It’s isolating even when you’re out with people.
I went to a thing, but most of the folks I knew there are childless or have grown kids. They all get to stand around talking, and I say hi and then have to chase after toddler. If it’s critical, sure I can hold him and we talk over the screaming, but it’s not fun.
Even though my 21 month old seldom shoves nonfood in his mouth anymore, he will try to eat something he’s allergic to, or old food on the ground, or steal someone’s plate and knock everything over. Or steal someone’s electronics, or rip a toy out of a baby’s hands, or run right in between bigger kids throwing a ball hard. You know, like a toddler. So I can’t stay put if he isn’t confined to a childproofed space.
I was always shy and now have even more anxiety over making normal conversation (or anger at small talk even being a thing I have to try to do), so it strikes me that on a different day I might consider it a blessing that I didn’t have time to converse with adults, but for some reason today I feel like telling people it’ll be three months tonight and I’m not doing well. I didn’t tell anyone that in person.
I’m not sad that I went out, because kid got some quality outdoor time. Gross motor skill practice, check. Socialization with other kids and getting more used to crowds, check. But it was exhausting and lonely for me.
I never had to navigate most social situations as a solo parent before.