I plan to focus on this issue for a few, and then to update in the future when I have something relevant to add.
My new neighborhood is a great place. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac. The road that takes you to our street is also a cul-de-sac. There is very little traffic, and all the kids, ages 2 through 17, play in the street. Everyone 4 and over knows to get out of the street when a car comes, and the tweens help corral the younger kids (i.e. my daughter). The older kids play with the younger kids (the tweens ride their bikes at a speed that my son can match with his training wheels). All the adult neighbors I have met so far are really friendly. I should have no problem taking the kids outside, and yet...
The following inner monologue occurred about a week ago.
All the neighbors are outside. I should take the littles outside, so they can play with the other kids. That would be fun for them. Maybe G could ride his bike. M can ride her train. Maybe I will take my spindle outside; the neighbor kids enjoyed playing with it last time. *I notice there is a group of 8 or so parents standing together, talking.* I wonder what they are talking about. Will they think I am being rude if I don't come over right away? Will it be awkward if I do go over, but don't have anything to say? Maybe I can just spin, and hang out with the kids instead. Will that make them think I am being anti-social? What if I just stood by them and and spun? No, that is weird. Ugh. I don't want to be weird, but I don't want to just stand there, either.
More of the same followed, until I had completely talked myself out of taking the kids outside. They were playing in the backyard, so I wasn't denying them outside time. I still feel like a fail mom, though, for not encouraging my littles to be social.