Parenting

Ask Scary Mommy: I Hate Socializing With Other Moms At The Park

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Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.

This week: What do you do when other moms beeline it for you at the playground, but you don’t want to find ‘mom friends’ at the park? Email advice@scarymommy.com

Dear Scary Mommy,

It’s summer, which means we’re at the park. A LOT. I have two kids, ages 4 and 6, and we live just two blocks away from our neighborhood park and playground. I love watching my kids play (they’re finally at ages where I don’t have to be hovering over them every two seconds) and I love sitting on the bench and reading my book even more. I know a lot of other moms like to socialize at the park; I’m not one of them. I have no issue being polite or giving a brief wave and smile, but I’m not interested in chatting it up the entire time our kids are playing. I have enough friends. I’m not into the MLM scene. I like to read in peace while looking up every couple of pages to make sure my kids aren’t killing each other and that’s about it. But these moms never get the hint. Ever. Am I going to have to just be rude here or what?

Oh how I cannot wait for the day where I can park my keester at the park and just read and enjoy nature whilst my children play sans supervision. That is a rite of passage in motherhood, and you are in no way wrong for wanting to enjoy it.

You don’t have to resort to rudeness, but blunt (yet polite) honesty might be in order here. Motherhood is a lonely journey, and you can’t blame other moms for wanting to find a connection, however brief, wherever they can get it. It’s totally understandable. But you aren’t looking for it (at least not at the park), so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with kindly letting them know that.

“Yes, I really love this author and I’ve been waiting to dive into this book forever, so if you don’t mind I’m going to soak up every free minute I can and read it.”

If your kids are playing well together, sometimes moms will see this as an “in” so they can strike up some friendliness with you in hopes of playdates, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but if it’s not your thing it’s not your thing. You don’t have to be rude, but you also don’t owe anyone your free time. I hope this helps.