Hi! Kaje62 had an interesting question about mommy friends. I have another. - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Hi! Kaje62 had an interesting question about mommy friends. I have another.
juliejane's Avatar juliejane 11:15 PM 04-29-2003
Hi all!

I know this isn't about parenting advice directly but...please stay tuned! I would dearly love your input.

KJ's question made me think of my own situation and while that situation is more of a personal deal between two people and mine is more of a group dynamic, the similarity is what is this new special category of "mommy friends."

I have been in a playgroup for almost two years. The first year all was hunky dory and we had lots of good times. I made what I felt like were some pretty good friends. We certainly survived new and early motherhood together and what better bonding period can there be?

The first year was great because we were all on leave and did many wonderful and fun get-togethers. After that a good number of us were back to work. I knew it would be an adjustment once I went back to work but my mommy friends are very important to me.We didn't all agree on everything but how great to just have a group of women who nodded their heads and murmured understanding things.

My mommy friends became even more important to me because all of my old friends have more or less faded away since not only do the vast majority not have children, but they aren't even married and still live the single party life. Not very conducive to new parents. ;o)

My work schedule was flexible so that I could continue to attend playgroup. However, our once set time became more dynamic so my attendance became more sporadic. I tried to keep up as best I could. But I was missing a lot. I was so busy though. Readjusting to work was tough as was acclimating us and our daughter Jane to the nanny.

So flash forward past the baby years and into the toddler years. As my baby became a toddler I realized HELP! I need my mommy friends again. We helped each other get a handle on the baby times now I need a handle on the toddler times.

And I looked and I looked but did not find them and I realized somewhere, somehow I got left behind!

I can't think of a week that ever went by without being in touch with at least several moms. And if ever some time did pass that I didn't see them, I'd arrange a special event.

So mainly I deduced that people got busy and get-togethers were not as frequent. I checked in with a few ladies about creating another playgroup schedule. They responded positively, but vaguely. Their answers made me go hmmm.

A fellow playgroup mom, two actually, contacted me and mentioned feeling left behind. We chatted a bit. The one confessed she'd found out about a Super Secret Playgroup that only certain moms were included in. Other moms were Not Welcome.

Shortly after that, I got accidentally copied in on an email discussion about a get-together.

It turns out, the majority of the group is regularly getting together and just cutting out a few of us.

I can't imagine that any of us are offensive or smell bad or deserve to be cut (but maybe I am wrong). I just can't figure it. This is not okay in my book. At first I thought it might be the work thing. The three of us all work, but with flexible schedule. No, two of the In-Crowd moms work like that too.

The only thing I can figure out is that the one lady and I both hosted a lot of events and tended to invite all. I am an open person and you never really have a 100% acceptance rate anyway.

Maybe some people felt overwhelmed by the crowd (I can't think of too many events with more than ~8 moms).

But I can't tell you how it feels to realize that after all we've gone through and how much a big part of it I thought I was, I just flat got cut out.

A couple of the ladies I had thought were friends but as it happens they lied to me and another Cut Lady directly when we casually asked if there were any events because we were missing our mom friends.

Wow this hurts!

So what is going on? I know them and I can't answer that so how can you. It's not a fair question to ask but gee if you have an answer I'd love to hear it.

A couple of the ladies know that I know now and they have said some things to me. I keep being polite and friendly but I can't figure why the bitchy comments like "Oh we made sure to copy you in because we don't want you to think we are EXCLUDING you." I mean maybe if I had made a stink about being left out, but I *never* said a word. Just kept being nice. I promise!

I admit I focused on this group. I do not have any other mommy friends. No other mommy outlets. And let me tell you I NEED that! So what do i do? Part of me wishes I could just find a new group and move on...keep a few of the good friends from this old group.

But how?

What do you think? What would you do?

Hey gals thanks for hanging in here and reading this. Big Hershey to you!

Dodo's Avatar Dodo 11:26 PM 04-29-2003
As you say, I can't speak for your friends, but I was super into playgroups in my dd's first year (the more the merrier kind of thing) and now, in her second, I would rather meet up with moms one on one, which is hard to do when everyone expects a phone call each time anyone steps out their front door. So, I still like all my mom friends, I just don't want to see all of them at once everyday anymore. Maybe there is something like this going on with your group. Not sinister, just unfortunate?
mcimom's Avatar mcimom 12:46 AM 04-30-2003
why don't you just get together w/the other moms that got "cut"? make that your new group. we've also had a playgroup going for 4 years now and it's been 5 of us who have split pretty much into 2 of us and 3 of us. it gets hard adding kids b/c they are 11 of them now.

another thought and please, please do not take offense to this - but how is your kid? i say that b/c i have one mom i did not want to see for a period b/c her kid was OUT of control (and that was her fault) but i would only have playgroup at my house if i knew he/she wasn't coming. now one of the moms in the group of 3 that we've split off into has an out of control kid. i won't have them at my house. i'm anal retentive and i don't want to clean up after ONE kid that is destroying my home. kwim? i don't mine kids playing, but being destructive is just not cool. or hitting. i'd just rather not deal with a hitting kid if i don't have to.

i guess i'm a mom snob.
juliejane's Avatar juliejane 05:39 AM 04-30-2003
Dodo, just out of curiosity what makes one on one more appealing to you now? How do you plan getting together with friends individually? Have there been hurt feelings since you mention everyone wants a call everytime you step out the door?(I don't know how to ask all of this without sounding harsh here in cyberland so I hope it comes through I am asking with sincere curiosity and for ideas about how to maybe do this.) Mostly I am just trying to figure out how to handle being cut from the group activities, like should I try to be included by making a joke or actively trying to be included or whatever. I know one on one get togethers happen and that doesn't bother me. One on ones are normal I think and sometimes I prefer it too so I understand. The only part that bothers me is that there is a group and I'm not in it. I'm sure I need to just get over it ha ha ha ha! Your idea about one on one is good.

Macmom, that's a good idea about starting a new playgroup. One of the moms doesn't have a flexible schedule though and doesn't really come. The other (who hosted a lot) is nice but really eager to continue with the more the merrier as Dodo said so well. Oh and no offense whatsoever about the kid. It's a fair question. Janey is a kid who loves to play but is sort of quiet. She'll get interested in a toy and usually bring it to me to play with her. She doesn't bite or hit and I can't think she's ever destroyed anything, even in my house. There is a kid like that in the group though and a couple of moms have mentioned not liking her to come so I know what you mean. But she is always invited anyway. Luckily where we are it is warm so we do more outdoors than in houses as soon as we can! Oh and yes now there are second children so that makes it more crowded.

I think I hear both of you saying that in your experience it is normal for the playgroups to evolve and I should move on in some way like either start a new group or try one on ones. That's probably the right thing to do! Thanks so much for the thoughts.

Happy toddlering to you! )
Dodo's Avatar Dodo 11:33 AM 04-30-2003
Hi Juliejane,

I prefer one-on-meetings because (1) dd (now 19 mo) gets violent in larger groups and (2) the sound and activity of lots of tots together gets to me in a way that the sound of babies never did.

I don't know that I've offended anyone. If anything, I took a step back, missing some activities that I used to love, saying no to some walks, playgroups, etc. Instead of calling each and every mom friend daily, I will choose one or two to call, and I will rotate, as in, We didn't see X last week, let's give her a call.

At the same time, I have to accept that the group may grow tighter in my self-imposed exile (a bit of an exaggeration actually, I'm on my way to the park to meet several friends now, I guess my new system applies mostly to indoor activities, which drive dd batty).

Anyway, I hope you find the mama friends you need!
mommy2kyler's Avatar mommy2kyler 03:09 PM 04-30-2003
juliejane- I went through something like that when I was involved in a pg. When ds was about 6 mo I found a moms group on the net that had weekly pg and mno. I met some nice ladies and I met some not so nice ladies lol. I however did meet a true best friend from the group. But after awhile, I found out that just b/c your a mom or a adult does not mean that people would act like one. All in all now that I moved I would love to find that kind of outlet again, but after some of the things that went down, it just makes you alittle weary whim? But it sounds like you still have moms from that group that you talk to and maybe you just need to run with that you and the ladies can start a group of your own. Like the WMPG (working mama's Play group) I wish the best of luck.