thoughts and things

As Quiet As A Mouse – the need to talk as a new mum

As quiet as a mouse

I am a quiet person. I am rather introverted and I only really open up when I am with people I really know and trust. I don’t mean to be rude and I know sometimes I can appear sullen when actually I’m the complete opposite.

This makes making friends rather difficult. I hate making small talk and talking about things that really don’t interest me. I get flustered and usually end up making a prat of myself.  It’s not that I don’t try, I do,  but it must come out wrong. I say things and conversations end or people misunderstand what I say.  I try to crack jokes but they’re not  funny to anyone but me. Or I’m so quiet that people forget I’m there and when i talk they jump a mile.  For me the worst thing is making the effort, thinking its gone well only for people to forget who you are or the conversation you had the week before. I always remember who people are, not always names but their  faces.  If people can’t be bothered to remember me or dismiss me then i don’t have time for them. It just reminds me of being at school trying to impress the popular crowd and I don’t do that. I find rare gems of people who are my friends, few and far between but my friends are people I genuinely like to spend time with, I can’t be doing with who I call “fair weather friends” who only like you as you serve a purpose to them.

Books and music Have always been my solace. I don’t need to talk to enjoy either. My mum always told me you always have a friend when you’ve got a book.

Thing is, when I got pregnant I knew I had to start talking.

Bump Talk

I knew that talking to my bump was important.  However if I am on my own, I can spend hours not actually speaking at all. I did wonder whether the baby could hear my thoughts as there were always plenty of them. Then I realised music was a great way to communicate and I felt Easier singing along to a song.  So I spent time most days playing some music and singing to my bump. It didn’t usually take long but it was rather soothing and relaxing to do. I have a penchant for Disney classics, don’t judge me.

Songs I listened to:
Baby mine – from Disney’s Dumbo
Part of that world – from Disney’s Little Mermaid
Beauty and the beast – from Disney’s beauty and the beast

I also played music whilst in the shower, bath, car. This would be My favourite music on my Ipod.

Baby Talk

Now that Nancy is here, I am having the same difficulties as before. I am making a big effort to talk to her and interact with her.  I have taken to describing what I’m doing throughout the day to her as starting point. She loves to watch me  talking and will usually reward me with a smile.

What I need to get back to is my music.  I miss it ! And it is something that has fallen by the wayside of late. I find music calming, soothing and a good way to de-stress.

I have started  singing nursery rhymes to Nancy and she seems to enjoy them. What I am not doing and what I need to start doing is singing some lullabies. I found reading the recent guest blogs on @edspire blog, about lullabies (to raise awareness of The Lullaby Trust in memory of Matilda Mae), a useful reminder and has made me realise the importance of doing this.

I need to take the plunge

The other thing I need to do is start  meeting other people.  Other Mums, people I can be friends with.  I know I need to go to some groups for Mums and babies but the thought of having to talk, look daft, or steered clear of for looking aloof when all it is, is that I’m quiet, puts me off. I’m talking from past experiences of other groups I’ve been to such as slimming world. I need to think of things to say, questions to ask. To just take a deep breath and say something. I don’t find it difficult at work, where I can be teaching a room full of people or speaking to strangers, so why?

Does anyone else feel this way? How have you over come this? I will find a group to go to and I will force myself out of my shell.  I shall let you  know how I get on.

23 thoughts on “As Quiet As A Mouse – the need to talk as a new mum”

  • I found it really difficult at first. I’m quite shy really, until I feel comfortable & that can come off as rude or standoffish, when it’s not meant to be. I have no problem at work but I think you put on your work ‘persona’ & a bit of a front because you’re the one in your comfort zone then.

    I found it so hard to talk to Nancy at first, but as she’s got older it’s so obvious that she enjoys the sound of my voice & needs to hear it, for reassurance. I now constantly narrate my whole day. It gets tiring & makes you look like a crazy person at times, but to watch her responding & hear her language skills developing is worth it 🙂 You’ll get the hang of it, just start by verbalising whatever thoughts you’re having – “I’m hungry, let’s have lunch” “you need feeding AGAIN do you?” or read aloud to her from whatever you’re reading. It starts to come so easily & as for meeting new people, you have the best conversation starter (& excuse to leave) now! It’ll be fine & if you don’t say much, Nancy will know that what you do say is worth listening to.

    Sorry, ridiculously long comment…!

    • Aw thank you for the comment! I am making a consious effort now and it is nice to see her responding. I don’t think it helps a lot of my friends with kids live away from me so don’t have anyone to come with me for Dutch courage although there are a few people I know now who are due to have babies soon. I’m going to try my best and forget the past and see how I go! I wish it were as easy as it is to talk on Twitter sometimes!

  • This is a great idea Thanks, I’ll look into it. I think the idea of going to the start of a group or course is always good as everyones in v the same boat. Will let you know how I get on!

  • People have loads of different experience of babygroups. They can be a blessing or a chore.
    go to a few, find the ones you like the atmosphere of, stick with it, it may take a few go’s before you feel comfortable. You have your baby for company and you probably won’t need to talk about you – you will talk about your baby or just ask someone about their baby. People love talking about their baby.
    Singing groups are good – babies love them and there is less pressure to communicate.
    Enjoy. It’s a wonderful period of life.

    • Thanks. I’m looking at groups now. For me it’s bucking up the courage to talk about anything at all! I just clam up. But Hoping I can break the ice this time. Thanks for commenting!

  • I hated the whole making mummy friends thing at the start.

    Like you – small talk seriously annoys me.

    I did eventually meet a cool set of girls in one of our baby classes and we hit it off and enjoy each others company.

    Just be you and go out with Nancy when you feel up to it and you’ll meet some cool mums who you can be yourself with. I’m sure of it.

  • You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised if you join up with a group of other mums, conversations usually just kick off and if you want to join in then join in, if not, don’t bother, life is too short to force yourself into uncomfortable situations! I found I didn’t click at all with my NCT group which got me a little panicky thinking “Oh no! I won’t have any friends with kids the same age” etc but then I met some other new mum’s who I hit it off with straight away. It’s one big learning curve, but most important thing is that you are happy and enjoy it x #PoCoLo x

  • Hi. I found going to all the baby/mum groups excruciating and I stopped after a while – most of the time all I could barely stay awake or had the capacity to utter a sentence (that made any sense). Then I relaxed and stopped feeling under pressure to go out and meet new people, and I went for a nap instead 🙂

  • One thing I regret from my time off on maternity leave was not attending baby and toddler groups to interact with other mums. I wish I had taken the plunge and put my anxiety to one side. Meeting other mums has always seemed to daunting to me, I wish you luck

    Commenting via #PoCoLo

  • I did exactly the same with my little man when we were in our own just talked to him about what I was doing. I still do it now when we go to the supermarket etc. the first time I went to a baby group was the scariest day as I’m like you a bit quiet until I get to know people. However what I’ve found is babies create conversation. Straight away you have common ground. You will find people will ask how old you lo is or are you getting much sleep etc and the conversation will grow. I started by thinking that I was going for my son and that any friends I made would be a bonus. That helped me not feel so nervous. My experience so far is that the groups we go to are friendly and welcoming! Good luck I hope you have fun at the baby group. Xxx #PoCoLo

  • I was excruciatingly shy as a child and I am sooo much better now – to the extent some people who I have clicked with don’t believe I was shy but this maybe because I can be outspoken in meetings etc but I still find smalltalk really hard and I know I can appear standoffish. On the other hand us anti small talkers have a point – why ask how someones day was when tbh you really don’t give a shit about each others days! However I , like some of the others, found some groups great and hit it off with a few people and others were awful. You need to experiment and go a few times to make sure. It’s good practice for when they go to school and you have the mums in the playground to deal with!! I always chattered non stop to the girls when they were babies though – about anything and everything -so much easier when they can’t talk back!!

  • Generally I am a confident person but I really can’t be dealing with the Mumsy stuff I’m afraid! I completely understand how you feel about fair weather friends. I have very few close friends as I find it hard to trust – that said I am generally fine in groups of people but get bored quickly!! Thanks for linking up to PoCoLo and for all your support 🙂 x

  • Hello what a really lovely honest post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I’m afraid I too am very shy and find these things really difficult. I natter away to my children as I believe this is a really important way for them to pick up vocabulary – I kind of just voice my own inner monologue – eg ‘right what shall we do now’ ‘gosh I feel cold’ ‘oh mummy is tired today’ – that kind of tiny stuff. But now I have two little chatterboxes who are happy to voice their opinions (loudly!!).

    As for baby groups and mummy friends, I have struggled. I always seem to be the one on the edge and from what I can see everyone else is getting on famously. I can’t manage small talk either. But I agree with the suggestions about baby singing groups – these are really good as there is a focus.

    Keep us posted with how you get on? So glad I have found your blog xx

  • What a lovely post and hello! We moved to Surrey in 2010 when I was pregnant after 20 years living in London. We knew no-one in our local area so we joined NCT. Some of the people we met ended up being good friends but a couple of the girls in particular were an incredible support after POD was born. The initial bond being we all had babies the same age. We ended up doing a baby group together (just for a few weeks) which was just good fun because it got us out of the house. I guess you need to go with what you think will work for you. Keep us posted 🙂

  • It seems I am weird, I love the mummy chat even though I usually hate small talk. However a advice if you need an opener ask them about their baby (sleep or food) and you should be away! Bee x

  • It’s hard isn’t it? We moved last year, so I had to start all over again, and I still struggle some days but I make myself go out for the kids sake, if not mine (I’d be more than happy with a book too!). Thankfully years of working in a job that required a lot of networking means that I can manage the small talk, but I still hate the walking into a group of strangers bit… Hope you find a group you like, that’s half the battle xx #PoCoLo

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