I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I’ve struggled with the loneliness that comes with becoming a parent. Going back to work and adult conversations has helped this but I still feel at a loss for community.
I’m an opinionated introvert. By that I mean I’m not super good at making connections or shutting up. I get awkward around people and often say something dumb. One time, years ago, we had Lesley’s aunts and uncles over for dinner. During a lull in conversation I went on and on about the sex worker recently found murdered in the park across the street from our house. They left shortly after that.
Normally I am fine with this. I don’t really like many people so it works well. Lesley also doesn’t like many people so is fine with the fact that I constantly alienate people. But then there’s Gus.
I grew up the youngest of four and had my many many cousins always around. Gus has himself and four cousins 3000 miles away. I want him to feel what I felt from a big family without having more kids or moving back to the Midwest.
So I do what we gays do- I look to build my own family. It’s hard! There’s a gay parents group here and I had high hopes there but I feel like an outsider. Maybe because most of the kids are older or the other parents are all friends or because I’m shy to talk to new people – I don’t know. I’m not sure if we’ll keep going to their meet ups.
Then there’s option 2. We are taking this infant parenting class and there are nine other families. Some of them seem okay and some do not. None of them seem like people we’d be friends with without kids. But the major barriers are broken down- we all have kids around the same age and no one knows each other outside of the group. But then I’ve got to figure out how to go from acquaintances to friends- something I don’t excel at.
Option 3 is moms groups. I belong to a few different mom/kiddo activity groups on facebook but often events are during the week while I work. I can try weekend events but then I worry that I’ll feel the way I do with option – that there are preexisting relationships and I don’t quite fit in.
Option 4 I like the best. Hang with Gus and Lealey and the few other folks I like. That suits me well- I’m good at it. But this sweet boy and the life I want for him. This sweet boy is the reason I’ll always smile and be nice and long for the day that his relationships and mine don’t have to be connected.