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Anyone in Perth Australia?

(20 Posts)
upthewolves Fri 14-Apr-17 15:49:10

I'm just feeling a bit homesick atm.

I have a 20 month old daughter and I'm 11 weeks pregnant so life is tiring and I'm quite emotional anyway. But I think what I'm struggling with is adjusting to becoming a 'parent' in Perth. When I moved here 8 years ago it was all a massive adventure and I was so into the camping, exploring, sport, fishing, hiking etc and now I have my daughter that stuff has been put on pause and I'm not really liking the 'Perth' I'm living in now.

I'd really like to know if it's just the people I've met, or if this is a Perth thing, but I've tried really hard to meet parent friends (and my childless friends have dropped off the radar as they are still doing all of the aforementioned adventuring!) And although I've met some nice people they are all so different to me that I constantly feel like an alien.

I feel suddenly like Perth is all about image. All the babies and toddlers I hang out with turn up to groups in fully thought-out outfits from expensive Instagram brands I've never heard of, everyone seems to have so much money and I don't know where they get it from as I'm the only one of my mum friends that works. I feel constantly inferior. All the kids seem to have so much stuff compared to my DD. In fact 2 of her little friends have playrooms that have more toys in than her childcare room. I feel like we provide for DD well, she has toys and we save money for her for the future, I just feel like I don't understand the world here and I'm embarrassed to have anyone to our house as it is less stylish and extravagant and I feel like they will all realise I'm not like them.

I'm not really sure why I'm posting. I think I'm worried about my daughter growing up in such an image focussed place or feeling hard done by as she doesn't have so much expensive material stuff. I had an eating disorder for many years so I'm maybe particularly sensitive to this.

Today tipped me over the edge when a friend of a friend turned up with a new baby girl with a huge bow that was glued into her head with special glue that is safe for newborn heads ( apparently!) And everyone gushed over this and I felt like I was on another planet.

I guess my question is... Is it just me? Or have I just fallen in with a particular crowd? Would it be the same in the UK? I have joined everything since having a baby but haven't found my 'tribe' at all.

user1492232552 Sat 15-Apr-17 10:23:24

Are you in Joondalup ?
I think it's a very image concious place, i'm working in Karratha so not so much here but still very showy, my boat covered in red dust is bigger than your boat sort of thing.
PM me if you like if you want a coffee with a down to earth normalish person, i'm in Perth every couple of weeks and need friends myself.

giggly Sat 15-Apr-17 10:37:28

Perhaps it is the suburb you are in. I found Perth all about image as well. I really struggled in as a parent as well took about 2 years to get any real friends. I lived in Greenwood and found it less image centred . In hindsight I should have lived in a suburb full.of ex pats. FWIW I see that hair bow shit in the UK as well so bad taste in definitely world wide. Not in WA any more but I'm sure others will be along soon. It is really hard work at times with 2 wee ones so be gentle on yourself. I also found it hard without the help from extended family and familiar environment. Have you gone along to the eco fairy events? I found the women there were more real and forgiving than the mummy mommies. We used to spend most weeks down in Freemantle as it felt more "me". Your tribe is out there just haven't found them yet.wink

Archduke Sat 15-Apr-17 10:49:43

They sound mad OP. Glued on hair bows. Jesus.

You sound perfectly lovely, dump the weirdos you seem to have met, I have no idea if it's a Perth thing. I'm in Adelaide and I think finding your group is a bit i of an ongoing process.

Can you incorporate your adventurous spirit with the kids?

Archduke Sat 15-Apr-17 10:51:51

With that last comment I meant are there hiking/camping groups (Parkrun maybe?)

dailystuck71 Sat 15-Apr-17 12:04:28

I felt like this when I lived in Perth - woodvale. I felt very isolated and also like an alien at local groups. I found making friends very very hard. The move didn't work out for us, not because of that but because of visa changes so not there anymore but hopefully you'll find your people soon. Good luck.

OdinsLoveChild Sat 15-Apr-17 12:23:04

I moved back to the uk almost 20 years ago for many of the reasons, among others, you have listed upthewolves. I lived in Claremont (with family, I couldn't afford it with my previous job). I found it almost impossible to socialise with genuine people. My best friend lived out in Armadale (not an affluent neighbourhood for those who dont know about the area) I was constantly berated by parents at the school gate because of it.
I struggled to afford all the things that my neighbours/work colleagues could and they didn't care it made me feel awful. I also experienced some of the most open racism ever in my life there too.

I was recently offered the opportunity to go back for work and it took me a nanosecond to decide 'absolutely not'. I wouldn't go back as I'm just not convinced that anything has changed much.

You could stick it out and try to create your own social groups. I'm the sort who moves on if its not working within 12 months or so. Life is too short to live it being miserable.

I hope you find what you are looking for. flowers

sunbunnydownunder Sat 15-Apr-17 12:26:08

I am in Perth. I have a almost 10 year old, 7 year old and a 5 month old. I must be lucky my mothers group with my youngest is fairly normal. Quite a few of them have been off camping already with their bubs. My kids go to the local school so the families we mix with in general are pretty down to earth, yeap some of them have the big houses and boats etc but in general not over the top about it.

ZeroDarkHurty Sat 15-Apr-17 12:31:22

Have you heard of Hike it Baby? There's a Perth group, although I don't know of they're active (the Sydney one is - they hold weekly hikes for parents, often on pram friendly tracks). Might be more interesting than the usual baby groups.

upthewolves Sun 16-Apr-17 05:03:36

Oh thank you all, it's great to hear from people who know what I mean!

Yes I will look into the outdoorsy baby groups. DD is still very little so it's hard to do that stuff but we have taken her camping and she loved it.

I'm not in joondalup no, I'm SOR. I had wondered if it would be easier up northern suburbs as I know it's a bit more multicultural up there and there are a lot of brits. I'm in a very Aussie suburb.

Odinslovechild I hate that attitude and can imagine it in Claremont! My mum group isn't really like that, it's more wives of miners etc so loads of money but no education beyond high school/ no real life experience/ never left Perth except to go to Bali. Honestly they are nice people (I wouldn't put up with them if I didn't think they were good people) but ive moved across the world and have no support network and they don't have any experience of that, plus I'm postgraduate educated and I think they think that's mad. It does seem mad probably because they are driving cars about 10 x the value of mine and live in massive houses but my DH is always telling me that it's all on tick and not how it seems!

It does sound like I need to try again and join different kinds of things. We won't be here forever but it is lonely when you feel different so I will try some different groups. Thanks for tip on baby hike! I have done parkrun but not for a while. Fitness has dropped off a bit lately!

Thanks all. User I will pm you!

user1492232552 Sun 16-Apr-17 05:17:51

We were NOR and I was thinking of settling south to get the experience you're having due to the insular, only mix with Scots, Irish, etc that you get NOR. Its a funny place tbh, I often wonder if Melbourne would have been a better choice.

CaptainWarbeck Sun 16-Apr-17 05:23:35

You could try joining your local playgroup maybe, there'll be one close to you. I felt a bit the same as you with my first mother's group, lots of mums whose husbands worked away and they had big fancy cars and prams etc, whereas me and DS came to meet ups in a sling with some nappies in a shoulder bag, him dressed in basic Target onesies. Luckily the group were all friendly but we drifted apart a bit.

The playgroup I joined (we're in Perth hills) is much more laid back, older kids run around and play with toys, mums are normal and frazzled and nice and have coffee, sometimes there's crafts and people help out holding babies so you can have a break. I'm due DD soon and glad I've got the support there. Like you I've tried lots of things and this has been the best. It's once a week in locations all over Perth, your DD would probably like the toys and other kids too.

I would've thought the bow thing was silly too. smile

It's not just you, I think while the image stuff does exist in Perth, it's also dependent on where you are. Fancier suburbs like Claremont I imagine are chock full of it. NOR where we were to start off with was more normal. Perth hills has even less status stuff going on, people seem more down to earth. Fremantle will be more alternative and hippy friendly. You could try looking up groups in different areas? Swimming/toddler music/dance type stuff? Waterbabies classes are absolutely lovely if you wanted to try that with your second baby.

I know it's hard but try not to compare yourself and what you're giving your daughter with others. Kids don't need rooms full of toys. They need love and a happy home. My DS is getting chickens for his birthday. His pal got 50 presents and a massive party with bouncy castle. Some people go a bit OTT in my book. If they're nice people though I try to ignore the differences in house size, toys etc, make sure my place is clean and tidy and remember that the kids that come over will enjoy playing with different toys to what they usually have.

CaptainWarbeck Sun 16-Apr-17 05:32:08

Here's the link to hike it baby Perth: - they do meet regularly and you can use prams/slings/walk. They seem really nice and I've posted there a few times meaning to get along but haven't managed it yet.

Parkruns are all over the place, lots of families there running with buggies and there's a regular coffee meet up after the run to chat to regulars and newbies. The best way I found to get to know other parkrunners was to volunteer, you end up making conversation with the other volunteers. You're a fitter person than me if you're running at 11 weeks pregnant but volunteering might be an option.

I think making parent friends is a hard adjustment if your regular friends group are childless, but you're doing the right thing by joining as many groups as you can, although I know it can be frustrating to keep putting yourself out there. Oh and do sign up for parent group again with your next DC, you might hit lucky with a group more similar to yourself smile

CaptainWarbeck Sun 16-Apr-17 05:38:59 brew

TerrorAustralis Mon 17-Apr-17 09:57:42

Oh OP, how did you not LOL at the glued on bow!

I'm from Perth (not living there currently, may move back one day). I can assure you that not everyone is like that in Perth. I really think you should follow some of the advice above and try to reach out to form some new networks.

Your DH is probably right about buying everything on credit. Australia has the highest level of household debt in the world right now.

Please don't feel inferior. You're not. Their stuff doesn't make them better. You child's wardrobe might not be Instagram-worthy, but I'm sure she doesn't mind.

Heatherbell1978 Thu 20-Apr-17 09:25:24

I'm not in Perth but we're moving there from the UK next year. We have friends in NOR with very young kids who are exactly the opposite to what you describe so there is hope! We visited last year and did a lot of outdoor things with them all and loved it. I have a newborn and a 2 year old and tbh I think amongst mummy crowds you're going to get that anywhere. I noticed with DS when I was on mat leave that some groups were awful for the comparisons of buggies etc etc but some much friendlier. This mat leave I'm too tired to care but also not really looking for new mummy friends so I hope I wouldn't come across like that. But I'll need to work when we get to Perth so not in the same league as the women you're dealing with.
That bow Hang in there, it's them not you!

user1492232552 Thu 20-Apr-17 09:35:35

Hope you got jobs and Residency Heatherbell, it's a blood bath here atm

Chinnygirl Thu 20-Apr-17 11:39:32

A glue-on bow for a baby???????
Forget about the city, I'm feeling an alien on this earth reading that.

AGapInTheMarket Thu 20-Apr-17 11:51:24

I'm in Darwin so sounds like similar crowd of WaGs of miners etc with more $$ than sense! I struggled to find my mum tribe too and ended up buddying up with some mums with older kids and second children my DD's age. But they were women I already vaguely knew rather than an organised group. I just rather desperately latched onto them and they were very kind! It only takes one good friend to help you feel less alone with a new baby!! Good luck.

millsbynight Fri 28-Apr-17 12:00:44

God I hate Perth. I lived there most of my live and left as soon as I was old enough.

I went to school in Claremont but lived quite far NOR close to Joondalup. I feel like people in Perth have no class or culture and I cringe every time I go back because people think they really are better than they are.

The only thing Perth has going for it are the beaches. That's about it.

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