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Parents Just Want to Have Fun

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Last week POPSUGAR Love syndicated my post about 30 Things That Will (Probably) Happen to Your in Your 30s and a commenter wrote: “This is written in a really “non-mom” tone. I only relate to about half of these,” which I thought was kind of interesting since I am, in fact, a mom and I wondered what was “non-mom” about my tone. So, I asked. And she replied:

“Perhaps we just have very different lives, and I’m sure my being a single mom contributes. The tone of this article just seems to point to much more of a social life than I could ever dream of. Sad right? lol.”

Then, yesterday, I posted a letter from someone who said he and his wife were concerned about having all the good times before they have kids as if, once they have children, the fun stops.

And THEN, over the weekend, I was dancing at a divey bar with my friends in Chicago — Me, a mom! Out with my friends! Having fun! — and someone made a comment about how I was “out-dancing” everyone even though I’m a mother.*

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And all of these things have me thinking: do most people think parents (and maybe, specifically, mothers) don’t or shouldn’t or can’t keep being social and have fun? And I don’t mean “fun” the way people say, “You still have fun, but it’s different kind of fun.” I’m talking about the same damn kind of fun you had before you had children — the up ’til late at night with your friends, dancing ’til dawn, taking vacations, and generally doing stuff with other adults that don’t involve the phrase “play date.” I mean, of course, you don’t do these things — the dancing ’til dawn kinds of things or whatever it is YOU consider a fun time — with anywhere near as much frequency once you have children. But you can and should still do much, if not all, the same stuff you did before (within reason, I guess; things that put your health and physical and/or mental well-being at serious risk are certainly debatable), at least sometimes, and you shouldn’t feel weird or guilty about it.

This past weekend I took a solo trip to Chicago for a reunion with old friends at BFF’s birthday party weekend, and it was so good for my soul. I do this about twice a year, and it was something Drew and I actually talked about before we had Jackson. We talked about it even before we got married. As most of you know, I met Drew while I lived in Chicago and we were long distance for a year and a half before I moved to New York, and part of the stipulation of my moving here was that I would make frequent visits back to Chicago (or wherever my friends happened to be, I guess) to re-connect with some of the most important people in my life. I made it clear that, even after we had a kid, I wanted to continue doing that because time with my best friends is like filling my cup and I think it makes me a better and more connected wife and mother and person in general. It helps ground me and it shifts my perspective and it makes me happy. I have, and do, encourage Drew to take advantage of time away, too, if not weekends out of town, then at least nights out. (We take overnight trips together without Jackson about twice a year, too).

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Anyway, I think every parent should try to take advantage of time away (including time away from your spouse and partner, but time together away from your kids is also very important). I worry when I see and hear comments like the ones I mentioned above that there’s a general message that good parents don’t step away — that in order to remain fully invested and present in your role as a parent (and spouse or partner, if applicable), you have to be fully present, physically, all the time, and that’s just not the case. All parents need regular breaks, but parents like me, who have very little separation between their home life and the rest of their life, either because they’re full-time stay-at-home parents or because they work from home, especially need time away. I mean, I think I’d lose my freakin’ mind if I didn’t go out as much as I’m able to.

Those of you who are parents, I’m curious: how are you balancing your social life with the demands of parenthood? Do you get out as much as you’d like? Do you feel guilty when you do? Have your interests shifted since having kids or do you still want to do the same kinds of things you did before? Are you getting time with other adults that isn’t centered around your kids?

* It was my good friend who made this comment and I think she just meant that she was surprised I had the energy to dance as much as I was despite having a very exhausting toddler in my life. I can see how one might think that, but the secret is: toddlers build your endurance. If you can parent a crazy-active 2 1/2 year-old boy full-time, then dancing ’til dawn ain’t no thing.

[photos via my friends’ instagrams and stuff]

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avatar kerrycontrary July 22, 2014, 2:12 pm

Honestly, knowing that the commenter was a single mother, I know what she means. My SIL does not live with her child’s father (who co-parents to the best of his abilities). She works 12 hour night shifts 4 days a week. Her “baby-daddy” for lack of a better word also works night shifts. My in-laws help as much as possible, but it is HARD for her to get out and have fun. She has barely had any of the normal 20-something experiences because she was too busy going to nursing school full-time, working part-time, and taking care of a baby/toddler. So not everyone has the same experience in their 20s/30s and a lot of people don’t have the luxury of getting away from their spouse/partner/baby on a vacation (or even for a few hours). I think it’s a great idea for parents to take trips away from their children, and for partners to take mini-trips away from each other, but it is just not possible for some people. Plus there’s the perspective of working moms who want to spend as much time possible with their children since they’re working the other days of the week.

avatar lets_be_honest July 22, 2014, 2:46 pm

I think that plays into it a lot. If I worked from home, I’d probably want to go on more trips alone to get a break.

Lianne Lianne July 22, 2014, 2:15 pm

If I thought I couldn’t have the type of fun I am having now just because I have a kid, I honestly don’t think I would have them. I mean, I get that life as I know it today will change. But I don’t think it’s necessary to completely lose yourself in motherhood. I am completely with you, Wendy, in that I believe I will need to keep doing some of the things that I do now – drinking and socializing with friends, dancing, going to concerts, taking vacations (solo and with my partner), etc. – even when I start having kids just so that I can feel recharged and able to be the best mother I can be. I of course realize the frequency of these types of activities will likely be greatly reduced at that time, but I don’t think they should – nor do I want them to – completely go away. And if some mothers (or fathers) feel otherwise, well that’s their prerogative.

avatar ktfran July 22, 2014, 3:16 pm

YES! This! I don’t want a marriage or children to completely end my life as I know it. And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t let that happen. I grew up with parents who loved their kids and their lives revolved around us most of the time. BUT… my dad went hunting and fishing most weekends. And he went on a couple fishing trips a year. My mom bowled Friday nights and went on a weekend get a way with the girls once a year. My parents went on a weekend trip probably once a year. My parents did things they enjoyed with us, just the two of them, and solo. I feel like I got the love and attention I needed.
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Anyway, I’m with Wendy on this. I definitely don’t think any less of a parent if he or she doesn’t devote 100% of their time to children. I just think it’s about finding the right balance.

honeybeenicki honeybeenicki July 22, 2014, 2:25 pm

There are a lot of people around me that often say things like “oh that must be nice since you don’t have your kids all the time” (talking about anything from going to a concert to going out to dinner with my husband) and “you better do XYZ now because once you have a baby it’s over.” And honestly, I feel sad for them. Most of these people have others in their life (family, friends, SOs) that help with childcare and whatnot, but they still feel like they can’t go out and do something fun for just themselves. Or relax in a bubble bath with a glass of wine. Or whatever it is that they’re missing. I’ve had it explained to me that while they miss those things, they feel like if they did it then they wouldn’t be viewed as a good parent. I think keeping yourself healthy (mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially) is key to being a good parent.

Lianne Lianne July 22, 2014, 2:27 pm

This. I couldn’t agree with you more.

JK JK July 22, 2014, 2:26 pm

I think a lot of it is a cultural thing, here kids goalong to most things (or maybe just in our social group), add to it that most of the kids are in the same age group,and all get along really well and it´s just natural for ge togethers to be with kids. Last summer we travelled ith 2 other families to see another family that is living at the beach, and with our kids and add on kids there were 11 kids there, from 1-12. It was so much fun!
And I have date nights with my husband occasionally, like onceor twice a year? The gils stay at grandmas with no problem, so that helps.
We do get a lot of alt only time anyway, the girls are usually asleep by 9ish, so at least a couple of hours alone everynight. And since both girls are at school I get alone time during the day.

avatar lets_be_honest July 22, 2014, 2:45 pm

I don’t go away on trips alone, but I do get plenty of “me” time in the evenings and whenever she sleeps over grandma’s or whatever. I work all day, so coming home to hang out with my kid from 6 – 9 before bedtime is obviously important to me, but after that, its all me. I guess because of that I’ve always felt balanced enough?
I know its probably bad I don’t take trips alone, but I still can’t bring myself to, and I don’t really want to either. I feel like I’d be thinking ‘oh, Lil would’ve enjoyed seeing this’ and I’d miss her. I realize this is dumb, and all my fault because I should’ve just taken a trip when she was really little to just get over that, but back then I couldn’t. I’m sure I will soon. All this to say, even without trips, I feel like I’ve found a good balance between mom time and me time.
My mom has taken 1 trip without kids since the first was born. One night away on her honeymoon. Haha. We’ve even booked trips for her and my stepdad as gifts and she hasn’t taken them.

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy July 22, 2014, 2:53 pm

The other woman in the photo at the top, who visited Chicago over the weekend for the friend reunion, is a single mom of a 12-year-old (her daughter spends summers with her father, and my friend is a teacher and has most of the summer off). Just pointing this out for people who argue that single moms can’t/shouldn’t get away/ have fun/ etc. If you are lucky enough to have some help, or if you have a co-parent who shares custody on some level, take advantage of that and enjoy some down time!

avatar lets_be_honest July 22, 2014, 2:55 pm

Oh totally. I wasn’t trying to say I couldn’t back then just because I was single. It was that I didn’t have the time, money, co-parent or family willing to watch her. If I had those things, I’m sure I would’ve jumped at the chance.

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy July 22, 2014, 3:03 pm

I get that. And I also get that for working moms who may only have an hour or two in the evenings before their young children go to sleep, that “getting away” isn’t as high on their priority list as it is for parents who are with their kids/ at home a lot more. I have an equal number of mom friends who work outside the home and those who are with their young kids (not school-aged yet) the majority of the days. Our need for time away from our “domestic responsibilities,” for lack of a better phrase, really differ greatly. The guilt, though, for being away from home, whether it’s for work or for pleasure, seems constant across the board. I guess that’s why I’m sharing my perspective — I am really trying not to feel guilty about getting away and having kid-free fun, and i hope by being open about that, more moms (and dads) will embrace their down time, too, if they are lucky enough to have partners/family/support to enable such time.

avatar lets_be_honest July 22, 2014, 3:14 pm

I hope I wasn’t coming across as saying moms should feel guilty for wanting alone time, or solo trips. Mom guilt sucks.

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy July 22, 2014, 3:22 pm

Not at all!

avatar lets_be_honest July 22, 2014, 3:32 pm

Is Jackson used to you doing this? I think that doing this stuff from “day 1″ is really important for that reason. I assume to both of you, this is just the norm. Right?

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy July 22, 2014, 3:40 pm

I took my first trip away when he was four months and I have been doing it twice a year on my own and about twice a year with drew since then. Jackson’s used to it. Plus, I know both his sitter and Drew make it really fun for him while I’m gone. And I Favcetime with him once or twice a day. And I bring back a present (usually a train, which he gets so super excited about). And I cook meals before I leave that he and drew can eat while I’m away. Basically, I try to maximize the fun and minimize the stress for everyone involved. Drew and the sitter both said jackson was happy while I was away, but he was REALLY happy when I came back.

avatar ktfran July 22, 2014, 5:31 pm

If my mom was gone for a weekend, my dad would always make hot dogs for dinner. Basically because my mom never did and he loves them, so we got them when mom was away. Also, teachers always knew if mom didn’t help us get ready in the morning. We didn’t look quite as put together when dad was in charge. It’s kind of funny to think about now.
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Also, my mom took her first trip away from me when I was only a few months old. My older sister had just passed away at a year and a half and my uncle took her to Florida to decompress.
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I make this sound like my mom was away a lot. This always happened once a year, maybe twice. Same with my dad.

thatswhat-she Meg July 22, 2014, 3:40 pm

From what I see, I think a lot of the judgement comes from other parents- parents who define themselves as “mom” or “dad” only (or at least mostly)- and then look down upon other parents who want a broader identity. It’s often these parents who broadcast the idea that more time with kids = more love no matter what.

I don’t doubt that parents like this love their kids a ton- but so do parents who have their own lives occasionally. And honestly, I think the latter is better for the kids, because it’s good to see examples of happy, fulfilled adults.

gigi gigi July 22, 2014, 4:08 pm

I have been fighting this fight with my own mom the last 4 year since my ex left us. She thinks that i should not have a life beyond my kids at all. Never go out, & do my own thing. My life should be solely for them. I disagree, & it has driven a huge wedge between us, as I will not discuss it with her anymore, or talk with her about what I do in my free time. But the guilt she laid on me is still there in the back of my mind. And it sucks. It’s not like I go out frequently, but I do need adult time, & sitting all day at work with co-workers doesn’t cut it. I need my friends & “me time.”

avatar Marcie July 22, 2014, 4:34 pm

Gigi, I’m so sorry that even your mom doesn’t even understand your needing to get away. Good for you for standing up for yourself.

Lianne Lianne July 22, 2014, 4:39 pm

I am really sorry gigi. That’s unfair to you! You are absolutely entitled to your “me” time. I wonder, did your mom devote herself to you and (if applicable) your siblings?

Kate Kate July 22, 2014, 4:43 pm

It sounds like she is projecting some of her own issues on to you. Could it also be that she wants to avoid having to babysit??

avatar lets_be_honest July 22, 2014, 4:47 pm

I hated to say that (about the avoid having to babysit) but wondered it also. When I first had Lil, my family was very much like you got yourself into this, you deal with it, we’re not going to make it easier for you and will never babysit. I think there were benefits to that, in that I know people who had kids young and basically let their parents raise them so they could continue their lives as they were pre-baby. There’s got to be a balance though. Years later, they have become more than willing to babysit.

avatar ktfran July 22, 2014, 5:34 pm

There is a balance, and I think it’s ok for parents to help out. I mean, if they would occasionally babysit if you go the “traditional” route, why not help out with the non-traditional route?

gigi gigi July 22, 2014, 10:23 pm

Oh no, my mom lives 150 miles away, so no babysitting requests, plus my kids are 13 & 17 now, beyond needing babysitters. She was a stay – at – home mom, & yes, has a LOT of issues with anxiety. When we were kids, she would throw us out the door in the morning to play outside all day & do her own thing inside [watching tv). So she wasn’t an over-involved mom really…. But she has never really approved of my choices at any point in my life. We are very different, we just don’t “get” each other. We love each other, but it’s for the best that we live 3 hrs apart probably.

avatar Breezy AM July 23, 2014, 9:03 am

My dad does this and for him it’s a chaste thing, tho he’d never say it like that. We shouldn’t be seen out having fun, looking single, because this means we’re looking for men and sex, and are clearly not virgins since we have children, so this is whorish behaviour. (insert hard eyeroll). Again he won’t SAY it like that but I note he’s never suggested to a single dad friend (and no single dad I have ever known has ever been told) to stay home and out of relationships and “just concentrate on those kids.” And he sure the fuck didn’t when HE was a single dad.
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Bless my stepmom; when she hears him start in she grabs the phone away and makes me gush about Jack Sparrow just to piss him off LOL!

gigi gigi July 23, 2014, 9:55 am

You may be very close to the truth Breezy….. my mom has said many times I shouldn’t go out by myself, its dangerous. Single women shouldn’t be in bars alone, even driving somewhere alone at night is to be worried about. Very very concerned with “appearances”. How will it look to others. I am over the “whys” of it however, & also over her opinion of my life. What I do resent is the guilt she managed to leave in my mind. My family always has excelled in guilt trips & all things passive-aggressive.

mylaray mylaray July 22, 2014, 4:53 pm

My dad always had a trip every year with the guys and they would rent a cabin for a week. He’s one of the few parents I knew among my friends growing up who always had an active social life outside of the kid realm. My parents also never stopped traveling. We would do more kid friendly vacations as a family but as we got older (8 or so) my parents would go away more internationally.
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My husband and I aren’t partying like we’re 21, but we do like to have a good time and I don’t see us really shifting from that too much when we have a kid. It’ll be different for sure, but losing myself is a big fear of mine.

LadyinPurpleNotRed LadyinPurpleNotRed July 22, 2014, 5:36 pm

For as long as I can remember, my parents went out on weekends, had friends over, and all that jazz. I love that they didn’t make us the be all end all. I also now have a great relationship with most of those friends, which just added to my life. I definitely think it’s great to go out with friends and the like if you want to.

Lyra Lyra July 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

I wonder if that mentality is kind of the “fall on the sword” that women tend to do you know? So many women see themselves as martyrs almost and they give up everything for their kids but don’t take time for themselves. That can be an unhealthy mentality. I hope I go out and have fun with friends once I have kids!

Skyblossom Skyblossom July 22, 2014, 6:37 pm

When our son was small we didn’t have the money to do much by ourselves. We bought a house just before he was born and had to buy all of the baby stuff. We lived, and still do, so far from our families that they couldn’t babysit and we needed to take a major, expensive trip to visit either side of the family. That used our vacation time and money and there was nothing left so we have always taken trips with our kids and we always went out with our son. Our kids are older now and we can leave them at home and do so all the time. We still go out to dinner on Friday nights with our daughter if she wants to go. We meet friends who also have kids along and the restaurant always seats us with adults at one table and kids at another nearby table. We also frequently meet another friend on Saturdays at the local coffee shop and again we take our daughters and we sit at one table and the girls sit at another table. Our son is an adult and helps a lot with driving our daughter around to her activities which gives us lots more free time than we would otherwise have and we take advantage of it. Our social life is busy to the point we turn people down because our schedule is full. We usually go out, just the two of us, on Saturday nights and then do things on Sundays, just the two of us. Our friends all live here so there is really no place I would want to travel to by myself rather than travel to with my family. We’ve met our friends as couples and got to know them as couples socializing together and usually meet up with them as couples. We are all couple oriented so that works for all of us.

I think each family needs to find the solution that works for them. There is no one size fits all correct approach to parenting and no two families are identical.

avatar XanderT July 22, 2014, 9:03 pm

I have been a mom and known other moms for 27 years and, no, I never went off and neither did any of the moms I have known over the years. So what? Do what is good for you, your marriage, and your family & be done with it. Who cares what others think? Or what others do? Makes no difference in your life. Rock on, Wendy. Rock on.

avatar something random July 22, 2014, 10:03 pm

I think I get out as much as I need to most of the time. Sometimes I feel guilty because I don’t hear about other parents trading “time off” like my husband and I do. I think we put more of a premium on fun than other people. Its soothing to think I don’t give shits or fits about what other people’s opinions are. But truthfully, I do. I don’t want others to think I’m lazy or frivolous or under-prioritizing my children. Or that I must hate my life as a SAHM but am too sanctamoniously maternal to live my truth. Or that I’m a spoiled, ditzy housewife watching soaps and eating bon bons and spring breaks while husband toils away. Or that my loving and enjoying my time with friends (and alone) somehow means I don’t love and cherish my sons to my gut.

But I know myself well enough to know how much time I need to feel good; it doesn’t really matter if I condemn or embrace it or what the world thinks. I am surrounded with resources and a spouse that trusts and supports me. I kick it; occasionally with drinking and even a trip to Chicago. Probably with more child-free trips to come. And yeah, I do feel guilty. I guess because I know how many other people can’t or don’t indulge themselves the same way. But I think I’m livin’ right. Keep dancing, Wendy.

avatar Breezy AM July 23, 2014, 8:52 am

I think being a single mom without a good co-parent or very involved grandparents really sucks and is exhausting. Being a “married-single mom” is pretty horrible too (as in where the dad is a roommate basically and does exactly NOTHING for the kids nor helps in any way), because people think you have a partner when the reality is you do NOT. You have an extra overgrown child.
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I am incredibly fortunate to have an excellent co-parent even if I am not married to either of the two guys I had kids with. We share time with the kids pretty much equally. I am also fortunate that if my kids are with their dads, I am not worrying about them, or feeling sad missing them, or upset they are not with me– which is something I know some of my mom friends who have procreated with or divorced jerks have had to deal with.
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So I typically have 2-3 nights a week where I can go do things not involving kids. I take advantage of them. I know other people who feel even when not with their kids they should not be doing certain activities because “moms” shouldn’t do that. So they spend their nights off knitting (stab.me.now) or preparing homeschooling lessons (….) or researching whole food nutrition options for living more organically. And I’m like “another red breast please….”
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This may also have to do with who goes to bars in your town. In big cities, people of ALL ages are in bars but I’ve noticed in small towns I have lived in pretty much no one over 30 is in a bar unless it’s sleazy or dive-ish (I like those places, so it’s not an insult!) and I suspect this is because People Talk. Avoiding the Harper Valley PTA sucks.
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I have noticed many couples feel their entire lives should revolve around kids once they have them. I was probably like that once myself. I get sad when I see couples say they don’t want to go out and have no need for babysitting. I think that’s a very shortsighted view. You need to make time for your spouse. Alone. In private. While you’re awake and not at 11pm when the kids finally sleep and you’re half listening to the baby monitor. I don’t even mean sex tho that is part of it. I mean just talking and knowing one another. And there also needs to be time to be ourselves, the people we were before we had kids, lest we wake up one day relating all too well to Bowling for Soup’s “1985.” (This song makes my teens giggle until they can’t breathe… the fact my Hebrew name is Devorah does not really help matters much :-P)

avatar Ali July 23, 2014, 10:55 am

I’m expecting my first and I’m 27, but my husband and I haven’t been very social since grad school. We have been taking care of my two younger brothers (and the big house we rented for all of us to live in–I underestimated how much work cleaning, repairs, landscaping etc. this would be) for two years, and as we both work 50-60 hours a week, we just don’t feel much like going out and doing wild things anymore. We visit our college town two or three weekends a year, drive upstate to our family’s lake house for a week or two each summer, and make one plane trip a year to Florida to spend Christmas with my family. We plan to continue doing this after the baby is born because none of these trips usually involve going to bars or parties or any other place that’s really adults-only, and we’re usually with family or friends who either have kids of their own or would be willing to watch ours for a few hours while we go to dinner or something. I think the thing that will change the most is my willingness to host events, which we’ve done a lot of in the past. Other than that, we have many friends who have kids (single parents too) and they just bring their kids along to our brunches and gatherings. Our friends and my husband’s family do live nearby (about 20 minutes), so that’s a plus. But I think the amount of change you feel in your social life is relative to the state of your social life before the baby–if you’re a homebody to begin with, maybe the thing you’ll miss most is your quiet alone time (that’s what I’m most worried about anyway).

BriarRose BriarRose July 23, 2014, 11:41 am

My ex-husband moved to a foreign country with the military, and my family is on the west coast while I live on the east coast. For about 3 years I never had any alone time. Then I met my boyfriend and he watches her for me more than I ever could have hoped for. I had no one to watch her for free back in the day, and couldn’t afford to pay a babysitter very frequently. Granted, my daughter is not a toddler, and is fairly self-sufficient, so I could certainly bring her with me while I got a pedicure (she would sit quietly and read in the waiting area) but the closest I got to alone time was doing errands on my lunch break. It was rough.
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That said, I am a huge proponent of moms taking time for themselves to do whatever the heck they want. Just like they say on the airplane, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. And to be super honest, the women I know who DO have help (partner, family, etc) and don’t take advantage confuse me quite a bit.

Red_Lady Red_Lady July 23, 2014, 4:50 pm

Thank you for this Wendy. My husband and I are about to become parents, and it’s so reassuring to hear this. I’ve been told several times that “life is over” or I’ll “never sleep in again” or something along those lines. Luckily I also have some friends that are moms that have proven that they can still have a life outside of their kids. Of course I’m looking forward to spending lots of time with my son, but I simply cannot do it all the time.

avatar Sue Jones July 23, 2014, 6:18 pm

It certainly happened to me… I did not intend for it to happen, it just happened. I mean, I used to go out to parties that did not even start until 9 or 10 and then I could sleep in as late as I wanted because I didn’t have kids (well I did part-time, but it is a BIG DIFFERENCE). Now I know that I will need to get up early because he gets up early, so a party that begins at my bedtime, when I am already pooped is not going to happen. So I stopped going to these large gatherings, and then I stopped hearing about these large social gatherings, and I fell off the radar. These weren’t best friends, but they were a part of our larger social tribe-circle. And going to events that cost a lot of money to begin (like concerts, dinners out with friends) with stopped happening because add that in and factor in the cost of a babysitter, and the cost of my kid’s childcare and it felt too expensive. So my social life became playdates, I did join a chorus to get my social fix once per week, but the old social life as I used to know it kind of died. Then the couple who always hosted a large Thanksgiving and invited us to the “inner circle” Thanksgiving got divorced and we became more “outer circle”(invited to the big party later) because I guess my husband was closer to the guy who ended up moving out of state. And my closest friend moved out of state… Compound that with my introverted nature, my tendency to work a lot, and my increased obsession with long mountain hikes with my husband (yesterday we took my son who is almost 11 up his first 14er!) and I am often too tired to go out at night after hiking said 14er. Also my husband’s work schedule means that I am often the one home with kids.

But now that my son is 11, I can leave him alone more for a few hours. I am starting to think I should rebuild my social network a bit… I think it is a life stage thing. When your kids are my son’s age, my “disposable” income goes to his music lessons and other extracurricular activities, not so much to “date nights” or other socializing (my husband and I go on “date hikes”).

I guess it doesn’t have to change, but for me it did big-time. But I parent that way… I figure I have 18 short years with my son before he fledges the nest and it is already going by so quickly! Meanwhile I have my chorus which fills some social needs for me! But I am still figuring this out.

avatar Sue Jones July 23, 2014, 6:30 pm

Just to add, that I when I have free time, I garden, go to yoga classes, hike… I definitely believe in self-care, I am not entirely a loser, but I have noticed lately a glaring lack of a gaggle of girlfriends who are not moms of my son’s friends. I have a few close friends, and when I go to chorus I always chat and enjoy getting together with people, but have been thinking I should be more proactive with my social life. I don’t think I would enjoy a loud bar scene at this stage of life… can’t even remember the last time I danced at a bar… probably 20 years ago!