A life of health and wellness…with kids!

Mummy Insecurities – the cool girls at the Playground

12 Comments

 

Does the Playground Thing really start this early?

Before I went back to work I used to take  H boy  along to a free local activity called Paint and Play. It is run at a local disused preschool and is full of fun activities for kids. It provided a great opportunity for wearing them out!

I took hubby along with us on week so that he could see what we do while he is at work.
The deal is that when you arrive you sign the child in and give them a name tag. Some of the mums wear name tags also. Call me a snob or perhaps just introverted – I never made myself a name tag. Sometimes I just don’t feel like talking to anyone – you understand right?

Hubby asked me why I didn’t  and proceeded to point out to me all of the opportunities for mother to mother conversations that I missed out on every week.

So the next week I made a deal with him that I would wear a name tag and see what happened.

Sure enough one other mum stuck up a conversation with me.

Interestingly this girl is also someone whom I see around the place quite a bit. She looks like the kind of person I would get along with well – we have similarly aged children, clearly both enjoy shopping (the shops is often where I see her), and have similar taste in clothes.

The thing is, she is often with one of those imposing groups of well put together mums who in their ‘uniform’ of leggings, knee high boots and tunic tops with their designer baby kit bags and fancy prams completely intimidate me and I don’t feel like I can strike up a conversation with them. I don’t know how to take it from playgroup idle conversation to opportunities for friendship building.  Kind of like the cool girls at school – I would LOVE to be friends with these people – they totally look like the kind of people I would get along with.

The kind of people I was friends with when I lived Brisbane but hadn’t met here in Canberra yet.

I guess that some people call these ‘cool’ groups the “Mummy Mafia” – but I don’t always see them as the cool girls at school who will trip you in the hall (although if their child was in competition with yours for whatever reason I think I would be watching my back!) – lets face it women are always competing whether it be for good or bad.

But really – it doesn’t matter how far we come from school – we always seem to revert back to what we wanted then – to fit in and be part of the crowd. To be normal and to have it all together – despite what goes on under the surface.

I know that I fit right back into the mold that I created for myself in high school – the one where I didn’t have very much money and always had slightly awkward social skills. The one where I was slightly individual and for this I was ridiculed. I know I am not this person anymore but it does stop the old feelings from resurfacing. I read somewhere once that in neurological circles they call this the ‘child’ brain versus the ‘adult’ brain.

I never did get to make friends with those girls – and you know what – I may not have found them to be as interesting as I thought I might have. It is all part of growing as a mother I think. I decided that it was important to be true to my values and to make sure that I surround myself with people who have chosen a similar path. I knew that I wanted to send my kids to an alternative school, to practice extended breastfeeding and carry them in a sling well past their first birthday. I realized that in order to make friends with people in the long term that you need to have these similar values – especially when it comes to parenting. Its not only important for your own friendships but also those of your children – as you want them to experience a similar environment at their friends homes as they do at their own.

So much to learn when we become a parent that before hand we just didn’t even know was part of the deal – it is so fascinating!

namaste

Andjxx

::Daily Meditation:: How are you showing up within yourself today? Take the time to notice.

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Author: Andjxx

Through this blog I hope to inspire and motivate mums to raise happy and healthy kids and be happy in themselves in the most organic way possible. I write about wellness, attachment parenting, yoga and meditation, and whole food nutrition for both busy mums and families. I am a mam of two sweet boys, H Boy and Baby B. We live life with a healthy and natural approach to living and support breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby led solids, and an overall down to earth way of life. I hope you enjoy our world!

12 thoughts on “Mummy Insecurities – the cool girls at the Playground

  1. Fabulous post! Brought back memories of when I first moved to Canberra. I love the term mummy mafia except all this time I didn’t know the posse of intimidating and very close knit mums had a name .. Well coined ! Having spent a rather large part of my time over the years, trying to be part of the crowd ( read playgroups and mummies nights out) , I have realised , likr you that things don’t change much from the playground to real life. Women are always trying to one-up the other, there is always a heavy air of bitchiness. The best thing , I suppose and this ofcourse only happens with time and a few bumps along the way .. Is to find a few good people that one can relate to on multiple levels and stick to them 🙂 and ofcourse, if you’re looking for a new Canberran friend, I’m always up for a coffee … Good thing is we have one thing in common… Canberra and blogging , decent start I reckon 🙂 xox

  2. Fabulous post! Brought back memories of when I first moved to Canberra. I love the term mummy mafia except all this time I didn’t know the posse of intimidating and very close knit mums had a name .. Well coined ! Having spent a rather large part of my time over the years, trying to be part of the crowd ( read playgroups and mummies nights out) , I have realised , likr you that things don’t change much from the playground to real life. Women are always trying to one-up the other, there is always a heavy air of bitchiness. The best thing , I suppose and this ofcourse only happens with time and a few bumps along the way .. Is to find a few good people that one can relate to on multiple levels and stick to them 🙂 and ofcourse, if you’re looking for a new Canberran friend, I’m always up for a coffee … Good thing is we have one thing in common… Canberra and blogging oops make that 2 things , decent start I reckon 🙂 xox

    • I think that Canberra is a very cliquey kid of place. I was at Woden the other day at Lunch time and I was watching all the public service employee’s sit in their grouped tables of friends. It reminded me so much of high school. I agree with finding a few good friends with similar interests – easier to maintain friendships that way too – especially when you are working. Would love to have a coffee one day!

  3. That’s such an interesting post – I know what you mean though – having been through playgroup/kindy/school and highschool there is definitely lots of cliques ! Maybe as I get older now, I don’t worry about that sort of thing as much. I am interested in meeting and making friends with all sorts of people. I take friendship from wherever it comes. Many of my friends don’t have the same values as me. But I like them for other reasons – we might share the same taste in movies and books so we go to the movies together!
    If their parenting style is really in contrast to mine, I try to see the friend on her own, without the kids, so it doesn’t become an issue. It’s not always easy though and there is plenty of give and take. Sonia 🙂

    • I think that I have a similar approach Sonia – although I chose to send H boy to a steiner school in the hope that other parents would have similar values.

  4. Maybe they were slightly intimidated by the awesome mum still managing to breastfeed, who was quietly cool and clearly her own person?

  5. I completely agree that we should stay true to ourselves, especially now–for our kids. I think that it’s better to have a few close friends that you share a ton in common with, then to be a part of a huge mom clique. And that way, our kids will more likely meet friends with similar values.

  6. Lovely to meet another Canberra mum. When I first moved here my youngest was just a baby and meeting other mums seemed impossible for someone introvered like myself. I still haven’t for the most part, it’s a place that has a protocol of it’s own and very cliquie. When I had my older children in Sydney I was the young mum and felt out of place with well put together 30 year old mums ( very much mafia mums). Now I am in my 40’s with a ten year old, I’m suddenly the older mum at the gate and the other mums are still in their 30’s. I seemed to have missed out that middle bit. LOL

    I’m not sure how long you have been here, but I hope you are settling in OK. I am writing this to you from Tilly Divines where everyone has their lap top open.

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