Whenever people start talking about how Stay At Home Moms Are Isolated I want to roll my eyes. I want to say, "Um, have you heard about THE INTERNET?" And I've told countless people ABOUT the internet, including Mental Health Professionals who count SAHMs among their clientele. I also tell SAHMs, but my success rate on that is about zero percent, if you count success as "being even moderately interested". Which is disappointing, isn't it? Because if I can count to one single thing that's kept me afloat over the last four years, it's my website. Cue the Orchestra of Internet Harmony.
But while I'm rolling my eyes I also have to acknowledge the real life army of support that lines up behind me. I have amazing parents, amazing in-laws, and a whole bunch of amazing mom friends. Sure, I talk to people in the computer all day long, but I am FAR from real-life-isolated. Nearly all my friends had kids the same time I had kids and we made huge efforts to see each other during the week. Not just the organized mom groups, but random spur of the moment get togethers at the zoo or the wading pool or (my personal favorite) someone's house where we could just sit on a couch and let the kids entertain themselves.
And then I also had friends to go out with at night. We'd leave our husbands with the kids and go to happy hour at the Italian restaurant or just hang out at Whole Foods sharing one of those giant desserts. Friends to meet for coffee on Saturday mornings or a walk around the lake. I did - I DO - all of these things.
So it's weird to me, nearly five years into the mom thing, that NOW I'm starting to feel isolated. Last night I stood in front of Emma's window, rocking her to sleep for the umpteenth time, and worrying about Phillip's trip next week. It used to be that I could call up anyone to come over and babysit me (us!) for a while, but life has totally gone on, for everyone.
Is it harder to see people now? At this stage of the game? Is it just me? I feel like preschool schedules (and SCHOOL schedules, gah!) have really cemented when I can and cannot be around adults. Like I used to see my working friends on their off days, but now the various preschool schedules get in the way of that. And there are just more KIDS. We're not all new moms with new babies anymore. Now we're wrangling grade schoolers and toddlers and infants and you have to work ballet lessons around morning naps and Tuesdays are really the only good days to hang out, but that friend WORKS on Tuesdays so that's not going to happen. ETC. ETC. Plus I used to just jump in the car any day I felt like it and go visit my parents. Now I have to take SCHOOL into consideration.
What is kindergarten going to do to me? I'm scared!
Maybe it's also my not so central neighborhood. My house in a wooded area. The fact that nearly all of my mom friends work part-time. Beholden to a school schedule. Trying to get a baby on a nap schedule. A husband going out of town. It's dark. It's January. We're freaking SNOWBOUND.
And I'm to blame too. I tend to see the same lovely people fairly often, and with one or two of them we've TALKED about how it's harder now and we decided to make Every Other Thursday our day or whatever. Which is awesome. But then there are the friends I miss, who I don't see because of my OWN laziness (JANET I LOVE YOU YES I'M AROUND MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS!!!)
But yeah. I'm feeling it. My internet people are real-er than ever, but my real life people feel distant. OH BOO HOO I hear you saying. GO CRY INTO YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEM HANKIE.
I'm going to go say good night to my big kids now. Everyone say a little prayer that Emma has a better night. Maybe I won't have to write another angsty blog post. (HA HA HA.)