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AIBU to expect other Mums at toddler groups to at least smile or say hello??

61 replies

Cakebaker35 · 03/05/2013 14:21

Sorry for slight rant but I'm just so surprised by the rudeness of some other Mums. I always just say Hi or smile at people when going to groups or classes, I don't want to come across as a needy weirdo looking to attach myself to people instantly, but honestly isn't it just polite to say Hi and if that becomes a conversation then great? I'd like to make more Mum friends but I'm getting really put off some of these groups, I only go as my DD enjoys playing with the other children and as she doesn't go to nursery/childcare I think it's good for her socially. Should I just not bother?? Any tips on making friends? Starting to lose my confidence a bit.

OP posts:
Beamur · 03/05/2013 14:25

Toddler groups crushed my confidence too! Some groups are cliquey, some seem downright unfriendly but now with hindsight, I think it's more to do with tiredness and hormones (yours and theirs!)
My best tip, try and be friendly yourself, help out etc, and if that still doesn't make any headway try another group, or go somewhere that you don't see repeat cold-shoulderers, your DD probably will not mind playing with the same or different children. Try your library for tots sessions, or playgroups at local churches (you don't usually have to be a church goer)

thermalsinapril · 03/05/2013 14:27

YANBU. I wish you'd come to some of the toddler groups I went to, where hardly anyone said hello! It was like being invisible sometimes, and you'd get strange looks if you tried to make friendly conversation. Very strange!

everlong · 03/05/2013 14:29

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TattyDevine · 03/05/2013 14:30

Go with a friend? 2 people are less scary than one, and people on their own might be attracted to an already established "group" that isn't too big.

mrspaddy · 03/05/2013 14:31

No YANBU.. this would really put me off. But then not everyone has good manners. What is the harm in a smile and how are you???

Kasterborous · 03/05/2013 14:32

I know exactly what you mean. Me and DD go to a few and I haven't made a single friend in three months of going. I know it's partly me and I do talk to some of the other Mums there, but some completely ignore me. Another of my gripes is when they leave their changing bags on all the chairs rather than underneath. I just remove them from the chair now if I get the chance to sit down. I only go for my DD she loves it and smiles at everyone.

EarlyInTheMorning · 03/05/2013 14:33

Cakebaker, YANBU. Toddler groups can be soul destroying. Try not to take it personally though. Persevere. Do the right thing by being polite and friendly and eventually it will pay off. I didn't do that. When I encountered what you've just described I adopted a blank stance and tried not too appear too friendly, heaven forbid I may come across as wanting to make friends!!!

thermalsinapril · 03/05/2013 14:36

I had more luck at groups where there was some kind of set activity involved.

Dolallytats · 03/05/2013 14:37

Toddler groups can be tough!! Sometimes you need to visit a few before you find one you like. It can also take several weeks of going to the same one before you are comfortable. And remember, there are always that stick to small groups, but there will also be mums just like you. They may be a little shy which is why you have to give it a bit of time.

LexiLoganberryBump · 03/05/2013 14:37

YANBU I had this too, your told to go to baby/ toddler groups meet other mums and make friends.

I was in a completely new area and didn't know anyone so wanted to make friends but it seemed that the women at the groups I went too already had their friends and didn't want to let anyone else in.

CloudsAndTrees · 03/05/2013 14:40

Toddler groups are hard work.

I found it easier to make friends at the more structured activities where you pay by the term like tumble tots and swimming classes. You see the same people every week, have time at the beginning and end to talk to people, and it's just easier to find a decent conversation when you are there for an actual purpose.

It always helps to compliment someone's child in some way, people never respond badly to their PFB receiving a compliment.

jacks365 · 03/05/2013 14:44

If i don't smile to strangers at toddler groups then i apologise now but after one too many comments because i'm an older mum i really can't face talking to strangers anymore.

isitsnowingyet · 03/05/2013 14:47

YANBU - people should at least say hello. Different groups do vary though. I went to one when we lived down south, and was literally older than every other Mum there - so really didn't fit in easily. Having said that, I did continue to go any way (had to get out of house with 1 year old who loved the toys there) and did make friends with one of the young Mums there who was v. nice. It just took a while and a thick skin before people would start to recognize and say hello to you.

WhatDoesTheDogSay · 03/05/2013 14:48

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needaholidaynow · 03/05/2013 14:51

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Wylye · 03/05/2013 14:54

It can be hard work, but keep plugging away - people come and go in phases, maybe the friendly ones have been away and will turn up next week!
I stopped going to my nearest toddler group after a few goes - all the mums were clearly very happy chatting to each other and just blanked me. It got v boring, so I gave up. My neighbour tells me they've moved on and a bunch of friendly people are there now, so I shall try again next week! Plus DS has improved his social skills a bit so I shan't have to helicopter quite so obviously

Wylye · 03/05/2013 15:01

needaboliday just saw your post about the other mums being older - it's the other way round here! The cliquey mums are all much younger than me and made it clear they thought I was too old/'posh' for them, one implied that I shouldn't really be there. Hmm
I've tried two other groups which seem to be full of older mums and they were far nicer to me. Bizarre, no reason for it.

Peevish · 03/05/2013 15:01

I hear you, OP. I've recently moved to a village a long way from where we used to live, and am working from home with a one year old. I'm not needy or desperate to make a New Best Friend, am friendly to everyone at the two groups I go to (non-driver so can only make those two, so no possibility of going further afield), but have been a bit taken aback by the dead-eyed stares from some mothers. I will greet them, say hello to their little ones by name, compliment them - and get ZERO in response. A hello if it's a good day. Grr. And I'm a Londoner. I'm supposed to be the unfriendly one!

HamAlive · 03/05/2013 15:09

Do you live near me OP? I'd love some local friends! I agree with having more success at set activities.

RawShark · 03/05/2013 15:17

Any dead eyed stares on my part are due to exhaustion . And if I tried to smile when like that you'd runa mile from my strange rictus like grimace. So don't get put off toddler groups and keep trying x

CailinDana · 03/05/2013 15:18

I run a toddler group and i really go out of my way to welcome new people. I smile say hello ask names etc but with some people it really is like pulling teeth. The new person has to make an effort. I can't stalk around after after them making them talk!

Cakebaker35 · 03/05/2013 15:23

Thanks all for your reassurances that I'm not a total nutter :-)
Interesting to hear about ages too, I am 36 and I wonder sometimes if being a bit older than some of the Mums in these groups is part of if, but who knows.
I think part of the problem is I was amazingly lucky to meet some lovely Mums at our NCT group and still see them, but as they are all back at work and I've decided to be a full time Mum it would be nice to make a few more friends and make sure DD socialises lots.
HamAlive, thank you! I live just outsid Oxford so let me know if you are local.
I will keep plugging away at the groups and probably give up on a couple that are just too soul destroying!

OP posts:
LimitedEditionLady · 03/05/2013 15:29

I seemed to be the youngest im in mid twenties when i went.noone spoke to me,said hi,nothing.felt lonely and put me off.i had this preconception people would welcome new people but wasnt the case.

thermalsinapril · 03/05/2013 15:35

"The new person has to make an effort."

Of course. But when it comes to the new person having to approach people, it's more polite for the established members of the group to come and say hello and welcome to the new person, isn't it?

rubyflipper · 03/05/2013 15:45

How far outside Oxford are you?

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