Mom Cliques - Dealing with other Mom's (part one)
As I walked into a new school I was scanning the crowd for someone to talk to. I wasn't nervous. I am a confident person, accomplished, and sure of myself nevertheless I was annoyed that day; annoyed I had to face this yet again. Putting your kids in a new school and moving means you too are faced with the same dilemma's they are...finding new connections, a group to belong to, friends.
This particular day, parents were all waiting for the kids to get back from a team building activity. I found a few moms that had kid's in the same year as mine, and I walked over to introduce myself, "Hi, I am Maya and Moses' Mom." I got a smile, an introduction, and basic politeness but the entire time we were talking, the feeling never left that they were sizing me up. How much money do I have? Who is my husband? Am I, or my husband a good social asset?
I did not have the opinion that they were looking at me as a person rather as a social climbing object. Am I good enough for them? I wasn't!
Eventually, I walked away bidding them a good day. The bus came, the kids tumbled out dirty and happy and walked to the car with me. When the door of the car shut my daughter looked at me, "I don't think anyone likes me. I just don't fit in." I sighed, "I get it. You wouldn't believe what just happened to me."
She told me about her day and I told her about how I felt and my story. I expressed to her that I felt as if I had been transported back to the yonder years of my junior high time. Those moms were like the 'it girls', the 'cheerleaders' judging me... was I was worthwhile or a good asset to their group. She laughed and looked at me with a bit of frustration, "It never goes away Mom?"
"No, not entirely. I don't care anymore ....it bugs me Maya but I can shake it off now. I am okay with who I am, happy, I have good friends, family, and Daddy. That is all I need."
The Moms I was talking about were not mean; they did nothing wrong. Okay, they were not welcoming, but I cannot really point a finger at someone simply because they were not interested in me. Fact: they didn't like me but to be fair...I didn't like their line of questioning or them either. They made me feel uncomfortable and why would I want to be friends with someone who makes me feel bad? I wouldn't.
Expressing my feelings, talking about how hard things can be helped me but also my daughter. But then the questions came. "How do you deal with it? Aren't you sad sometimes?"
I am but stay tuned for my solutions...I have some and that will be my next post.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W., Expat, Mother of three, Wife