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WOHM/Rejected at the playground - Page 2

post #21 of 48
What's with this playground clique thing? My husband has experienced this as a stay-at-home dad. There is still a lot of immediate suspicion about men taking care of kids.
post #22 of 48
It amazes me how so many different things can equal stupid or lazy. Single parenthood, weight, financial status, being a SAHM or WOHM...I've seen all those things be judged as stupid or lazy. ARRRGH!

Go back if your son enjoys that playground. The clique doesn't own the park. Those women might never warm up to you. But another WOHM might show up someday and guess what...she'll be glad you're there.

AND...keep in mind that all the regulars at the playground had to show up for the first time once.
post #23 of 48
I had something very similar happen to me. I am a WOHM and my ds (2) usually goes with my dad to storytime at the library. Well one thursday i had off and decided to take him none of the the other moms or nannies would speak to me......at first i thought maybe it was a racial thing as we are the only aa in the group. but my dad would have told me that if he got that vibe (he's in his 70's and VERY attuned to that kind of thing). Later i was speaking with the librarian who ran that particular storytime (who interestingly enough is also aa) and she said that the SAHM are a tight group who are weary of "others" or "new" families who join. she said she had lost quite a few new children to this.....but we will still be going because my son LOVES going and hearing the stories and singing the songs with my dad....
post #24 of 48
That's awful that you were rejected just because you are a WOHM and it saddens me that so many other moms have been judged based on whether they work, religion, money, etc. I guess I am lucky that our primary parent-and-baby social outings consist of going to the library for baby story time and all the other moms there have been great and very accepting of my dh, who is usually the one to take her. The problem I've had is finding events that meet when I'm not at work. I live in a fairly large city and there are NO LLL meetings, AP meetings, or play groups that meet in the evenings or weekends. It was very hard for me when I first had my dd because I wanted to talk with other moms but there just were no groups available to me. It's like they assume that you are a SAHM or that if work you somehow don't need support. Maybe you can try finding another group that is less clique-ish.
post #25 of 48
Just wanted to add my support!! My husband was a SAHD the first year of Taylor's life. He was a WAHD the next 6 months. We both worked full time the next 6 months. He was been full time and I've been SAHM the last 8 months. And I am going back to work part time WAHM starting in April. PLUS we MOVED from CA to WA in the middle of all this!! [I could go on and on about the "differences" in people.] We have had EVERYONE of every stereo type at one time or another drop us as friends, or blow us off at first meetings, etc. Someone said "Just like Jr/High School"... You Bet!! I hate it. You have my empathies!! I too have no idea why Motherhood [and Marriage in my opinion] bring out the worst in people. [Mostly women, but maybe I am bias being a woman and all? Hubby says the same about men actually.]

I agree, keep going. You never know you may meet someone, or get a tip on another time or place, etc. I met a woman at a scrap book thing two weeks ago and seriously thought in my head "YOU are my new best friend!!" But when I told my sister about it she asked "did you get her number?" and I realized *I* had been to terrified of scaring her away to ask!?!? My sister pointed out that at least if I had asked I would have gotten a yes/no for sure. And if I call and dont get a return call then I know again. Etc. GOOD LUCK and Chin Up!!
post #26 of 48
just wanted to say I'm sorry that happened to you.

the parks I go to, the moms don't even talk to each other AT ALL.

then again, with the stories I'm hearing here, maybe that's a good thing. at least I don't feel excluded!

I do get treated like a weirdo sometimes because I actually *make eye contact* and say "Hi!" to people. Guess you can take the girl out of the midwest but you can't take the midwest out of the girl. I always feel like the other person is two seconds from reaching for their pepper spray...

Sheesh! People. I want to move to the Mothering Co-Housing development. Who wants to start one?
post #27 of 48
That does stink. Usually if I go to the park and there's someone else there on their own, we'll chat. But groups usually don't interact with me. It seems to be some kind of dynamic that I've seen repeatedly, including a dinner at my Church's women's group where no one sat next to me. They were all busy saving seats for each other so I felt uncomfortable going over to them and possibly trying for a seat that might be "saven." So, I never went to the group again, and don't go to the church anymore either. I do wonder though if it wasn't prejudice but if they're wanting to meet peoplel to do weekday playdates and such. Many working moms that I've met have little to no time even on their days off since they have to cram everything in then. I'd go back though, there will be other people there too.

post #28 of 48
I love your sig MaatMama! I have to second, third or whatever, go back again. As a SAHM, I've also noticed I am less into going out of my way to get to know working Mamas because I'm less likely to see them again. Not that it's not worth a visit with a new person, more I'm enjoying getting to know other Mamas who I see on a regular basis. Give them another chance and thanks for the reminder to reach out to all the wonderful folks who go to the library (for me) or playground.
post #29 of 48
Yep my first play ground experance was none to friendly. It was at the mall. My son was the youngest there. Granty I did not have much time as it was my lunch hour.
I am trying to found a group on Saturdays or Sundays. Since I work during the week (my boy comes with me). none so far.
post #30 of 48
Some of your posts are just heartbreaking, ladies. It is interesting that working or not, married or single...there are people out there that make you feel this small and it hurts no matter what your age. I WOHM and can relate to the feelings of ostracization from SAHMs. It always amazes me when I hear a SAHM talk about how people made them feel small because "they weren't using their education" or some such comment. I am amazed because I always get the reverse attitude "how can you leave your little one?" I guess no matter the source, it just hurts, because no one walks in your shoes, no one knows your life. And NO one has any right to pass judgement on something they don't know anything about. WHy do women have to be so catty?!

I could cry at all the comments I hear about how "if you just trimmed your budget and made it more of a priority, then you could stay home, too." That stuff riddles me with guilt every time. Yet I know my circumstances and no how impossibley untrue that assumption is.

I had never thought about the possibility of SAHMs thinking they will never see a WOHM again, and thus being withdrawn. I will try to think of it like that when it happens to me again. But if you are a SAHM and that crosses your mind, I ask that you try to hold yourself back from that assumption and try to get to know us WOHMs better....you never know, you could be sitting next to a kindred soul. There are always weekends and evenings to share.
post #31 of 48
It is afree country, so keep going where your son likes to go. It is what importnat, that he has a good time outside . These women are very rude, and despite their stylish clothes, they are ugly. I have been WAMH, WOHM and everything in between. I now work part time. I do not see what anyone;' work status has anything to do with anything. I am friendly and I alway talk to people. IF they do not wnat to talk to me, well, who cares, we built a sand castle with kids, and if they not interested inplaying with me but wnat to some staff on their own , I alway have a good book with me. Motherhoos in itsed does not make women firends with each other. I have good firends who SAHMS, WOHMS< WAHMS and child free.
My very good friend is SAHM for now. and I am so grateful for what she does for me on the days I work. She takes my son 30 minute earlier, so I can make it to work. Needless to say, when i am off or my husband is at home, we will take her kids any time she needs it. Cooperation makes world turn around
post #32 of 48
Originally posted by hulamama
I could cry at all the comments I hear about how "if you just trimmed your budget and made it more of a priority, then you could stay home, too." That stuff riddles me with guilt every time. Yet I know my circumstances and no how impossibley untrue that assumption is.
Absolutely! I feel the same way. I would give anything to be able to SAH, but there's no way. I'd have to go on welfare, loose our house and have no medical care. We've arranged it so that we only have to have a babysitter 2 days a week for about 2 hours each day. It still hurts to think that some moms think I'm selfish or uncaring to my son because I have to work.

post #33 of 48
Thank you all so much for this thread! It has really resonated with some of my own experiences. I know that when dd was first born, I thought that there was something wrong with ME that I couldn't find my mommy niche at the park or parent groups when I tried to chat sometimes with other moms -- I figured that because I went back to university very shortly after she was born and shared care with dh, I clearly had a 'not a real mommy' label on my forehead, and some moms' clique-iness reinforced that for me. Realizing how often it happens definitely gives me something to think about!

Last week dh (SAHD) went to babytime at the library with dd for the first time and walked into a cold shoulder of cliquey, high-income mommies who all knew each othe. They all appeared to have just disembarked from their SUVs, while dh and dd were rain-soaked bus arrivals, so he felt self-conscious, and they didn't exactly appear welcoming, no hello's or anything. When we debriefed the morning, I was able to tell him about this thread and the insight that for some reason a lot of parents do this weird junior-high cruelty thing to other parents, whether you're a mum or dad, WAH, WOH, or SAH! We had a great talk about it, and he also was able to take it less personally -- they're going to give it one more try this week, and if they don't have any fun, they'll make their own fun somewhere else!

So thanks, all!
post #34 of 48

I just gotta add my two cents!

You've GOT to return to the playground!

There is always a clique of some sort. The quote that maatmama had in her signature says it best: "Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It is beyond me." Zora Neale Hurston (BTW, maatmama, Hurston is on my list for ten-books-for-a-desert-island!)

Sometimes the clique is based on income, or race, or stay-at-home vs. work-outside-for-filthy-luchre, or "What one does for the money", or age, or homeschoolers vs. private schoolers vs. public schoolers (then it is magnet school vs. regular!), or ethnic background, or maybe it is based on what the blazes I decided to wear that day!

Also, people get lazy and an amazing number of people were somehow never taught the most basic of courtesies: making someone else feel at ease. My mother and father were very big on the old manners thing and I realized one day that all that "fussy" stuff was really just about making sure no one felt uncomfortable. If someone uses ettiquette to intimidate, they are NOT courteous.

And if all the above fails, fall back on the old reliable: "Who cares what YOU think?"

post #35 of 48
make your ds t-shirts that say "my mom doesn't need a lincoln to give me love!" and "my working mama KICKS ASS" and "see me playing with your kids and bonding with like spirits? yeah, i didn't think so, seeing as how you're too involved with your image"

that's seriously what i would do.

maybe that's kind of rude though! i am always tempted to lie (but can never follow through) and say something like "yeah it was really hard selling the company branches in europe to settle here...don't you find it difficult to raise your kids in the city on only $200k??? we are thinking of moving back to france in the fall, the schools are so much better...."

dh gets that crap ALL THE TIME. it's not like he's this freak, we KNOW there are more SAHD's here, we're friends with some! he was totally burned at a school he stopped in at for information, they were insanely snotty in their tone and were very specific that there was tuition... which up until that very moment we had been planning on paying in full :
post #36 of 48
wow! you've gotta go back, there will be other folks coming around besides that silly clique. glad my park is mellow! (the worst is sometimes groups of unsupervised 'big kids' that trample the littles, but that is unusual.) everyone is pretty friendly, and i've run into ap moms there and chatted up bfing or slinging or what have you (but the best is my unschooling playgroup- i cannot IMAGINE anyone there making a judgement about finances, or someone's car, or sahm vs wahm- hell, it's an unschooling playgroup, and we don't even care if someone uses pkg'd curricula! how open are we, lol!)

but much of the time at the park, it's just small talk about 'oh look, he wants to go home with you', 'what great curls your baby has', 'no honey, don't throw mulch' (and the spanish equivalent of these - you can express a lot with expressions and gestures. one big boy helped sammy climb up the 'big' climbing thing, & sam was so happy- they played with sticks after- no english needed)... didn't mean to ramble, just second that i'm not really there to make buddies, just to let the kids play.

post #37 of 48
I'd like to suggest a book for all of you that I am about 100 pages into called Woman's Inhumanity to Woman by Phyllis Chesler. It addresses the *dark side* of women. This includes indirect aggression by exclusion and how many women/girls fear rejection from the group, so they will stay with the heard in order to save face with the friends they already have. It seems as if some of the women we all encounter are still trapped in middle school.

I know it is hard when you are being excluded. I wouldn't use one meeting with any group of people as a gage though. I know that I used to meet with a group of moms once a week and we would go to public places on a "field trip" (including parks). Between interacting with our own children and trying to get some adult interaction with each other (trying to nourish pre-existing friendships that we barely had time for as it was), we would have been completely oblivious to another mother trying to join in. Sometimes I smile and say hi to other mothers in public or someone greets me, but unless people are direct (like saying "mind if I join you") one cannot tell someone else's needs. Chesler also talks about how women have a hard time being direct. Some people just need a small exchange and other people are actively looking to form new friendships. When I meet another mom at the park, I am friendly; if it's the first time I have ever met them, I might just say hi and make a little small talk. But I am leary of moms I don't know, because these exchanges invlove my children. I like to see how a mom parents for a while before I chum up with them. For instance, I am not interested in forming new friendships with moms who spank.

I would keep going to the park and see what happens. If these women never warm up to you, then there are always other women that will show up. Some women just feel threatened by the unknown or someone who is "different", which is a pity.
post #38 of 48
Thread Starter 
well I haven't been back yet.. but I plan to go next week.
I'll report back!
post #39 of 48
I've noticed this when I was a wohm and a sahm. What gets me is when a mom is by herself with her kids at the park and will spend a 1/2 hr talking to you, but the next time you see her and she is with a friend or two she pretends she never met you. I've noticed that 2 or 3 moms together will rarely if ever include you in their conversation. This is JUST like junior high! Our park is very small, so it's not like they just don't notice you. I am sooo happy when I see someone I know at the park, but I really try to be friendly to everyone.

ITA about the midwest thing. I am amazed when I visit relatives in Ohio and everyone will say hello to you if you are out walking. Here in good old New England they will actually avoid eye contact just so they don't have to say hi.
post #40 of 48

Don't give up

I am just having such a hard time finding my tribe IRL.
I just wanted to say I am so sorry this happened to you but don?t give up! I met my best friend in the grocery store! One of the things I have done when I was very lonely was really watch people, and not hesitate to talk with someone. For example your in the store and you see a lady who is talking with her baby, make a comment to her to get the conversations started then ask something like ?Do you take your baby to the park?? and suggest that maybe you could meet up sometime.

Another thing you could do is if there is a Midwife or Doula in your area call them up and say ?I am a mom with _ age child looking to meet some other moms? and ask her ?What are your suggestions?? Our midwife has socials just for this purpose as well as a list of women whose number she gives out.

Another note is always remember how this felt as you grow into motherhood and your children grow up; because of my negative social experiences I always make it a point to introduce myself to women at the park.

Jena WAHM to 5 unschooled kiddos
Ages 9,6,5,4 & 2
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