Do you socialize with other families? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering, do you socialize with other families (not relatives)? I don't mean daytime playdates, I mean dinner or weekend activities, with the whole family.  If you do, how often?  What do you do? Do you have several families you socialize with?  Just one?  I keep thinking it would be nice to do more with neighbors and friends, but I hate to create more obligations and cut into everyone's limited free time.  Thoughts?


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#2 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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We have a fairly large group of friends, most of whom do have kids.  So once a month or so we all get together at someone's house for a potluck and all the kids get to play.  If someone can make they do, if not, there will be next time.

 

That's our usual socialization with other families, but we'll also go to things (corn mazes, Christmas parade, etc) with other families.

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#3 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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we have 1 good friend-family that we see every so often. the mom and i get together for play dates about once a month. it's wonderful and encouraging to have a friends your age who are in the same stage of life as you. and recently we've been getting involved more with church and the young adults group have young kids so we spend time with them too. with church we probably see friends once a month, plus on sundays in the nursery!


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#4 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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We lost a lot of friends when we had our son, so hanging out with other families who have kids is a must for us.  We actually have about 3-4 different families that we will get together with about a couple times a month on the weekends (not all the families at the same time).  It feels like a hassle trying to schedule something, but once we finally do, we always say we need to do it more often- it makes you feel a little more like your former childless self while also feeling like you can relate to people in the same situation as you.  All of these couples are new friends who we have met since having DS 2.5 years ago.  Unfortunately, I sometimes find it hard to relate to friends who don't have kids yet, so these families are a lifesaver for us.  We usually do dinner at one of our houses and just hang out afterward. 


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#5 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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We have a couple families we socialize with reguarly.  Very blessed to have them :)

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#6 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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we were the last in the group to have a child so most of our friends' children are well into late teen years, some into their mid-20s.  We cherish those frienships.  Our son is the "golden child" n the eyes of our friends and their children. There is definately an auntie/uncle, cousin relationship;

 

We are friends with another couple who adopted a child in similar age to our son and we really enjoy our gatherings.  The husbands met through a civil organizaition and we all became fast friends.

 

Most of my pre-child friends are very mainstream, very ridgid in their partening and that has sort of put up a wall that is hard toi break down.  They are super-uptight about certain things where we are rather liberal and in the early years, it was hard to find a middle ground where we all felt comfortable.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicaG View Post

Just wondering, do you socialize with other families (not relatives)? I don't mean daytime playdates, I mean dinner or weekend activities, with the whole family.  If you do, how often?  What do you do? Do you have several families you socialize with?  Just one?  I keep thinking it would be nice to do more with neighbors and friends, but I hate to create more obligations and cut into everyone's limited free time.  Thoughts?




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#7 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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We do whenever we find people willing to use their time like that.  It's getting harder.  And I hate getting plugged into someone's PDA, and then called and told "Oh, something else came up!".  People are too darn busy. mecry.gif

 

What we like to do is invite people over for a late lunch after church, or for supper sometime in the evening.  There are a few families that we do this with, and they reciprocate.  It is awesome to spend a couple of hours over the table enjoying good food and conversation, and then a couple more hours in the living room, enjoying more conversation while our kids play in the background.

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#8 of 25 Old 11-19-2010, 10:51 PM
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We haven't met any people with kids that we'd really want to hang out with as a family. My DH does web development so he's a programmer and I have a math degree I'm not using. We're just too geeky and weird to be ourselves around most people.  We socialize with my DH's co-workers and our close friends are a few people he has known forever. None of them have kids.  We're going hiking next weekend with a guy my DH has know since kindergarden. My friends kind of disappeared during the first year of my DD's life and my really old friends are a good 25 hour drive away. 

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#9 of 25 Old 11-20-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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When the kids were younger, we had a standing Friday night skate with one family in particular at the neighbourhood arena. We saw lots of other families there too. Bonus - it was free. Sometimes we would go out for hot chocolate after or get together at one another's homes. 

 

We would also piggyback social occasions onto other activities - Ice cream after soccer in the summer, hot chocolate after hockey games in the winter. 

 

Other activities: 

Summer BBQs

Beach days

Cottage weekends

Brunch at a local family restaurant

Movie nights at home

"Events" - parades, concerts or plays in the park, etc. - we often attended with other families. 

 

With 2 busy teens who both have part-time jobs, it's harder to find family time, so activities with family AND friends happen less often now. 

 

 

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#10 of 25 Old 11-20-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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No, not really. I have friends that I see frequently and I do sometimes hang out with their whole family but my dh works a lot and when he is home I don't really want to hang out with other people. I would actually say that most of my friends have never even met my dh. I generally don't get along too well with his friend's wives and he generally doesn't get along too well with my friends husbands, not well enough to really want to spend a lot of time together anyway.

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#11 of 25 Old 11-20-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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Oh yes, absolutely!  I don't think of it as cutting into anyone's time or creating obligations, etc.  We have several families that we hang out with on a regular basis.  All of our lives would be a lot less for not having each other.  We cook together, eat together, play games together.  Our kids are great friends.  Sometimes just the dads hang out or just the moms.  We need to have that kind of community.  We have no family here, but they are like family to us.  :)


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#12 of 25 Old 11-20-2010, 10:37 AM
 
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No, we have no friends (editing to make this clearer - we each have old friends, we just don't live near any of them!).  It's that simple.  And sad.  I knew a few moms of ds1's friends from preschool (this year he's in K), and during this past summer we got together for some play dates, and it was so nice to chat (what little we could) with other moms. I'd almost call these moms friends... But we've never gotten together with other families or even couples, except the few times we've had kids' families over for birthday parties at our house.

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#13 of 25 Old 11-20-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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I go hang out w/ one of my friends who has kids and have a blast... unfortuantly she's divorced though, so its not a lot of fun for dH to go along too... That said, when we go visit DH's family a couple of his old friends are married or in serious relationships an have kids our age, and thats always a blast :) I actualy wish we lived closer to them... but I have no desire to live over there!!

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#14 of 25 Old 11-20-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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We have several close families that we hang out with, all of us together.  Works out fabulously-us grownups get to enjoy hanging out and all of the kids get along great.  We have five main families and all of us are all friends with each other, so we do a lot of get togethers with all of us combined...and mini vacations.

Thank goodness!  I never go "out" without ds, so if we weren't blessed this way I would never be able to socialze!

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#15 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 05:32 AM
 
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We don't socialize with anyone.  We moved across the country to a very small community (like less than 1000 people) a few years ago.  We haven't really made any friends here.  We are friendly with the neighbours but it has gone any further than saying "we should get together sometime".  I am generally ok with the situation, and my son is going to meet kids when I put him in school next year.  I was planning on homeschooling, but I think he would benefit from interaction with other people more than he would by staying home with me.  I can deal with no friends, but I think he needs them.


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#16 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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We definitely do. It's so much fun to hang out with other families! My daughter loves to play with other kids, and it's a chance to have some adult socializing too.  We do dinners, cookouts, camping and stuff like that with other families frequently.  It seems we're at an age where most of our friends are getting married/having kids, so it has worked out well for us.


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#17 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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We do.  Our regular weekly playdate has morphed into a whole-family Friday evening gathering.  Right now we have a group of 3 families who get together every Friday.  The moms and kids get together after school, the dads join the rest of us when they get home from work.  We trade off hosting, and the hosting family provides dinner for everyone.  It's pretty common for these gatherings to last into late night/early morning.  If it's a late night, sometimes the kids fall asleep and end up sleeping over. 

 

We also invite other families over at other times, and I love throwing big parties a few times/year. 


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#18 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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We do, but also enjoy spending our time just by ourselves. We do things with both families with kids and those who are empty-nesters (most people our age are).  We occasionally go out for dinner or to some other event, but mostly it's in our home or theirs.  We have one couple that are really our closest friends and we get together a few times a month.  There are also tons of events associated with dd's school (private) that include wine receptions, fund raisers, open houses, etc.  Most of these are hosted in people's homes and the kids are usually invited along with babysitting provided at the event.  We don't vacation with anyone *ever*.  Then it wouldn't be a vacation, IMO.  Socializing is often a lot of work.  I try to not have to do it too often, but this time of the year it seems that you can't weasel your way out of it.

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#19 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

We do.  Our regular weekly playdate has morphed into a whole-family Friday evening gathering.  Right now we have a group of 3 families who get together every Friday.  The moms and kids get together after school, the dads join the rest of us when they get home from work.  We trade off hosting, and the hosting family provides dinner for everyone.  It's pretty common for these gatherings to last into late night/early morning.  If it's a late night, sometimes the kids fall asleep and end up sleeping over. 

 

We also invite other families over at other times, and I love throwing big parties a few times/year. 


I have the same experience, except its almost always at one particular friends house because they have a pretty awesome set up for kids both inside and outside.  But, I generally bring food over or we go shopping together and buy stuff to make for dinner.  The third family doesn't contribute much but that's fine the more the merrier.

 

With another family we will trade hosting duties back and forth but it's about once per month. 
 


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#20 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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Yep, we have one that we socialize with a lot. The kids get on great, we all have similar values and we actually get chatting time because the kids take off somewhere. Another family, we're really getting to know well as well. We're starting to reconnect with friends we've had pre kids, now we have three and they have 1. It was their DD's first playdate, even though it was dinner and hanging out as much as we could. We'd like some more families, but it's often hard to find someone who you get along with, with similar parenting styles (I find it's just easier that way, I don't have to worry if Aunty K puts on a movie, if it's appropriate), the kids get along, AND then trying to find schedules that match.


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#21 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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No we do not. Neither dh nor I have friends outside of family. Or I should say I dont have any and the ones dh has he dosnt see socially.

 
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#22 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 09:14 PM
 
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I honestly don't know what I would do without our group of friends!

 

We belong to a bible study / life group through our church that consists of seven families.  We meet on Friday nights and take turns hosting and bringing snacks.  We all have young kids (there are currently 10 kids in total, and the oldest is 4!) so we hire a teenage girl to watch the kids in the basement while the adults remain in the living room and have some social and prayer time together.  Our whole family loves it - DH and I enjoy spending time with other couples, and DD loves playing with her friends. 

 

Seven families sounds like a lot, but I think that is what makes it work.  It is very, very rare that everyone is all there.  I would say on average four families will turn up any given week, or sometimes just one parent will come with kids, or even just one parent on their own.  With a larger group if someone has another commitment that night or is sick or something you aren't putting anyone out by not being able to attend. 

 

We don't have any extended family nearby, so it is important for me to forge these relationships so we are surrounded by people who know and love my kid.  If I ever needed emergency childcare, I have six families she would be very comfortable with.  I could have a car accident tomorrow and end up in hospital - and I would have a small army of people at the door with meals and providing us with childcare.  You never know what is around the corner.  We all need community.


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#23 of 25 Old 11-22-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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We live in a great neighborhood where several of the families get together and hang out almost every weekend. The adults will hang out and the kids hang out in some cases. Sometimes, we do things with another family and their kids like go to a Hockey game, go out to eat, etc. We have neighborhood parties for the 4th of July, New Years Eve, Memorial Day, etc. as well. It is wonderful to have so many great friends for us and our daughter right on our street.

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#24 of 25 Old 11-22-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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We socialize a lot with my best friend and her kids. She's good friends with dh too, so we all three like to hang out together while our kids play. We're spending the Thanksgiving holiday together in a rented cabin in a resort area. Should be lots of fun! We usually hang out several times a month, once a week even. Our kids take turns sleeping over at her house or ours.

 

We do big get-togethers several times a year with lots of other friends who have kids.

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#25 of 25 Old 11-22-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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well we used to have this one family that we hung out with....the mom and I met at the playground, hit it off and for a couple weeks kept bugging the dads to meet each other. One night they were all out taking a walk and we were all outside playing with the kids, and the dads met and the rest was history. It was terrific....our boys are less than a month apart, consider themselves best friends at this point. Our problem (or my problem, at least) was that the parenting styles didn't quite mesh. we would get together to drink and hang out and the kids would be there, and around 10 or 11 PM (on a weekend) I feel is the latest people should be dragging their young kids out with any regularity. Everyone would get pissed at me because I would call an end to the fun so that we could get the kids home and in bed.

 

Then my boyfriend got HER boyfriend a job working with him, sicne it was sudden I offered to babysit their ds for $20/day at least temporarily, had to make TWO trips to get everyone where they needed to be because of all the kids and carseats and the fact that they don't own a car and we only have 1 car. When the job ended suddenly the babysittign ended as well without me ever seeing a dime of the money. SO continues to hang out with his friend because he feels the arrangement was between me and her and has nothing to do with his friend. So now he and ds go over there all the time and the mom and I are barely on speaking terms.

 

Basically the whole reason why I can't be bothered anymore to look for friends. Waaaay too much drama. I rarely stick my neck outlike that because I ahve socail anxiety, but I stuck it out this time and got burned. No more! It sounds great in theory but my experience is that it eventually goes sour.


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