My friend Kristen talks about how motherhood is lonely. I’d be lying if I didn’t shed a tear by the end of her confession about feeling totally and utterly alone. It’s true, even if you’re blessed with loving children and surrounded by a loving partner and a handful of friends, motherhood can still be one of the loneliest places to be at the end of the day.
Because my babies have such a huge gap I can look back and recall that feeling with my oldest. That feeling when she wasn’t a baby anymore, but some crazy independent tiny person learning to do things all by herself. The loneliness started creeping in somewhere close to her second birthday and there I was without friends, without support, and totally unaware of who I even was anymore. I forgot how to put on make-up and I frequently missed my cool clothes.
I would leave in the evening and wind up window shopping for things I would never use. I would often run into other moms trying to escape the loneliness of their loved-filled home and I could feel connected to them somehow. I knew that they were secretly suffering, too. But I’d forgotten how to introduce myself. Who was I introducing anyway? I gave up everything to be the best mom I could to my daughter and somewhere along the way I gave up myself too.
It took a while to bounce back from that feeling. I’ll admit that while she was between the ages of two and three I ditched my daughter with Grandma every weekend to play pool and knock back several shots of whiskey. Though not the healthiest choice of a diversion, it was strangely therapeutic. And I eventually decided I was done and moved forward. I went to school, held a few jobs, made some friends. And so here I am.
Baby number two is growing so big! I’m having problems coming to terms with it since it’s a very good possibility we’re not having any more. (More on that depressing news later.) As he’s transformed into his own version of independence, I’ve reached out to a few relatable moms from my babywearing group to form some new relationships. I’m finding it hard to truly connect. I attend meet ups and participate in fabulous, thoughtful discussions online in our forums. But when it comes to action I see play dates and mom outings happening without me. As much as I try to blow it off, I get jealous sometimes. (Okay, every time.)
It’s obvious that I need to stop relying on others to make me feel important beyond motherhood. They say confidence is appealing, so maybe I need to stop hiding and get out there and kick life’s butt.
I’ve decided to go back to work part-time in order to get back into my element of having personal space. I’d like to get in touch with my abilities to make connections and talk to people without a baby on my back. I think it will be good for my fiance to spend more alone time with the kids, too. He’ll learn to love bonding with them in some of the same ways I have, I’m sure.
Here’s to getting to know myself and being comfortable in my own skin.