In the beginning, the mom is the most celebrated person in the house….next to the new baby of course. Everyone wants to congratulate the mom on her amazing birthing skills and ability to create such a beautiful child. After a few weeks, life continues for others but this title of “mom” sticks with you. It is a badge of honor that we carry. It is a proud moment and something that I am honored to be blessed with. There is, though, another side of being a mom that is overlooked. Being a mom is lonely.
Many of summer evenings, as the adults meet up after dinner for drinks and relaxing on the dock…I can be found in the house. Not by choice but because I am the protector. It is up to me to stay present with the children and make sure no “evening cry-outs” occur. It is up to me to confirm that no harm finds them during the night. This is my job as a mom. I understand completely that this was my role when I birthed this amazing joy but these little moments of “adulthood” lost never occurred to me. I never once thought, before I got pregnant, “hmm, I will have to forget about dinner with the family because the kid got sick”. I never once thought, “hmm, I will not be able to meet the girls for a quick drink on occasion”. You realize that your life as you know it will change but you never realize how often you sit alone.
The feeling of sitting with your infant in a living room on Christmas Eve as your family sits in the dining room chatting and enjoying each other. The times you are locked in a bathroom nursing your young as you extended family opens Christmas gifts. The times you are putting your little one to bed as your family celebrates putting cookies out for Santa with your other children. These times of loneliness make you feel…well…lonely as all HELL!
I do not expect for everyone to drop everything and cater to my every need but I wish, on occasion, that someone would come to my rescue. I wish someone would come to me and say, “Mom, you have done so much. Now join your family and I will take care of your child for a few moments”. As I write this, I realize that this request is a large thing to ask for. I mean, this is asking someone to come in and take over my mom duties for a few wild moments. I know it may be unrealistic but it is nice to dream about. I never realized how isolating motherhood could be. It is a lonely job. Beyond my woes, I can only imagine how a stay at home mom must feel at times. The idea of never being released of your “mom” duties is maddening. Yes, you are a mom and that is an amazing blessing but EVERYONE deserves a break from time to time.
Again, let me add before I am ripped apart by the mighty mom brigade….I love being a mom. I know my responsibilities as a mom. I love my children with my entire heart and soul. They are my world. Still…I am human. I desire an ability to feel human occasionally. I just want a moment for me. A moment where I can feel like me and explore me and discuss topics that excite me. I am a human and I deserve time to be me and explore my likes and desires.
- My request to you is, if you see a mom friend sitting in the living room by herself AGAIN
- Go sit with her and continue the conversation she just left.
- Let her know that a life of solitude is not a requirement of parenthood.
- If you feel comfortable with the child, give her a break.
- Let her finish her meal and interact in adult conversation for a few quick moments as you watch her young.
- Let her take a bathroom break and refill her drink
- Give her the opportunity to feel a part of something
I will tell you now that she will appreciate those moments more than you can imagine. Isolation is a gateway to depression. Show your fellow moms that isolation is NOT a part of parenting. It takes a village to raise a child, be a part of that village.