Mum cliques - why aren't mums friendlier to each other

I know it’s  a bit silly and I should have better things to worry about (I do have better things to worry about), but I hate that I’m not part of any of the mum cliques at my kids’ school. For some reason, I’ve just never been accepted by any of them.

I don’t think they actively dislike me, but they definitely seem to have decided that I’m not worth bothering about. I don’t think I’m unlikable, but maybe I am. I have old friends that I love, but they all either live away or are part of their own group of one kind or another, and I’m just not. I don’t seem to fit in anywhere. Not that I’d know. I’m not invited anywhere to know whether I’d fit in or not.

So many groups, but none for me

When I try to make friends with the mum cliques, they are mostly friendly and nice, but they don’t let me in. Sometimes it’s obvious why. The cute group of mums with great bodies and clothes are probably never going to be my gang. There’s the big drinking group, that isn’t for me. There’s also the corporate kind of working mum group who I’m not really suited for. Most of the other cliques just seem to be filled with ordinary mums. They don’t seem to want to hang out with me either.

I wouldn’t take it this personally if I didn’t think it mattered for my kids. They are both in late primary school now and I think they are confused why we aren’t at the barbeques and other family parties that all their friends go to on the weekends. I’ve tried hosting a party or two myself, inviting the parents of my kids’ friends. Not many people were available to come, so it didn’t feel like a ‘party’ in the end. I think they actively avoided coming.

My husband is very social

My husband has also said a few things about my lack of friends that makes me worried. Will he think less of me as a person if others don’t seem to want to be with me? He is quite social, but luckily does a lot of socialising for work, so he doesn’t see how lacking me and the kids are during the week. On the weekends he seems happy to just hang out at home with us because he’s been out so much during the week. He might not even realise that I”m struggling to find a group, and I wouldn’t dream of telling him. I don’t want him to know how unpopular I am.

The thing is, a lot of the groups seem to have formed from mothers’ groups or when the kids were in prep. We moved to town when my kids older, so we’re not really part of any of that. I wish there was room in some of the school groups to welcome a new family, though, but they seem very closed to me. I’ve even tried volunteering at the school in order to make friends, but all that ended up happening was I kept getting more and more jobs piled onto me and no-one was willing to help me!


Related: A simple way to think about friendships


 

Mum cliques are so cliquey

I guess I just don’t understand why mum cliques are so cliquey! Why isn’t their room for my children and I to be part of their friendship group? Why wouldn’t we be welcomed? We’ve lived in our new town for almost three years now and I’m starting to think that there’s something wrong with me.

I’ve been thinking about what makes a person want to hang out with someone new, and I’ve come up with this list.

•  Funny
•  Helpful
•  Optimistic
•  Interesting
•  Fun

I’m trying to be all of these things, but still the mum cliques smile at me then move on to talk to someone else. I’m not the prettiest or most fashionable person, and while I’m trying to do better in this way, maybe this is the reason why I’m so overlooked. I’m also pretty quiet when I don’t know people. I am what used to be called ‘shy’. It’s hard for me to speak up in a group, even though I’m quite the chatterbox once I know people. 

Isn’t that what we teach our kids to do? Does it not really happen in real life?

I need to be rescued

I wish I could walk up to a mum that I admire and tell her how I’m feeling, but I just can’t. It freaks me out that she might think I’m even more odd than people clearly already do. Instead, I just watch the mums I like from afar like some creepy stalker, wishing they would notice how left out I am and come over and invite me in. Isn’t that what we teach our kids to do? Does it not really happen in real life?

I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Instead, I’ll just keep trying to muster up the courage to be as bright and bubbly as I can in the hope that one day a mum with a group will notice and ask if I’m free on Friday. I’ll try to be all nonchalant, but inside I’ll be squealing with delight. To proudly take my kids to a Friday night mum playdate is something I’ve dreamed of for years.

Are there mum cliques in your life too? What do you think I could do to make friends?

Feature by Suhyeon Choi; 2 by Hannah Busing 

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3 Comments
  1. I’m exactly the same. Always nice, but never close. Tried inviting people over too, but they take it as a drop the kids and run.
    We ended up pulling our kids out of school (unrelated) and we now home educate. But I haven’t found a group of homeschool mums either!! Or even one family. I feel like my girls are missing some of the social side not being at school AND not having a group we see regularly. Don’t get me wrong, they have swimming and gynastics, Girl Guides and scattered homeschool group excursion or classes, just no group that we are close to. Hubby gets invites for stuff with work friends, but if we try to include all of us, they’re always busy. So I’m guessing it’s just me. Luckily I’m an introvert and like my own company…most of the time.

  2. I wish you were here with me, I am exactly the same, I wish I had a tribe I could invite around or visit on the weekends but we never have, it makes me sad that my kids don’t have these relationships, I too see the mums who smile and chat, but we are never invited anywhere, when I try to send out invites it feels like they are obligated. It can be lonely sometimes.

  3. This is me. This is something I have thought about a lot. It’s something that it was bothering me yesterday because I was like Christ Instagram is like the school mum gang. What’s wrong with me.

    But I have decided I am just different, I don’t fit and I’m okay with that – sort of – today. Just this minute at least.

    When arrived in my town it was a horrendous introduction. My brother in-laws ex took a dislike and I suddenly became a ‘gold digger’ to my then boyfriend now husband’. I dressed nice so towns folk told me I was full of myself; perhaps I was full of myself, I had never encountered that previous but perhaps my old life was wrong. I was studying, I was wanting a career beyond potato’s and drinking myself stupid. So as a result I commuted to the city everyday creating a life there while my husband was a sea.

    I thought things would changed when my kids were born but it didn’t really I came across good people but people just were more vocal about how they felt about our family life amongst their very traditional one. I had a group for awhile but I didn’t drink, my husband worked away for long stints, I didn’t gossip, I raised my kids with discipline and so I was different again.

    I wanted a tribe for so long but on the days I see other mums giggling or posting their Friday nights on Facebook I try to tell myself I have my tribe- my kids.

    Anyway the point of that way to long comment – I get it. You aren’t doing anything wrong. Stay who you are.

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