am I expecting too much too soon?(23 Posts)
I need to know if I'm expecting too much from my current situation. Please be gentle with me, it's a tender issue for me right now
We moved to this area when DC1 was 3 weeks old, from the word go we went to toddler groups, baby paddle in our local pool, the park etc. Then DC2 came along
Anyway long story short, I'm so lonely and I'm longing for a proper "friend" who has children and who lives locally. We go to all these toddler groups like I said, swim classes, plus DC goes to nursery 3 days a week, but I haven't clicked with anyone, other mothers say hello, smile nicely at me, we chit chat nicely about our children, the weather, holidays etc but nothing ever comes of it.
DC1 has just turned 3, so 3 long years I've been like this and still nothing. AIBU to think by now I should have at least 1 friend who I can get close to? Ring for chats, meet for coffee, share true feelings with not some bull shit happy chatting about the weather All my family live pretty much 150 miles away and although we see them reasonably regularly considering the distance, it's not the same.
I feel so lonely despite going to all these places Is this the true reality of motherhood?
The other mothers that you chat to at nursery - ask them to your house for a coffee.
Friendships dont just happen, someone has to make the first move.
Have you tried inviting any of the other Mums over for coffee after one of your classes/activities?
Sometimes,that's all it takes-if you make the first move you may be surprised.
I do understand how you feel though but if you wait for someone to ask you,it could be a long wait.
Invite one over for a coffee and keep doing it.
Really? I feel like it would almost be like inviting a stranger into the house, which is fine by me (lol!), but I'd just feel awkward if they didn't want to. To add to insult I have a stammer too which doesn't help matters either.
Well ask them if they want to meet up for a picnic then. Friendships will not develop in a group situation - you need to meet up outside of it on a one-to-one basis to develop a friendship.
OK thank you for your advice, I will bite the bullet and invite someone over.
How did you make friends pre children?
I have tended to just do the meaningless chitter chatter at toddler type groups, partly because I enjoy it and partly because it can be diffucult to hold down a proper conversation around hordes of marauding children.
I've met most of my adult friends through non child activities, like choir, a dance class and a book group. One of them turned out to have children the same age as mine, so we meet more during the day.
Netmums is quite good for meeting people who actively want friends.
Also, you have to be really pro active about meeting up outside groups. Don't just say 'Do you fancy going for a coffee sometime?' as it will never happen. You have to say 'Do you want to meet for a coffee at my house/this specific cafe at 11 on Tuesday?'
Good luck, I know it is hard, but the more times you do it the easier it gets.
I like suggesting a specific time, as if they say no I can reassure myself that perhaps they are just busy on say, Tuesdays, rather than they just don't want to meet me. It gives them a way out so I don't feel like I am pestering them.
And of course if they really are busy on Tuesdays, but still want to meet, then they can suggest another time.
Invite people round for coffee - am sure it will be recipricated. Also - if you don't mind the idea - go to church as it is a community already in existence and usually a very welcoming place. If you don't do religion then obviously don't go but there are other forms of community ideas you canget involved in.
why not find an evening class for you to do as well so you make friends without the DC's? Or volunteer locally for something on weekends when your DP can look after the children?
Friendships don't just happen - they take time and effort and you need to put yourself out there in order to be heard. Am sure other mums are just as lonely as you and would love the chance to be invited round.
Or if coming to your home is too much - suggest meeting in a coffee shop for cake and chat.
Sorry you're lonely pinkstarfish.
Did you do something for DC birthday? could arrange to go on a picnic / outing and invite some of the other mums and children on the premise its a birthday treat.
Do your DCs like to have friends over? this can be a good way to get to know the mums better.
I got to know people when the toddler group was off over the school holidays, some mothers worked out a rota for everyone to meet at each others houses once a week over the summer. Everyone got closer somehow outside of the church hall venue.
Could you bite the bullet and do this, it could be for meet-up in parks or soft plays if you think that would go down better. Take a clipboard in and get everyones' email addresses and phone numbers and see if anyone volunteers to help arrange something.
I think it can be quite difficult to move on from that chatting at playgroup stage. One of my friends(who I have known since school) is excellent at it, and is always organising some get together. I am not, but I don't need to make new friends, and I often wonder how I would handle it if we moved away.
My friend is very good at asking people about themselves(and birthdays etc) and then remembering details and asking again the next time(how's your Mum doing after that fall etc). So people always feel more involved with her I think, she knows loads about everyone it always seems!
She would invite a few mums for coffee I think, and keep doing it until it became an easy thing.
Or ask them what they do on other days and if they mind if you tag along? I would find that really hard too, but I think you just have to get past that and once you've done it a time or two you will probably be included next time.
The other thing that could help is suggesting then helping to organise an event that the whole toddler group could do(we used to do a picnic), or a fund raiser for the nursery.
See if you can volunteer for the nursery committee if they have one. You need to get more deeply involved maybe?
I really sympathise, I think I will be forcing myself to follow my own advice if we do move, I am not good at putting myself out there either, I always feel I would be imposing.
punkstarfish - it can be very hard to move past the 'chatting at toddler group' stage to being friends.
I was very lonely where I lived before, doing all the things you are doing, yet as soon as I said I was moving (and it wasn't a flounce - I was!). I had invitations all over the place to 'meet up before you go, to say goodbye!'. Ironically, if this had happened sooner - I might not have even thought about moving! I did talk to some of them about how lonely I'd found living there and some of the things I would have liked to have done (like had a friend to go to the movies with, take the kids to the park together) and they all said a similar thing 'Me too, oh, I wish I'd known'. What I learnt (the hard way) was that although other people seem confident and sorted/organised with other friends, in reality, no-one I spoke to wouldn't have welcomed making another friend... I have to stop expecting people to invite me and be the one to ask - instead of assuming if they don't make the first move, they don't want to be friends.
So, I suggest you be more forward in asking people around to the house for coffee, asking if they fancy taking the kids to a cafe for lunch after the toddler group, going to a local kids place another day... generally doing 1 on 1 things with people and being the one to ask instead of waiting for it to happen
<ChippingIn forcing herself to do the same>
I agree with Chipping and Poppity, you need to put the effort in if you want to make friends, and make the first move to invite them over, exchange numbers, etc etc.
Yes yes yes - invite one or more of them to something extra, tea and cake at yours, or better still a mums-only night out.
I reached a similar point of desparation with DD1 as I was living in a strange town, visiting lots of baby groups, but not really clicking with anyone. Then my breastfeeding group invited me along to an evening meal. I'd always liked them, but like you we just seemed to talk about bras, sleep patterns and the like. I really wasn't sure about a night out as I was worried it would be more of the same.
What a great surprise - WOW, those women were smart and wickedly funny. I don't live in that town any more, but they were one of the best things in it for me and I imagine that they would have become very good friends if I'd lived there longer.
Go on, make the first move and set something up! You could well have a load of grateful mums on your hands
I would invite them over for a play in ones or twos. At this age, the mums/parents will stay too.
Hopefully, they will reciprocate.
I seemeed to get to know people more quickley if we waked to school/nursery with them as there was more time to chat.
I agree that something comunity based would be good e.g. church, NCT.
Could you offer to help out at the playgroup? That would give you more opprotunity to get to know the other helpers.
Oh yes, forgot to mention commitees, The playgroup committee was a very good bonding exercise (even if sometimes it was sometimes a pain having to help at all the fundraisers, no pain no gain).
Share something, moan about your bloke in a jokey way, or ask their advice on something. This will def help you.
I had real trouble at the start making new friends and have pnd which made it harder. I spoke to my HV about it and she put me in contact with another woman who was having the same problems meeting people- we're really good friends now so it might be worth asking your HV if she knows of anyone.
Also, have you looked on your mumsnet local section to see if there are any meet-ups?
I was in a similar situtation, moving just before becoming pg with my DS.
Thankfully, I worked part-time and had a good relationships with people at work but the ones who went out (and were very inclusive) were all had no kids so their impromptu outings usually had to be missed.
I never really clicked with other mums at baby groups - although 2 mums from these places have become firm friends years after leaving that environment.
It wasn't really until my son started school (and a couple of terms in) that I could honestly say I was getting a good circle of friends.
My only advice is to try and accept every invitation. Your DC will start getting invited to parties soon and that is a great place to start chats - easy to take it one step further by asking if they want to meet up in the park with the kids/swap phone numbers etc.
Be realistic, too, you may only really get on with one in ten mums (for more than a quick chat) and your offers of coffee etc may get brushed aside a few times. Don't take it personally! Keep trying! These things do that time.
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