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Social woes exacerbated by COVID - anyone else?


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I'm feeling bleak lately, and I figured someone out there might possibly be in the same boat, which might make me feel less bleak (or at least less alone).  After years of trying to connect with other homeschoolers (or anyone!), we finally found a social/field trip group that we seemed to fit with in 2019.  None of my kids found a best friend or anything, but they at least had people to hang out with.  Then COVID hit, and we found that the most frequent attendees of our social group were anti-mask and seemed to believe one or another of the conspiracy theories floating around.  I don't necessarily have an issue hanging out with people I disagree with, but they were unwilling to do anything virtual or masked/distanced (per local regulations), so...essentially it felt like the group just ditched us (which was perhaps more hurtful because in the six months leading up to COVID, I had become the primary field trip scheduler and felt like I was valued and finally was developing some mom friends--which was apparently not the case).  Individual families continued hosting occasional events at their homes or gathering in neighboring counties with lesser COVID restrictions, but we didn't attend.  Now that local regulations have eased, the group is back in full swing.  But even when all my kids are able to be vaccinated, I'm wondering if we'll feel comfortable returning--especially given the really vitriolic posts one mom, in particular, makes on FB.  (Most of the others have left FB, so I have no contact with them anymore.)

That said, we're quite clearly not the type of people who just naturally collect friends.  It took five years of actively trying to connect socially before we found this group.  Most groups (whether social or sports or activity-based) seem to be established; while the people are pleasant, neither the adults nor the kids are actually interested in expanding their social circle.  My kids are all in that tween phase in which a social life feels vital, and I feel like a failure that not only have none of them ever had a best friend, they've hardly had any casual friends--and I don't know how to provide those.  I feel like I've exhausted all of our possibilities for connection, to no avail.  So while I'm excited that one kid is vaccine-eligible now and the others might be in a few months, I also feel like maybe there's not really a point to being excited, since it's not like we have anything to return to or much hope of finding other people to hang out with.

Is anyone else in the same boat?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

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You’re not alone.....we pretty much lost all of our homeschool ‘friends’ and acquaintances over the last year for exactly the same reasons, and our church dissolved, so we lost that too . Our only bright side is my dc are older, ds is graduating and dd will do dual enrollment in the fall, so we’re done homeschooling. Though I’m still going to be starting over trying to make new local friends at nearly 50, and we’ll be looking for a new church (that doesn’t believe all the conspiracy nonsense) once dd is fully vaccinated.  

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there are probably others in the same situation.  Things were weird and awkward when we first came out of lockdown here but in some ways they were actually easier because people were looking for connection after missing it for so long.  And I was less socially exhausted.  

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We’re in the same boat here the vitriol, conspiracy thinking, and for a Christian group lack of follow the Bible (Love your neighbor) during the pandemic is a burned bridge that can’t be fixed. 
 

Going forward we’re looking to make friends with kids outside of homeschooling and starting a new more secular leaning homeschooling group. Fortunately my only homeschooler is 8. 
 

I have homeschooled my older children through 8th grade and socialization with true friends not acquaintances has always been hard. Most have made friends through non homeschool activities. Also they all went to public school high school and tbh that’s where they made their first close friends. I don’t know if that’s an option for you. 
 

 

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My kids have managed to maintain a lot of online friendships.  Not quite the same but they do seem to fill a need for them to talk and interact to people outside of our family.   They both also come to classes I teach and have acquaintances there, but no close friendships have developed except one for dd.   Both found their online friends through gaming groups for specific games and they morphed from there.  

I do think this is not an uncommon situation right now.   I think a lot of people who had church or co-ops as their primary social outlet, especially those who are being cautious, are really feeling it right now.  

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We're in almost the exact situation. Our homeschool group kept meeting under the radar and against state mandates, and we left. We left on good terms, but the friends I had thought we had made, were only coop buddies and the kids had no interest in keeping in touch w/ DS once we left. Online classes have helped a bit this year, but it's been hard. 

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Yes, but with church. DH and my older son were very involved in the youth group, and they didn't follow any guidelines (but said they did). Our small group stopped meeting, and one of the people in our group seemed to follow guidelines about masking in public, but he had some really appalling stuff posted on FB throughout the year, and they are clearly not on our page politically to an extent that I can't quite un-know. Our pastor said from the pulpit that he is a nationalist, and I assume he means Christian Nationalist vs. white supremacist, but it's still kind of shocking. He does connect it to his theology. 

Our co-op quit meeting and is planning to start this fall. I know not everyone is on the same page, but I don't think anyone quit over the group not meeting last year, so I think people will resume with reasonable ability to not have this divide us.

Homeschool music resumed meeting with masking/protocols in place, but we didn't attend. I am pretty sure one of my son's friends graduated this year, so that's sad. He didn't get to see him all year, and I think this young man had many ready friends that were available all year to do as they pleased, so they didn't really keep in touch much (they did do a couple of online activities together, but not regularly). I had hoped he'd get a grad party invitation--they are usually outdoors here, so we might've let him go.

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9 hours ago, eternallytired said:

I'm feeling bleak lately, and I figured someone out there might possibly be in the same boat, which might make me feel less bleak (or at least less alone).  After years of trying to connect with other homeschoolers (or anyone!), we finally found a social/field trip group that we seemed to fit with in 2019.  None of my kids found a best friend or anything, but they at least had people to hang out with.  Then COVID hit, and we found that the most frequent attendees of our social group were anti-mask and seemed to believe one or another of the conspiracy theories floating around.  I don't necessarily have an issue hanging out with people I disagree with, but they were unwilling to do anything virtual or masked/distanced (per local regulations), so...essentially it felt like the group just ditched us (which was perhaps more hurtful because in the six months leading up to COVID, I had become the primary field trip scheduler and felt like I was valued and finally was developing some mom friends--which was apparently not the case).  Individual families continued hosting occasional events at their homes or gathering in neighboring counties with lesser COVID restrictions, but we didn't attend.  Now that local regulations have eased, the group is back in full swing.  But even when all my kids are able to be vaccinated, I'm wondering if we'll feel comfortable returning--especially given the really vitriolic posts one mom, in particular, makes on FB.  (Most of the others have left FB, so I have no contact with them anymore.)

That said, we're quite clearly not the type of people who just naturally collect friends.  It took five years of actively trying to connect socially before we found this group.  Most groups (whether social or sports or activity-based) seem to be established; while the people are pleasant, neither the adults nor the kids are actually interested in expanding their social circle.  My kids are all in that tween phase in which a social life feels vital, and I feel like a failure that not only have none of them ever had a best friend, they've hardly had any casual friends--and I don't know how to provide those.  I feel like I've exhausted all of our possibilities for connection, to no avail.  So while I'm excited that one kid is vaccine-eligible now and the others might be in a few months, I also feel like maybe there's not really a point to being excited, since it's not like we have anything to return to or much hope of finding other people to hang out with.

Is anyone else in the same boat?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

We largely lost our social group due to COVID as well. In our case, it was because everyone is pretty conservative about risk. The group moved to Discord, and my teen isn't really a gamer, and simply didn't have anything to say when the conversation started focusing on gaming because that could be done over STEAM. And, of course, the moms stopped having any reason to chat with each other, since we'd done so previously largely while providing transportation. And since my kid is a senior this year, I'm not sure that I will have any chance to even see these people again. Same with the cheer gym, which is another big social connection for me. I strongly suspect I'm losing all my friends, or even "sit and chat with" folks. I don't know that I will ever again be comfortable going to a church locally.  And the mom friend who I talked to almost daily early in the pandemic now has a job that is taking most of her time, so long phone calls just aren't happening. I miss people. 

 

L's best friend-and one of my favorite sets of parents to talk to-is on the other side of the bridge that is likely to be closed for months. I suspect that we'll end up not seeing them this entire summer, and next fall, both kids are off to different colleges. They've continued texting and chatting online, but the parents, again, have been cut out of it in a way that we weren't when BF was doing orchestra on our side of the bridge and we'd meet for dinner every week, in between orchestra and cheer. 

 

I am hoping at least some of them come to L's grad open house (in a park) next weekend, but I sorely miss just sitting and chatting. I would never have believed how much I would miss spending hours sitting in the parent balcony at cheer talking about nothing 😞

 

 

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9 hours ago, eternallytired said:

That said, we're quite clearly not the type of people who just naturally collect friends.  It took five years of actively trying to connect socially before we found this group.  Most groups (whether social or sports or activity-based) seem to be established; while the people are pleasant, neither the adults nor the kids are actually interested in expanding their social circle.  My kids are all in that tween phase in which a social life feels vital, and I feel like a failure that not only have none of them ever had a best friend, they've hardly had any casual friends--and I don't know how to provide those.  I feel like I've exhausted all of our possibilities for connection, to no avail.  So while I'm excited that one kid is vaccine-eligible now and the others might be in a few months, I also feel like maybe there's not really a point to being excited, since it's not like we have anything to return to or much hope of finding other people to hang out with.

Is anyone else in the same boat?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Most of the homeschoolers in my area were very careful and conservative with Covid, so I can't relate to the first part of your post. However, I definitely relate to the quoted part. My last child will be starting high school in the fall and she has very few friends. It's so hard to break into established friend groups at this age and almost all social activity at the high school level takes place in the public high schools. We're not usually co-op people, but I had been considering joining one just so she could meet some new people. Both of the co-ops I was considering were shut down by Covid and will not be coming back. During the shutdown, DD decided not to return to an activity where she had one good friend and it provided most of my mom social life, so I'm feeling a bit lost and lonely too.

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I have a naturally introverted kid who's actually loved staying home so much this year. Hanging out with his parents and his older brothers suits him fine. But right before the pandemic I felt like we were making progress getting him to venture out of his comfort zone and enjoy hanging out with other kids, so it's been a bummer to have all of that undone. Most of our homeschooling friends have been pretty cautious during the pandemic--varying degrees of caution, but nothing that makes me uncomfortable hanging out with them again as a group in the future (we've seen people outside a few times over the past year, but nothing in a group and nothing regular), so I'm hopeful that we can pick up where we left off by fall, but I do worry about him having missed a year of social interaction and how comfortable he'll be with it going forward. I don't know how much that's my own hang up, though--as I said, HE thinks it's totally fine (and he did play baseball this spring and had a good time and seemed to get along fine with the other kids, which made me feel a bit better). That's all my 8 year old. My older kids have been fine; they have one close friend who lives down the street who they've hung out with a ton (outside) all year, and they have a lot of online contact with other friends. I'll echo that as kids get older I think it makes sense for them to start finding friends at activities that aren't necessarily homeschool specific. My oldest was also always slow to make friends and tended to have just one or two close friends at a time--but he started doing theater in high school and ended up with a nice group of casual friends through that. My two middle kids do youth orchestra with mostly non-homeschooled kids and have also done stuff like D&D at the library. 

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This is the main reason why DD is returning to school next year. In general, we found that it was very hard for DD to make friends while homeschooling. We did a co-op and there were some friends at first but it was clear that DD was an outsider because we didn't know the families outside of the co-op. It seemed like most of the kids attended the same church. Then there was COVID and the kids at the co-op began sneaking off their masks. This co-op is through a local school district so had a mask policy which they enforced. DD's one friend started ignoring her after Christmas. We decided to send DD back to school next year and DD decided to pull out of the co-op. Now DD's primary socializing is with a couple of girls who attend the school she's attending next year (that she attended before we began hsing). They play Roblox together and Facetime. 

DD has always been slow to make friends. We've tried acting classes and dance classes but those are so transitory environments and we never see the kids again. I'm really thankful that DD has kept up with her friends from school and gets the opportunity to go back. 

I lost my group of friends outside of work due to losing our church over COVID. I'm trying again and attended a Zoom meeting yesterday about joining a group through church. The leader mentioned several times something about needing holiness in these times. I've spent enough time in conservative religion to know what that means. 

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Before COVID, we had good luck creating groups based on interest and, over time, ended up with a fairly stable circle of friends. The problem was that the shared interests just didn't translate to online, and the group largely found other groups and interests that did. I am really hoping that attending a residential college and being in the dorm will make it easier for my teen to make friends next year (college and grad school were honestly the best times of my life socially-the high school clique thing had mostly evaporated by then, but it was still enough contact to actually make connections. Unfortunately, I don't live near any of those folks now, and facebook isn't the same thing).  And because I teach at a community center vs a school, we don't have a lot of time to socialize with each other-everyone comes in, teaches their classes, and leaves. We don't have the boring faculty meetings and in-service training or a teacher's lounge to bond in. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dmmetler said:

We largely lost our social group due to COVID as well. In our case, it was because everyone is pretty conservative about risk. The group moved to Discord, and my teen isn't really a gamer, and simply didn't have anything to say when the conversation started focusing on gaming because that could be done over STEAM. And, of course, the moms stopped having any reason to chat with each other, since we'd done so previously largely while providing transportation. And since my kid is a senior this year, I'm not sure that I will have any chance to even see these people again. Same with the cheer gym, which is another big social connection for me. I strongly suspect I'm losing all my friends, or even "sit and chat with" folks. I don't know that I will ever again be comfortable going to a church locally.  And the mom friend who I talked to almost daily early in the pandemic now has a job that is taking most of her time, so long phone calls just aren't happening. I miss people. 

 

L's best friend-and one of my favorite sets of parents to talk to-is on the other side of the bridge that is likely to be closed for months. I suspect that we'll end up not seeing them this entire summer, and next fall, both kids are off to different colleges. They've continued texting and chatting online, but the parents, again, have been cut out of it in a way that we weren't when BF was doing orchestra on our side of the bridge and we'd meet for dinner every week, in between orchestra and cheer. 

 

I am hoping at least some of them come to L's grad open house (in a park) next weekend, but I sorely miss just sitting and chatting. I would never have believed how much I would miss spending hours sitting in the parent balcony at cheer talking about nothing 😞

 

 

I’m at the stage of life where the kids are all grown, or at least driving themselves, and I no longer have that waiting-room time to bond with friends. A few of the former co-op moms have been good about planning Mom’s dinners out or, since the pandemic, fire pit gatherings. They don’t happen often, but just enough to maintain those ties. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and be the host. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the best yard. Nobody cares. They just want to sit in a circle and chat. Now that the weather is nice again it’ll be even easier. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the best yard. Nobody cares.

Removing my comment because not everyone lives in the same local culture.

Edited by kbutton
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13 hours ago, eternallytired said:

I'm feeling bleak lately, and I figured someone out there might possibly be in the same boat, which might make me feel less bleak (or at least less alone).  After years of trying to connect with other homeschoolers (or anyone!), we finally found a social/field trip group that we seemed to fit with in 2019.  None of my kids found a best friend or anything, but they at least had people to hang out with.  Then COVID hit, and we found that the most frequent attendees of our social group were anti-mask and seemed to believe one or another of the conspiracy theories floating around.  I don't necessarily have an issue hanging out with people I disagree with, but they were unwilling to do anything virtual or masked/distanced (per local regulations), so...essentially it felt like the group just ditched us (which was perhaps more hurtful because in the six months leading up to COVID, I had become the primary field trip scheduler and felt like I was valued and finally was developing some mom friends--which was apparently not the case).  Individual families continued hosting occasional events at their homes or gathering in neighboring counties with lesser COVID restrictions, but we didn't attend.  Now that local regulations have eased, the group is back in full swing.  But even when all my kids are able to be vaccinated, I'm wondering if we'll feel comfortable returning--especially given the really vitriolic posts one mom, in particular, makes on FB.  (Most of the others have left FB, so I have no contact with them anymore.)

That said, we're quite clearly not the type of people who just naturally collect friends.  It took five years of actively trying to connect socially before we found this group.  Most groups (whether social or sports or activity-based) seem to be established; while the people are pleasant, neither the adults nor the kids are actually interested in expanding their social circle.  My kids are all in that tween phase in which a social life feels vital, and I feel like a failure that not only have none of them ever had a best friend, they've hardly had any casual friends--and I don't know how to provide those.  I feel like I've exhausted all of our possibilities for connection, to no avail.  So while I'm excited that one kid is vaccine-eligible now and the others might be in a few months, I also feel like maybe there's not really a point to being excited, since it's not like we have anything to return to or much hope of finding other people to hang out with.

Is anyone else in the same boat?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Same boat? Yes. You put it into words well.

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10 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Oh man.  What did I miss? I have lived all over the country, but not during a pandemic.  

I indirectly put a damper on a good suggestion because it's Sunday, and Sunday is the day of the week where all I've lost to the pandemic and politics stares me in the face. The damper is real in my world but may not apply to anyone else's. I don't need to discourage others unnecessarily.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2021 at 2:41 PM, kbutton said:

I indirectly put a damper on a good suggestion because it's Sunday, and Sunday is the day of the week where all I've lost to the pandemic and politics stares me in the face. The damper is real in my world but may not apply to anyone else's. I don't need to discourage others unnecessarily.

Listen, feel free to damper away.  The Pandemic is HARD.  I think we've been in survival mode for so long that everyone is exhausted and worn thin. I don't think we're going to fully get what it's doing to us until it's all over.  At this point I have more daily interaction with this board than I do my local friends.  Hey, any port in a storm.  It sucks.  It's been sucking for WAY too long and it's going to suck for longer.  I'm not above the occasional mini-breakdown and can't judge anyone for venting however they want in the moment.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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Op I am so sorry you are going through this.  Sending some hugs.  Hang out here more often.  Honestly I owe the board so much for the last year and half.   I would not have gotten through this pandemic without all of you.

I am in a boat right next to you on this.  My kids haven't been in anything since March 2020 that is in-person.  We were just about to start going back to masked indoor dance and some outdoor distanced activities for summer.   All of my "friends"  where from my kids sports or groups.  And from 2019 on it was 100% from dance.  We lived there and those were my only adult contacts.  We had a really nice group of people there for awhile.  Well then Covid hit and I haven't seen those people since.  Now granted we live an hour away one way.  I stayed in contact with a few of them for a few months, but it grew hard to have the contact over zoom, emails, and phone calls when you don't see each other anymore.  The kids stayed in contact with each other and my kids have online friends from their virtual schools too.  I wanted my older 2 to start getting in to face to face things after they get their vaccines.  And I am debating super hard about my younger 3 doing things outside with other kids.  But not having my normal mom life and friends led me to a really dark, sad, and lonely place this last year.  I was very depressed.  My life for the last 15 years had been the kids.  No job, no outside friends, no personal hobbies.  It may sound horrible, but I liked it too.  I liked being there with my kids and seeing them do things.  But once that wasn't there I had nothing.  I still don't, but I guess because we are going to start doing somethings again I see part of my life coming back.  But it also had me regretting everything about the path we had walked down.  I shouldn't have stayed home, shouldn't have homeschooled, I should have sent my kids to in-person things in pandemic and on and on.  My kids had a good group of friends before Covid hit, which is hard to do at the middle and high school level when you don't go to school and you have one activity that takes all your time.  I hope that they can make some friendships when they can get back into the world. 

And yep I agree with you that things seem to be established and it is hard to break in.   We moved to a small town from another state and it felt like that on everything.  So it really hurt when covid shut things down and we took it serious.  We had worked for a long time to break into the groups at everything that we joined and to have that all broken down really burns.  And I worry about my kids a lot.

I am not sure where you live or your risks, but can you join new things this summer?  Are you comfortable with outdoor sports with the kids? Can you younger ones do outdoor things with masks on? 

 

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We are felling it but in a different way. We lost nearly all our connections before the pandemic because we are simply too "liberal" for local tastes. Then we retired from 4H and the rocket team because the demands were becoming too much with both of us working and home care for our mothers. Then the pandemic. We really don't have any relationships left. Coming out of isolation since our elderly mothers are vaxed, and we and our adult sons are as well, we can't think of any good reason to try to socialize again since vax rates are low here. We still can't really feel free to find anyone to make friends with so it appears that we need to be comfortable remaining isolated. Two boys are graduating with their undergraduate degrees this year, and one is in grad school. On campus they have connections. Dh and I do not. So we have adopted vanlife part time together, and hope that the more we hit state parks, national forests, and national parks we may meet people who would be okay to have around the campfire. It will work from May-September in Michigan, and but then cooped up again for winter so we are hoping to buy our eventual retirement home near our daughter and family in Rocket City area (not looking in the city itself because we want some space), and will have that as a home base for some van camp excursions in the winter. We may not be "the cup of tea" of some folks in the Bible Belt, but man one thing we have experienced in Huntsville and surrounding area is just a genuine friendliness and politeness. I don't expect to have people "up in our business" like they are here. Maybe I will be wrong. Who knows. It will be a nice change, and we want to make some excursions through the southwest so starting from there will be great. I am grateful for hotspots on cell phones that make it possible for dh to take advantage of his work remotely contract!

As long as we live here, I do not see us making any new connections or friendships much less resuming any old ones.

To all who are suffering, I wish you the very best as you try to find companionship and friendship. The world has become so much more polarized. I know this transition is going to be really difficult!

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OP (and everyone else), you are not alone.  Our homeschool circle quickly went the way of "Covid is a hoax", our church dropped our family for our political views, and none of our neighbors (except for one) in our rural town talk to us anymore.  It's terrible.  I can handle the losses, although traumatic, but I really hurt for my kids.  They don't have any friends anymore...my heart aches so badly for them.  I feel like I have failed them.

I tried to hold on to some friendships, but I just got to a place where I couldn't take it anymore.  The issues were real, and I couldn't take the lies.  I had to take a stand and say "No folks, I'm sorry, but you're wrong."  I wasn't going to "agree to disagree" about a pandemic (or other issues afflicting America right now). 

I want to send you a hug and let you know you are not alone.  It's so painful to be in this place...I never imagined there could be such a divide, but it is what it is.

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3 minutes ago, rainbird2 said:

OP (and everyone else), you are not alone.  Our homeschool circle quickly went the way of "Covid is a hoax", our church dropped our family for our political views, and none of our neighbors (except for one) in our rural town talk to us anymore.  It's terrible.  I can handle the losses, although traumatic, but I really hurt for my kids.  They don't have any friends anymore...my heart aches so badly for them.  I feel like I have failed them.

I tried to hold on to some friendships, but I just got to a place where I couldn't take it anymore.  The issues were real, and I couldn't take the lies.  I had to take a stand and say "No folks, I'm sorry, but you're wrong."  I wasn't going to "agree to disagree" about a pandemic (or other issues afflicting America right now). 

I want to send you a hug and let you know you are not alone.  It's so painful to be in this place...I never imagined there could be such a divide, but it is what it is.

If you lived near me, I would be your friend. I am so sorry!!!

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1 hour ago, Faith-manor said:

We are felling it but in a different way. We lost nearly all our connections before the pandemic because we are simply too "liberal" for local tastes. Then we retired from 4H and the rocket team because the demands were becoming too much with both of us working and home care for our mothers. Then the pandemic. We really don't have any relationships left. Coming out of isolation since our elderly mothers are vaxed, and we and our adult sons are as well, we can't think of any good reason to try to socialize again since vax rates are low here. We still can't really feel free to find anyone to make friends with so it appears that we need to be comfortable remaining isolated. Two boys are graduating with their undergraduate degrees this year, and one is in grad school. On campus they have connections. Dh and I do not. So we have adopted vanlife part time together, and hope that the more we hit state parks, national forests, and national parks we may meet people who would be okay to have around the campfire. It will work from May-September in Michigan, and but then cooped up again for winter so we are hoping to buy our eventual retirement home near our daughter and family in Rocket City area (not looking in the city itself because we want some space), and will have that as a home base for some van camp excursions in the winter. We may not be "the cup of tea" of some folks in the Bible Belt, but man one thing we have experienced in Huntsville and surrounding area is just a genuine friendliness and politeness. I don't expect to have people "up in our business" like they are here. Maybe I will be wrong. Who knows. It will be a nice change, and we want to make some excursions through the southwest so starting from there will be great. I am grateful for hotspots on cell phones that make it possible for dh to take advantage of his work remotely contract!

As long as we live here, I do not see us making any new connections or friendships much less resuming any old ones.

To all who are suffering, I wish you the very best as you try to find companionship and friendship. The world has become so much more polarized. I know this transition is going to be really difficult!

I heard an interview with kathie lee Gifford who relocated from NY to Nashville recently. She said that she has never felt so welcomed even as a northerner. She said that nobody ever asked her how she was planning to vote, they just said “yay! You’re voting! Let’s have coffee to celebrate.” I suspect, and have experienced that closer to large cities the vibe is a little different.

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4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

 I suspect, and have experienced that closer to large cities the vibe is a little different.

I've always lived close to a large city, first in the Midwest and now in Texas.  I think it must either depend what large city or what suburb/social circle you find yourself in.  I definitely think that people are more friendly in general down here.  (My mom said she made more friends in the first year living here than in 40 years in her last town!)  I also think that the social and political climate are such that people who could normally agree to disagree are perhaps under more stress at the moment or have become more extreme in their views (in any number of directions), which has a negative effect on polite discussion--no matter where you live.

7 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

...All of my "friends"  where from my kids sports or groups.  ...  My life for the last 15 years had been the kids.  No job, no outside friends, no personal hobbies.  It may sound horrible, but I liked it too.  I liked being there with my kids and seeing them do things. 

I am not sure where you live or your risks, but can you join new things this summer?  Are you comfortable with outdoor sports with the kids? Can you younger ones do outdoor things with masks on? 

 

MommyOfFive, I have had the same problem.  If we're involved in a particular activity (dance, soccer), I chat with the other parents during the activity and we might be invited to a birthday party here or there...but as soon as the season is over (our dance studio switched to camps in the summer), those relationships ended.  (And honestly, most parents seemed to be friends from before.)  I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I actually found a monthly volunteer opportunity in 2019 because I was already feeling that I would be adrift once the kids are old enough that I lose even those loose social connections, and that has been my sanity saver.  I've been able to write letters to moms in prison during the quarantine (as opposed to visiting in-person monthly, like I did before), and it makes me feel like I have a broader world than the four walls of my home.  I'm not sure if there's anything you're passionate about that could turn into a volunteer opportunity that would fit your schedule, but it could be a thought.  I know there have been times that I've been teetering on the brink of depression, as well, and having someone else/another task to focus on has helped.  

We are really quite low-risk, but DH is extremely risk-averse, so we're on the "very cautious" end of the spectrum.  Until my parents (up the street) were fully vaccinated, we'd just visit with them in their front yard from at least six feet away once or twice a week (whereas we used to be over 4-5 days/week--it was a rough change for my mom, too).  The kids haven't been to any store in more than a year; until DH and I were fully vaccinated, one of us went to the grocery store about every 2-3 weeks, as little as possible.  Our church has yet to meet in-person, though they've been good about doing occasional Zoom events for the kids (but it's a super small group of kids who actually attend--usually 5-6 kids from PK-5th and about 3-5 from 6th-12th).  I think I may spend June looking on Facebook for more social group opportunities.  If all else fails, maybe I'll outsource a class so the kids can at least be around other people (and away from each other) for a little while.

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We lost all our friends, too. They all jumped firmly into Q-anon land, and keep yelling about tyranny and conspiracy theories. I'm pretty much persona non grata with the local homeschoolers now.  I can't even get approved to join the local buy-sell-trade group, because a homeschooler runs it. I'm 100% over this place and 99% of homeschoolers. We plan to move back up north and I'm hoping I can persuade DS12 to go to public high school.  I love having him home with me, I love what we are doing for learning, but I don't want to deal with the crazy homeschoolers anymore.  

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We lost most of our homeschooler friends, too.  Between the conspiracy theories and the gaslighting, I couldn't hang on to friendships with people who ignored that they could absolutely kill me with their lack of care.

We did gain friendships, though, and held on to ones made through sports.  We found much more respectful space in the non-homeschool-dominant areas of ds's life.  Many of his friends there were in similar boats: a high risk adult in their home, very limited socializing and only with like minded. I think ds is actually better off for dropping some of the more homeschool centered activities, as much as I hate to say it.  They were draining in many ways, but it came to a head during the pandemic.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2021 at 4:20 PM, Faith-manor said:

If you lived near me, I would be your friend. I am so sorry!!!

Thanks, Faith-manor.  I appreciate your kindness. Your message made me smile.

I feel like I earned this punishment, as twisted as that sounds.  I chose our homeschool circle, our church, our neighborhood for their "traditional values."  I enjoyed the camaraderie of "independent homeschoolers", I wanted to be away from the negatives of the "city."  I was not rooted in the real world, TBH.  Now that I see the error of my judgemental and hypercritical heart, I realize what an exclusive circle I put my family in.  I shouldn't have done that.  I am learning a hard lesson right now.

My kids are in groups that are outside of homeschool circles now...music stuff, sports, etc.  We're finding new circles, but I don't think friendships will happen until Covid is done.  We still meet with our homeschool art co-op, and the teacher is about to close up shop and teach private lessons only "to people who believe in science," lol.  She is fed up with our group and the moms who keep asking, "When can my kid take off their mask?" 

My husband and I are ready to move, but the kids don't want to.  They have pets (goats, chickens, barn cats) and they aren't ready to part with them just yet.  We're stuck here for a while.  It's just hard when my neighbors don't wave at us anymore.  We used to bring them baskets of produce from the garden and carol at their homes for Christmas.  Our mask wearing and political signs changed all of that.  We're clearly not welcomed here anymore. 

Edited by rainbird2
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1 hour ago, rainbird2 said:

 

I feel like I earned this punishment, as twisted as that sounds.  I chose our homeschool circle, our church, our neighborhood for their "traditional values."  I enjoyed the camaraderie of "independent homeschoolers", I wanted to be away from the negatives of the "city."  I was not rooted in the real world, TBH.  Now that I see the error of my judgemental and hypercritical heart, I realize what an exclusive circle I put my family in.  I shouldn't have done that.  I am learning a hard lesson right now.

 

This one paragraph shows more growth, personal awareness, and adaptability than a lot of people will exhibit in a lifetime.  You are my hero.

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