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Old 03-03-2003, 07:48 PM
 
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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
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Old 03-05-2003, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

Marcy
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Old 03-05-2003, 05:21 PM
 
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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!
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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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?"

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Old 03-06-2003, 03:47 AM
 
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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 :
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Old 03-06-2003, 05:45 AM
 
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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.

suse
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Old 03-06-2003, 07:10 AM
 
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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.
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well I haven't been back yet.. but I plan to go next week.
I'll report back!
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:31 PM
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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.
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Old 03-06-2003, 05:26 PM
 
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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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Old 03-06-2003, 05:34 PM
 
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This discussion reminds me of two shows that I am watching on MTV right now called Sorority Life and Fraternity Life. They document the rush, bid, and pledging process of the rushees at the University of Buffalo. There is one main difference in the behavior of the Sorority versus the Fraternity. The sisters are definitely more cliquey and competitive towards one another. This was only the second episode last night, and the sisters in the pledge house were already clearly at odds with each other. Of course, it probably does not help that two of the girls have older sisters who are alums of the sorority.

The brothers, however, act much more casual about the whole process. They do not appear to be as unkind to each other. When one of the guys who was acting cocky (to some of the brothers) did not get invited to join, it was just expressed, "He didn't get a bid, he was a little too cocky," and that was the end of that. And when four of the guys decided to depledge, it was just taken as, "Well, it's your decision." This is the first time that anyone decided to depledge in the history of this fraternity, but the brothers just made casual remarks about it. HoHum, basically.

The twist is that there are remarks made by the brothers about two of the guy's girlfriends that are pretty unkind. One did not want one of the rushees dating his ex and another guy's best friend thinks his girlfriend is a B**ch.

I think that women get jealous of other women far more often than men get jealous of other men. Although, I do think that the differences in the sorority have more to do the personalities and favoritism in general. Most of the girls are not blonde or slender.
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Old 03-12-2003, 06:03 PM
 
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So, did you go back?

Enquiring minds want to know!!

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Old 03-28-2003, 03:17 PM
 
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Ack!!! I hate this, I've been on the receiving end too. And don't discount the importance of clothes and cars to these types. Last fall, right after I went back to work I signed then 5 month old DS up for a class at the town recreation center, mostly because I wanted to meet other moms since I'm new in town. It was still warm out so people dawdled in the parking lot and you knew who drove up in what.

Anyway, for the first couple weeks I was driving my old, starting to rust, some trim missing, etc...14 year old Saab. None of the other moms (mostly in SUVs or much newer European cars) gave me the time of day. SO's old car crapped out and I'd been saving to replace mine, so I bought a much newer used Saab wagon (3 years old) and gave him my old one. My "new" used car looks new and, lo and behold, as soon as I started driving up in that, the other moms started smiling at me. Jeez, like I'd want to be their friend after two weeks of the cold shoulder just because I've got an "acceptable" car now!
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Old 03-28-2003, 03:38 PM
 
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Hi kwl718, Are you originally from New England? If so, you may know that a lot of New Englanders are slow to warm up to new people. It could just be that they were getting used to you. I hope that it wasn't the car you were driving. Could be for some of them, but hopefully not all of them. Are you going back?
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Old 03-28-2003, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't gone back to that playground.. not because of the nasty mommies.. just because we've been going to the zoo instead.

I will go back.. but I have no expectations now of meeting people there. I will just go because ds likes to watch the "big kids" play.
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Old 03-28-2003, 04:27 PM
 
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Good for you, asherah. You never know though, you just might meet somebody cool in the process.
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Old 03-29-2003, 12:23 AM
 
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I'm just going to throw in my 2 cents here. Nearly five years ago a wonderful group of women began hanging out because we all met at our bfing support group and had babies the same age. It was great. We are all still friends though we all get busy and I don't see some of them as often anymore. We had about two regular things we did on a weekly basis in the mornings. As gals began to have second children and older children beginning preschool, those events began to fizzle out. I kept them going because I kept inviting new moms from my bfing support group to join me on those days. I knew they were lonely and needed friends and I so wanted them to enjoy parenting as much as I did, and it helps to have a good supportive network to rely on. Now, I get together with a new group of ladies (many of which are now here on MDC because of me) while still keeping in contact with my old friends. I am notorious for inviting new moms to join us on Tueday mornings at the indoor playground an then for lunch, or at our weekly park dates in the summer. My current friends are always more than friendly to the new people I bring in, however, I think it can be overwhelming for the new moms to feel comfortable since we all know one another so well. Most don't return, but a few brave souls have gotten to know us and are now great friends.

That being said, while I am usually very friendly at the playground and will talk to anyone, there are times that I am simply too exhausted to make what I will call small talk with someone I don't know. There are days that I just need to talk to someone who knows me and who I can feel comfortable with. Asking questions to get to know someone is just too stressful and requires more mental energy than I have. Staying home with two active boys (one of whom has weeks where he feels to be velcroed to me and wears me out emotionally) is both physically and emotionally draining.

We all feel safest in our comfort zone, and our friends are our comfort zone. Those days that I just don't have the energy to engage a new person are just that. If you saw me on a different day, I might seem like an entirely different person to an outsider. I have friend who are hippies (not hard to find in my area) and who are mainstream and have plenty of money (also not hard to find in my area.)

If I have made plans to meet someone(s), it could be considered rude to them to spend my time talking to someone I just met. I know I might get upset if I were invited someplace by a friend who then spent the time making a new friend rather then talking to me.

There are a lot of things to consider when we don't know what is in the mind of others. I just can't believe that anyone would use the fact that you work, or are single as a reason not to converse if they are in a conversational mood. I have friends in both catagories (as well as a couple stay at home dads.) Perhaps I am the exception to the rule, but I would hate to think that my attitude is not the norm.

Boy, did I ramble on.:
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Old 03-30-2003, 03:12 PM
 
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Nah Beth...

It's cause we're in the midwest... Don't you know well be friendly to anyone!!! :LOL :LOL

Warm Squishies to EVERYONE!!!

Dyan

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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