Wondering who has been in this place or has advice. I live in Los Angeles with my hubby and 20-month-old, and we're expecting #2 in August. We have absolutely no support from family or friends here. Everybody seems to be completely preoccupied with their lives and no one ever offers a helping hand. It's such an odd environment in which we live, especially since I can feel so connected to people via the Internet (and people who are strictly Internet friends!) while at the same time feeling like I have few ties to people in the real world. I don't even feel like I need to talk to more people in-person or that my life is lacking in friendship or anything because of communities such as this one. This must also be because I'm pretty self-contained, or comfortable blabbing about my feelings to anyone (so it's not like I need one or two close confidantes). But...
It just seems so depressing to live this way when I think about it (as I often am right now)! And I have no idea how I'm going to handle having two little ones around without people's support and presence. The thing is...I'm such a product of this urban-sprawled "live in your own little bubble" mentality, and get so stressed trying to get anywhere in this city...that I don't know how I can expect any regular visits/playdates/babysitting offers from other city-dwellers when I'm not really willing to reciprocate. It is so hard to stay connected to people in this place. I'm not sure what the solution here is. I do know I need to start asking my husband's family to help if they're not going to offer. I keep longing for neighbors with kids, or a sweet grandmother who could live with us/right by us and help out at a moment's notice, or a commune, even... so the only thing I can think of that would rid me of my blues would be to move to a small (or just smaller, or with a like-minded-parents-neighborhood) town. Any other ideas? Thanks for reading. :)
When I lived in southern California, I joined an area attachment parenting yahoo group. We talked online a lot, but we would have times where we met up also. We were basically spread throughout 4 counties, and some of the people met and became friends, but for most of us this didn't happen. I felt the same way that you are feeling, I think: that I joined a group to meet with people with the idea that we would be able to get together on weekends or other times that weren't traditional, because I had no family in the area either. But then people weren't interested in that kind of thing, they didn't want anything that intruded into their own family time. However, it seemed to me, at least, that after I moved away that people were branching out and having families getting together on the weekends. So maybe it's just me.
I've never really been able to make a connection in LLL either. I thought it would be different throughout the years, but it hasn't been. I have made some friends now through church, which is nice. It's always so disheartening when you think you are making inroads and then they don't work out.
Anyways, I just wanted to say that I hear you! It can get pretty lonely at times and although I do have some extended family support, I still need that connection with other families. I hope you find some connection IRL. The finding your tribe forum may help.
i hear ya. i am from los angeles and now in oregon. i have few friends here and too feel like i am so use to living in my own little bubble. i live an hour from town and i am exhausted from our weekly grocery run to the market and library and such things. i wish i had more friends but at the same time i feel like if i were to make 3 play dates in town would i be willing to drive two hours round trip each time? and time it so my ds does no fall asleep after two o'clock or he won't go night night by 9?
having support is important. this last weekend i was able to have a heart to heart with my mother-in-law about raising a toddler and the isolation i feel and she is now going to come once a week for a visit. i think too people forget what it is like needing that support and are so focussed on their own lives...not that they shouldn't be.
i just wanted to let you know i understand how you feel.
I totally hear you. I did not find my community until I joined a cooperative preschool. I was lonely and a bit depressed. I was sure I was doing right by my first child by not giving her to others to care for. But once she started that school I had to mingle with the same like minded parents many times a week and friendships were born. It has changed everything.
Most at home parents are in your boat. I think if you can find activities that repeat at least weekly, eventually you will click with someone. It could also be an activity for you- like prenatal dance or yoga. Put yourself out there and realize that most other sahms of young kids feel the same way!
Thanks for your responses. I hope family members will step up once #2 is born. And I am making more of an effort to be a regular participant in playgroups. (We walk around our neighborhood and to the park daily, and I rarely get to talk to any moms and often don't even see any!) Making the rounds in playgroups just seems so much like the married-mom-with-kids version of hanging out in bars/being part of the adult dating scene, though. ;-)
now that is funny.....
Ah, and regarding support, or lack thereof... I also live in a large city with no family support. All of my mama friends are working, and there aren't any other options aside from paying for care. We just do it all ourselves. I have seen many posts on homeschooling threads (again with the yahoo groups thing) about people hiring or bartering with homeschooled teens to be a mother's helper. This might be something for you to look into, if you think you'll want a hand entertaining your older child while caring for the new baby. It's a great way to extend a little trust to a younger person, thus empowering them, while getting some of your needs met. Also, if you do run into any sweet grannies in your hood, I bet one would be more than thrilled to adopt you and your little ones as extended family! :)
Another thing I thought of. I live in a very diverse area. So within 10 minutes of me I can find a sweet park in a wealthy neighborhood- and it is empty or has only nannies during the week. Or I can go to the parks in a middle class neighborhood and find moms with their kids anytime. It makes sense- most families need two earners to live in the wealthy area. Same goes for library times and even coffee shops- rich areas are beautiful wastelands void of the clammer of children (and the stuff of life).
I am in the same boat! I actually just moved my MIL in with us because it was getting to be too darn isolating. I do find that striking up a conversation with someone at the library and such really is a great way to reach out, and don't be shy about asking to exchange numbers, I think most SAHMs struggle with a bit of loneliness. Where I live, most of the other moms at the park don't even speak English and that just really gets old. I may take it upon myself to start a meetup group that meets in the park every week at a certain time like Mama Amie said. I have one friend who is a SAHM mom but she is very... organized... and I feel like such a rag tag bunch of hellions with her lol! I need to be with crunchy mamas! But even just having that one person really means a lot, so keep reaching out! I'm very much like you said and have that "live in your own little bubble" mentality as well, and I can count one one hand the number of playdates we've been to in the 15 months of DD's life. The only way I can make something like that work in my life is if it is a recurring thing that occurs somewhere I can walk to, no pressure and no need to "hold up my end" so to speak. I think a meetup will fit the bill...
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