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surviving the world of mummies

(7 Posts)
Cookiemg Tue 12-Jul-11 09:36:32

I have lived in Edinburgh for 20 years and moved to a certain area 20months ago with our 2.5 year old. I work part time and on the other days take care off dd and have found it nigh on impossible to break into the local mummy network, I have been doing to a toddler group for 18months and generally feel uncomfortable, invisible and only really feel a breakthrough now but am so ready to throw the towel in and want to move back to the area we came from where we had friends. I'm trying to create a network for me and my child but I only have so much strength, this has greatly affected my marriage, parenting skills and self esteem. I want to develop distant relationship with mums so that dd can have friends as I find mummy chat deadeadening. Should I move back to where we came from, how do I create a network, why are these women so excluding? I genuinely am a very friendly person who needs a sense of community and feeling connected and I know that I.have a very outgoing wee girl too.

LadyWord Tue 12-Jul-11 09:47:58

What area is it? I'm in Edinburgh, and also work part-time with 2 DC. IME making "mum friends" is hit and miss. My best ones I met at random through other people, and on here. Toddler groups are not an easy way to go about it because the people there tend to form cliques and become exclusive.

Also, if you don't like "mum talk", don't do it - talk about what you're interested in. I work and I'm very interested in science, media, current affairs, art & craft, etc. When I meet a mum at some point I try to tactfully ask what they do (without making it sound like being a SAHM makes them boring! - that's not the case, though I do like talking to people about work) and if their job or hobby is something I'm into, we can talk about that.

Lastly don't pin your self-esteem and happiness on your success in the "world of mummies". Mums are just people, you are only going to really hit it off with 5-10% of them, just like anyone else.

MoreBeta Tue 12-Jul-11 10:03:50

Cokiemg - I am a SAHD so breaking into the 'mummy network' is pretty much impossIble for me and I never bothered.

Don't sweat it. If this is your first child then you are feeling your way and it all seems overwhelming and hard but in reality your DD wilL make friends when she get sto school, you wil get to know parents ion her class and all of thsi phase will be a distant memory. Your DD will not have 'freinds' at this age anyway.

You presumambly have other friends from work so I would focus on maintaining those friendships. Don't worry about DD - she will have friends when she gets to school and at teh moment she does not care.

I am a bit surprised this issue has affected your marriage. Surely there is more to it than that? Is it because you feel isolated in the place you moved to? If it is a small village or very tightly knit socio economic area in a town it will take you a long time to break in. Take it slowly. No one is excluding you on purpose. It just takes time.

pleasenap Tue 12-Jul-11 10:29:09

I was in a very similar situation when my eldest DC was a young toddler - worked p/t, moved and knew no-one, toddler groups were like pulling teeth. MoreBeta is spot on - once they get to school it all becomes much easier. I did find those years quite hard and lonely (which did impact my relationships with others, like DH, cos I was unhappy with life and in the doldrums). It would make me sad that my DC had no 'friends' except for a few of my friend's children (and make me feel like crap seeing as I felt it was due to my failings that I couldn't find local friends). But he socialised at nursery and was very happy and outgoing there (and still is).

It is hard and it does make you feel like there must be something up with you and that you're harming your child's formative years by the lack of wide social circle. But're not! Toddlers/pre-schoolers have very basic expectations - happiest with you and looking at ants or a leaf for an hour. They don't feel billy no mates and your DD's outgoingness will still be there and stand her in good stead at school (and she socialises at nursery/childminders I'm sure!).

Cookiemg Tue 12-Jul-11 10:54:20

Oh pleasenap thank you as well as the others you have hit it on the head. I'm cagey about saying where in Edinburgh it is as it is a small place, suffice to say it is an affluent, conservaive area in the south of the city. It has affected my marriage because as you said pleasenap I am essentially unhappy and am not having my basic needs met so don't feel motivated to give any more to these groups, find the rigours of looking after a small child hard and feel 'misunderstood' by my husband. As I mentioned I am a creative to trade and have to travel to the other end of all be it a small city, to find inspiration. My husband and I have had many arguments about moving, he likes the quiet oasis the house offers on returning from work but I need a sense of community as my days are too quiet and dull. I think that it's sanguine to try to fill the days with my buddies around the city rather than banging my head againsts a brick wall, 18 months is enough trying. many thanks again to you all.

MoreBeta Tue 12-Jul-11 14:38:37

Cookiemg - I privately guessed exactly where you live. I dont live in Edinburgh but I know where you are talking about. I will not say the area but am not surprised. It has a bit of a reputation for being socially quite exclusive.

Its a quite affluent place with lots of private school educated parents all of whom have lived there for ages as did their parents. They all know each other well and move in the same social circle. Very few mothers work.

Sounds like your DH is enamored with the social cache of the area but you need more. Its not just about the school. Am I right?

LadyWord Wed 13-Jul-11 09:22:00

Ooh it's sounding more and more like the place where I live - ticks all the boxes - though I can think of a couple of others it could be too. I also have a creative career so I think we have a lot in common.

I love living in a quiet, leafy and beautiful place that's also vibrant/good for shops and well-connected to town. But I do sometimes want to knock people on the forehead (especially some other mums I have to confess blush) and say "hello? is this the 21st century we're living in or is it 1952?" But there are interesting people everywhere, you just have to find them by showing them the real you - gradually at first of course. You won't find kindred spirits if everyone sticks to the mum-talk because that's what everyone else is doing, IYSWIM.

Plus don't underestimate the effect looking after a 2.5yo has on you anyway - they're exhausting. That will get easier too.

Anyway do message me if you want.

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