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Old 05-30-2008, 05:54 PM
BenSr BenSr is offline
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Default Isolation

Since becoming a stay-home dad, I think the hardest thing to deal with has been a feeling of isolation. Aside from my wife, I have little to no adult interaction. She's a teacher, and one of the things I was looking forward to was being able to visit some of my friends, whom I haven't seen since getting married and moving from LI to NJ last February.

Money's a more than a little tight, and we're going to need more money during the summer. We had talked about me temping throughout the summer. It hurt, because my initial thought was that I was going to have no time with the family and no time with my friends and would have to wait another year for a break.

I have no problem doing some work during the summer to get a little extra money in, but I do have a major problem not seeing my friends I haven't seen in ages after I specifically told some of them I'd be out to see them. I finally talked to my wife about it, and we'll have some time off in early July. I'm going to be cramming in as much time as possible with them during that time. To me, that's even more important than sleep for that time.

I guess what I'm getting at in my rambling is that, especially being in a new state, I'm feeling an increasing sense of isolation in my current state. I'm finding it's unhealthy for my mental health. How do the rest of you stay home dads deal?
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:59 PM
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CTDon CTDon is offline
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Do what you can to find interests outside the family. Join a gym or volunteer somewhere.

When we lived in NJ I was a volunteer EMT, starting in High School and throughout college and then some for a few years. We moved to CT and within 2yrs my wife got pregnant and I was a stay at home dad.

After about a year we were driving home one night in our town and we passed by the ambulance that was on the side of the road at a call. It was my wife who asked if I considered doing it again, and if I wanted to, I should.

So three years and countless times being woken up by the gawd-awfully loud pager I bet she's happy she suggested it!!!

Granted, most of my adult interaction comes at 3am in the form of 99yr old ladies with broken hips or people who have been smacked in the face with an airbag because they lost control of their car....but it still gets me out of the house without the kids!
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:14 PM
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I drink, I go to the range, I brew... (Never the middle with either of the other two, though.) Find a hobby. I got some of the same deal moving away to a place where I thought there was a strong SAHD presence, only to find out I would have to drive 40 minutes to the closest get together.
I've been down here for over a year and have yet to meet another SAHD in the area.
Anyway, find a hobby or get a part time job if your family/wife can handle it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:16 PM
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A part time job can have many benefits beyond the $$, and the kids are happier when you are too.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:22 PM
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I play sports such as hockey, golf, pool and shooting. I drink beer with friends and go to the park with the kids as much as I can bear. Wife and I do things most nights I don't have other things going on. Last night for instance was 9 holes at a PAR 3 golf place. On three holes you choose your oppositions club. For instance I was given a putter to hit a 140 yard shot over water to an island green. Not easy, but fun. Other holes it was driver for a 90 yarder. You get the picture. Well then we mix a bit of Canadian fun in there. If someone makes their shot (happened most shotgun holes) and landed on the green the others in the foursome had to shotgun a beer. Not to mention the other beer we were ingesting. All in all it was pretty fun. I am going on Sunday to play 18 at another course with a friend and two of his friends. Yes it will be a competition. My partner and I won the first battle at Chappel Ridge. This is the re-match.

I think you just have to be active. Put yourself out there. Find things in the new area that you like and get out and enjoy them. Find others like you and make new friends. Face it..your not going to see your old friends much anymore. Time to make new ones. Invite neighbours over for a beer often. Play some pool. Whatever floats your boat.

Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:38 PM
BenSr BenSr is offline
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Originally Posted by woodchuck View Post
A part time job can have many benefits beyond the $$, and the kids are happier when you are too.
I don't mind getting out to work. I already give some voice and guitar lessons, and am trying to get some local gigging going on. What I'm not happy about is feeling like I had to push to see friends of mine. Despite extreme shyness, I've made a lot of effort to be open to my wife's friends, and they happen to all be decent people. I don't feel the same effort's been made to give me a chance to keep in touch with my friends, and I don't want to see that happen.

It's a given that in a new state, I can't get out to see many of my old friends as much, but that shouldn't mean I have to give up getting together with them at all. Also, having a daughter from a previous relationship, I consider many of my friends to be friends of the family, much like my wife's friends are like that when it comes to her kids.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan View Post
I think you just have to be active. Put yourself out there. Find things in the new area that you like and get out and enjoy them. Find others like you and make new friends. Face it..your not going to see your old friends much anymore. Time to make new ones. Invite neighbours over for a beer often. Play some pool. Whatever floats your boat.
Hockey nailed it.
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2008, 07:00 PM
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Ben,

Isolation is the number one complaint among SAHD's. I am certain my wife has no idea how much time I spend alone just doing the day to day BS that goes along with raising kids and running a household. All in all pretty boring stuff. Where did you live on Long Island? I lived in Smithtown up until 3 years ago. We had a great SAHD group there. I miss them a lot.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:44 PM
Philip
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I go through the isolation bit every few months, I'm friendly enough with the neighbors, but don't really have any friends since being laid off from work 2 years ago.
Mostly I try and stay occupied with some project or another.
sometimes I'll even go to some store and just ask for help and play dumb in order to have a conversation that ISN'T about kids
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:47 PM
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I have struggled with this since day #1. I look forward to my twice-a-month poker tournament a LOT....it hapens to be tonight! I have been very depressed for a long time about it, especially after the playgroup I went to had some issues with a man being there, and I was asked to leave because "we just dont feel we can talk freely with a man here" - that made me crawl up and not want to go out!
but, I am trying to get more pro-active, theres 3 stay-at-home moms that I have lunch with twice a month, seperatly, so it fills up my week. it is getting better. Bottom line for as, I can make things happen. Things arnt often as bad or stressful as I think they are going to be. ..I am currently making flyers up to post in my local library's etc to try and find more stay at home dads. Just trying to be proactive! It really helps my state of mind.
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