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Envious of the regular social lives of my friends with kids. Anyone else?

(5 Posts)
username911 Tue 21-Jul-15 15:43:46

Just a moan really. There's just me and DH and our 3 year old. We rarely get nights out and haven't had a night on our own since before DD was born. We do eat out but usually at lunchtime with DD with us. We have lots of enjoyable days and evenings as a family but DH and I don't get much couple time. My parents are elderly and live 4 hrs drive away but visit about 4 - 5 x a year for a couple of nights each time and are very happy to babysit so DH and I have nights out then. They can't manage DD alone for more than a day at a time though and we have to do bedtime before we head out in the evening.

ILs are closer but are elderly and unable to manage DD for longer than a couple of hours in the daytime, much as we all wish that were different as they love DD and so wish they could help more and do more active things with her.

I know we have more than other have but it doesn't help that I seem to be surrounded by friends with on-tap free 'babysitting' whose social lives I can't help but envy!

- Recently divorced friend who has 2 kids. Shares care with her ex-DH, the kids' Dad. He has them from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon and she seems to spend every other weekend on a girlie spa break, mini-break abroad, dirty weekend away with her new fella, a whole day of drinking and watching the cricket etc. (I don't envy the cricket part though!)

- Friends whose a 2 year old and a 4 year old spend 1 overnight a week and the following morning at the grandparents. They get a regular night out (theatre, pub crawl, gig etc) followed by a lie-in every week.

- Friend whose only child aged 8 spends Mon-Thurs at his grandparents and a quite a few weekends it seems. She has lots of weekends away with her partner of 5 years (not her son's Dad who is out of the picture totally) and they also do frequent extended family trips away where they all go away together and her parents and siblings look after her son a fair bit for her and her partner have boozy lunches out, spa visits, afternoon teas etc. Her son has autism and she also accesses respite time and free massages and beauty treatments from a local charity.

I'm basing all this on what my friends tell me themselves and what they share on social media, and it seems there's a lot to share. Great social life for them and, in most cases, regular quality time with grandparents for their kids. For clarity, all the parents are working, middle-class professionals and there are no child protection issues involved. All of them seem to lead the social lives of people without kids. Can't help but feel a bit envious tbh as DH and I struggle. We'd love a night away on our own, or for family to come on a weekend away with us and entertain DD. I'm sure it gets easier as they get older but we're struggling to think about leaving her with a stranger babysitter and there's also the expense of that. Friends can't help as they're either not local, or have very little ones themselves ... or are out partying themselves! smile Anyone else?

Thurlow Tue 21-Jul-15 15:53:48

Oh, I know exactly what you mean.

We have a 3yo too and work different shifts, so don't see each other much. And the shift work means there are a lot of nights I can't go out alone either, as DP just isn't around to help. Our parents are wonderful and helpful but about an hour away, so not helpful for an evening out.

At the moment I am most envious of two particular friends. One couple both work f/t but one of them works from home two days a week, then have a grandparent come to their house and do childcare one weekend day too. Another couple have moved a grandparent into a house nearby and they do half the childcare and also babysitting in the evenings.

However I do also know that this is jealousy, plain and simple grin We have grandparents that help out wherever they can, which is more than a lot of people have. We also have a 3yo who sleeps well, so we can at least get a babysitter and go out once she's gone to bed, which is more than a lot of people can do.

I got jealous the other day too when my SAHM friends were talking about how they will be getting time on their own now the DC are nursery age too. I never get time alone in the house! But then I think, I'm still able to continue working f/t, and how many of those SAHM's would want to still be out at work?

Comparison is the thief of joy and all that. No doubt there are things about your set up which friends envy you for.

VeryPunny Tue 21-Jul-15 16:01:49

Yup, same here. My family are a flight away, DH's parents an hour away and MIL not in best of health. We have 2 under 3 and have had one night out since DD was born 2.5 years ago. DS is not the best sleeper so I head to bed around 9pm anyway to try and get as much sleep as possible. It feels like DH and I mainly communicate by email on my work days.

Spare time is then horse traded between DH and me getting time to do stuff for ourselves and spending time as a family, with some chores thrown in.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 21-Jul-15 16:09:19

Do you not think your friends whose fathers have the kids at weekends are just trying to fill the void? I'd be gutted to not have my kids at the weekend (the best bit of the week.)

And the latter, do you not think she's maybe been very lonely parenting on her own and her own parents are trying to encourage her meeting somebody with a view to settling? If I were fit enough I would do the same for my child/grandkids.

It's all conjecture- but looks at how/why they have free time. It's not all as rosey as it seems

confusedandemployed Tue 21-Jul-15 16:10:37

We have a reasonable degree of help from ILs but we have also done things to improve our own social life. It's not the same, but it helps:-

1. We spend a lot of time with good friends who have a DD same age as ours. We often have 'family sleepovers' where the kids go up and we break out the wine

2. We have a babysitter from DD's nursery - her favourite key worker. Does your DD go to nursery? Would this be a possibility for you?

3. Finally, we take it in turns to go out. Again, it's different to how it used to be - but that's parenthood.

All in all we have a healthy social life, and I can count on one finger the number of time DD has had a sleepover at her GPs this year.

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