** This post originally appeared on one of my blogs from well back in the day – this week I am doing a retrospective of some past writing – I hope you enjoy!**
Every week on a Tuesday, H boy and I go 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 provides a great opportunity for wearing them out!
A few weeks ago I took hubby along with us 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 make myself a name tag.
Hubby asked me why I don’t and precedes to point out to me all of the missed opportunities for mother to mother conversations that I miss 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 in Brisbane but haven’t me 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.