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going to a new mum and toddler group- does anyone else quake with fear?

(35 Posts)
giraffeski Mon 09-May-05 08:26:05

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WideWebWitch Mon 09-May-05 08:28:45

I have to say I'm not usually a scaredy about talking to new people at all but I walked into a toddler session recently and surprised myself by quaking! There were about 50 kids/adults though, or maybe it just sounded like it! Anyway, I coudn't go because they had a huge waiting list but it put me off tbh. Good luck, all I can suggest is that you're friendly and ask about people's children, they're bound to answer surely?

ghosty Mon 09-May-05 08:34:08

giraffeski ... I am the Queen of New Playgroups ... due to the fact that we have moved house a billion times (slight exaggeration there) in the last 3 years ...
Like WWW I am not usually scared but I understand those who are ... the best way, like WWW says, is to talk to people about their children ... "Isn't your DD gorgeous, how old is she?" ... compliment people on their kids, no one will ignore you for that ... OR ask someone if there is a good swimming pool nearby as you have just moved to the area and want to take your DD swimming ... it would be a very rude person to avoid the bit that you had just moved to the area ... ask someone to recommend a good nursery or school ....
HTH a bit ...

Tommy Mon 09-May-05 08:41:16

and don't give up after only one week if people don't talk to you! I reckon you need to go at least 3 times to get a feel of a place and by then people will recognise you.
Good luck

giraffeski Mon 09-May-05 08:47:14

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ghosty Mon 09-May-05 08:55:30

Definitely agree with Tommy on going more than once ....
Be smiley and confident (even if you don't feel it) ...
I went to an awful playgroup for a while which was run by a power crazy woman who used to tell people off for putting drinks cups on the table rather than handing them to the individual child ... she also told off my friend for cutting up the fruit in the wrong way ... she used to chat with her friends and then stop when someone walked nearby ....
I even heard her tell someone not to come again because her toddler cried too much and it upset the other children.
I complained (wrote a letter to say why I wasn't going back there anymore .... and told them that I didn't think their playgroup was welcoming to the people who needed it) ...
The one I go to now is lovely .... although the lady who runs it does have a slight 'I am in charge' type attitude and walks around most of the session with a clipboard in her hands ... there must be a 'type' of person that runs playgroups maybe?

fastasleep Mon 09-May-05 08:58:26

I'm one of these sad people that quake with fear if I miss my regular playgroups more than once but they're usually fun! I think the trick is to not go to make friends with parents at all...just be polite and smiley... and just let your little one run rampant! I find that playgroups are nearly always cliquey!

triceratops Mon 09-May-05 09:15:39

I always try to speak to new people at playgroup when they come in. It can be hard though when you are trying to keep track of your own horror or to keep on the right side of some scary other mum.

Freddiecat Mon 09-May-05 09:47:50

I stopped going after 2 sessions. It was me, DD and DS sitting on a mat playing together so didn't seem much point. Very cliquey.

compo Mon 09-May-05 09:53:42

I've recently started to go to one and at first I was very nervous. I have a one year old ds and everyone else there had 2 year old little girls. However most of the mums are very friendly so I look forward to it now. Just persevere and grit your teeth and think, i'm doing it for the kids!!

Lonelymum Mon 09-May-05 09:56:04

Yes keep going. I went to a new group three weeks ago and have always managed to think up an excuse not to go back since (even though it was quite friendly). Now I have lost my bottle and don't think I can ever go back.

fastasleep Mon 09-May-05 09:58:09

Lonelymum I'm just like you! If I miss one or if my friend isn't going then I think up a million excuses and bottle out...it's really silly isn't it.... I must go to at least one this week!

Lonelymum Mon 09-May-05 10:00:27

But haven't you got a thousand more important things to do like file your nails? Clean out the kitchen cupboards? Hoover the garden? I actually find Mumsnet a bit of a draw, rather than having to be real.

fastasleep Mon 09-May-05 10:08:40

Hoover the garden hmm... yes it could do with it...

triceratops Mon 09-May-05 10:14:35

I wouldn't know anyone else with children if it weren't for mother and toddler groups. I have found out loads of useful information on schools, nurseries and days out. It is hard work but if you smile and watch your body language and talk about kids you will break in.

QueenEagle Mon 09-May-05 10:30:50

Yes I do! And I'm usually quite confident but hate going to playgroup where I don't know anyone. I've tried the "Oh isn't your baby beautiful" routine and chat for a little while then they go back to talking to the people they're sitting with. Very very cliquey. I stuck it out for a couple of months, just let my ds3 run around doing his own thing but sat on my own throughout the session. Even when I was pregnant with ds4 and there were 2 other preg mums there, they sat in a corner with their heads together most of the time.

Tbh I can't be arsed and although I think my little ones might be missing out, it just seems like too much hard work and I've got better things I can be doing with my time.

saadia Mon 09-May-05 11:04:43

I wasn't a huge fan of the one I went to either, too cliquey, except for once when I went there was a mum there and we got along really well just totally on the same wavelength and nattering the whole time but she was starting a degree course the following week and wouldn't be coming back, but I guess it can be worth going in that you never know there might be new people.

Donbean Mon 09-May-05 11:15:14

I cant believe that i feel so awkward and uncomfortable at play group but i do!
Cant help it. They all apear to know each other and stick together.
I went about 4 times and then just thought to myself that i really cant be bothered with it and its not like they have got a great deal to offer ds any way so i stopped going.
I did make one friend there and she has continued to go and now months later (i recently went back) no one seems to talk to her still! She isnt bothered though by it.

giraffeski Mon 09-May-05 12:45:06

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ghosty Mon 09-May-05 20:50:15

Well done giraffeski ....

HappyDaddy Mon 09-May-05 22:53:22

Haven't been to any yet and dd is 11.5 months...

compo Mon 09-May-05 22:55:15

the thing that gets my goat is that as a SAHM I feel duty bound to go. But dh if he was a SAHD wouldn't bother... grrr...

hatsoff Mon 09-May-05 22:59:21

I'm usually a wuss about being the stranger at any sort of gathering but have found the old play group thing great for my confidence. If I change my week around and end up going to one where I'm not a regular I can now happily breeze in, not knowing anyone, may be try to chat a bit to a friendly face, may be not if there aren't any. In fact quite enjoy not chatting and just enjoying playing with dd, and then breeze out again. It's the freedom of not caring any more. Nice people will be nice the others can swivel. I'm newly liberated in this respect - used to very pathetic and needy.

Cristina7 Mon 09-May-05 23:44:10

I went to a M&T group today. As DD is only 10 weeks old I went for myself, not for her. I know one of the organisers, which was a great confidence booster. I just got up and then sat myself near each person and told them my name and asked them about their child etc. I'll go again as I felt OK. With DS 5 years ago I went a few times to a different one and it was one of the reasons I decided I just needed to go back to work.

colditz Mon 09-May-05 23:46:36

There is a type of person who runs playgroups. She used to be captain of the netball team at school. Guarenteed.

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