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to think that a normally confident, professional, well-educated woman shouldn't turn into a little-girl-lost at baby groups?

(70 Posts)
Bumperlicious Fri 12-Sep-08 13:34:38

Gah! I get so cross with myself. I haven't been to baby groups for a long time as I am back at work 3 days and the 2 days I am off we just like to potter. But been feeling a bit lonely so thought I would go to one today, never been before, it's at a church.

Anyway, it was full of people who all obviously knew each other, and despite me hanging around on my own for about an hour none of them made the effort to talk to me. I didn't just want to but it, though I did try and talk to them when they were noting the names that were all really similar "yours is an XXXX? Oh, mine's YYYY." Blank look. I eventually chatted very briefly to a couple of mothers, on my instigation. But no-one made the effort to talk to me despite clearly looking like I needed rescuing.

The thing is I am normally a very out going confident person, however I was bullied at school and these groups just make me feel like the square girl on the edge, trying to hang around with the cool kids. I just wanted to cry to be honest. What an idiot! And the worst thing is it makes me really "restrained" around my dd, I don't do any silly noises, or playing with her, just sort of follow her around going "oooh look DD, a doggy. Oh it's a baby". The thing is despite being on the surface confident and outgoing, becoming a mother has really knocked it out of me and I feel like I've lost my self confidence.

Help me feel better! How can I do better at these things? I must look like a complete lemon. This so isn't me!

rislip Fri 12-Sep-08 13:39:24

Oh I feel sad for you Bumper. It took me one whole year of going every week to the toddler group to make any sort of friends, so don't feel too disheartened. You are right though it's very reminscent of school bitches. Do you know any other mums in the area so you can go along with safety in numbers?

MsHighwater Fri 12-Sep-08 13:39:31

Cut yourself some slack. At work, you have a role to play that you know, a context - a "script", if you like - that you base your interactions on. All of that is irrelevant when you are being "Mum". I am a bit like this. I only went to the first toddler's group I took dd to because I knew a friend would be there - otherwise I couldn't have gone and we'd both have missed out.

Good for you for going anyway, I say. Why not try again and if it doesn't improve, see if you can find another group that might be more welcoming?

Romy7 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:40:15

take a deep breath and plonk yourself in the middle and ask lots of questions about their little darlings. start with ages, names, comment on how clever they are ('gosh that's early for sitting!' etc etc etc) ask if anyone wants a cup of tea and offer to make it?
it'll be fine, but it'll take a couple of visits.
i'd have spoken to you lol - been there done that a number of times, recognise an uncomfortable interloper at 100 paces grin
stick with it, or try another one - there'll be a million xx

Hassled Fri 12-Sep-08 13:40:43

You must have missed a sign on the way in - that was clearly a coven of witches having their annual conference, and not a Baby Group. Go to a different Toddler/Baby group.

There are some good ones where the committee members make damn sure that stray lost-looking parents are approached and made to feel welcome. Years ago I had the same experience as you at a Toddler Group and never returned - I know exactly how you feel. Yes, if you had persisted and persisted you might have had a meaningful conversation with someone, but it shouldn't have to be that difficult.

nopainnogain Fri 12-Sep-08 13:41:22

INFURIATING isn´t it?! I´m exactly the same. And don´t go to this sort of meeting cause I just can´t cope with it. Not very helpful I´m afraid but bumping this for you.

Just imagine being like this in ALL aspects of your life.. could be much worse!

Boyswillbeboys Fri 12-Sep-08 13:42:03

I am sure you are going to get loads of messages from other mums who have felt exactly the same as you do now!! It can be really intimidating going to these groups, especially when everyone else seems to know each other. Don't give up, some are more cliquey than others - I'm very lucky that in my area there are lots of church playgroups, library activities and other drop-ins, but I've found that at some of them I just don't seem to "fit in", whereas at others everyone is really friendly. I remember another MNer saying how it can take a while to get into the group, so don't give up if you think it's worth persevering. Otherwise, just enjoy pottering with your DD smile. She will be happy being with you wherever you are.

StormInanEcup Fri 12-Sep-08 13:42:48

Message withdrawn

wotulookinat Fri 12-Sep-08 13:44:09

Bumperlicious, I feel exactly the same way. Now I only got to one group, and it's on DH's day off so he comes too and I sit at the side like a twonk.

BlueBumedFly Fri 12-Sep-08 13:44:19

Hey Bumperlicious, don't be so hard on yourself. That was not a normal situation to be in, most 'normal' people would have been welcoming to a new member and tried to make them feel at ease not give them the cold shoulder, how rude they must be.

I work 4 days and have one precious day with my DD so like to make the most of it. We went to TumbleTots today and I must admit I felt that all the other Mothers were getting their child to do the circuit nicely and mine just wanted to run around having a laugh yelling 'hiya' at anyone who looked her way. I felt a right plum! I hate having to break into groups where people already know one another, I never know what to say and then I say something which sounds ridiculous! I have a well established client facing career and never have a problem talking to a new client etc. Just other Mothers!

How about going to a club where there is a structured activity so that if the women are not chatty at least you and DD can have a good time?

With regards to not wanting to play funny games in public I have to really force myself to remember that the time we have with our little ones is so short I don't want to miss out and regret later on in life being 'boring' so I make myself play and run around and not care what other people think. If I see people staring I just think they are jealous that they don't have such a good relationship with their child and they cannot let go. If they are really thinking I am a total nut then I have to not care.

Any good TumbleTots or Music classes you could go to?

captainmummy Fri 12-Sep-08 13:44:22

It is really hard - that's why most mums (including me) go with someone else they know.
Try offering in the kitchen, making teas and coffees. That way you have a 'role' and you will meet people automatically.

ChupitosGalore Fri 12-Sep-08 13:45:00

oh bumper, if its any help, i was just like that. absolutely knocked sideways by the uterly new and different circles i was 'supposed' to move in, and person i was supposed to 'be' or portray or something.

i have recently picked myself right up and i tell you it is SO refreshing to have a little of myself back!

i do have every confidence you'll get there too.

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:48:29

I'd stop going and try an new group. I went to a toddler group met some lovely people then had to switch days to another crowd and hated it. There not very friendly so don't put yourself under pressure, it's NOT you it's THEM smile

wessexgirl Fri 12-Sep-08 13:49:29

Ah, I know exactly how this feels - I'm the same; it's horrible to have that awkward adolescent feeling back again, isn't it?

But - not all baby groups are like this. I went (once) to a couple that were similar, but I also went to a fab bf peer-support group, where I made enough friends to be confident of bumping into one or two at other groups.

I also found a group that was lovely and friendly from the start - very different atmosphere to the cliquey ones I'd ruled out.

I'd say it's worth shopping around if you live in a biggish town or city and can get out and about. I hope you find one that suits you.

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:49:31

similar at the school gates you can smile and say hello to people and they look through you ?!

mytetherisending Fri 12-Sep-08 13:51:24

Lots of sympathy, it is awful being the newbie at anything sad. I would go again and just be yourself with dd. Try to not think about what others think of you iyswim. You go for your dd. Give it a few goes and they will probably talk more as time goes on. I find asking about their children, how they are doing, asking them about life before children, jobs etc can break the ice and kickstart conversation. Just go up to them, be honest, say you are new and don't know anyone. Most of the time people are so absorbed in talking to someone they know or keeping track of dcs they just don't notice people on the edge.

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:53:27

Don't do it! It's demeaning, if they're not friendly sod em! They're rude.

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:55:18

My nursery after nativity mince pie and mulled wine sessions were like that too. It's even worse when you find something to say, say it and then they just turn around to who they were talking to and ignore you ....

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:56:31

then just to make it worse your child becomes very naughty and you have to pull them down from the curtain..

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:56:55

I'm cringing while I relive it

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:57:28

I went to one and my dd had a red wine stain on her baby grow shock

rebelmum1 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:58:19

oh the shame!

wotulookinat Fri 12-Sep-08 13:59:57

I think I would have made the effort to speak to someone with a wine stain on their kid's clothes - we may have had a lot in common!

wessexgirl Fri 12-Sep-08 14:00:15

Rebelmum grin.

See, I'd have gravitated directly towards the mother of a baby with a red wine stain on her babygro.

wessexgirl Fri 12-Sep-08 14:01:14

X-post, wot - a clique is forming! wink

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