Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On Making Friends, Part Deux

Warning: Humor and Sarcasm may be present in this post.

The Horde has been fed, and all is calm in the Destructo home.

         In my last post, I talked a bit about the difficulty I have encountered in making new friends since I became a SAHD (not that I was an expert at it before) and the feeling of isolation that comes with the stay at home territory. Now, this is not a pity post, so I hope it is not taken that way. I know that stay at home moms face the same issues as stay at home dads, the only difference being that society sees stay at home moms as more "normal" than stay at home dads. That being said, I applaud anyone, man or woman, who decides to become a stay at home parent, because the people you meet in life will probably never understand just how much work 24/7 parenting really is.

The SAH Blogsphere

         Have you ever Googled "Parenting Blog"? If you have, I'm sure you got a bit overwhelmed by the number of blogs out there. Narrow your search to "stay at home parent blog" and you will still get tens of thousands of results. Refine it to "stay at home dad blog" and suddenly, the results field has shrunk to just a few hundred results. Now, I think that SAHD blogging, tweeting, tumbling, facebooking, and insertsocialmediahere is still in its toddler stage, but it kind of gives you an idea of how far we are from being in the mainstream consciousness. 

            When I started my blog, I did a bit of research into the world of SAHD blogging, and many of the blogs that I found, had not been updated in months, or even years. So I figured "why not? I can write about the shit that happens in my life, it could be fun".  And it was fun. I was posting on a pretty regular schedule for a while, and (gasp!) people seemed to be reading the absolute crappy writing that I was vomiting into the interwebz. It was pretty heady stuff, and if you have a blog, or any kind of outlet that reaches an audience, you know what I am talking about. 

Parenthood in the way of Parent Blog

         The blog was fun, it had a few followers, I had gotten a few messages and a few emails about it, and I figured it would be easy to keep it going. 


It will not be easy, you are just fooling yourself

         Yup, my oldest started school, the next college semester started, I entered the workforce again, lots of stuff was happening all at once. I kept telling myself that I would get back to blogging, but once I thought about writing a post, I would think of all the other things that needed to be done, and that I should do my chores first, then do the fun stuff. As usual, once you get all your adult responsibilities squared away, you lack the energy to get the fun stuff done. And during the time of Great Tumult, my wife was a real trooper, working longer hours to get the bills paid, and seeing her family less as a result. So I felt bad whenever I sat down to start a new post, and usually abandoned the process shortly after logging in to my account. 

          But after checking out my blog feeds today, and seeing that I am not the only SAHD feeling like the near invisible speck floating around a sea of technicolor specks, I decided that now would be the perfect time to jump back into the game and make my feelings on the situation known. Why? Because this is the internet dammit! I can write about my feelings on the color blue if I want (It really is a nice color, I just painted a room blue) And ain't nobody gonna stop me!


The Island Of The SAHD
          Playing the role of stay at home parent can make anyone feel like they are suddenly isolated. You no longer see your coworkers every day, catch up on the workplace goings on, or get kept in the after work activities loop like you used to. People are not sure if they should handle your situation with kid gloves, passive aggressive attitudes, or thinly veiled scorn. And when you toss your own family into the mix, some of whom may not understand your parenting choice, or are very old school with their views on who should be the bread winner, things can get downright uncomfortable.

Getting out and meeting people that don't dismiss you once they find out about your deep, dark secret (No, not your secret stash of video games and Baywatch posters from your youth) and actually try to get to know you before forming an opinion, is pretty tough. Trying to do so without coming across as a desperate creep is even more difficult. I think that in trying to not come off as a creep at the playground, or the weird guy at a playdate, or the perceived lazy, worthless ass that rides his wife's financial coattails, we just give up on making new friends.

 It is far easier to just stand in the vicinity of other humans, and pretend you ingested the entire bottle of Xanax.

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