>>My situation is this- I yearn for adult conversation
sometimes! We just moved to an area where there are tons of
playgroups and Mom and Me activities and whatnot, but I’m not really
interested in shoving my son (21 months) into all of this. He’s so young, and I just don’t believe that he needs to be around so many other children all of the time. As it is, I meet with a new friend in a park on
Sunday mornings for an hour and a half or so – she has a 21 month old
girl. I really do it more for myself than for ds- as much as I
love being around him, sometimes an entire day will go by and I
realize that I haven’t spoken to a single adult! (Until my husband
comes home, that is) I feel like even the park can be too much for
him when it’s really crowded, as it was yesterday. He gets into
other people’s bags and toys and I hate saying “no!” to him all of
the time, even if it is as gentle as I can be, or if it’s actually
redirecting or whatever. He’s just so young, he doesn’t understand yet.
I hope I’m being cohesive. It’s not that I need or want a break from
my son, but at the same time, I would like some adult conversation
once in a while.<<
Yes, what you said made a lot of sense. I’ve had the same dilemma myself at times, even now with older kids. I really find that peer group interaction is mostly unhelpful but that’s the only time I get to see other moms! So it’s a balance, weighing your needs and your child’s needs, and trying not to compromise either of you. But sometimes there has to be a compromise, and then how do you decide what to do?
I’ll say for starters that I truly believe that ‘if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’. I’ve seen too many mothers take this concept to an extreme and justify doing whatever they want regardless of the effect on their children because it makes them feel good and that’s what matters. But that’s not what I mean. It means that to be the best parent you can be, you have to be filling yourself up on an ongoing basis. If you deplete yourself, physically, spiritually, or emotionally, you have that much less to give. And when a mom ends up burnt out and worn out, she’s likely to be resentful and unpleasant to be around.
So I think it’s good to preempt all that negativity and be honest and non- apologetic for having needs. What your real needs and how you can meet them? You’re around a very young child all day, and I think it’s really reasonable and understandable to want to touch base with another adult during the course of a day or week or whatever. What if you went to the park for an hour each day – would that be enough for you to get out and chat with other moms? When I had little kids, this really helped me.
I understand the dynamics you’re describing of the situation that occurs when you do get out. But let’s put it in perspective: he has you all day long in an ideal environment. When you do go out, doesn’t he enjoy himself, too? Even with you needing to redirect him or stop him from some things?
You have to do a cost/benefit analysis – does getting out however often justify the situations you have to deal with as a result of going out? If it does, then do it, and don’t feel guilty for a second. Think how lucky your husband is to have a wife who’s not desperate to speak to him, and how lucky your child is to have a healthy role model for nurturing one’s self.
One suggestion I have is to be very clear and firm about what you don’t want him to do, like go into other people’s bags. He’s not too young to understand this (my son is the same age so I know it’s possible!). Once he gets clear on the parameters, you’ll have to do less redirecting and can enjoy your time out more and so can he. If you aren’t clear, then everytime you go out for the rest of your life (:)) you’re going to be telling him again and again what not to do. Not fun for either of you.