Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Isolation Realities

Again and again, in stories about stay-at-home dads, isolation is raised as the biggest bugaboo, the most serious challenge to day-to-day mental health. But I've never really embraced that idea. Parenthood is isolating regardless of your gender, and the whole cold-shoulder-from-the-moms-at-the-playground phenomenon was -- I thought -- a slightly outdated complaint. I believe that playground denizens today are generally cool with a dad in their midst, and SAHDs aren't seen a freakish exceptions to the natural laws of parenting, even if they are small in numbers.

But two posts have popped up on my radar in the last couple of weeks that suggest playground-related isolation is still a problem for some guys. Dave R places some of the responsibility on himself in his post about playground anxiety, and I'm rooting for him.

Stay-at-Home Work-at-Home Dad takes on the "cluck-fest" and wonders why even a simple "hello" is so difficult.

I'd love to get some reader reaction. Dads: does the playground have junior-high lunchroom feel? Moms: is this specific to dads, or do impenetrable cliques exist for either gender?

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