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Am I paranoid, or am I being judged by the other mums?

(34 Posts)
patjoseb Wed 02-Mar-05 12:13:48

I'm 26 with 3 boys. 5, 3 and 14 months. My partner earns a good wage and we are good parents. I live in Wimbledon and my son goes to a lovely small school. My problem is, I'm easily the youngest mother and I don't own a huge house like all the other mums. When my son has been to friends houses, I feel so ashamed that we only have a small flat, so have never been able to have anyone round to ours. Ther is one mum in particular that really upsets me. She is ever so nice and our son are friends, but he has never been invited to play, although every day they have someone going home with them. I know this sound silly, but my son has noticed it and I don't know what to tell him. My son now hates school because apparently, all the other children are horrible to him, except a few. For instance, he came home the other day and told me that a couple of the boys were trying to push his lunch off the table, and another boy actually put his hands around his neck! These are 5 year old, from a nice area and a nice school. What is going on? My son is very sensitive and cannot stand up for himself, but i've become so angry that this is happening to him, i've begun telling him to physically fight back. I don't agree with violence but he needs to learn to stand up for himself. Doesn't he? Is it possible that these children are behaving like this towards him because they somehow know that he is slightly different? Is it their parents attitudes towards people that maybe don't earn as much as they do, or own huge houses, that is maybe rubbing off on them? Or am I completely paranoid?
I'm finding it really difficult to face these people twice a day, and am considering changing schools as I don't want my child to be treated differently. Somebody help!

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Wed 02-Mar-05 12:21:59

Nothing to do with where you live. Some of my friends have huge houses where I live and others small houses or flats. Small children are naturally horrible to each other sadly. Have you tried inviting some children home to yours? All they are interested in is playing with each others toys and the fun of going home with someone else. You are a good mum who cares for her children. What is important is that your kids are happy and loved. A large space doesn't bring happiness. So, my advice would be to bite the bullet and invite this favourite friend home. Maybe his mum doesn't invite your son because she knows that you don't like to have children back and she doesn't want you to feel that you have to reciprocate. It's nothing to do with age etc. So, I hope that helps. BTW we've never lived in a big house and my friends come round and put their feet up as easily at mine as I do at theirs. Thinking of you. Let me know how it goes.

starlover Wed 02-Mar-05 12:25:37

hi patjoseb

I think you're probably being a little paranoid in regard to the behaviour shown to your little boy.
I think that most 5 year olds don't care what kind of house you come from, and that their behaviour towards your son is due to something else.
If I were you I would go in and have a talk to his teacher about it, because at the end of the day it is bullying, and something needs to be done about it.
I don't think that changing school would necessarily help.

Don't feel ashamed that you live in a small flat. I am sure that no-one judges you on the size of your house.. and if they do then they aren't worth worrying about.
I would try inviting one of your sons friends round just to see how it goes... your little boy probably wonders why he can never have friends over. Once you have invited someone to play, then it will be reciprocated... that's how it tends to be!

Gobbledigook Wed 02-Mar-05 12:27:17

patjoseb - hi there, I agree with MTMML and that perhaps you should let your little boy invite one of his friends round to play or for a little tea after school. It really doesn't matter about the size of your house I'm sure - like MTMML, in my circle of friends some have smallish houses and others are very wealthy and have enormous houses and the others somewhere in between - it just isn't an issue and certainly not to the kids. We all take turns to have the kids round regardless of space. Like MTMML said, maybe the other mother doesn't invite your ds round in case you feel obliged to reciprocate. You are happy, you are a good parent and shouldn't feel bad about the size of your flat at all!! Go for it and invite one or two of his friends for tea - if all the other kids do it and you don't mind it, I'm sure it would do him good.

BTW, I've got 3 boys too with similar gaps to yours but I'm a year behind you as mine are 4, 2 and 6 months

lockets Wed 02-Mar-05 12:32:25

Message withdrawn

Niddlynono Wed 02-Mar-05 12:41:48

My DS is only 2.5 so I don't have any experience with school yet but I agree with the others in that the treatment of your DS is unlikely to be about the size of your home. DH was seriously bullied at school for no other reason than he was slighter build than the other boys. Please speak to a teacher so they can keep an eye on him and the boys were are bullying.

With regards to your flat - we currently live in a 1 bed flat in Raynes Park (funnily enough) and I agree it can be tricky inviting people over and I think that's got something to do with my reluctance to make friends with other local mums. But having said that you'd be very welcome to come over for a cuppa and a chat with your kids.

I might be 32 but I feel like 26.

lockets Wed 02-Mar-05 12:47:50

Message withdrawn

Niddlynono Wed 02-Mar-05 13:03:22

Lockets, yes I think we've crossed on a local meet up thread. When are you moving? And are you living locally now?

Maybe we should start a local mums-in-flats group!

I'm dying to meet other mums near me, for my sake and DS's. How many kids have you got and what ages?

Fancy meeting up Lockets & Patjoseb?

lockets Wed 02-Mar-05 13:04:55

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lockets Wed 02-Mar-05 13:05:54

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Enid Wed 02-Mar-05 13:07:33

definitely invite them to yours or you could always invite a friend and take them to a softplay place?

Pamina3 Wed 02-Mar-05 13:08:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubble99 Wed 02-Mar-05 13:13:22

Hi patjoseb

We live in Richmond which, like Wimbledon, has got some of the highest property prices in London. We live in a two bedroomed flat and have just had our third DS. There are a lot of mums at my boys' school who live in huge houses. A lot of them complain however that they don't see much of their DH/DP's because they are working every hour to afford to pay for it. Remember also that unless the house is owned outright - a large house simply reflects how much of a mortgage someone has. When we had our boys we decided that instead of one of us having to work long hours in order to afford to move into a house we would rather stay in our little flat and see more of our children. Property costs so much in this area and there is no way we could currently afford to move up without compromising the close relationship both of us have with our children.A close loving family is worth so much more than a big garden and extra bedrooms.
I agree with everyone who's already said that the bullying your son is experiencing is probably nothing to do with your home, five year olds IME don't value commodities in the way that adults do (unless it's their sweeties of course .) I always thought that girls were the ones who "fell out" with friends all the time, but listening to my DS1 who is 7 it seems that the boys also go through phases of "who's in or out of the gang" and at times it seems quite spiteful. I agree that it's worth having a chat with his teacher though.

hatsoff Wed 02-Mar-05 13:17:53

hi there, I agree with others - bite the bullet and invite one of his friends round. Re the boys being rough - I also think that children just tend to do stuff like that - is your ds really upset by it? I would be tempted just to tell him not to play with boys who are like that. A note of caution about 5 year olds though - and PLEASE don't take this the wrong way. My own nearly 5 yr old dd tells me regular stories about boys knocking her apple out of her hand, hitting her, chasing her and her best friend when they don't want to play. Admittedly she didn't seem upset but I was a bit worried and curious. My dd is also very sensitive and quite demure in her own way (so I thought). Anyway a few weeks ago I took her to a birthday party and ended up staying and I honestly could not believe my eyes. MY baby, who NO-ONE knows better than me, who I have loved and nurtured, tucked into bed, talked and talked to everyday of her life, was a TOTAL STRANGER to me. I kid you not - all this boys hitting and chasing her business was a total game in which she was every bit a willing participant. I was STUNNED. I guess it's different if your ds is visibly upset, but if you do think it's bullying and you do consider talking to school, I would recommend a gentle approach!

iota Wed 02-Mar-05 13:20:23

Juust a thought - if your son has been to others houses perhaps the other mums are waiting for you to invite their sons back.

I must admit that we tend to take it in turns round here - I don't tend to invite other children round until it's 'my turn' again.

foxinsocks Wed 02-Mar-05 13:24:38

patjoseb, we too live in a very small house (2 up 2 down type thing) and others in dd's class (also reception) live in MASSIVE double fronted victorian houses with 100 foot gardens. I still invite people here (though our loo's not flushing well at the moment which is a bit embarrassing!). The only comment I ever had is from one of the little boys that lives in a massive house - he said, where is the rest of your house? (having had a good look around!). I told him that this was all that there was (to the house) and he nodded and got on with playing.

Children can be very materialistic at that age - dd is often asking me why her friend's houses are so much bigger but to be honest, I'm not bothered. We took a decision very similar to bubble's and I'm happy with it.

Have a word with your son's teacher. However, there is often a lot of banter in dd's class and she comes back every day with some sort of comment about who has been nasty etc. It's worth checking with the teacher just to put your mind at ease.

patjoseb Wed 02-Mar-05 13:31:05

Wow! Am amazed at responses! I should have tried this sooner. Thanks for all the suggestions, and I probably will try to make an effort with the other mums, probably as enid suggested, to a softplay area first, as I said my flat is small and already chaotic with 3 small children!
Am going to speak to teacher after school, got to do something.
In regards to meeting up bexibooboo and lockets, would love to!

Niddlynono Wed 02-Mar-05 16:33:47

Right then Patjoseb and Lockets (and anyone else who fancies it) - when and where?
Wednesdays and Fridays are usually good for me.

paolosgirl Wed 02-Mar-05 16:52:26

Don't know if it's been said already, but don't forget that some of these mums may have been bought up in a small house themselves.
We had a mum at school - v. glam, top of the range merc, the clothes, hair etc. and BIG house. Turns out she was bought up on a rough council estate and worked in a factory production line when she met her dh. Never be ashamed of where you live, and the people that jusge you for it are not worth knowing.

bubble99 Wed 02-Mar-05 21:46:37

A lot of the children at my DS' school are european contract workers here for usually five year placements. Their houses are rented but in any case there is no stigma atttached to being a family living in a flat. If you go to most european cities there are very few houses, in Europe it is only in the UK that most families live in houses with gardens in Barcelona, Rome etc everyone lives in apartments.

patjoseb Thu 03-Mar-05 10:12:07

Bexiboboo and Lockets, Wednesdays are best for me, so how about next week? Where abouts are you?

patjoseb Thu 03-Mar-05 10:59:43

Pamina3-No, it's off Trinity Rd,lovely school.

Pamina3 Thu 03-Mar-05 12:31:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tessiebear Thu 03-Mar-05 12:39:21

I felt like this at my DS's school - i have now decided to just invite other kids round and if they are decent, friendly people they will not judge me by the size of my house... as a result made lots of friends. Maybe these women think YOU are being unfriendly and not making the effort to be friends and mix - bite the bullet and invite some kids round.... when i expressed my worries to a friend who lives in a huge house, she was really upset i felt that way (and went on to tell me about all the problems in her life - the grass is not always greener)

Niddlynono Thu 03-Mar-05 12:47:49

Patjoseb/Lockets - it's DH's birthday next Wed but I can do the following week (16th)?

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