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Trying to make friends with other preschool mums - tough gig!

(19 Posts)
JoshandJamie Sun 24-Jun-07 21:21:22

So I moved to a new area just less than a year ago. My son recently started at a preschool one village away. Although I have met some people since living here, I still feel like a bit of a stranger.

I've tried chatting to the other mums while waiting for preschool to open but no-one seems willing to engage in a conversation. In fact they all just chat to each other in little cliques. But even the mums who don't seem to know others seem loathe smile/say hello.

So I thought I'd try to get to know them better (I know what it's like when people have an established group of friends - it's easy to overlook someone new) by going to one of the committee meetings (which on the noticeboard says: everyone is welcome to attend).

OMG. When i arrived, I was stared at like I was some kind of freak. I didn't know half the people there but they didn't bother doing introductions. I tried to contribute to conversations where I could and I offered my services in one area specifically.

I've since done what I said I would do (don't want to be too specific in case any of them are mumsnetters) and have offered help at the local fete and a bunch of other things.

It seems like the more I've tried to help or be friendly, the cooler they have become. Today i went to the local fete and did my shift helping out. The other mums barely spoke to me. People from the committee meeting who I passed and said hello to just ignored me.

I don't smell. I think I'm reasonably nice. Have tried to be helpful without being pushy. have tried to make conversation. And I've been stonewalled.

Am now not sure how to proceed. My DH says I should just say screw them and not offer any more help. But I'm not sure that's going to help my cause. This makes me dread the school years because I get the impression that these mums also run the PTA. sigh. The politics just seems scary.

fransmom Sun 24-Jun-07 21:24:30

blooomin office politics. you sound like a lovely lady

babyblue2 Sun 24-Jun-07 21:32:37

Add the topic of unfriendliness onto the the 'any other business' section of your next committee meeting and tell them how you feel. I imagine they won't quite know where to look.

JoshandJamie Sun 24-Jun-07 21:33:17

Thanks Fransmom. I think I'm a nice lady. Not perfect but not deserving of such unfriendliness. sigh

fransmom Sun 24-Jun-07 21:36:17

bb2 norty but funny

JoshandJamie Sun 24-Jun-07 21:37:01

babyblue, they actually even asked that at the last committe meeting!! They said: we can't understand why more mums aren't joining the committee (cue all turn and stare at me) 'We aren't that unfriendly a bunch are we?'

In a situation like that (first meeting and all) I said nothing, smiled, pretended I didn't know what they were talking about (was a fairly intimidating environment). But I reckon if it ever came up again, i might just say something, particularly if i was fortified with a glass of wine.

fransmom Sun 24-Jun-07 21:38:51

how about being fortified with a glass of fortified wine????

JoshandJamie Sun 24-Jun-07 21:40:16

Seriously though, should I keep trying? Is it still early days? Or should I just say screw it and find mates elsewhere?

arbs Sun 24-Jun-07 21:40:28

Sorry to hear about this terrible treatment, some people are so thoughtless!!

Has your ds got friendly with any of the other children yet, maybe thats a way to get talking to another mum.

skatergirl Sun 24-Jun-07 21:41:02

Why don't you joint the Committee officially? Maybe they don't realise they are being so unwelcoming - it sounds like they could do with someone like you to sort them out.

JoshandJamie Sun 24-Jun-07 21:51:36

Arbs, my son has become good friends with one of the kids (admittedly the mum isn't on the committee). But our sons get on really well and I always try to talk to the other mum at preschool. She smiles but that's about it. I put it down to her being shy. Today she was in front of me at the queue at the fete. Our sons greeted each other and I said hello, she looked at me like she didn't know who I was. So I thought, fair enough, maybe she doesn't recognise me (note: I wasn't wearing a wig or a moustache).

Our sons then went on a funfair ride together. i tried talking to her - one word answers was what I got in return. Her DH was friendlier. So I gave up.

Skatergirl, I wonder whether that isn't the problem. I told them I couldn't be a formal member of the committee (they're desperate for new members) but none of them work and the formal roles take a huge amount of time (they asked me to be chair FGS!). I run my own business and already can't fit all my work in around kids so taking on a formal role just isn't possible.

Oh sod it, I'm just going to say it and if they see this, they see it.

I do PR and I offered (without being a formal committee member) to help raise their profile - something they said they desperately need. I duly made a start by getting the local paper to come take pictures of them last week. Not a word said. I don't expect applause, but a small thank you or a smile or hello would be nice.

babyblue2 Sun 24-Jun-07 21:51:37

I'll be honest, i pick up dd from nursery everyday, i don't really speak to them but have started to chat to a couple. There was one woman who i really didn't like, didn't know her. We never spoke, even if we were passing in the street, there'd be no polite hello's... until we bumped into each other at a park one day and we were kinda forced to talk and now we don't converse everyday but its no longer strained. I think you should attend another meeting and if they don't broatch the subject i think you should say you've been thinking about their comment at the last meeting and tell them that that is how you had felt, or if there is someone your DS is friends with, talk to their parent and ask them if their son fancies popping over to play - to break the ice.

Yurtgirl Sun 24-Jun-07 21:58:35

I have exp this a lot tbh I normally tell myself its their loss. IME (and I have had a lot of billy no mates exp!!) some people cant be bothered to make friends with new people regardles of how fantastic you are. Its almost as if they can see a moustache on your face even though of course there isnt - its their loss honestly.

My kids school hold quite a lot of courses/social stuff during the school day which has been fantastic for me. If I were you I would give up for a bit and get socialising with other people- go on a course, join a gym etc

Good luck

skatergirl Sun 24-Jun-07 21:59:58

Don't be the Chair! No matter what they say it does take up time. Although it sounds like you would be a good one. Its not on to be helping them out though and not getting any recognition, don't know what to suggest though. Sorry

arbs Sun 24-Jun-07 22:00:30

I just cannot get my head around their treatment of you, I recently went to pick up me neice from Nursery as my SIL has just had a baby.

I was chatting with the other mothers while we were waiting outside. I had never met them before, or since. There was no staring or ignoring. It was just a group of women chatting about a common interest.....children.

JoshandJamie Mon 25-Jun-07 07:00:18

I know arbs, I don't get it either.

Pennies Mon 25-Jun-07 12:37:03

Having recently been in your situation (new to a village) I know how hard it is to break in. Sounds like they're very insular people an need someone like you to open them up a bit. I would bring up the topic of unfriendliness at the next meeting (of course there are ways and ways) and see if something can be done about it.

At my old M&T group they always made a point of stopping proceedings once everything got going just for a few minutes for everyone there to introduce themselves and their kids. So if anyone was knew they could say so then and they were welcomed and it also gave anyone else a chance to share any relevant news (e.g. just found out I'm expecting no. 2 or it's little Jimmy's bithday today etc etc) which always provided a springboard for more chat once we had finished introductions. It was great.

Current M&T group doesn't do that and it's been quite hard to make friends but they've all been very nice to me tho!

Oblomov Mon 25-Jun-07 12:51:24

This is really sad - J&J. But i am not surprised. many poeple comment to me that they find it this way, re picking up my ds from nursery , playgroup. Is it just that people don't have time for eachother anymore ?

kamikayzed Mon 25-Jun-07 13:00:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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