I got chatting with this Russian mum. She spoke perfect English and seemed nice. She explained to me she had three kids and an English husband. We chatted for a long time, it was so nice for me to be able to talk to another person and parent as I often go to the park and sit alone, ex communicated and cut off from the other parents all of which are Russian and mums or nannies of the kids that play there. I asked her if I could have her mobile number and she gave it to me. I felt happy, as I am always keen to meet new people and make new friends for me and my son. The fact that this person was female was not important to me.
I sent her a text later asking her if she wanted to meet there another time. Then to my surprise, I had a text back saying her husband 'would not like it' and could I not text her! This amazed me as I was only trying to be friendly. A week later I invited another parent (a mum) to my place for coffee after she had emailed me asking to meet me. She accepted my invite then the next day sent me an abrupt text saying she had no time to come and sorry. I found this a bit odd. Was she also afraid of her husbands reaction?
I have meat and two veg, I am male, 'me cave man'. I am no demi god, I am in my 40's, although not pig ugly! Was it my gender or maybe they just did not like me? I will never know. Why should my gender be an issue if it was indeed my gender? Were their husbands the jealous types? Why do women marry jealous men? I was jealous when I was younger and dumped by ex girlfriends because of my jealousy, why do these women tolerate it? Why do people have role stereotypes? Why are men expected to be the providers? We live in difficult hard times, couples do what they can to adapt and survive. Roles have become blurred and changed. I miss work and would happily provide for my family, but life circumstances have not allowed that to happen. I have a sense of shame and guilt but my wife's career has taken us abroad and the pay is good. I wish it were different. Not because of roles expectations but because I feel useless. I would change it tomorrow if I could, if only to give my wife a deserved break from the grind of work.
Being a stay at home dad in another country, in a big strange city, is lonely, it can be very tough, each day is hard. Trying to make friends with other people and other people who are parents and the opposite sex is also rather tough. Stay at home dads go against expected 'norms' and against expected roles. Women in some expat parent groups allow men into their groups but at the same time keep a healthy distance and keep within their own hen circles, the male roosters are allowed in to peck at the corn scraps.It not so unlike the animal kingdom between males and females.
I do miss male company but I only usually mix with women here that I do not know (or know very well), apart from a greeting nod or acknowledgment at the play ground and I cannot peck the corn with them as I am cave man and don't speak their language, in every sense of the word. Perhaps males and females are very different creatures in thought and expectation. An interesting sociological issue, nest ce pas?
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