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AIBU to have expected more of myself on mat leave?

75 replies

DancingDownRain · 15/10/2018 19:58

NC for this but not a regular poster anyway, just so ashamed of how I feel/am.

I've been on mat leave now for 9 months and haven't made a single mum friend. I've tried Mush, Facebook and Meet Ups, and I've been to 4 mum & baby groups per week since my DS was 4 weeks. I make small talk. I smile and say hello. I strike up conversations. I let it drop that we're going to the park after the class, hint hint. Written down, that sounds like I come on too strong but I don't think I do because I'm self conscious about it. I try to not be too over friendly and not be too aloof. I have PND but well managed. I've always found it straightforward to make friends at work etc. I have lovely non-mum friends, family and a lovely DP. Basically, I think I conduct myself like a regular adult in social situations. But is my awkwardness around this issue beaming off me and putting people off?

I just cannot crack the mum friend bit.

We even moved to a new area when my DS was 2 months because we wanted to live in a family friendly suburb rather than a major city centre. But it seems like everyone has known each other for years, is related, works together, etc etc. No one is unpleasant at all. It just seems very closed off. But maybe it's me. I'm starting to think so. It's not a nice thought but there it is. I can't blame the rest of the world.

So, as my mat leave comes to an end and I look back on the largely wonderful time I've had with my first born, my AIBU is: were my dreams of a mat leave filled with coffee &cake mate dates with a newly formed gaggle of mum friends too ambitious? Am I the only woman on the planet to have not made a single mum friend on mat leave?!

P.S. am I also unreasonable to cry about this situation every day...?

OP posts:
Thisreallyisafarce · 15/10/2018 20:01

I didn't. I sometimes wondered whether I should make more effort but, in the end, it came down to...this is my personality. I quite like being on my own.

Redrosebelle · 15/10/2018 20:01

No, I found the majority of classes were full of mums who already knew each other and tbh could be quite rude andcliquey. I made two really good mum friends - one who was a nurse and breast feeding like me and we ended up buying a house on the same road. The other was the wife of a boy I went to school with. Apart from those I think you make more friends when your kids start interacting. For eg when you have a 2 year old and they’re playing regularly with the same kids at groups you end up chatting to their moms, I think the baby stage can sometimes be quite isolating. I wouldn’t worry about it, if you have plenty of friends and support elsewhere making more friends will come naturally over time!

Youcouldbemysilversprings · 15/10/2018 20:03

I didn't crack it til mine went to school, now I have loads of local mum friends now because I joined the preschool committee, and eventually the PTA. Not for everyone I imagine but it was good for me.

Figgygal · 15/10/2018 20:03

Don't take it personally when you go back to work you wont have time to maintain any of those relationships anyway. I met quite a few people on mat leave enjoyed their company, chatted babies in reality had little in common and a year on with DS turning 2 they are a distant memory.

WTFdidwedo · 15/10/2018 20:05

I'm coming to the end of my second (pretty much consecutive) maternity leave and have made no friends either. I was kind of hoping to but I'm useless at small talk and don't like talking about children and parenting so always felt out of depth at baby groups.

Gottensomedraws · 15/10/2018 20:05

I was the same on both my maternity leave periods, although it was a while ago now. Things didn’t click for me either. I am not sure why, I returned to work after 6 months and I wonder if it just wasn’t long enough for me to make friends ....just 3 or 4 months in to these groups I was leaving them. On the plus side I made many friends once my DC went to nursery and then onto school. Please don’t be upset, I think it’s quite common to have the experience you have had tbh. Flowers

jollyjester · 15/10/2018 20:06

I didn't.

Its easier once they start playgroup or school as there'll be birthday parties etc.

Fatted · 15/10/2018 20:07

Don't take it personally. Not every mum wants to be friends.

I've always said I don't understand why women feel like they have to be friends with other mums. I would rather make friends with someone who has the same interests and likes the same things I do. Just because I have a child the same age, doesn't mean I'd have anything in common with someone.

Squirelslostnut · 15/10/2018 20:08

I don't know if it helps you but your experience is honestly not unusual. I have had enormous difficulty making friends since having kids and i know lots of others the same. Perhaps post your area on here or on the meet up section and see if you get any luck this way? If you're near me I'd gladly meet up for coffee and soft play! There are some good and some not so good FB meet up sites in my area so it may be that you've just been unlucky Flowers

Cornettoninja · 15/10/2018 20:09

I didn’t either OP. New area too so I had high hopes of meeting people but it didn’t happen. Tbh it’s not the friendliest area, dd is getting on for three and there’s a sizeable portion of mums I’ve seen regularly about who’ve only just started cracking a smile and saying hi in passing.

I did start making a couple of friends at a particular group I started going to at about a year old. That was luck though I think, but it will happen for you too.

Is nct active in your area? You could look at volunteering for them. They send out their volunteers to our local playgroups to drum up interest in taster sessions of classes etc obviously their babies/toddlers tag along too.

Jezzifishie · 15/10/2018 20:10

I didn't make any friends during my maternity leave, it's actually got better as DD gets older - I meet up with parents at birthday parties, have chats at pick up time etc. Once they get old enough to choose friends, it's much easier to get chatting as you've instantly got something in common. Hang in there, I promise it gets better!

ThousandCows · 15/10/2018 20:11

You mention that you dropped hints about going to the park, etc., but did you ever just ask anyone if they wanted to come along? Or suggest meeting for coffee sometime? I know it feels a bit forward but it's pretty effective Smile

I say this as someone on her second maternity leave. I've made some friends through NCT both times, but others through classes/playgroups. We're relatively new to the area too, and like you I've found a lot of mums are already in established friendship groups. But my oldest is only 2, so I'm hoping to make more friends as we progress through nursery, school, etc!

ChocolateChipMuffin2016 · 15/10/2018 20:11

I didn’t make any Mum friends on mat leave. I was very lucky as my BF had twins 6 weeks before I had mine so I had play dates with her, that and my mum is a nanny so I some times met up with her and her charges. But I didn’t make any of my own friends, and I did the groups and am generally ok at making friends.
Now I’m back at work it doesn’t bother me so much, but I remember being quite lonely at the time.
My BF made Mum friends at NCT and that seems to be the most common way in my experience but I didn’t have a spare £300 just before mat leave!

trilbydoll · 15/10/2018 20:12

I was so exhausted by my terrible sleepers that while I was just about capable of small talk, making that next step to proper friendship was beyond me I'm afraid. No reflection on anyone I met, I just didn't have the mental capacity.

Did NCT second time round which was good because we got to know each other a bit before the sleep deprivation kicked in.

Nursery birthday parties will be a rich source of potential friends!

Stars1979 · 15/10/2018 20:13

My daughter is 8 months as I haven’t made any mum friends either. Been to a few groups and chatted but that’s it. It can be isolating and I too am back at work soon, I kind of wish I’d made more of an effort but if daughter’s happy then I am.

SnowWhitesRestingBitchFace · 15/10/2018 20:13

My DS3 is 5 months now and I'm exactly the same. I have never been able to make Mum friends. My my DS1 was born I put it down to the fact I was a young mum (17) so everyone else my age didn't have kids etc. DS2 was born when I was 24 and I still couldn't crack it. I was determined this time round (28) but again it just doesn't seem to be happening. I have moved countries since DS1 was born and most of my female friends are back 'home' and some half of them have children now but obviously I don't see them much so I don't feel that counts. My friends here are mostly male. Maybe I'm just not a 'Mum friend' person 🤷🏻‍♀️

BendydickCuminsnatch · 15/10/2018 20:15

YANBU. We moved to a new area when DC1 was 7 weeks old too. That first year was TOUGH. Exactly this from your OP:

We even moved to a new area when my DS was 2 months because we wanted to live in a family friendly suburb rather than a major city centre. But it seems like everyone has known each other for years, is related, works together, etc etc. No one is unpleasant at all. It just seems very closed off. But maybe it's me. I'm starting to think so. It's not a nice thought but there it is. I can't blame the rest of the world.

I’m sure I had a thread at the time too. I worked out that everyone went to baby groups as a group, ie an NCT group will all go together, OR people already know each other (local, previous kids etc), so it’s really hard to crack that as everyone is already sorted friends-wise. Since having DC2 I’ve had both these scenarios confirmed, I’ve been looking out for it.

I eventually made a clutch of friends, around 11 months in, who are now my good friends I chat to daily. They don’t know each other though. I was just lucky that one talks to everyone, one was also new to the area etc, we all had boys the same age. Etc. You’ve just got to keep trying. It is so lonely though.

snowone · 15/10/2018 20:17

I was exactly the same as you...,but then I gave up to it all! I hated the groups!!!

My DD is 4 now and I have a few mum friends now but not many!

Expecting DD 2 in March and I am going to try again but I expect it will be the same! As someone who was suffering with PND I just found it to be so overwhelming with all the other people who didn't find it as hard as I did!!

dreamyflower · 15/10/2018 20:17

I didn't either. I've recently moved out of the city. And have now made a friend since moving here by a village facebook page and we now meet up with our boys once a week who are 17 months. But before then I knew no mum friends.

Ohheyyy · 15/10/2018 20:19

I'm in a similar boat. My DS is 7 months and I've not made any mum friends where I live which is a shame and on some days I feel a bit lonely.

What I've found is that people seem to stick to the mum friends they either already had or met through NCT, it's almost as though they just don't want any more mum friends. I try not to take it personally.

Kintan · 15/10/2018 20:21

My only mum friends are my NCT group - if I hadn't done that I doubt I would have made any mum friends just from going to groups as I found people were either there with their existing friends or were rushing off afterwards. Don't feel bad, just enjoy the rest of your mat leave with your little babe :)

Omgoap · 15/10/2018 20:24

Don’t cry about it!! Don’t waste your energy, though I totally get where your coming from. I got so sick of putting myself out there that I don’t really anymore, I’m lucky I had a really nice NCT group but was still open to meeting others but just didn’t particularly click with anyone. If you are SW London - let me know...


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Singlebutmarried · 15/10/2018 20:24

I found the same with baby groups.

I stopped going as I felt they were too cliquey.

Weirdly I’m now really good friends with one of the other mums that was at the baby groups (she also went it alone as it was so cliquey)

I’ve made a couple more good mum friends through school.

The others are the group of ladies I survived secondary school with.

I’m very thankful for those ladies.

Kemer2018 · 15/10/2018 20:27

I didn't and i was off for 5 years!
Started at reception, but pointless because I started work 5 days a week so no longer saw them at drop off.
Dd is in high school now and we're ok.

Shouldershrugger · 15/10/2018 20:28

I have had the same experience too op. I tried. But in the end, I gave up. Tbh, you'll probably make friends when dc starts nursery and school.. til then, don't worry xxx

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