123 Mon 23-Jan-17 14:22:04

Noodle I've experienced both too! I was asked to move along to squeeze in their friend who arrived late at one group, even though it meant getting up and going to the other side of a circle to a spare mat! Another time a woman was talking to me and then her friends came in so she picked up her things said "my friends are here now" and walked away!

Aeroflotgirl Mon 23-Jan-17 14:26:22

Do you know what, I totally agree with you. I stopped going when ds told me he did not want to go anymore, so put him into a pre school at 2, and then he went to school attached nursery after. There was a lovely group, which closed down, just after ds was born, and the others my son did not like.

Rainydayspending Mon 23-Jan-17 14:26:25

I've given up on trying. I am either immediately ignorable because of my age (been asked if i am granny more than once) or simply not local enough (outsiders definitely not welcome round these parts). I go for DS's benefit only. I don't think great friendships are ever forged at babygroups. The closest people usually have some previous connection and aren't picking up from scratch. Well. At least in the "that's not near here is it?" area I live in hmm

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