Advice to stay-at-home-dads from a cold, cold playground mom

If you're a stay-at-home-dad having a little trouble in the daytime social landscape dominated by lady parents, I'm here to help. Nothing makes your eyebrows curl into question marks like HOW WOMEN WHY??? when it comes to your playground peers snubbing you for play dates and idle chit chat, amirate? What's up with these stuck-up moms and their oooh, everyone wants in my pants attitude? Can't you just give a HELLO to these ice queens without getting yourself on a registry? Sheesh*. Allow me. I'll be your guide for the next 60 minutes into the cold world of co-ed playground politics. My holster is full of advice for the flustered dad crowd who just doesn't understand the motives of the cold shoulders walking around in yoga pants. Hey, that's me! I can help you! Let's begin.

PROBLEM #1: Moms don't include you in playdates/outright reject your offers to get together.

Being a stay-at-home parent is isolating. Even though you are technically surrounded by warm human bodies in your home, they usually drool and spite-poop at inopportune times. Kids are a take-take relationship, so naturally you seek a little balance in your life and leave the premises in search of like-minded friends who can relate and/or watch your stroller in the coffee shop while you hit the john. If you're a mom, this is fairly easy. Show up at a few play groups or park district classes and sooner or later you'll have a buddy. BUT WAIT. You're a dude! Exactly zero moms will agree to meet up with you. You've tried to befriend one of the other six dads in town, but they're weirdly competitive or have their own groove or simply do not exist. Thus, you are lonely.

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So why are the ladies not meeting up with you one-on-one? (Groups are a different story. Those are fine.) I'll say it to you straight. It's because being a stay-at-home mom is a precarious position itself. We rely on the goodness of our relationship with our spouse in order to care for our own children all day. I'll just be honest with you. I get to be with my kids all day. That's a gift. If there was any drama it might mean leaving my kids to get a job in some cube somewhere. No, he's never expressly said "thou shalt not hang with stay-at-home-dads", but I believe the message is implied along with not setting his car on fire and sneaking poison in his breakfast. If I want to keep my spot in life, it's just easier to not rock the boat.

I know, you just want companionship and coffee and that thing where your kid screams for my kid's fishy crackers and I say yes and then they knock each other out over a game of tag while we play on our iPhones, but as long as my position in life is determined by my husband's happiness with my daily activities, I'm just not going to risk losing a good thing even if it means excluding someone in need. Sorry.

Look, we're bored too. We're lonely. Stay-at-home-moms are adults who crave human interaction and truth be told, I'd probably have a blast hanging out with a dude all day. No one-upping on labor stories! Imagine! But the truth is it's just easier not to. I know, I know, not everything is about sex. It's really not even about you, SAHDs. It's about the path of least resistance.

Solution: Make public play dates with three or more moms at a time. Now you're talking! I went to the zoo with a group that included the resident dad and it was all swell! Well. Until he told me to feed my vegetarian kids fish or they'd surely die of a weird disease. We cut out after that. Just saying though, group activities are where's the peanut butter's at, bro.

PROBLEM #2: The ladies snub your hellos. Forget play dates and lunches frolicking in the meadows, these stuck-up prima donnas in their stupid pants won't even carry on a conversation with you.

Okay, this takes all my points above way too far. Answer? Bitches be crazy. We treat each other like this half the time, so don't think it's you. Unless you are an irresistible man fox and a single conversation with you is sure to unravel her marriage. Yeah. I'm sure that's it, buddy.

Solution: Crop dust her at the bus stop.

*This problem was brought to my attention this morning by the grandmaster of stay-at-home dads, D.A.D. All Day, who has taken my play date refusals in stride since 2012.

This has been a one-hour, topic-assigned exercise at Chicago Now lovingly dubbed Blogapalooza that occurs monthly. So if it's shit, just keep moving. See the other writing here!

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