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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MOM LIFE CAN BE LONELY


You know that feeling when you were single... you'd be out and see all of the couples (for some reason they were everywhere)? You'd feel that little twinge of jealousy and envy. That's how I feel sometimes as a mom. I am that mom with her daughter...never truly alone- but lonely. The other moms are all with other moms. Not me.

Part of me doesn't care. I am not a stay at home mom so that I can socialize. When I go to events for children, or even small playdates I am not there to socialize. In fact, I find it distracting if moms want to socialize too much. I need to be teaching my daughter. I am not the mom that's on the sidelines watching her daughter play. I am the mom that's right there with my daughter interacting. I wouldn't have it any other way. That is my job right now and that's honestly what I expect of other moms as well. It bothers me to no end when adults are missing teachable moments because they are chatting with their mom friends. That's not what being a stay at home mom is about. But, I digress.

I knew that being a stay at home mom would be challenging from that perspective. I knew that I wanted to be proactive and meet other moms. I didn't know it would be so exhausting and seemingly pointless. I am that mom that is reaching out and asking other moms if they want to set up playdates
or go to an event together. Some say yes and we set something up, some say they are interested but never set anything up, and others say yes but disappoint by being late or not showing at all. I've literally sat playing with my daughter for a full hour of playtime (when we could have been at home playing) while we waited and waited for the other moms to show up. I keep trying, however, because it's nice to have some sort of adult interaction in my day. Some of the get togethers are fun. It just seems to end. The moms never seem to reach back out to me to set things up. They are glad to come along if I reach out, but it seems one sided in the desire to actually initiate.

I see my husband for maybe an hour and half each day. That's it. That also includes weekends...there are no days off in our house. We don't get to plan outings to the zoo, or fun days at the park as a family. He gets home around 6:30 pm. He eats dinner that's been saved for him and we sit with him. We have some playtime with our daughter. At 7:30 we start our bedtime routine with her and by 8 both our daughter and my husband are in bed. Don't get me wrong, this is much harder on him that it is on me. He is the one getting up at 3 am and working a long hard day. But, I'm lonely. Even in our hour and half together I don't feel like my need for adult interaction is at all fulfilled. We get to chat about our days and get our daughter ready for bed together. The long anticipated moment of daddy coming home starts over an hour and a half after I see him. It's hard.

It used to be easier when I was working. I was a different kind of busy. The kind of busy where I didn't have time to think about how much I missed him in the same way that I do now. Now I'm busy with a toddler- which is a whole different kind of busy. It's real and exhausting in and of itself. But it is the kind of busy that allows you to miss your husband tremendously. You miss him because you wish he was there to see all of the amazing moments with her. But you also miss his companionship and friendship in a selfish way as well.

We don't have family or friends here. I don't have the support system that most moms around here seem to have. My friends from work were just that- work friends. Now that I'm no longer working, I don't see them. I tried at first, but it wasn't reciprocated. I was in a different place. I get it. I never needed more than family. I never tried hard to make new friends. All I wanted to do was hang out with my best friend- my husband. And he is the same way. So, maybe it's our fault... we kind of created our own little happy bubble. We never went out with other couples. We never found the need. We had everything we needed together.

That's still the case. Unfortunately, I just have more time to myself. A LOT more time. And during his busy season (this will last until mid- fall), I wont see him much. My daughter is young enough that she's not talking much yet. Most moms tell me to count my blessings on that because "once she starts talking you won't be able to shut her up". I can't wait. I can't wait to have conversations with my daughter that aren't one sided. I can't wait to hear what she's thinking.

I guess it's conflicting what I just wrote. I'm not sure what it is that I want. I think I just want a support system. I want to find moms like me that focus on their children, but that also want to get together. I don't want to have to be the mom going up and introducing myself all the time. Women aren't always nice in return, and it really is exhausting. It literally is kind of like dating again- and I never found that fun. I keep trying- mostly for my daughter. I want her to have children to play with. But sometimes it's just lonely watching all of the other moms have their people and not having mine. I have my people- they are all just so far away. I miss them all terribly. More than ever. And I want it to be winter so I can see my husband again for more than an hour and half each day.

So, we'll keep plugging along. I will continue to go to events. I will continue to go out and do things with my daughter because that's the point. We will still go to the zoo, and to story time, and to the fun festivals and parades- even if it is just the two of us. She's who I'm really getting to hang out with and it's such an amazing thing that I get the chance to spend my days with her. I get to make amazing memories with my daughter and I am so thankful for that. Every bit of loneliness is so worth it in the end.

It feels so selfish to even say that I'm lonely. But it's the truth. I am also the happiest I've ever been. Odd that those two feelings can coexist! I probably can't even explain it well, but having a child is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Caroline makes me a better person and brings out such joy in me. My little family is my happy place and, when it grew to include a daughter, the happiness was something I never could have dreamed up.

And Caroline, if you read this one day when you are older... please don't ever feel like I didn't enjoy being with you. You are so much fun and you are everything to me. I love watching you learn, getting to teach you and play with you, and spending all of our minutes together. If you are ever a stay at home mom one day, you'll understand. You'll understand that, while you love and cherish every minute of the day that you get with your child, it can still be lonely to not have much adult interaction. I love you so so much.


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3 comments:

  1. This post breaks my heart! I know exactly what you mean. It's HARD to find mom-friends. I had lots of friends before kids - never had a problem making them - but I felt like things changed when I had kids and I was now looking for a different type of friend. It was really difficult, but my husband encouraged me to not give up - even when moms were flakey and it felt like I was the only one making an effort. I prayed A LOT about it. I prayed and I pursued friendships with women that struck me as people I could learn from and grow with. I joined groups like MOPs and talked to women at the gym. Personally I'm not the type who plays with my kids at the park - I encourage their ability to either play and explore by themselves or to make their own friends - so I was able to talk to moms there too. I picked up a friend here and a friend there, and then asked them to join a weekly bible study at my house. Through that we have become the best of friends! I now have exactly what I wanted - a circle of women I can count on, learn from, and have fun with. They are a clear answer to prayer. You may not be religious, so perhaps the specifics of my story don't translate for you, but the concept is the same - keep at it! Keep joining groups, keep inviting people over. Be there for women when they need help. You will find your friends. Oh - and if there is MOPs in your area - this is a good group to join even if you aren't Christian! It is religiously based, but open to all women, and I found it to be a great place to start when looking for moms with the right focus in life. Good luck mama!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Cole! When my daughter is older, it will definitely be easier to be able to actually chat LOL (and hopefully make more friends)! Right now with her being only 20 months old, I like to be engaged so I am prompting her to say thank you, share, say please, etc.... and how to handle situations when she gets upset, etc. They are so young at this age that they are still learning how to play together and what is acceptable, you know!? I did decide to join a moms group and should be hearing back soon. I had actually looked into it when she was younger, but the meetups were mostly during naps...and as fellow babywise mamas know, we prioritize sleep instead of ourselves, so it just didn't end up working out. But, now that she's down to 1 nap, I should be able to meet up with them at some point!!! I am very excited to see how this group turns out. Thanks again. It's always nice to hear from other moms that have been through this and seen the light at the end! I know I will find my people around here...just have to keep at it and keep trying!

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  2. Oh I'm glad to hear it! Don't lose hope if this specific mom group is a miss - it could be my area, but I joined 2 moms group that were super possession-centric (what stroller do you have?! Etc) before I found the right group for me. There are other moms out there that are almost exactly like you looking for friends... It just might take a few years to find them!

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