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Social Outcasts(16 Posts)
I have recently become aware of a group of friends (including DSs childminder) with children all around the same age as DD (6y), organising events and not including us. Initially, I put no store in it, but when DD came home from school today telling me that they had all been to an event over the weekend, I was surprised, not that we hadnt been invited, but that it hadnt come up in the usual what are you up to this weekend conversation. This evening at swimming lessons, it became apparent that the children had been specifically told not to mention it to us. On reflection, I am now aware that there havent been the usual number of party invitations recently (outside this circle of friends). In addition, a family holiday was organised earlier this year by grandparents and cousins, and when we asked to join in, it was made clear that we were not welcome, but with no concrete reasons given.
All of these events lead me to the same conclusion - that we are not a welcome addition to social events. Whilst this is hurtful to me, I am more upset for the children. I acknowledge that we are not perfect, DD has had some behavioural problems at school. These seem to have improved significantly in the last year, confirmed by the opinion of her teacher, who assures us that she is popular at school and has a good circle of friends.
Whilst I know I need to accept the facts and get over it, I am unsure as to how the approach things. No-one has been prepared to tell us what the problem is so I can only guess. Should I try to maintain these friendships that we have had for 3 or so years, or should we move on and should I try to start again and find new friends elsewhere? I cant cut ties completely, as one of the friends is childminder to DS (20 months), and all attend the same school, live close by etc. If I dont find out and address what the problem is, presumably this will keep happening?
Feeling quite hurt etc and would appreciate some down to earth advice.
I don't have any great advice but I am just posting to say that this is awful behaviour on their parts and I am always appalled to hear of this kind of thing especially that they conspired not to tell you People are so shortsighted and cruel I am sure you are lovely and would be welcome if you lived near me any time xx
I know how you feel, I always thought that at least when I left school/college I would leave all this behind. Can you not talk to childminder to ask her what its all about, as you do pay her, and she must like you dd as she looks after her? really don't know what to suggest just to know thinking of you
My thoughts are the same as Deegward - approach the childminder.
god, poor you, how horrible. Is there one person you feel closer to than the rest? I'm guessing the childminder might be? Could you ask her what's going on? If you know you can decide how you feel about it and what to do next. I don't think I could bear not to know but equally it would be scary asking in case it was something I didn't want to hear, it's never nice to wonder why people are excluding you is it? I'd get a back up plan in place by finding out about local mother and toddler groups, activities you could go to, mumsnet meet ups, NCT groups etc and then approach one of them. It does sound odd and horrible. Tbh I'm not sure I'd want to be friends with people who behaved like this though. And dragging the children into it isn't nice either.
oh lostmum, what an awful situation.
if i was you i would try and ask one of the group whats going on, try and make it light hearted, ask if you or any of your family have done anything to upset them! if they can't/won't give you an answer then i would seriously look for other real freinds and probably another childminder, i don't think that i would be comfortable leaving my child with someone who excluded me/my family from group activities.
i do hope that you get it sorted, and that its all been a misunderstanding.
p.s is there anyway that they could have got the wrong idea that you and your family don't want to join in their activities?
Yes, I'd consider changing childminder too IF she is part of a group deliberately excluding you and your children from gatherings when you've previously all been friends.
I have had a smiliar situation with a group of Mums I met when I had my DS except without the behavioural problems. We all used to go to a P & T group but then I stopped going because DS goes to music on that day so I stopped being included in the get togethers - despite them accepting invitations to come to mine and never being invited back.
Anyway, one weekend I took my kids to softplay and every single Mum that was part of the original group had been invited except me, then they all got a table to have coffees whilst the kids played and did not invite me to join them.
When I got home one of the Mums had rung me asking if I was OK and saying she would have been upset if she were me. I haven't spoken to them since. I have sent gifts for the siblings that have been born since as when I had DD I received presents and I do not want to feel I owe then anything iykwim.
I just cannot be arsed with it. Why bother making an effort if you are the black sheep or are 'forgotten' about.
If you care why they aren't including you then by all means ask one of them but personally I would not give it another thought and find yourself friends that know the meaning of the word!
Wow - thanks for all the support
Trefusis - I found out because one of the children innocently let the cat out of the bag - inevitable don't you think?
I guess the sensible thing is to approach the childminder. I don't want to put her in a difficult position, but you are all right - should she really be looking after my children if she can't be straight with me??
Anyway, I will ask her tomorrow if the appropriate opportunity arises and let you all know.
But thanks a lot - I feel loads better already.
Golly lostmum, you've hit a nerve there. I too was in a very similar position recently, where two families that we had been on fairly friendly terms with, my dds playing with their dss, then suddenly about a year ago we found ourselves stonewalled. They stopped dropping by, and were icily polite when I called round. I do know why it happened - they didn't particularly like my dh, and when he decided to give up drinking they would not come round because they would not be offered a drink! There were a lot more issues too, I guess to do with our parenting style but that's only a guess. I have one good friend (who still is) who (I guess) knows more about what happened and why, particularly as I am pretty sure that our family has been bitched about extensively by these two families, but I would never put her in the position of asking her what was going on because I don't think it would be fair on her.
Sadly the situation only changed because we moved away. I didn't realise how much the whole thing had upset me until I realised how much happier I felt once I had moved - feeling that you are being bitched about all the time can really get you down.
Lost mum, I'm afraid I don't really have any good advice for you, except to echo what others have said and try to find a new group of friends. Consider moving to a different childminder if this is practical and if you think it would help. Accept that there is probably nothing you can do to improve your relationship with these other people, and accept that you will probably feel hurt about it for a long time. I'm sorry I can't say anything more positive. I know how you feel .
An update - DH came home and suggested I pick up the phone straight away, which I did to the Mum of the child who let it slip.
I explained my feelings and she said she was embarassed by the situation and had wanted to talk to me. She said it had not been contrived but was a chance occurence and she understood entirely how I felt. She said they had decided to keep it a secret once they realised that we were not involved to prevent hurt feelings, and I pointed out that secrecy was never a good idea between friends.
I can now choose whether to believe it or not (actually I don't think I do), but I think there are good things to come out of it:
I feel better having had the support from Mumsnet
I have made my point and therefore feel that they've not got away with it.
It is apparent that it was nothing to do with the childminder - very reasuring
I need to broaden my circle of friends and not rely on them so much.
A big thanks to all the contributors for the sound advice and the boost to my self- confidence, I hope to be able to return the favour to someone else one day!!
At least you have asked lostmum. I agree with your plan, widen your circle and you really won't care about them!
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