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#1 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm an introverted homebody and winter really reminds me of this. I'm pretty content to be at home all day for days on end. Well, truthfully, we do get out for a little bit every day, but as far as seeing other people, not so much. Anyway, with this comes guilt that I'm not letting DD (3 years) get enough socialization. For the most part I don't stress over this, but after having a conversation with DH about it, I am wondering if I need to be making more of an effort to get her around other kids. Thoughts? Do you make playdates and other social activities a priority for your LOs or do you not worry about it? FTR, DD is pretty shy and seems fine staying at home. She does not like large groups, never has, but she does have her regular group of friends and she plays fine with them when we do see them.
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#2 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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We live in a very rural community of about 300 people. Right now there are feet of snow and it's warm when it hits 7 degrees out. I like to think that if I were still living in Seattle that I/we would not be the recluse I am now. I mourn lost opportunities & events. There is one other LO here that is close to DS's age and when they get a little older (DS is 6 mos) I'll probably ask to watch her maybe once a week so they can play. All the other LO here are 18 months +.
I work the concession stand at the school and DS is the center of attention. He gets passed from one person to the next for about 4 hours on the days we have games. It also gets me out of the house and I really enjoy that time. When I go to school he is mobbed and we've been passing him around with the kids since he was 4 days old. Their parents freak out a little but they have all done really well with him.
I would do story time at a minimum, if we had such a thing but, I don't feel like Ds will be missing out on social developement by not being part of a playgroup.

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#3 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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I think if I weren't a home, I'd end up staying home for days on end. When I was pregnant I was perfectly content to stay home, read, and venture out with DH to get dinner or something. It was a cozy time, and I love being home.

DD is happy if we go out; I take her to museums, for walks, and on errands with me and she genuinely loves saying hello to everyone she sees. Play dates we do once a week, sometimes more, but I'm often wiped out after them, even if she's having a blast. So are we recluses? No, we go out quite a few times a week, but we also spend a great deal of time at home. I think there can be a balance!

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#4 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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Introvert here too! DH calls me a hermit lol. I do go out to take our oldest DD to school, take the girls to park, go grocery shopping, the library etc but as far as getting out to see friends, etc not so much. I am a big homebody and if I don't have to go somewhere I like to be at home. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. To me that is what school and time with grandparents, birthday parties etc. provide. I like to take the kids on occasion to the zoo, shopping, for ice cream etc but I just really like being home!

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#5 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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I guess I am. I also live rurally. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get anywhere "fun" although I do have friends nearby. I take my son to preschool 2 days a week. Other than that I would be content to spend the entire winter in my home. Even in the summer I prefer to hang at home in my yard. I live on a lake so really why would I leave? But I do really rely on some of my more take charge friends to invite us to go somewhere, whether its a playgroup or an outing at a local play spot. I don't know why I don't do it myself more often. My DS's are very social and I'm glad that we're going preschool this year. Makes us all get out of our pj's occasionally.

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#6 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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noooooooo...i love to get out. After staying at home for a few years, I am a lot more patient when I can't get out though.
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#7 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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Going through this right now...DD is 29 months old and loves other kids. The thought of going to a playgroup makes my skin crawl though. I believe it has to be done, though, especially when you live in a colder climate and you can't just run out to the park to play whenever you want to.

We do story time at the library right now, a signing class (also at the library), and I think next week I'm going to try a parented gymnastics class. I told my husband, in no uncertain terms am I going over to someone else's house to drink coffee and yak while my toddler plays with other kids. Nope, not gonna happen. We'll find other ways of interacting with other kids.

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#8 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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Are you a recluse?

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#9 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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Yes!!! Now all three of my boys are at school I find I am so happy to be able to stay at home even to the point where I will find excuses to not have friends over or go visit them. I was far better at being sociable when I had little ones at home.
I can easily see myself as a doddering old lady with a house full of cats and dogs, never leaving the house!
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#10 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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I am the same as you. I'm perfectly content at home all day. I've always been a home body, and very private. I like my days to be mellow. I also like to be home to cook, clean, etc. I have many friends with kids who are constantly on the go all week doing really fun things. I just don't like to go out that much. I've worried about the effect this has on ds. He's only 1 1/2 so I *hope* that being home with me is all he really needs right now. We go to the library toddler hour once a week, and in the summers we go to parks and such, but usually alone, not with friends. When I feel guilty I will make plans to go to the aquarium, childrens museum, etc.
Another thing is, DH and I only have one car. He is at work all day with the car so...I don't really have a choice one way or the other.
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#11 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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I am I guess, but I don't like the word recluse, that's like calling extremely social people busy bodies lol. There's got to be a more pleasant word for it.

We're a house of mostly introverts and I don't enjoy (actually makes me physically depleted) running around every day. I see posts about people freaking out if they can't go shopping/out every single day and I cringe, that is a nightmare senario for my me. Sometimes I wish I enjoyed it more like the majority of people seem to, but I guess we are who we are right?

It definitely saves money.
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#12 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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Yep- recluse here. But I'm working on it, because DD really enjoys being around other kids. We go to storytime at the library once a week, and we're starting toddler yoga classes this afternoon!

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#13 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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DD and I go out everyday for a bit and we do a lotof activities together. Unfortunately,we don't do a lot of playdates because I don't know a lot of SAHM. If it were just me, I'd likely only go out when I have to but I really do not like the cold. In the summer time, I love being out and about more frequently.
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#14 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I think I'm somewhere in the middle...I love being home, but I also enjoy getting out for a little while. Then returning to my cozy home...

And you're right. It saves a lot of money.

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#15 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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I tend this way myself, especially in the wintertime. That's why I decided against homeschooling for DD1-- she's VERY sociable and loves to spend time with a variety of people, and I just knew I wouldn't be able to provide for that need if she was with me all day.

I'm working on it, though, because the twins are almost 3 and getting to an age where they like having other kids around. Luckily I have one friend with a kid the same age who is very outgoing-- SHE makes the effort and comes over or makes plans that include us, and then I just kinda go along with what she decides.

I do get them out every week to church and Sunday school, and I think that's important. And I've got them enrolled in Music Together this winter, to make sure that at least we're getting out once in the week besides church.

But left to myself I probably would stay home for weeks on end and be perfectly happy about it.

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#16 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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Wow, so know what you mean!

I am definitely a recluse, but a social recluse rather than physically preferring home over being out. I love being out in nature, alone, with just my kids. And so I take my three LO's out to parks and the nearby mountains nearly every day... I prefer going without friends or other people because then I end up paying way more attention to the people with me, which is fine, but then I miss out on the quiet and the peacefulness of nature which is really nourishing to me... So, I prefer to spend time with friends at other times, and not too often at that.


I have often felt guilty about not exposing my girls to more social groups... very often, actually... like I was isolating them... especially when I see other kids my girls' age playing around, very extroverted... BUT, both my husband and I are more introverted and so are my children. So, it's more natural for us to enjoy quiet and alone times.

But mostly, I really believe these days that we live in such a crazy busy and active and fast-paced world that offering our kids quiet and slow childhoods is actually a gift!!! I WANT my children to be comfortable with silence, with aloneness, to be able to be alone versus searching out company at all time and all costs... I WANT my children to be able to choose to be in company when they need it and to be alone when they need it, and to KNOW when they need which! So many young people, especially, are so anxious about being alone... I'm glad that my circumstances growing up taught me to enjoy and appreciate and be brave when I was alone.

Anyway, our kids WILL be in social situations soon enough... whether it be through school or scouts or soccer or music lessons or dance or whatever activities they choose to do... so, personally, I don't see any reason to rush into it!

Of my two girls (ages 5 and 3.5, and I have a brand new baby boy now, too), my eldest just started preschool now, two afternoons per week, at age 5, and before that she took a couple of art and music classes for an hour each a week, and that was it. We have a couple of friends we see once a month, and extended family, and that's the extent of our social lives. I don't feel at all that they have suffered for it! They are close with their grandparents and they really enjoy each other's company (when they are not fighting!). And the younger one is only now feeling ready to take a little 45 minute class by herself, once a week, with my waiting outside the door.

I love having them close to me and I love not being distracted by other people and other people's children when I spend time with my girls. This time is so precious and so short... I want to make the most of it!!! So, no silly play dates for us - unless we really really love the people and can't wait to see them!!! But never just to fill time and space...

Agnieszka wife to Kevin, Kalina (Jan 7, 2005), Tosia (June 4, 2006) , and baby Emmett (Dec 27, 2009)
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#17 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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This is definitely me.

I can be at home for days on end without leaving and not even notice. Usually DH will have to point it out to me. I try with good intentions to make more regular plans with people, but most often I fail miserably.
It's such a double edge sword for me, though, in my own mind.
Part of me does feel bad (for DS and for friends) that I don't do more and I'm sure some people assume that my lack of getting out more has something to do with them when it doesn't. It really just depends on how burnt out I am with being around other people... because I do find it exhausting no matter how much I like someone.
On the other hand I know I'm doing what I can while still feeling comfortable and I'm learning to be ok with that. I don't always want to feel like I'm forcing myself to do things, and most often I do feel that way.

I've been this way since I was very young and spent a few years (mainly from the time DS was a baby until he was 3) trying to change this about myself. I've come to realize that doing so really only makes me miserable. Having a miserable Mom is worse, in my opinion, than not getting out of the house on a daily basis.

DS, on the other hand, is a social butterfly and almost *needs* to interact with others. This is a small part of the reason I started him in preschool at 3 (prior to that we did do some classes which is easier on me that play groups). He gets his social needs met and I don't feel stressed out to get him out every day. By the time he gets out of school, I only have about 3 hours with him (not including cooking/eating dinner) until bed time and usually want to spend that time with him alone.
Now that DS is in his 2nd year of preschool and going full day at his request (from 8:30am - 3pm), I really feel like both of our needs our being met pretty equally. This also means that we really don't do much with anyone else, though.

- Jen, Mama to DS1 (02.04.05) and DS2 (02.11.10) & baby #3 due in early January 2013

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#18 of 29 Old 01-15-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Another recluse here. DD is 3.

However, our activities our getting us out more. Playgroup once a week, skating one day, ballet the next and soccer soon. But I'm not really being socially engaged as much as DD is.

I almost always enjoy any social engagements I have (usually at someone else's invitation) but I just can't seem to make the initiative myself to get out.

Also, parenting solo makes it really hard to go out. I just have so much to do every day if we go out it means something in the house doesn't get done.

and
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#19 of 29 Old 01-15-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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We're pretty reclusive in the winter months too. We're rural, and it just seems like a hassle when it's cold and snowy to get the kids all bundled up, drive 20 minutes, and then haul a bunch of coats into the library or wherever. DD is an introvert like me, so I do feel guilty about it sometimes- especially since we're homeschooling, which makes me extra aware of the socialization issue. The only activity she's in right now with kids her own age is bible school, but that's not even every week. We do see my nephew, who is near her age, almost every day, so I guess that keeps me from worrying a whole lot about social skills. Plenty of sharing practice every time we visit him!

In the warm months, we go to story hours, nature park hours, that kind of thing. I plan to get more involved with the homeschool group, girl scouts, and such when she's a bit older and DS is a bit more portable.

Right now, I usually only leave the house two days a week- one day for my part-time shift at work, and one day to go visit my mom or grandma and buy groceries.

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
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#20 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 12:04 AM
 
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Another introvert here. I love staying home and would gladly stay home for days on end, but my preschool/toddler boys go nuts. I get us out daily, even if it's only to the store. We have a great playgroup that meets weekly, I just joined another, and we usually have one playdate a week. I only have play dates with moms and kids we really like, and even those wear me out.

I recently read this funny essay (maybe in The Atlantic?) about introverts and how exhausted other people make us, and he wrote how there was absolutely nothing wrong with him, he liked people and had friends, but he could be talking with someone he really liked and while they talked, thinking to himself, "Would you please just SHUT UP and go away for a minute." I know that feeling.

IME the secret to play groups is finding one you mesh with. Mine is a homeschooling group. Prior to that I went to hospital groups, meetup groups, yahoo groups, etc, and they were just miserable experiences for me.
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#21 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I'm a severe introvert. I work at home, home school and take online college courses. I have to get out and go somewhere every day for atleast 20 minutes if I can. I get cabin fever quick. The kids have activities they are involved in during the week thank goodness. That way I get out around other parents.

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#22 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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add me to the club.

i don't drive and my dh is on call every other week so we can't drive anywhere. i can go weeks without leaving the house.

i did get my permit in october though. i feel really bad that my 3 year old (and 10 month old too) doesn't have any friends to play with.
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#23 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I do have a very part-time job (10 - 15 hrs./week), but we also don't go out much. I'm not particularly introverted or a recluse on purpose, but the only thing to do around here is shop and I absolutely HATE shopping. Dd goes to school almost an hour away, but they have a car line, so even that is not social. So, basically I don't get out much except to go to work and I'm fine with that.
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#24 of 29 Old 01-19-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama_Agnieszka View Post
Wow, so know what you mean!

I am definitely a recluse, but a social recluse rather than physically preferring home over being out. I love being out in nature, alone, with just my kids. And so I take my three LO's out to parks and the nearby mountains nearly every day... I prefer going without friends or other people because then I end up paying way more attention to the people with me, which is fine, but then I miss out on the quiet and the peacefulness of nature which is really nourishing to me... So, I prefer to spend time with friends at other times, and not too often at that.


I have often felt guilty about not exposing my girls to more social groups... very often, actually... like I was isolating them... especially when I see other kids my girls' age playing around, very extroverted... BUT, both my husband and I are more introverted and so are my children. So, it's more natural for us to enjoy quiet and alone times.

But mostly, I really believe these days that we live in such a crazy busy and active and fast-paced world that offering our kids quiet and slow childhoods is actually a gift!!! I WANT my children to be comfortable with silence, with aloneness, to be able to be alone versus searching out company at all time and all costs... I WANT my children to be able to choose to be in company when they need it and to be alone when they need it, and to KNOW when they need which! So many young people, especially, are so anxious about being alone... I'm glad that my circumstances growing up taught me to enjoy and appreciate and be brave when I was alone.

Anyway, our kids WILL be in social situations soon enough... whether it be through school or scouts or soccer or music lessons or dance or whatever activities they choose to do... so, personally, I don't see any reason to rush into it!

Of my two girls (ages 5 and 3.5, and I have a brand new baby boy now, too), my eldest just started preschool now, two afternoons per week, at age 5, and before that she took a couple of art and music classes for an hour each a week, and that was it. We have a couple of friends we see once a month, and extended family, and that's the extent of our social lives. I don't feel at all that they have suffered for it! They are close with their grandparents and they really enjoy each other's company (when they are not fighting!). And the younger one is only now feeling ready to take a little 45 minute class by herself, once a week, with my waiting outside the door.

I love having them close to me and I love not being distracted by other people and other people's children when I spend time with my girls. This time is so precious and so short... I want to make the most of it!!! So, no silly play dates for us - unless we really really love the people and can't wait to see them!!! But never just to fill time and space...
I wanted to quote your whole post because I very much agree with it! There will be a time when my kids will probably want to spend a bunch of time with others and not so much with me so I'm relishing this time now. I too am an introverted extrovert (as I like to put it ) I could spend days at home, but I can also tell when I'm starting to need some social time and I make it for myself. I'm also thinking of volunteering at the library once a week in the evenings. My DS1 doesn't care so much what he's doing but he does like to see other kids and can go a bit stir crazy just sitting at home. Plus I am a terrible entertainer so it's nice for him to go to preschool for 2 hours every day. As for DS2, I can tell he really loves people but luckily, he's still just a baby. Although he does ask to go "bye-bye" at least once a day. That could just mean going outside though....

So yes, I am more of a homebody and NO I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I also used to think there WAS something wrong with me that I didn't want to go out to playdates and such, but now I'm much more comfortable with my own style and I'm not feeling that my kids are missing out on anything. If anything, I also feel it is a gift to them.

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#25 of 29 Old 01-20-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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I love being at home. I procrastinate about going out to get errands done sometimes because I'd rather stay home. I also thrive on structure, though, so DD (3) and I leave the house almost every weekday for preschool (2 days) a playgroup, gymnastics class, etc. (DH is a homebody, too, so our weekends are about the most boring weekends you can think of: naps, reading, sports-watching, puttering, cooking, etc. We try to do something fun for the kids in there too )

In addition to our playgroup, DD and I have been starting to do 1 on 1 playdates with a few kids, which I think DD and I both find less draining than the group play date, but we enjoy that too. We play quite a bit with kids both younger and older. I think it's important for young kids to have unstructured play time together, and based on my observations of our play group, age 3 seems to be around the time they start interacting in-depth (and needing less parental intervention to remember to share, etc). Different environments (crazy playground, 1-on-1, tot class) work for different kids as well as different frequency (# of times per week.) I think it really varies from kid to kid what would meet their needs.

My DS is 5 and in all-day kindergarten, and he still needs additional social interaction when he gets home. (I knew he must be an extrovert when at 14 months he would toddle to the front door and say, "Out, Mommy! Out!") My goal since age 2 for him was to give him the opportunity to play with other kids a least 1 hour a day, whether in a little class, on the playground, play group, or even with the other kids in childcare while I worked out.

My goal right now it to schedule 1-2 play dates for him each week--completely unstructured time for him to interact with his friends, whether they be from his class, from play group or preschool, or his cousin close in age. I try to save up some energy to engage with him every day, but some days I'm pretty tapped out. I'm much less drained now that when he was home all day--there is no way I could homeschool him without more people around. We would drive each other up the wall!!!

I get up to 5 and a half hours a week with both in school and I try to stay home during that time and savor the peacefulness.
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#26 of 29 Old 01-24-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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I think being a recluse is part of the reason that I don't go crazy being a SAHM. The kids might drive me nuts, but not not being out in the world. We do get out a lot, but yeah, I feel badly that we don't have playdates left and right. That being said, I often wonder how much socialization is going on with other people? People are friendly here but it doesn't seem like people invite us over much either, so I don't know.
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#27 of 29 Old 01-26-2010, 06:46 AM
 
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I'm a real recluse and love being at home too. My life revolves around the kitchen, the garden and crafting. I have a very small circle of friends and rarely socialize except for occasional family visits. Any more than that feels very distracting to me.

My kids (3.5 and 1.5) are not in any other care and seem happy at home. We don't do any external activities but we do visit the library, playground, markets, zoo etc. I do worry that I am not providing them with a good foundation for making friends but i also know that I can't give them everything in equal proportions. I do feel they have a lovely home life and in that they are lucky.

We're starting a waldorf play group this week and I'm hoping it'll get us socializing a little more because I do think its important for me to model some social activities for my children!
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#28 of 29 Old 01-26-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post
In the "sick season" you betcha! I try to make up for in the warmer months though, my kids seem to tolerate it well enough.

~Autumn~   Mama to whistling.gif (2001) and hearts.gif(2005) partners.gif madly in love since '99 
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#29 of 29 Old 01-26-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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I am in the winter. I seriously dislike going out in winter.

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