The lonely side of motherhood
Isn’t it a contradiction that you can feel so alone but yet be in the presence of two children, a new born and a 3 year old, who could talk the legs off a donkey.
Prior to maternity leave, I worked full time within the Criminal Justice System so I was constantly busy. However, this is a far cry from my life now I’m on maternity leave, I’m busy, but in a completely different way.
When the loneliness strikes
It’s crazy, when your baby is first born you have heaps and heaps of visitors coming to see you and baby, then little by little they all dwindle away. Your partner goes back to work and suddenly you’re by yourself just you and the little humans. When my partner first went back to work I was actually scared of my children. 😂😂 I laugh but honestly, I couldn’t wait for him to be home, not just for adult conversation but so I could finally breath a sigh of relief that I had help and back up (and that I could finally run away to Narnia).
Many times I would wait by the window when I knew he was due home. And when I received a call saying “babe I’m going to the gym” my heart would sink a little. But I knew I had to allow him to have time for himself so I never complained. Now you’re probably thinking get a damn grip girl, but the feelings were real. Even I didn’t recognise me!!
This was unfamiliar territory for me as there were weeks I would work 5/6 days on high profile criminal cases so my mind was completely stimulated. By contrast my conversation now consisted of why Marshall and chase from the Paw Patrol were dogs not humans LOL! I’m a get up and go type of girl, always planning and doing different things, so I really got to know a new dimension of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I get out and about with the boys and do activities with them. But, there was still that sense of isolation, if you’ve not long had a new newborn or you’re a stay at home mother you will totally get it.
We make eye contact with the new mother at the ball park or the supermarket, and it’s almost like we speak the same language through our eyes, but no words spoken.. and what’s crazy is, I understand exactly what she is feeling.
Few of us mothers actually have accurate expectations of what motherhood will be like particularly if this is your first child. For many of us motherhood and loneliness can work hand in hand. It can be so bitter sweet. During the first few months of having my second baby, I was so beautifully connected to my baby in every way yet so disconnected to those close to me. The world continued to go round, however I felt like time was on pause in my little bubble of motherhood.
Reality VS Fantasy
- We will have mother and baby meet ups
- I wanted to do an online course while I was off
- We would have chill days in bed ALL DAY
- I would have time to think (HA-HA)
- I would go on coffee dates and cute shopping trips
- There are days where I feel physically and emotionally drained.
- I’m rarely on time lol.
- Baby wipes are my best friend
- Pyjamas will be in your top five essentials.
How much does your partner understand
So, my other half came back from work the other day complaining that he was tired. “I know the feeling” I said. He asked “well what have you been doing all day”. I gave him a look and at that point he knew that he had fucked up. What have I been doing you ask? Cooking, cleaning, feeding your children, educating your children OH and keeping them alive. I do feel that he said that out of frustration however it highlighted the sad stigma attached to stay at home mothers.
What helped me
- The starting point for me was processing the feelings of loneliness. I didn’t want to admit I was lonely and I definitely didn’t want to share with others especially as this was my second child. I was meant to be a veteran in the game. Again, there is a stereotype that new mums should be happy so for a while I actually thought it was me.
- I spoke with loved ones about it and reached out to other mothers who had recently had babies. I absolutely love hearing and reflecting on the experiences of others. At this point I realised that there were an overwhelmingly amount of mothers who were experiencing the same.”I’m NORMAL” *Does the lonely mum dance* LOL!
- It was time to “work it” and embrace this loneliness, talk to others, share experiences, push myself to get out, and most of all raise a awareness of this feeling of loneliness. It’s so real, it’s so relevant and it’s so important.
You’re selfless and courageous, you made a commitment to dedicate every inch of yourself to your child. There are many times you compromise your own happiness to ensure that your child does not feel that they’re any less due to an absent parent. Single mothers you’re total Bosses!!
There are times that I’m on the brink of a melt down and my partner comes to the rescue to help. So when I think of all the mothers that have 100% responsibility for their children I find it completely inspirational. You are so so so appreciated and recognised. “To the women of the world”
Stay at home mothers
Stay at home mothers, you are the chef, the house keeper, nurse, the therapist, the chauffeur, the teacher. I know that your days seem long yet your nights so short. I know that you never really “switch off” because you’re on job 24/7.
I know that there are times when you’re defending your role as a SAHM mother even to those who are closest to you. Sometimes even our partners can’t understand what we do all day. I say we because I am currently on maternity leave and through this experience I have a new found respect and admiration for you. I’m in total awe of you, you’re amazing. “To the women of the world”
End note: As parents let’s talk, communicate, share experiences, and support each other. Because at some point in our motherhood journey we have all felt lonely. Talk to the mother in the supermarket, ask how her days going. It could make all the difference in her day.