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to always feel on the outside looking in.

166 replies

lucyellensmum · 17/09/2007 15:19

Honestly, i feel like a social bloody paraih. Its back to M&T time etc and i was looking forward to it, but today i got a reminder of how shit these things make me feel. Went to baby music, now this is very alpha mummy boden wearing cliqey and not anything i thought i would enjoy but DD LOVES it, so we go religeously. There is a cafe in the centre and i often go there for a coffee, why is it then that i am sat there on a table on my own with DD, whilst the place throngs with other mothers who seem to have so much to say to each other. Dont get me wrong, people arent horrible to me or anything, perfectly pleasant and friendly, i just can seem to get past the small talk and oh, how is DD stage, i do all that and they move on. This is like being back at school but worse, because now i am worried that my DD is going to mis out on forming little friendships as i can't seem to get other mothers to see me as anything other than the tired, scruffy looking mother who sits in the corner talking to her two year old.

OP posts:

Desiderata · 17/09/2007 15:22

You're not alone, lucy. For some reason, this happens to me as well. Everyone seems to know everyone else, and whilst I'm not remotely shy (and neither is ds), I do sometimes wonder whether it will be like this when he starts school as well.

I don't know what the answer is ... maybe we should both brush our hair?


tasja · 17/09/2007 15:24

I feel the same!!!!! Also panicky about poor DD missing out because of me


Threadworm · 17/09/2007 15:27

I feel exactly the same, esp the worry that dss will miss out bcs of me.


lucyellensmum · 17/09/2007 15:28

Desi ROTFL about the hair thing. The sad thing is, sometimes i think that is what the problem is, i clearly don't wear the right clothes. Hmmmm, maybe i should do an experiment, wear smart clothes to M&T tomorrow, first day back after summer break to particularly cliquey group. Put some slap on, freshly washed hair etc and see if it makes any difference.

The lady at baby music this morning actually told me i looked tired and i thought to myself, well that dear lady is because I AM!!!!!

OP posts:

melsy · 17/09/2007 15:30

I went through quite a lot of the same when dd1 was little. Everyone busily chatting together and me alone. It seems a normal stage many of us go through, I hated it , drove my family mad about it , felt like I was a weirdo and looked nice too .

When dd started nursery things got easier and I started meeting some if the mums that Id seen at playgrps,chatting outside & then swapped numbers and started texting and nattering. We all then made arrangments to have dinners together and then playdates here and there.

dd1 is now 4 tommorow and I have a much wider group of mum friends than I ever thought I would have.

Are there any other groups you can go to , I was going to about 4 different things at one point ?


harpsichordcarrier · 17/09/2007 15:32

god I feel the same too! I thought this today when I Drove through the village and saw two mums from preschool who are clearly big mates (one just moved to the village and I kept asking her to come for coffee but it never happened )


jacobandlysette · 17/09/2007 15:46

lucyellensmum i feel exactly like this! DS is only 14 months but we have just moved to a new area and although we are going along to things it's so easy to still feel the outsider!

just hoping it gets easier - a lot of the mums at playgroup have older children who are all at school together now and know each other through that.


Chickhick · 17/09/2007 15:59

I think perhaps we sometimes expect too much of ourselves. Until a few months ago I had no mum friends at all, I never really gelled with my antenatal mums, they all formed little groups and I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with me! But since ds started nursery I have made a couple of friends, one of whom is now a very good friend and I now seem to be so busy that I almost envy the friendless period that I went through!

You will meet friends but it takes time, before I had ds I expected to have dozens of friends from ante natal and m&t group etc but it just didn't happen because until recently I didn't meet people that had other things in common with me. There has to be more common ground than just having children. Also don't be shy if you get chatting to a friendly face, give them your telephone number the two friends that I have made both gave me their phone numbers after we got chatting and I was really grateful as I was always reluctant to ask for peoples numbers in case they thought I was too pushy! Good luck!


LowFat · 17/09/2007 16:08

It is horrible, is'nt it. By the time DD outgrew M&T I had a few friends so it was'nt too bad. But now I have to start all over again with DS I wont know anyone (although we are in a small tome so there's always hope).

And when I work and DH has to take then, well he makes every excuse in the book not to go, but eventually gives in, but spends his time talking to the lovely elderly ladies that run it.


lucyellensmum · 17/09/2007 16:09

have sort of resigned myself to being a bit of an outsider really. The problem is partly, i feel, the fact that the other mums are all very well off, and i we are certainly not in their league. But i do have a brain and something to offer, i just don't wear the right clothes. I know this seems petty but im seriously starting to think that is the reason

OP posts:

Niecie · 17/09/2007 16:13

I was like that with the mother and toddler group I went to (moved twice whilst DSs were little so had to start new groups more than most). In the end, when they were looking for more people to run it I volunteered.

They can't ignore me if I am one of the ones in charge, now can they?.

I think you just have to stick with it but it is really hard. Don't give up though - I am sure your time will come. Actually you might be better off with an ordinary mother and toddler rather than a class as there is time for the mothers to chat which there isn't at the music ones. I never really got in with the in-crowd with the music one - just turned up, got musical and went home but it doesn't bother you so much if you have friends elsewhere.


imagineafullnightsleep · 17/09/2007 16:16

lucyellensmum - I think we must live in the same area !!!! This is exactly how I feel. I only met my group twice - just couldn't face it ! People were friendly enough (on a superficial level), but I blatantly didn't fit in.


policywonk · 17/09/2007 16:18

I think most M+T groups have their own 'feel', and it sounds as though this music group is particularly Bodenesque, which obv. doesn't suit you. You might find that a different group has an entirely different feel. Have you tried lots of other groups? We moved to a new area last year, and I put a lot of effort into attending every single playgroup within driving distance at least once. It was amazing how much they differed, and how some were incredibly friendly and some were horribly snotty.

If your DD loves this group then you can continue to go, but set yourself a mission of finding at least one group or activity where you feel comfortable and can make some mates. Give yourself until C***mas, maybe. Try one new playgroup or activity every week.


Twiglett · 17/09/2007 16:21


You've got the small talk down patt so you want to make the next step? is that right?

what have 'they' moved on to (when you say "i just can seem to get past the small talk and oh, how is DD stage, i do all that and they move on") .. what kind of thing are they talking about


lucyellensmum · 17/09/2007 16:24

i go to loads of groups and thats just it, i dont seem to fit in any of them. Honestly, i have a group for every day, i have to say that the music group is my favourite as i dont have to sit in a corner feeling so out of it. I do try to chat to the other mums and as i say, they are friendly enough but i can't seem to be able to make any actualy friends. I am when i hear other mothers talking about stuff they do with other mothers in the group and i just think, blimey, i really must be a reject. I just don't want dd to not have friends, i dont care about me as i really cant do small talk but she desperately wants to interact with the other kiddies but of coures, they are getting to the age where they have their own little group of friends, it breaks my heart to think of my dd feeling lonely. She does have some speech delay to and tries so hard to make herself understood to the other children but they just give up on her

OP posts:

MorocconOil · 17/09/2007 16:25

Keep trying different groups Lucy. I've been going to these kind of groups off and on for 8 years now. At some groups I have been left feeling paranoid as people didn't speak to me(even though they knew me from other groups).

I have developed a thicker skin over the years and try not to let other people bother me. I still feel left out by certain mums at school from time-to-time. It upsets me more for the DC as it sometimes feels everyone seems to be playing at eachother's houses all the time and they are left out. It is a bit like being back at school in the playground, but I try to fight those feelings.


lucyellensmum · 17/09/2007 16:27

twig, if i knew that, then i would be able to contribute, but they seem to know each other properly, they talk about their partners etc and its obvious they are familiar with them, its not some random obscure guy. If i started talking about my DP, people would look at me like i'm mad. I hate all that "oh and what does your DP do etc etc". Its funny, ive been going to these groups for nearly two years now and i still don't know what any of these mothers do or did before they became mums. No one knows about what i did either, its like im not there.

OP posts:

michie40 · 17/09/2007 16:28

I had exactly the same problem - however it has been a year now and I have finally found some people that I can chat to and even exchanged phone numbers with.... and now we are moving again.
Anyway it does get better so keep at it. There are obviously a lot of people out there feeling exactly the same way.


filthymindedvixen · 17/09/2007 16:28

You are not alone
The sad thing I have only now worked out how to work a room (or rather worked out how to appear confident) and it's too late! My children are now well into their primary years...

the school playground still makes me quake though...


Twiglett · 17/09/2007 16:28

you know what I'd do

I'd speak to the person I feel most comfortable with at that group.

I'd say "May I ask your advice about something?"

then say exactly what you've said here and ask how you can make the next step

  1. you've complimented someone by asking their advice
  2. they will include you more so the job will be accomplished
  3. they might tell you you're being daft, or they might say they didn't think you wanted to be 'friends', or they might give you advice


    even if you don't it is not going to impact on your DD's social life in the long run .. h

Twiglett · 17/09/2007 16:30

I have personally normally moved things on to the friendship level by doing or saying something embarrassing by accident .. and then pissing myself laughing .. if they are the kind of people who will be friends with me they'll laugh at me / with me too

I can give you a list of dumb shit I've done if you want?


michie40 · 17/09/2007 16:30

Does anyone else find that people always tell you their names, which I imediately forget, but I am somehow able to remember every childs name that im told.


Twiglett · 17/09/2007 16:31

oh and I'm also really quick to invite people round for lunch / coffee on the pretext that kids would like to play and I'd like to get to know them


Twiglett · 17/09/2007 16:32

michie .. yes I always do that .. but I admit to it too .. in an 'I'm just crap with names so please excuse me if I ask again .. never forget a face though' .. most people reckon they're the same

I also re-introduce myself to new acquaintances without being asked


policywonk · 17/09/2007 16:33

hmmm. Maybe it's just the whole M+T thing that doesn't float your boat? Have you tried doing something that you know you enjoy (looking on your profile - horse riding? book club?) and make some new friends of your own that way. (This is without DD, obviously.) You might find that they have kids too - but even if they don't, it might help you to feel better about the social minefield.

Hope this doesn't sound patronsing - I do know how you feel (and I'd wager that thousands of us on here do too). It's just that if you get into a habit of thinking that you'll never fit in, it becomes self-fulfilling. The best way to make new mates it to be as positive and upbeat as possible.

Try not to worry too much about DD - it can seem heartbreaking when you're watching it, but I think that it's water off a duck's back with small kids. You will feel it much more acutely than she does.

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