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Crying since school pick up

(49 Posts)
user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 17:29:56

Don't cry very often but since picking up kids from school this afternoon I haven't stopped.

Last year we moved to a small town from London and I think I completely underestimated how easy it would be to make new friends here. Everyone said to me 'don't worry, you'll make friends at the schoolgates', etc, but it seems as though all the mummies already know each other from before or have links to each other already. I have tried quite hard to be chatty and smiley etc but I feel like people haven't really warmed to me and it's come as a bit of a shock as I had a fair few friends where we lived before. I don't know if I've been trying too hard but my husband thinks I probably have. I have invited a few mummies round for coffee but nothing has really come of it and tbh I'm just feeling really demoralised by it all. I know the main thing is that the children enjoy the new school (they do) but I selfishly wish I fitted in a bit more than I feel I have.

My husband is quite pragmatic about these things and thinks that adults in their 30s don't make new friends very often and that my expectations are far too high but I suppose if you are used to having friends it feels strange not to make new ones!

I know the answer is to carry on and not let it get you down but I wonder if anyone else has been through this and just wondered whether they had any positive words as feeling a bit lost at the minute.

Chrisinthemorning Wed 05-Apr-17 17:36:52

I think if you want to be friends with them your expectations are a little high. My experience of the school gates is if you smile and say hello and make bland polite conversation- weather, general remarks about school related things, nothing controversial- you will get the same back. Drop off and pick up become pleasant experiences. Parties and a class FB group help.
DS is half way through reception and did 2 terms in nursery. I wouldn't say I was close friends with any mums but am now chatting acquaintances and FB friends with most. The ones who are good friends were friends already.
Getting involved in the school eg PTA may help. Do you work?

HeadDreamer Wed 05-Apr-17 17:40:19

My husband is quite pragmatic about these things and thinks that adults in their 30s don't make new friends very often and that my expectations are far too high but I suppose if you are used to having friends it feels strange not to make new ones!

I'm in a small town and most of the mums seem to have gone to local schools. Is it the case where you are?

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 05-Apr-17 17:40:57

I had this when I first moved but it did get better after a year I promise.

PS> Maybe don't call them "mummies" ;) They are women.

CMOTDibbler Wed 05-Apr-17 17:44:32

Go out and join something - WI, a book group, running club or whatever. You'll get to know people, and though they might not be close friends, its a better chance than people who just happened to have given birth in the same year.

ImperialBlether Wed 05-Apr-17 17:45:26

Don't call them mummies!

I live in a smallish town and most of the school mums knew each other from their own schools. I grew up somewhere else and found it easier to make friends with other women who came from outside the area, too.

One way to make friends is to join the PTA (though that might not be your cup of tea.) Have you tried MN Locals?

user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 17:59:53

Sorry, yes you are all right, these are women not mummies!!! I have never called them mummies anywhere but on here, just wanted to illustrate the women I'm meeting are mums at the school gate.

I should join a few local clubs I think. Also will be looking to find some work locally over the next year which will help to meet local women.

ImperialBlether and HeadDreamer yes a lot of them seem to know each other from school and seem to be a bit younger than me.

leccybill Wed 05-Apr-17 18:05:44

Could you enrol DC in some classes where you stay and supervise eg. swimming. I used to like the routine of a weekly coffee with the mums and grans at swimming. Kept me sane really.

ravenmum Wed 05-Apr-17 18:08:52

Maybe put an ad in the paper or online, e.g. mumsnet, looking for local mums with children the same age as yours who'd like to meet up.

PaterPower Wed 05-Apr-17 18:22:56

I found it hard, particularly being a Dad at the gates. My only recommendation is to get your dc to invite friends around and then try and invite the Mum/Dad in for a coffee at pick up. I now know some of the other parents well enough to chat but found my next door neighbours were a better "in" than the school gate.

Dadaist Wed 05-Apr-17 18:25:51

I'd suggest- Volunteer for the parent teacher group- they always need help with things - you could turn up lend a hand, and maybe other community projects too? You generally get to know people by doing things with them - not arranging a time to 'get to know each other' if you see what I mean ? And give it time. The parent said of your children's new friends will also want to meet at some point I'm sure. It's gonna be fine! Yes - give it time.

user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 19:37:15

Thank you so much for your responses, I feel better already!

Thanks Chrisinthemorning - yes I think it's probable best to have expectations of 'acquaintances' rather than 'friends' and friends do take time, thanks Dadaist, to come along. I will be more patient and join some groups / community groups.

Thanks for the advice Pater.

Believeitornot Wed 05-Apr-17 20:03:03

I'm similar and it's hard as we moved our eldest part way through a year.

I find myself standing alone at the playground but actually there's a knack to it. If I arrive at the right time, it's easier to go up to people and say hello.

I haven't made any friends yet but it will come with time.

creaser Wed 05-Apr-17 20:11:42

Im on Mat leave at the minute at 40 and trying to make new mummy friends with babies the same age as mine and it is painful. I have some really good work friends a great partner and lovely kids and a close family. But no close close friends and mostly these are new mums in their twenties. I chat to the other mums, my sons in reception but haven't done coffee or anything but probably would if asked. Is there anyone else who is a bit newer to the area and didn't grow up there you may find you both feel the same. If you join the PTA you'll meet the parents of kids who aren't in the same year as yours too. Worse thing ever trying to make friends when your older I really feel for you smile

SometimesMaybe Wed 05-Apr-17 20:20:54

Join the PTA? For me that would be the easiest way to become part of a circle. Volunteer at school, ask children round for play dates then ask the parent in when they come to pick them up? Can you become a brownies/beavers helper?

Try and expand your circle outside school - join a club/sport/hobby.

If the DC are invited to a party pick them up ten minutes early so you get to speak to the hosting parents and have a chat.

Time, it all takes time, you will be fine!

user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 20:21:08

Thanks Believeitornot I've been approaching people for a light chat but have begun to feel that people find it a bit 'odd' as it's quite a small community and I feel like a newcomer. So it has been quite painful of late. I think that's why I dissolved in tears today because it's felt frustrating for so long and I can't seem to catch a break. It feels easier to not bother, to be honest.

Creaser - thanks for your understanding. It's so hard making friends when you are older (and a lot of them are younger) in a new town where you don't really know anyone. I have four very good friends but they all live a long way away from here. I think the joining groups idea is the best one as at least you've got an interest in common (rather than a baby of a similar age!).

WorknameJimEllis Wed 05-Apr-17 20:39:30

It's not just you OP

if it's any consolation my dc go to the same tiny village school that I went to, where my mum was dinner lady. My family still live in the area. I've done some volunteering at the school as an ambassador for my career.

In theory I should fit right in.

Guess what? No fucker speaks to me. The odd hello, if I speak first. That's it.

Balls to them. Find your friends elsewhere. Best of luck and I hope you feel better soon. flowers

Reddingtonsmoll Wed 05-Apr-17 20:45:31

I never ever had friends with any of the mums at my child's school. They seemed to already know each other. I also worked full time so rarely did pick ups. I would join a running group or something that you enjoy. Please try not to worry too much about being chums with school mums. You sound lovely. I'm sure you'll find your way.

creaser Wed 05-Apr-17 20:55:11

To make matters worse for me my partner makes friends so easily it's annoying. He's is going camping in the easter holidays with a dad from school and his kid. He's only met this dad like 4 times at kids parties. I mean really how does that even happen. I think sometimes it's me I miss the signals and think so have resting bitch face 👎

user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 20:55:56

Thanks Workname what is wrong with people these days?! There can be so much judgy boll***s and so much attitude. Sorry you've experienced it too. I will find my friends elsewhere, thanks.

Reddington thanks for your post. It won't be a running group grin but I will find some groups. I am an emotional wreck today but your post made me cry again (in a good way!).

I only found MN in February but it has kept me going during the day these past few months. This is my first post and it really has made me feel better, thanks.

user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 20:58:06

That's funny creaser! I have over-happy puppy smiley face which I'm beginning to realise annoys the f* out of people but I don't mean it too. This week I've had slightly confused unhappy face though confused

ohidoliketobebesidethecoast Wed 05-Apr-17 21:11:04

Please don't blame yourself, I've had v similar experience - I eventually got that a couple of people would just smile and say hello, but went thru a lot of being answered very briefly, and the standing group sort of reforming so I was separate from it.
Its worth keeping trying, by don't take it personally if people are unfriendly. As the kids get older, they'll still go to one another houses, even if you're not friends with the mum (it never stopped people sending their kids over to mine!).
I ended up with a different group of friends in the end, who I had a lot more in common with - so try to chill, and you'll meet people you can be friends with eventually :-)

creaser Wed 05-Apr-17 21:13:15

It's pants...have you made friends with them on Facebook that's worth a try. Sure they'll be nice people really. Also if your child favours one of the kids in the class maybe stick to his/her mum and try whilst keeping a neutral face to have a chat each day, as if your kids become best mates this surely should become an open door to being friends 😜

user1486199588 Wed 05-Apr-17 21:26:53

Yes, pants. Probably nice people just not interested in the irritating newcomer!! Not at the minute anyway. Am trying to adopt neutral face and will just stop trying so hard, I think. Re FB friends, not sure I'm brave enough for that at the moment but thanks for the suggestion.

Howlongtilldinner Wed 05-Apr-17 21:27:44

I'm in my fifties, so school gates are long gone. I always found the playground full of cliques, I had a few acquaintances I would stand with, but they were never really friends.

I don't understand why people don't 'let you in' it's probably all down to territory and fear.

On the positive side OP it's not been very long, and these things do take time, hang on in thereflowers

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