How Do I Deal With Struggling to Fit in With Other Moms/Parents at My Son’s School?

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"A little bit of background for you, my son goes to an elite private school in one of the wealthiest towns in our state. He goes there on practically full financial aid because I’m not wealthy by any means. We put him in this school because we want the best education for him and it is truly an amazing school/community! I had my son young at 20 years old, he’s in 2nd grade now. Well I feel like an outcast parent in his school not only because I’m younger than the rest of the parents but because they are all multi millionaires/stay at home moms and i work well.. in a restaurant. I feel so excluded from everything. They even forget to copy me in the school class emails half the time which is organized by the other parents. Whenever i go to events for my son and his friends, none of the moms talk to me even if i try. I’ll try to socialize and end up being “ignored” and kind of filtered out of everyone’s conversations. I was a single mom for a long time so i am used to doing things on my own with my son but for some reason this really hurts my feelings and i even find myself crying over not fitting in with my son’s friends’ parents. Not only am i younger, but i just don’t have the money they have, we don’t share similar interests/schedules. I work so much that i don’t have the time to be as involved as all these other SAHM’s. It really is a blow and on top of it now I get anxiety and don’t even want to go to events where the other parents are present knowing I’m going to be alone and awkward. It breaks my heart because those are my son’s friends and he has no problem fitting in yet i do. I’ve said hi and get ignored… i’ve even got glared at by some. I feel this pressure to be social with them for the sake of my son but it’s just really something i don’t enjoy and want to be a part of although I’ve tried in the past. I feel judged and lonely. What can I do?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Don’t let their attitudes ruin yours. They are not worth it. Live in the moment with your son. Attend his events, hold your head high and be proud of who you are. When you look back on his childhood memories you don’t want them dimmed by your anxieties. Trust me."

"Ignore them. Go to things for your son only. You dont need to fit in or be like anyone else. Don’t try to communicate with anybody, stay in your own little bubble and cheer on your kid! No sense in putting in effort if its not wanted or needed. Let them do them. You do you for you and your kid. Thats what works best. They sound like miserable snobs."

"You have your son in that school so he can get a good education. So enjoy what he is doing. We can’t make people like or include us and the more you try the worse it will be for you. I’ve seen this happen a lot. God Bless you."

"I feel for you, however those people are shallow and not worth wasting your breath over. Take a friend along so you are not alone and can still enjoy watching your kid excel. Just be yourself, anxiety creeps in when you are not being true to yourself. You are making the sacrifice for your son. Well done."

"I’m sorry you feel lonely and awkward. That is really hard. Sometimes, when I feel uncomfortable around other adults (in any setting, for any reason: whether it’s a “me problem” like social anxiety or feeling like I don’t fit in or something, or a “them problem”, whatever that may be), I will turn my focus and attention to the kids. Kids are fun and joyous. They so crave the attention of an adult, any adult, regardless of how much attention they get; it could never be enough, ha! I’ve made it through many different events by doing this, and not only is it much less stressful and more enjoyable for me, but it’s often a better experience for my kid(s) and, I imagine, other kids too."

"Don’t give a rats ass about them. You’re his mommy and that’s all that matters. And as far as you working in a restaurant that’s an honest wage be proud that you’re working and taking care of your child"

"You don’t have to fit in. Ignore them. Just because they have money or are sahm doesn’t mean they’re better than you, and you don’t need to lower yourself to fit in with them. Those events are for your child not them, that’s where your focus should remain and enjoy it."

"When my kids had any sporting events or school programs I just stayed to myself and cheered my kids on. I didn’t want to be friends with or socialize with the other parents. I let my kids know I was there and that’s all that mattered to me and my kids."

"Hold your head up high. Smile and say good morning as you walk on past them. They are sad ignorant people who don’t deserve to know you. Keep on doing you and be proud of who you are"

"If they want to have a stick up their butt, let them. Just be there for your baby. He’s all that matters."

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