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to prefer to be alone with my kids?

(43 Posts)
suddenlycupishalffull Thu 11-Jun-15 09:16:55

Just that really...I'm a SAHM with boys not yet 4 & 18 months. We moved to a rural area less than a year ago & are settling in well, DS1 goes to pre-school a few days a week. DS2 does playgroup & a little class. The rest of the time we do days out, home days reading, baking, playing, park etc, probably see family once a week (they don't live near). I'll admit I'm an introvert & much happier in my own company so I feel so out of step with everyone else - almost all of my friends spend time with other people - constantly. So they'll collect kids from half day at nursery, have a lunchtime play date then a play date in the afternoon. It's normal for them to have 2 play dates in a day, every day. I find play dates, esp when you at someone's house rather than meeting in the park etc, really stressful. Most of my friends have 2 or 3 kids under 4, and when 3 or 4 friends meet up in someone's house I find that many kids all in one space really stressful. DH is a complete extrovert & at the weekends DSs get taken friends houses with kids, so I feel they are getting that interaction...But for me, I don't enjoy it & just don't think it's necessary, esp when eldest goes to pre-school....what's wrong with being on your own with your kids & giving them some one to one, just playing etc? I suppose I feel like culture at the moment values extroverts & I feel like I'm letting my kids down if I'm not zotting about seeing friends all the time sad

Wishful80smontage Thu 11-Jun-15 09:19:36

I think you have to do what's best for you- if they are both mixing ok at pre-school then I would carry on as you are. Everyone is different we have a lot of play dates this is because I like to chat to a couple of people at a time rather then going to a big group- we do go to one toddler group at the minute but that's all.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 11-Jun-15 09:23:54

Oh god I hate people. Well, I love certain people, but generally I hate "people".

The only Playdates I would ever agree to are "drop and run" ones - both my kids at their house and their kids at my house.

DD is in Preschool so she socialises there, and DS is 7mo and perfectly happy with me, dh, grandparents and the odd well meaning pensioner who sticks their head in his buggy.

Yesterday we sat in the park while dd was at preschool - me with a book and him rolling around me on the grass with a few toys. Not a soul near us. Bliss.

Athenaviolet Thu 11-Jun-15 09:25:26

If you prefer being on your own and find groups stressful you may be on the asd spectrum. So maybe it's worth reading up on this/doing some online tests. There are also some good man threads to read.

Other wise maybe you're just an introvert and there's nothing wrong with that!

Vagndidit Thu 11-Jun-15 09:26:09

It is sad that there is this expectation that children are expected to be "with others" and "social" nearly 7 days a week. It's exhausting watching mothers negotiate afterschool playdates and "bringing so and so round for tea" on a nearly daily basis. It's like they go out of their way to make sure they spend as little time as possible with their own children but that's my cynical view

I have only child DS and I love spending time with him. He enjoys having a friend over every other week or so but certainly doesn't need a constant diary of playdates. He is great and entertaining himself at home, we do fun things together and he has a few activities through the week. He's happy enough, imo.

suddenlycupishalffull Thu 11-Jun-15 09:42:10

Athena..... blushblushblushblush - really?! I'm not being funny but I hope you are being ironic? I've never heard of being an introvert as needing diagnosis before! Remember the context - I said 3 or 4 sets of 2 or 3 kids all shut up together in one house, all of them under 4, while the Moms try to chat and drink tea...that I find stressful! BTW for my profession before I left work I would speak confidently in front of 200-300 young people on an almost daily basis...I don't have a problem with crowds.

It's so reassuring to hear the others expressing similar feelings as I feel like I'm out on a limb here, totally out of step with everyone else (the day at the park with book & child sounds bliss!!) I like my kids, I like being with them just tatting about, esp on non-school days when youngest naps & I get 1.5 hours of uninterrupted time with eldest. I hear the other moms at the school gate arranging play dates for after school tea & I'm like blush - my DS is exhausted after a full day and surely that's enough socialising when you are not yet 4?!

TheVeryThing Thu 11-Jun-15 09:48:14

I think you sound like a fabulous Mum, actually. I've never been a SAHM but I'm not sure I would have the patience that you have, even though I'm also an introvert.
I'm sure all that one-to-one time is benefiting your children hugely.
My dcs go to a childminder with no other mindees so neither of them had a huge amount of interaction with other kids before pre-school and I never saw that as a problem.
It sounds like your family has a great balance and I think your kids are really lucky.

BathtimeFunkster Thu 11-Jun-15 09:49:20

I'm not an introvert, but there are limits to my ability to be social.

Multiple play dates in a single day sounds exhausting.

It's so nice for kids to have time at home just pottering about.

I think you are doing fine. smile

parallax80 Thu 11-Jun-15 09:49:26

YANBU, though I'm an introvert too (but not a shy one!).

UnspecialSnowflake Thu 11-Jun-15 09:55:02

I'm the same as you, and I'm absolutely sure I don't need a diagnosis, I just like my own company and find endless social engagements both stressful and boring. It's no more wrong to be an introvert than to be left handed, it's just the way some people are.

Some people genuinely seem to need almost constant company, and that's fine too, but don't feel that you're in the wrong because you don't feel that way, it's nothing more than horses for courses.

HamishBamish Thu 11-Jun-15 09:55:30

YANBU. I prefer the company of my own family and have to force myself to have or go to play dates. 2 play dates a day would finish me off!

TheOddity Thu 11-Jun-15 10:07:09

I'm an extrovert and still find play dates excruciating and don't do them!

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Thu 11-Jun-15 10:10:03

I think you're exaggerating. Everyone does 2 playdates a day, every single day? Not a chance.
Do what you want, whatever suits you. But no need to be so judgy about people who do it differently.

Tamar86 Thu 11-Jun-15 10:11:15

I'm just the same and a complete introvert. (Maybe I am also on the AS spectrum, but I don't see what the point of a diagnosis would be at my age anyway).

I think it's fine, and there are lots more people out there the same, they're just happy to be a bit quieter and more in the background - and quite likely their children are too - so you don't always notice them as much.

My children are pretty introverted too - they are still self-confident, happy children with strong friendships at school and nursery, who enjoy playing with friends but also just with each other or alone, and manage fine with a playdate every now and again, and just one after-school activity per week.

None of us get bored with our own company, and I think actually that's a real strength!

nigelslaterfan Thu 11-Jun-15 10:11:29

playdates can be great, but some kids are so hard to please. I've had dd's friends complain about our garden not being as good as their's and extremely fussy eaters!
I do feel very self conscious that it's a house competition but maybe that's just me.
My daughter loves it, and it can be great if the visiting child is nice and not an impossible to please type.

suddenlycupishalffull Thu 11-Jun-15 10:13:05

Eek I don't know, I'm not that patient wink I think they're both at a nice age (though tantrums feature hugely still, theirs & mine & I start clock watching at 4pm!!) But generally I like being with them, doing fun things with them, it's just that what I think is fun is fairly solitary (reading, drawing etc) & doesn't involve being with little friends, I figure that's what pre-school & playgroup (once a week with 18 month old) is for? DH needs to be with other people, he seeks out company, whereas I find it exhausting to referee a load of under 4s, I much prefer seeing the Mum friends over a glass of wine in the evening wink

BlackeyedSusan Thu 11-Jun-15 10:16:04

they get plenty of activity as it is. introversion is good. and yes it is often extraverts who think there is something wrong if you do not socialise. some are not aware that introversion is a perfectly acceptable personality trait.

blueskydrinking79 Thu 11-Jun-15 10:18:45

I don't think I'm an introvert by any stretch of the definition, but nursery, lunch and two playdatess sounds like too much for a young child and the parent(and Dante's seventh circle of hell if I'm honest).

We don't live near family or friends, moved when ds1 was newborn so I did worry that I wasn't socialising him enough. Now I've swung the other way completely. This is a very unique time in a child's life when they are not being told what to do by school system, university or job. We go to playgroup, library, pool and playground but usually only one activity a day and never too much in one day. I definitely notice my boy is very agitated if he doesn't get some relaxing time running around home with his toys. We all need down time I think.

mistymeanour Thu 11-Jun-15 10:19:24

Do what makes you happy. Perhaps if your DC really enjoy the playdates you could limit it. I used to find them totally exhausting, having to make conversation all afternoon with another mum with whom I had little in common with or being left to entertain a nanny (who probably disliked it as much as me). As the DC get older it will get better as once you know the other parents well you will not need to stay. I think if you are stressed your children can sort of tell and so it's better for everyone to preserve your own peace of mind

iamadaftcoo Thu 11-Jun-15 10:22:25

Good lord, how ridiculous that if you're an introvert you must be seen as being on the ASD spectrum! Some of us just don't need to be around other people all the time, there's nothing wrong with that.

YANBU OP. I am the same.

Mellifera Thu 11-Jun-15 10:33:08

OP (love your username) I'm like you.

I prefer to be on my own with my dc3 (6) and do have to make an effort to have children around after school because I think it is good for her. She would be missing out on friendships because all her friends do it, and she loves going to her friends' houses.

I would prefer to either meet at a park or elsewhere, because I find it stressful to have some of dc3's friends around. In the last 6 months I've had flooded bathrooms (boy not sitting down to wee despite being told to), refereeing constantly, having to lock the dog away to protect it, having my flowerbeds trampled on.
I decided to take a break from play dates except for 2 friends who come over maybe once a month.

My teens always have friends over and my Dc3 doesn't get excluded, especially my DS's friends (only children) love her.

Dh meets up with his friends and their similar aged dc at the weekend and we all meet friends together at parties, bbqs etc so I don't feel too bad about not having constant playdates.

Do what you feel is right for you. Especially with children so young.

babyboomersrock Thu 11-Jun-15 10:36:49

OP, this was normal for many of us back in the 70s. I also lived in the country - my 3/4 year olds would go to playgroup once or twice a week for a couple of hours, and I'd visit a friend maybe once a week or they'd visit me. The rest of the time, the dc played in the garden or "helped" me while I cooked/baked/cleaned/did washing and in the afternoons we went for long walks, cycle runs, or played/worked in the garden.

My friends did the same - sometimes we met for a picnic, but otherwise we spent a fair bit of time at home or on walks. The hours flew past and the children were in bed by 7, exhausted, so my evenings were my own.

I had 4 dc, and visiting a house full of (other people's) children, with all their mothers, sounds like hell to me.

I'm really not sure that children's lives should be an endless round of organised events - why can't they just play? I admit it helps if you have access to a garden, and enough room to play inside - it must be far more difficult if you're confined to a small space.

Having said that, my city friends took their children out to parks and museums, so there are still ways of occupying the dc which don't involve large organised gatherings in someone's house.

Enjoy your peaceful life, OP. It sounds lovely.

suddenlycupishalffull Thu 11-Jun-15 10:44:54

So reassuring, thank you! Like I say, I'm definitely in the minority in my RL circle. I'm a happy, confident introvert so I'm fine for myself, but it's the sense that I'm letting my kids down that's making me doubt myself, I feel like I'm raising them to be anti-social or not helping them to develop their social skills outside of pre-school environment, but it just seems unnecessary to me. Especially with DS1 starting school in Sept, I feel like time with him just doing nothing is fast disappearing & I want to make the most of this time while we have it...spending it penned up in someone else's house with other kids doesn't feel like the best use of that time for us - honestly not judging anyone else who prefers this (ie DH who does exactly this with our kids at the weekends) but for me, it's my idea of hell. But am I depriving them of developing social skills if we don't do that during the week?! All those tea at friends' houses that I hear the other moms organising?

susanstryingterm Thu 11-Jun-15 11:08:57

I don't think it has to be either big large groups or no one at all. I'm an introvert and prefer to meet up with friends one or two at a time rather than in big large groups.
Not having a go at you OP, but there seems to be a view on Mumsnet sometimes that all introverts are extreme loners when it's really often just big, noisy groups that we find tiring and over powering.
As an introvert I have lots of friends, but have never hung around with a huge gang, and don't enjoy big parties etc.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 11-Jun-15 11:26:52

Nothing wrong with either approach, we do a bit of both. Tend to go to a group or a friends in the morning then spend the afternoon playing together. Liking groups and play dates doesn't mean you're avoiding spending time with your child either to the poster who suggested that!
As with everything, each to their own.

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