Those are two words I never truly imagined putting together, lonely and motherhood. Being a mom means being surrounded, always…right?
I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and just now have gathered the guts to write about it. I hate the idea of writing about something that might make someone think I’m not grateful enough or that I’m complaining but, at the end of the day, if I can help another momma somewhere out there, I am happy to have written about my not-so-great feelings.
Truth be told, being a mom is lonely. I can’t speak to those of you who are the brave working moms; I only have experience as a stay at home mom. I left my crazy, seemingly endless, not enough hours in the day job as an elementary school teacher to stay home with LBR. Only recently though, have I started to look back, which seems crazy to even admit. When Caitlin was born in April 2014 my husband and I had decided I would not be returning to start the new school year in August. There was no way I wanted to go back with a newborn. Soon the new-ness was over…my mom had gone home, Dave was back at work, my friends had jobs, and I was alone. With a baby. A cranky, fussy baby who seemed to hate me at times. I started getting lonely.
Here we are a year later and a new school year has just started <- teachers at heart measure time in school years, not calendar years like normal folk 😉 I wanted a part time job at my old school to balance my desire for adult interaction and getting out of the house and mom time but, unfortunately, another teacher got the job. Dave and I decided that it was best for our family to continue to stay home vs going back full time. Daycare scares the crap out of both of us and Breaking News: teachers don’t make much money (ha!). More truth be told: the loneliness has grown. I sometimes miss work; I question though if I actually miss the work and the human interaction, or the purpose. I’m a mom and constantly surrounded as I thought I would be…by a house to be cleaned, by food to make, by laundry, by a toddler who doesn’t talk but is in the whiniest phase I could’ve ever imagined. I find myself isolated and lonely often lately. I don’t feel like I have much purpose in my days other than keeping my kid alive.
For outgoing mommas maybe this is easier to navigate. I’m admittedly still pretty shy despite having a room full of people see me push a child out (bye-bye modesty!!) and hate the idea of small talk so the thought of finding a meet-up group for moms is beyond intimidating. Friends with kids have their own schedules to juggle so playdates are constantly changed around, cancelled, or hard to come by because life is just. so. damn. busy. Friendships with those who don’t have kids change as your life *with kids* quickly changes and you can’t go out at the drop of a hat or spend money on endless happy hours anymore. Still, I find myself yearning for conversation that doesn’t include “Doggy!” (the one work my kid can say) or reading “Moo, Baa, La La La” for the ten thousandth time.
I’m trying hard to find my purpose. I know my baby girl is best off with me and the experiences I can provide her each day. I have this quote saved and think of it often. I have a hard time when my “purpose” isn’t something I can mark off on a check list and I’m working on that.
I look at my husband who proudly goes to work to support us every single day with more admiration than I ever thought I could have for him. Even though I miss organizing classrooms, making PowerPoint presentations and creating worksheets until midnight every day doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE the chance I’ve been given to stay with my sweet girl. I get to focus on being a wife as well, instead of worrying about work. But it’s hard. A year and a half later and I’m *still* trying to adjust.
SO, bottom line… To any momma who has felt lonely: it’s ok. People don’t talk about it just like they don’t talk about how hard breastfeeding it, or how you never know exactly what you’re doing with this tiny human you’re trying to raise. I know exactly how you feel. It doesn’t mean you’re unappreciative or ungrateful. You’re human. I get it if you don’t always see your purpose or the silver lining in a day that seems to never end with laundry, or work, or cleaning, or reading the same bedtime story over and over and over and over. Use the community around you to support and uplift you when you need it.
And if you ever need it, I’m always here if you want to talk ❤