Day Time Communities

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A lot of what I write is observations, small things that I suddenly see that perhaps I hadn’t seen before.  When I started my new life as a stay at home parent I observed the different community that exists and that I am now a part of, the daytime community.

I used to work in the city, I was one of the ‘crisp shirts’ who queued in silence for the tram, took my seat and like every other commuter I plugged in my electronic device of choice and shut myself off from everyone else. Eye contact was brief and generally unwanted. As the tram reaches its climax the same people that you share that ritual with every working day would file off without a word. Nine hours later the same practice took place in reverse, the silence was consistent.

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The stay at home community is different. I used to see them as I looked out of the tram window, a little enviously in truth, now they are my community and friends.

The little old lady who I would see walking her yapping dogs and stopping to chat to anyone who would listen, now I listen as she delves into her collection of stories about wartime and boyfriends gone by.

The effervescent Greek lady in the green grocers who comes charging down the street with a peeled carrot to quench Max’s unquenchable appetite for carrots.

The gentleman/gentle man who always ruffled Max’s hair at the park on weekends is now the gentleman who ruffles Max’s hair and shares a coffee or two and some adult conversation with Max’s Dad every morning.

The clutch of Mums (what is the collective noun for Mums?) pushing their prams from park to park as if possessed, stopping to chat and ask how I’m doing. These women provide the light relief and distraction from Max whilst their children provide Max with the light relief and distraction from me.

I love feeling a part of this community. The pace is slower, the smiles are genuine, the talk is instinctive and there is a more obvious happiness to this daytime community.

You hear a lot of talk about community in blogging circles. I’ve always wanted this blog to be somewhere that people are comfortable to be themselves, to feel valued, to smile and to be a little bit like the day time community I describe above. I thank you for being a part of it.

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Are you enjoying being part of a daytime community, virtual or otherwise? Linking up with Jess at http://essentiallyjess.com/

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  • Neets

    I don’t miss my corporate life one bit. I enjoy blogging & today had the privilege of meeting some incredibly talented people. So yep it’s fair to say I’m loving my new life…there is no judgement, people are genuine & I no longer have to justify doing what makes me truly happy :)

    • daddownunder

      Sounds like you’re in a very good place Neets, love that you’ve found your thing. Good for you!

  • http://awesomelyunprepared.com/ KezUnprepared

    Thank you too! Sometimes I get annoyed by my ‘day time’ community life. The same check out chick that openly judges the Little Mister’s (20 months) dummy use (I’ve concluded he only needs it while sleeping and halfway through each weekly supermarket visit haha). The places I visit all the time, wishing it was someone else’s job. But to tell the truth, I like my freedom in being a Stay at Home parent. I love that it’s a creative, imaginative job and I’ve been able to get to know so many like minded parents – the lovely mum who I chat to at swimming lessons each week, the mother’s group, the beautiful guy who runs the coffee shop and always looks so happy that the Little Mister is happy. Who knows if I’m there to meet my mum or grandparents and will always tell me if they’ve beat me there or not. I love the caring/sympathetic/joy filled looks that kind strangers give me when I’m with my gorgeous son and he’s doing something cute/annoying/funny. I love that being a parent has opened me up to an amazing bunch of bloggers.
    Wow, this post made me really think and appreciate my life so much more! The power of words! :)

    • daddownunder

      That’s a massive compliment indeed and I’m glad you got something from it. You’re right though sometimes a bit of anonymity within the community would be good too but overall I love it. Thanks again

  • Mel Duker

    Reading the post put a lovely smile on my face. Between my toddler daughter and my dog I feel like I am lucky enough to meet a whole new bunch of fascinating people (people seem to be dog or baby people… You cover both if you are out walking with one of each) who I love hearing their experiences. Great observation :0)

    • daddownunder

      Glad you liked it Mel, you are a double threat with dog and baby, it must take you a while to get anywhere with people stopping to tell you how cute they both are. I hope people still talk to me when Max starts school : )

  • Aaron

    Currently, I’ve got a foot in both camps, but, as I work part-time from home, I feel more a part of this daytime community. The swimming, park outings, are all part of my routine that I’d never really thought could be fulfilling. But, now, with a 13-month old, I find it hard to imagine anything less.

    • daddownunder

      Simple pleasures are sometimes the best arent they Aaron? I think its the pace that I like

  • Nic Gray

    I had one lovely year getting acquainted with the type of community you’ve described here – a diverse and accepting mothers group, swimming lessons, cafe time, park play, cooking with my boy… The hardest thing about it was when I had to go back to work full time. What a culture shock! Now I’m waiting (rather impatiently at this point) for the arrival of our second bub and oh how I wish being a part time (or even better a full time) home mum was feasible in our foreseeable future.

    • daddownunder

      Your right Nic, I have half an eye on the fact that it will come to and end in the blink of an eye, and that’s panics me a bit – I feel so out of practice at all the other stuff

  • http://www.mummywifeme.com/ Renee Wilson

    Yes, I love being a part of a daytime community. I have my collection of ‘friends’ from our walks and then our ‘regulars’ we see at the supermarket. I also am now discovering a whole new wonderful community online. In two months time though I will return to work and I guess be experiencing both worlds again :/

    • daddownunder

      I imagine it must be quite a scary proposition heading back to work. I will be when my time comes, I feel so out of that mindset not to mention I’ve got used to being ‘the boss’. Good luck I’m sure it’ll provide you with a nice balance

  • Jessi Glauser

    Talk amongst the day time crew of parents is quick witted and lipped,said between sips of coffee and yells of ”don’t jump from there’ towards children!I love chatting to the barista girls who make my coffee and have for 4 solid years,and I enjoy the ladies who come and amuse the kids while I use the self service checkout at Woolies.I’m studying at the moment but thankfully will always plan on working from home with stints of photography work during the school hours and some weekends.I love being a full time mother far to much to ever stop completely. x
    I will miss week day park plays once they are all in school though!Where will I hang to drink my coffee then?

    • daddownunder

      Sounds like you know what I’m talking about Jessi. You’ll change and adapt and find a new way to inspire your kids, I’m sure of it.

  • http://www.theviblog.wordpress.com/ Rachel_theviblog

    A “flutter” of mums. That is my vote for the collective noun – in the daytime at least. On evening outings one may encounter a “raucous’ of mums after a certain amount of wine and confidences have been exchanged ;)

    • daddownunder

      A flutter of mums, of course how silly of me : ) Raucous sounds more accurate to me. Dare I ask what the collective is for Dads?

      • http://www.theviblog.wordpress.com/ Rachel_theviblog

        For daytime I’d go for an “rumble” of dads. For night time though, it has to be a “posse” of dads to adequately reflect the fact that they have thrown off their domestic selves in favour of their more “badass” alter egos ;)

  • Aroha @ Colours of Sunset

    I don’t know, I think there’s another side to the daytime community too, unfortunately. When my son was an infant I attended a few different play groups, trying to work my way into this community, but there was so much cliqueyness (?) and competition between mums. I really struggled. But in saying that, I did meet a few awesome mums and from then just stuck with them and it was fantastic. Now that my son’s older, there’s a school-mums community that I feel I don’t really fit into because I work, most of them do not. In saying that, I do love being at the grocery store or the coffee shop and being able to relate to other parents, or share a laugh over something my or their child has just said loud enough for everyone to hear! Or helping a mum out, even when I don’t have Nick, because I know she may be having a tough day. -Aroha (#teamIBOT)

  • Emily

    Me too!! I love that the super market ladies know me, say hi to the kids, and ask how insane I’m going, that I bump into other parents when I am out and about – it’s so nice to be part of the non-working world. I do miss the corporate world, the face I used to interview such an amazing variety of people, but I suppose I have time for that once the kids are older! :)

    • daddownunder

      Maybe you could just start randomly interviewing the supermarket girls, just to keep your skills ticking over Em? Its a definitely different but I’ve become quite accustomed to it now.