I feel like I've written a post with a similar tone before, but lately I just feel so isolated. One of the major pros that working moms champion is the adult interaction you get in a work place that is out of the home. While I absolutely agree that this is a perk, I feel like it is often confused with adult friendship.
Sure, I like my coworkers a lot, but we don't hang out. Meanwhile, I am often included on group texts of my stay at home mom friends who are planning weekday play dates and I am reminded that I am not part of that. And it really sucks. Please don't confuse my sadness with the notion that I think they shouldn't have play dates--I absolutely think they should. I would be doing the same, too. It's just hard to feel like you are missing out on your friendships--because you are--and not be able to do anything about it. Play dates don't happen on weekends because the working parent is home and that's family time. I absolutely get it. It's this exact reason that I usually don't make plans at all with friends during weekday evenings or on weekends if I can't have my family there also. I already have so much guilt and sadness about being away from my family during my working hours that it is a huge sacrifice for me to do anything without them when I can be with them. So I totally understand why my friends just want to spend time with their significant other and kids during non-working hours.
But all this mom guilt and feeling like I should never be away from the kids, even if it's to nurture a friendship? It's exhausting. To hear your friends referencing stories and history they've already shared that you weren't part of is lonely. To see all the cute pictures of the kids playing and forging their own friendships tempts me to buy into the antiquated belief that a good mom is home with her kids and not in the workplace (even though we both know what complete and utter horse $*%# that is).
So I've really been struggling to find the balance. I love Jon and he is so wonderful, supportive and emotionally available to me at all times, but I can't always rely on just him. That's not his job and it's not healthy. I've always craved friendship. But I feel like I don't really belong anywhere. Not in the group of my friends who stay home with their kids. Not with my friends who don't have kids--mostly because I'm the jerk who is always declining plans with them since they often involve me not spending time with the family when I can be. And honestly, I don't think I really have many fellow working mom friends who have the typical Monday through Friday 9-5 schedule (I have several working mom friends who are in the medical/hospitality fields and therefore work different hours) so they are able to do the play dates with the stay at home mom group. It's just really lonely.
I'm not sure why I felt compelled to write this. Perhaps it's an apology for blowing off my friends without kids (I really am sorry--trust me, it's me, not you). Or maybe it's a plea to my stay at home mom friends to maybe consider a family-friendly play date on a weeknight or weekend so we can catch up (I've tried to organize a few but few people are willing/available). (It's actually both). But please don't mistake the adult interaction I get five days a week with friendship. Please don't forget to ask me how we're doing every so often since I didn't actually get to catch up with you at the park last week. Please don't be so quick to decline when I try to invite you and your family over for a weeknight meal. I miss you. I just want to be part of your life.