Do you ever feel rejected by mainstream mothers? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-01-2003, 12:31 AM
 
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Hey Danielle!
Good for you for sticking to who you are. We are planning to homeschool, too and even though there is a HUGE group in this area, I still get tons of flak!

Your story about the teacher refusing to teach her daughter... thank you so much for sharing that. All I can say/do is .



Blessings to you and yours. Keep on keeping on!

Melissa Z.
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Old 06-01-2003, 01:05 AM
 
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Talk about relying on peer pressure! How sad for that little girl.
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Old 06-01-2003, 02:11 AM
 
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Had to add that the friend that was with me at the park (when we bumped into our old group) really is quite different from me, parenting-wise! We've just found that our kids click and we enjoy each other's company and so it's ok that we're different. It says a lot that out of our whole group, she was the only one who said "Who cares if you've decided to change all of your toys to wooden, get involved in a Waldorf school, and eat organic foods?!" EXACTLY! I really couldn't figure out why my new ways bothered the old gang at the time anyway. Why was I so threatening all of a sudden? (This is the main reason I split off from the group, and later my friend, besides the fact that they are a such a high school clicquey-type bunch). Another friend said it was because I seemed to know something they didn't and that was threatening to them. It's insecurity, really! Anyway, just had to add my .02 that you don't have to have every detail match between you and a friend. Just a healthy dose of respect and some nice, friendly middleground!

~Melissa
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Old 06-01-2003, 02:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by glad2bhome
Anyway, just had to add my .02 that you don't have to have every detail match between you and a friend. Just a healthy dose of respect and some nice, friendly middleground!

~Melissa

Very well said! Sometimes people forget that diversity can be a beautiful thing!


Melissa Z.
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:39 AM
 
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I haven't had that experience in real life just on other parenting boards.

In our playgroup everyone bf's, two of us cosleep, 3 of us sling now (thanks to me, I made the slings), etc

One person I get along with better than the others. Its more a personality thing than anything else I think. It helps me to know she parents more like I do. We aren't exactly the same but they are all great moms without exception.
In fact I found out that one of them was still nursing but she told everyone she was working on weaning when her dd was 11 months old. I think she was worried about being ridiculed so she didn't tell us she was still nursing.

I know that some of them get together without the rest of us and vice versa. I've spent more time with one mom because I'm helping her make her own diapers and everyone just accepts that.

I'm sorry you got stuck with such a rotten group. At least your kids get along well.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:46 AM
 
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I haven't felt rejected, but there have been many times that I'm *so* aware of the lack of compatibility. And my unwillingness to just hang out so that I can be with someone-I don't really need that. But I have also felt that with some AP mothers. I just try to stay open to attracting the people that I truly click with. Good luck finding the tribe you deserve!
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:23 PM
 
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Everyone has had great things to say in this thread. It sounds to me that you are in the wrong group. Someone said LLL, I would also suggest going to Attachment Parenting International on the web and seeing if there are any groups in your area. Also, you can go to the tribal area in MDC and meet mamas that way. I have met with some MDC mommas in real life and we are planning to get together again!

There is nothing wrong with them or you. You are just not apart of thier tribe. Don't give up, you will find a group or make one if you are determined.
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Old 06-01-2003, 05:47 PM
 
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I am enjoying this thread and these boards very much. Not a day goes by that I don't learn something new!

For example, today I learned, from Kass, that there is such an organization called Attachment Parenting International. I had no idea! It never even occurred to me to look for such an organization. I've looked quickly and while there is not a group close by me, I know enough people that might be interested down here.

Thanks, Kass! Thank you everyone, for sharing your knowledge here. This is such a great community.

Blessings,
^^Melissa Z.
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Old 06-01-2003, 05:48 PM
 
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Just my personal experience here -- take it or leave it.

When my ds1 was a newborn I began going to a bfing support group offered by our hospital (I still go, five years later ) and met some wonderful mamas who all had babes within months of mine. I started to notice that as the meetings would wrap up they would be discussing going down to a little diner a couple blocks away for lunch, but no one said anything to me. This was the same group of mamas that I had just spent two hours laughing and talking with and I couldn't figure it out.

This went on for a month, every Friday, and I just became more and more hurt every week trying to figure out why I was being excluded out of this group of about 6 - 8 mamas. Nothing like adding that to a new mother's plate.: Finally, I made a point one week to be move really close one week as they were discussing it (often loudly across the room to each other). I acted like she had been talking to me and I hadn't understood what one of them said and said "what did you say?" She replied, "Oh, nothing. We're just getting ready to head down to the diner for lunch." I decided to get bold and said "would you mind if I tagged along? I have nothing at home in my fridge, and Mc Donalds just doesn't sound good."

She was like "Sure!!! We would love it!!" Well as we were talking a the diner, it turns out that when they first decided to do it after the weekly meeting they each thought that one of the other gals had told me about it, so in all actuality, no one had. I was not intentionally being left out, they all thougth that I knew about it, and knew that it was an open invitation. When I told them I had felt left out they all felt terrible. Since they thought I knew, they just figured that I had something going on after the meetings and couldn't come. They weren't intending to be rude, it was just a misunderstanding.

Perhaps since these women are discussing it around you, they are figuring that if you were interested in joining them you would jump in. Perhaps they aren't being rude at all. I know that I often discuss plans in front of other mama's that I'm friends or acquantiances with, in the hopes that if they are interested, they will speak up. I have made so many ovatures in the past to mamas to join me or my group, but they never do. Either they have things going on then, or they find it harder to get out of the house than I do, or for whatever reason. I don't take it personally.

I'm guessing that the next time these moms discuss meeting while you are there and you asked if they would mind if you joined them, the response would be a positive one.

BTW, I am one of the more AP minded of my friends. Many spank on occasion, have ferberized their children, and are much more mainstream than I when it comes to parenting, but for me, it isn't much of an issue. I hope that I can be an example to moms that AP works. I must be doing something right, cause three of my best friends are now members of MDC.
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Old 06-01-2003, 08:32 PM
 
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OMG YES!!! It'll be easier to take after reading about everyone elses experiences and knowing Im not alone in this.
I joined a mommy and baby class,and when it first started everyone was all nervous and uncomfortable(you know those first moments) I broke the ice by getting a conversation going and talking to the other babies(I get kinda silly around babies ) anyway, so class goes on but it becomes apparent that the instructor has HUGE issues about control. She thinks that a crying baby is doing nothing but tying to control you, sad really. I dont do anything with dd that she wouldnt be comfortable with. The instructor hates me becuase of this, and I once went out of my way to interfere with the way she was treating an unsure mother and her really really upset and crying baby. Other then that I just could care less and stay out of her way. Well the other day I wouldnt hand my child over to her for an exercise, and we got into a big argument about what a rotten person my child was going to become because I let her choose her comfort level and I meet her demands, and now I am being given the cold shoulder by the other moms : . I just dont get it. I dont feel comfortable going back, but I dont want anyone to get the wrong impression if I stop going.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:04 PM
 
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"The thing I really mind is the boring, monotonous, tedious, torturous chatter about life's really serious issues like what color the wallpaper in the dining room is going to be!"

I completely know what you mean!!! I went to a playgroup with church ladies awhile back and I was SOOO bored. I seriously preferred to stay home alone than be there. All they talked about was what was on TV,(we didn't have cable so I had no clue) the sales in town, (We didn't have money so I couldn't do much about sales) and the decorating of their homes(we are still in the renting stage of life and there's only so much you can do). I just did not fit. But eventually I found a group of LLL friends with whom I fit in and was never bored with. We don't live there anymore, but I still email those friends.
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Old 06-02-2003, 07:54 AM
 
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I feel really disregarded by other mothers for a number of reasons:
  • I am a natural family living, AP kinda gal
  • I am young
  • I have a special needs and severly developmentally delayed child
  • My 15 year old is a minority in terms of sexual identity
  • I am a nontraditional parent in several ways, including being a foster parent
  • I am poor and live and work in an overall pretty well-to do community, and I am educated but do not have 3 masters degrees as is standard here
  • I just moved into a community that is too small for my tastes, and many folks know one another and have for many years...many of the parents have this bond they've built with one another over a series of years while they've watched their children grow together, and they don't seem at all interested in "outsiders"
  • I am in a same-sex marriage
Let's see, what else...(??)...

Sometimes when I am chatting with other moms about something having to do with the kids, I feel like the other moms are just sort of going, "uh huh," and then they usually turn away from me and toward one another and engage in a conversation that I couldn't possibly relate to. It's very rude, but it also doesn't seem to be something they are aware they are doing. They are all very friendly on the surface level. I have tried all the social and communication skills I know, and have finally just surrendered to the possibility that perhaps there are very few places in the world where our family will ever be at home. It's sad, but I hope I can just find those places and tap into them.

Sierra

P.S. My mom is into natural family living and AP as well. I remember other moms also sort of staying clear of her (except on that surface level...in which case they are all sticky sweet). Well, she stuck it out in the community we moved to part way through my childhood, and she met another like-minded mom somewhere along the line, along with a few other kindred spirits. I was just thinking the other day how my mom has known this other like-minded mom for probably around 16 years and how strong their friendship is. I hope I find someone I can develop a similar friendship with sometime!

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 06-02-2003, 09:59 AM
 
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First off- Karin,Sierra and Dakota I would be buds with you all. I so prefer interesting people over dull people

I know what it is like to be excluded due to differing parenting styles, but back when it was happening a lot when my kids were smaller,I was kind of oblivious. I knew how I was parenting was different (didn't know there was a term and a magazine for it!), but I didn't care. I liked how I was doing things, even though all my friends did it differently. And I heard little remarks from them from time to time, but I just thought how rude they all were. And why in the world didn't they see my parenting style was/is WAY better than theirs!? Still an AP parent as my kids are older (I will never change!), I get a lot of commentary from mainstream friends (I only really have 2 AP buddies), but I see how in their eyes how they are a little envious of how I parent, kwim?

Karin, I know how you are feeling. If you want to hang out with these women from this group, maybe you could have a little playtime with some of them and their children that you set up and see how it goes. Why not, you know? It could be fun.
And you could teach them all a little something as you go along
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:08 PM
 
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I can really relate to this topic. I have had a hard time meeting like-minded mamas near me. We aren't christian (and don't belong to any church) which turns a lot of people off. I am not sure why. I am in my 20's and look young, so the 30 something moms don't usually bother with me. Some moms seem to be turned off by the car I drive, making comments like, What does YOUR husband do?" although it is an older model car which probably cost less than their new vehicle. I am too "alternative" in my parenting to fit in w/ the mainstream set, but I don't look super crunchy, either. I am also somewhat reserved by nature and probably seem unapproachable to some. (BTW, I don't fit in w/my "old crowd" anymore, either, since none of them are parents.) To be honest, I'm not as bothered by this as I used to be. I can't please everyone, and I am not going to become someone I am not in hopes of getting others to like me. The few mama friends I do have are very different from me, but we share a common respect for one another's differences, even if we don't agree. Unfortunately, we live 70 miles apart, and only get together 1-2x a month. The MDC boards mean a lot to me- it is so reassuring to find like-minded people out there. I would probably feel pretty lonely without this outlet. So..... to all of you!!
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:14 PM
 
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This thread feels like coming home! Like so many of the rest of you, I have always been on the outside. It wasn't until college that I really found a core groups of like-minded souls. The problem is that I live in AK, 1000 miles away from the closest of them. And, even though we are still close, I was the first to have a baby, which leaves us on different pages.

It's funny, I've also tried going to some parents' groups with the hope of finding a tribe, but, as soon as I bf my 14 month old, the conversation dies. I've even been asked to leave because the other moms are afraid that their babies will want to nurse! Most of these kids were bf for less than 6 months if at all.

Reading over this, I sound petulant. I don't mean to. I'm not afraid to be on the outside and I believe passionately in my parenting. But I do wish for some other mamas...
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Old 06-02-2003, 04:19 PM
 
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I had an experience which really made an impression on me, in terms of how we think we are perceived vs. how we are really perceived.

When I was in high school, I thought I was a dweeb. I couldn't afford brand-name clothes (Guess, Esprit) so I put vintage finds together in creative ways, that kind of thing. There was this guy, Will, who I had a huge crush on. Gorgeous. He and I and some friends would play frisbee outside at lunch time when weather permitted. There was a big field, and lots of people would sit outside and eat lunch.

I was always focused on Will -- sometimes it was clear he liked me, others it wasn't, and I wasn't sure I'd ever be cool enough to get him to fall for me. I'd worry about stupid things I said, whether this other girl was competition, etc.

So -- a few years after graduation, I ran into someone I knew from high school. She said something like, "Do you still play frisbee?" I was confused, and she reminded me that I would play frisbee at lunch all the time. She said she was always so in awe of me, sprinting across the field with my hair flying behind me, in long flowing skirts, how cool my "group" was, how much she wanted to be like me. I was like, "ME? Why would you want to be like dweeby old me??"

I have had lots and lots of conversations with people about this, and I have basically never met someone who says, "Oh, yeah, I was really popular in high school." Or "oh, yeah, I have no problem making friends." Even if they WERE popular, or if it SEEMS like they make friends with the greatest of ease. Everyone has their own insecurities, their own cluelessness as to how they are perceived by others.

So, while "we" are worrying that "they" don't like us because of our AP parenting style, I bet "they" are worried "we" don't like them because of their mainstream parenting style. Just go for it! Be explicit! Ask! See what happens.

The mom I am currently closest to weaned her daughter at 4 months and thinks co-sleeping is vaguely icky. But she has a great sense of humor, a lot of compassion, and a wonderful daughter, and we respect each others' parenting styles, though they differ. Parenting is not the only thing to talk about, and we have a great time together.
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Old 06-04-2003, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sierra
Sometimes when I am chatting with other moms about something having to do with the kids, I feel like the other moms are just sort of going, "uh huh," and then they usually turn away from me and toward one another and engage in a conversation that I couldn't possibly relate to.
That's how I feel most of the time, which prompted the thread about responding to advice...I'm still ruminating about it, I don't know. It's hard for me to not just see it as something wrong with me. : I also find it's not just parenting, it's the whole natural family living ideology...maybe I am wierd!


Jen
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Old 06-04-2003, 11:36 AM
 
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I've never felt rejected by mainstream moms, but I've definitely gotten that, "Oh, she's one of THOSE and not one of US" vibes. It really depends on the other mom's own sense of security about their own parenting style. People who are comfortable with their own choices don't see my differences as some sort of threat.

As far as your playgroup is concerned, they are just exhibiting lousy manners. While it is possible that they aren't including you because they think you are "different," rude is rude no matter what the reason. I'd say find another group if you can.
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Old 06-04-2003, 03:15 PM
 
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I would just like to take a moment and count this thread among the things I am thankful for today. There is such great advice and sharing here. Thank you, all.

I hope everyone has a grand day!

^^Melissa
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Old 06-06-2003, 04:19 PM
 
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I think Jish probably has it right, if the other mothers are making plans in front of you, they probaly think you would join in if you wanted to (unless it's just two moms making plans, then it's probably just two moms making a plan).

Have you invited the other moms to do something? Perhaps call an ask an individual mom & child to meet you at the park. Ask another to meet you for lunch. Then invite the whole group over to your house for coffee.

*****

Perhaps some of the posters who have felt excluded have been unintentionally giving off a vibe that gets taken as a "holier-than-thou" vibe. Not on purpose, of course. But perhaps if you (the general you, not anyone in particular) are thinking in terms of "hmmmm, I'm an AP mom surrounded by Mainstream moms" combined with a belief, even not verbalized, that AP is better (which of course, if you didn't think it was better, you'd do something else), then perhaps the other mothers get a sense that you wouldn't want anything to do with them.

I don't consider myself an AP mom. I had never heard the term before I started lurking at parenting websites. I'm just a regular mom who tries to be a good mom (even if most days I feel at some point like I'm not). I enjoy reading the conversations online written by moms who do things differently than me (if all the posters were just like me, it would be a boring read). But I sometimes get the feeling reading posts that an air of superiority lurks in the railings against "mainstream" moms.

Perhaps you are too focused on what makes you different from the other moms, rather than what qualities and interests you share.

This isn't meant to address any particular poster. I don't lurk enough to remember which posts went with which names.

********

Okay, a confession too. Our neighborhood playgroup & supper club disbanded and later reformed quietly, without inviting one particular family to join us then. They constantly brought sick children to playgroup, even though we tried to nicely ask that sick children not be brought (especially since there seemed to constantly be a newborn in the playgroup). They didn't reciprocate and invite us to their house for dinner, even though they had been to eat at everyone else's house. They asked other families to babysit too much, much more than anyone else did. We just got tired of the lack of consideration and feeling taken advantage of. We tired to be as discrete about it as possible though.

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to thank everyone for their support, empathy and advice. The situation is getting better. The planning in front of me definitely wasn't an open invitation, but what happens more often is discussion of what was already done. I understand some people connect together more quickly, and I definitely don't have anything against people forming outside friendships...I was just wondering why no one was interested in me. I did make some effort initially, but it did not go anywhere. Recently I was successful in making lunch plans with one mom who is older and has an adopted child -it seems she also feels like the odd one out sometimes, but she is very interesting and fun. After further observation, there is one mom in the group who is the major culprit -I won't go into all the details since it isn't really necessary...but I am no longer bothered when I'm not included in her lunches, dinners, etc. now that I understand her motivations.
Anyway, thanks again for all your cyber hugs!
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Old 06-07-2003, 06:27 PM
 
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We were in a playgroup "kindermuzik". all those women did the same type of parenting....different from mine. it seemed they all breastfed for about 3 months and stopped....i could go on and on.

All wore the same type clothes and had their kids in certain type clothes......EXPENSIVE ! and all name brand,...etc


They were very cold to us. Made some comments that I should just take my son's bottle away and let him cry! Told me I should be spanking him. Once they found out that I didn't punish my baby, they really didn't have much to say to me.

:

it kind of hurt. was like a clique in JR HIGH!!!!!!!!!!

is ok though, i have a ton of mature friends in college and there aren't any cliques there.

is weird how women/mothers can be
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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I've found the exact same things. We used to go to Gymboree, where most of the moms all lived in a well to do area and all drive their large expensive cars to the classes and acted like the Gymboree class was some off shoot of the high school lunch room. I was happy to meet a few moms there who shared some common interests and we now regularly get together outside of Gymboree (we don't go any more).
I also found an online e mail group of local moms as well. While I doubt they all have the same parenting ideas, we all get along well and enjoy each other's company.
But I definately get that sense of not fitting in. I'm younger than most other "mom friends" I have, in NJ alternative ideas are not popular (people are constantly shocked that I'm not sending my 3 year old to preschool and plan to just teach her at home next year), and just the whole AP ideas in general.

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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Old 06-07-2003, 11:32 PM
 
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Hi Stephanie,

Where in Jersey are you? We're in Bergen County, (Ridgefield). I'm sure I'm older than you, but age doesn't really matter to me. I'm just looking for likeminded moms. My son is 11 months old. Unfortunately, he is in daycare because I work fulltime. We're hoping to have the bills from tha adoption paid down enough by the time he is school age that I can stay home with him and homeschool.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:56 AM
 
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Dakota's mom! We just moved from Nyack! My ob was in Bergen County. Too sad, because I would have loved to meet a local momma while we were there.
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Old 06-10-2003, 12:53 PM
 
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I haven't experienced rejection, just growing apart from a former good friend of mine.

She is a neighbor and friend, and we used to enjoy each other's company a lot... then we had kids. Her TV is on literally around the clock (all vidoes on repeat play all the time) and I am not kidding when I say that I have almost never seen her holding her baby. She is always in a swing, baby bouncer, Exersaucer... you name it. I will be talking with my friend outside her house and in the middle of the conversation, I'll be like, "I think I hear something... isn't that the baby crying?" and she'll roll her eyes and say something like, "Yeah, she's already up. Anyway, what were you saying about..." She leaves her kids with a local teenage girl babysitter ALL THE TIME to go do things like grocery shopping and other errands. She only has 2 kids: a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old. Her toddler barely says a single word I understand, my guess is because she is planted in front of the TV all day and gets almost no verbal input from *real live* people. She nursed her 6 month old DD for 2 months which she said "was all she needed health wise, since she's already had all of my antibodies" and started her on solids foods at 3 months because she "couldn't take all these bottles." Now she eats everything the rest of the family does at six months old!!!! I could go ON AND ON.

Needless to say, I am just having a really hard time remaining friends with her when our parenting styles are so different. So in a way it is like rejection, because it's causing a rift between us and we're starting to see less and less of each other. So sad...

[Edited for several typos!]
Periwinkle is offline  
 
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