Day 22: Avoiding Mommy Cliques

Welcome ICLWers! Click here for more information on me and my blog.

Stirrup Queens wrote a post last week about the grief her daughter had experienced at the hands of her fellow students. In response, Melissa set up “The Exclusion Project”, where many adults posted their own harrowing, heart-breaking and yet somehow universal tales of how “friends” had shunned them when they were kids. Melissa’s daughter (and other young girls) can read the stories and take comfort from the fact that so many have gone through similar experiences.

My own daughter last week relayed a tearful account of how one of her friends at pre-school (!) told her they would no longer play together. Luckily the next day the incident seemed forgotten.

Does this crap ever go away? I have to admit that the pick-up and drop-offs at pre-school remind me of walking through my junior high locker room. (My junior high made “The Lord of the Flies” look like a tea party.) There are packs of moms who are friends and loudly talk about their mutual plans for a girls’ night out, a trip to the mountains or dinner parties right in front of me without inviting me. It hurts.

The advice I offered Melissa’s daughter (after telling my own tale of being shunned while in middle school) was about how to choose your friends:

The mean ones may sparkle a lot and attract the most attention, but look on the edges of the crowd for the diamonds in the rough, who are nice and kind and not cruel. Those are the people who will be true friends.

Maybe this is easier said than done, but I generally tend to befriend and hang with those on the outside of the scrum. They seem to be the nicest and least likely to stab me in the back. Is this foolproof? No. But it’s a strategy at least?

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11 Comments

Filed under Discovering joy, Parenting After IF

11 responses to “Day 22: Avoiding Mommy Cliques

  1. Esperanza

    Oh I loved this post! Thanks so much for talking about that. I remember when I was at pre-natal yoga and women who had been for coming for longer and were farther along in their pregnancies than I was would stand around and talk about getting together and doing things after class. I was soooo desperate to have just one friend who was pregnant and I wanted so much to be a part of those talks, but I never had the cojones to ask them if I could come. I know they were all very nice ladies and would have probably invited me gladly – it’s not like they could invite everyone in class and I get that, so I didn’t expect them to invite me – but I still felt excluded some how. And it does make me think about middle school (which I LOATHED) and how I was ALWAYS on the outside looking in. I’m still trying to find some really good friends now that I’m a mother and none of my friends are in that stage of their life. I know it’s hard to find good friends, but I hope I get lucky and managed to wrangle up at least one!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! (And just so you know, we got pizza last night! But it was one of only two times we ordered in last month so I still said we did well on that one!)

  2. I’m an artsy fartsy, so I thrived in the company of those kind of people. When you learn to shine on your own, you attract people to you. And those who don’t get you, aren’t fun to be around anyway.

  3. That’s interesting: cliques at pre-natal yoga!! Who would have thought? I guess they’re everywhere…what a bummer.

    I’m still impressed you’ve only ordered in two times! 🙂

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have a bestie who I met in grade 2 and we have been in our own little clique in all our lives which makes me one lucky gal, however – I have always felt on the outside looking in on things. I have a large group of friends that I love and get along with very well and I realised many years ago that being on the fringes gives you a certain freedom – I found that I could choose when I would go out rather than go to everything that was going on (which was never me as I do like time on my own).

    I love the diamonds in the rough, they are truly the best!!

    ICLW

  5. chhandita

    Beautiful post! I totally agree with you. I have very, very few friends and I am happy this way. I learned early to choose my friends. Its my defense mechanism lol.

    Thanks for commenting on my post…

    Happy ICLW!

  6. Stopping by from ICLW. 🙂
    I think one of the reasons mommy-cliques are so painful is that we come into adulthood (those of us who did grow up, anyway) expecting that everyone else will have grown up too!
    I think your strategy does work. Vying for the attention of the popular girls isn’t worth the effect it has on your self-esteem. And there are many of us who are diamonds in the rough.
    A strategy I’m trying to teach my (second grade) daughter is to be a conscientious inviter. I moved around a lot as a child, and by the time I landed in sixth grade I was much too shy to think about inviting a friend over. I figure if we start now, she will get used to asking friends over for playtime and dinner. My goal as she gets older is to have the house full of kids. I want to know my son & daughter’s friends, even if they cost me a small fortune in groceries! 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday.

  7. I also always have a tendency to flock towards the people standing on the outside of the “in-crowd” in various settings. Without fail, they’re the nicest, more interesting people anyway.

    And no, I guess it never does end, does it? I had no idea that cliques were alive and well post high school & college until I became a mom. But the mommy cliques are alive & well…and, truthfully, I have zero interest in being part of one.

    Loved this post. Thanks for your visit to my blog & sympathizing with me about those awful laser treatments.

    -Kerri (ICLW)

  8. You are exactly right. School is tough, and it breaks my heart for Henry that children will be mean to him in the future. I will teach him to pick his friends carefully.

    ICLW #8

  9. Geochick

    Dealing with ‘mommy cliques’ is not something I’m looking forward to. The book club I was in was definitely a clique of ‘popular girls’ who obviously still act as if they are in junior high. IMO, it’s never ending.

    Oh and pre-natal yoga cliques? Yeah, the yoga studio I go to has lots of regulars who know all the instructors. I always feel like an outsider. At least I don’t care because I go to yoga to work out, not make friends.

    ICLW

  10. Loved this post as it got me thinking…one of my missions this year is to make some friends, proper friends, supportive friends in the USA. I moved here a year ago and left all my UK friends I’d been nurturing friendships for life with over the past decades (we’re still friends for life just with a mega huge ocean inbetween us). And thank goodness for the internet – I know I would have sunk into a terrible depression alone if there were people to chat/rant/laugh with on twitter/fb/blogs. I also have crippling social anxiety – so I’m in a catch 22…I need human contact, I need to make friends – but the only way to do that is to get out there – but I look at those women happily chatting together in the playground/yoga class etc and daren’t interrupt their conversations for fear of looking stupid and/or being rejected. Dumb isn’t it 🙂

    Thanks for the comment on my blog btw!
    ICLW #111

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