Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm interesting too - or why being a SAHM is such a conversation killer

I went out to dinner with a big group of people the other night.  I knew a couple of them very well, a couple I knew by sight and some I'd never met before.  And I was the only SAHM mom in the bunch. 

It was just odd... so much of the conversation seemed to be about their jobs.  I couldn't relate.  I couldn't chat about various career paths, or who I might work with that they might know.  I felt very... quiet.  I guess.   I don't know, it was just odd, like being at home with my kids all day rendered me completely incapable of carrying on a conversation.  Nobody was trying to be rude, obviously, because they're all nice women, and I think they are all moms.  And it wasn't that I didn't talk at all, but I did feel distinctly out of place for a lot of it. 

Part of it is my fault - I'm very social in a lot of ways, I like crowds of people, I like talking, and I'm not particularly private (as evidenced by the blog), but I actually am kind of shy.  I don't like making new friends - I like having them, don't get me wrong, but I'm not good at meeting new people.  I'm not outgoing.  I guess that's it. 

But I'm interesting.  I am.  I've got lots of things I could discuss - I've got distinct opinions on lots of different parenting topics, I can discuss current news events, I'm very intrigued by religious debates.  I've got lots and lots that I can chatter on about - but felt as though these people heard SAHM and just figured that we didn't have much in common.  I'm not being fair, I'm sure, because they are very nice women, and I really like the ones that I know - but in general, I do think that there's an assumption that if you're home all day with kids, you probably don't have much to contribute to the overall conversation.

Part of this is that I've been reading a lot of parenting books lately, one specifically that I'm thinking of is actually called Mommy Wars and there's another one Maybe Baby, I think it's called, that's all about deciding whether or not to have kids.  So that's where my head is - and I've also been, very seriously, wondering whether or not I want more children.  Having three children is a major statement, I already have more kids than virtually everyone I know - and that's before I factor in two stepchildren.  Having four children (or six, depending)... I don't know if I want to or not (Marc absolutely does), but I do know that I kind of resent people assuming that I'd be out of my mind crazy to even consider it. 

This is kind of a rambling blog post - and I'm not sure, if I had to, if I could tell you that there was one particular topic I was going for.  But I do know that parenting, as a lifestyle, as a choice, and how it affects every little aspect of your life, is on my mind a lot these days. 

2 comments:

Queen Bee said...

boy Melissa, that last line really hit the nail on the head. it seems like once a person becomes a parent people start to treat you way differently than before. then there is the marginalization that comes along with the type of parent that you are... it is odd.

i often find myself feeling awkward in similar situations because i'm not a SAHM, but i don't have this exotic career either.

Cassie said...

I know what you mean. Quite a few of my friends have children, but I have alot that don't. When I hang out with the ones that don't, I often feel at a loss for words while they are talking about parties, boyfriends, college, etc.

I used to be a very social person and now I just don't really know what to talk about besides children, husbands, being at SAHM, etc. It's nice to know i'm not the only one!