how can you be lonely when you’re never alone?
There are times when I watch someone walking alone and I get jealous of them.
Sometimes, I wonder what it’s like to not have to ask permission to go somewhere.
Or what it’s like to not feel guilty for doing something for myself.
I often look at my kids and think I’m taking them for granted. That I see them all day, and when I wake up in the morning they’ll still be there.
Hanging off me. Asking me to watch them do something for the thousandth time. Mom. Mommy. Mama. Mom. Mommy. Mama. Mom!
There are times when I just want to go for a run. Just a simple run. But I can’t. Because I don’t have a triple jogger.
Sometimes I just want to pee without having to explain myself.
Since I’ve become a mom, some really awesome things have happened. So many things.
But also, since becoming a mom, I’ve lost a few things, too. Friends, for one.
I mean, what childless person wants to hang out with some chick and her kid?
It’s rare I get to go out, and when I do, I’m tired.
I don’t know how to function with a group of adults so much anymore, either. That’s a whole other story.
And since I’ve had kids, 4 1/2 years ago, I’ve never felt more alone.
Which is really funny, since I have three kids and am constantly surrounded by bodies.
Being a mom is a wonderful thing. I get to see the joys on my kids’ faces as they figure out how to do something for the first time. When Claire first figured out how to zip up her jacket? Priceless. When Luca figured out how to clip himself into his car seat? Awesome. How about when Mae learned to say “Sadie-Dog” and “Cau-Kitty” and “Cheese Stick”? Very helpful.
It’s just, sometimes, it hits me.
Most of my mom friends are working moms. Since I’ve never really been one, I can’t even begin to imagine the pangs of guilt that I’m sure are felt from time to time when dealing with daycare. And so when I make comments like, “Oh, I can’t wait for Matt to get home, the kids are annoying today,” I almost immediately feel guilty, because maybe I sound whiny for no good reason.
But on the flip side, those women who go to work every day get to socialize with adults. Maybe even go out to eat. And all the while they’re at work, their kids aren’t their immediate responsibilities. The day care, or the nanny, or the babysitter or the family member is. Primarily, that is. Parents are always still responsible of their kids regardless of work or not. But it’s not on the forefront.
Since Claire was born, I’ve feel that constant nag, that pull. That even when Matt’s at home, I feel 100% responsible. That I’m the only one capable of taking care of them. That the world will end if I’m not there.
I’ve slowly begun letting go. Just tonight I met a friend at the gym and then talked in the parking lot after for an hour and only felt slightly guilty for not coming right home. Matt didn’t care that I was late. He was glad I chatted with my friend. But it’s me, I, who makes such a fuss. I’m allowed to have a life aside from the kids, but I’m not.
Does that make sense?
But I guess that’s what happens when the majority of your day is spent with three kids under the age of five.
I really wouldn’t have it any other way, but sometimes I just feel so isolated. And I don’t think anyone can really understand that until they’re in this situation. I love my kids, I love my life, but sometimes even while I’m surrounded by a bunch of tiny bodies, I still feel so alone. And when that feeling comes, it hits me like a brick wall. It’s overwhelming. And there’s no amount of arts and crafts that can save me.
So when it happens, I take it in. I talk it out and I examine why I feel that way. I make changes and chug along.
Anyone who thinks being a mostly stay at home mom is easy is wrong. Simply put. No matter how you mother, it’s not easy.
It’s helpful that I have friends who are mothers of all different kinds. I like to hear how it’s difficult for them working 40 hours a week. Not in a “Yes! It’s hard for them, too!” kind of way. In a, “I get it, the grass really isn’t greener,” kind of way. No matter how you slice it, the guilt is always there. The feeling of inadequacy is always there. The thought that your neighbor is doing a better job as a mother, is always there. It’s just, always there.
Just like my kids.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.