Before Master E started school, I remember hearing and reading about all the wonderful friendships people made with other mums when their children started school. I know that my mum and mother-in-law also made lifelong school mum friends with women they’d met through our schools. This gave me hope; it was something to look forward to.
But fast forward, and we’re in the last term of Master E’s first year, and well, all I can say is that I can liken the process of making school mum friends to dating.
I didn’t know making school mum friends was going to be this hard
This is an example of the thought process that regularly runs through my head during this school mum
dating friending process.
“Is there a reason she didn’t come and sit down beside me?”
“I wonder why she says hello to that mum but not me, even when I have smiled and said hi before?”
“Did I say something wrong, why doesn’t she look up or say hello when I walk past?”
“What else do I have to do to get a conversation going?”
“Maybe it’s the way I dress?”
“Is it because I don’t hang around in the classroom as long as some of the other mums in the morning.”
“Maybe it’s because I wear bright lipstick, I’m too dressed up, that’s it, I’m not casual enough.”
“I wonder why that particular mum never talks to me? I smile and say hello. I’m confused.”
“She’s gone quiet, what on earth else can I talk about. Think Eva, think!”
And my internal chatter and self-doubt go on.
Dating my husband was so much easier!
There’s no doubt about it; I’ve been on the verge of giving up. Making school mum friends is not as easy as I thought it would be, I found dating my husband so much easier!
For over eight months I’ve smiled and greeted other mums in my sons class, I’ve tried to start up conversations, and I’ve chatted to parents at the only kid’s party we’ve been to. But, alas, that’s as far as it’s gone; it’s still smiles, hellos, goodbyes and small talk on occasion.
In chatting with a friend, I told her about my plight. Her son is older and so has gone through the same thing. She said that the issue is that everyone is waiting for someone to go first, to take the first step. I’m hoping that this is what it is.
The first time I took the plunge
With this particular friend, I did take the plunge with her and god was I nervous!
This school mum wasn’t from my sons class but I’d seen her walking past at school, and she looked very familiar. I finally worked out who she was and that we went to primary school together and played netball when we were kids. The question kept crossing my mind, ‘Should I say hi or not? Will she remember me? What if I get it wrong?’ But alas, one day she walked into the toilet just before me at the book week parade. I told myself that if I saw her walk out, I would approach her. It was now or never. I’m so glad I did because she was very appreciative, and now we’ve met up for coffee, our sons had a ball playing together and we’ve already arranged more get-togethers.
Put yourself out there
So that’s it. It’s about putting yourself out there, letting go of inhibitions and giving it a try. I guess this time I had the benefit of having something relatable to start the conversation with, but I guess that’s what you have to do, find something you can both relate to as a way to start the conversation and of course, it’s your kids. Then put yourself out there again and arrange a coffee date – this is what I suck at. I have to remind myself, “What’s the worse that could happen?” You try and it doesn’t work out or you try and it does.
Perhaps this year is not the year I make school mum friends just yet and yes, it has put a little dent in my confidence, but I’ll definitely give it a shot next year because I now know that developing friendships with school mum friends is really important for my health. I not going to give up on mum love!
How did you find the whole ‘making friends’ process?
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