Nanny not welcomed?

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Nanny not welcomed?

"Hey working moms: I don't want to socialize with your nanny."

It's the kind of complaint some mothers might think, but never say to another parent’s face. And that's probably why those words were posted behind the safe anonymity of UrbanBaby.com’s message boards last week.

"i want to socialize with others whose job it is to be with their own kids. i understand, many women don't have that luxury or sanity to be SAHM [Stay At Home Moms], but don't force your nanny on me," another mom said, echoing the original sentiment.

A spray of back-and-forth e-venom followed.

"We send our nannies so we don't have to spend time with you," one working mom posted. And another wrote: "Get a life loser."

Intense? Yes. Surprising? Not according to those who've spent time researching nanny-parent dynamics.

"What's not typical is for this to be given such explicit voice," said Lucy Kaylin, author of "The Perfect Stranger," a book about the relationships between mothers and nannies (her own included). "But the emotions represented are not at all surprising."

Just the other week, Kaylin said a friend of hers -- who is a working mother -- brought up in conversation how her son rarely plays with the children of mothers who stay at home.

"There's just that divide," she said. Still, Kaylin argued that the divide isn't necessarily a hostile one: New moms like to spend their downtime talking and commiserating with like-minded women. At the same time, sitters are often looking to hang out with other nannies who can relate to their ups and downs, in much the way a co-worker might.

When nannies attend playgroups at a family's home, Kaylin said, "They're well aware that they're not there for social reasons. They're there because that’s their job."

Indeed, among the sea of mom voices was a nanny who gave her two cents. "I have no desire to hang out with you either. I'm paid to be here, and if that includes being civil and social with you I can fake it. - Nanny"

The sentiment may not be universal -- one mom wrote that she likes spending time with nannies. "Some of the coolest women I've met in recent years are nannies. I've even asked a couple to meet for coffee."

Cameron Macdonald, a professor of sociology and author of "Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering", encountered the issue while researching her book. She went further than Kaylin to say that there's more going on than just social preferences, or even the underlying issues of race and class.

"This exclusionary practice speaks to the way that stay-at-home moms vent their frustrations [with] working moms via the nanny," Macdonald said. "One of the opening scenes in my book is of this white woman yelling at a nanny from the Caribbean, whom she mistakenly thought was ignoring the child. The woman yelled out, 'I don’t blame you, I blame your boss.'"

While researching her book, Macdonald found that yes, nannies do want to socialize with other nannies who are of the same cultural background, but that doesn’t preclude them from feeling left out. What might be more surprising is that the nannies commonly felt as though they were caught in the crossfire of a debate over whether or not moms should work.

"The thing that really stood out to me when I was doing this project was that the culture of competitive mothering has intensified in the last 10 or 15 years beyond anything we've ever seen," Macdonald said.

Indeed, one of the respondents to the UrbanBaby post echoed Macdonald's findings. "This is the most idiotic way of bashing WOHM [Work Outside Home Moms] I have ever seen," she said.

Macdonald pointed to isawyournanny.blogspot.com, a website for people who want to report instances of negligent nannies, as further evidence.

"It's often, 'Shame on you for hiring such a bad nanny,' or 'Shame on you for working and not being careful about who your child is with,'" Macdonald said.

But in previous UrbanBaby conversations on the subject, moms have argued that this isn't a sign of divisiveness, but a matter of social preferences on both sides. When a working mom inquired about protocol for sending her nanny to an infant playgroup at another family’s house this past summer, many wrote in to say that having a nanny present would upset the dynamic of the group, and could make everyone -- including the sitter -- feel uncomfortable.

"So weird to send your baby with a nanny to an infant playgroup--that is for moms!" wrote one mom. "I doubt the women you are friends with will be thrilled about you sending your nanny to their moms group. Seriously," said another.

The argument that infant playgroups are really for moms to bond may hold up (after all, only one mom wrote in that she thought the exclusionary practice at that age was elitist). But as kids get older and new moms are no longer new moms, the merits of that position fade and the question remains: Have nannies become casualties of the mommy wars?

What's your take?

What do you think? If you are a SAHM does a Nanny welcome to playgroups? If you are WOHM mom and have (or could have) a nanny, would you want your kids to play with all kids or just the other WOHM's kids?

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I see the point that nannies would like to hang out with nannies, but I think what really upsets me is this growing divide between SAHM & WOHM moms. We are all mothers and some of us choose to work, some have to work, some choose to stay home, some have to stay home.

I know its always easier to relate to others that are in similar situations as you, but I will admit it would be nice to be friends with a few SAHM moms, but I'm not. I've extended the friendship invites, but mostly been rebuffed or I can't partake in much because I am at work.

My BF is a SAHM, but she lives in another state and she feels the opposite some times. She has recieved the cold shoulder from some WOHM.

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I wouldn't want to hang out with ANY of those people. Yech.

We have had a nanny for years. We both work full time. Our kids are friends with kids who have nannies and friends with kids who don't. They play with both. I get along with the working parents and the stay-at-home parents. Sounds like a whole lot of ridiculous snobbery to me. I can't imagine saying "I don't want to spend time with a nanny" vs. a mom. That's just creepy to me.

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Wow, that's terrible all around! I don't live in an area where nanny's are common, so I never, as far as I know, have been around one. But I can't imagine being nasty to one at a playgroup or playground. I can't even imagine being anything but perfectly nice and friendly to anyone I meet.

This is horrible.

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What got me is the "competitive mothering" - huh??? Competitive mothering??? Is this some kind of contest I missed? Must have been while I was working.

Seriously, the only mother I'm competing against is myself to ensure I'm doing the very best I can for my children. I have some awesome friends that are SAHM (lots of fab ladies on here too) and I have some awesome friends that are WOHM (including myself). I cannot imagine excluding one group or another for the soul purpose of "competitive mothering". Flippin' stupid.

I mean as moms don't we have better things to do than compete with each other? Shouldn't we be supporting each other??

Completitive mothering. What a crock.

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I would want my kid to socialize with all different sorts of kids. I can't imagine caring if the child in a playgroup had a nanny or a mom with them. What difference does it make when you are going to sit and watch kids play?

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Wouldn't matter to me if it was a mom or nanny. When I was a nanny though I did view it more as a job and didn't interact with SAHM's really. And probably wouldn't outside of work time, because I just wouldn' take the time to for the relationships. I rarely hang out with co-workers regardless of the job, and this would feel that way.. so that part of the article I agree with.. even though it might be "wrong" I usually don't hang out with co-workers. I have a whole set of friends outside work that I enjoy.

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"carg0612" wrote:

Completitive mothering. What a crock.

I totally agree it is a crock, but I see this ALL the time with all kinds of mom situations. SOme of the moms are so competitive on what daycare, how advanced, the outlandish birthday parties that are thrown. It is so crazy.

It has gotten to the point that I simply do not participate in the discussions of how they are going to one up each other. My girlfriend falls into this. She was having a caricature artist come in for baby's birthday. I know it is because everyone in their neighborhood is all invloved in uber-parties and sending their kids to language immersion daycares (at 6mos old)

I know I find myself trying to over compensate all the time, but I honestly don't feel like I am in competition with anyone. Unfortunately (or maybe luckily) we are not in a financial situation for me to go overboard on much. Wink

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Nannies abound where I live. When I was on mat leave the only other moms I saw with their own kids were other women on mat leave. In fact, what I see is groups of nannies hanging out together, with no mothers included in their groups.

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I am a SAHM. About half of my friends are SAHM's and the other half are WOTH mom's. That does not have a baring on if we are friends. I also take my girls to story time once a week and there is a lady that bring someone else's kids. None of the SAHM's there act like she does not belong.

That said, I can see how if someone had a very corporate job they might not relate to all of the same things that I do, but that does not mean we could not be friends.

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I think there is a valid point in the infant play groups thing. That is definitely a social gathering mainly for the adults. So say a mom invites another mom/baby pair to the group and the mom can't go so the nanny does? I think that would be weird.

*But* i don't see why a group of moms who met a person they like who happens to be a nanny couldn't or wouldn't want to invite her to a group like that.

I think people are too uptight and weird and dramatic and I do tend to agree that this has a lot to do with the WOHM vs SAHM divide. I mean...how can a playdate be so complicated? Stupid.

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I love when nannies come to our play groups, cause they totally interact with the kids more than we do:) Having said that, they are not expected to entertain my child, but I see where they might feel that they should be 'working' when around other moms who might 'report back to their employer', while the rest of us are more comfortable sitting back, letting the kids play, and drinking coffee. So if I was a nanny, maybe I wouldnt want to hang with the moms. Hanging with other nannies would feel less like work.

I also find around here, that there is a big language divide between most of the moms and nannies. So it is hard to become really good friends with them, although we are all certainly on 'friendly' terms.

I do find that most of my friends are SAHM's but that is more because we hang out and have play dates during work hours and try to spend time as a family with our working husbands during non work hours. So it is more of an availability issue than a working vs stay at home for me.

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"ftmom" wrote:

I do find that most of my friends are SAHM's but that is more because we hang out and have play dates during work hours and try to spend time as a family with our working husbands during non work hours. So it is more of an availability issue than a working vs stay at home for me.

I agree with this. It is silly to make this a SAHM/WOHM issue. Many of the nannies I know don't speak much English, don't have kids of their own, and are in their very early 20's. While of course I would hang out with them, we also don't have a ton in common, so it seems pretty natural that super close friendships might be slightly less likely.

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I always thought (at least when they are old enough to actually play together) that playdates were for the kids, and only secondarily for the moms. I think it sounds really awful and classist to say "I don't want to hang out with your nanny." Um, okay. Your kid can't hang out with my kid because you don't want to hang out with my nanny? Awesome. Your kid's loss.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I always thought (at least when they are old enough to actually play together) that playdates were for the kids, and only secondarily for the moms. I think it sounds really awful and classist to say "I don't want to hang out with your nanny." Um, okay. Your kid can't hang out with my kid because you don't want to hang out with my nanny? Awesome. Your kid's loss.

This is what I thought. I send DD to play group so that she can socialize with other kids, not so I can socialize with other mothers. And when I have taken her (usually she goes with daycare) I don't socialize with the mothers cause I am busy interacting with DD (cause she has a need or question frequently). If DD is socializing I don't care who brought the child (mom, dad, nanny, grandparent, other) as long as the kids are having fun.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I always thought (at least when they are old enough to actually play together) that playdates were for the kids, and only secondarily for the moms. I think it sounds really awful and classist to say "I don't want to hang out with your nanny." Um, okay. Your kid can't hang out with my kid because you don't want to hang out with my nanny? Awesome. Your kid's loss.

Our playdates are about the Moms ~ a chance to catch up with my good friends while the kids play. Win/win. If I didn't like the Mom, I would not set up a playdate with them (because my kids aren't at the drop off age yet, Mom's stay) only because I am a terrible faker and couldn't stand having to hang out with someone I didn't like for a few hours for my kids sake, when my kids can pretty much play with the hundred or so other kids of women I really DO like. That has nothing to do with Nannies, however Smile

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I always thought (at least when they are old enough to actually play together) that playdates were for the kids, and only secondarily for the moms. I think it sounds really awful and classist to say "I don't want to hang out with your nanny." Um, okay. Your kid can't hang out with my kid because you don't want to hang out with my nanny? Awesome. Your kid's loss.

I totally admit that playdates and playgroups are as much for me as for my kids. While I wouldnt specifically say I would not hang out with your nanny, if I didnt like her (or the mom) I wouldnt be inviting them over to play. Most of the moms and kids that we know are through a school district run playgroup, and in that case I dont care who the mom (or nanny) is, my kids play with whoever they like. But I wouldnt go out of my way to invite a child/adult combo to my house to play if I didnt like the adult, or if I did like the adult but my child didnt like their child. I see playgroups and playdates as a way for my child to learn to interact with other children with me available, but not facilitating every interaction. I am very much in the stand back and see how it goes group in playgroups and therefore do spend a lot of time chatting with the other parents who also stand back and watch.

Also, as a SAHM I find that the only chance I really had to meet people was to go to playgroups etc. So I was totally there for myself, or I would have been sitting at home being lonely.

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I agree that as a SAHM the only people I see are my DH, people at church, and other mothers of children. It is as much for me getting out of the house as for them.

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It wouldn't bother me if a nanny was at a play group, I would be happy as a parent if I had a nanny who took my kids to playgroup.

I encountered the SAHM venom when I used to take DS to playgroup while I was on matrnity leave. I don't have any close Mummy friends so it was a way for me to get out and be with other Mum's, yet often I encountered comments such as 'why did you have a baby if you had to go back to work?' and was ignored by a few of the other mothers.

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Maybe this is where the real divide between WOHM and SAHMs lies. In that I don't do enough playdates to care who I'm hanging out with. I can totally see if I was doing a lot of playdates, I would want them to be with women that I can talk to as well. I will say that I wouldn't want to have playdates with a mom that I actively disliked. I guess I just don't necessarily expect to be comfortable with everyone in a playgroup, simply because I don't do it enough to get to know people very well anyway. Basically the only "play dates" I have ever done have been birthday parties or get togethers either for the kids at T's daycare, or the kids at his preschool. I didn't know the other moms, but I didn't really expect to either, so if someone had sent their nanny or the grandparents or whoever, it wouldn't have really mattered. I'm not really there to socialize myself so much as to let T do something fun with his friends, although I certainly will try to make small talk with the other parents around me. I'm sure I would feel differently if a large chunk of my social life revolved around the playdates.

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I now work outside the home part-time, work from home part-time, and am a SAHM in-between the two, if that makes sense. But for the sake of simplicity in answering the OP, for the time that I was exclusively a SAHM, I can't say that I had a preference for SAHMs when I got together with other moms. I didn't care if they were nannies, SAHMs, WOHMs, or WAHMs, I socialized with those I could relate to and wanted to be around. I don't think nannies should be excluded just because they are nannies. I will say, though, that it is somewhat more difficult to relate to nannies vs. moms, but it isn't impossible to socialize with them, especially if your personalities click.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Maybe this is where the real divide between WOHM and SAHMs lies. In that I don't do enough playdates to care who I'm hanging out with. I can totally see if I was doing a lot of playdates, I would want them to be with women that I can talk to as well. I will say that I wouldn't want to have playdates with a mom that I actively disliked. I guess I just don't necessarily expect to be comfortable with everyone in a playgroup, simply because I don't do it enough to get to know people very well anyway. Basically the only "play dates" I have ever done have been birthday parties or get togethers either for the kids at T's daycare, or the kids at his preschool. I didn't know the other moms, but I didn't really expect to either, so if someone had sent their nanny or the grandparents or whoever, it wouldn't have really mattered. I'm not really there to socialize myself so much as to let T do something fun with his friends, although I certainly will try to make small talk with the other parents around me. I'm sure I would feel differently if a large chunk of my social life revolved around the playdates.

I completely agree with you. The bolded makes sense to me ~ we started a play group with almost strangers when our babies were like 10 weeks old out of a bunch of us who saw one another weekly at a breast feeding support group at the hospital that we delivered at. A few invited other friends, but it became a weekly thing and those strangers became some of my best friends over the past four years. Though we cant meet weekly as a large group anymore (between school and the fact that many now have 2 or 3 kids) we still have our own group on FB, do girls nights, random afternoon get togethers, kids birthday parties etc.......because we were at home back in the days where we had no other obligations and had recently exited the workforce, we relied upon one another heavily and it was way more about us than the kids. Now, of course the kids are friends, so the kids benefit from our desire to spend time together as good friends and fellow Moms.

To the second bolded, I totally agree as well. We have 4 birthday parties through school this month, and I don't even know the inviting Mom. It will be a lot of small talk, and it may be Dads, or Nannies, or other Moms that I don't know and may or may not "click" with. Those things are way more about the kids, and while I may pick up a friend or two, I may not as well, those are more about the kids.

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Melissa I think you make a good point about differentiating between a play group set up for moms and a play group or party set up for kids.

I think if it is more of a mom's day out type play group it kinda makes sense that it would consist of moms who are already close friends. My neighbor is a SAHM and they have "play dates" and she often talks about it with me. I'm at work and her next door neighbor's nanny does not go. But to me this makes some sense as it's really a time for a group of mom friends to get together. She has never made me feel weird about not being able to go though. She often shares many of the things they talk about with me.

On the other hand if it's really a play date centered around the idea that it's for the kids socialization (as opposed to the mom's) then it would make sense that there would be WOHMs or dads or nannies.

What I don't like is the air of exclusivity regardless of the purpose of the play date and the idea that parenting should be competitive.

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When my kids were young, we often got together for playgroup and playdates with other Moms from our Moms of Multiples Club. There were several Nannies who would bring "their" kids to the playgroups. They were always welcome, and truly were part of our group even though they were not "mothers". The Nannies that I am thinking of were truly a part of the families that they worked for! There were even times when the mother would have a day off from work and come to the playdate, and the Nanny would come also - they are playdates for the kids and adults alike Smile

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Maybe this is where the real divide between WOHM and SAHMs lies. In that I don't do enough playdates to care who I'm hanging out with. I can totally see if I was doing a lot of playdates, I would want them to be with women that I can talk to as well. I will say that I wouldn't want to have playdates with a mom that I actively disliked. I guess I just don't necessarily expect to be comfortable with everyone in a playgroup, simply because I don't do it enough to get to know people very well anyway. Basically the only "play dates" I have ever done have been birthday parties or get togethers either for the kids at T's daycare, or the kids at his preschool. I didn't know the other moms, but I didn't really expect to either, so if someone had sent their nanny or the grandparents or whoever, it wouldn't have really mattered. I'm not really there to socialize myself so much as to let T do something fun with his friends, although I certainly will try to make small talk with the other parents around me. I'm sure I would feel differently if a large chunk of my social life revolved around the playdates.

I agree. For me having a play date is really a luxury and a treat for DS to play with other kids. Honestly, we have never had a real playdate where we live (not including birthday parties). Is that crazy? After work and on the weekends is not a typical or preferred time for playdates.

I understand the SAHM's perspective of needing to get out and talk to other moms. I will admit that although I am WOHM, I don't talk to people at work for most of the day. It is definitely not a social experience for me. Of all the SAHMs that I know have way more social interaction with adults in a week than I do in a months time. My only "adult" interaction time (other than DF) is on the phone on the way to daycare or on the phone after DS has gone to bed.

I would really like to meet a group (or just one or two) women who have children that I can spend some Mommy time with. I think it is harder to meet peoplw when you are a WOHM because there really is no time to go out and seek others.

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"elleon17" wrote:

I would really like to meet a group (or just one or two) women who have children that I can spend some Mommy time with. I think it is harder to meet peoplw when you are a WOHM because there really is no time to go out and seek others.

I often feel this way too. I am very lucky in that our cul-de-sac has like 15 kids on it and a huge green space in the middle where the kids play so I frequently talk with the other 3 or 4 moms on the street during the evenings and weekends.

But outside of that it can be difficult to find the time to meet up with other moms - or even meet them at all for that matter!!!

But we do have one family on the court that has a nanny. When the kids are out we always ask if the kids can come play and the nanny is right there too. It is a little awkward in that she is much younger than all of us but other than that I cannot imagine us booting her out. She is very nice and respectful and she loves to interact with all the kids. But again - it's a kids play thing, not a mom's day out type of situation which I think is a bit different.

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Play Date = Date for kids to play; Kids' relationships primary, Moms' relationships secondary
Moms' Club = Dates for moms to get together and socialize and bring their kids along with them; Moms' relationships primary, Kids' relationships secondary.

Group playdate? Nanny ok, but I would certainly call and clear it with the host...although I would never expect a "no" answer.

One on one playdate? I wouldn't send the nanny unless I knew the other mom well and she liked my nanny and didn't mind hanging out with her. The conversation would have to go something like this:

Me: Gee Sally, I'd love to get Mike and Ike together Friday, but I work in the morning, so your suggestion of 10 a.m. wouldn't work for me.
Sally: Really? Darn! Cuz that's the only time I can do it for the next 3 weeks and Mike is dying to see Ike.
Me: Well Sally, I could send Inga with Ike if you don't mind having a cup of tea with her instead of me?
Sally: Hey, that would work! I like Inga, she's an awesome nanny! How'd you get so lucky?
Blah blah blah blah....

Moms' Club? No, that's for Moms, not nannies.

I would be highly offended if someone said that they didn't want to associate with my nanny. We love our nanny and she's part of our family. It'd be like someone telling me that they didn't want to get to know my sister or cousin. Rude.

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I totally disagree. If I'm having my good friend and her two kids (or even two good friends and their kids) over that is not a Mom's club.

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"The Great Vagina" wrote:

I would be highly offended if someone said that they didn't want to associate with my nanny. We love our nanny and she's part of our family. It'd be like someone telling me that they didn't want to get to know my sister or cousin. Rude.

This.

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"The Great Vagina" wrote:

Play Date = Date for kids to play; Kids' relationships primary, Moms' relationships secondary
Moms' Club = Dates for moms to get together and socialize and bring their kids along with them; Moms' relationships primary, Kids' relationships secondary.

Ditto this. If it's a playdate, it's about the kids. We've had friends send their kids to a birthday party or playdate with their au pair or nanny or grandmother, and I never once thought it weird because it didn't really matter who brought the kids as long as the kids got here safely. (I'm envisioning "Nana" the dog from Peter Pan bringing Wendy over, LOL!) Now, if a nanny or au pair showed up at a Moms Group meeting, that would be weird because that's about the moms, not the kids.

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It is so weird to me that you guys would classify me having my good friends over my house to hang out while our kids play as a Mom's club. That is what SAHP's call a play date, especially before school age. A playgroup is a weekly or bi weekly playdate with a larger group of people, generally on a set day, at a set location or at rotating homes. Different than a play date.

Before our kids are school age, it is the parents who drive ALL of the get togethers when we stay home with our kids all day. Our kids friends are our friends kids, NOT the other way around! Why on earth would I spend hours hanging out with someone I didn't like, when there are hundreds of other women who stay home like I do who want to hang out, who I DO like, AND who my kids like?

A birthday party isn't a playdate, its a birthday party.

Is this a terminology thing or do SAHP's view this all totally different than working parents?

ETA: The only time I have heard of "Mom's Clubs" they are things with dues, like MOPS http://www.mops.org/ or the actual "Mom's Club" organization http://www.momsclub.org/. I always assumed that they were for newcomers to an area, people looking for other religious people (like MOPS (Your kids are in childcare while you socialize with other Mothers, and they are always, as far as I know, held at a church)) or people who just left the workforce and may not have any other SAHP friends, otherwise why on earth would one want to pay for such a thing?

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No mom groups or play groups here anyway. We just play.

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"Potter75" wrote:

It is so weird to me that you guys would classify me having my good friends over my house to hang out while our kids play as a Mom's club. That is what SAHP's call a play date, especially before school age. A playgroup is a weekly or bi weekly playdate with a larger group of people, generally on a set day, at a set location or at rotating homes. Different than a play date.

I would call that getting together with my friend. Sure, I might say, "Hey, let's get the kids together for a play date!" but what I really mean is, "I'd like to sit and gab with you over coffee and I hope the kids can get along for at least 30 minutes before somebody screams."

I guess I think of "play date" as something that you do to get kids together when they show an interest in friendship but the moms don't know each other very well. My neighbor asked me the other day if we could set up a play date for our kids. Now, I don't know her all that well, but I know her well enough to know that what she meant was, "Can I send my kids over to play with your kids because they get along and I know you watch your children." She doesn't want to come over to my house and chat and that's fine with me because as nice as she is we don't have a lot in common.

Before our kids are school age, it is the parents who drive ALL of the get togethers when we stay home with our kids all day. Our kids friends are our friends kids, NOT the other way around! Why on earth would I spend hours hanging out with someone I didn't like, when there are hundreds of other women who stay home like I do who want to hang out, who I DO like, AND who my kids like?

That sounds like a mom's club. Here, they plan all of their outings during the day and purposely exclude working moms (it's in the rules) because part of their mission is to give SAHM's a chance to get out and socialize with other SAHM's.

Is this a terminology thing or do SAHP's view this all totally different than working parents?

Probably. WOHMs tend to get enough adult interaction at work. I know this is true for me. I don't need to be friends with all of my kids' friends' parents. When I set up a playdate for Nate and one of his friends, I don't expect to go with him. The first time, I'll go and get to know the parents, but after that, I just drop off...or the other mom drops off at our house.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Before our kids are school age, it is the parents who drive ALL of the get togethers when we stay home with our kids all day. Our kids friends are our friends kids, NOT the other way around! Why on earth would I spend hours hanging out with someone I didn't like, when there are hundreds of other women who stay home like I do who want to hang out, who I DO like, AND who my kids like?

Before we had Tiven, we pretty much didn't know anyone who had little kids. We had had some friends who had their kids when we were all younger & we lost touch, because they were busy with their kids. We had mostly childless friends, because who makes friends with kids if you don't have kids yourself, kids just complicate the relationship, kwim? We met a whole new group of people *because* of Tiven coming along. We took her to the park & other parents seemed to be there at the same time on the same days, and the kids played well together, so we got them together more often, and on rainy days. Some of them did become our friends, but not all. Some of those parents I wouldn't be friends with if you paid me, would never hang out for coffee or invite them to my house for dinner, but Tiven liked their kids so I made playdates with them.

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"The Great Vagina" wrote:

I would call that getting together with my friend. Sure, I might say, "Hey, let's get the kids together for a play date!" but what I really mean is, "I'd like to sit and gab with you over coffee and I hope the kids can get along for at least 30 minutes before somebody screams."

Yes, IRL this is how we generally talk, too. "Playdate" makes me roll my eyes a little. I agree.

[QUOTE]I guess I think of "play date" as something that you do to get kids together when they show an interest in friendship but the moms don't know each other very well. My neighbor asked me the other day if we could set up a play date for our kids. Now, I don't know her all that well, but I know her well enough to know that what she meant was, "Can I send my kids over to play with your kids because they get along and I know you watch your children." She doesn't want to come over to my house and chat and that's fine with me because as nice as she is we don't have a lot in common.

I think that this is the big difference in what we are talking about. At 1 3 and 4 my kids are not really yet at the "drop off" stage. At this point, if I'm dropping someone off, it is generally for the sake of babysitting, like if I had to go to a DR appt or something and couldn't find a sitter. Of course down the road when they are meeting friends from school as long as the parent seems nice enough and I get to know them a bit, I wont care at all if we aren't like BFF's personally, as I wouldnt be spending the morning with them, as happens now.

That sounds like a mom's club. Here, they plan all of their outings during the day and purposely exclude working moms (it's in the rules) because part of their mission is to give SAHM's a chance to get out and socialize with other SAHM's.

This is so weird and bitter sounding to me! I don't know if you misconstrued my post, or I hit some nerve, or you really think that people purposely try to exclude you because you work, but I'm not quite sure what to say. Of course people get together during the day when they are free during the day. That is just common sense. I don't know of any rules amongst my friends, other than that we are intelligent enough to get together when our kids happen to be awake and we happen to not have other commitments.

Probably. WOHMs tend to get enough adult interaction at work. I know this is true for me. I don't need to be friends with all of my kids' friends' parents. When I set up a playdate for Nate and one of his friends, I don't expect to go with him. The first time, I'll go and get to know the parents, but after that, I just drop off...or the other mom drops off at our house.

[/QUOTE]

Oh, how I DON'T miss some of the "adult interaction" I had at the office! The vapid secretary, the bitter and catty loan processors, the stressed out overly put upon men a good 10 years older than me with a SAHW and family to support! Boooooring. The fun of being freed from the chains of being forced to interact with coworkers who I had no hand in hiring is that I get to choose the women or people that I interact with pretty much every hour of my day. It's awesome. And while I can see how some women who don't meet others easily, or don't have a car, or don't like to get out, may feel that they lack interaction, I think that it is shortsighted to assume that all SAHM lack for it, OR (As elleon illustrates) that all working people get enough of it solely from their coworkers. That is great that it can meet all of your needs, but I know, for me, there was no way my office met all of my social or adult interaction needs. That was what weekends and happy hours were for! Smile

I don't need for my kids friends parents to be my friends, but in this preschool years it is a luxury I have and enjoy.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Before we had Tiven, we pretty much didn't know anyone who had little kids. We had had some friends who had their kids when we were all younger & we lost touch, because they were busy with their kids. We had mostly childless friends, because who makes friends with kids if you don't have kids yourself, kids just complicate the relationship, kwim? We met a whole new group of people *because* of Tiven coming along. We took her to the park & other parents seemed to be there at the same time on the same days, and the kids played well together, so we got them together more often, and on rainy days. Some of them did become our friends, but not all. Some of those parents I wouldn't be friends with if you paid me, would never hang out for coffee or invite them to my house for dinner, but Tiven liked their kids so I made playdates with them.

I know exactly what you mean Smile I agree, and didn't have many SAHP or parent of young kids friends prior having to having kids either. And if my kids were drop off age (where I didn't stay, have coffee, host them etc) I would be exactly 100% the same way. As it is it is just a little different, simply due to their ages and getting together with my friends and their kids (who are my kids friends) being the easier option as they aren't school age yet and all of us stay home.

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I remember a good friend complaining about when her son became late preschool age, and who they invited to his birthday was no longer about who she was friends with, but who her son was friends with. I agree with alot of what has been said here.

I think when you are a SAHM your kids just naturally become friends with the kids of your friends, or the kids of people you want to be friends with, as they are the ones you invite over. Because lets face it, before they are 2-2 1/2 kids dont really play 'together' at all. They more play 'side by side' and dont really care about the other kid unless they are trying to steal their toy. And once your kids are older than that they have been exposed to these other kids for awhile and just naturally drift into friendship. Once your kids become older and gain more exposure through preschool and school they start to see that there are choices, all kids aren't equal, and drift towards and away from certain kids. But lucky for me, they are entering the drop off and play age by then.

I would think that kids who go to daycare, or playdates with a nanny or other caregiver, go through the same process, the only difference is that mom doesnt have to be friends with those kids parents for the kids to be exposed to each other. So although I get together with my friends to chat my kids have the benefit of getting to play with their friends at the same time, while for a working mom to give her kids that same benefit it means hanging out with someone who she doesnt really know.

So in conclusion, I have no idea what my original point was going to be:eek: I think it is really just a matter of time and exposure though.

And I agree, birthday parties are different:)

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"Spacers" wrote:

Before we had Tiven, we pretty much didn't know anyone who had little kids. We had had some friends who had their kids when we were all younger & we lost touch, because they were busy with their kids. We had mostly childless friends, because who makes friends with kids if you don't have kids yourself, kids just complicate the relationship, kwim? We met a whole new group of people *because* of Tiven coming along. We took her to the park & other parents seemed to be there at the same time on the same days, and the kids played well together, so we got them together more often, and on rainy days. Some of them did become our friends, but not all. Some of those parents I wouldn't be friends with if you paid me, would never hang out for coffee or invite them to my house for dinner, but Tiven liked their kids so I made playdates with them.

Yes, exactly, especially the bolded.

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"Playdate" makes me roll my eyes a little. I agree.

I actually hate that word, but I say it because that's what everyone else calls it. "Let's get the kids together to play" is what I usually say.

I think that this is the big difference in what we are talking about. At 1 3 and 4 my kids are not really yet at the "drop off" stage.

Yes, absolutely. I don't just drop off my 2 and 4 year old either, nor does the lady across the street that I mentioned previously. When the little ones are that young, one of the parents comes, but I don't need to be friends with them. Polite conversation is fine. And I don't mind if a nice grandma or nanny brings the other child as long as the other mom ok's it with me first. No males though, unless DH is home. Not because I'm sexist, but because I don't feel safe having strange men in my home.

[quote]
That sounds like a mom's club. Here, they plan all of their outings during the day and purposely exclude working moms (it's in the rules) because part of their mission is to give SAHM's a chance to get out and socialize with other SAHM's.

This is so weird and bitter sounding to me! I don't know if you misconstrued my post, or I hit some nerve, or you really think that people purposely try to exclude you because you work, but I'm not quite sure what to say. Of course people get together during the day when they are free during the day. That is just common sense. I don't know of any rules amongst my friends, other than that we are intelligent enough to get together when our kids happen to be awake and we happen to not have other commitments.[/quote]

I sound bitter or they sound bitter? Because I was looking into joining the local Mom's Club when I was on mat. leave a time or two ago and I ended up not joining because the exclusion of working moms just sounded so b!tchy to me. It's like it was a little social clique and if I worked, well then, I wasn't good enough for them. That rule just made me feel icky. So, I just went to the park and met some other moms there. Need for social connection solved.

Oh, how I DON'T miss some of the "adult interaction" I had at the office! The vapid secretary, the bitter and catty loan processors, the stressed out overly put upon men a good 10 years older than me with a SAHW and family to support! Boooooring. The fun of being freed from the chains of being forced to interact with coworkers who I had no hand in hiring is that I get to choose the women or people that I interact with pretty much every hour of my day. It's awesome. And while I can see how some women who don't meet others easily, or don't have a car, or don't like to get out, may feel that they lack interaction, I think that it is shortsighted to assume that all SAHM lack for it, OR (As elleon illustrates) that all working people get enough of it solely from their coworkers. That is great that it can meet all of your needs, but I know, for me, there was no way my office met all of my social or adult interaction needs. That was what weekends and happy hours were for!

So, you don't think SAHM's arrange playdates and join mom's clubs because they feel the need for social interaction? I'm a bit confused as to what you're arguing here. When I was looking in to joining the mom's club it was because I was home alone with a baby or two all day long and was getting cabin fever.

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That is great that you would choose to spend a morning making pleasant conversation with someone you don't like. I wouldn't. Time is money, and all. I'm a terrible faker. I'm just not interested, because I don't have to be.

I sound bitter or they sound bitter? Because I was looking into joining the local Mom's Club when I was on mat. leave a time or two ago and I ended up not joining because the exclusion of working moms just sounded so b!tchy to me. It's like it was a little social clique and if I worked, well then, I wasn't good enough for them. That rule just made me feel icky. So, I just went to the park and met some other moms there. Need for social connection solved.

You do Smile . I don't know how you are confusing you wanting to join a "MOms club" with rules and other women just hanging out because they can, but you seem to be.


So, you don't think SAHM's arrange playdates and join mom's clubs because they feel the need for social interaction? I'm a bit confused as to what you're arguing here. When I was looking in to joining the mom's club it was because I was home alone with a baby or two all day long and was getting cabin fever.

I'm sure some do. Some others just have friends, or go places, or whatever. Some really like their lives, and do what they do because they love it. Just like you! I would never put down or criticize how you get your adult interaction.....why do you generalize or judge how I get mine?

I love that I don't have to spend time with anyone I don't want to. I think that its awesome.

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I think part of the problem is that we're not defining our terms, or we're using the same words to mean different things.

Like Melissa, I wouldn't necessarily call what you do (hanging out with your friends) a "Mom's Club". So I think you and Bobbie may be talking about different things. I will say that at one point I actually tried to join an online group of local moms that do playdates or playgroups (which is what I would consider a 'Mom's Club") because...I guess because I thought I should for T......and when I mentioned that I work and asked if anyone was available for weekend playdates, the reception was decidedly chilly. Not just that they weren't available, but that it seemed like I was a total jerk for even suggesting such a thing. I don't know if it was because I was suggesting getting together on a weekend or because I work or because I just personally rubbed them the wrong way - but I can see how a working mom who got the reception I got would walk away thinking that the SAHMs had a thing against her. But again, that is something different from getting together with long time friends.

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I will say that there are specific "working Mom's groups" online (or, IRL, I know that the breast feeding support group that I went to with my first kid has a special working moms meeting that meets on weekends) that specialize in after work or weekend play dates. I can't imagine moaning about what b!tches they all are because THEY meet at certain times which may not work with my (CHOSEN) schedule.

I agree with you Alissa that this seems to be a definition thing, which is why I'm trying hard to specifically define what I am talking about. I either am doing a bad job, or Bobbie is just reading her own stuff into what I am writing.

To me, generalizing about SAHM's is as stupid as me generalizing about working Mom's. It would be so mean of me. It would be like complaining that I don't get paid. Duh. I chose this. If you choose to work at 10 am when other women may not be, why complain about it or call them names? That would be as stupid as me complaining about not having an income. I chose this, you chose that, yay, us all.

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This is all making me grateful that I have stayed out of organized groups. I assume they have them around here but I have stayed out of them.

The only organized mom event I went to was two years ago, when they had a "Moms of First Graders Drinking Night". That was awesome.

But yeah -- I have friends with kids and we hang out, or my kids have friends they hang out with. My son is old enough for drop-off, and my daughter...well we try to have her playdates on weekdays so my nanny can handle them!

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

This is all making me grateful that I have stayed out of organized groups.

Word. The whole "left out girl" thing is so high school.

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I am sure it happens, but I can't imagine saying to someone "You have a job, so I won't get together with you". Most of the time If I was going to get together with a friend I would do so doing the day because I like to spend the evenings/weekends with DH. I do go to a Mom's group once a month but it is in the evening so that all the mom's from church can go (and so our husbands can babysit).

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Unless your kids are in daycare or preschool, pretty much the only other kids they know are ones you have introduced them too. In my case, my friends kids. So, when we have people over, it is a friend of mine who has kids. The moms chat and the kids play - for hours. I couldn't imagine doing that with someone I don't know well.

Now that my older kids are in school, they have other friends and I may not know or like their parents, but of course, we will have them over for an hour or whatever. In that sort of situation, a nanny would be welcome to. Because it is solely for the kids, not the adults.

That said, I don't know ANYONE who has a nanny. It is pretty much unheard of here, so nothing like this has ever come up.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I will say that there are specific "working Mom's groups" online (or, IRL, I know that the breast feeding support group that I went to with my first kid has a special working moms meeting that meets on weekends) that specialize in after work or weekend play dates. I can't imagine moaning about what b!tches they all are because THEY meet at certain times which may not work with my (CHOSEN) schedule.

I agree with you Alissa that this seems to be a definition thing, which is why I'm trying hard to specifically define what I am talking about. I either am doing a bad job, or Bobbie is just reading her own stuff into what I am writing.

To me, generalizing about SAHM's is as stupid as me generalizing about working Mom's. It would be so mean of me. It would be like complaining that I don't get paid. Duh. I chose this. If you choose to work at 10 am when other women may not be, why complain about it or call them names? That would be as stupid as me complaining about not having an income. I chose this, you chose that, yay, us all.

I'm not moaning about what b!tches they are for not changing set playgroup schedules to suit me!

I don't even know what I'm saying - just that I kind of know what Bobbie is talking about because I got a similar vibe from some folks one time. I certainly wouldn't generalize that to mean that all SAHMs actively exclude working moms or anything as drastic as all that.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I'm not moaning about what b!tches they are for not changing set playgroup schedules to suit me!

I don't even know what I'm saying - just that I kind of know what Bobbie is talking about because I got a similar vibe from some folks one time. I certainly wouldn't generalize that to mean that all SAHMs actively exclude working moms or anything as drastic as all that.

I totally know you aren't. The way that I am reading Bobbie and her generalizations of the friendships of SAHM's as "Mom's Clubs", Bobbie is. I was speaking to that. Smile

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

This is all making me grateful that I have stayed out of organized groups. I assume they have them around here but I have stayed out of them.
!

"Potter75" wrote:

Word. The whole "left out girl" thing is so high school.

Oh G-d yes! I hate the organized mom group thing. I had a good friend who was the "ruler" of some Mom's Group and she would send out newsletters and they would all b!tch about who didn't do this and who needs to organize that. Annoying!

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"culturedmom" wrote:

Oh G-d yes! I hate the organized mom group thing. I had a good friend who was the "ruler" of some Mom's Group and she would send out newsletters and they would all b!tch about who didn't do this and who needs to organize that. Annoying!

Yea. They seem a little too.....formal for me. The closest I get is a stitch and ***** every Thursday at the coffee shop, and a once a month book club (Most of us dont read the book, and there's wine).