Monday, March 24, 2014
the loneliness of motherhood
For months I blamed our crazy work schedules or chocked it up to being a new mom, but I'm starting to think the feeling of loneliness is just part of learning to be a mom. I'm not saying I am alone in my new role, but I find myself feeling alone in ways I never have before and the funny thing is that I'm rarely ever alone. My little girl is often by my side.
My alone time is at an all-time low, which is a bit of a struggle as an introvert. I talk nearly the whole time I'm with my eight month old, yet I don't feel heard (and that will probably change as she grows up). At work, I'm with people all day, but don't feel understood (few of them are mothers). My closest friends are not mothers or don't live nearby so we rarely talk or get time together.
The reality is that at least half my evenings are spent alone because my baby is asleep and my husband is either at work or in class, so I do spend some time by myself. The extent of my weekly interaction with other moms usually comes in quick conversations with the few colleagues who have children and brief chats with moms in the church nursery or fellowship hall.
About once a month, I see my neighbor whose daughter is four months older than mine. We have totally different friend groups, but I relish the chance to talk about our growing daughters and the crazy journey of motherhood. She's expressed to me the challenge of loneliness as a stay-at-home mom. It seems that moms who are with their kid(s) all day find themselves feeling lonely just as moms who are away from their kid(s) can.
I don't share any of this as a complaint, nor am I fishing for sympathy. Before I was a mom, I did not remember consider how I might feel alone in the journey and I'm content to think it's one of life's surprises.