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The school run makes me feel lonely as hell

(25 Posts)
boglach Thu 10-Nov-11 13:01:35

I am sorry I need a rant

I am so hacked off with the unfriendly and uninviting nature of a lot of the mums on the school run. Or maybe it is me?

I make an effort to smile, to chat and make small talk. I have gone against my introvert nature and even gone up to other mums and instigated conversation. I ask them about their lives and their children

After weeks of getting nothing back and not one play date for my ds and at least two parties he hasn't been invited to I give up. I am beginning to worry about my ds, who to my knowledge is a very normal, nice little boy. I do have close friends but they tend to live further away or don't have kids. Whilst I am introvert by nature, I do like people and would like some support/social contact.

Most days I hear other mums arranging their play dates and parties and on numerous occasions I have left the school playground in tears because I feel so lonely inside. I know some of you will tell me to get a thicker skin or the problem is me but it isn't that easy is it?

OP’s posts: |
fuzzypeach1750 Thu 10-Nov-11 13:06:22

It's not you, it's hard trying to break in to friendships. Maybe invite a friend of DC home for tea?

Fuchzia Thu 10-Nov-11 13:12:31

I'm sorry, don't have any advice but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. I sometimes feel the same way myself but I think it's possible that I get the impression that everyone else surrounded by all these supportive friends when I don't really know what other people's lives are really like.

boglach Thu 10-Nov-11 13:12:31

thanks fuzzypeach smile

I do swing between thinking 'what the heck' I am quite happy with my own company and I can't be something I am not just to fit into a social group. But then I feel left out and I worry my ds is missing out because there is something wrong with me (I do have low self esteem at times which maybe doesn't help)

I have always felt a bit on the fringe of things. I had friends at school but was never one of the popular crowd. Those girls just seemed to ooze confidence and it seems the same on the school run. The seemingly calm, well dressed mums that just seem to relish it. I do envy them.

OP’s posts: |
TheProvincialLady Thu 10-Nov-11 13:13:00

What are you hoping to achieve? Making friends of your own or friends for your DS? Have you invited other children for playdates and/or their mothers for coffee etc?

If your DS is friends with children he will most likely get invited to their parties. If he doesn't really play with them, he probably won't. If he is happy at school and making friends there then I wouldn't worry about him - maybe encourage him to join an after school club or activity to make extra friends there and practise his social skills (I have just done this for my DS1). And if you want friendship but aren''t finding it at the school gate, get yourself out there to activities you enjoy and meet like minded folk rather than just people who happen to have children the same age as yours.

FWIW I already knew/was friends with a lot of the mums when my DS started school, and have chatted to all the newcomers too but no new friendships have come of it yet. It is only a few minutes a day of light chat (and no wine!), so not the best place to meet friends IMO. I am sure it is nothing personal.

MyMelody Thu 10-Nov-11 13:13:25

i think you will find a lot of people on mn feel exactly the same as you.

is your ds in reception? i wouldn't worry too much about playdates yet, once your ds has established friendships he will let you know who he would like over for tea, children will make friends with who they want at school regardless of who their parents talk to.

boglach Thu 10-Nov-11 13:13:40

yes fuchzia - never compare your inside to someone else's outside, but it is hard sometimes.

OP’s posts: |
SuperLemonCrush Thu 10-Nov-11 13:14:41

I would second making the first move and inviting a school friend + mum home after school. You can make it very casual - usually people are happy to accept. It's quite nice to swap mobile numbers - then it's easier to text and arrange another time if you feel shy about it.
Also it's good to be one of those "head up, smile, eye contact" people when you are walking up the road/going into the playground - its easy to chat when you catch up with a wee friend on the way to or from school.
Making friends in the playground seems to take a huge amount of social investment...I can never work out why it isn't the same as being in a work situation where you can just chat/have coffee!

Hullygully Thu 10-Nov-11 13:16:00

Invite invite invite

eventually you'll get one back..

Pancakeflipper Thu 10-Nov-11 13:16:59

Is your son in reception or have you recently moved schools?

It can be hard at first.

My DS1 went to a school where the mums seemed to know each other. And DS2 was very ill during DS1's reception year. The mums would be off smiling laughing for a coffee etc. And I'd be sloping back off home to tend to my ill son either at home or hospital. No time to bond!

You say it's alot of the mums being uninviting. Have they got older kids/know each other from other places?

What about the other few mums who are probably standing back. Probably feeling abit lonely too? Is there anyone else?

Give it time. Your son will make friends and from these friendships playdates will be organised and you'll chat to other mums.

Are there anythings you can involve yourself with - I used to help one morning before registration with some other mums sorting out the library. I got to know a few mums that way. There's the PTA etc..

Try to not get upset about it. If your son started school in Sept it's only been a few weeks.

You will make good friends.

JaneBirkin Thu 10-Nov-11 13:17:16

I understand.

I think it is important to remember it isn't quantity, but quality when it comes to making new friends.

What I mean is eventually one of them will talk back to you, you will go for coffee, you will swap children on occasion.

And that will be the start.
It can take years to get into the swing of it. I sometimes find myself feeling hurt because people arrange play dates and trips out and so on without mentioning it to me. But then they have always invited me in the past and often I have said no, because I'm really introverted too.

So that's why they don't ask me always now. They know the answer! smile

Trust me, you will make at least one or two friends before your son leaves that school, and probably many more.

Just keep on keeping on as they say.

JaneBirkin Thu 10-Nov-11 13:19:21

Also I meant to say, I may not be the socially adept, always laughing type of person who does the mums' nights out and all that, but I have found several of the other parents take me at face value, are very prepared to talk or spend time just doing normal things without the need for socialising particularly. They trust me and we get on well.

So I've found a niche - I'm not actively disliked and that's good enough for me. People know what I am good for and what I'm not.

Hope you feel a bit better soon.

boglach Thu 10-Nov-11 13:20:11

ProvincialLady your post made a lot of sense thanks. I suppose I don't want my ds to miss out but his teacher assured us he is mixing well and making friends.

For me? Sometimes I do feel a bit lonely but then I would not want to be socialising all the time anyway. I like time to myself as I write as a hobby and love reading. But yes some like minded friends just to see for a cuppa or a glass of wine would be nice.

I am trying. I take my dd to a toddler group which seems reasonably friendly and I have been invited by a neighbour to an Usbourne book sale evening. I am thinking of getting my ds into an after school science club.

I know my ds will make his own friends and they will always be welcome here. I like to think my house is fun and friendly

OP’s posts: |
MyMelody Thu 10-Nov-11 13:23:57

i think you have to try (hard as it is) to not take it personally, just go to the school gate, smile, talk to people if they want to talk but don't feel like you are an outcast if you don't talk to many people, you are only going there to pick up/drop off your ds after all. if after a while your ds says he wants a certain child over then try and arrange something with the mum or dad.

if it is friendships for yourself you are after i think you should see about joining pta or something like that?

boglach Thu 10-Nov-11 13:25:55

You know I think in my need to rant I implied some of the mums seem a bit cold, but then I know that could be my perception. Also different personality types will manage it differently I suppose. Not saying which way is right, we are all born differently!

Hullygully - yes I am thinking of asking one mum if her boy wants to come for tea. My ds mentions him a lot. I just haven't plucked up the courage yet

OP’s posts: |
MyMelody Thu 10-Nov-11 13:26:59

its nearly as bad as askiing someone out on a date isn't it grin fear of rejection!!

fuzzypeach1750 Thu 10-Nov-11 13:27:46

I joined the PTA and found it a great way to make friends. It helps to get you known around the school too smile

Hullygully Thu 10-Nov-11 13:28:29

do it do it

the first time we had a boy home for tea I didn't sleep the night before with anxiety...

Now (years later) our house is always full.

she will be grateful. Get a pizza and some ice cream and it will be fine. don't necessarily expect a tit for tat invite back, we have always hosted more than guested! It really doesn't matter as long as the dc are happy.

do it. go on.

margoandjerry Thu 10-Nov-11 13:28:35

I felt like this for ages. Answer: it's not you, it's not them, it just takes time.

I went to our local church for a year (the school's church so it's relevant in that it's the same parents) and nobody spoke to me at all. All of a sudden I connected with someone and now you would look at me and think I was "in the in crowd"! Sometimes the things that break the ice are silly - manning the cake stall together for cake sales or something like that.

Please don't think this is about you or that anyone else is better at this. Everyone (almost) find it hard. And it's very true about not judging insides by outsides or whatever that expression is.

Hullygully Thu 10-Nov-11 13:28:51

and yy to the pta.

dontforget2scream Thu 10-Nov-11 13:30:04

Hi, I'm in the same boat. My DD started school in September and didn't know anyone in her class (bar one little boy she vaguely knew from Nursery) and I didn't know any of the parents.

The other parents have been very friendly but the majority all seem to have known each other for years; same NCT groups, same mum and toddler groups, same pre-schools etc.. The working parents even help each other out with regular after school childcare.

None of the mums have been anything other than inclusive when chatting in the playground but they just don't seem to need another friend, if that makes sense?

My DD isn't being invited on playdates or to parties either, and it does hurt on her behalf. But I'm determined not to give in. I'll keep being friendly, keep helping out with PTA stuff etc.. I don't see that I have much option but to keep plugging away and hope that time does the rest.

TheProvincialLady Thu 10-Nov-11 14:20:01

I'm not sure how much playdating goes on in early reception actually. We have had one little girl over for tea and DS has been to his best friend's house/has had his BF (who he has known since nursery) here once a week or so, but that is it. And I DO work a bit harder as my DS struggles a little socially.

Sparklingbrook Thu 10-Nov-11 14:24:54

Hullygully that was me the first time I had another 4 year old round. I was stressed all day before he came. The worst thing was the next day the visiting child was off sick. I was beside myself thinking I had poisoned him or something. He had earrache. grin

Bugsy2 Thu 10-Nov-11 14:31:16

I'm rubbish too - but second what everyone on here says. It isn't them & it isn't you. Just give it a bit of time.
Help out at anything you can. With Christmas coming up there is bound to be some kind of fete, fayre, show you can help at & get a chance to meet other mums. I shall be selling tickets to Santa's grotto in a few weeks!!!!!!

MyBaby1day Thu 17-Nov-11 04:08:23

Sorry you feel lonely. Don't know quite what to say, some people are just not as friendly as others. If it helps (and i'm like your friends don't have children (yet) and probalay live a distance away too) but would like to be a new friend for you should you want it!!!. You don't have to be just like your friends to be friends, feel free to message me! smile, that goes for anyone who needs a new friend!! smile

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