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Any Other Working Moms Feeling Isolated?

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
I know that isolation is usually a complaint of SAHM. However more and more recently I feel isolated from other mothers. It feels as though most of the moms that are similar in parenting style to me stay at home or work not typical 9-5 jobs. Therefore most everything is during the day such as playgroups ect. I know that this stuff is typically geared towards SAHM, but it leaves me feeling like I don't know very many moms on a personal level. I try to go to a few things that are at night, but I still feel like I am the odd girl out and don't really know anyone besides as a random acquaintance.

Most everyone at work is in a completely different place then me in life and also view most things very differently then I in terms of parenting. (Negative towards co-sleeping, think things spoil babies, ect.) I just feel like I don't have any friends to talk to. I don't need a mom to agree with everything I do to be a friend, but I get tired of defending my decisions at every turn.

Any other working moms feel the same? It is almost like working is a "mainstream" choice, but all my other choices are "alternative" and it just makes it hard to make any friends.

Maybe I just need a hug. I didn't feel isolated before I became a mom, just after.

Thanks I know this is sort of rambling, I just needed to get it out.
post #2 of 74
I hear you, hon. As the baby gets older, it really does get easier to connect with other working parents. The CIO, bottle-feeding, co-sleeping becomes less of an issue.

I used MDC to connect to other parents and at work, I just connect over other things. I was able to make some good connections with parents at my day care - the moms and dads. But it took time - 10 minutes a day for several years - lol.

There area lot of work-based parenting conversations that I just don't join. I can remember being in a meeting once while people discussed what videos to put on for their infants while they got ready for work. Just today at a fire drill this dude was telling this other single woman how it was 6 months and they were doing CIO - how it lasted 45 minutes, how his wife just couldn't take the screaming (wonder why?) and how she slept in the basement. I just don't participate in the whole thing. But I actually like the guy, he lives near me and we have other things in common - politics for example, which is unusual in our work. So parenting, politics, religion are the sorts of conversations I just choose not have with some co-workers.

MDC was really a BIG help for me in that front.
post #3 of 74
Ditto, EllienC. That's why I'm on MDC alot. All the mom stuff goes on during the day, and all the work stuff is not exactly mom (or my version of mom) related.

post #4 of 74
I have felt more isolated since we had the man move into a SAHD situation about 16 months ago and pulled the kiddos out of childcare. I guess b/c I am the only one at my office with young kiddos and I don't see the other childcare parents that I had seen 5 days a week for 3-4 years.
post #5 of 74
. I could have written your post. I feel the same way and have even toyed with the idea of starting my own local AP/NFL working moms group...but I think you said it best, it's like working in and of itself is mainstream so I'm not sure I'd get many takers. Actually once I scheduled a weekend playdate for one of my moms' group and not one person came. "Weekends are FAMILY time" was the most popular reason given. I do know a few other working AP mamas but we are not close. My closest friend who works is very mainstream and it's hard to relate to her sometimes...I don't want to offend, everyone does what's best for their own families, yadayadayada, but what do you say when she's talking about the wonders of sleep training, you know? So I feel like we've drifted apart some. And at work, no one else even has kids so no one to relate to there. So yeah, I feel incredibly isolated too. It sucks. I see all this fun stuff going on during the day and I just feel so sad that I can never participate. I wish I had some advice for you other than hanging out here (which I do a lot!). Just know you are not alone. Too bad we don't live near each other!
post #6 of 74

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Edited by GoestoShow - 12/17/10 at 8:59am
post #7 of 74
some days I definitely feel isolated not only from other moms but also from my single friends. They just don't under that as a single parent, let alone one that is working, you can't just go out during the week or hang out late on the weekend. It's been months since I've met another mother and totally related to me. It's lonely but I manage.
post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodge View Post
I know that isolation is usually a complaint of SAHM. However more and more recently I feel isolated from other mothers. It feels as though most of the moms that are similar in parenting style to me stay at home or work not typical 9-5 jobs. Therefore most everything is during the day such as playgroups ect. I know that this stuff is typically geared towards SAHM, but it leaves me feeling like I don't know very many moms on a personal level. I try to go to a few things that are at night, but I still feel like I am the odd girl out and don't really know anyone besides as a random acquaintance.

Most everyone at work is in a completely different place then me in life and also view most things very differently then I in terms of parenting. (Negative towards co-sleeping, think things spoil babies, ect.) I just feel like I don't have any friends to talk to. I don't need a mom to agree with everything I do to be a friend, but I get tired of defending my decisions at every turn.

Any other working moms feel the same? It is almost like working is a "mainstream" choice, but all my other choices are "alternative" and it just makes it hard to make any friends.

Maybe I just need a hug. I didn't feel isolated before I became a mom, just after.

Thanks I know this is sort of rambling, I just needed to get it out.
I totally feel isolated and it drives me crazy. It makes me hate my job more and more when it's not a bad gig and I should be thankful for having one, but if I do another freaking FedEx package for someone, I think I may lose it (I'm having a really crappy day, can't you tell? )
I miss out on so much being here all day and it's not fair. H tells me to get out and do some things on my own - like a yoga class or art class. Money is a bit tight right now, so that it is not a possibility. The weekends are packed full of family things or household things to do. Everyone that I know that has kids has been sick lately, so getting together has been really tough.

Ugghh.... I just wanna go home so bad and snuggle with my DS and read a book. And here's a to you and I think we all need a group .
post #9 of 74
Yes! All the other people I work with have children at least 8 years older than mine so we're just not in the same stage of life. DH is a SAHD and is even more isolated than I am.

The biggest challange for me though is that DH and I don't like where we live to begin with. We had very few friends or relatives here before we started a family and had always planned on moving once our "situation" changed. Now we are ready to move but the housing market has plummeted so much that we are stuck
post #10 of 74
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone! It helps to know I am not alone. I will be hanging out here and just do the best I can everyday. Too bad we don't all live near each other!
post #11 of 74
I feel isolated too. Everyone in a while I do something to try and change that but then life overtakes me and I have too much to do and can not maintain the social connection. Luckily, I don't need that much socialization. But, sometimes I wish I had other moms to talk too.
post #12 of 74


I'm right there with you mama!
post #13 of 74
Several of my coworkers have babies around the same age and our parenting styles are all pretty different but we manage to find commonality and over look the differences. We only see each other every few weeks for lunch anyway though. I tried to get to play groups in the early evening, like from 4-6 pm, or on Saturday but there is just not enough time with both DH and I working ft then having another one on the way...
post #14 of 74
Quote:
I could have written your post.


I was sooo disappointed last month when our local babywearing group got moved to Thursday daytime... the local AP & EC meetings are also during the day so I was totally bummed that the last thing I could potentially get to while working 9-5 was suddenly off my plate. Well maybe not the last thing, the LLL meetings are in the evening but it's slow making friends when you only get together one night a week.

I just totally get what you're saying & how you feel.
post #15 of 74
I too could have written your post- I feel the same way! I am so bummed that I can't attend most meetups that I would enjoy as they are for AP parents who don't work.

Its odd, because on the one hand, I can't be labeled an "AP" mom as I do work (no choice here), but on the other- I do everything else under that philosophy: Breastfeed my toddler (come home during lunch to nurse and still on demand nursing while I am home), co-sleep, babywearing during the times that I am home. I believe in Gentle Discipline, organic healthy foods, delayed selective vacc, etc.. I feel like I don't belong anywhere- no one at work can understand my perspective (and in fact get quite worked up over it!), and the other moms who do, don't want to associate with a working mom... *Sigh* & *Hug*
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by myorianna View Post
Its odd, because on the one hand, I can't be labeled an "AP" mom as I do work (no choice here)
Bull crap, you can so! I don't know who tried to convince you you can't be labeled "AP," but they're wrong.

As to the original topic... yeah. Most of my friends are childless. We get invited to social events, and either have to try to bring along DS and spend the entire time wrangling him and not having any fun, or we have to decline. The other moms I know at work are... other working moms. We talk kids and stuff at work, but are all pretty busy outside of work hours.
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Its odd, because on the one hand, I can't be labeled an "AP" mom as I do work (no choice here), but on the other- I do everything else under that philosophy: Breastfeed my toddler (come home during lunch to nurse and still on demand nursing while I am home), co-sleep, babywearing during the times that I am home. I believe in Gentle Discipline, organic healthy foods, delayed selective vacc, etc.. I feel like I don't belong anywhere- no one at work can understand my perspective (and in fact get quite worked up over it!), and the other moms who do, don't want to associate with a working mom... *Sigh* & *Hug*
Couldn't go to bed without responded to this, Myorianna. Don't let other people define who you are. AP is a parenting philosophy (just like you said), and not a checklist of items that set you up for failure if you don't adhere to every single item on the list. I consider myself very AP, and I work full-time (and gasp, take pride and joy in my work!). If people want to tell me that I'm not in line with the AP philosophy because I work, then pooh pooh on them. I understand, though, that if your surrounded by these types of people and those are the only people who share your general parenting view, then it can be very isolating.

I never really thought about "isolation" until I read this thread. I guess I do feel very alone in many respects, because I'm just so busy and ALL my non-work time is spent on DD and DH. I never really talk to anyone about parenting issues except DH. He is great, but as older parents, we don't have a lot of friends with young kids and often I feel like it would be easier for both of us if we could just talk to people about their experiences and whether or not we are doing things right, if DD's behavior as a three-year old is normal, etc.
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by myorianna View Post
I too could have written your post- I feel the same way! I am so bummed that I can't attend most meetups that I would enjoy as they are for AP parents who don't work.

Its odd, because on the one hand, I can't be labeled an "AP" mom as I do work (no choice here), but on the other- I do everything else under that philosophy: Breastfeed my toddler (come home during lunch to nurse and still on demand nursing while I am home), co-sleep, babywearing during the times that I am home. I believe in Gentle Discipline, organic healthy foods, delayed selective vacc, etc.. I feel like I don't belong anywhere- no one at work can understand my perspective (and in fact get quite worked up over it!), and the other moms who do, don't want to associate with a working mom... *Sigh* & *Hug*
Oh, I so completely understand where you are coming from and I have days when I believe/say this myself. BUT...I think it's important to realize that AP is not an all-inclusive label nor is it fitting all points on a checklist and not meeting one of the "standards" (i.e. not being a SAHM) doesn't make you not AP! I refuse to accept that it is all or nothing. I also have no choice but to work, but I take what I want from the AP philosophy, I take what works for my family and that's that. I don't like labels in general so I don't think I've ever called myself AP but I certainly do follow many of the principles...extended breastfeeding, babywearing, gentle discipline, etc., etc. We all parent the best way we can for our families. And you are (following an) AP (lifestyle)! No question about it! Hang in there.
post #19 of 74
Hugs to you mama!

I can totally relate. I have DD who is 2 and DD who is 8 mo. It is so incredibly tough working and balancing time for family, me and household duties. I am incredibly lonely because I am not among my peers at work, and then isolated at home. I get home and all I have time for is chores, dinner, baths reading and bed time. Somewhere in there I am suppose to fit time with my spouse, time for me and then time for friends? There isn't any I am exhausted and unfortunately I fall in the middle with parenting. I nursed my girls my oldest stopped when I got pregnant. I was sick and had to nurture myself and my newest baby so I only got to nurse DD till 10 mo. I am still nursing my 8mo old but it is slowing dramaticly. I pump at work, but that is tiring as well. We are anti-vaccine, anti-circ, breastfeeding, babywearing family. But because I am not a SAHM (no choice there, have to do what is best for my family) don't co-sleep, and didnt do AP or extended breastfeeding I am isolated on both fronts. I have the toughest time, so I just keep to myself. I am not the kind of person who feel compelled to convince the world of my thinking nor do I judge other moms for their parenting. It just stinks that you find more commradre on one side of the fence or the other, but when you hang in the middle and especially if you are working you are shut out. I was told the other day that working moms choose to work, and if they wanted to SAH they could, if they just give up some stuff. Well it really makes me angry to hear that. Maybe there are some people who work and just LOVE what they do. I am not one of those people. I work because my husband owns his own business and we need health insurance. I have no desire (nor do I think I could) live off the government for benefits. Even if I quit, my husbands income would probably put us out of the range. Not to mention, we don't live a luxurious lifestyle. The extra money that goes beyond bills takes care of feeding and clothing the girls. And I shop second-hand (which I LOVE by the way) so no glamourous lifestyle here with the second paycheck. We are ok, and I don't need or expect others to pick up the slack to help take care of my kids. It is hard to find people to share the joys and trials of parenting with, without judgement. Unfortunately, 'crunchy' SAHM are just as judgemental if not more than working 'non-crunchy' moms are. Seriously, can't we just enjoy motherhood without pushing our views? Us moms need to stick together!
post #20 of 74
DD is 4 now, and over the past two years I've become really good friends with some of the other moms from her daycare. (Who are not all of the same mindset as me, but good friends none-the-less.)

I thought, from your sig, that your baby is still quite young. It might be worth it to see if you can swing a few days off and try to attend LLL or Holistic Moms group a few times? 1--maybe you can make some connections that way. 2--maybe you'll see that it's not really where you need to be to make friends? I know I felt like I was missing out when DD was a baby, so I tried a few things like gymboree and then realized that wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. And honestly, it's just tough to make friends--working or home--you have to work at it and put yourself out there.

The other moms at my DD's daycare and I became friends over a period of two years--and then we started to get together on weekends and sometimes just as couples. I have to give my daycare center A LOT of credit for creating that kind of community.
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