Having "Adult Interaction"

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Having "Adult Interaction"
810
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 11:34am
So I mentioned this briefly in another thread but I've been meaning to ask about it. I'm a SAHM to 2 small toddlers. Personally, I don't *care* what other mothers choose to do. I've never inquired about "well, why do you WOH"... It's really none of my business nor do I care. I've been in several playgroups for my kiddos and sure enough, I get bombarded with comments from the WHOM about having "adult interaction". I mean seriously...what do they think I do all day?..Do WOHM think us SAHM just baby talk all day and are prisoners to our home and never speak with adults?.. It's funny, b/c a lot of times, they won't directly make that comment to me but will be passive aggressive...saying something like..."Oh I JUST had to go back to work to get the adult interaction"--waiting for me to respond like "oh yes, I agree, I miss the adult interaction"..... Almost like they are justifying why they work! If you are going to a job just to be around adults, that's pretty pathetic IMO. There are a million things I could get involved in that would be around adults, w/o having to go to work. I don't need work to fullfill my adult talk. I don't get it..Why is this always the first comment out of a WOHM? It's an indirect insult or putdown.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2006
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 11:38am

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 11:39am
I think they're being polite. By "adult interaction," they really mean intellectual stimulation and/or the space to use the bathroom alone or other perks of not being the hands on parent during the work day.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 11:50am

I did miss adult interaction during the periods that I was home a lot with dd. It is probably partly a personality thing though. Some people do not feel cramped by having crawling, crying, snack-hungry, drooling, snotty-nosed kids around when they are trying to talk. I know mothers who joyfully prattle on while the little buggers crawl all over them, yank on their hair and spit up. Also, while home with a baby/toddler, I mostly socialized with other mothers in the same situation. We did not necessarily have that much else in common, so talk tended to revolve around the kids, being a mom, yadda-yadda.

It really makes me much happier to be able to go somewhere without children for a while, where I can have a real conversation with another adult about something interesting.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 12:05pm

"It's an indirect insult or putdown."


You mean like this:


"If you are going to a job just to be around adults, that's pretty pathetic IMO."

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Sandi--Mommy to Ryan 7/24/07


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 12:12pm

Adult interactions is part of the reason why I work. My job gives me feed back and another brain to bounce ideas off of. Something I'd never get at home; dh has no clue. I've never talked baby talk to any of my kids anyway. And I got adult interactions from the homeschool group we were a part of as well as from our church when I was a sah/wahm. My girls are now a part of my adult interaction group. A nice perk when they become adults. But, you know, Joy and I still spend a large amount of time talking about kids.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 12:16pm

"Why is this always the first comment out of a WOHM? It's an indirect insult or putdown."

I disagree. I have been home for 7+ years and I still would like *more* adult interaction.

"Do WOHM think us SAHM just baby talk all day and are prisoners to our home and never speak with adults?"

No, but there is a definite and significant *decrease* in the amount of adult interaction.

"If you are going to a job just to be around adults, that's pretty pathetic IMO."

This IS a put down. Kind of ironic. What do you think are non-pathetic reasons to be wohp? What are non-pathetic reasons to be a sahp?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 12:21pm

Perhaps it's


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2003
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 12:49pm

As PNJ mentioned, when I have referred to this, I am referring to adult interaction regarding intellectual topics (e.g., technical problems, politics, business strategy, employee coaching and staffing challenges, etc., etc.) that relate to my ability to interact with adults in a collaborative, problem solving mode. That call upon the more sophisticated reasoning and planning skills that we develop as adults. I am certainly *not* suggesting that people that SAH *cannot* also have these experiences, but certainly you would need to seek them out. I'm quite certain that day-to-day childcare at home do not provide those opportunities. And so if someone is a SAH and chooses to engage in volunteering, community groups, political activism, etc., which provides those opportunities, more power to them. However, I would argue that those outlets have very little to do with parenting. I love my kids, but again, day-to-day care, as well as parenting-focused outside activities (i.e., playgroups, volunteering in lunch room or class room, etc.) IMO have obvious intrinsic value, but do *not* provide the type of adult interaction to which I am referring. If I were SAH, to receive the satisfaction I get at work, I'd have to do all those parenting things *and* still find an additional 'adult interaction' outlet.

So no, as someone who has said that (although I personally cannot remember or imagine a scenario where I would say that in a conversation with a SAHP in the context you describe) as among the reasons I like to WOH, I don't imagine SAH parents are all babbling in baby talk all day. But, just being AROUND another adult certainly isn't the same thing, and I expect that the SAH parents either find additional outlets (outside of direct parenting responsibilities) or make an informed decision to delay that type of engagement/interaction (on a routine basis) until after their kids are out of the direct-hands-on-primary-focus-on-caregiving phase. There's *nothing* wrong with that - its a legitimate choice that derives from the priorities each parent has - but it does represent one of the 'sacrifices' I am not interested in making.








iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 12:54pm

My reasons for working have never had nothing to do with adult interaction.

suzjuly6.jpg picture by LadyCaribou

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 08-04-2008 - 1:16pm
I don't go to work JUST to be around adults. I go to work to get paid. But being around adults is the most positive effect besides the paycheck. I don't think there is anything pathetic about this. It seems that adult interaction that isn't at work seems to center around talking about our kids. At work this isn't so. There are plenty of parents there but also plenty of people who aren't. And there's always, first and foremost, work to talk about. Things need to get done and we need to talk to get them done. It's refreshing to be in a place where there just isn't TIME to talk about our kids.

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