Motherhood is tough enough, being judged 24/7, but the first few months as a new mom can be even more isolating. I had spent much of the first few months of my child’s life learning how to be a mom. And I have never felt so alone.
If you are anything like me, I spent much of my time focusing on creating a bond with my baby. During this time, I almost lost myself in the journey. Even though I know other new moms going through the same things, the only way to commiserate is via text. It is hard to coordinate schedules with the few mommy friends I have, making me feel even more isolated.
Shopping trips are a nightmare. The most isolating times I have encountered have happened in the grocery store. There were weeks when I had spent every day in the grocery store, not having to carry tons of bags on top of carrying a baby. When she was little, my daughter would sleep in the baby carrier.
As a toddler, I am lucky she sits in the shopping cart. Usually, she wants to push it herself. Try running around with some frozen peas, a box of Cheerios, and a carton of strawberries while chasing a toddler; you will meet some unfriendly patrons. Fellow shoppers will make you feel like more of an outcast than the judgmental moms on the school PTA.
I also feel isolated because my friends have children who are much older than mine or they have yet to become mothers.
Having other mom friends is awesome, but when you are the last to the party, it makes it hard to have play dates. No, my two-year-old cannot have a play date with your seven-year-old strictly because they cannot do the same activities. Yes, it would be lovely to sit at your house on a Friday afternoon and drink a glass of wine while our kids played, but realistically, you and I have lost our common interests. I am usually busy watching Moana and singing with my toddler, while you are busy mastering second-grade common core math.
The worst is your non-mom friends. The friends you have known since college still go out every weekend. The ones that text you pictures of the new guy they met at 2:00 a.m., asking if you approve. Nothing feels more isolating than the group text about the girls’ night that you won’t join. No, I am not leaving my house at 11:00 p.m. I have a human alarm clock set for 6:00 a.m., with sporadic alarms set before then.
I will not be able to stay out that late. Even if I did, how long until I am snoring in the corner booth? I would love to have friends over, but last call in my house is at 9:00 p.m. Then I have to worry about laundry, putting the toys away, cleaning up whatever mess is left from dinner, and the previously stated human alarm clock.
The days are long, but the time is short. Your babies are just that for only so long. It may seem like you are alone, and on some days, you will be.
Worse things could happen. Worse things have happened. The most important thing to remember is that bedtime happens every day. Friends will come and go, but the little people you create will be a part of your life for much longer.
After all, in a freezing cold world, some people are worth melting for.