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Any Other Working Moms Feeling Isolated? - Page 3

post #41 of 74

I know exactly how you feel.  I'm an accountant at a very small company and therefore spend most of my days in my office staring at Excel.  The only people in the office to socialize with are my parents age, save the adminstrative assistant that is young, single and without kids.  I have found friends outside of work, but their family lives are very different from ours.  They have all decided to have one child and are all very mainstream.  I'm hoping that putting our DS1 (3.5 years) in preschool 2 days a week will help me to find other parents and hopefully find some that are like minded.  I am a member of a mom's group and while I love the mom's only gatherings, I do feel VERY different and feel as though they think I am reckless for homebirthing and co-sleeping and they can't relate to the mommy side.  I try and avoid the play groups and other gatherings with kiddos for that very reason.  It seems to be amplified that I am "different" when the kids are around.

post #42 of 74

Love this thread! I just kept nodding while reading through. 99% of parenting meetups and activities--especially AP ones, it seems--are during the day. And weekends tend to be sacred family time. 

 

At first I really struggled to find anyone to meet with or talk to (besides online). Lately I have found a local babywearing group that meets on weekends once a month, and most of the moms in it are awesome and generally have similar or at least compatible philosophies about parenting.  And my local La Leche group meetings once a month at 6 p.m., so if I leave work early I can bring DD there to breastfeed and hang out with other babies, though I haven't really made any actual friends. 

 

I'm actually taking a week of vacation this month and as a treat to myself I scheduled a bunch of  activities for me and baby girl that normally only SAHM's get to do: a Baby and Me yoga session, a thrift-shopping outing with some babywearing mamas from the group mentioned above, and just hanging out at a SAHM friend's apartment with her and her baby and making dinner.  

 

But it's not just working moms who are isolated--my husband is currently at home with our daughter (he just got laid off) and he's having trouble too, since most of those groups and activities are for moms...

post #43 of 74

That's why I joined this page. I wanted a community of like-minded moms. Because even working at an organic/natural foods co-op, there are no other mothers who seem to parent the way that I parent. It's pretty disheartening at times.

post #44 of 74

I hear ya, sister.  In fact, I don't post on MDC very often because I feel like I don't really "belong". I am new to the AP terminology, but I didn't realize we working mamas couldn't be AP mamas!   Just wanted to chime in to let you know that you're definitely not alone! hug.gif   

post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyforAshes View Post

I hear ya, sister.  In fact, I don't post on MDC very often because I feel like I don't really "belong". I am new to the AP terminology, but I didn't realize we working mamas couldn't be AP mamas!   Just wanted to chime in to let you know that you're definitely not alone! hug.gif   


Hey BeautyforAshes, just wanted to let you know that I consider myself to be very AP and I work full time, sometimes more than the definition of full-time.  Don't let people convince you that you can't AP because you WOH.  I think that people get caught up in a checklist mentality and forget what AP is actually about:  forming strong attachments with your child.  This can be achieved in any number of ways and I feel that my situation is living proof of that!  You're more than welcome here!
 

post #46 of 74

I'm normally not a huggy person, but this thread is giving me warm fuzzies.  :)

 

I feel so VALIDATED reading all of your comments.  I made friends with a SAHM who also delivered at our birth center and when it was time for me to go back to work, she started cancelling all of our playdates for afternoons and weekends citing that her spouse said those times were FAMILY time.  I was a snarky combination of totally irritated and bummed.    Family is what you make it, and if friends are important to you, you can make it work.  I'm an introvert, so my coping technique is just to spend time with the kids on my own and go places like parks and museums.  I don't think my kid cares at her age about having friends she sees on a regular basis.  Once she's in pre-school, I hope to meet moms that also work and maybe our kids will tolerate one another!

 

I also want to agree with PPs about being crunchy/AP/etc. and working.  Working has made me all the more determined to have extended and tandem breastfeeding, and even my husband says that co-sleeping is the best thing we've implemented as a family.

 

In summary, I wish all of us were in a room together and could have our kids of all ages hang out because THIS GROUP IS THE EXACT THING I WOULD LOVE FOR "REAL LIFE"!!

post #47 of 74

Sing it Mommas, exactly why I joined this board.  I was a SAHM last year and felt less isolated!  I had this amazing network of playdates, playgroups, and museum dates (we lived in a small city).  Now I work FT, and my husband stays at home with the girls in a small town.  Sometimes I think it is the small town that makes me feel isolated, but it is the working too.  Even though many of my co-workers have children of a similar age, we are all too busy to hash out the Mom stuff, or just plain socialize.  They seem to get the parenting type I am.... though I have been walked in on multiple times while pumping despite the signage on my office door.  Thinking of buying caution tape to string across so I can have some privacy!

 

(Zippy-francis it looks like we have 2 girls almost the exact same age!)

post #48 of 74

Ah the memories of pumping while working and people walking in on me. It was so amusing to me, because I was never the cover up type and they knew the area was designated for my pumping so I always found it hilarious to see their expressions when they walked in. I am certain that they were far more embarassed than I ever was! Funny!

 

KJunebug-how old are your girls? Mine are 16 mo apart, and I worked full time with both pregnancies and since. It is a tough gig sometimes, but life is so much easier now that they are a little older, I can barely remember all the struggles I had. But I know there was MANY tough times! Heck we are planning for a 3rd soon, so I know I can survive it!

 

I am very stuck in the middle, all my working friends, co-workers etc didnt get the nursing, no vax, no circ, cloth diaper beliefs I had. And all the SAHM I know DONT get the need to work either. All I ever hear is how, "if I wanted to, I could make it work on one income" nonsense as if they have any concept of my life or finances. And they dont get why I didnt cosleep and extend nurse, etc. Plus for me, extended bf and cloth diapering didnt pan out because I did work. I can tell you I had ZERO time to wash diapers after working a full day and then coming home to take are of house/kids. And I pumped but neither of my littles made it to 12 mo breastfeeding, or beyond. But pumping and giving them a bottle just diminished my supply and made it hard for me to continue to do both.

 

I cherished the time that I had, but I let it go also. Ok with moving on with the next stage of my life, I know it will come around again.

post #49 of 74

I know that feeling. I stopped posting on MDC so much and stopped receiving Mothering when I went back to work. Partly because I didn't have the time to post. But mainly because I felt like I was on the outside of what was "ideal". I didn't feel like Mothering really touches on the fact that many moms HAVE to work either financiall or for their own sanity. And that bringing your baby to work or WAHMing just isn't an option for a lot of us.

post #50 of 74

Popping in late to say: yes, I have felt isolated at work and have often gotten glaring or disapproving looks/comments from people about my choices.

 

I work in a law firm so it's a very traditional environment. A good percentage of the lawyers here are male and old school. When I was hired, DD was 10 months old so I asked about a pumping area. The HR lady looked at me like I had a second head; she blatantly told me that "no one" had *ever* asked them for that before, and also demanded to know exactly how long I planned on "doing that". Let's just say I'm glad she's not with the firm anymore.

 

Most of the people here have never heard of someone nursing a child past 6 months, let alone 12 months. Heck, a young lawyer here who's wife just had a baby is proudly discussing weaning their daughter by the age of 4 months! I'm considered a weirdo for having nursed DD till 21 months (even though I felt SO guilty for weaning then!). I've been given much unwanted advice about the dangers of cosleeping, and have been warned that if I don't "potty train" DD RIGHT NOW, she'll be in diapers at the age of 6.

 

Generally, I keep my yap shut because I don't feel like arguing most days. If I feel like shocking someone, I'll mention nursing DD in public after she was 12 months.

 

As for having contact with other AP parents...I just don't. I WOH full-time, I go to grad school part-time, I'm a single mama and I'm generally exhausted. I have MDC and another like-minded single mama who has lunch with me every once in a while since we work close by...but that's it. I really miss those Nourri-Source meeting and storytime hour at the library...

post #51 of 74

 

Poodge and beebalmmama: i'm a NoCo mom too. Maybe we should form our own cruncy working moms weekend playgroup so we won't feel so lonely. I've got a 4yo and a 4 month old. We could do a meet up at a park or somewhere the kids can run and play. Yes, the 4 yo is still a boob hound. How's that for unusual? I swear that people at work are shocked i'm still pumping for the four month old. They would fall out of their chairs if they knew about the four year old. That makes me both greensad.gif and redface.gif since I never wanted to be "normal" anyway.
post #52 of 74

One more to chime in...

I'm not working now, but going to school full time.  I feel very isolated, because I split my time so much between school and home.  At school, I only have time to go to class and come straight home so my husband can go to work.  At home, I have tons of homework to do (which I am trying to keep until after bedtime but it is very hard!)  On the weekend we spend time as a family.  I have been trying to find some sort of playgroup or meeting or ANYTHING in the afternoon, since I am just not available at 10 am! 

There are a few opportunities to meet my needs for adult interaction, even under such circumstances.  My Spanish class gives me a chance to talk to other people during class (though not necessarily with mothers and, well, in another language!)  Last term I took an online class in human development, and during the childhood chapters, our online discussions provided a great opportunity for mothers in the class to share their development-related experiences!

It's hard when you don't have many choices.  It helps me to have eyes open to recognizing the opportunities lurking within my situation and take as much advantage of them as possible.

I also agree, my choices (and/or lack of choice) tend not to line me up in the "expected" categories of "traditional," "alternative," or "AP".  It's hard to feel that you can really relate to any of them.  Typically that means my husband gets to hear about most of it!  I try to relate with mothers that I get to talk to, on the levels that we are likely to mostly agree.  Maybe not the best approach looking at the big picture, but it helps keep me from feeling like I am going to be judged at every moment.

Good luck working, student moms!  I know we can find ways to AP, take care of what life presents us with, and feel like normal human beings!

post #53 of 74

Boy could I have written that post.  Sort of.  How is this for isolated?  I am the working mother of a toddler (fair enough), I am single (adds more social awkwardness to any friendship especially with other parents who want to hang out as couples) and my job is actually as a Nanny/Household Manager.  So I have no work friends (well unless you count my 2 year old and their 3 year old, I don't!).  The only other adult I see some days is my boss who while we are friendly we have very different ideas of many parenting ideals.  My single friends don't get it, my friends without kids think I am some sort of crazy person for attachment parenting, and the day time Moms I do hang out with are all SAHM's that are in a completely different socio economic world than I am.  I love my job and that I get to spend my days with my daughter but I can completely relate to not being able to find your "tribe".  I keep thinking I am going to work on it more too but life gets in the way and I forget until the next time I think "I need new friends".

post #54 of 74

Zippy_francis I must have mis-read, my girls are 26 months apart.... 34 months and 8 months right now.

 

I am a professor, and I sort of love setting the example for my students.  I walked into class the other day and caught them joking good naturedly about how they thought I would hike to school in a blizzard with my babies on my back, but I think... while they joke about it now, someday soon enough one of them will want to hike to school with a baby on their back, and I'll have helped make it seem more normal.

 

That said, I would love to know why they think I take a "personal break" every 3 hours....  

 

I had major nursing issues with both girls, saw every lactation consultant in North America it felt like....  but I like even having just one bottle to offer my little one after a day away.  While I don;t nurse my toddler, I would if she were game....  what would my students think of that?

post #55 of 74

You are not alone!

I have the same feelings in a daily basis. The working environment I have experienced for both of my kids is like this:

 

Moms that are dedicated professionals and have kids  They nurse their babies for the shortest amount of time possible,  mostly mixed with formula by choice not need; they take the minimum maternity leave and put the kid in the most convenient, and usually the most expensive and best looking, commercial day care for them,- oh yes, they have to have daily reports and cameras if possible! These moms  take babies to the docs, do all the shots, follow the whole protocol, and go by the books, they manage to keep their lives pretty much as it was before, having a kid (or more) is just like having another project to takle at work, a managing issue. You try to have a conversation about kids with one of these moms and it is basically what they heard from the day care or from the school report if they are older.

 

So it is really hard to relate, let alone try to have a friend! Sometimes I think I am trying the impossible and should give up working to be with my two girls, but then there is the money issue, and the fear of not being able to provide as they get older and have more needs.

 

When I stayed home for 18 months with my first, I had to scoop out moms that had the similar parenting style I did. Even in holistic moms groups and LLL groups I had a real challenge.

 

So I don´t think being at home makes you naturally more connected to other moms with kids same age.  

 

Try to keep everything in perspective, keep your good old friends, even if you can`t  talk about babies, be a friend to them, because the kids will grow up, have their own friends and your old friends will always be the ones that know you best.

 

One day, a friend of my mothers said to me that I was on the hatching stage, like a bird that sits on its eggs and hardly moves for several days. Isolated.

I totally related! Know it will pass and that with no sitting there will be no chicks, so all the time, dedication and isolation is worth and it goes by so quickly.

It is an opportunity to grow and mature.

 

I also watched March of Penguins several times to help me keep humble.

 

Hope that helps!

kiss.gif

post #56 of 74

KJunebug, I feel you--I haven't been walked in on, because I can lock my door, but I get people trying to open the door or knocking. And I have Christmas wrapping paper covering my office window for privacy. And my husband (who just got laid off) is staying at home now... I hate to say I'm jealous, but I totally am. Except he's more stressed out and isolated than I would be, as most daytime parent activities are for moms. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJunebug View Post

Sing it Mommas, exactly why I joined this board.  I was a SAHM last year and felt less isolated!  I had this amazing network of playdates, playgroups, and museum dates (we lived in a small city).  Now I work FT, and my husband stays at home with the girls in a small town.  Sometimes I think it is the small town that makes me feel isolated, but it is the working too.  Even though many of my co-workers have children of a similar age, we are all too busy to hash out the Mom stuff, or just plain socialize.  They seem to get the parenting type I am.... though I have been walked in on multiple times while pumping despite the signage on my office door.  Thinking of buying caution tape to string across so I can have some privacy!

 

(Zippy-francis it looks like we have 2 girls almost the exact same age!)

post #57 of 74

P.S. On the issue of working moms feeling like we automatically don't qualify as official Attachment Parenters no matter how much we babywear and breastfeed and bedshare and whatever... I say hogwash. I remember when I was pregnant and reading the Sears "Baby Book", I kept thinking "yes, exactly, totally"... until I got to the part where Sears pretty much says that if you can't rearrange your finances or get a grandparent to fund you so Mom can stay home with baby, you're hurting your child. Then I just started crying and feeling guilty.

 

It got worse when I actually had to go back to work at 12 weeks, because I found (and still find) it almost physically painful to be away from my little sweetheart 10 hours per day. For a while I used my remaining vacation days to work just 4 days per week, but when those ran out and I asked if part-time work were possible, I was told it was not. And then my husband got laid off. 

 

So I'm not mad at Sears, here. I absolutely do believe it would be more beneficial for my daughter (and for me) if we could be together most of the day every day, especially in her first three years of life. I wish that this country had a sane maternity leave policy so all moms could stay home with their babies paid at least partially for a year or two. If a magic pile of money ever falls out of the sky, or my husband suddenly lands some wellpaid job, you can bet I will cut back to working very part-time or freelance from home. 

 

In the meantime, I do my best. I'm lucky enough to have family to take care of my daughter during the day--usually my mom, thought currently my husband while he is unemployed. So they Skype me once a day so I can "talk" to her, and sometimes they wear her in a baby carrier on the subway to bring her to my office during lunch to nurse and cuddle. And I spend every second I DO have available being close with my daughter. I rush home the minute work ends, tear off my coat, shove the pumped milk in the fridge, wash my hands, and grab the baby to nurse her. I wear her while making dinner (safely!), hold her on my lap and/or nurse her while I eat, bathe her and kiss her and play with her until she goes to bed. She sleeps next to me all night and nurses frequently. 

 

Anyway, wouldn't it be a double standard to say working women can't be attachment parents but working men can? I've never heard anyone accuse a working father of not being a proper AP parent due to his job... unless I'm missing something.

 

Anyway, yes, I imagine this awful feeling I have--part guilt, part defiance--must be a bit how otherwise crunchy formula-feeding mamas who wish they could breastfeed feel when surrounded by breast-feeding mamas... Yes, it's much better for babies to breastfeed. Yes, it's much better for babies and moms to be together as much as possible. But life isn't perfect, and we do the best we can.

post #58 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by blake201 View Post




 



Sometimes i think that is true. But my DD1 is a very high needs child, willful, independent, and moody. I love, love, love her to death, but sometimes I think that if she and i were together 24-7-365 I might pull my hair out. Going to work gives me a break from the mommy, mommy, mommy grind, and i think that is what makes me a better mom and helps me appreciate the time that I do get to devote to my kids. I hold on to my patience more and can deal with DD better in small, measured doses. That sounds really awful when I read back over it...

I just wish I had more friends, mommy or not. But it is one of those things that get lost in the limited hours of my working days.
post #59 of 74

I stumbled upon this thread and it is so on point with how I am feeling.  I can relate to all of you, and to some of you I can really relate.

 

I'm a single mother of a 6 month old.  I work full time as an attorney (non profit).  I'm originally from San Francisco where my values were born, but I currently live in Los Angeles where my values are in the minority.  I live with my parents who help me tremendously but I have no social life.  Most of my friends don't have kids, and the ones that do are married and have totally different parenting styles than I do.  My coworkers are all young, single, childless women (my status a year ago) and are not understanding at all.  The moms i do know consider work a vacation from their child whereas my heart breaks every time i have to leave my baby. 

 

So who can i relate to?  No one.  Or at least that's how it feels.  I wish i could spend the whole day with my son, playing with him, showing him the world.  instead i come home from work, hold him and play with him till he goes to sleep a couple of hours later.  rinse and repeat.  rinse and repeat. 

 

i'll post this response and that will be the closest thing i'll get to community.  i wish we were all saying this to each other in person =/

 

p.s. my mom was a single mother who worked full time.  she worked 2 jobs, came home, nursed me and i slept in her bed at night.  i had and continue to have a wonderful relationship with her and i grew up to be a very secure, independent woman.  so don't worry moms, despite the time apart, your kids feel your love when you come home.  even through the night =)

post #60 of 74

hello fellow single mom!  yeah! how awkward is it to have a play date with a couple?  wtf?  it is sooo lame.  and yet, it's less lame than hanging with some single friends with my baby.  that's even more awkward sometimes. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanny2032 View Post

Boy could I have written that post.  Sort of.  How is this for isolated?  I am the working mother of a toddler (fair enough), I am single (adds more social awkwardness to any friendship especially with other parents who want to hang out as couples) and my job is actually as a Nanny/Household Manager.  So I have no work friends (well unless you count my 2 year old and their 3 year old, I don't!).  The only other adult I see some days is my boss who while we are friendly we have very different ideas of many parenting ideals.  My single friends don't get it, my friends without kids think I am some sort of crazy person for attachment parenting, and the day time Moms I do hang out with are all SAHM's that are in a completely different socio economic world than I am.  I love my job and that I get to spend my days with my daughter but I can completely relate to not being able to find your "tribe".  I keep thinking I am going to work on it more too but life gets in the way and I forget until the next time I think "I need new friends".

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