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I feel really childish for posting this but anyway....
As background, I moved to London/South East from Yorkshire in 1998 with work. Met and married DH and then had DD in November last year. Since having DD, I've developed a real need for friendship. I have about 4 people I consider real friends (I class this as those people who know me really well and who I could call at 3am) most of whom live at least 2 hours drive away and, as I result I don't see them that often. I have plenty of acquaintances through work etc but don't feel I've any true friends locally (work is 1.5hrs away from home). I joined the NCT before DD was born and whilst I was on maternity leave saw the ladies from my antenatal group regularly. I'm back at work now and really miss the friendship of the group. Of the five women in the group, I'd really like to stay in touch with one of the women in particular. A couple of the women meet up separately from the group and I can't help feeling a little jealous that no-one wants to meet up with me on that basis - pathetic and childish I know. I am by no means shy but I know I can come across as a little bit reserved (my FIL went so far to describe me as 'cold'!) but it really isn't intentional.
This need for friendship has really taken me by surprise as before I had DD, I was completely happy being an independent spirit.
How do you go about making friends when you're mid to late 30's?
Are the NCT lot meeting up during the day when you're at work? If so then I think you need to sort out evening meets, it's what I did when I went back to work. I'm sure they'd like to go for dinner/drinks down the pub if you suggest it.
I think I know what you mean. Since I had DD 6 years ago I've found motherhood quite a lonely business. Lonely and boring tbh! I work from home so don't see anyone that way. And mummies are all so cliquey in the playground/ mother and toddler groups you feel a bit insecure and like you need someone on your side. Well I feel a that way anyway.
I've found myself questioning whether I'm being childish too...
It's not childish to want friendship - it's an essential human condition! I think all but the very confident feel this way at some time or other ... I certainly do.
The first few years of having a child can be incredibly isolating. There has been a huge transition in your life and unless your older friends are in the same place as you are in terms of having children etc distances can develop. I think if you have four friends that you can call at 3am then you are doing really well!
But I understand what you mean about daily, local contact. Most likely the other NCT mums just think that you are busy at work etc and I am sure that if you made an active effort you would be put back on their "distribution list" for meet-ups etc.
Thanks all for your comments. The NCT group is slowly drifting back to work but we are meeting up on weekends etc instead.
Anyone got any ideas as to how to go about making new friends locally when you're in your mid to late 30s?
I was a little amused/shocked by someone I met relatively recently who said that she had enough friends and didn't need/want to make anymore can you ever have too many friends? Was it just me she didn't like [paranoid emoticon]?!!!
Oh Sally I feel your pain
DP and I live away from our families and while I'm very happy with my home life the fact that I have no friends is really getting me down at the moment
Sine dd was born (8 months ago) I have only been out once and that was with my cousins who came over from Ireland to see me.
I consider myself to be an interesting, intelligent, warm, friendly, genuine person so I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have quite a strong personality (can be opinionated and sarcastic) and I'm not prepared to dull it down just to fit in with the yummy mummys.
I've been to baby groups, sing and sign and nct coffee mornings and while everyone is friendly to each other I haven't met anyone I've clicked with who I'd want to see outside of the group.
I really don't know how to change this. I even ended up putting an ad on gumtree yesterday but so far the only responses I've had have been from perves.
bunny there should be an internet dating equivalent for fiendships shouldn't there?!
OMG I had that conversation with DP last night!! I was saying I might start one up!
We're hoping to buy a house this year and move somewhere nicer than where we are (surrounded by chavs and old people). My dream would be a pretty village/market town where we could be a real part of the community, dd would go to a lovely school and nice wee friends and I would meet some like-minded friends with whom I could go for a few drinks/have barbecues in the summer etc. Ah well I can dream can't I?!
I'm from Ireland and grew up surrounded by family and friends so this loneliness and isolation I'm feeling is very hard for me to deal with.
Just wanted to say that I am in the same situation. It's easy when you are at uni, etc. because at that stage everyone is looking to make new friends. I have some old friends but they are not in the UK. I think it is even harder when you are a working mother, because it means you are not available to meet up with local mothers during the week.
I agree that's a large part of it Feeliongoptimistic.
Well at least now I know it's not just me feeling this way.
If any of you guys are in West Yorkshire let me know lol!
I used to live in West Yorkshire and now live in the SE.
I have no friends locally either. I think people think I am anti-social when really I am just protecting myself so I don't have to deal with falling out with people again.
OMG I could have written any of the posts.
Our NCT group was v small to begin with, and since I've gone back to work fulltime, I hardly ever see them. They all work part-time to varying degrees so can meet during the week. I know that I'm not being deliberately left out, they just assume I'm always busy. We occasionally meet of an evening for dinner (every six months!!) - no more frequently as they already see each other! It would be nice to have a chum to go to see a film with or have a quick drink w once in a while. Dh doesn't help - he's so tied up with his sport that he doesn't see the need for friends locally. If we ever do anything w friends (I do have some, I can't be that awful can I?), who generally all live 2+ hours away, it's me who organises it.
A dating site for friends is a fab idea.
I have it worse, where I live in all the 5 groups I take DS too, it is all Women, I am the only man in every single one of them...
Not only am I often excluded from conversation, but in one group 4 of the women moved away from me as they wanted to talk about girly stuff....
I am never invited to anyones for coffee, I am effectivly a outcast...
PS - I'm the mum who's always on her own at soft play at the weekend
Poor you Aeschylus, I would have thought that you would have been welcomed w open arms simply for being different (ie a man!).
I am in the same boat - I moved to the UK 6 years ago and haven't really made one single friend!
My partners female friends and sisters in law have always provided all the social contact I thought I needed. After having my son I've realised that I feel weird going out with just them and not my partner too - and I have no one else..
I'm so pathetic!
Aeschylus - I think that I would talk to you if I saw you at a group - I'm far less scared of men than other women!
Have any of you tried your Mumsnet Local? They vary depending on which area you live in, but they should have a list of people that are up for meeting other parents. I'm in Edinburgh and there are meet ups at least twice a year, plus there's quite a long list of people who are up for meeting up at other times.
Bunny highly ironic that I'm originally from West Yorkshire. Now down in the South East. DH is a Dublin boy and he too finds it enormously hard being away from his friends 'back home' (as he insists on calling it despite living in the UK for 15 years....)
FLF Mumsnet Local sounds like a good tip. Will take a look. Thanks.
I'm quite relieved that it's not just me feeling like this...
You are not unusual- I remember feeling ver isolated at your age (I am in my 50s now) as I relocated once to find my first job, and then again when I got married, moving to a place where I knew no-one- I din't work except for temporary jobs until DS was born.
My two "best friends" still live one and two hours drive away and one is overseas so we have lost touch really.
I was stupid enough to dismiss mums and toddlers groups etc as I was an older mum and thought I'd feel left out- so I never made any friends through my kids- and the acquaintances I did meet and get on with, all seemed to relocate!
However, I have recently made some new friends through work...in fact most of my friends are through work, directly or indirectly.
I can't offer any real advice other than to say that you might meet friends in the least expected places, and it's never too late. My Mum has made dozens of new friends through the WI at age 80- so don't give up!
Maybe if you have time, do something socially where you might meet other women?
Thanks MrsMerryWeather I did think about starting a book club or a 'supper club' but haven't quite plucked up the courage. Think I just have to bite the bullet really.
I felt like that when I had my first born. I was quite happy with the fact that none of my best friends lived near by, but I knew I could rely on them.
Then I had my dd and my world felt very empty indeed. I used to meet some girls at a playgroup and it slowly became apparent to me that they were all meeting up during the rest of the week. It made me feel jealous and insecure and then I realised that i could actually be proactive about things and suggest meeting up rather than wait for the invitation.
I initially thought they weren't my sort of friends but with perseverance and making an effort to do things together we've found commonalities. We all vary in age from 22 to 38 so have had very different lives but that helps too.
Three years on my friendships have really grown, we all still meet regularly and go out together with and without the children.
Be bold and make that first move. Go on, go on, go on
Sally - I do the same as your hubby. I'm always harping on about "home" even though I've lived in England for 8 years!
I'd move home in a heartbeat but DP has a good job here so we can't really take the risk at the minute.
On a positive note, I got a promising reply from my online saddo ad. Going to meet up with a scottish lass (and her housemates) living in Leeds who's in the same boat as me! Fingers crossed!
Sallypuss - I am from W Yorks and now in the SE. I wonder if we know each other.
Bunny best of luck with the meet up. Hope you have loads in common.
FabBakerGirl let's face it there can't be many of us who've made the move down South so we're bound to know each other . Joking aside, you're not from Huddersfield are you?!!!
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