Isolation at the Playground

Have you ever been at the park, surrounded by other mommies and their children only to feel absolutely and totally alone? I have, on many occasions, most recently just this very morning.
Now, I’m not an insecure person and I’m totally fine with going to the park without other mommy friends to keep me company. I’m perfectly content to sit on the sidelines alone and watch as my daughter plays. I am not however, ok with feeling isolated.
When we first moved to Corona in 2009 my son was just 2 years old. We were transplants from Orange County and we didn’t know anyone out here. He and I desperately needed friends. I would drive in circles past the parks in our community looking for signs of other life playing at the playgrounds. We would relentlessly drive until we happened upon a park that children were playing at.

I scoured the internet looking for local meetups and playgroups until one day I found a local MOMSclub. We joined the MOMSClub on our first meeting and ever since then, we have had a plethora of friends. That MOMSClub disbanded and I took it over as a playgroup in March of 2010. I’ve been organizing a very large playgroup successfully for over 2 years. Now, it is safe to say that we are never alone. We are never in need of playmates. We never feel isolated.

Well, except for today.

Today, no one was available to meet my daughter and I at a local playground while my son was at school. Today, I happened to not have any errands and today, I happened to not have any writing deadlines. My daughter was in need of some play and so we went to the park on our own without plans of meeting friends there.

We had been at the playground for about a half hour when a wave of snobby mommies showed up with their expensive strollers and designer diaper bags and sunglasses.
All of a sudden I felt isolated at the playground.
I was literally surrounded by mommies but no one would look at me. No one would talk to me. No one acknowledged that I was there.

I was invisible.

Which is fine. I’m cool. I don’t necessarily need more friends. I realized that this feeling was probably the reason why I always see other mommies at the store or the library but I hardly ever see other mommies alone at the playground. No one likes feeling isolated. It’s easier to keep busy while shopping.

As I was sitting there watching my daughter play I had an epiphany. How many times have I been to the park with our playgroup and there was another mommy there and no one acknowledged her? Not because we’re snobby mommies but because we’re too busy socializing with each other? What if that mommy felt isolated?

I started feeling guilty.

I’ve decided that no matter where I am I will always be on the lookout for fellow non-snobby mommies to make friends with. Even if I am there with 50 of my closest friends.

Everyone deserves to be seen.

Everyone deserves to have non-snobby mommy friends.





12 responses

  1. It makes you wonder if they also want non-snobby friends. Are they afraid of making a choice that is unpopular and being on the outside of the ‘cool’ mommies?
    Everyone DOES deserve to have non-snobby mommy friends.

  2. That was plain rude! and just proves {as always} that money doesn’t buy you class. Now that we are settling into our new home and city I am realizing how welcoming we should all be, after all we are all the same. Specially mommies, we do the same {wiping buggers, bottoms and spit up from ourselves haha}

  3. Desiree…I wish I was there. I would have rolled up my sleeves and taken care of those bitches for you.

    I have had the best and worst experiences at the Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills. I don’t even like going there anymore because it is so hit or miss….blah I hate the park

  4. I can totally and completely relate. I lived in LA my entire life. Then we moved to the OC….when my son was just 3 months old….I felt completely and totally alone….isolated….I joined a mom’s group…playdates….some accepted me…some didn’t… closest friendships, oddly enough, were formed through blogging…..

  5. I read this article on my iPhone while I was sitting on the curb watching my little monkey ride his bike. I thought it was such a well written article!

  6. I came across your blog from a CBS LA article and I am shocked!

    This post sounds so very judgmental and truly dichotomous to your statement that you are not insecure. Judging someone on their stroller, sunglasses or diaper bag is ignorant. Thinking that everyone on the playground must exchange pleasantries with you and others is unrealistic and egotistical. Perhaps your quick assumption about these ladies made you appear unapproachable.

    It is sad to see such judgement and bullying still in this world. “Snobby mommy”? That is just silly, there are plenty of moms that are put together and have nice things that are “cool” moms, too.

    Just think twice about judging someone because everyone is going through something, you just never know.

    • Thank you for your feedback. I feel honored that you took time out of your day to respond.
      You were not there at that park, therefore you are assuming much more than you should.
      You have taken a post about my desire to reach out to other moms that I may have been unknowingly ignoring and turned it into something this post was never meant to be. You have taken the descriptors I have chosen to use as “bullying”. I used those descriptors in particular because they summed up quite quickly what these particular mothers were like. I did not want to go into detail about those mothers, because this post is not about them. This post is about the need that every mom has for friends and how easy it can be to make friends on the playground if you reach out and talk to someone.

  7. Desiree, I lived in Corona for 3 years having also transplanted from OC. I never could figure out what it was but I found it impossibly hard to make friends. I often felt isolated and alone when I went to park so I completely get what you are saying. Now that I am back in Orange County, I have tried to make that negative experience into a positive by reaching out to other moms I see at the park and asking them if they know about our local moms club. I never want other moms to feel like I did back then.

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