Yay - report cards are completed, I am now recovering on Spring Break, and so have an opportunity to post my pointless musings/stories for y'all to read or ignore.
I am married, working about 40-50 hours per week (that's on a 70% contract) and have 2 very young boys. My husband also works quite a bit. I'm like a few others who have posted here; a social life is something to look forward to about 15+ years from now (although I'm usually so tired I don't care much anymore).
I see my best girlfriends about 2x per year. We talk about 4-5x per year on the phone. We're all working moms (well, except one of my best friends, who is single and childless, but always insists we socialize in her little apartment downtown as she doesn't want to drive to my place; no concept of how trying to find parking and keep 2 wee ones away from her breakables or from falling out of her 10th floor window is a tad challenging). Anyway, we're all way too busy to catch up with one another, even though we do live in the same city.
Rarely, we do get together with my hubby's eastern European buddies. They're fun. And it's the typical sit down dinner Heorhij spoke of. But this is why we do it so rarely - noone has the time to cook for that (it's quite stressful when someone is very time stressed!).
I did go out this last Friday after work with some colleagues for a little bit, but talking with them is a tad painful; they don't have kids and don't on any level relate to the challenges involved. I'm not saying I was blathering on about them (believe it or not!). But, for instance, I was talking about the fact that I'm applying to do a MAsters of Education in Teacher-Librarianship (it's insane at this point in my life, but otherwise I'm trapped into being in my current situation, and I cannot stomach the thought of that...). I'm doing it entirely online via a university in another province. So another girl there, who already has her Masters of Library Science, and is currently doing a diploma in teacher-librarianship at a local university, starts going off about how doing a degree entirely online is pedagogically unsound (maybe, but driving 3 hours in total every time I want to attend a 1.5 hour class, and finding babysitting for that, etc., is crazy) AND more importantly, a big discussion starts up amongst my colleagues about how so many teachers only do their Masters to earn more money, when it should be entirely about the intellectual pursuit etc. What they don't realize is that when you have kids and little money, you have to be quite pragmatic. Intellectual pursuit (especially the kind requiring lots of time and money) are a LUXURY folks!
I don't think I'm be socializing much with them again (time aside, I'm sick of having to defend myself and them still not getting it).
As for the once a week date concept - how on earth does one find time? We manage about once a month (a rented movie and a bottle of wine once the kids are asleep). Although it doesn't help that my husband absolutely refuses to set a date night. He is offended by the concept that he has to set a date ahead of time with his wife. So I've told him, "okay, but you might be waiting a long time before we can miraculously have couple time together." Actually, I find it stressful too if we do manage to find a little time at the last minute. I cannot turn off my work/kids responsibilities brain, and I keep thinking that there is something that I need to be doing. If I knew ahead of time, then maybe I could program my brain to turn off that portion of my thinking.
Things to think about. So, being able to plan ahead, note that these are often obstacles and see if you can organize your life in such a way so that it is not an issue. It's not just me - my friends and the 3 female colleagues (the few guys who have kids don't seem to find this AS big an issue) I have that do have little one (one each and also working at 70% - ie. 40-50 hours per week) have similar issues. None are happy about it. The easiest way is not to have kids, but that would be a rather unfortunate choice, IMHO. Kids are worth not having a social life. I really hate work about 75% of the time, but when I get home and see my kids, my mood usually lifts (until I put them to bed and keep working on whatever it was I needed to do for work). Honestly, I'd recommend too that once you have kids, your wife (or you) not have to work a lot, if you can swing it. Seems backward, but all these moms I know working lots are really unhappy with their situations, and wouldn't do it (at least they wouldn't work so much) if they didn't have to. They'd probably all work, but either in far less stressful jobs, or for far fewer hours than they currently do.