The phrase "mom-friends" needs a rebrand. A stay-at-home dad took to Reddit to share how isolating it can be when the moms at the playground ignore him. While many dads can relate, others were quick to point out how lucky he is to avoid small talk.

By Alex Hazlett
July 09, 2021
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An image of a dad in a park with his kids.
Credit: Vitolda Klein.

The playground social scene can be as complicated for adults to navigate as it is for kids. One dad, a stay-at-home parent, posted on Reddit a plea for social inclusion. 

Redditor liamemsa posted in r/parenting that when he takes his son to a local park, he ends up sitting quietly by himself, not included in the group chats of the other parents, who are mostly moms. "It's a lonely existence and being a stay at home means I don't get tons of socialization anyway," he wrote. He added that when his wife took their son to the park on her day off, the other moms "immediately" started talking to her. "Give us dads a chance, please!" he concludes.

Some commenters echoed the dad's sentiments about finding it hard to break into a mom-centric social scene. "I'm a single dad and this makes me sad. I want to talk about the silly things my daughter does," wrote one fellow dad

While tons of dads could probably relate to the original poster's grievance, some commenters added the caveat to read the room, or park as the case may be. "This PSA would send shivers down his spine; he does not want to make small talk with other parents," wrote another commenter, referring to her husband.

Others shared her sentiment.

"I dread the parent small talk. I once ran into a mom group at a park and they were so kind and welcoming to me but I just want to sit and chill and watch my kid play for a bit," wrote another parent.

"I get that being a dad can be lonely in the parenting circles, and I try my best to be as inclusive as possible, but let's be real…park small talk sucks," said a third commenter.

So to sum up: If caregivers look lonely at the park, maybe invite them into the social scene. Or give them space if they're not interested. Everybody wins.