Do not be confused with lonely. That I am not. I AM THE LONER MUM. The one that lacks other mum friends. I am also positive I am not the only one and that I probably bought it on myself.
MY BRAIN IS BLACK & WHITE
Whilst pregnant I went to see a hypnotherapist about my issues with eating vegetables. I wanted to eat them, but I really couldn’t. They make me gag. I thought he would hypnotize me into eating them. He didn’t, and he creeped me out, so I never went back as I decided he was going to kidnap me. He did tell me my life was very black and white though. I either like or hate, I will or won’t, I’m safe or in massive life-threatening danger and there is no compromise.
My black and white brain decided I did not need Mum friends……schoolboy error (my life is full of them). I couldn’t be open to the idea of new people in my life. I didn’t want to be ‘mumsy’ going for coffee and hanging out wearing Boden and Joules at the park whilst singing nursery rhyme’s (sorry so stereotypical and I now understand that this is not what people do). As far as I was concerned I had friends in my life that I liked, and I didn’t want to be friends with people purely because we had children. It didn’t occur to me that I could like other people despite their Mum title. Effectively I ostracized myself.
THE LONER TWIN MUM SPECTACLE
We started going to baby groups which was never fun (for me). I really do recommend going to them though. I would always be sat in a corner with mine whilst people asked me
- ‘How do you cope with twins’ I couldn’t hand one back so there wasn’t really much choice.
- ‘Were they natural’. Seriously is that a question?
- ‘You must be so tired’. Quite, yes.
- ‘It must be so annoying when they wake each other up’. Actually they never did. I think it is a myth that multiples wake each other up as babies. Correct me if I am wrong.
- ‘How do you feed them both at night?’ The same as I do in the day when my husband is working. However men are also capable of bottle feeding their own children.
- ‘Are they identical?’ One is male the other female.
Then they would lose interest in the twin mother spectacle and go back to their group of new friends. I was never invited to the outings/coffee mornings/general get togethers that every other person seemed to be invited to. We are now four and a half years down the line and I’m still waiting for my invites to come flooding in.
MAYBE IT IS MY SMILE?
I go to nursery to deposit/collect the children and still no mother really engages with me. At our children’s birthday party I did hear them arranging their weekly soft play meet ups. Seriously! Some of you have been parents for five minutes and you have regular meet ups, how do I get involved in this?
There is another loner mum at nursery and I have tried to give her the ‘I’m in the same boat’ nod/smile. We are still not friends so it has lead me to believe it is my smile. My dad always tells me not to smile because it doesn’t look right (he is not a horrible man, he just has an honesty he knows I can deal with). I probably think I am smiling but in fact it is a grimace. I am actually grimacing at all these parents with normal smiling parent friends.
Note to self: maybe my dad is correct on the smiling front.
OR I’M NOT THE RIGHT TYPE OF PARENT?
As a generally nice person without overly offensive views, I put my loner status down to the ever-expanding cliques of parents. There are, among many others:
- NCT groups (I didn’t do NCT or any antenatal classes)
- Breastfeeding (I didn’t breastfeed)
- Twins and Multiples (too many babies for me to deal with in one go)
- Creative parents (mess, glitter, paint, glue no thanks)
- School friends that had babies at the same time (lost contact with them at school)
Are breastfeeding mums allowed to be friends with bottle feeders? Single and multiple births, can they mix? NCT and didn’t do any classes? Can I bring my children round to yours to use glitter and then possibly bath them before I take them home? I could possibly offer Gin based afternoons in return.
Could we just get on regardless of our take on parenting, route into parenting and groups we did or didn’t attend and, maybe, because of our general interests?
I have now accepted that I have my three most important friends and will no longer try to force myself into other parent’s social situations. I am the loner mum, but I am not lonely. My life is full of amazing adventures with my family. I also have friends. I could have done with having more mum/dad friends in the early years, but I made it. So, I offer you tips which probably won’t be of much use:
- Don’t be black and white
- Get out and go to groups. It is good to be in company even if nobody speaks to you
- Don’t change who you are just to fit in with a group
- Say hi to a loner mum. Not everybody is as thick skinned as me