Moms: Do you fit in with other moms at baby/toddler groups?

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Globetrotter
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05 Oct 2012, 1:41 am

I'm not sure where to put this post. Please move if it should be in the Parenting section (but if I understand correctly, that category is for parents of aspie kids..).

Just wondering for the moms of babies or toddlers out there (and moms of older kids who remember way back when), how did you/do you fit in at mommy-baby groups? I always find that I have nothing to say most of the time, as much of the discussion is just social chitchat about what baby has been doing lately, and I don't have much to add. When I do think of a response to something someone has said, the discussion has already moved on.

I am passionate about certain parenting subjects - breastfeeding, montessori and waldorf education, and disciplining philosophies, for example. But moms that I meet up with at baby groups never seem to really care to talk about any of these subjects in any detail. For example, if someone says she has enrolled her child in a Montessori preschool, I am all keen on talking about whether it is a *real* Montessori school or just Montessori-inspired one. The mom has no idea what I am talking about and really couldn't care less. She says "I don't know. I just like the school" and starts talking about something else. I end up leaving the group feeling more isolated than I did when I arrived! Or some mom will say that she puts her kid in time out when he acts up and I am all keen to talk about the merits of time out, what their favourite parenting books are, and whether they have heard of Alfie Kohn's book on no rewards-no punishment discipline. They don't seem interested in pursuing the conversation any deeper than saying what they do or don't do for discipline.

Can anyone else relate? Maybe I'm just one of those mommies that has to intellectualize everything....



MjrMajorMajor
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05 Oct 2012, 9:57 am

Most moms aren't really interested in any in depth analysis, even when it pertains to their kids. Try bringing up shared experiences/milestones for conversation, and complementing their children. Are there any groups focusing on early education in your area? That might be a better fit for you than a general moms with tots lineup.



League_Girl
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05 Oct 2012, 3:48 pm

I took my son to a play group and I seemed to fit in well. The mother running it also breast fed, co slept so we had something in common. She also cloth diapered. It was just her and I and one other mother. I mostly sat and watched my son play while the other mothers talked.


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mljt
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05 Oct 2012, 4:34 pm

I'm not a Mum, but I used to look after a toddler as a job. I took him to mother and baby groups and it was like a stereotypical school set up, with this hierarchy of mothers; the cool group, the queen bee mum, the losers etc.

I didn't expect to fit in there, being male and only 18 at the time, but in some groups I was treated with suspicion (I was told by a couple of people who were on the fringes of the cool group that they all wondered how I'd had a kid so young - I looked very young at this point, much less than 18)
I saw others ostracised by the groups. It was really odd!

Unfortunately, I overheard a lot of breastfeeding and birth stories I wish I'd never heard. There was no shortage of over-sharing there!



lady_katie
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05 Oct 2012, 5:38 pm

Ugh, I hate those groups! I tried joining MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) recently, and they forced us to play a "social bingo" game that lasted over an hour! I don't know how many times I said "I live in blah blah town, it's really nice there" 8O

Instead, I just ended up enrolling my son in half-day daycare for his socializing, that way I could go home and freelance instead of trying to force myself to talk about casseroles and stroller friendly nature trails :P



Globetrotter
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06 Oct 2012, 12:45 am

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
Most moms aren't really interested in any in depth analysis, even when it pertains to their kids. Try bringing up shared experiences/milestones for conversation, and complementing their children. Are there any groups focusing on early education in your area? That might be a better fit for you than a general moms with tots lineup.


I get it. I really do. I just wondered if there were other moms that I could commiserate with. I had one really good mommy friend who I used to spend a lot of time with. We used to talk for *hours* while our kids played. Unfortunately, she moved. I just find all the conversation at the regular mommy groups difficult to get into, and also risky because I can very easily alienate someone by unintentionally saying the wrong thing, so I end up saying nothing or tiptoe-ing around subjects. I absolutely talk about milestones and compliment (not complement - note spelling - it is not the same word) their children but I feel like I need an outlet to discuss more in-depth with someone in real life.

I haven't found any groups focusing on early education in my area.



Last edited by Globetrotter on 06 Oct 2012, 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Globetrotter
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06 Oct 2012, 12:49 am

lady_katie wrote:
Ugh, I hate those groups! I tried joining MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) recently, and they forced us to play a "social bingo" game that lasted over an hour! I don't know how many times I said "I live in blah blah town, it's really nice there" 8O

Instead, I just ended up enrolling my son in half-day daycare for his socializing, that way I could go home and freelance instead of trying to force myself to talk about casseroles and stroller friendly nature trails :P


Oh, my son does attend a preschool in the mornings (he is now three). :D I didn't (and don't) go to mommy gatherings for the sake of my children's socialization. I have no doubt they'll get that throughout life. :lol: I go for my own sake. I love solitude, but there are times when I crave social interaction, especially with someone who shares my interests and wants to talk about them more.

Can totally relate to tedium of 60 minutes of social bingo. Wow.



Globetrotter
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06 Oct 2012, 12:54 am

mljt wrote:
I'm not a Mum, but I used to look after a toddler as a job. I took him to mother and baby groups and it was like a stereotypical school set up, with this hierarchy of mothers; the cool group, the queen bee mum, the losers etc.

I didn't expect to fit in there, being male and only 18 at the time, but in some groups I was treated with suspicion (I was told by a couple of people who were on the fringes of the cool group that they all wondered how I'd had a kid so young - I looked very young at this point, much less than 18)
I saw others ostracised by the groups. It was really odd!

Unfortunately, I overheard a lot of breastfeeding and birth stories I wish I'd never heard. There was no shortage of over-sharing there!


Pathetic, isn't it.

The birth stories all tend to simply be descriptive, with each mother trying to outdo the other in level of horrendous experience. There is rarely an analysis or evaluation of whether the hospital's policies were harmful or beneficial, whether the doctor really needed to perform that C-section, or what other options might have been available.



Mummy_of_Peanut
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11 Oct 2012, 7:57 am

I never really enjoyed them, but I went anyway. When my daughter was about 18 months old, the one I was going to was looking for new committee members. I actually thought this was a good idea for me. I wanted to challenge myself and I thought that if I was doing stuff, then I'd always have something to talk about. But, it was a huge mistake. I ended up taking on too much. I stupidly thought that the other parents would see things needing to be done, e.g. making toast and washing up, and would come and lend a hand. But, no, how silly of me. Apparently, they needed to be asked or to be on a rota (which was impossible, because we never knew when the members would come, some came once in a blue moon and others were there 3 times a week). Any time I did ask, I felt like they were offended. I never got to spend as much time with my daughter as I should have and, had I been with her more, I might have noticed her social interaction problems. If I had my time back, I would not go to any, just classes and other stuff.


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