You know that feeling when you were single... you'd be out and see all of the couples (for some reason they were everywhere)? You'd feel that little twinge of jealousy and envy. That's how I feel sometimes as a mom. I am that mom with her daughter...never truly alone- but lonely. The other moms are all with other moms. Not me.
Part of me doesn't care. I am not a stay at home mom so that I can socialize. When I go to events for children, or even small playdates I am not there to socialize. In fact, I find it distracting if moms want to socialize too much. I need to be teaching my daughter. I am not the mom that's on the sidelines watching her daughter play. I am the mom that's right there with my daughter interacting. I wouldn't have it any other way. That is my job right now and that's honestly what I expect of other moms as well. It bothers me to no end when adults are missing teachable moments because they are chatting with their mom friends. That's not what being a stay at home mom is about. But, I digress.
I knew that being a stay at home mom would be challenging from that perspective. I knew that I wanted to be proactive and meet other moms. I didn't know it would be so exhausting and seemingly pointless. I am that mom that is reaching out and asking other moms if they want to set up playdates or go to an event together. Some say yes and we set something up, some say they are interested but never set anything up, and others say yes but disappoint by being late or not showing at all. I've literally sat playing with my daughter for a full hour of playtime (when we could have been at home playing) while we waited and waited for the other moms to show up. I keep trying, however, because it's nice to have some sort of adult interaction in my day. Some of the get togethers are fun. It just seems to end. The moms never seem to reach back out to me to set things up. They are glad to come along if I reach out, but it seems one sided in the desire to actually initiate.
I see my husband for maybe an hour and half each day. That's it. That also includes weekends...there are no days off in our house. We don't get to plan outings to the zoo, or fun days at the park as a family. He gets home around 6:30 pm. He eats dinner that's been saved for him and we sit with him. We have some playtime with our daughter. At 7:30 we start our bedtime routine with her and by 8 both our daughter and my husband are in bed. Don't get me wrong, this is much harder on him that it is on me. He is the one getting up at 3 am and working a long hard day. But, I'm lonely. Even in our hour and half together I don't feel like my need for adult interaction is at all fulfilled. We get to chat about our days and get our daughter ready for bed together. The long anticipated moment of daddy coming home starts over an hour and a half after I see him. It's hard.
It used to be easier when I was working. I was a different kind of busy. The kind of busy where I didn't have time to think about how much I missed him in the same way that I do now. Now I'm busy with a toddler- which is a whole different kind of busy. It's real and exhausting in and of itself. But it is the kind of busy that allows you to miss your husband tremendously. You miss him because you wish he was there to see all of the amazing moments with her. But you also miss his companionship and friendship in a selfish way as well.
We don't have family or friends here. I don't have the support system that most moms around here seem to have. My friends from work were just that- work friends. Now that I'm no longer working, I don't see them. I tried at first, but it wasn't reciprocated. I was in a different place. I get it. I never needed more than family. I never tried hard to make new friends. All I wanted to do was hang out with my best friend- my husband. And he is the same way. So, maybe it's our fault... we kind of created our own little happy bubble. We never went out with other couples. We never found the need. We had everything we needed together.
That's still the case. Unfortunately, I just have more time to myself. A LOT more time. And during his busy season (this will last until mid- fall), I wont see him much. My daughter is young enough that she's not talking much yet. Most moms tell me to count my blessings on that because "once she starts talking you won't be able to shut her up". I can't wait. I can't wait to have conversations with my daughter that aren't one sided. I can't wait to hear what she's thinking.
I guess it's conflicting what I just wrote. I'm not sure what it is that I want. I think I just want a support system. I want to find moms like me that focus on their children, but that also want to get together. I don't want to have to be the mom going up and introducing myself all the time. Women aren't always nice in return, and it really is exhausting. It literally is kind of like dating again- and I never found that fun. I keep trying- mostly for my daughter. I want her to have children to play with. But sometimes it's just lonely watching all of the other moms have their people and not having mine. I have my people- they are all just so far away. I miss them all terribly. More than ever. And I want it to be winter so I can see my husband again for more than an hour and half each day.
So, we'll keep plugging along. I will continue to go to events. I will continue to go out and do things with my daughter because that's the point. We will still go to the zoo, and to story time, and to the fun festivals and parades- even if it is just the two of us. She's who I'm really getting to hang out with and it's such an amazing thing that I get the chance to spend my days with her. I get to make amazing memories with my daughter and I am so thankful for that. Every bit of loneliness is so worth it in the end.
It feels so selfish to even say that I'm lonely. But it's the truth. I am also the happiest I've ever been. Odd that those two feelings can coexist! I probably can't even explain it well, but having a child is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Caroline makes me a better person and brings out such joy in me. My little family is my happy place and, when it grew to include a daughter, the happiness was something I never could have dreamed up.
And Caroline, if you read this one day when you are older... please don't ever feel like I didn't enjoy being with you. You are so much fun and you are everything to me. I love watching you learn, getting to teach you and play with you, and spending all of our minutes together. If you are ever a stay at home mom one day, you'll understand. You'll understand that, while you love and cherish every minute of the day that you get with your child, it can still be lonely to not have much adult interaction. I love you so so much.