Feeling desperate - cannot find regular playmates, community for our 6 year old daughter

Dee - posted on 07/03/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am new here and am often tortured by the fact that my daughter is an only child. I am recently 47 years old and a recent cancer survivor. My daughter just turned 6. We live in a neighborhood that is not family friendly and the few kids that are here are not home as they are in summer camp all day. I am a stay at home Mom since my daughter was born and I am the only one around that I know of. It is a huge task trying to find playmates for my daughter who is a really bright, very active kid. It doesn't really seem to bother her most of the time that she is the only kid, but it bothers me terribly. I am one of 3 girls, one year apart and my husband has a brother, one year younger. None of our siblings have children, so no first cousins for my daughter either. We don't belong to church or synagogue as we are not religious that way. It is so painful to me that we have to try so hard to find a playmate for her or I have to hire a babysitter to play with her so I can get things done. I worry about her being alone in the future with no siblings or first cousins. We have no community, nobody to call up and do things with easily. I feel like I've tried everything I can think of to find this and have failed at every attempt! I don't know what to do. Being at home probably doesn't help because I am not meeting any new people or making new friends ... who might have kids and I gave up a couple of friendships after finding out few people showed up for me while I was dealing with cancer. I just had to let those people go and that was painful too .. and they both have little girls. I don't know what to do next. My daughter goes to a private school because the public school in our town is terrible. All the kids in our town go to different schools and the kids in my daughter's school, all live in different towns. It's SO hard making lasting connections or building community and I am feeling so discouraged. Right now my daughter doesn't want to go to camp. We are planning on it for next summer so she will be around kids, at least half a day. But, the future is what I'm worried about most ... her being alone, with no family unless she makes one herself. We did try to have a second and could not and now it appears I am entering an early menopause because of losing my thyroid to cancer. At this point, i don't know if I would even have the energy to raise another child. I even had the crazy idea of my hubby donating sperm in the hopes that my daughter might have some half sibs out there at some point! That's how much I have thought and worried about this. I am distraught. Sorry for this long post.

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User - posted on 07/03/2012

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It sounds like you have quite a lot going on ! The only thing I can say to you is try to relax about it becasue if your little one picks up on your distress she might start feeling distressed about it too. She is going to school so obviously has contact with other children her own age there. Does she seem happy?This is what you need to be looking at, not so much how you are feeling about it. We are in a similar situation in that we don't have family where we live and we don't belong to a church group, but my son goes to school and this is where he gets his connections from. Perhaps ask your little girl if there is someone at school she would like to invite over for a play, or pizza and movie somethiing like that. I have found from my own experience when i have tried to force friendships they never work out, they need to develop naturally. I think if you just relax and be happy witihin your family then the rest will follow. Your happiness and attitude are what is really important here. Good Luck.

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Jane - posted on 11/19/2012

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God bless your daughter as well. You have her in your life which is a blessing.

Jane - posted on 11/19/2012

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I know how you feel. I am struggling with finding playmates for my daughter as well. Usually the mothers have some kind of a problem because they usually don't call or call back, Maybe if I am lucky I will get a a few playdates once a year. Anyway, if I didn't have my relationship with Christ to ground me in all of this, I would probably be severely depressed. I suffer from some depression, but the Lord has helped it not consume me. I fight desperate feelings all the time. I attend a bible study once a month, and that has been good. Missed the last two because the kids were sick, so that was hard. I understand what it means to feel lonely. I have 2 good friends that I talk to outside of organized events or technology, one in the area where I live, and another in another state. Most of the time, I am alone. Life has gotten hard. I don't know how people make it without the bible in their lives. People are so unforgiving and unreconciliable these days and you just have to hold onto the Lord. Have you considered fostering a child and adopting it? This is something that one of the women in my bible study is doing. That could be an option to consider, and I don't believe it costs a lot of money like strictly adopting. I hope you continue to be healed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dee - posted on 07/11/2012

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Thank you ladies for your suggestions and support. I did not sign my daughter up this year for camp, mini camp, any drop off classes because she is adamant about me doing everything with her this summer. It is not the way she has been in the past. She wants me with her all the time and I'm not sure why, except that maybe turning 6 has brought with it a heightened awareness about things. She seems to be expressing alot of fears about various things, including losing loved ones and other big life questions. I'm trying to understand with her where it's coming from and trying to reassure her. She has also been very easily frustrated whenever she has trouble with something she is attempting. As a result, we decided to let her take the summer off, go to the beach, and hang out together and try to find playdates as much as I could, and do a class or two that we could do together ie: a Mom and me pottery class.. Regardless, it's been really tough. Seems like having an only is extra hard because of always trying to find something for her to do, trying to find other kids to do things with etc... lots of things that I cannot totally plan or control. My Mom did very little to keep us entertained. My sisters and I played together, which I think, let my Mom off the hook. Plus there were always neighbor kids around. For my daughter, it's nothing like that. I guess I've just got to do my best this summer and have a different plan next summer. Although I love spending time with my daughter and was really looking forward to it, it's turning out to be pretty exhausting. My having migraines doesn't help the situation either. ;) I am hoping for more harmonious days ahead!

Bethany - posted on 07/07/2012

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I agree with both Rachael and Kelly. Pay attention to how your daughter feels and talk to her about her friends. Most likely she has a lot of friends at school. She may want to invite a couple over for a playdate. I have found the the local recreation center has plenty of weekly activities for children to be involved in and make new friends. Is she interested in any sports or even art activities? She could take art classes or join a sports team and make friends that way too. The options are endless and even if she doesn't want to go, encourage her to try it at least once. She may like it, but just be a little nervous about trying something new. That's how my son was at first and now he has a lot of friends and loves making new ones by participating in different activities. He is 5. I hope this helps. Don't worry and don't give up.

Kelly - posted on 07/06/2012

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I think many moms of only kidos have these fears. Please remember that she is only 6 right now. As she goes through school she will meet different people. Perhaps later she will meet a friend that will fill some sister role. I didn't meet my sisters until high school and have 2 going on 20+ years, not to mention a brother. Also as your daughter gets older and better at writhing/ texting the distance of friends from school won't matter. So take a deep breath and if she doesn't seem too upset about not having kids around to play with, then so should you. I know how hard it is, I have an extremely social only and none of her friends can ever play. Keep her time busy with fun projects and outings. If it still bothers you look into your rec center and see if they have any fun classes. Also while we can help them meet people and try to nurture relationships it is ultimately up to our kids as they go through life to create and keep relationships. Blood family is no gareentee. I come from a large family and most of us do not talk. My support and family comes from the family I made with my husband, his family, (I have awesome in laws), an friends I made. Have hope and best of wishes.

Dee - posted on 07/04/2012

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Thank you. I know you are right. I will try to relax about it. I think I need to focus more on doing some things for myself, like getting back to work and meeting people, rather than worrying about my daughter all the time. I need to set an example. Thanks for your advice.

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