The Mom Cliques

September 16, 2010

Now that my daughter is in kindergarten, I’ve been introduced to a whole new group of moms.  And I’ve recently noticed the phenomena of the “mom cliques”.

I kind of skipped out on the whole moms group stage (since I was a full-time working mom, I didn’t ever join one).  So maybe this is nothing new.  But I feel a bit left out.

My neighborhood has a mom clique.  They all know each other and are BFFs.  And they are all pregnant.  I’m… not.  (and not going to be either).

There’s also the PTA clique.  And the school volunteer clique.  I went to Girl Scouts sign up and it was all the same people.  They are all friendly enough, but I’m….outside.

Is this normal?  Maybe in a month I’ll say I have a whole new group of BFFs?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucretia Pruitt September 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Normal? Yes. BFFs? Depends entirely on those moms.

My sister-in-law told me to wait until 2nd or 3rd grade to see who “shook out” from the kindergarten/preschool set. Not surprisingly, she seems to be right in my case. (She’s my mommy-guru-of-choice since she knows me well.)

Hang in there. You’ll find your niche.

Nikki September 17, 2010 at 2:38 am

You are totally right – when my kids were born I was all set to get out there and be one of the neighborhood stay at home moms – take walks with our strollers, take the kids to the park . . . then I realized that I was not being invited to any of the get togethers, I was too much trouble with triplets. They, with their boring “one baby” could pick up at a moments notice, throw stuff in a diaper bag and be out the door – not me – not with three.
This turned into a blessing because I connected instead with another group of moms who were also staying at home, just not so on the go. They stayed closer to home, played at each others homes, many of them were nursing well beyond the 1 year point so they felt more comfortable at home, we don’t spray our lawns with chemical weed control, we pull out fruit and veggies for snack time rather than the proverbial bag of Goldfish crackers, we started a knitting group and we became real, life long friends because we shared values, not just kids of a similar age.
You will find your group – just remember that you may not connect with the moms that you think you want to be with – but they are out there waiting for you!

Jill September 17, 2010 at 5:46 am

I am always on the outside of allthe mom cliques. It is harder for working moms to get in.
I have been a part of the PTO and am the only one who shoews up to all the meeting and have never been invited to the special board side. I am not cool enough. I do it for my kids and I am ok with not being cool.
We should start our own out of the clique group

Life As I Know It September 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

Totally normal. As the year goes on, it gets easier to make friends with kids’ friends moms.
Small town stay at home mom politics aren’t worrying about though ;)

Jill September 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I have found that cliques begin in kindergarten and just progress until, well, forever. I’m admittedly not the world’s most outgoing, friendliest gal, so I’ve always felt most at home with my “girls” that I’ve known long time and not the new ladies who spend 20 minutes chatting it up outside school in their Lululemons. And I’ve only recently come to be at peace with this. I have a few QUALITY friends, rather than a harem of whoevers. And I’m sure I’ll add to that over the next years, but honestly? Whatever.

Diane Campagna September 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

You’re totally normal Jodi. It’s like being the new girl in school. If you really want to feel like part of the group just get involved. The women from those “cliques” will soon see how fun you are to be with and how talented you are – remember, they’re probably kind of insecure too, hence why they stick with people they know. As your kids start making more friends in school, you’ll get to know other parents.

Careful though, I took my advice and just finished up my 4 year term as PTO president! (really, all I wanted to do was make cupcakes and chaperon a field trip or two) Now I know everyone. But my kids go to private school – on the soccer field in Bristol, I feel like the outsider – and I’m okay with that :)

Dalia September 21, 2010 at 7:56 am

So true, there are many different types of cliques for moms. Cliques definitely tend to be huge in the SAHM group. I was once one myself and longed to be part of them. Until my kids were in school cliques were sort of hard to come by. Then once they started I was working. Cliques there, me not. Now that my kids are older I realize that you will find your own ‘people to hang with’, the ones you have things in common with. My kids have been very involved in sports and because of this I tend to spend a lot of time with the moms in these groups, I guess because there is no other option. We see eachother basically everyday. It all works out in time. Fight the ‘need’ to be in a clique. Your group will form in time, the right group.

Lisa September 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Honestly, i tried the moms’ groups after having my two, and they were all right, but i wasn’t too into them. I guess i am weird because i do not actively seek out other mom friends. I just don’t feel the need to and i am introverted anyway, so my small number of friends is more than enough for me to handle.

jaime September 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I am the president of my PTO group and I just want to say that the reason that the moms that you see involved seem like a “clique” is because it is always the same 10 or so who do everything and we get to know one another. I would love NOTHING more in the world than to have some new moms join us. It is an incredibly difficult (non-paying) job that I would never have taken if I would have know just how much aggravation that it would be.

Purple lady November 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

The cliques will go on forever. I have found (in my neighborhood) these mom’s (and dad’s) are insecure and need a group to constantly hang out with. I mean every day, every week, every moment. (Please let me breath!) I am a very social person, but my family comes first. And I don’t want to spend every waking moment with the neighbors! I feel this need for them to constantly do EVERYTHING together is because they probably have an unhappy home life, have no other friends outside the neighborhood or perhaps hate motherhood (because the clique’s I see do not have the same parenting values I do.) I have found “normal” people in my neighborhood and at my kid’s school to engage with. I don’t need to vacation with them- uugghh! It is like being in high school all over again – and they are raising their kids to behave just like them. You have to be strong enough to ignore them- they are not worth it and you wouldn’t want to compromise your values anyway. I have found getting involved at my kid’s school helps me to determine who shares the same values as me and those are the people I try to make a connection with.

Fifi Danon November 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Purple Lady, I could have written your post! I am experiencing the exact same thing where I live. And I love what you have to say about how you have learned to deal with it.

We moved to a very small, new construction development over four years ago with only 15 homes in a rural/suburban area, nice large lots and nice, but not pretentious, homes, quite far from town. We naively assumed our little enclave would be too small for cliques, but sure enough, there are eight families (out of 15!!) who have formed a larger clique, and within that clique, there is the Extremely Exclusive Inner Sanctum Clique consisting of just four families. These four families, (moms, dads, and kids), are together constantly, nearly every day and without question, every weekend. They sometimes start at one house for the day, end up at a second one for the evening, and a third the following day. The kids play together while the moms and dads . . . surprise, surprise! . . . drink. Heavily. Every weekend, and probably most weeknights as well.

We have no interest in that sort of a life, nor exposing our children to it either, but it still hurts (since the available kids for ours to play with is so limited in such a small neighborhood) to see our kids excluded and pining for friends to play with and hang out with who live close by. And even though we have no desire to be a part of any of it, and are actually pretty disgusted by it, that insecure 13-year-old who lurks inside each of us somewhere still smarts at being so obviously and rudely excluded. It really does make you feel like you are back in middle or junior high school, being rejected (or even worse, simply rendered invisible) by the popular kids.

It affects all of us too much, even though we try to rise above it, mostly because we have so few other options where we live. But it does help my husband and me to better identify with and relate to the social and emotional minefield our middle school-age daughters are presently experiencing, and also has brought us closer together as a family. We just have to put some extra effort into getting our girls together with friends, something we really don’t do for ourselves, and probably should. But we are also quite content to spend time at home, as we also have twin 16-month-old sons to raise!!

Stinkydogkid April 9, 2011 at 3:05 am

hi,i can totally relate to you.

Flashmovieman October 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thank you for your post.  I have been having the same problem, and you really put it in perspective for me.  Thanks again.

Cassy March 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

It’s very good to hear I’m not the only one one the outside looking in, especially with the neighborhood cliques. I feel like a terrible mom. I feel as if I’m depriving my daughter of neighborhood playmates.

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