As a mother and Atheist ( for over 20 years) I've found the hardest aspect of being an Atheist and a parent - is finding community. Not just for myself - but for my children. Community and socialization are crucial in a child's development. I feel this in one of the most significant reasons there is less women in Atheism - because there is less family in Atheism. In meet-ups, they are predominately male - and usually at libraries.
I think I've became more anti-social , which is another thing I'm combating... We tend to draw inwards. I once was very outgoing and involved in the community, meetings and etc.... As I broke away, I lost friends. My children were soon no longer invited to houses to spend the night, to have birthday parties and etc. I'm going through this now with Mi'a & Taylor. I have a few good friends who I connect with as much as I can - but I admit, I've became very defensive and protective as a result of people judging me or being bigots. I do whatever I can for both children - even expose myself to people I dislike me or have no respect for me - in order for my kids to have something - rather than nothing.
It is hard not to become anti social when every corner you turn people are judging you at the drop of a whim..
Trust me I can relate to that!
That's just the thing Thinks - It's not about me anymore. "It" has become about children ... Jeff and I primarily have been to ourselves. This ends up causing stagnation and no outlet for either of us - eventually I worry we'll start bickering at one another. I know Jeff is bored - I'm bored too . We go for exploration walks, night life stuff and etc - we need that interaction of friends to buffer the boredom. I'm not a depressed person- I enjoy communication with a varied circle of people. When I was younger - I was a little less caring or observant. Now I have 2 adult children who are Atheists and have had rather solitary lives as result. So, when I look at Mi'a and Tay- I don't want same for them . Teenage years were very rough with my daughter Tabitha. When she did manage to get accepted by a family- she clung. Same with boyfriends- who she hid us from and begged me not to say we were Atheists- even cried, horribly.
I too get snubbed... a lot. Jeff doesn't seem to be bothered by it too much ... He doesn't want to do birthday parties and play dates. I do ... i want our kids to have good memories of their childhood and have strong, solid friendships. I'm the one who tries and does do charity events, I run them if I can ... I do the writing, the artwork and etc. if they discover I'm Atheist, all 'hell' breaks out. This just recently happened on toy run.
I tell myself to be happy - I am happy. I just really miss being involved in activities, in socializing. I cringe when it's time for my kids birthdays ...
Oh gosh, I lost my best friend a year ago because I came out. I wrote a note saying "I'm an atheist and I'm happy." and she messaged me saying "Ohhh Caitlin you know I love you but I can't follow you down this path, I wish you would have asked me about God and Jesus" and promptly deleted me and blocked me.
I still cry over that. A 12 year friendship, down the drain. Augh.
Ooooooooo, I know all about that kind of a blow. But try me and my best friend were friends for 20 years and it wasn't even because I said I was an atheist. It was because "she got saved" and told me that my dabbling in new age (at the time) was "of the devil". I have not spoken to her since. We need to talk lol. I'll send you a TA friend request. lol
That's why I walked away from recent toy run, after doing all that work.
I chose to think of myself as out of step with society not anti social but as a parent of two young girls I hate to see the stress they have being out of step and b/c of their maturity the absolutely last thing they want to be is out of step.
It gets worse , trust me ... Girls are vicious. Alex really didn't have problems - boys just didn't care. Girls on other hand - ? Fist fights, nasty FB posts , school fights... The list goes on. When she did manage to get 'in' with friends , parents immediately called me and were concerned for their children being around us and asked ME to respect their beliefs. Meanwhile - they preached and constantly tried to indoctrinate Tabi. She had problems in school programs too - the girls more so than guys - black balled her. She dropped out of everything - including equestrian, 4-H. At 4-H events and meetings - no one spoke to me and I was never given the floor or tabi was snobbed. It was pretty rough.
That's as a result of the media sensationalism and anti-intellectualism in America. They have a deep seeded fear and ignorance of socialism and communism.
Thanks - Mia said , " Momma , move it , move it , I like to shake it, shake it ..." Madagascar movie...
I WANT ONE!!!! Those are just the cuttest things ever!! ♥