grlprpl19 - ha, my married friends with kids don't even attempt playdates...they all just don't understand why I don't want to go out on Saturday nights like they do every weekend with their husbands! When my daughter was almost 2 I left her in the evening for the first time ever and it was miserable. I just don't like being away from her at that time and no one gets that. If I can't take her, I don't go. She won't always be this little and it is already slipping away.
Anyone in Dallas want to be my new bff? :)
WOW, this is definitely my tribe. It seems like all of the parent-kid activities are during the day while I'm at work. I can't even take my kid to the zoo unless it's the weekend, they close a 4 pm. I would love for there to be activities we could do together in the evening after work. My DD is a night owl and is rarely in bed before 10 pm. But there's no place family friendly to go at night. So yeah no opportunities to meet like-minded parents. At work its mostly men, there are only four women (including me) in the building. I'm the only one with a toddler and they're all pretty mainstream. Fortunately they're all pretty nice, for the most part we talk about the good stuff (kids milestones and achievements, etc.) and agree to disagree on the rest. Since no one else has an itty bitty I don't have to hear stories of sleep training, CIO, etc. So its OK at work but I would love to have an AP mommy friend. I think I'd be a better parent as well if I had someone to share experiences with. There is a great AP group and they've got an online forum. Its just really easy to feel out of place when everyone else knows each other IRL.
lunarlady, maybe what I said didn't come out quite right! I by no means meant that we SHOULD feel guilty for not being with our babies 24/7! we are out there working to support them! and it's true that taking breaks sometimes can make us better parents when we are with our kids. And I don't mean at all that it's somehow bad or wrong for moms who do have the financial option to stay home or work to choose to work! absolutely not!
I don't want to stay at home forever. But I just feel that I don't even get a choice of how much time to be away from my little baby girl--being away 10 hours a day 5 days a week from a nursing baby is just too much, at least for us. And 12 weeks leave (half of it unpaid) was also way too short--I'd barely figured out how to breastfeed by then, and was struggling with trying to treat a resistant case of thrush (which I STILL have, partly because I don't have time to aggressively pursue treatment... I won't even get into how much I hate pumping, either.). I'd love to work from home some days, or work part time, or bring her to work, even.
If I was at home more of the time with my daughter, I'd be very grateful for breaks and help from my husband and mom. I might even feel like I could sometimes go on dates with my husband without baby along -- right now, that almost never happens, because after being away from her all day, I just can't stand being away from her in the evening, too.
anyway... this morning was particularly rough. Now she is starting to reach her arms out when she wants to be picked up, so my husband was holding her when I was walking out to go to work (20 minutes late because I couldn't stop kissing her curly little head) and she was holding her arms out and I just started crying... sigh.
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.
Sewing, knitting, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering + working mama to baby Zora (born 6/22/10)
I wanted to join in this thread, I can empathisize with so many of the posts.
Most of my female friends are APish so that is good, and most are friends I have from undergrad so 10years+, or from grad school so 5 years+. But I just have trouble finding the time to do things together. They would love to do things during the workday - but I just can't. The weekend is filled with tasks like food shopping and laundry, and I am often so exhausted from work and getting to and from 2 different daycares M-F (I was unable to find 2 open spots at the same daycare, and we cannot afford a nanny), that I don't walsya have the energy to schedule and do things on the weekend.
At work, my office is small - 3 fulltime employees and the other 2 are not in the same stage in life, one is younger than me and single and the other much older than I and we are culturally very different, so no real companionship in the office. But I like what I do.
This morning was super hard for me, too. DS2 started crying as soon as we turned down the blosk to his daycare. Say "No Mommy! No Mommy!" And then I found out my favorite teacher at his daycare got a new job and will be leaving in 2 weeks! Arghhh!
Anyway it is helpful to comiserate and be encouraged here. Thanks for the thread and responses.
Mama of 3 little boys - DS1 4/08, DS2 4/09, DS3 12/11
i am so glad i saw this today!!! i have been feeling particularly bummed out lately-- i think bc of the winter weather and the fact that my boys and husband have been sick for the past month. what social events we had been invited to we didnt' attend bc a) event was not kid-friendly or b) someone was sick.
i don't get into parenting styles when trying to find a play date. i can talk a lot of that stuff online or with the few AP-style friends i do have.
My main problem is that only one of my good friends has a baby and her daughter is not quite yet old enough for when we can do kid stuff together. I can't wait until the rest of my friends have kids. they can be so self-absorbed at times that i have to distance myself or else i just start getting angry.
i just found out that someone i work with has similar parenting styles. His wife stays home, but i think we might try to get together with them on the weekends. And this morning i realizied a somewhat distant work acquaintance has boys my sons' ages so maybe i will try to figure out how to get closer to her as well...
glad to read i am not the only one struggling with this. send me a mail if you are in the DC-NOVA area :)
What a great thread to start! Sounds like some very cool mamas out there. Isn't it crazy that we can feel so isolated at the same time that we can be "cyberconnected" to so many people almost instantaneously? I think the problem is that we crave something a little slower, more organic, and personal.
Tired mama to my wild child
I feel for you. I thought I was over it until my kids changed schools. We are now at a lovely montessori, but all the playdates for their class have been during the week, and all the "coffee cups" with the school director are mornings during the week. You would think that as a private school, they would realize that there is a higher chance that 2 working parents could stay in the school longer than SAH parents.....cater to us a little bit, shoudlnt they?
its been hard. DD's birthday is next weekend. 5 preschool friends are coming, but one 2 friends from her current class! at least thats 2 more parents i will now know :)
Yes...we private school as well and all the meetings and events are of course during the day which sucks. I try to get there when I can but yes, I feel a bit "shunned" by the SAH moms that can be really invested in the school. TBH, I stopped volunteering because many of the other moms were so cliqueish.
think we may be switching teachers next year. if the kids are in the spanish immersion class, then that group of parents seem to have more evening events....like pot lucks, etc. there are a few parent-only events that are in the evening/weekend, which we are attending (they offer child care during these times so that the parents can attend). so, hopefully our feeling so left out will diminish in time. afterall, there are very few SAH parents when the kids are 10, right? so, every year, i'm hoping, will be easier.
Hi Poodge. I live in Lakewood Colorado, not close enough to you for regular get togethers but maybe some day! I am a mom of a 5 month old and I work full time. I work almost an hour from my house. With dropping my son off at my parents before work, I am gone from my house for 12 hours a day and gone from my son for 10 hours. I have no choice in the matter, as my husband lost his job shortly after I have birth. He is currently part time and actively looking, but we are not secure enough for me to take time off. I had hoped to go part time after the birth.
I totally feel isolated. I don't have the time to hang out with mom groups, they are mostly during the day. My friends who are parents are mostly of the conventional mind set. A few breastfeed, none of them co-sleep. I really appreciate these boards so I can share concerns and feel like I am communing with others of a like mind set. I have my midwife to talk to. She has become a cherished friend and ali. She supports and encourages me in my AP choices and has educated me greatly as well.
It is the long work hours that really get to me. I hear you on that. I do think we can still be AP parents even though we have to work to provide for our kids. I am not a fan of having to check things off a list in order to belong to anything but I think we are all like minded enough to get along and support each other in the journey of motherhood.
I am here and near if you need someone to talk to!
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.
HUGS I am in the SAME boat as you. I know JUST what you mean.. NO ONE can relate to me at work. I get LOTS of people rolling their eyes and not beign supportive at all! When I talk about breastfeeding and going back to work people say things like "well stop breastfeeding" and "she's just have to get over being upset at day care" These things are hurtful and NOT helpful at all.
I think what I need to do is just KNOW I am makign the best choices for my baby and I don't care what others say.
a HUGE help is facebook... I have met an AMAZING group of like minded mommies there and found this has helped me feel way better. Just a thought :)
i definitely feel the isolation. i'm in the navy and i work from 7:30am til 4:30pm. i have a 4 1/2 month old daughter who is in daycare, i feel like they see her more than i do sometimes! fortunately i get to see her during my lunch hour when i go to the daycare and nurse her. i even tried to find a la leche league meeting that i can attend but of course they are during the week an hour away! i hope as she gets older things get better! i retire from the navy in 2013 so after that i plan to be a sahm for a little while!
Blake201 - My son was born the day after your daughter!! He just started reaching out too!! This week it's been impossible to leave him when he starts to wimper and reach out to me when i leave =( though i have to confess that it feels good to see that he needs me as much as i need him. is that lame? i wish this country supported the health of mothers and children. Some countries get a year of maternity leave 100% paid!!! heaven.
I agree, being a working parent is incredibly isolating, even more so when your parenting/life styles are not mainstream. My husband and I work full time but are also breastfeeding, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, striving-to-live-mindfully types. There are so many times when I am almost in tears, wishing I had someone to turn to for advice or understanding, but I do not know anyone who both works and shares my philosophy. When I'm feeling lost and wishing for guidance, I try to take a deep breath and say to myself: "find your own path" and then I try to see with my heart the right course of action. Another thing that I find helpful is to value what different people have to offer so I go to certain people with professional issues others with parenting issues others with personal issues. The online community is a great help too especially mothering.com. Good luck to all the mamas out there who are finding their own paths...!