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

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#1 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son (12 mo) is in a playgroup with 5 other babies. The mothers, all whom did not know each other before playgroup, apparently call and see each other on an individual basis outside playgroup. They will even make plans with each other in front of me. I have never been asked or called by anyone. I have called a couple moms myself, but it didn't lead anywhere. Even when I look at myself critically, I can't find an obvious reason why I'm "shunned" outside playgroup. I don't argue, criticize, dominate, etc. -I just hang out with like the rest of them and join in the conversations from time to time. My ds isn't a bully and fits in well. Everyone is very nice to me when I am there... the only thing that makes me different is that I co-sleep, breastfeed and my son is non-cir (they know because of a diaper change I had to do once without privacy). Could that be enough to make them wary? I have never pushed my AP style or criticized their choices of parenting. It is just so odd... has anyone else had a similiar experience?

Karin
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#2 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 04:57 PM
 
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Whatever their reasons, they are being just plain rude to make plans in front of you and not invite you. That's inexcusable in my book.

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#3 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 06:41 PM
 
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my kindermusik class was like that. i sooooooo wanted to make some more mom friends, but that particular class was filled with a group of women who all knew each other. because their husbands are all surgeons together. : so they were all much wealthier than i am, and better dressed, and they were always telling each other who's house to meet at for scrapbook parties, or dinner night or whatever.
i just gave up on trying to be their friend. it just wasn't going to happen. it annoyed me that they talked about outside activities during class, but what can you do?
maybe they just aren't the right group for you. i don't have any advice for you, just sympathy. it sucks to be the odd mom out. it's like junior high social hell all over again.
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#4 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 06:59 PM
 
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yeah, i relate - to be honest, it's not like i try to bring them into my life either, but i know the feeling of being the odd one out... i would sooooo like to have a friend or two that i felt i could just hang out with.... i guess i'm lucky in that my neighbor and i do like each other and our kids play together a few times a week. she's more mainstream than i am, but probably a bit less than some moms.... the only advise i can offer is keep trying to find the right group, and don't let this particular bunch of moms get you down! best wishes...
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#5 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 07:39 PM
 
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Am in the same boat... Don't have any friends, except male Have one that lives 3 hours away, we are great friends (if we lived closer I'd say BEST). I've TRIED everything that I know of, and I am MORE MAINSTREAM than most on here (disposable diapers, circ son, non-whole food, we tried to eat healthy but who doesn't? and we have some food allergy issues, and we EBF) Not sure HOW I can make more friends, however am seeing inprovement in Sunday School Class
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#6 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate everyone's words of support... the time I had to change ds, the eyes of one mom in particular almost popped out of her head when she saw he was not circ'd. Oh well.. this group had the potential of being a great one since everyone was first time mothers and the ages of the babies were all within a few months of each other. I've met a few women in my area via MDC, so I am hoping we'll get together soon.
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#7 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 07:55 PM
 
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They're rude behavior says everything about them and nothing about you.
I know being a mom, especially a new mom, can be so isolating. Having support and friendship is so important. It stinks when new "friends" don't really turn out to be friends at all.
Personally I'm glad you didn't hide your son's uncirc-ed penis from them. I applaud you for educating yourself on the matter before your son was born. Any "shuns" for any of your attachment parenting ways are, to me, signs of defensiveness and guilt for their choices.
Hold you head HIGH!!! You should be proud of your loving parenting ways.
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#8 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 08:15 PM
 
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i am so sorry that you have experienced that. i have been dealing with this problem myself since moving to arizona six months ago. my mom came out to visit from illinois and spent almost all of her time with my sister (who has no children) and chalked it up to my kids being "wild" etc. i often feel disconnected (sometimes from mainstream parents who seem to have money, style, and babysitters...and from AP parents who seem to have it together, have more patience, and more energy for intensely child-focused activities). i am often tired and i think i send out the message that i have enough on my plate. maybe they think you already have a lot of crazy non-circ-ing friends? (my boys are all intact..no inuendos there LOL). maybe you intimidate them with your patience and style and more attached ways? good luck, tiffany
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#9 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 09:23 PM
 
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When my dear children were little I belonged to a Mommy'n'Me group through the Adult Education Unified School District; most of the mothers were women I had gone to High school with, wo I was acquainted with them somewhat, but I was the kind of person who just always did my own thing.

The children played together in a room with toys, we had circle time, and then the mommies went in the other room and we had discussions about parenting concerns. I would listen and join in as was appropriate and "politically correct". I never stepped on anyone's toes.

I served on the Parenting Board and I wrote for our little newspaper. I participated as well as I could.

I kept my big mouth shut when the discussions turned to no-vaxing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc. I did speak up when everyone was calling home birth mothers "dirty" and "ignorant"; I had more education than anyone including the "teacher" in the class, so I pointed out that home birth mothers are not ignorant and I am not "dirty" either.

It was an interesting study in human behavior.

I just kept my perspective and goal in mind....

...I went to the class to be with a group of mommies who enjoyed their children and I wanted my dear daughter and later dear son to enjoy the company of other children. I wanted to observ my children playing with other children in a safe and controlled environment.

Later, the school started to demand vaxing records, so I quietly excused myself.

I guess, in retrospect, I could have done something else, but at the time, I enjoyed this particular experience.
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#10 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 10:13 PM
 
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We go to story time at the library once a week. The other moms are a little older than me and more upper class, so I never really noticed or cared when they made play group dates in front of me without inviting me. Then a girl I know, who is my exact age, financial situation, ages of children...we have alot in common other than I AP and she is more very mainstream...came to story time. I had hardly ever seen her before though I had missed the week before. Well, after stories they started reminding her of what time play group was at. I thought they just must know her from somewhere else, but honestly I can't figure it out. We are in the same class and age group, go to the same church. Anyway, I felt like a real freak or something and I haven't gone back in a couple of weeks. I just wish people would notice me and talk more quietly about their plans. I know I am silly and I know they don't owe it to me to invite me or anything...I don't know...it just hurts to be left out. I know I will be careful in making plans around other moms.
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#11 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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Dear 2much2luv

i know how you feel. YOu just have to do the very best for your dear child. You go to story time for your dear child, don't you?

Just go about your business. Your child looks up to you. Model the kind of behavior you would like to see from your child.

If you are really intent on hanging out with these women, then walk up to them and make some kind of overture. Ask them about their plans for the following week, or what kind of books they are getting, or their plans for shopping, going to the gym, KWIM?

If they respond, great!

If you are snubbed - you know where you stand - and stand tall!

BTW, congratulations on your pregnancy; I have two January babies, and I am a January baby myself.
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#12 of 56 Old 05-30-2003, 11:59 PM
 
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Thanks miriam.
I already have one January baby and I am one myself. My EDD is my birthday and my other dd's birthday is Jan 21st. That will be a big party month at our house!
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#13 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 12:47 AM
 
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Been there, done that!! That was my situation a few months ago, when I began exploring natural living. My group of "friends" at the time shunned me and yep, made plans in front of me. I decided to do other things. I've met some lovely people (neighbors, Waldorf moms, etc.) and feel MUCH better. I was with an old friend a couple of weeks ago and lo and behold, the old gang was at the playground. I got the "Oh, Hiiiii, Meliisssaa, how aaarrreee yoouuuuuuu?!!!!" Yuck! But, I was polite. Funny thing is, my friend got into a conversation with them and was later invited (out of the blue, I might add) to a Memorial Day party. These people hadn't spoken to EITHER of us in months!!!! So, I guess they were trying to suck her back in ! And, yes, they had that same high school girlish cliquey attitude that I detested, um , in HIGH SCHOOL!! I feel bad for them, really. Oh, what they and their children will miss in this world by being so shallow.:

~Melissa
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#14 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 03:01 AM
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I don't know how to correct it, but I know why it's happening.... pheromones. That's not to say that you smell funny, just that you smell different and to many folks different is synonymous with bad. But seriously, sometimes I walk in a room and feel like I know the people already and we get along great. I met one of my best friends that way. Other times I feel like I’ve sprouted a third arm. (actually since the birth of my daughter a third arm might come in handy) But I honestly believe that humans are heard animals, we do long for each other’s company and unfortunately this seems like it’s just not your heard. (Geesh, now you probably think I’m calling you a cow. Boy am-I-ever winning points with this post!) Anyway, I have the same issue at my son’s pre-school. It’s compounded by the fact that I’m a bit shy and when the pheromones are off I tend to clam up even more. And to make matters worse, I’m chewy granola with m&ms = too crunchy for main stream, to main stream for crunchy, (Ha! Maybe I should put that in my signature!) so I can wind up being odd man out in either crowd. But my point was (regardless of how I blundered the delivery) to let you know that you’re not alone, and in my humble opinion the differences that you mentioned in your post are also the differences that make you beautiful. Hang in there honey, you’ll find your tribe, and when you do these other ladies won’t mean diddly.
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#15 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 03:41 AM
 
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turquoise, you crack me up! :LOL

ITA with what she said, btw. Just wanted to add that it doesn't take a mainstream mom to be rude and mean. That's a whole 'nother category of mom. The rude and mean kind!

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#16 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 03:49 AM
 
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While I can't say that I've experienced something like that in a playgroup since my son is so young, I have experienced that many times in other situations in my life. When I was in confirmation class in 7th grade we had to go on a retreat, and there were an odd number of girls, and they were picking who to bunk with, and right there in front of me they all picked partners and left me out. I am no stranger to that kind of thing and I've never really known why.

I hope that it does not bother you too much. I just had to learn to deal with it. It used to bother me a lot but now I do not care. I am a loner anyway so it just rolls off my back. I wish I had some better advice, but I do think that Miriam gave some good advice.
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#17 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
it doesn't take a mainstream mom to be rude and mean. That's a whole 'nother category of mom. The rude and mean kind!
:LOL Toooo funny!
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#18 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 05:06 AM
 
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I am in a similar situation. I have 2 friends that I regularly speak to on the phone and occasionally see. We have decided to contact everyone WE three know- from all aspects of our lives and start our own little friday play group. We will take turns deciding which park to meet at or house and see how it goes. I was getting so tired of trying to figure out where everyone was going or doing that I said enough is enough. i gotta do this myself.
I also do not have a problem busting into a conversation that other moms are having (in front of me)and asking them what they are talking about. If they are offended "tough toenails" as my mother loved to say. Life is way too short to worry about being rejected.
If I was rejected, who cares. I have thick skin. YOu may also think about putting an add in the local newspaper stating that you are looking to get together with other mom's for a playgroup. Just an idea.
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#19 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! Turquoise, your post about phermones made me giggle because the last time I went to playgroup I actually put on perfume for the first time in ages! I didn't consciously think maybe my phermones were out of whack or didn't fit in, but I do think it is weird in hindsight that I made that choice after reading your post.
I guess I'm just bewildered... I'll just be on the lookout for a different group, but I do like ds to "socialize", so until I do I'll go to playgroup with his interests at heart, without any expectations for myself, and I'll be ok.
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#20 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kms1s
the last time I went to playgroup I actually put on perfume for the first time in ages!
HA! so you did smell funny! Well, that's what you get for wearing Arden to a Chanel affair! :LOL But seriously, I always blame pheromones whenever I can't explain the immediate "click" or "repel" you get upon meeting new people. Takes the pressure off me. "I'm a good person, it must be that our pheromones just don't jive".
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#21 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 11:46 AM
 
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Have you considered asking them? Invite the one who seems most approachable to do something -- come for playtime and lunch, whatever. If they say no, ask them then, and if they say yes, ask when they come over. Tell her that you feel somewhat out of place in the group, and you're wondering if you do something that makes them uncomfortable.
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#22 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 12:09 PM
 
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I've always been "odd girl out". In high school I was the fat kid and the smart kid. Later in life I was divorced. Then a single mom. Always a bit of a hippie. Now at 52 with a 10 month old, I'm too old for moms with kids my son's age and women my age don't want to be around the baby. And neither group understands my style of parenting or living for that matter.

Where can I find 50 year old hippie, witchy, whole foods with occasional junk food, disposable diapering, noncircing, sometimes vaccinating, homeschooling, parents of infants in New Jersey?:

:::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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#23 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 03:37 PM
 
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Why not see if you can find a Tribe of local moms? Or go to a LLL meeting and make friends with those moms? I know with my local "tribe" there are some of us who click well and make plans outside the group. We don't try to hide that fact but we also don't make plans in front of the group because it's rude. I have found that a couple of good girlfriends are better than the biggest playgroup in the world.

Darshani

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#24 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 06:06 PM
 
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's

LLLI meetings is an excellent idea! You will meet likeminded women there and find valuable alliances also.
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#25 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 06:22 PM
 
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I do have one other mama, my best friend and our children are close in ages and get along great. But she is moving in a couple of weeks 4 hours away. So, the search is on for a)someone for my children to play with b) someone for me to hang with.
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#26 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 06:41 PM
 
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I would warm right up to you in a heartbeat even though my youngest is 5
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#27 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 06:52 PM
 
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This is a great thread. I have experienced this often as well. When I first had my son (now 3 yrs), a friend who had her baby several days later and I went to a Mom's group. We were the only ones there who breastfed! We decided that we didn't belong there.

I think when you do things differently, it says a lot about who you are. Someone mentioned the herd mentality. I am used to going against the herd most of the time, so I feel like I have spent a great deal of time by myself. Sometimes I simply take the time to enjoy what I do have rather than what I don't have. Because really, do I want to be with people simply to be with people or does the quality of people around me count more than that.

I have had disagreements with people who think along the same lines I do, (EBF, no-vax, no circ, holistic or alternative med). People are just people moving along dealing with their own "stuff". I try to remind myself that no matter what, anyone crossing my path has something for me and me for them. It's all in how we use what finds it's way before us on our path.

I hope this helps. As you can tell from this thread, there are others out here that have stood in your shoes.

Be well.

Melissa Z.
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#28 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 06:53 PM
 
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I wish I knew where the right place was. I am so tired of being alone in all this. I need community. Even though I live 10 minutes from New York City, I have no community around me, just lots of people.

:::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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#29 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 07:05 PM
 
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Just wanted to add: I live far away (Southern California) from the place I grew up (Connecticut) with no family close by. It has been great for my marriage as my hubby and I have been forced to figure things out as a team. The friends we have made, we have thought of as extended family. It's natural for things to sometimes not work out. I think that friendships become more greatly significant when you add your children into the picture. When adults make friends and those people have children, those may become our children's friends. There are all these extra people who change things on an exponential level. So, if there are things that you don't have in common that somehow intimidate others, that will be amplified.

Hang in there! Good people will attract other good people!

Blessings,
Melissa Z.
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#30 of 56 Old 05-31-2003, 08:52 PM
 
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This is a great thread! I got involved in a "Mom's Club" playgroup and I don't really enjoy it. I feel as though I have very little in common with them and sometimes it feels like they look at me as if I have two heads. Funny thing is, I really don't share alot about my "style" of mothering, but I guess I have let on enough here and there that they know I'm waaaaay different. I was pregnant when I joined and they didn't quite understand my desire to have a natural childbirth and they definitely didn't understand my sadness when I ended up with a scheduled c-section (because of huge fibroid tumor and a baby in transverse position, but that's another story!) I wonder how weird exactly the former public school teacher in this group thinks I am. She knows that we homeschool, but I haven't had the nerve to tell this woman that not only do we homeschool, but we unschool. This is a woman who refused to teach her 5 year old how to read when her daughter asked to be taught. Her reasoning was that it wasn't the right age and she'd be too far ahead of her classmates and that would be hard for the teacher to handle. I really don't mind being so different and I even enjoy hanging out with people who are different from me. 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 only continue to attend because my son enjoys it so much. A mom in my area is going to start a Nurture by Nature group and I'm really looking forward to meeting a group of like minded mothers. I think I'm going to try and wean ourselves out of this other group.

Danielle
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