11 Answers

Whenever I do drop-offs at school or I see mums from school out and about, I find it hard to approach anyone. I pretty much look at my phone the whole time, just so I don’t look desperate and friendless but would love to be part of those groups of mums chattering and laughing together. It feels like I’m back at high school! Any advice?

Posted anonymously, 9th August 2019

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  • I would suggest, it just takes that moment of vulnerability to get outside your comfort zone and approach those mums. Have a look for the other side, they may be looking at you, on your phone, thinking you are antisocial? Don’t feel like you are back in highschool, they have the friendship group going, and if you find they are “like those highschool girls” after you go over and say hi, then you are better off without them.

  • To be honest I’ve never wanted to be part of one of those cliques. They can be very hard to get into and I found myself drawn to the quiet parents, standing alone like me and have just gone up to some of them and started chatting and made friends that way. Obviously a good conversation starter would be “which one is your child”?.

  • Just be you. Maybe get involved in school things like the p and c or sports days to open yourself up to meeting new people.

  • I’d very confidently walk up and introduce yourself. Make some small conversation and see what happens. Usually most mothers are friendly and like to include other mums in their conversations.

  • I’ve never had a problem meeting people at school pick ups. I’m the type of person who always says hello to everyone, and I think that’s a real ice breaker.

  • I was never in the “in” group of Mums. But what I did was invite my children’s friends over to play afterschool, asking the mothers directly, and that worked a treat. That way I built up friendships with those mothers. The trouble these days is that a lot of mums work outside of the home, so there are fewer waiting at the school gate. I always knew somehow that I wouldn’t be part of the clique, so I managed to make my own friendships through my kids. I am still friends with one of the mothers, 35 years later! I wish u all the best. I am sure some of the other mothers also feel the same as u, especially mums from overseas. They are particularly lonely and shy.

  • I feel the same as you, I totally get where you are coming from. I think first of all its just eye contact, see if someone will reciprocate, acknowledge you and smile. Some will and some won’t. When you find someone that does, then you can maybe start with small talk and take it from there.

  • I agree to first of all put you phone away.
    Most of the time I first observe some days. You might see some mums more often then others and their faces become kind of familiar. Then observe which child belongs to which mum and who are in the same class as your child. Then on a certain point just smile and say hi. or ask a question about school (excursion, book week, library whatever) or make a statement (I love the curls in your daughters hair or whatever).
    You will see that when you chat other mums will chat as well, the ice is broken and it becomes easier to tell and share.

  • Yes totally with you there!!

  • Probably leave your phone alone, staring at it will definitely make others feel you are unapproachable. Start by just nodding and saying hello to the others and hope they start a conversation. Ask a generalised question like, what time is it. Look them in the eye and smile ….

  • I don’t think I have any idea, but maybe just start smiling and saying hello and see how they respond, try to look happy and confident, maybe if you are looking at your phone or talking on your phone they think you are too busy, so look approachable or try to approach and see if you can find something to ask to start conversation. Or get there early before they all start to meet up and try to meet one or two individually before the groups start to form. Good luck and keep your head held high no matter what happens.

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