Do you socialize w/other moms? - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > Do you socialize w/other moms?
Rosehip's Avatar Rosehip 12:11 AM 01-21-2009
Ok, this is a question aimed mainly at full-time WOHMs, or those for other reasons have a schedule/commitments that do not permit them to be around w/their kids much during the day.

I'm a f/t student. So, during breaks, I can do preschool drop-off/pick-up & playdates, etc., which is really nice. I'd like to try to keep up the social connections for DD, but it's tough (she's 4) as my sitter doesn't drive or speak English. My mom could probably do a bit of playdate action...

Anywho - I am really surprised by the amount of social and other activities these preschoolers have! It seems like, at least among those I've gotten to know a bit, the kids & moms have, in addition to preschool, at least one class or playdate per day, often more! I consider myself reasonably social, but it seems like, well, a lot! And also expensive - a good bit of the socializing seems to involve restaurants, and all the classes are pricey (but, it's a fairly wealthy area, and I'm on the low-end of income, so it's not as much of an issue for most). I'd also like to stay in the loop w/the preschool,but again, a lot of costly things - there's a benefit party/dinner thing coming up, and I'd like to go, but it's $75! It just seems like everything comes w/a price tag, and I'm a single, student mom!

So, is all this socializing typical? It seems to me it would be hard to take care of much else (paperwork, cooking, cleaning, etc.). But maybe b/c most of the year I'm in school f/t, and I'm going through a divorce and a few other extremely time-consuming things that I'm more time-strapped than others??

Caneel's Avatar Caneel 01:40 AM 01-21-2009
I work full time and we (I am married) do not do playdates or other kid activities outside of daycare. The only kid thing we do is a pre-school music class for one half-hour each week during the academic year.

Sometimes I do feel guilty as I have close friends that do tons of stuff like play dates, gymnastics, ballet, etc. outside of working hours but I just don't have the time, energy or desire.

I figure DS gets plenty of kid time during the day. Also, we do a lot of things together as a family. We make an effort to have quality family time while he is little. I figure he has many of years of school ahead of him to play time.

In my opinion, carving bits of reading/cuddle/gamd time together is better than running yourself crazy trying to do outside activity.
ArtsyMomma's Avatar ArtsyMomma 01:40 AM 01-21-2009
When I was a SAHM I had so much more time for socializing with friends/their kids. I found some inexpensive classes for my girls. We made lots of friends at a zoo class, we repeated the 8 week class 4 times (different every time at least). We had playdates. I needed the socialization more than the kids! Also, we live in an apartment without a yard, we had to get out everyday or we'd go nuts.

After my divorce, things changed a lot. I dropped the pricey montessori preschool that was 20 minutes away. It was as much about $ as it was about time. I didn't have an hour a day to spend carting the kids around. No more days hanging out by the pool with my SAHM friends, we don't trade babysitting very often anymore. I just don't have the time, when I do have time and the million things I have to do at home aren't on my mind, I just want to relax. My workload doubled (probably tripled since I had just given birth) when my dh walked out on us. I just try to do my best. My 6 year old is in Kindergarten, and my other two are in an awesome daycare center 6 hrs a day. That seems like a lot of socializing to me! And they do all sorts of fun stuff at daycare/school. We still try to get together with friends, but it's not nearly as frequent. Also, it's winter and it's cold. When it warms up and daylight hours increase we will spend a lot more time at the park and doing free outside activities with friends. Summer is so much easier!

Don't feel bad about your lack of socializing. You have a lot on your plate that other mamas might not be dealing with. Do things when you can, do the things you really want to do, and try not to feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses!
rivkah's Avatar rivkah 02:24 AM 01-21-2009
OK, here is my grumpy response: one thing about working that I love is that I pretty much HATED socializing with the "school moms." I was a SAHM for about a year when DS was born and again for about 6 months when we moved to a new state and I was waiting to get into Law School.

I am actually a fairly social person, and I would go to these play dates etc just to have other people to talk to. But seriously, the conversations centering on the sale at Gymboree or some TV show I never watched got old so fast.

At work, I tend to socialize more with other parents, especially mothers, and often our conversations center on children, but somehow they are a lot more tolerable.

In any case, I certainly wouldn't feel obligated to be a lady-who-lunches, just because you have children.
nina_yyc's Avatar nina_yyc 01:00 PM 01-21-2009
Nope. If I was a SAHM and I could afford it, I would be in classes and activities all the time. I have a tiny apartment and an active toddler and I don't play. Since I'm a WOHM it's family time whenever I am not at work. DH is going to be gone for a bunch of weekends on a military course and I probably will try to coordinate with some other moms then, just to have some adult interaction on the weekends.
gabry's Avatar gabry 01:51 PM 01-21-2009
I woh 4 days a week. For ds1 we do playdates usually 1-2x month, on my day off. He goes to swim class once a week, but there's not much socializing involved. He and I play in the water before and after class. For ds2 nothing as of yet.
Once or twice a month we'll get together with friends or family (mostly with kids) one weekend day, more often in the summer.
I'm certainly not looking to fill the schedule up, as others said, family time is a priority.
mommy68's Avatar mommy68 02:07 PM 01-21-2009
I know how you feel. I've always worked atleast part-time over the years since having children. Now that I homeschool my children, work and I'm going back to college I rarely have time to relax and enjoy my family, so I definitely am limited to social outings with other women or much else. I take time to enjoy the time I DO have when doing outings with our homeschool group because that's pretty much the only time I socialize these days.

And I don't know if you are a religious person or not but church is a great place to get in socialization. When we used to be members at a church we went out to eat on Sunday afternoons with people we knew and the kids got to socialize in their sunday school classes. That was easy because Sunday was one day of the week we didn't have other obligations like school or work.
Carita's Avatar Carita 03:05 PM 01-21-2009
never heard about the fancy dinner things - what ever happened to a good old playdate at a free playground?? I will try to get together with moms during school breaks. But honestly, it doesn't happen often as night/weekends are usually family time. But 1x/mo a group of CD/BW/AP moms get together for a potluck and playdate and it is a wonderful break!
staceychev's Avatar staceychev 08:04 PM 01-21-2009
Um, no, I don't--at least not often. I work full time and grade in the evenings. My priority for most nights and weekends is to spend time with my family.
kewb's Avatar kewb 08:16 PM 01-21-2009
When I was a WOHM I did not socialize often at all. My kids did have some playdates but the truth is I guarded the time I had with them. It was my time and they saw their friends plenty during the day.
purplepaperclip's Avatar purplepaperclip 08:34 PM 01-21-2009
Nope. I don't have the time to socialize with anyone really. I wish I had more time to spend with friends, but by the time I get home in the evenings, we're all wiped out and ready for bed. The weekends seem to be consumed by errands and house projects. If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears.
siobhang's Avatar siobhang 09:55 PM 01-21-2009
Big ole ME TOO!

My kids go to a preschool that has mainly SAHMs. They organize play dates for non-school days and school holidays and we can never attend because a. I am working and b. my au pair doesn't feel comfortable at most of them. There are occasions where I am not working but my husband is (like Monday), so I will try to organize a playdate on those days - usually in someone's home.

Our au pair has playdates with her friends and their charges (many in our neighborhood) so it isn't as though my kids don't socialize. And my operations director's little boy is here often in the afternoons, so they have "playdate" with him most days.

And I agree with a PP - the socializing we do do as a family tends to be with church friends, though we also like to entertain with family friendly events here - yesterday we had a family friendly inauguration brunch party - 20 adults, and about 20 kids - it was wild and SO MUCH FUN. The guests were friends and their kids from college, the preschool, and church.

So I guess we do our socializing en mass!
aprilibarra's Avatar aprilibarra 02:25 PM 01-22-2009
i'm in texas too and there is nothing that makes me want to scream more than mommy groups! I've been complaining for years, and i'm so glad i'm not alone. up here its the sale at stride rite and the moms change the subject if i try to talk about anything too substantive. I love theology and my church ladies only like to talk about boring stuff. i've officially ousted the play-date from my life...i just won't waste my life on such superficialities. Up north men will joust with the women on any subject... i miss that. I'm glad you found moms at work to talk to. I'm really lonely.
PiePie's Avatar PiePie 02:05 PM 01-26-2009
i feel you. dd's sch has tons of parents events but i don't want to go because they involve leaving my child for the evening. but i do want (need??) mommy friends. what to do?
rivkah's Avatar rivkah 02:48 PM 01-26-2009
Originally Posted by aprilibarra View Post
i'm in texas too and there is nothing that makes me want to scream more than mommy groups! I've been complaining for years, and i'm so glad i'm not alone. up here its the sale at stride rite and the moms change the subject if i try to talk about anything too substantive. I love theology and my church ladies only like to talk about boring stuff. i've officially ousted the play-date from my life...i just won't waste my life on such superficialities. Up north men will joust with the women on any subject... i miss that. I'm glad you found moms at work to talk to. I'm really lonely.
I'm not sure I notice any difference in conversations between men and women in Texas (I lived in Missouri for a long time). I have only lived in Dallas and Austin, though, so it may be different. I think it is just a function of opportunity to talk to people. I do have a lot of "mommy" conversations with men too, actually. In fact, there is a running joke at our office that none of the people with kids can have a discussion for more than 15 minutes without mentioning poo or breast milk.

When I was a STAHM, I actually always took at least one class, usually at night. I took literature classes, because I like to talk about books. I also made sure to keep up with college friends, and we had lots of phone calls.

I feel everyone's pain about needing adult socialization. Unless you find a great playgroup, usually play dates are the last place to find meaningful (or just not super annoying) conversation. Besides, if you work, who has the time?! Dh and I have always just taken kids everywhere, so we have lots of friends over, and tote kids along to friends houses, whether or not there were other kids involved.