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Pouring My Heart Out...Parenting Has Turned Me Into a Social Hermit

Posted Feb 01 2012 8:00am


As I listened to a few girlfriends chatting about how fun it would be to take off somewhere minus the husbands and the kids...just us girls...I couldn't help but think it sounded more stressful than being at home.

Call me crazy but socializing actually drains me these days.

Here's the thing...I spend a good portion of my day taking care of my kids.

Making them meals, wiping their asses, playing endless games to the point where I can't see straight, keeping them happy and entertained.

They hang on me, they lay on me, they're constantly touching me.  They talk to me for hours on end until their voices all blend together.

Oh, don't get me wrong.  That's probably the best part about parenting...the hugs and kisses, the cuddly moments where they lay with you and allow you to snuggle with them.  And, of course,  hearing their giggles, snorts and laughter.

But what it also means is I'm usually physically and emotionally tapped out come 7:00 on most evenings.   I've already "worked" a full day by the time they go to bed and the last thing I want to do is change out of my comfy clothes and get all dolled up to meet some friends for dinner.

And weekends?

My weekends are usually filled with grocery shopping, running errands and then good old family time.

I'll admit I'm most comfortable when I'm at home.

If I'm fortunate enough to have Tim take the kids to his parents house for a few hours on a Sunday, the only thing I want to do is curl up on my sofa with a cup of tea and get completely lost in a good book.

I don't want to meet a girlfriend to go shopping with, I don't want to have lunch with anyone.  I just want to be alone in my own little world where I can relax...where I feel happy and content...where I can wear a tank top with no bra and a pair of ratty, old boxer shorts.

I have found that I don't crave new friendships as much as I did in my earlier years...you know, before I grew four human beings inside my body, two at a time, and was gutted like a fish to bring them into this world.

Perhaps I'm at my emotional and social limit?  Maybe parenting has filled a void for me where I'm not as lonely as I used to be?

I do have friends...very good friends who I can count on for whatever I need, in good times and in bad.  I have good friends who I know will have my back, who are extremely loyal to a fault.  Those are the friends I would entrust my children to if it became necessary.

That's not to say I'm not open to new friendships; I'm just not actively seeking them out.

The internet, however, is a whole different story.  Because it takes virtually very little effort to connect with another blogger.

I read a blog post which resonates with me, I leave a comment on the blog, the blogger e-mails me and...alas, an online friendship has blossomed.   It doesn't require me to invest hours and hours of shopping, meeting up for coffee or anything else more than what I can provide at this time.

Probably a HUGE downfall but it's all I can manage for the time being.

Things may be different once my children are a little older and become more involved in school activities.  With them being gone all day in school, I may find myself yearning for new friendships.  I may want to step out of my comfort zone and socialize more.

But, for now...I'm pretty comfortable being a social hermit.


As you grow older, how do you feel about making new friends?  Do you prefer a small circle of close friends or a large number of acquaintances?




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