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Is it just me who feels a spare part at M&T groups?

(92 Posts)
sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:13:12

I guess it has kind of crept up on me, this feeling I mean. Also, if I just went to one group with DS then I suppose I could put it down to that group being cliquey, but I go to several and I think they are all pretty much the same.

I am starting to find that I initiate conversations and nobody is rude to me and they don't ignore me but don't really include me beyond a few mements of chat IYKWIM.

I think that it's really important to get DS to social with other children of his age so I do persevere but some days I feel it's like torture - a bit like first day at school.

Perhaps I'm not the bubbly,fabulous,funny, effervescent person I once thought I was.

Does anyone else feel this way?

flum Wed 18-May-05 13:15:19

I think its just that everyone is bored. they don't want to talk to you because they are scared you are going to start droning on about your kid and how many words they can say, and if it can catch a ball blah blah blah.

in my experience anyway, thats why I daren't speak to other mums incase they are as boring about their kids as I am about mine!

sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:18:14

thanks Flum...ummm that's really helpful

beatie Wed 18-May-05 13:19:26

Yes - I think you'll find it is a common feeling.

I sometimes feel like I have nothing to judge the other women on or for them to judge me on. We're a bunch of women, all dressed similarly, all a similar age, in yet we could have nothing in common. It's difficult to break through the 'mother identity' without asking rude questions, to find out if it's worth getting to know these people.

At least when you meet people through partners, work, college, or friends - you have some idea about them beforehand.

bossykate Wed 18-May-05 13:20:49


how long have you been going, sparepart? it took me ages to feel at home at the playgroup i go to. do you think you would be better off focusing your efforts on just the one group?

sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:24:06

I've been going for about 6 months now.

I'm not bothered if most of the groups are quiet but it would be lovely to perhaps find someone that was on my wavelength , that I could have a natter and alugh with. Don't particularly start my sentences about how many poos ds has made and what colour and texture they are (that last bit was for Flum BTW)

Chandra Wed 18-May-05 13:24:55

I thinkmost people here hate M&T groups. Sure there are some very fortunate that have found lovely groups but for the rest... is a very ackward feeling. I personally hated mine. I think that in many groups all the mothers are so focussed in the socialisation of their children that they forget that they also need to socialise themselves (or better said, set the example). Mine was rather monosilabic and very competitive. You could see lots of mothers on their own, quiet for an hour while their children were going fromtoy to toy. The last time I went there I felt as if I was sitting in a beach, crowded but with nobody I could speak to. I never came back and I don't regret it. I have found it's nicer if you have some friends with kids that are not that focused in achieving the socalisation targets but ready to enjoy a relaxed afternoon/morning together and let the children play in the mean time works much better for both children and mums.

oliveoil Wed 18-May-05 13:25:38

Took me ages too. And I wouldn't say I have made any bosom buddies, more like acquaintences (sp?) that I can have a chat to when in Asda (the glamour).

And what is wrong with talking about children anyway, I LOVE droning on, it's fantastic.

katierocket Wed 18-May-05 13:28:24

I think I was quite lucky as the way ours was structured made it easier to strike up conversations. It was a 2 hour thing with 1 hour devoted to a (usually useless) talk from a HV on feeding/sleeping etc and the other hour just general chat. I might 4 other mums who I still see regularly as a group. Out of those 1 is definitely not really my sort of person, 2 I get on well with and the other has become a really good friend (although 3 years on my DS and her DD argue all the time but that's another story!).
Some of it is luck; meeting someone that is your 'sort' of person.

sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:28:36

So agree with you Chandra, with everything you have said. I just find it feels really vacant but strange as the women and men there seem nice enough.

The whole point of me going is to get to know some people so that it could lead to the whole socialising separately thing, it's just not happening. I am fairly new to this area so no family or existing friends around etc etc

MarsLady Wed 18-May-05 13:29:04

M & T groups are pretty much all the same. To be honest I go so that I can get a bit of space from the DTs. They charge about playing with everything and exploring. It's all fun until some well meaning mum tells me to look at one of my treasures doing something that I've seen them do a million times and said mum gets a bit put out that I'm not in the DTs faces ooh and aahing about everything. I'm all for healthy ignoral. I don't know why people don't talk much. I can talk to just about anyone, but to be honest I've done the poo talks to death. I mostly go with my BF and we spend the time catching up on life. We chat to others but some mums just don't want to talk so we leave them be.

Probably doesn't help you a bit really. Sorry. Just know that you are the bubbly,fabulous,funny, effervescent person you thought and the mums at these groups are completely blind and stupid

flum Wed 18-May-05 13:30:48

ok well it was just an alternative view point.

they are just too wierd though aren't they. all the mums look so bored. i think they just go for the kids maybe.

I would just start making up stories about knowing famous people then everyone will wnt to be your friend.

sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:31:15

ML that last comment made tea come out of my nose...haven't had that happen EVER!

sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:32:58

oh yes FLUM care to start the ball rolling ...a idea per chance of who I might say I am having a secret tryst with....

*runs away scared of what the Flumster might suggest*

MarsLady Wed 18-May-05 13:33:42

Good! Got ya smiling All true though.

Donbean Wed 18-May-05 13:33:47

These mother and toddler groups are the same country wide it seems.
It is definitely NOT a reflection on you and your personality not bieng as sparkling, i disagree with this assumption completely.
(obviously you are fab and sparkly and effervesant )
This thread is a common one.
Im quite a confident person who will talk to any one about any thing and i cant seem to penetrate the tough gangland exterior that is mums and tots group!!!
Ive given up because i am fun, make people laugh and can talk about stuff other than the fact that my boy should be in a mensa university for the under 2's which is quite blatently glaringly obvious to all that come into contact with him.....and if they dont want me then stuff um.
I will go and talk to people who do want me...........(can you hear that echo in this empty room....full of my bezzy mates.....

Gwenick Wed 18-May-05 13:33:57

oooo I have to disagree they're NOT all the same. Our town seems to have a disproportianly (sp) large number of groups for the size of the town and in the 2 1/2yrs (nearly 3!) I've been living here have visited about 12 of them. Several of then I visited once and never went again, one or two I visited a few times, and 2 I still go to regularly now.

I've made some really good friends, and as a result of going to these groups have found out about other activites in our town, which I've since attended and made more friends.

morningpaper Wed 18-May-05 13:34:11

I agree with Beatie: "We're a bunch of women, all dressed similarly, all a similar age, in yet we could have nothing in common"

It's so much effort to actually engage another mother in talking, and then it takes a long time of chat to understand whether you have anything in common, and it's hard to get talking that long without your child poking their child's eyes out - sometimes it doesn't seem worth the effort. Sounds terrible doesn't it?!

flum Wed 18-May-05 13:34:12

I expect you are very fun and effervescent. I've been to a few ages ago when on maternity leave.

and am about to embark on new career as SAHM so will be skipping off to Mothers Groups all over Wiltshire, will no doubt be ignored but we will see.

morningpaper Wed 18-May-05 13:37:18

haha flum! Disengage brain and prepare for Warp Speed 0.

Fimbo Wed 18-May-05 13:37:28

I was lucky in the respect I started going to mine with a friend when I had ds 17 mths ago so it was easier. But when we moved here 5 years ago and I didn't know a soul it was very hard, you immediately feel like a "stranger" and whilst people look at you very few strike up conversation or if they do, they only talk for a few minutes and then ignore you again to chat to their friends. My friend and I have recently joined the committee of our local M & T group, and try to make sure new people feel welcome. Perhaps you could offer help to the organisers - not neccessarily to join the committee but perhaps help set out the toys in the morning/clear up at the end etc, make the teas and coffees etc. It may help you to lose part of the "spare part" feeling.

sparepart Wed 18-May-05 13:37:34

ooh blimey... no hope for me then.
Perhaps I could start an elite M&T group....

Bouncer on the have to say something witty before you're allowed in...have to fawn all over me when I regale you of my tales with celebrities...
I see,this is how it's going to work right?

flum Wed 18-May-05 13:38:10

Well Sparepart start with someone kind of local and famous its more believable.

Also I find spreading salacious gossip about local high footers always gathers a crowd quite quickly. always begin with ' a friend of mine was telling me........'

there by avoiding a slander case and with the same bat showing how popular you are and how many 'friends' confide in you.

flum Wed 18-May-05 13:39:48

that sounds great sparepart - why don't you have a dress code too!

Fimbo Wed 18-May-05 13:40:09

Sorry last post wasn't very clear - I also have a dd who's nearly 7.

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