Picture this: you walk into the canteen and you see the tiny tight-knit clans of people who are all sat in their groups as if clinging to eachother for dear life. There are the goths in one corner, the jocks in the other and the plastics in the centre. You are the Cady Heron but not of North Shore High School – the local baby & toddler group that runs every Tuesday. And now everyone is staring at you.
I’ve always been warned that baby groups can be cliquey and suffice to say that that was one of the BIG reasons why I’d been putting off attending one until my daughter was one. Whoops. But it was only when I went to one did I really experience just how cliquey they can be. You sit down and then all of a sudden mums seem to come out of the woodwork and make a bee line for eachother as if they were born friends (not only their babies). Someone might make the odd comment on the cuteness of your daughter and then resort back to their conversation about how their husband left the Dyson in the wrong place. (Now who’s the b*tchy one).
I never realised how terrifying it is. Baby groups can really feel like a jungle and it can be really brutal. David Attenborough will be only a stone’s throw away mocking you as you skitter away into the corner. You’ll be an un-cute 25-year old Bambi. You might not be dead but will indeed be dying on the inside. Ouch.
In all seriousness, baby groups can be pretty intimidating and what should be remembered is that most of these people individually are nice people. It’s just when they’re altogether that you stand no chance. They might not say “you can’t sit with us” but all social cues might be pointing in that direction.
The best thing you can do, I genuinely believe is to occupy space. I don’t mean in an ‘anonymous’ sort of way but just move beyond it and sit there like that ‘done with life’ type who’s in other corner and for God sake don’t let them make you walk away. You are there for you and your baby. You will find someone like minded eventually.