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  #1  
Old 08-18-2016, 11:28 PM
WackaWacka WackaWacka is offline
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Default Loner Dads

Hi everyone, so I just joined the forum.

I have a 9 month old boy, Max, and am finding it a little difficult to balance his need to be around other kids, with my need to spend time alone.

I am a bit of a loner, occasionally I will seek out a parent or two with a child similar to mine in age, so that the kids can play and be with each other. However, the parent social side of this has always made these outings tough.

Surprisingly I don't mind story times in that the attention is often focused elsewhere. Play groups are the worst for me.

Any tips for how you guys deal with having to deal with other parents, while at the same time letting your kids get the kid time they need?

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:10 AM
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Hi and welcome. I can't help you with the socializing aspect if your post. I loved having a conversation with an adult when my kids were young and my wife was working on the road. The playdate was as much for me as for the kids.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:16 AM
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Welcome aboard. 9mo is tough time, I remember quite a bit of loneliness with our first one. That was part of me finding this site.
Library story time was a life saver. Our zoo in Duluth was cheap for a membership so we did that once a week, too.

Good luck brother.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:41 AM
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Welcome!

Honestly, at 9 months and only having the one kid at that point the prospect of not having enough alone time was NOT an issue. My only problem was finding somebody to take over for a couple of hours so that I could go out and do adult things like go to the gym, catch a movie, go to the hardware store (my version of a toy store) or whatever. I'm with you, I couldn't be bothered with other parents but that was mostly because I didn't have enough estrogen in my system to fully relate with my "peers" and those of my own gender I'd encounter would always ask "so you're giving mommy a break today, huh?" (shudders)

What you should do is find a daycare who will take toddlers for a couple of hours and give yourself about 2-3 hours at least once a week just to do your own thing. If your wife or significant other is one who comes home straight away after work then (after an acceptable amount of time getting reacquainted after the toils of the day) grab your keys or whatever and say to them "could you watch the baby? I need a little time to myself."
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:52 PM
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Yeah, welcome! I was like Mark, needed the playdates as much as the kids for some adult interaction when our kids were young. I also needed alone time on weekends for a break.

I think the biggest thing that's a transition becoming a parent is that it really is not about you. You do things that you wouldn't normally be comfortable with because you know it's in your kids best interest. I worry some about our youngest (who's almost 15) because of the way he now only wants to stay in his room on the computer. While I think a lot of that is OK, if he doesn't learn the ability to interact with other people some, life is going to be harder for him. I did take him to lots of playgroups. I'm hoping this is mostly a stage he's going through. I hope my own role model example of not having a lot of social interaction hasn't influenced him in a negative way. He does seem to do pretty well with other kids when away from us parents though.

Point is it's good for kids to have free play with other kids, more than at story hour. If you wait till they're older like my son, they're their own person and you can't influence their actions much anymore. Even if it's uncomfortable for you, you might find sharing stories with other parents helps you out with frustrations about parenting, and might gain some good ideas about things you hadn't heard about yet that benefit Max. Don't have to talk, just listen, that's what people like.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:48 PM
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Welcome, I can relate to your problems - I went through (and still go through them a lot). I tried play groups, and it was awkward, and hard for me to relate to a lot of the people there (a lot of in my opinion overly involved mothers who hovered over their unique little perfect snowflakes). In fact I still sometimes have those problems and I currently have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. The oldest fortunately is incredibly outgoing and loves people, so when I get him out in public he makes all the friends he could want. School ended up being the best thing ever for him. Obviously that doesn't help with a 9 month old. Mostly I ended up doing the story time events at the library as it was easy to just sorta sit in the back.

When I just had the one and he was 9 months old, yeah, spent a lot of time with just him. I would take him out for walks (we're fortunate enough to live near to some nature center trails), and that was always relaxing for me. He'd often just stare at things, and eventually fall asleep and I could just quietly push him around at my own pace. It got a little easier as he got older because I could take him to small playgrounds and let him just do his thing. But it was really hard for me when he was a baby.
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:07 PM
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At 9 months, story time at the library was our only gathering. We strolled every day the weather was good.
Later you'll have sports; soccer, swim lessons, tball, random trips to the park,
I got one at 6 1/2. Me time has always been rare. Us time can be fun too! Share what you know, give advice, etc.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:19 PM
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Well.....I certainly feel like a lone soldier most of the time. I would like nothing more than to meet a small group of stay at home dads to hang out with while the kids play. I've scoured the internet and haven't found anything in my area. There's plenty of "Parent" groups, but all of the activities are, "Mom's night out", Thirty-One, and Avon parties, etc. I take my kids somewhere almost every day. The children's museum, zoo, swimming, parks, etc., and it just helps being around other people.

Obviously, for the most part, the adults I come across are moms. Which is fine. Most just ignore me, on rare occasion one will strike up a conversation, and once in a while they actually tell me to go away (Had my kids at the children's museum once and my 4 year old wandered into a group of kids and I sat near some moms. They were talking lady stuff and one actually said, "Excuse me! We kind of have a play group going here." Which is a great message to send the kids! If someone is different, just tell them to go away!)

So after 4 years of stay at home dadness (now with a 4 and a 1 year old), which I still love doing and wouldn't have it any other way, I had to get out and be around some like minded people. So I got a part time job as a tour guide at Lambeau Field. A couple days a week I get to leave the house by myself, go to a place I love being, and talk football for 3 or 4 hours - and get paid for it to boot. When I brought up being a SAHD I told my wife that all I wanted was a few hours on Wednesdays, her regular day off, to get out of the house and decompress. Went okay for a year or two but then she started taking more and more Wednesdays for her own R&R and things she needed/wanted to do. Weekends are family time so I was left with no time away. What the working parent doesn't understand is that when you just spent 60 hours alone with the kids in the last week, the picnic at the zoo or the family vacation is not a break.

Don't know if we're talking about the same thing here, but you just need to find out what works for you. The others are right - it is all about the kids now, so doing things that make you uncomfortable is just part of the deal. However, if you don't take that time for yourself, someway, somehow, and as a result you're stressed out and unable to be the best you can be for your kids...that's not good either!
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:58 PM
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What I did early on, GBDad, was kind of watch to see which dads were always there. I was already in our state group MDAH (Mn Dads at Home) but there were no members near me. I just started striking up conversations. "Hey, good to see ya again, glad there's a couple dads..."
Anyway, before we moved from Duluth to "the cities" our group had 8-10 dads that would meet 3-5 days a week. We even got the green light from all our wives for a night out once in a while.

Now that my kids are older and I'm in a different town, I'm not really interested in doing that again.
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:57 AM
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Welcome! Do you have any local gyms that provide child care while you work out. I found the YMCA was a great way for my kids to get some play time in with other kids and I had a chance to work out.
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