But yes, I can see how women become very isolated and afraid to even leave the house - at a certain point the stress of being out isn't worth it. As a single parent I kind of don't have that luxury - I don't have a husband coming home every night to connect me to the "real" world. So we HAVE to get out every day whether I feel like it or not. And for cost effectiveness, public playgrounds it is.
I think I've come a long way in learning the subtle etiquette of the playground and trying to relax and be cool...but I'll freely admit I still kind of hate it. I hate the screaming and pushing matches that almost always result from the pile of generic sand toys that seem to be everywhere. HATE IT. I wish bringing of personal toys to public playgrounds was banned. I have never brought our toys because I don't want them to be carried off home innocently by other kids...and I don't trust B to share. I know this is shitty, but I just don't. And I don't want my kid to be the mean one pushing everyone away from his toys and throwing a fit when someone touches something of his. I know this is something he's going to have to learn soon. But can it please wait until I'm not in my third trimester anymore? Because right now I really can't deal.
So our trips to the playground almost entirely consist of me reprimanding B for pulling things out of other kids' hands, flinging sand in their faces, and running off with their toys. Then there's the fun of grabbing him in the nick of time before he gets his head kicked in by kids on swings (we had such a close call today everyone in the park froze and gasped and I pulled every muscle in my body while sprinting to grab him out of the way - and screamed "Jesus Christ!!!" at the top of my lungs).
Then there's the fun of standing around with the hot sun beating on my face while he runs back and forth on the same piece of equipment that has precipitous drops on both sides and tons of bigger kids running over him like steamrollers, when I'm desperate to sit down because I feel like my vagina is going to fall out, but I can't because these playgrounds have one bench and it's always covered with people's diaper bags, and too far away if I need to sprint to keep B from getting his head kicked in by kids on swings.
Thankfully one park in particular has really nice people who tend to all "get it" and understand when my kid throws a fit and are on top of their own kids' behavior so I don't worry so much about B being pushed around by bigger kids. But still I find the whole experience stressful, exhausting, and unpleasant. Still, I accept that for B's benefit, going to playgrounds is something we must do, and just about every day. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though.