Joined a mom's group but have not clicked with them... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I joined a mom's group when we moved house about 6 months ago.  As it turned out, it was a new mom's group so all of us were meeting each other for the first time.

 

I tried really hard to get to know the other ladies, but for some reason I just did not click with any of them.  I guess what it came down to was the only thing I had in common with them was being a mom.

 

Now the other moms have all become good friends and I feel very left out.  I've attended some of the group outings lately and I really try to make conversation with the other ladies but it seems all very one sided - like I'm the one asking them questions or volunteering some information about myself but it's not reciporacated.

 

Has anyone had this experience before?

 

I'm finding it hard because I don't have alot of friends in the new area that we live and I feel quitte lonely as a parent.


40 y/o married Mama, 3 y/o DS, Angel Baby lost in Sep 2013, Angel Baby lost March 2014.
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#2 of 19 Old 02-23-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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That stinks!

 

I am kind of in this boat with you.  When I moved to Texas I didn't make many friends very quickly at all, and that was a new experience for me.  I also find that I am "one-of-a-kind" here;  I'm not finding a lot of other mothers with similar hobbies and values.  That makes it harder.  Keep trying, Mama!  Just because this group doesn't seem to be working out doesn't mean you will never make friends.  I've been in Texas for two years now and have finally got a handful of friends, some closer than others, and am finally starting to see the light at the end of the lonely tunnel.  Just keep putting yourself out there and remember, it's not your job to click with everyone, and the world would be very boring if everybody was a perfect fit for each other.  Whatever didn't work about this group, just use that lesson and try, try again!  hug2.gif

 

 


lovestory.gif   And on 09/23/2011, we were three;  husband, daughter, and me!

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#3 of 19 Old 02-23-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much MrsGregory for your words of encouragement. 

 

I've always made an effort to make new friends and never had a problem with it before, which is why this experience is so unusual for me.  When we moved here, I envisaged making good friends with other new moms so that I could share the experience of motherhood with them, but it hasn't turned out the way I hoped it would.

 

Thta is a good point about using the lesson and not repeating it - though I'm not sure what the lesson is!!!!


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#4 of 19 Old 02-23-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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Does the group have a board or volunteer positions? Ours has treasurer, calendar coordinator, etc. and I found that once I started having a more active role the friendships solidified a bit more. Good luck to you!

Mama to a little man who arrived early on 7/18/10! DS2 due in October 2013.

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#5 of 19 Old 02-23-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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You can also meet moms at library storytimes, at children's museums, and you can see if there are any other mothers' groups in your area, and of course La Leche League.

Good luck finding some moms to hang with!
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#6 of 19 Old 02-23-2012, 04:06 PM
 
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sometimes people just don't click. I had a similar experience. There were a bunch of women who had babies at the same time as I did (2 yrs ago) . I tried a lot to get together with them and I just neveer felt calm and happy with them. It was always uncomfortable- even though we were all crunchy types. Something about them just did not jive with me. We moved to another town when ds was 9 months or so (for other reasons)- a twn close to the original one but with a different community. I met a bunch of women there- some with older kids- but I just totally clicked with them! It has been SO refreshing because I lived in this other town for many years and always had a hard time really connecting with the other women. So I think- don't blame yourself- sometimes it ijust isn't a good fit. Keep trying to find other people to connect with- even if their kids are older or whatever- until you find people who you feel a natural ease with. I think this is the only way friendships work- I know I tried a bunch with those first women but I always felt uncomfortable with them and it is so much easier and lovely to hang out with people I genuinely relate to. So keep trying to find new people- good luck!

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#7 of 19 Old 02-24-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Redmom, I had a flubbed friendship from when I first moved here that I still haven't learned anything from.  I met her, she was a nice gal, same age, similar socio-economic bracket, interests in common, same sarcastic sense of humor... and I invested time and energy and she just dumped me.  I asked husband what he thought went wrong, and he said we didn't seem like a good fit.  Still no idea what that means.  Yep.  So maybe there's no lesson, maybe you just try again with a new group of girls!  On the bright side, you meet so many interesting people when you're looking for your friends.  thumb.gif


lovestory.gif   And on 09/23/2011, we were three;  husband, daughter, and me!

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#8 of 19 Old 02-24-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your words of support and encouragement. 

 

I am finding it hard to shake the feeling of "what is wrong with me that these women don't like me?" - a feeling of failure I suppose.  I wonder why their approval is so important to me.  It reminds me of how I USED to feel when I was single and dating but with guys!!!!


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#9 of 19 Old 02-24-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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I used to feel that way with that group of women  mentioned-

It is not you! Keep trying to find people who it is easy with- and love yourself throughout the journey!

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#10 of 19 Old 03-07-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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not a SAHM, but I have to second the notion that sometimes being a mom is just enough to make it click. There was a situation at work where all these moms had babies and they were all talking about them - and I was like - I'm on an ENTIRE different page than these women. You'd think we'd have more in common since we were all juggling work and childcare, but we were a world a part.

 

And I had the same thing with a knitting group - I just had nothing in common with them. I only went to get away for a few hours to knit. When I realized that I wasn't even looking forward to going, I decided I'd have a better time at Starbucks listening to old Car Talk shows on my headphones. And now I do that instead. Don't force yourself to fit in if you aren't comfortable - but do keep looking.


Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#11 of 19 Old 03-07-2012, 07:29 AM
 
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If after six months you still have this "not clicking" feeling -- I'd say it's time to move on, with one proviso.  Are you someone who chronically feels that they don't "fit in" with a group -- if this happens to you a lot, it may be something inside of you that you need to work on.

 

But assuming it is a bona fide poor fit, move on!  It is NOT you.  There is nothing wrong with you or the group... .just no chemistry.  

 

I was part of a Mom's group which about half I got along great, and half I didn't.  We slowly split in half.  There were a few ruffled feathers, as there are with women, but nothing enduring.  We were all super crunchy.  But super crunchy does not a friendship make.  Basically, it felt as if we split along age /life experience lines.  Me and about four of the older moms were much less innocent about marriage/life challenges ... and were facing heavier things (one split up with her hubby) that just freaked out the younger ones that were about a decade younger.  

 

It is SOOO essential for one's "group," especially a mom's group, to feel like real friends.  Otherwise, like you have, you end up feeling lonely in the crowd.  I've had circumstances like that and I end up deciding to not waste my time.  I'd rather spend my days solo ... and be on the look out for new pals ... then be with people where the love is not there!

 

Around here, moms are pretty "aggressive" about "hooking up" with other moms to hang out ... don't be afraid to ask for a phone number or propose a playdate at the park after a story hour ... even if you have just met a mom.  Look -- we're desperate for companionship on the mom journey, it's OK to be forward.  I was a little shocked when approached like this the first time ... but I made a great, great friend out of it!!  So go for it.

 

My now great friend asked me within about one minute of meeting me in a restaurant (she saw me with a newborn, we weren't introduced) for my number.  Another of our pals who joined us asked for one of our numbers at a hair salon .... etc!


Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#12 of 19 Old 03-07-2012, 09:36 PM
 
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RedMom, take it from someone who spent far too much time with a group of very nice moms but who were not the right fit. Now that my boys are a bit older (8 and 5), I am more defined in who I am, how I parent (homeschooling, supporter of extended breast feeding, Waldorf-inspired, connection parenting , gluten-free, dairy-free, tv free), and what I'm looking for in a friend, and my friendships over the last few years have been SO much more rewarding! I'm learning more from these friends, I'm sharing more, we have common interests and discuss goals, pitfalls, strategies together- and have fun doing it!

Free time for mothers w young children is so precious- don't use yours by spending time working harder to fit into something that isn't right for you. This will free up your time to find more meaningful friendships- cliche, but totally true!
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#13 of 19 Old 03-08-2012, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and supportive replies.  It is challenging to feel like the odd Momma out.


 

Subhuti I apprecite you bringing this seed of thought to my attention:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subhuti View Post

Are you someone who chronically feels that they don't "fit in" with a group -- if this happens to you a lot, it may be something inside of you that you need to work on.


In all honesty, yes for most of my life I have found it challenging to make strong friendships when I come across an entire group - usually I end up making close friends with just one or two of the group, and feeling somewhat on the fringe of the rest of the group.  I do have a lot of solid friends, but generally I have made them by meeting them as individuals.

 

I have thought about why this is, and I did not have to look too far.  As a child I grew up in a home with an alcoholic parent.  As is very common in disfunctional families, chilidren take on certain "roles" within the families.  In my case my "role" was to not make any demands on the family and all but disappear.  I do think the legacy of this is why I continue to feel uncomfortable being part of a group - I definitely tend to feel invisible when I'm in a group situation and never really seem to find "my place".

 

Anyway I've had plenty of counselling and soul searching over the years to get to a point in my life where I'm able to have close and intimate relationships and find true inner happiness., so I've certainly come a long way.  It can be unnerving though to find that the legacy of being an adult child of an alcoholic continues to influence my life. 

 

I'm not really sure how to move beyond this, but I figured just writing it down in the forum might be a good place to start.

 

Thanks all for reading.
 

 

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#14 of 19 Old 03-08-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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I too am someone who doesn't really click well.  I have had... I'd say two mildly close mommy friends IRL, but both I knew for only about a year before moving away.  I met a couple of other ones as well, and I have some friends online.  But when it comes to meeting other moms, etc., I have a really hard time relating.  It seems we're always out of the box for everything.  I can't just answer simple questions like "where are you from" because we've moved around SO much I don't even have a point of reference anymore.  I can't answer "what do you do" because I have done so many different things but none of them as a career.  I can't answer what does my husband do because, well, he doesn't work.  I don't want to share all our personal business in the first five minutes of meeting someone, but all those typical small talk getting to know you things, well, I can't answer. 

 

And even when I come up with little glib answers that sound good for the first round of friend interviews, ("what do you do?" "I write", etc.) then soon enough the truth comes out that our life isn't really typical, and I think that makes some people uncomfortable?  I'm not like the other married moms who are in relationships with their spouses and do stuff with them, etc., and I'm not like the single moms who get the struggles of solo parenting but are also, like, dating and stuff.  I'm kind of stuck in the middle.  I think people do try to box new acquaintances into boxes and when you don't neatly fit in any, the getting-to-know-you-process just kind of stalls.  And I don't want to be the one always pursuing them.  You know that idea that you can't find a job unless you have a job? Like, it's harder to find employment if you're unemployed? Well, I think it's the same thing when it comes to friends. You can't find friends unless you have friends already... Otherwise you come across as desperate or something.

 

Especially when I can't keep up my end of the friendship bargain - I can't meet someone for coffee or really leave the house unless it's a spur of the moment walk around the block.  And even when that stuff is not the issue, my kids are hard to click with as well.  My son, anyway.  He is... well, he's loveable and loving but he's not mild-mannered.  He's been in therapy for PDD and sensory processing issues and attention issues.  He is always climbing on things, yelling, interrupting, wriggling, squirming, running away.  I know it's because of his issues, but it's hard for ME to deal with him a lot of the time - not to mention other kids, and/or parents.  His issues aren't severe enough that the average person would know that he's not just being, well, a brat.  It takes all my energy to keep him out of trouble, and give attention to his sister, and keep tabs on DH on the phone etc., all the while trying to navigate small talk for potential mommy friends that I may or may not have anything in common with.

 

One of the things I used to do, and I think I'll start doing again, is just have a bunch of scraps of paper that I write my email address down on.  If I meet someone who seems relatively cool I'll give them my email and if they email, then I ask if they have FB or some other such page, and I'll add them.  I figure I come across as more sane online, and I can often get a few bits of what we might have in common to talk about, and then make the convo about them as much as possible at first.  Plus if we really do end up not clicking at all, then it's kind of apparent - they don't email back or you can tell from their posts that we're just not gonna mesh.

 

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#15 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 05:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redmom View Post

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and supportive replies.  It is challenging to feel like the odd Momma out.


 

Subhuti I apprecite you bringing this seed of thought to my attention:


In all honesty, yes for most of my life I have found it challenging to make strong friendships when I come across an entire group - usually I end up making close friends with just one or two of the group, and feeling somewhat on the fringe of the rest of the group.  I do have a lot of solid friends, but generally I have made them by meeting them as individuals.

 

I have thought about why this is, and I did not have to look too far.  As a child I grew up in a home with an alcoholic parent.  As is very common in disfunctional families, chilidren take on certain "roles" within the families.  In my case my "role" was to not make any demands on the family and all but disappear.  I do think the legacy of this is why I continue to feel uncomfortable being part of a group - I definitely tend to feel invisible when I'm in a group situation and never really seem to find "my place".

 

Anyway I've had plenty of counselling and soul searching over the years to get to a point in my life where I'm able to have close and intimate relationships and find true inner happiness., so I've certainly come a long way.  It can be unnerving though to find that the legacy of being an adult child of an alcoholic continues to influence my life. 

 

I'm not really sure how to move beyond this, but I figured just writing it down in the forum might be a good place to start.

 

Thanks all for reading.
 

 


 

Hi Redmom -- 

 

Well, I am glad I asked the question then.  I don't have all the answers.  But .... I share a similar background.  I come from a very large, dysfunctional family in which I was by far the youngest (by a decade) and had very little voice/power in the family.  I am far more comfortable in a one-on-one situation than a larger group (like a mom's group) that is reminiscent of my family size -- six people.  Then I clam up and I tend to offer more of support role towards others than have my own real role, ykwim?  I haven't had feelings of alienation in a group because I ultimately form very strong bonds individually, but I will tell you speaking/interacting in a group is still anxiety provoking for me.

 

Here is a suggestion on how to directly deal with it-- and really the only one I know that tackles it head on.  Do GROUP psychotherapy.  You don't need individual so much, you need to work in a regular group.  And you want to find a very specific type of group.  You do not want a "support group" -- as wonderful as they are.  These are groups where people will support each other and there is a lot of (good) advice being exchanged, etc.  Rather, you are looking for a true psychotherapy group in which the interactions between group members are analyzed and challenged.  This type of group has it's roots in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy.  Relatively few people are trained to lead it -- I could only find one w/in 50 miles of where I live.  

 

It is not a comfortable process.  For me, it brought out all sorts of ancient, uncomfortable feelings.  Initially, I got a lot of feedback that I wasn't, surprise, talking so much about myself.  That is still probably the case.  I began to have very strange aggressive feelings towards a weak person in the group ... which led to my realizing I was trying to find power in the group (which had not had as a child) ... and unlocked a very negative dynamic I had with my husband.  Very helpful.

 

In a sense, the group becomes a mirror of your original family in ways you can't imagine.  It helps to unlock the patterns that hamper your behavior today that you are not aware of.  And with awareness, then you have a chance of being free from these old patterns.

It is not an comfortable endeavor -- people are very blunt and it can hurt.  But I really don't think genuine change can come while being in one's comfort zone.  And it is in a safe container w/a therapist and with ground rules.  At least for me, I feel as I am beginning to "find my voice" in groups because of it ...

 

So ... that is my suggestion.

 

You are welcome to ask me more ....

 

As an aside, a group like adult children of alcoholics would be considered a support group ... great, but not what will unlock these unconscious patterns that really chain us, IMHO.

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#16 of 19 Old 04-09-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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Yes, I have had that experience, and I have to say, get out of that group and find another one now! I say that as someone who stayed with a mom's group that I didn't fit into at all for way, way too long. You deserve to be with people who can at least respect you, and that you can be yourself with. It is bad for your self-esteem to hang out with moms just to be with someone, and probably bad for your child as well. They will sense your feeling of not fitting in and take that as the way it will always be.

Subhui, your post is quite intriguing, in that I came from a family with an alcoholic parent, and I too always feel left out in groups. What type of group therapy is this that you talk about? Is it specifically for children of alcoholics, or what?

 

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#17 of 19 Old 04-21-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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No, pookietooth, it's just a "psychodynamic" group.  It's based in modern analysis (freudian) that's been way updated.  It looks to the early years as shaping personality, and examines unconscious patterns from that time that shape us today. It has no content or form really, just examines the interactions and reactions of group members as they happen.  The $hi# really flies in there (excuse my language).  All sorts of things come up.  

 

For example, I realized the aggressive feelings I was having towards one group member were because of the weak feelings I had when I was little with my older brothers ... which in turn explained WHY I can sometimes be flat-out mean to my DH.  It really, really helped me lessen that behavior towards my husband, once I had that insight.

 

And, yes, I have been tagged as the caregiver of the group (very children of alcoholics behavior).  The therapist said that was fine but now I need to let the group know what they can do to take care of me.


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#18 of 19 Old 04-23-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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Another view...it may not be only your family background that makes you feel like the odd one out, it could also be just who you are. I'm very introverted, I hate small talk, and I have interests that most people don't share. I'm also a "third culture kid," so I don't share the culture of where I live (or anywhere, quite). I actually have no trouble making friends (mysteriously...I don't really get it), but people usually feel more "in tune" with me than I do with them, and have no concept of who I actually am, even when I try to be completely forthcoming. They just don't have the personality or cultural experiences that are such a huge part of my life. It is rare that I find a true friend, and most of mine live far away. My best friend is my sister. But, I have managed to build a nice community where we live now. The first thing I would suggest is to be really open (I'm sure you are already, but I was still surprised by how open I needed to be). My friends here are very different from one another, and some are also very different from who I'd imagine being friends with (if that makes sense). Most of them have kids my DS's age and older, and I met them when he started going to preschool. I wouldn't have met them otherwise because they are running around with their older kids and not at the new moms' group. I also recommend any weekly meeting based around some shared interest - for me, it was the kids' service at my religious institution. I like it because you don't have to plan to meet up, you see similar people every week, and if no one really talks to you, you're there for some other purpose anyway. There were other moms I thought were kind of snubbing me/uninterested but it turned out to be completely untrue. After a while, I got to know everyone and I have a different point of connection with each. And those people who I thought I was least likely to click with - not so.

 

So - I can very much relate and I hate to see you blaming yourself. You sound to me like you'd make a wonderful friend! Keep trying, it takes a long time, especially if you're naturally a bit east or west of the mainstream. I would never have believed that I'd feel a part of a community here.


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#19 of 19 Old 05-19-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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( I didn't read the other posts)  I can totally relate.  There is a mom's group at our church that is very popular and I found myself looking for excuses not to go.  SO many people just love going and go  on and on about the great support and community.  It did nothing for me.  I think it's partly my personality.  I would rather have 3 good friends that I can share my soul with that 50 people that I know on a surface level.
 

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