Am I Doing My Kids a Disservice by Not Having a Social Life?

Updated on December 19, 2011
M.A. asks from Somerdale, NJ
17 answers

I guess my question is am I setting an antisocial example for them? I have moved 3 times in the past 9 years, all different states. I can rarely make friends and my husband and I have never used a babysitter so we don't get alone time unless family is visiting. But now that my daughter is in school I feel a little awkward about not having a social circle. I had one friend in the last place we lived and our families got along great but we usually just got together for playdates. Now we are in another state and I am overwhelmed with starting over AGAIN.
My daughter is starting to ask why we don't have a babysitter and when can she have a playdate with someone and I realize that I just got out of the habit of being social. I honestly don't even know where to begin.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the responses. I have decided to joing a MOPS group as some suggested. I have 3 kids - 6, 3 and 1 so scheduling is pretty difficult for playdates, etc. Plus I'm really busy!

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

I think you are doing a disservice to yourself, your marriage and your daughter by not having a social life, BUT 3 moves in 9 years and adding a child to it all is tough! Why don't you use a babysitter? You need to do that and have some date nights with your husband! Use or -they have wonderful sitters with references and loads of experience. We found several incredible people including our old nanny on

Kids need to see their parents going off and having fun. They need to see their parents have friendships. I remember loving it when my parents went out and I had a sitter. I also loved seeing them socialize or have people over. Humans are social animals! I have some relatives -two sets -who never socialized outside of family or went on date nights or had sitters or friends. Both family's children are grown now -and have no friends and still live at home.

I know it must be hard to meet new people, but try volunteering with a group or organization that may lead you to some like-minded folks and social events. If you have any sort of religious or spiritual beliefs, seek out a church, synagogue, congregation, etc. and become active there. Do you live in a neighborhood that has meetings or anything on a regular basis? You could attend those to meet some neighbors. Good luck! It will be good for you though -and your daughter. At least get a sitter or two and go out with your hubby for some fun!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Don't worry, you are not setting an anti-social example.
My parents never left us w/babysitters, never went & did anything w/friends and I am a social butterfly.
Having said that.....I don't really leave my child much except occasionally w/hubby to get dinner w/a friend.
It's not what you do that makes a child social or anti-social, it is the personality they were born with.
So you can relax in that regard.
It's up to YOU what you want to do or not do: go out, stay in, make friends etc.
Give yourself a break & go with what you want to do. :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

What makes you the most over-whelmed..... having to plan playdates and activities and having friends....or is it that you don't want to get attached and move again ? Or is it that it is too complicated for you to embrace relationships ? Your daughter can have playdates and friends and you don't have to be apart of the parents life or have a friendship with the parents if that is not your cup of tea. But surly encourage playdates and park outings after school.

A babysitter is a little tougher. It is hard to find a trust worthy person. It is best to get a recommendation from someone you know. So maybe if you can get that from a class mate's mom, that is a good start.

I love friends and love people ! I hope you and your family find someone special to experience life with.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

If you were very unhappy with this situation and causing your child to be anxious then perhaps that would be part of the big picture. But people are busy, people work a lot and in our case we spent many years staying home, actually still do although the boys are older because we like it. We enjoy eachother's company and I do not need to be a 'people collector' and do, do, do things just cuzzz...If you genuinely feel as though you are missing something then do it. There are people involved in all kinds of activities. However we found we were pooped over the years at night and want to relax on the weekends so we cut out things that weren't necessary. some at home parties weren't necessary, I could still order through someone without going. If you are resenting going to something I think that hurts the children more. We made time for their activities, sports, shows and other events, saw our friends and relaties when appropriate and the rest finally became our free time. Enjoy your life.Happy Holidays!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I am very social, my husband is not. Both of my kids seem to take after me. My son doesn't know a stranger. He loves all people. My daughter is a bit more reserved, but still loves to play and do a variety of activities. I think it is important to have friends, but it is easy to get so busy that it can fall to the wayside. As others have suggested, find a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) even if you don't have preschoolers anymore, most groups will still welcome moms of older children. I love my MOPS group. It is at my church. I have met many friends that way, but even if I don't do much with them one-on-one, it is still nice to get out every other week for some food, conversation, crafts or listen to a speaker talk about various topics of interest to the group. (parenting, marriage, child safety, personal testimonies,etc.) I also enjoy my women's bible study group. While I am not with my children during these times, they love being in the childcare rooms and have made friends there. We used to do playdates frequently, but now that both kids are in preschool it is harder to make schedules work with friends. We do go to the zoo, museum, and park a lot. We also enroll in music classes, Gymboree, or PE 101 (kids' gym). A lot of the time it is just our family, but doing these activities invite more opportunity to meet other people.
Edit: I think it is good for kids to be social because it is a great way to learn social skills. However, even though I am social now, I was pretty shy as a kid. It wasn't until I went off to college and became a teacher that I became more social and liked it. My husband has learned how to be more social with the nature of his work, so it is possible your kids will find other outlets to be social.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I'm not sure how old your children are but my daughter's friends were from sports, activities and school. I cultivated friendships with some of the moms there. We did not "playdate" ourselves to death...I still think that's pretty funny. When I was young, we just PLAYED...but I get that we can't let our kids just run around until the streetlights come on like in the good old days.

I DO think you and hubby need to get a babysitter and enjoy some time for the two of you. Do it!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

i can totally sympathize with you. in 8 years we have moved 5 times. i am very social and every time we have moved i have created a social life for my family, even being able to be picky, because i am picky about who i hang out with. fast forward to our last move, i just don't have the desire to do so anymore. i feel like it's pointless. not that we have another move planned, but knowing us it will happen. i have tried and gotten out there, have organized playmates for kids, and still do but nothing to the extent i have done before. i encourage my twins to create bonds with kids and as they tell me who they like i contact the parent. usually i don't take it further than just a playmate. maybe you could do the same. invite someone over for a playmate, hoping the next time that parent will have you guys over or keep it neutral and suggest going to movies, library, lunch, bookstore etc. good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Find an activity that you enjoy and join. It can be anything from scrapbooking to softball. Once you find an activity you enjoy you will find others who also enjoy that activity. Respond in a friendly manner when someond says hi and talks to you. Compliment people on anything from wow I love your purse to you play really well and that should help to start conversations. You simply go from there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think a social mom with friends is a happy mom. Whether it's a good example to your kids, or just makes you feel good, or a combo of both, I think everyone needs that outlet.

Is there a reason you move so much? Is it a necessity? I'd think that maybe your subconscious is preventing you from getting close to people because you know you might be leaving soon, again.

In the meantime, where you live is home, so branch out, make the effort. I'm sure you & your kids will be happier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think it's important to maintain a balance between parenting, your marriage and your "me" time, whether that's a night out with girlfriends, a hobby, a book club, etc. I think it's important to teach that to our kids and especially our daughters. Take baby steps and you already have great suggestions here (classmates' moms, church group, the Y). Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think that you need to get out. For your own sake. A hobby or Meet Up or church or volunteer group will give you an "in" with a group of people. I think not only would it be beneficial for you to have a social outlet, but I'd encourage your daughter to bring her friends over. Sometimes you can meet and befriend her friends' parents, too. I can understand (we moved a lot, too), but it's good to have even a small network and not be isolated. My mom was often isolated and I think it contributed to her depression. Not that you have to be a social butterfly, but it's good to have a friend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Churches, the Y, and some gymnastics studios have parents night out where you can drop off your child for up to 4 hours and go out. Join MOPS or another mommy group and force yourself to go and be friendly. Go to library story time and the mall playground. You will find moms you click with to meet up with at the playground, McDonalds, and such. Then you can plan a playdate.

People told me having kids would make me friends. It is no guarantee. People are busy and once they make one or two friends, it seems like they are not open to more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I think it's healthier to have friends especially with kids who your kids can play with. It will help their confidence and social skills later in life. It's hard to make friends cause people ar so into their own circle these days. If your kids are of school age they can make friends there and it puts you off the hook a little cause you don't have to make friends for them but being a mom of a 19 month old I feel a lot of pressure to get playdates and the fact that I'm a stay at home mom and I need someone to talk to other than my babbling toddler and husband. Don't feel guilty cause I know how that feels. All you can do is try and praise and encourage your child enough that they will be strong adults.



answers from Phoenix on

I agree with MamaLucky. Since she is asking for playdates encourage her to invite her friends over. You obviously will have to meet the mom as little girls can't drive yet:)
you dont need a social circle if you don't want one but the best way to know what is really happening in the classroom/playground is to be around the parents and kids that are around your child. Plus you are going to bump into them at the grocery store and places like that. These kind of current events are important and you don't get them from just talking to the teacher and PTA meetings. If you don't need friends that is fine but accaintences are people that you can call after school hours if you can't remember if she has to pack a sack lunch for a field trip or which dance class are most of the girls in the class signing up for if 2 are offered....



answers from Chicago on

It is easy to get out of the habit of socializing after you have kids without even realizing that it has happened. Even harder when you move. Now that the weather is colder it may be hard to get to know your neighbors. Maybe a good place to start might be at school. If you or your husband have time to volunteer, you may meet some other parents that way. If finances will allow it & your kids are interested you could sign them up for some activities. If you attend church, you could find a church to join in your new area and may meet some people that way. It is definitely hard to meet new people these days. It seems like everyday life keeps us so busy that there isn't much time left to socialize (or we're too tired to try!). Good Luck! You are definitely not alone.



answers from Chicago on

I have a bit if trouble making friends too. But I joined a meetup group for moms and have really enjoyed it. I am actually sad that I have not been able to be more involved recently, my days have been so busy trying to work around one in preschool, homeschooling another and the baby's nap schedule. It has gotten a little harder for me to find days/times that work. But there are several opportunities for playdates as well as "mom's night out" events. It is a great group of women that are very open and supportive of each other. It is directed toward the SW suburbs, we have a lot of events near orland park, tinley park, oak lawn, mokena, etc. You can PM me if you want to know more about it. Getting out there more will be good for your daughter, but even better for you!


answers from Eugene on

Join some kind of club that is international like the Soroptimist International which is a woman's social/service organization. You will meet many new and very nice women. When you move you just go into the local chapter and your social life comes together again.

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