Pages

20 August 2011

Beware of the Cliquey Mums

 

My son started school this year. As he is my eldest child, the school drop-off and pick-up were new to me but something which will be a part of my life for many years to come.

What bothers me, is the mum clique. The group of women who live in their smug little worlds, gossiping and talking about their wonderfulness… and making the other mums, which aren’t part of their group, feel like outsiders. They’re the ones who are lovely and friendly one day and then ignore you the next.

 

dealing_with_mommy_clique

 

They act superior and seem to know what is going on in the school, better than the teachers do. They’re involved in EVERYTHING and always travel in teams.

My husband doesn’t understand why it bothers me so much – but it does. I know that NOT being part of the mum-clique, my kids won’t be invited to play-dates and parties.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I won’t ever be part of this group. Life is too short and I know that there are other, more important things, to think and worry about but still, I wonder… why do women act this way towards eachother?

Do your kids schools have cliquey-mums? What do you do about it?

32 comments:

  1. I totally get this. We are in our first year of 'school' (kindy here in QLD) and I don't get the Mum Cliques... I try to smile and say hi to everyone, but when they turn there backs to you it makes it kind of hard.

    I swallowed my pride about a month ago and went out of my way to invite of the the kids in Caden's class on a playdate at the park. They accepted and the mother has been friendly since. Caden also has his first birthday party of a kindy friend to go to this weekend. So it payed off. It has also resulted in an other mother recognising my exsitence.

    Ok, I could write a novel about this. But I totally get where you are coming from. I only hope it gets easier as the years go by.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Unless you are concerned that your child won't get into the right group, I would not worry about this. And, my experience is that most of these types are actually very insecure people. Anyway, save your energy for something you can control. You are so talented and special, you don't need to worry about this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am always out of the clique as I am a grandparent and so many of the parents clique up like little bees in a hive. I have one teacher tell me when she moved her that her family felt so left out by the way others cliqued together. Two years later, her husband is the biggest leader of them all! Don't let it get you down. You don't need them and they are probably afraid of you anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ack I too hate cliques!! I also question why we treat each other like that... it is so unnecessary and does not good. Takes me right back to playing "chinese whispers" in primary school as a kid and the horribleness that came out as a result.
    I guess all I can encourage you to do is let it go... focus your energy on the friendships & relationships that are going to foster good in your life and that encourage you and love you for who you are. Because in my experience if you feel that way, then even with time & effort spent those initial feelings of exclusion don't go away and will just affect your self esteem.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I completely understand why you are bothered by those mums as I am in the same situation. The son of one of the 'mums' at our school threw a rock at my daughters head, narrowly missing her eye and resulting in stitches and a permanent scar. There has been no apology or enquires about my daughter. The other mums in the clique have rallied around her and are defensive, mean and exclusive. My children are no longer invited to parties or playdates. These mothers are always at the school, always. I feel like I have to run the gauntlet of there confess find stares at every pick-up and drop off. We will all be in the same school till yr 12. I don't know what to do About this. Thankyou for your post. I thought It was me and I was the only one going though this, thankyou for helping me feel that I'm not alone

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am with your husband on this. Don't let it worry you!! Amy made an excellent comment ... invite your son's classmates to a birthday party, or another similar event, and if they come celebrate that, but if there are no forthcoming offers of friendship from other Mum, forget it.
    I am sure there are other Mums in your position ... hunt them out!! These Cliquey Mum are a breed alone whose only interest is gossip and their own children; I think that is selfish. Your talents are huge Anorina, you do not need that selfish rot in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank goodness my daughter graduated last year - cliques are a thing of the past for me. I was a full time working single mum and so out of the clique! My daughter made her own friends who were also kids whose mums were out of the clique, in fact her BF was and is a teacher's daughter. Don't let them get you down, honestly I think kids do just as well, possibly better, if they are out of the 'in' crowd. Teaches them tolerance and way better lessons than what brands of clothing you should be seen in! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Don't worry about it. I'm looking at it from the other end of the age spectrum and it will happen in every bigger group you belong to. It's happened to me ! But you and like-minded souls will gravitate together and you'll always have plenty of company. I now belong to lots of small groups of 4 or 5 with a common interest which have developed from those original mass gatherings. Just smile and say G'day to everyone. You can't rush it. It just happens !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Call me preverse, but when it comes to cliques, I enjoy killing them with kindness. I like to see them squirm when I cheerfully say Hello, have a great day or what have you - day after day after day. I've found that over time, folks will let down that wall - particularly if you show a genuine interest in their well-being and/or accomplishments. I think a lot of people just don't realize they are being rude and insensitive. They just naturally gravitate to others who share their veiws. Challenge them! It also sets a great example for your kids in dealing with the same thing in the classroom and on the playground. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My oldest is 16 and youngest 10. So many years I have observed the clique. I was ostrasized at one school as I was a stay at home Mum and was told to my face that I was a "kept" woman and had no right to be.
    I have made some of the strongest connections with the "outers" and although I don't have heaps of lady friends, the ones I have are true, don't bitch behind my back. It has never bothered me that I don't fit in - call it blowing my own trumpet but I am a leader not a follower and I like to make my own path. The best thing about being part of the blogging world is ladies like you write about these things and it cements how right we are. Judging by previous responses we are right.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Anorina, It is a long time since I had children at school, but I agree with Shirl and Amy- perhaps have a playdate at a park with some fun games, and if they don't want to come well they are the ones missing out, or perhaps you could start a friendly group with the other mothers who "don't fit" into this nasty petty women's group. Why do people have to be so mean? :(
    Your husband is right, you should not worry about it, you have loads of talent and lots of friends! Hugs, Sandy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. There are 'yummy mummies' everywhere but sometimes what we perceive as snobbery can just be the inability to communicate. Just be your yourself and approach them like your child would, with confidence and without judgement and they will soon come around. it is not important to be liked by everyone but loved by the few that really count on life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I try to ignore the cliques and just do what I do at school. I've noticed this year, when both my kids are at school and I have time to be in the tuckshop and stuff more, that some of the groups I thought of as cliques were actually just groups of mums that know each other well because their kids are friends. That is no different to me and the girls I know because our oldest kids were in prep together.

    I found the key was to befriend one of a group and then somehow the rest were friendlier too.

    Sometimes it reminds we of being at highschool again! The "cool kids" and the not so cool. I was never a cool kid, so I guess I'm not now either but I'm OK with that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Don't worry there a cliques in most parts of your life. I am no longer a young mum just the happy granny but cliques, they were there when my daughters went to school and disappointingly still there. If your child is fat or thin, tall or short the cliqie mums have managed to install their opinions on their children. Lots of these mums have missed out on true friendships as they try so hard to be "in". I do believe they do not mix apart from at the school gate, so they are really lonely during the hours between. Whereas we who do not "fit in" have true friendships and like our own company.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sadly this happens in all schools,my boy's changed schools this year to a much bigger in "town" school,instead of our great little country school(where there was a few mum's in a group,but still spoke to everyone)
    At this bigger school there are quite a few Mum groups,who see you coming & turn away or put their heads down..(good for them if they think they are better than me!!!HA!!)
    I don't do anything about it,as I don't want to be a part of it at all & I don't feel my kids are missing anything,they have there special friends & that makes them Happy.I figure if the Mums are like that,then the kids are going to be(some day if not already!!)I don't want my kids to have to deal with that,as I don't think anyone needs to beleive they are better than anyone else(I sure don't want my kids to treat people different because they think they are better)
    Who needs to be a part of the Bi*@#ing anyway & most of the time thats what happens-which is so not for me....
    I hope you end up with the result you are after...
    All the best...
    Hugs Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  17. My kids are in their teens now so it's no longer a problem. But during their kindy years, I had to wait outside the school to pick them up and that's when I see how groups of women not only clique together but they are so obnoxious towards those who aren't. A few times I tried to speak to a woman in the group to ask for information and I was practically driven away. I noticed that when these women aren't in groups, they're perfectly normal human beings. It's the mob mentality.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I remember those days only too well when my 18yr old first started prep at a school in Brisbane. The cliquey mums were horrible. Designer clothes, expensive cars, all made up for pick up and drop off. I used to feel really bad, then I got to know a few of the other mums who were so nice we are still friends. The mums that wore the most expensive clothes, drove the most expensive cars etc, were in the worst financial situations, it was all show, smoke and mirrors, to look good. Some of the worst offenders were in deep financial trouble and ended up with nothing meanwhile we are puttering along quite nicely thank you.
    Do you really want your kids to be invited into a group where the parents are like that? There are always nice people you just need to seek them out, I bet there are quite a few mums that are feeling the same as you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just to give you a little laugh, I have a friend who used to call them the Car Park Mafia. Hope that gives you a smile.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am in the same position as so many of the other commentors.

    My son started Pre-primary at a new school this year and I was so surprised at the bitchiness of some of the mums. There are a few that say hi and leave it at that which I am fine with. I don't really want to get involved because it really does feel like being back in high school again but it does hurt at times when they turn away when they see you coming.

    It does feel like running the gauntlet when it's drop off and pick up time. I generally leave the drop off and pick up a little later as there are fewer parents dropping their kids off at this time.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know! I think this year will be the worst because of having to go in to the classroom for drop-off and pick-up. I have noticed that the ones that stick together also have older kids so have probably known each other for years.
    I have experienced the same thing with my sons school. One mum was being very very friendly but when she found out what religion we are she really changed. You can't help how other people act, you just need to be yourself and if that isn't good enough for them then that is their problem.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I find ignoring the clique and finding one or two other mum's that I can talk to, to be enough for me. My kids don't seem to be missing out on anything and I don't want to deal with rubbish everyday - after all my kids are at school to learn and they can make their own friends regardless of the 'mum' friends I do or don't make. Don't let it get you down, things do actually get better.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I haven't got to the school stage yet, but these cliques exist everywhere. I think the group of mum's at school is basically the same people who were the 'popular girls' at school and they haven't grown out of it.

    I was never in the 'popular' group at school, and I don't expect to be a 'popular' mum at school either. My life hasn't suffered because of this so far, and I'm sure my children will live through it just as I did with my non-popular school mum.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I never had to go through this because I was a teacher at the school my daughter attended (for her first five years). But, since I was not popular at school, there is no way I would have been in the "in crowd" as a parent.

    I can tell you that my first teaching job was in an infants' department. As teachers they were all great, as individuals very nice, but - led by the infants mistress - as a group they were, well, catty (to be polite)! The teacher on playground duty always got a bagging, until she came in and someone else went out! I solved the problem for them; I stayed in my classroom during recess and lunch and let them talk about me as much as they wanted. I was so glad to transfer to the primary department which had men on the staff - they kept the women honest!

    I wish I knew why groups of women (but not all the individuals in the group) behave this way.

    ReplyDelete
  25. As a former teacher, I understand about the cliques. I've seen it year after year. These are the mothers that have found something in common - sometimes it can be good "stuff" like working together on a project for school, but often they bond over fears and insecurities. Be careful to not form a clique of your own of mothers who don't want to be part of the "other" clique. That happens very often! Just include these others when you can and you will find they they are probably not much different than you are. They just need a common ground. Working together on class parties or projects will bring everyone together. There might be a few who are so insecure they will never bond with others. These are the ones who find pleasure in fault finding. This will probably be the leader of the clique. What their friends don't realize is that a friend who enjoys tearing others down, will tear YOU down, too, when you're not around. These are the ones to avoid. Don't give them the pleasure of forming a bond over finding fault. When they start saying ugly things about someone, find something nice to say about that person. It won't take long for them to get the hint.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I agree with quiltjane...sometimes our perception can be wrong. I think we need to be careful that we don't label people or write them off. The women you think are in a clique could actually be really shy and unsure of themselves and they could be looking at you thinking wow she is wonderful she is new to school but she seems so at home here at school she helps out in canteen she does lovely craft...I want to be just like her. I too am a teacher and people mention cliques but I find if you really get to know someone they are lovely and just trying to do the best for their family (like all of us.
    Penny S

    ReplyDelete
  27. You know Anorina, I'd love the answer to this one also. I really don't know what it is. I don't have any little ones in school as yet, but I completely know what you mean, as it seems to occur in ALL facets of life. Maybe it's a female thing... or should I say, a certain type of female thing. It's a shame, because it's all so 'high school' and it would be nice not to have to deal with that once everyone involved is an adult. Good luck and hold your head high no matter what you're presented with at the school gate :o) xo

    ReplyDelete
  28. I feel like I should title this Confessions of a Cliquey Mom. I actually was part of that group. In my defense, we all met in La Maze class and had a small playgroup once a week. Going into school our children were already friends. I was the only one who worked, so I think I missed a lot of what was happening. I was also the one that people outside the "group" would talk to. That was probably my downfall. Just before third grade they started talking about me behind my back, making fun of my "other" friends. I was hurt, but my daughter was devastated. She suddenly lost all of her friends. Women she had called aunt and one grandmom, wouldn't notice when she spoke to them. Hard to explain to an 8 year old. My advice, stay as far away as possible. The guilt I felt about my little girl was terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know exactly what you mean. Crazy isn't it, high school finished years ago!!!!! It's the same at our school, but I found another crafty mum and we now have our own group!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. My son is about to stat school next year so i haven't really experienced the true primary school 'Clique' but i can tell you already that i wont be a part of it - even if i did want to (which i definitely do not!). I am only 24 which already puts me on the outside of everything and i just can't stand drama and nasty people. I have just moved from the country where the whole 'cliquey mum' scene doesn't really exist much (it's usually just individual nasty mothers who end up being the outsiders instead because things like that are not tolerated well in small country towns) so i am not sure what my tactic will be but i think that just ignoring the fact that there are certain groups definitely has helped me to stay impartial for the most part of my life and that will probably be the path i take.

    Darlin, just ignore the fact that there are 'groups' and things will be easier - they can't be a leading group unless everyone else labels them as that.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The mums in my school go as far as saying hello to another mum talking to me and totally ignoring me when i am standing right there. It is so rude and uncalled for. My child is now in grade 3 and i still cannot work it out. I feel because it is a private school these women are very status conscience. It still hurts because i have always gone out of my way to be nice to them. I now just ignore them as well. It is more peaceful and easier to cope with the nasty behaviour. I only have one child. Most of them have two or three so we will see how long they stay at the school. The fees are not cheap.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Totally get it after the last two days! Eeek hoping it gets better.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment.