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Noreen Claire

<vent> We are just plain lonely...

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You can probably chalk it up to my postpartum hormones, but we are just lonely here these days.

 

This is the first year that my 2nd grader is home instead of a b&m school and he is missing being around other kids his age. His best friend from K & 1st grade lived walking distance up the street, but they moved to a new state last month. There aren't any other kids in the neighborhood for him to play with. We will sign him up again for basketball (2 nights/week) for the winter, but practice and games don't really offer him the opportunity to make friends, just teammates. Same with soccer in the spring (we took fall soccer off this year due to me having a baby during the middle of the season.) For the life of me, I can't find an active local homeschool group besides the nonsecular one in the next town over, and my husband and I are wary of joining it (we are Catholic, FWIW). I joined the local moms' group, but it is mostly little-kid stuff that DS7 won't want to participate in, and most of it happens during our home school time.

 

Over the summer my best friend seems to have distanced herself from me - she returns my texts, but she doesn't text me first, like she used to. (She used to text me prolifically.) Also, she came to visit me in the hospital for the last three babies - she hasn't seen this baby yet, and he's already 10 days old. I know that people are busy (she has four kids and a full-time job, but that never seemed to be a problem before) and she lost another friend over the summer to cancer, but it still stings that she's not here. I've never been good at making/keeping friends, and she's been my best friend for over 10 years now. To top it off, my grandmother has been in the hospital/rehab the last few weeks and my extended family has been so busy with her that they haven't visited the new baby (or me) at all.

 

The four year old and two year old don't seem to be affected, but DS7 and I both need friends, visitors, or both! </vent>

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:grouphug:

 

It sucks to be lonely.

 

I had a couple of rough years where I just wasn't meeting anyone I could really jive with, and my old friends are all at different stages in their lives (no kids or older kids), so it was hard to connect with them. To top it off the only homeschooling group in my area was unwelcoming of people who aren't the same type of Christian. It was very hard. 

 

One magical day at the park I met a little boy who introduced me to his mama, and this has completely changed the world for me and my kids. It turns out that there are welcoming homeschoolers in my area; they are just disorganized.  :lol:

 

Hang in there. Hopefully a little friendship magic will come your way soon. 

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:grouphug:

 

I'll come by if you live in the northern central valley of CA.

I can bring an apple pie...

 

My good friend got married this summer and there is definitely less contact now.

 

 

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:grouphug:  I know that feeling for sure. I hope your family and your friend manage to make it over soon. People forget how isolating life is with little ones and that Mom's need someone to reach out sometimes. Hugs to you and snuggle that little one for me. I remember that newborn time being overwhelming but completely in love all at the same moment. 

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I'll come by if you live in the northern central valley of CA.

I can bring an apple pie...

 

 

Thanks, I love apple pie! Sadly, I live 30 min north of Boston. ;-)

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Sports are always a good avenue. Consider running/track, tiquando, swimming, wrestling, or another more individual sport that meets more regularly. (If you can afford it). I think this type of sport is much better for building teammates that are also true friends. 

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I'm sorry! Based on my own hormonal experiences, I'll say that things may look up soon. However, things do go back down, and I've learned that ups and downs seem to be the way friendships go. I've also discovered that other people enjoy being asked to do things as much as you do, so do the asking. I have one lovely friend who has almost always accepted every invitation I've extended, and who seems to really like me and dd, but she never has ever extended any invitation to us. I've decided that this must be her issue: too busy working, feels insecure about her house, something. Clearly she likes dd and me. I'm about 10 years older, and live in a much nicer area. But I keep on inviting her dd, and her, to things. And she comes! I don't feel taken advantage of.

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I'm sorry. Being lonely is hard.

 

If I didn't live on another continent entirely, I would love to come and coo at your new baby, do some housework for you, and bring my ds to play soccer in the yard with your little guy.

 

Lots of hugs.

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I found it very lonely to start with even though i knew people, because I didn't know 'my people'. I had to start my own group and that has been really successful in finding people who have a similar philosophy to myself - I've made 2 very good friends and we catch up regularly. 

 

Here's a really useful guide http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/introverts-guide-to-building-community

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I'm sorry. I've been there.

Can you start your own homeschool yahoo group and set up weekly park days? We met a lot of friends through park days. When it's too cold you could do play dates at each other's homes, Chickfila or the library. See if the library or a local church has a free room to use during the day. You could start a craft day or lego day or board game day. Super easy even with a baby.

Catholic churches usually have homeschool groups. You could always start there. Put an ad in the bulletin about starting a homeschool group and see who responds. Good luck.

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Oh!  I'm local (in Boston). My kids and I would be happy to come coo at your baby, bring a meal, hang out and do some laundry or sweep up.  I know I am a perfect stranger, but I do have an almost 7 year old son....

 

I'm serious - so please PM me if you'd like a visit!

Edited by YaelAldrich
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PS I wouldn't worry about joining the secular HS group near you, even as observant Catholics.  We're Orthodox Jews (pretty darn religious) and we'd had the best experiences with secular HSing groups. Often they have lots of more tolerant Christians in addition to people of other and no faith who will be more than happy to befriend you and your kids.  Try joining a Christian group when you cannot sign their statement of faith, even though you are at least (if not more) cloistered than them (way more modest, no TV, no videos, lots of prayer, kosher food, etc)  :leaving:

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I'm a hot mess of postpartum hormones with a week and a half old baby. So yes, much of this may pass in time as hormones level out.

 

But I'd be hurt about my best friends not calling or coming to see the baby too. And I have friendships where we might not talk for weeks or months and yet when we do, we can comfortably pick up where we left off.

 

The family thing is tricky bc I wonder if a lot of that is an effort to avoid transmitting germs to grandma or to baby? I didn't think much of germs when I was a 20-something mom of a newborn. But nowadays I'm very germ avoidant until baby is at least a month old or more. Partly bc I really don't want a sick newborn bc it can get serious so quickly for little bitty ones. Partly bc I do not want to try dealing with coughing and puking or diarrhea while healing from major abdominal surgery. Is it possible the extended family is just trying to avoid giving germs?

 

As for home schooling groups... idk. Can you start one? Maybe at your parish? Are their other catholic homeschoolers there?

 

Also, how active are you at your parish? Has the women's club been sending you meals as a new mom? Could you be a bit more active there? I don't know what I'd do without our parish at many times over the years.

 

Lastly, take heart. The years when all the kids are little are lonely for many women no matter what their lifestyle or situation. It's not just you. And usually it does pass. (((Hugs)))

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PS I wouldn't worry about joining the secular HS group near you, even as observant Catholics.  We're Orthodox Jews (pretty darn religious) and we'd had the best experiences with secular HSing groups. Often they have lots of more tolerant Christians in addition to people of other and no faith who will be more than happy to befriend you and your kids.  Try joining a Christian group when you cannot sign their statement of faith, even though you are at least (if not more) cloistered than them (way more modest, no TV, no videos, lots of prayer, kosher food, etc)  :leaving:

 

<side vent>

 

Preach it!

 

I am not religious but I am more socially and culturally conservative than 95% of observant Christians.  but I can't make the statement of faith, so we're stuck with the secular groups, which can be super hit-and-miss for us.

 

<side vent over>

 

OP, I feel you.  Boy, do I feel you.  I am looking at the prospect of HSing again next semester and for the foreseeable future and the only thing that worries me is the isolation again.  Team sports have not worked great at building friendships for us either - maybe because all the kids already have friends from school?  Not sure.  I am thinking about enrolling them in things that leave a lot of time for idle chatter, like art classes and swim lessons, or that attract more homeschoolers, like... well, haven't figured that one out yet.

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PS I wouldn't worry about joining the secular HS group near you, even as observant Catholics. We're Orthodox Jews (pretty darn religious) and we'd had the best experiences with secular HSing groups. Often they have lots of more tolerant Christians in addition to people of other and no faith who will be more than happy to befriend you and your kids. Try joining a Christian group when you cannot sign their statement of faith, even though you are at least (if not more) cloistered than them (way more modest, no TV, no videos, lots of prayer, kosher food, etc) :leaving:

She said the group is not secular.

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Look for a local YMCA and see if they have a homeschoolers' PE class.The constant contact for the kids, and and moms who hung out and talked, was a huge blessing to us. We are all still friends 10 years later.

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As for home schooling groups... idk. Can you start one? Maybe at your parish? Are their other catholic homeschoolers there?

 

Also, how active are you at your parish? Has the women's club been sending you meals as a new mom? Could you be a bit more active there? I don't know what I'd do without our parish at many times over the years.

 

 

Our parish is dying a slow, painful death. The majority of the members are very, very old Polish people...and then there is us. We are in a three-church collaborative now (this is a thing in the archdiocese of Boston to keep costs down and avoid closing more churches), but the main parish in the collaborative includes a thriving k-8 school, so not a lot of homeschool presence.  

 

Look for a local YMCA and see if they have a homeschoolers' PE class.The constant contact for the kids, and and moms who hung out and talked, was a huge blessing to us. We are all still friends 10 years later.

 

Our local YMCAs (there are 3) have only preschool-aged programs during school time. Nothing offered for my 2nd grader until after school hours.

 

Oh!  I'm local (in Boston). My kids and I would be happy to come coo at your baby, bring a meal, hang out and do some laundry or sweep up.  I know I am a perfect stranger, but I do have an almost 7 year old son....

 

I'm serious - so please PM me if you'd like a visit!

 

That is awfully lovely of you!

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Does your local parish school have an aftercare program?  

 

I know ours does, and it's a great opportunity for kids to play together.  I wonder if they'd let your son register, even if he doesn't attend the school.  It might be a way for him to participate regularly with a group of kids.  

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Just a note on how life is funny... my best friend (who I was complaining about not visiting) had her youngest sent home from school yesterday with head lice. After a trip to the treatment place, it turns out that they ALL have it (mom, dad, 4 kids living at home), and have for a while.  :ohmy:  That's the last time I complain about people not coming to visit... *phew*

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I don't know whether changing churches is a possibility for you, but I had a friend in a similar position. She worshipped at a Coptic Orthodox church far from home and with an elderly congregation. After much thought and deliberation, she is now attending a different church with lots of families, and her sons are making friends there. 

Edited by StellaM
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Our parish is dying a slow, painful death. The majority of the members are very, very old Polish people...and then there is us. We are in a three-church collaborative now (this is a thing in the archdiocese of Boston to keep costs down and avoid closing more churches), but the main parish in the collaborative includes a thriving k-8 school, so not a lot of homeschool presence.

I would not assume a thriving private school means few home schoolers. There's bound to be plenty of people who can't afford the private schools and or have other reasons for not using it and instead home schooling. We have a thriving private school attached to ours as well and still have plenty of home schoolers.

 

As for the elderly dying parish, could you be more active in one of the other parishes? Or maybe in a few months, start getting more involved in this one to encourage activity and meeting other younger families? Sometimes all it takes is putting a park day meet up in the bulletin to find out you aren't the only one seeking young mom friendships.

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Just a note on how life is funny... my best friend (who I was complaining about not visiting) had her youngest sent home from school yesterday with head lice. After a trip to the treatment place, it turns out that they ALL have it (mom, dad, 4 kids living at home), and have for a while. :ohmy: That's the last time I complain about people not coming to visit... *phew*

Yikes. Unfortunately ''tis the season for such things and why I've learned to be sorta relieved if I don't have to go out or have lots of company until baby is older. No thanks to inviting that nightmare into our house while caring for a newborn and post surgery recovery. *shudder*

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I truly believe sometimes things happen for a reason. Sometimes we might find out the reason, sometimes we don't. Glad friend had not been able to go visit for now, accidentally leaving you with a lice ordeal.

 

I hope you can find something soon for ds to do. Also hope your friend can go see you soon.

 

Congrats on the new baby!

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I'd advise boy scouts for your son, if possible. he's at the right age, and it's a better way to make friends than a sports group. Hugs. 

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Oh! I'm local (in Boston). My kids and I would be happy to come coo at your baby, bring a meal, hang out and do some laundry or sweep up. I know I am a perfect stranger, but I do have an almost 7 year old son....

 

I'm serious - so please PM me if you'd like a visit!

Ditto all this, but two boys around that age!

 

I have been just where you are, op, thrice. It's nothing to shake a stick at. Big big hugs!

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