Parents (kids still at home) what is your social life like?

This is a question for parents with kids high school age or younger, moms and dads.

I expect answers will vary a lot, we all fall different places on the extrovert to introvert spectrum, have differing interests, etc. etc.

What do you do for socializing? Is most of your social life with your kids in tow? Is most of your social life your kids’ activities? Do you get most of your friendship action through work?

For me, most of my socializing is done through regularly meeting defined interest groups. One is a dance group once a week, mixed men and women, one is a bookclub once a month, all women, and there’s another women’s once a month group that is through my Unitarian church, all in the evenings.

I do a modest amount of one on one get-togethers, almost always with women. I’ll see some friend or other to catch up about once a week, usually for lunch or coffee, occasionally for dinner.

Crappy. Mostly, I try to get out with the boys at work for beers.

Our social life has changed for the worse since we had our daughter. Part of that is because we just aren’t as available for stuff as we used to be, which is exactly what we expected to happen when she was born. Part of it is that the time we do have available involves quite a lot of child-friendly stuff now where it didn’t before or it must be at a child-friendly hour. Lots of people just aren’t interested in getting together when our evening basically has to be done at 7:00 because we need to get her to bed.

What surprised us was how quickly a large number of our friends basically just walked away, never to speak to us again. We’ve always known that a very large majority of our friends were childless by choice and we knew that we wouldn’t see as much of them after she was born, but I can count on one hand the number of people we used to see regularly that we haven’t seen more than once since we had a baby. We have a few friends who’ve made a point of getting together with us when possible, but by and large most of them have disappeared from our lives, some of them going so far as to unfriend us on facebook and stuff because they just don’t want to ever interact with a child.

We’ve also found that the parents of other kids are not turning into friends for us the way we hoped they would. The kids in her gymnastics class all come with nannies so we haven’t had a chance to talk to too many parents there and the other people we know with kids are mostly people we don’t particularly like or, for the ones we do like, they live a huge distance from us.

Mom with a two year old. We go out as a couple without her when grandparents are visiting and babysit. On the weekends we can go out with our individual friends while the other stays with our daughter, or we can take her along to family friends who will, bless them, entertain her while we drink wine.

Our social life changed drastically after the little one came around. But that isn’t a bad thing it’s just different. We used to hang out with people that didn’t have kids and do things that aren’t really kid friendly. Now a lot of our friends and social life are based around what we do as a family. Are daughter is very involved in sports and we hang out with other families that are just as involved. Sure there was a period when you start seeing less and less of your friends without kids. Priorities change, hours change, places you can go change. Going to a nightclub or drop zone just are not good places for kids to hang out. I prefer to hangout with my wife and daughter and do stuff they want to do. I like them a lot.

What social life?

This has been bugging me lately, I realize that I desperately need to work on my social life. I’m a single dad to a 7 year old girl who is usually only gone for one or two nights a month. Small town, nothing in common with people at work, grown apart from most of my friends and I don’t have any free time for the few I have left.

I’m actually fairly happy. I would love to have more free time to do things I like, and my love life could sure use some attention as well, but I’ve always been pretty happy alone. I don’t feel like I am missing anything, but I do feel like it would be better to have more of a social life.

Yeah, what social life.

I was a single dad and worked full time. (Still am but the kids are adults now) Work was my social life, maybe having a beer after work on Fridays, taking the kids to weekend sporting activities or chatting to a neighbour when the kids played outside in the street with the other kids…

I do most of my socializing online from the room I share with my eight year old daughter. We sit next to each other at our desks and half the time we’re sharing Stumbles with each other. Every once in a while my 23 year old daughter has her friends over, and they consider me a friend too, although I do feel the age gap more than they’ll ever know. I don’t date. It’s been two years since my SO was deported and I guess we broke up then, but I haven’t met anyone I’m interested in enough to be worth the trouble. I have two very close friends in real life, girls I went to elementary school with, and we talk on the phone about once a month.

For the record, I’m perfectly satisfied with my social life.

Can I post on behalf of my uncle? He’s not a doper. He’s a single dad to one daughter. The mom is a druggie with Munchausen’s by proxy, so it wasn’t difficult for him to get sole custody. Because of that, his only socialization is at family gatherings or church/sporting events for his daughter (she’s done soccer, softball, dance, or gymnastics at one point or another). He eventually met and started dating a woman he met through church, who has a son about the same age. As far as I’m aware, she mostly spends his money while he works longer and longer hours. He was never really religious, but he wanted to put his daughter in private school and give her a religious framework for life. Still not exactly sure why, but at least it gets him the company of other adults once a week.

I’ve never known a parent with younger kids who had a decent social life. Just the nature of the beast. I once had a couple of good (single) friends at work. Then they started having kids, and parenting is **all **they talk about. And of course, single moms can never go anywhere at night because babysitting is expensive (and she’s probably tired anyway).

My wife and I go out for birthdays and anniversaries to restaurants and/or shows. My wife occasionally gets together with friends or with her mother for a day of shopping, she’ll usually take the babies with her, while I’ll take care of the older ones when they come home from school. We make a party every Hanukkah for my wife’s old school friends and their families.

We go to a number of nice dinners every year, for the benefit of our synagogue or of our kids’ schools. These are good adult occasions, and we are seated with friends or at least like-minded acquaintances.

During the summer, we rent a bungalow in a bungalow colony where my wife stays out late talking to her friends after the little kids are in bed.

Most years, I get out to a baseball game by myself once a year, not counting the one(s) I bring a child or children to.

We have 2 grown and out, one still with us (11). When the youngest was born, we really did not have adult friends. My wife decided to look into local clubs that might be family friendly. We joined the local chapter of the SCA (medieval re-enactors), and were able to take all of the boys out for evening and weekend events with parents in similar situations. Lots of kids their ages to socialize with.

Eventually, we made lasting friends, some of whom are childless, and did less formal ‘hanging out’ at houses, restaurants, etc. Years later, those people form the core of our peer group. The childless ones have sort of adopted our kids as nephews, and we do an outing once a week or so, or have people over for dinner/ gaming/cards/movie watching.

All in all, even though we no longer do SCA (we have moved onto the 'Con circuit), it was a fantastic move for us as adults and as a family.

Our youngest is still at home, and, having his own room, can choose to join in with us or not. I think he is too cool for us now… but we still sword fight, game, and make costumes for Cons and Halloween. :slight_smile:

We have a 13 week old and of course our social life has gone down, but it hasn’t been that bad. I can’t do my usual Friday coffee with friends, but even before she came along our idea of a night out was playing Munchkin at one of our houses. If one of us wants to do something the other will stay home with the kid without a problem. Last week a friend and I went to a special preview of Ironman III while the wife stayed home.

We’re the first in our group of friends to have kids but none of our friends are “anti-baby” in the least.

When I had my son, 4 or 5 of my friends also had kids within a year or two. At that point, and for quite some time, our social lives were gathering up all the husbands, wives and kiddos at one house or another. Dinner for all, Disney movies and toys for the kids, board games for the adults. Everyone brought something, dessert, salad, wine, etc. I actually kind of miss those days.

Now that the kids are older (in their teens/preteens) we don’t do so much in large family groups. I see my best friend every Monday morning for coffee and we usually end up doing work on her cottage or pasture fences or gardening or something. I have a once a week knitting group that is co-ed: friends from high school, old coworkers and their friends. Sometimes spouses and kids come if other spouses and kids are going to be there.

I just joined a first Monday of the month ladies night at the pistol range group. I should be there now, but I have a migraine instead. Bleah.

Suburban Plankton and I don’t go out and socialize so much. We tend to do our socializing with each other when the kid is out of the house socializing with his friends.

I hope you realize THAT is exactly what raising a child can do, and is exactly what distinguishes dedicated and selfless parents from selfish ones.
It also further reminds us that so called friends are not.

If it’s any consolation, most tight knit families do not have a large group of friends - trust me it works out better that way.

Good for you. I know a man just like this and he is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I don’t praise often, yet he has my full admiration.
One day your little girl will admire you as well.

I give my husband time to go to his chorus practice and Taekwando training and he gives me time to do my Red Hat Society and other girls time activities. We made a pact to give each other outside socialization away form the family at least once a week so we don’t feel like we only ever talk to 5 yea olds and each other. It keeps up sane and happy most of the time :wink:

You’ve got a check list :

Me happy
Him happy
Kids happy(are they?)
Family happy

What about you and him, just you two?

This is either you being quite mature and accepting the fact that there isn’t time for you and him anymore, or being really immature and trying to hang onto a past life because you can’t cope with the reality of your current one.

From the far end of the spectrum (only one high-schooler remaining at home):

The combination of kids and economically-driven moves have devastated any chance of a social life for us. Add in the fact that we’re atheists living in Texas and you can complete the picture. The vast majority of people in this region will soon get around to “What church do you attend” as a normal part of gaining familiarity. This shuts down most budding friendships. On the plus side I guess, there are a lot of people “praying for us” :stuck_out_tongue:

We’re kind of introverted and insular anyway, so our social life is either the high-school parent gatherings or spending time with our (few) individual friends. We don’t have any “couples” friendships.

So no social life (as normally described) for us. It’s either the two of us doing something together, or each off with their separate hobbyist friends.

wow, you concluded a whole lot about April R based on a pretty brief post. In my OP I didn’t include anything about the couple time I spend with my husband (which is all the time after the kids are in bed plus weekly date nights). I was thinking of “social life” as mixing with people other than just the family.

Maybe don’t make sweeping generalizations about people’s maturity or lack thereof based on a small amount shared.

I have a slightly different perspective since our kids are a bit older and out of the house. Hope nobody minds.

When the kids were very young our social life kind of faltered. We slowly lost touch with our freewheeling single fiends. For a while it was fun to bring the youngsters to parties (they are women magnets, at the very time in my life I didn’t want that. Argh) but that gets old very fast. For a lot of years we worked and took care of the kids and a ‘social’ life, for us, meant play dates on weekends. We just aren’t that social. We have never hired a babysitter so almost all of our activities involved the kids unless they were sleeping over somewhere or grandma and grandpa were taking them for a week in the summer.

As the kids got older and started doing organized activities, mostly sports, we began to to meet other parents that we liked and began to make new friends. Through the high school years almost all of our couple friends were the parents of our son’s friends. Which is great. Those are the houses our boys were hanging out at and so we had were usually in the loop of what they were up to.

Now we are at the age where our kids only call us once a week or so. Our couple friends have mostly fallen away and we are making new friends in the hobbies we finally have time to pursue. A few of my old friends have made it through the process. A few couples have transitioned to empty nests along with us. We look forward to the new friends we will make.

We have an 8yo and a 1yo (next Tuesday!)

Dinner out, host dinners, go to parties and picnics, movies, theatre, the odd live gig, gallery shows, interesting lectures, LARPing, SCA events…

It’s about 50/50 - most SCA stuff, parties and some dinners with kids, also kid’s movies, otherwise without kids. For some of those, like dinners or movies, we get babysitters (often grandparents, sometimes professionals), for others only one of us gets to go (I do the LARPing and more music gigs, for instance, wife does more visits with friends/teas/lectures), for some we host so we can take turns socializing and kidminding, and our kid-having friends can relax a bit more too.

We try and do a just-us dinner+movie at least once a month, on top of everything else.

Hells, no. I’d kill myself if that were the case. Kids are just fine being looked after by someone else for a stretch, and they’re perfectly capable of being involved in group social activities.

Nope. I’m only friends with a couple people at work. Most of my friends are in the SCA, friends from clubbing, or my old Uni’s roleplaying club. I see some friends one-on-one, especially when we’re working on a writing project or suchlike, but mostly it’s in groups.

We are, of course, less available for social stuff since having kids, but I don’t really think I feel the lack very often. I would if I wasn’t in the SCA with other families. One solution to seeing friends more is to host them, I find.