How do you feel alone in a full house? Would you go back and still wish for what you have now?
Feeling lonely as a mother or a parent in general, is honestly just another one of those strange, juxtaposing emotions that parenthood graciously provides you with. You have a little human or humans that rely on you and want you and need you; but you still feel like you’re the only person on the planet. It doesn’t make sense [ but parenthood didn’t come with an instructional manual, so much of motherhood doesn’t make sense, so I guess it’s par for the course ] and it comes and goes in waves. Time can seem to suddenly and relentlessly stop, while simultaneously moving ridiculously fast. [ Buckle up! ]
Not every relationship you’ve ever had in your life is going to suddenly change once you become a mother. However, unfortunately many do. Maybe you can’t be friends with someone who parents a little differently than you do; maybe you just don’t see people as often as you used to, and your friendships fade [ this isn’t always a bad thing ] ; maybe bringing a kid in the world has inspired you to cut the ties with toxic people that were in your life beforehand. Sometimes, whether it’s just the course our lives take or parenthood in general, our relationships change, but with that change can come a wave of loneliness, when we realize that person is no longer in our lives. I know there are many of you fellow females out there who have a solid group of girlfriends, before, after and during parenthood. You laugh and cry together. You have a group text together. You know pretty much everything about each other. This is not at all a post to discredit you at all. [ I am super proud of you, I know how hard it is to branch out and keep a strong clan going ] Full disclosure; there are a lot of people [ especially us women ] who are really jealous of what you have and of what you are. [ I would really like a cute little clan myself. ] Even if you’re lucky enough to have one or two steady friends, how often do you really get to spend time with them? If you have these friends, you should probably do whatever you can to spend time with them as often as life allows. But life gets busy, babies need to nap, kids get sick, swimming lessons, husbands get home late from work, things change, plans get canceled, you forget to reschedule, and who’s court is that ball in this time? It’s just really, really, hard to have friends in this stage of life. [ this is truly a real life struggle ] I’m not saying that friendship isn’t important. Because clearly, it is, or we wouldn’t feel its lack there of so strongly. We were never meant to live in isolation. Women, especially, need friendship and guidance. But sometimes, our friendships take the back seat in life and we can let that destroy us and affect our motherhood, or we can embrace it and give ourselves, and our friends, grace. There are other mothers in the same trenches we are. We are not alone.
Motherhood the constant pressure to be ‘on’ all the time, even when you aren’t feeling it. The pressure to do things well. The pressure to basically not screw up our children, it’s all of society’s weight on your shoulders. [ no pressure, right? ] You always are hearing the shoulds, the coulds and the woulds of the parenting world every where, society likes to slam things in our faces. And being the forever emotional, hormonal and take everything to heart mothers we are, we feel immense pressure; even when things aren’t directed at us.
Sometimes, we have to take a trip to the grocery store to walk around just to have some interaction with people outside of my house [ we all need sanity, tiny bodies suck the sanity right out of us without even doing anything; gotta love them ] When I am out with my boys and can get a chance to look up from the chaos that is ensuing in front of my eyes in my shopping cart, just long enough to see another mother going through the same things I am. [ screaming toddlers, yelling, crying; you name it, they leave it all for you when you are in public, its great… ] I feel the need to run to her and ask if she struggles just as much as I do, if she is scared of being a mother some days, and to keep asking her; if she will judge me for having two of my own screaming kids, for wanting to run away some days from my kids, for forgetting to put shoes on my youngest and a hat on my oldest. I would probably freak her out, but I don’t care. [ I need someone to HOLD ME! ]
There are days that I would like to just have a long conversation with someone other than my husband [ love him and he’s put up with a lot of my crazy ] Someone with female anatomy, someone in the same life changes as me, someone that will get everything that I am saying. But I can’t dwell on trying to find a perfect friend, if there is such thing. Sometimes it would be nice. [ here is a recap on my blog post where I suck at being a friend; Speaking of that, wanna get coffee? ] Loneliness breeds jealousy, and bitterness and anger and regret and then guilt; which leads to sleeplessness, grumpiness, impatience, grudges and depression… and on… and on… and on… WELCOME TO MOTHERHOOD, great isn’t it!?
Loneliness just creeps into the lives of every mother, I think it is pretty normal and pretty shitty. But just remember that this is a time in our lives that is the most sacred of times, the best time you will ever have, and the greatest honor of experiencing. This is the time where personal space is no such thing, your pants are a face cloth, and you can never pee alone; but when you come home, your kids run into your arms as if you have been gone for a lifetime. You will never be more loved and wanted and needed as much as you are right now… in this very special moment in your life. Part of becoming and being a mother is that we are transformed into a new human being, while still holding on to what we were, when we can. And that creates a tricky situation in which to discover and be comfortable with this new, yet same, being.
This is your very own season of your life, one that you have created; and its so beautiful. Scars and owies, urine and dirt. 7 minute showers, half shaved legs and smudgey mascara. You’ll get lonely, and jealous. You will resent your life, and wish you could trade lives with someone else. You’ll get angry and flustered, you will want to run away. This truly is the most unspectacular and most unappreciated time of your life; and it totally blows. But hey, its okay. Find a good peace of mind knowing that this is a time in your life you will look back on forever. One day when our children are older, we will wish for small babies and loneliness again. [ and eating Eggos for every meal, yogurt dripping pants and slobbery bed sheets ] When a scene of dreaded isolation creeps up on you and you start to feel bad for yourself and are wishing for something other than what you have right now, fill that emptiness with baby belly laughs while being ridiculous, and silly songs. Do not let the loneliness take over.
It is easy to become discouraged and feel utterly defeated. Step out of your comfort zone, be intentional on forming relationships whether they are permanent. Put yourself out there. Sometimes it fails, but maybe it won’t! Don’t convince yourself that you are the only on in the world that doesn’t have these friends. [ I really need to preach to my own choir. ]
At the end of the day we are the ones who make ourselves lonely, but its totally unintentional. We trap ourselves with everything inside us, trying to the best we can be for our little humans. We don’t mean to, but we do it. Being a mother is an exhausting job, a job that never ends, there is always something; but that being said, we never want it to end. We get so caught up in living for the moments that are right in front of us, that we forget about the real world and what a human needs, a basic social life.
The point is, don’t let loneliness steal this season from you. It’s precious and it’s beautiful and it will be over way too soon.