I get the feeling sometimes that I'm invisible or that I live in some kind of bubble.
It's partly to do with being a stay at home dad but also a lack of self confidence at times.
Reaching out to others socially and having a "more the merrier" attitude doesn't come naturally to me.
It perhaps makes me the perfect specimen to be at home because I'm fairly self sufficient.
It's unusual for me to crave other people's attention and I like my own company. That being said, I do miss going out for the odd beer.
Although I've had my fingers burnt a few times in that regard in circumstances I don't want to repeat.
The extent of my social interaction tends to be seeing other parents in the playground at school drop offs and pick ups.
It's mostly mums but there are some dads.
The mums tend to stand and chat whilst the dads look sheepishly at their mobile phones and hope nobody speaks to them,
Certain days of the week there's quite a bit of waiting around for my son due to after school activities.
So I wait around with my daughter and she plays with kids whose parents are in the same boat.
I try to engage in small talk if there's anyone I know or look and feel uncomfortable for a while if there isn't.
But it's not like it's any kind of meaningful interaction so people will know who I am.
Trying To Be Someone I'm Not
In the past I've made the mistake of trying to be someone I'm not just to fit in.
It's a recipe for disaster, particularly as I tend to choose the wrong kind of people to be friends with.
As I get older, I care less about what people think and more about what feels right to me.
I used to follow various sports and in particular football because I thought it'd help me blend in.
I hoped I'd start to enjoy it more by watching it on TV and going to matches.
I liked the social aspect of going to matches but I still never felt any love for the sport.
Since becoming a stay at home dad, I've not had the need to care about it.
I wish I'd discovered more like-minded people in my life so far though.
I'm not sure if it's being at home and away from people but I tend to lack confidence socially these days.
I don't think that would happen to everyone who chose to be a stay at home parent but it's certainly happened to me.
It's almost like I have nothing to say to people in case I trip over my own tongue.
It happens around other blokes more than women. Maybe it's the thought they're going to judge me.
I find small talk incredibly tedious so when the last line of attack in the discussion department appears to be sport, I'm defeated.
It's one of the reasons I choose to share my thoughts on this blog.
If I'm talking to myself, that's fine because I can get my words out without inhibition.
If there's anyone out there with similar thoughts and experiences that's even better.
Too Much Hassle
In all honesty getting to know people has become a bit of a hassle. I feel like I've grown a built-in radar.
If I get on with people in the first couple of minutes, I make an effort.
If there's awkward silences I give it up as a bad job because things don't click.
It takes two people to make a conversation work and if we don't gel initially then there's no point in wasting time.
I realise I've become much more cynical as I grow older.
It's partly a defence mechanism and partly because I'm actually quite shy!
Do People Know Who You Are?
If you're a stay at home parent, do you think people know who you are?
Has your attitude towards getting to know people changed since you've been at home?
How do you go about meeting new people and how successful are you?
Do you think it's harder to become friends with people once you start a family?
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