A friend of mine recently had a baby, and it got me thinking back to my first few weeks of motherhood. I cried a lot. When Avery was ten days old, I woke up, put on my makeup, cried it all off, and then continued crying for the entire day. My parents picked up my Grandmom and brought her over to meet Avery. I was so depressed (and depressing) that she actually ASKED them to take her back to the retirement home. How sh*tty of a hostess do you have to be before your own Grandmom is like, umm, listen, I know I live in a home, but you’re a real downer, kid.
Days after each of my beautiful children were born, I said to my husband, “This was a bad idea. It’s too hard. I don’t want to feel like this anymore.” I felt raw, vulnerable, and like I could never be by myself again. As an introvert, this terrified me. My battery drains quickly and I need to spend time by myself to recharge. With the obligation of nursing and pumping and diapers and laundry and bottle-washing it felt like there would never be time for me to just be me.
Now my girls are older and things are getting easier. One goes to preschool and the other is still with me 24/7 but that will change next year, so I’m cherishing the hours I get when it’s just us and she’s not overtaken by 2-year-old drama. My husband has a demanding career, so I’ve found myself “alone” a lot with my children. I often hear myself say, “Kevin’s traveling so I’m alone with the kids.” What is it about being responsible for another person 24/7 that makes you feel so lonely sometimes? It’s not like I’d have it any other way, but I do get burned out. As a wife and mother, I cycle between elation, annoyance, guilt, frustration, forgiveness, tenderness and amusement. And that’s by like, 9am. When I sing my babies to sleep at night, I’m relieved, but then I miss them and look at pictures of them on my phone.
And I just don’t know if I’ll ever stop feeling lonely.
So welcome to this sisterhood of motherhood, new mommies. No matter how lonely it gets, sometimes it can help to be reminded you’re not the only one.